March #SOL22 Day 20 – Lament and Celebrate

Day 20 of March #SOL22

We are taking two days off from painting the outside of our home. There are strong wind advisories in our area today and tomorrow. Sand is blowing, creosotes are whipping the air, and we are staying snuggly indoors. However, it is not very comforting to look around my living room and see this mess.

I hate that my living room looks like this,
hijacked by renovation debris:

I love that there is hope for
restoration, relaxation, renewal
And eventual “after” photos

Today’s prompt, “Lament and Celebrate“, is from Andrew Moore at Ethical ELA’s Open Write.

March #SOL22 Day 19 – Living Water

Day 19 of March #SOL22

Thinking of ingredients in my kitchen:
rice, beans, tofu, oil, garlic, onions,
so many.
Which is most important?
None of those.
Perhaps there is only one
we can’t live without–
the unsung, unmentioned
ingredient in most recipes.
I use it in everything, really.
It takes the crunch out of pasta,
puts the porridge in oatmeal, and–
stop a second and imagine with me–
How would tea and coffee be without it?

It covers a multitude of issues,
A stew multiplies into a soup
A thick, globby mess transforms into gravy
A varnished stir fry pan (looking impossible
to clean) magically deglazes into rich broth

Water saves a dehydrated person,
Removes paint* from skin,
And, on and on
Of course, as you know,
the water usage list is endless

Which reminded me today
of you, the Living Water.
Moses hit you in the desert
and you poured out for all
the thirsty rebels

When you were by the well
You asked her
for a drink of water.
Suffering in the heat of the day,
she drew water up
in her leather bucket
and gave some to you–
clear, cool, hydrating.
Then you gave her Living Water
so she’d never thirst again
You saw her, redeemed her.

She learned, as I can,
about living water
the one I can’t live without–
the one I can’t Love without.

*Painting went well today, believe it or not!

This post is from a prompt “Ingredients” by John Noreen at Ethical ELA Open Write. Join us?

March #SOL22 Day 18 and Poetry Friday – A Perverse Amusement Park

Day 18 of March #SOL22
Today’s Poetry Friday

Keith prayed for us yesterday morning before we started painting–he prayed for a good and safe day, that we would be productive and live in the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.)

He came back from Home Depot saying, “Are you ready for some fun? I got a 3M Hand-Masker, so you can tape up the windows, and I’ll spray.”

After we both tried the tape dispenser a few times, I threw it down and said, “This is a piece of garbage. How much did you pay for this stupid contraption? Why are you being so patient with it. It’s obviously broken or defective. It deserves no patience. Some things in life call for the fruit of the flesh–like a fit of anger over this worthless piece of s*%^!”

Painting a house
is a perverse amusement park,
which is to say there is occasional fun–
like waving around a squirt gun with paint in it
and eating Snickers bars my husband brought home–
but I fear the evil lurking around
all the bone-headed mistakes,
overspray, wasted paint,
and harsh words.
I fear I will never be able to exit.
Yesterday I cried,
fell off a step stool,
cursed my husband,
prayed for mercy,
and lay on the cold tile floor.
Not necessarily in that order.
And we aren’t even
finished with the priming.
There is no departure,
no way to get out.
Every morning, we get up
for another rollicking day
at the amusement park from hell.

On another note, my husband has been trying to help us keep perspective and awareness of our privilege in having a house to paint. While we were having trouble figuring out the sprayer, he said, “I was just thinking about all the people in Ukraine who don’t even have a house left to go to.”

Those are just a few snippets of yesterday’s painting. Today we took the day off–not a drop of paint involved–we went into Palm Springs for lunch and shopping.

Taylor Mali, creator of metaphor dice, is hosting a contest. He’ll also be collecting poems for an anthology containing poems that have been written using his metaphor dice by adults and students. Have you written a metaphor dice poem before? The one above is my second try. The deadline for submission is April 30. Click to see the simple submission guidelines.

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town with a sweet bird-watching moment captured in a haibun. Today is Day 18 of the March #SOL22 challenge.

March #SOL22 Day 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Sprayer

Day 17 of March #SOL22

Today was one of those days that will go down in infamy in our marriage. More on the details later, but we did get a sprayer. (Thank you, Glenda.)

We are still speaking to each other tonight, and we didn’t get a divorce yet. But as teachers, you all know the power of yet!

(Just kidding!)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, by the way.

At least I get a nice view while I paint.

March #SOL22 Day 16 – Progress

Our little bird pair liked the new wall I gave them, and they are building their nest.
Taking an ice cream break from painting. (Yikes, look at me!)
This is a much bigger job than I anticipated! Progress after three gallons of primer.

I am posting this just under the wire for today! We are making progress. Why did we ever decide retirement was a good time to paint a house for the first time. We’ll see how long we hold up!

March #SOL22 Day 15 – Springtime Nest Building

We have a pair of doves that we often see in our yard. This morning I noticed they were building a nest under the porch of our work shed.

Later in the day, I went back to see how they were progressing. Sadly, they were nowhere to be found.

And the remnants of their nesting attempt were on the ground under the spot.

I took the chance and did something I wished I could have done this morning as I watched them struggle. I added another wall for their home. I hope I didn’t add too much human scent. Maybe they can try again tomorrow.

In other news today, we are prepping our house for painting the outside. It’s a big job.

March #SOL22 Day 14 – Winding Yarn

Day 14 of March #SOL22

When I was a middle school student, my great aunt Thelma taught me to crochet. This was in the days when yarn didn’t come in easy-to-pull-out skeins. Back in the day, when I was visiting her, she would have me hold my two hands out about two feet apart. Then she would patiently roll the yarn into a ball.

Fast forward fifty years, and I did it again this morning. Only this time, my knees were the helper.

This week the temperature will hit 80, so I needed to break out a new color for my temperature blanket.
Temperature blanket in progress