What’s Making Me Happy (First of April 2013!)

1st April 2013, Easter Monday, April Fool's Da...

1st April 2013, Easter Monday, April Fool’s Day P1710412 (Photo credit: tomylees)

Happy April!  Happy April Fool’s Day!

 

 

 

I’ve always loved the 1st of a new month and I feel great affinity with April 1st, as it’s my half birthday!
(Really, who celebrates such a thing? I guess I do! )  
April is kind of the yin to my yang or something.  

 

 

April is also National Poetry Month and Autism Awareness Month, among other wacky holidays (National Welding Month? International Guitar Month?). I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate, so websites like Holiday Insights  are great places to find inspiration.  (e.g. 3rd Thursday in April (4/18) = National High Five Day, April 23 = Take a Chance Day, April 30 = Hairstyle Appreciation Day.)

 

 

It’s been a great start to April, so I’ll start the month with a list of what’s been making me happy lately!

 

 

Movies States

The United States of Movies

  • This is a fun new poster I have added to my walls.  I haven’t seen all the films (haven’t even heard of some of them!  SLC Punks?  Who knew?) but maybe that will be a goal sometime!  If not, it’s fun to look at and think about and a conversation piece.  
vodka stroganoff beets vodka

Anna Karenina celebratory meal

  • Had a few Walkie Talkies over for dinner and a movie!  The movie was the new Anna Karenina and before the movie we had vodka, beef stroganoff, yummy bread and brie, and pickled beets.  After the meal we had vodka and white Russian cupcakes.  The movie was engrossing and fast-moving and fun to watch!  Very cleverly done!  I can’t wait to watch it again!  
Keep Calm Chivery

Keep Calm and…

  • I saw this as I was browsing in B&N and thought it was pretty hilarious!  Love the Keep Calm stuff.  Love this even more.  
Pedis with the girls pedicure pampering spa

Pedis with the girls

  • Any day off is a good day off.  A day off spent with friends and family is the best day off ever!  Lots of times other people have to work on my days off (and vice versa) so I’m happy that it’s spring break this week!  
  • Today I also went to Macy’s because I won a door prize that I signed up for last week!  So I have two full-sized bottles of some perfumes I’ve never heard of before!  Good times!
  • And also today my mom decided we would celebrate opening day of baseball season with hotdogs, potato salad and ice cream while watching the Twins on TV!  Good stuff.  Mom loves a theme, too!
Easter Chicks

Easter Chicks (Photo credit: Flying Pig Party Productions)

  • I worked on Easter weekend but enjoyed the time spent with my fellow “Easter chicks,” as we dubbed ourselves.  We had some cookies, which looked like these above, and lots of jelly beans.
  • I am over HALF WAY DONE with Gone with the Wind!  Yay me!  I am more than 500 pages into this book of about 960 pages.  Ah.  Still enjoying it and can’t wait to have another dinner and a movie night!
  • I’m looking forward to book club tomorrow night – gonna make Mississippi Mud cake to celebrate!  Also bringing little Cokes in glass bottles and someone else is bringing the rum (relevant to the book!).  Always a good time.
  • I’m looking forward to a WEEKEND OFF!  Friday, Saturday AND Sunday!  Woot!  No big plans and a 4 hour meeting for work on Saturday, but excited, nonethless!
  • I’m looking forward to making my list of 44 Things:Q3!  I haven’t started yet, but will work on it this week.

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is my favorite poem about April.  I’ve shared it on my blog in another April post (2011, I believe).  I memorized it in high school and it still comes to mind when I think of springtime and April.  I would LOVE to know your favorite poems!  Send them my way!  

 

 

APRIL by Marcia Masters
It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s daisy.
It’s a roller-skating, scissor-grinding day;
It’s gingham-waisted, chocolate flavored, lazy,
With the children flower-scattered at their play.

 

It’s the sun like watermelon,
And the sidewalks overlaid
With a glaze of yellow yellow
Like a jar of marmalade.

 

It’s the mower gently mowing,
And the stars like startled glass,
While the mower keeps on going
Through a waterfall of grass.

 

Then the rich magenta evening
Like a sauce upon the walk,
And the porches softly swinging
With a hammockful of talk.

