The Rites of Spring, April 25, 2022

Spring is a time for cleaning up the outdoor area. Leaves to rake, new mulch around plantings and picking up trash. In Holland Michigan, there is the annual sweeping of the streets.

My husband and I have a area in our neighborhood that we walk daily. This year, we decided to clean up the animal feces along the path to the 5th/6th grade school. It is located near a small wooded,lowland area.

We started with a trash bag and a a hand extension to pick up trash while standing.

We started to walk the short path between the start of the path and the school property. We were surprised to find and gather a full bag of dog leavings.

People were kind enough to bag their pet’s feces but they throw the bag off the path area. The bags that were used were not biodegradable and would not decompose. The good thing about the bags were they were bright, either yellow or bright green. They were easy to spot in the brambles.

Gathering the bags seemed like a weird Easter hunt.

I thought about the training that Guide dogs and their owners go through to learn how to pick up their dog’s feces. A guide dog is trained to void on gravel or a sand space. They will go on command and wait for their owner to praise them while they locate and clean up.

Perhaps other pet owners could learn to clean up after their pets.

As for my husband and myself, we will continue to walk and take a trash bag along on our walks.

Nature’s cleanup

there are leavings from wild animals.

deer leave small hard balls , birds void in flight.

only pet owners bag and toss their animals feces.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Carolaspot@aol.com

Easter Memories

After a break for medical issues, I have decided to post once a week. This post is a combiniation of thoughts about Easter memories.

The story of the origin of the Easter rabbit is from Germany. A clothed rabbit, dressed as a judge, passed judgement on tthe children to see if they would receive treats.

In our family, we received our treats in the same baskets each year. The plastic toys were included as filler with the exception of a tin chick that you could wind up and watch it peck it’s way across the floor.

The marshmallow chocolate bunnies were my favorite.

One year, I received a blow up rabbit holding my basket. Waking up in the dim light of morning, I saw a tall figure at the foot of my bed. He was standing on a chair and looked imposing .

I hid in my covers and didn’t come out until I had enough light and my glasses to see the bunny. I had to pose with that blow up toy for the Easter photos.

Now I don’t eat the Easter treats. My basket is long gone but I still have the memories of that little tin chick.

I watched little boys and girls arrive to church with new Easter toys.

They may hold a bunny or hug a chick.

I smile, remembering a toy peep that was once found in my basket.

Seeing the smiles and joy on their faces is well worth the long service. Happy Easter blessings

Spring cleaning, March 31, 2020 125 words

Most of us schedule spring cleaning after a long winter. This year, I have mental spring cleaning for my thoughts .

Usually, I will have several thoughts or ideas on my mental burner. Not so any more. I must work to complete a thought or a story. If i don’t finish the article, I run the risk of losing the whole story.

The time I decide to write has a bearing on whether the story makes sense. I do my best writing in the early morning.

Yesterday I tried to write to my cousin. I couldn’t form a greeting, much less write a short note.

It is simular to running out of virtual gas. I have to put the pen down and relax.

When the number of spelling errors increase, It is a signal to stop.

I try to limit the time I spend writing. This is the worst writer’s block I have ever had.

Wishing all my writing friends creative writing and no blocks.

Carol

carolfarn@aol.com

You can’t take it with you. March 19, 2022

Good morning fellow writers. It is great to be in the world and solving problems such as, where did I leave my notes on my poems

or what is the subject of the new Spring poem?

I find that working with words is harder than practicing thoughts. The good news is , I have slowed down in my typing to catch some of the errors.

Today, the weather is cloudy and rain is expected. I feel the light breeze caressing the hairs on the back of my neck. Hearing the spring bird courting melodies interweaving to awaken spring.

I struggle to think of the season while new thoughts and connections stream through my memory.

So I will gather my thoughts and string them into a tale.

Carolaspot@aol.com

Iphone 13 causes a fall. February 22, 2022

Well, it finally happened, my I Phone died. It was slowly going but I helped it along. My blue tooth was disconnecting during use and I had delays launching apps. This didn’t prepare me for no phone service.

No problem, right. Just go to the friendly Verizon store for replacements. We found that the phones we had would not be supported after January of 2023. John and I both liked the size of the 6se. We were showned a mini 13 which was close to the size of our old phones.

We had to order them and they would take two days to come.

We went in Friday to get the new phones. Then the fun began.

Thought the salesperson downloaded existing programs into each of our phones. I saw a long learning curve in my future.

First was facial identification. How do you take a picture with just voiceover as a guide? I gave up and used the old password.

The second hurdle was switching to another app. I have to swish several times to close an app. and get to the password page.

Next I had to pair my blue tooth with the new phone. I use a blue tooth devise to talk diredtly to my hearing aids.

After 24 hours, I was able to send and receive calls and messages with my new phone. But I use the phone for much more that that. For one thing, my email was not recieved. Even on the I Pad the emails stopped on Saturday.

We found that many sites that we had used seamlessly for years, had to have double verification to work. Even Bard wanted double verificattion. A real pain when you are blind.

Now to the fall, I was trying to work on my phone and I started to walk it into where I thought my husband was. On my way, there was an open door. I hit the door and fell on my tiled kitchen floor.

Pain in my back alerted me that I had done something stupid. I lay there for a couple of minutes to allow the pain to subside and take time for assessment.

I crawled to the table and hoisted myself into a chair.

