Cars – Ethical ELA Open Write

Susie Morice has given a great writing prompt today related to cars. Check it out here at today’s Ethical ELA’s Open Write.

Opel Kadett Estate
minted in 1967
A decade later it
became my first car baby
A real red Valentine
presented to me
by my mom for my senior year
A show-stopping heartthrob
that cost a precious $250.
A delicious cherries jubilee rave
that all my friends loved to ride in
A charismatic bolero dance,
this little beauty was all mine.

The very first week
that obnoxious “check oil” light kept
showing up on my instrument panel.
That little radish shrilled its warning.

I knew how to check the oil
I can pull out the dipstick
So I checked it lots of times,
all week.
The oil was always fine,
never low.

So I kept driving it.
Another week later
there would be no more driving it.
The motor had burned out.

(to be continued!)


Slice of Life and Ethical ELA Open Write – Paint Chip Poetry

Today’s Slice of Life at, 18 January 2022

Today, Dr. Kim Johnson has introduced us to paint chip poetry at the Ethical ELA Open Write.  I found some beautiful paint names and gave it a try about the view from my window. I used Sherwin-Williams Color Sample Chart to choose my colors. I highlighted the 16 paint chip names I wrote with today.

There’s s a full moon shining tonight
So cold, the stardew has fallen and gathered on the sand
Moth wings glimmer, their free spirit soars sky high
Thinking they are keeping the moon in sight
They actually frolic just around my porch light
blushing in their undignified beating, their alabaster
pollen powder sprinkling the air as they dream big
Billowy breezes, cheerful and undercool make me
Think of the heartfelt delight I carry in this earthen jug

Double Golden Shovel – Ethical ELA Open Write

Today’s golden shovel prompt came from the expert–Dr. Kimberly Johnson. Read all about it here, and be sure to watch her video explanation. My inspiration and Martine Luther King, Jr. quote came from an Instagram post today by Ibram X. Kendi.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ibram X. Kendi (@ibramxk)

It is time for a lesson for all us whites.
Is justice and peace better 55 years after he said it?
An unapologetic MLK prophesied. Listen we must.
Aspect 1 is that he was killed for speaking so frankly
of injustice and the complicity of white silence. Let his words be
their healing, our healing. It’s been said,
Sense of racism we all suffer. We all are
of the same truth–no justice, no peace. There’s not
superiority in having different skin color. Putting
that into perspective…is there superiority in
the size shoe you wear? Since 1619 similar
people have tried to justify injustice. A mass
of privilege led to silence and denial. The effort
America has taken to hide in white fears, to
believe whites are more. We need to reeducate.
They need, we need to realize 40 acres and a mule would themselves
have been such an easier and more productive effort. Old ideas out,
so we can educate ourselves out of
little and fearful thinking. We can humbly bow to their
to-finally-have-justice lives of color. We can give up fearing, own,
learn, take action on white supremacy, and bury our ignorance.

Monotetra – Ethical ELA Open Write

Stacey Joy has given us another good prompt today. I wrote my poem based on my word for 2022: Simplify.

Advice for 2022

Note to self: Watch for what astounds
Make the high desert your playground
Let love guide you as hope abounds
Simply resound, simply resound

Curb your buyological urge
Leave Amazon and on love splurge
Let each day thoroughly emerge
Simplify surge, simplify surge

Goodbye clutter. It’s a new year
Make do, create, and have no fear
Do keep your priorities clear
Simplify here, simplify here

I wrote another monotetra in 2020. I’m still praying a miracle will happen and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act will be passed.

John Lewis

Racism’s scars and stains knew he.
Bloodied, unafraid, fighter free
Forging Beloved Community
Gift of esprit, Gift of esprit

The ‘Conscience of Congress’ is right
Which others will take up his fight?
Remain hopeful, not take to flight
Even at night, Even at night

The menace of his later years
Just one more foe he had to clear
Remained unconquered through our tears
Courage not fears, Courage not fears

John Lewis, determined tower
The unbowed master of the hour
Strong, but gentle as a flower
Rest in Power, Rest in Power

For the Love of Lists – Ethical ELA Open Write

Stacey Joy has shared an accessible poetry prompt using lists, inspired by Kwame Alexander’s poem “Ten Reasons Why Fathers Cry at Night.” You can read the whole prompt and Stacey’s mentor poem here at Ethical ELA.