 

It’s the hobo at the corner
With his lilac-sniffing gait,
And the shy departing thunder
Of the fast departing skate.

 

It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s April!
A water sprinkler, puddle winking time,
When a boy who peddles slowly, with a smile remote and holy,
Sells you April chocolate flavored for a dime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting a Commonplace Book

April 30.  How did it happen that we’re here already?  Very crazy.

I was trying to figure out a way to honor the last day of Poetry Month and was reading 30 things to do in Poetry Month.  One of the things to do was to start a ‘commonplace book.’ It sounds exactly like what we did in high school and that I have done every now and then ever since.

Commonplace book

Commonplace book (Photo credit: vlasta2)

I have owned many blank books over the years to collect words inside.  To-do lists or other kinds of lists (40 things to do before 40 or the Man o’ My Dreams list), favorite quotes or paragraphs from books, ideas of things to try or read or watch or do. Once I kept track of random overheard conversations of strangers.  What fun that was!

So I’m inspired to find a small book to write snippets in again.

Below is the information from poets.org.  Visit the site for lots of inspirational ideas!

Start a Commonplace Book:

Since the Renaissance, devoted readers have been copying their favorite poems and quotations into notebooks to form their own personal anthologies called “commonplace books.” These collections can be a source of enjoyment and solace, reminding the keeper of favorite books and poems, and can even become family heirlooms. You may devote a corner of a regular journal to jotting down quotes or poems that strike your fancy or obtain a blank book just for this purpose.

As Max W. Thomas says in “Reading and Writing the Renaissance Commonplace Book: A Question of Authorship?”, “commonplace books are about memory, which takes both material and immaterial form; the commonplace book is like a record of what that memory might look like.” Or, in Jonathan Swift’s words:

“A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that ‘great wits have short memories:’ and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there.”
—from “A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet”

Today, find a small notebook to record poems or fragments of poems that you come across in your reading. As you add to your own commonplace book, you will be drawing a map of your life as a reader and thinker, creating a valuable portrait of your memory and time.

Poetry Month

magnetic poetry

Thankfully mine isn't in a pile like this. Image by surrealmuse via Flickr

I have always loved poetry!  When I was young, my aunt gave me the book, “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle (Put Up One Summer by Felicity)” and there was hardly a poem in there I didn’t love.  Somewhere along the line I lost the book – but the miracle of the internet and online shopping put it back in my hands a few years ago.  I still love the poems in there – some even more now.  The poems are mostly light and humorous, but there were some heavy and meaningful ones, as well.

I still have the book, “Now We Are Six” by A. A. Milne, which was given to me when I was six (by the same aunt) – and those poems are precious and fun as well.  It is a favorite gift for any six-year old in my life.  Such fun poetic stories about King John or The Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Thief.  And of course, Pooh.

I also still have the “Poetry Books” we created in 9th and 10th grades, probably for National Poetry Month.  They are construction paper covers with pictures cut-out from magazines and greeting cards taped on the typing paper.  No clip-art or fancy graphics available to me in 1985.  But the poems I included were from “Now We Are Six” and “Reflection on a Gift…”, as well as from teen magazines – those sappy love or friendship poems found at the back of the issue!  I wrote a few as well, including a few limericks.

Lately, the most interesting things I’ve written are a few haikus.  They are a lot of fun.  I have great memory of sitting outside on my deck on a hot Memorial Day weekend with my cousin (that aunt’s daughter) reading and writing haikus.  I think many of them are lost, but I still have the book that was the inspiration. I also still have several versions of magnetic poetry around – I just love words!

I lost a lot of books in the flood, but I am thankful for these favorites that were on a shelf high enough to be saved!

Here is a favorite from “Reflections..”  I hopefully will post more favorites in the month of April.  I just love poetry.  🙂

Well, off to read!

Advice to Travelers

    by Walker Gibson

A burro once, sent by express,
His shipping ticket on his bridle,
Ate up his name and his address,
And in some warehouse, standing idle,
He waited till he like to died.
The moral hardly needs the showing:
Don’t keep things locked up deep inside —
Say who you are and where you’re going.