Seven Reasons to Fix That Broken Thing

Because a new one costs more money,
and extra money can be used wisely.
Because it will save space in the landfill,
and the world does not need extra stuff.
Because we can call it retro or antique,
and it suits our dusty homesteader cabin.
Because when it’s finished it will be useful,
and it will make me happy to know I fixed it.
Because it is just like one that I grew up with,
and it reminds me of my grandma.
Because we’re not working right now,
and we have lots more time than we used to.
Because it is rewarding to work with our hands,
even though my hands
are now dry
and cracked
and splintered
from this
But that’s another list.

Poetry Friday – Life-Drenched Promise

It has been an emotionally-full month or so. My last Poetry Friday post was in November, and I haven’t written much since.

Now, here we are in a new place, having uprooted from a home we loved and moved to another place we love. One that has always given us life-drenched promise. I have been coming to the southern California desert sincw before I was born. When I was still in my teens, I brought my future husband out to visit my grandma’s place. He loved it too. Now we have so much shared history here. My mom moved out here to take care of Grandma in her last years, and my children grew up visiting their grandma, my mom, in the same home. One of my daughters was married out here. Now I find myself living  here, ready to be a grandma. Life goes so fast, but there is also Promise!

Though I haven’t been actively posting and commenting lately, I have occasionally been reading your posts. Margaret’s (and the Inklings) challenge from last week has been on my mind this week. I loved “The Lost Lagoon” poem by Emily Pauline Johnson.

However, I didn’t try writing a poem until this morning. Since it’s the first poem I’ve dared to write in months, I am posting my first draft today.

Monday’s sunset in Yucca Valley, California

(After Emily Pauline Johnson)

Sunset is blanketing the high desert,
And we two dreaming the dusk away,
Beneath the memories of dear ones laid–
Grandparents, parents and more. They
Point to life-drenched Promise.

It is morning in the high desert,
And Grandma starts the wood fire.
Later, the post-rain creosote inspires
Our play. L.A. kids’ delight soars higher
In this land of life-drenched Promise.

Our honeymoon in the high desert
Was a last-minute choice when we heard
My grandma’s dying of cancer. She preferred
The ceremony go on without a word.
Her faith strong in Jesus’ life-drenched Promise.

O the draw of the high desert
Which brings us to our last chapter.
Decades of visiting has made us captor–
Holding this place in our hearts. Adapter
Soon to this life-drenched Promise.

Mary Lee Hahn has today’s poetry roundup. Her poem about pomegranates is a wonderful conversation starter.

Slice of Life – Simplify

Today’s Slice of Life at, 11 January 2022

It’s been almost a month since I even attempted to record slices of my life. So much has happened since my last post.  We finished saying goodbye and flew from Bahrain on 31 December. We began the new year in California.

I thought a lot about clutter while I cleaned and packed my old house and got ready to move into my new (to us) 1000-square-foot home. I chose a word for 2022 thanks to some great comments on this November post. My one word for 2022 will be Simplify, with some monthly “helper” words like Erika did last year.

So my helper word for January is “purge.” That’s what had to happen with this house, which over the past six years has been at various times empty, occupied, and used as storage. We are so happy to claim it again as our own.

Some items ready for the dumpster — do you see the beast back there?
Giant-sized dumpster
More things removed from our house

We have been purging. The house was full to overflowing with furniture and supplies. It probably could have outfitted three homes with all the multiples of appliances, blankets, space heaters, furniture and more furniture. We have had lots to choose from, which we are thankful for and we are keeping, but so much extra is going out into the front yard for giveaways and dumping.

We have been here a week and a half now, and we haven’t only been cleaning. We’ve…

Watched my daughter and son-in-law perform their redecorating magic in our bedroom (click to see more of their work)
Shared some family meals
Taken a fun and strenuous hike
Enjoyed watching some sunsets
Created my 2022 temperature quilt key. I’ll be using found yarns to create a quilt of the temperatures in our first year.

And one of the highlights of the season has been the news that my eldest daughter is going to have a baby in June.

The package with these mugs was the first mail we got at our new address.

So, here we go on another adventure. I’m hoping to simplify as I enjoy each new day I’m given.

Slice of Life – Saying Goodbye

Today’s Slice of Life at, 14 December 2021

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything here. I came today just because I don’t want to fall completely out of practice.

I’m emotionally exhausted these days because, after eight years living in Bahrain, we are leaving soon to go back to the U.S.

Though we have some things we are looking forward to in California, every day left here I see so many people and experiences that I will miss. I’m trying to enjoy every moment, like these from today and yesterday:

yesterday’s going away lunch for my husband at his hospital
this gift from a former fifth grader, now in high school (complete with my favorite Bahrain building in the center)
these beautiful church school teachers who sang together at church last evening
this gift from Sushma (because we forgot to take a picture at breakfast this morning)
learning to make appam this afternoon with a friend