Taking a cocuple of Tylenaos, I asked John to drive me to Urgent Care. They were busy with three other falls. My fall was the only one that happen indoors. I was told that I would have bruising and my lumbar was compressed.

Off we went to The Emergency room at the hospital to assess my spine to see if there was a pintching of a nerve.

I was there for 9 hours, then sent home. My nerves seemed fine. After repeating the answers to many medical staff , did I have feeling in my lower body .I reported, yes and I can feel my urine on my vagina. The nurse turned red but the doctor was nonplussed and muttered good.

I awoke with an upset stomach and have to rest as much a possible.

So forgive me if my emails and calls ar a little slow. I am healing.

**********

********

Aging

I think I’m a youngster,

until I take a tumble.

My whole body aches.

and I feel helpless

in this aging body of mine.

carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 2/22 22

The Joining, February 17,2022

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Last week, one of my writing friends wrote a story about her wedding day. My experience was much different than hers. I thought I would share eloping to Las Vegas.I had a large wedding for my first marriage, including the church, bridesmaids, wedding gown and reception. When I was asked a second time, I wanted just a small gathering of immediate family. My family had different ideas.My parents were scheduled to rent a place in Florida. My Mother informed us to get married before they returned. John’s Mother didn’t need to travel to Vegas to see us married.Anger boiled in me ,” Does no one want to attend?”John wisely made plans with a website, Weddings are us , where he designed a ceremony just for us.We booked a room at the Excalibur resort. He said that the ceremony location would be a surprise.At the last minute, my brother Brian joined us at the Detroit airport. He was flying out a day early with a stop over in Vegas to see his sister wed.We picked up a rental car and went to dress for the wedding.I had bough a knee length chiffon dress in apricot. John had a peach colored shirt. We drove to city hall where there were cattle fences for the large number of couples getting marriage licenses on Valentines Day. We were the only couple there getting a license and hurried to the chapel. It was a white clapboard little church. It was named Graceland. It had nothing in common with Elvis except bearing the same name as his beloved home.Inside, there were two men watching a college basketball game on television. One of the men arose to see if our papers were in order. He was the manager of the little chapel. The second man was a tall black Pentecostal minister. This the wedding coordinator picked when I said I wanted a religious minister.My brother served as witness, and photographer. We joined the minister in the front of the tiny altar. There we had a long reading from the book of Ruth. I stifled a giggle because I was carrying a little Ruth in my belly.We exchanged rings and after one last attempt to extract some extra funds by offering a faux leather folder to hold our marriage certificate. We went outside to have Brian take some more photos.We all returned to the hotel where Brian asked us to take him back to the airport in the morning.Neither John nor I couldn’t sleep. We got dressed and wandered down to the casino. There was not a soul except cleaning people but the slots were humming and ringing bells as if the ghosts of the evening past were still pulling handles and losing.We walked up and down the strip and found a early breakfast place before the sun rose. Back to the hotel, we checked out and dropped my brother off at the airport for his flight to L.A.We were packed and ready for our honeymoon. What was our destination? Death Valley, “how appropriate,” I thought.

********

*********

Simple Giftswarming cold feet on a winter’s nightsmelling fresh bread baking in the ovenHolding hands and cuddling on the couchGood conversation and the gift of laughter as we age these are the simple gifts of love and marriag

Happy B Day Susan, February 15, 2022

Today is the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, abolitionist and suffragette. She was born into a Quaker family in 1820 in Adams Massachusetts. From an early age, Susan distributed anti slavery pamphlets and collected petitions for equal rights for all freemen and slaves.

After the civil war , she turned her enegries to work tirelessly on the behalf of women’s rights.

In 1856 she became the chairperson for the anti slavery society in New York.

Ms. Anthony and her three siblings continued to form rallies to promote rights of all people.

Susan was arrested once for disturbing the peace and fined 100 dollars. It is difficult to believe that this diminutive person, was a power house of a speaker.

Once she was asked, what the B stood for in her name. She replied, “I had an uncle named Brown but I adapted the Initial to have my name stand out.”

Susan B. Anthony continued to work towards womens right to vote up to her death in 1906. Her leadership paved the way for the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

As I wonder about this historic figure, recall the inequalities that are still present in our society today. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is still being challenged in the courts and workplace.

Equal rights for LGTB, mentally ill and and those people living in poverty continue to be marginalized. Different ethnic groups are targeted for hate crimes.

Then I think that Ms. Anthony took the long view of change working with one person or group at a time. Like Susan B. Anthony, we may not see the results of our efforts, but we must commit ourselves to change and support others in our world…one person at a time.

**********

********

Susan B. Anthony

Strong in spirit

Underestimated by others

Said her mind

Abolitionist from an early age

Named the anti slavery representive for NY state

B was the intial she adopted onto her name

Always willing to speak at rallies

Never too tired to engage others

Told time and again to keep her place

Her rally cry was equality for all

Only if we could be so determined

National events still split us

Your spirit is needed to guide us today

Carolaspot@aol.com

copyright 2/15/22

Interview with P. Fletcher 2-11-22

https://pattysworlds.com/fridays-fantastic-finds-presents-featured-author-of-the-week-carol-farnsworth-interview/

New post on PattysWorld

Friday’s Fantastic Finds Presents! Featured Author of the Week, Carol Farnsworth #Interview

by Patty Fletcher

Hello! This week, “Friday’s Fantastic Finds” takes great pleasure in presenting Carol Farnsworth, author of Leaf Memories.

Hello Carol, we’re happy to have you here in Patty’s Worlds today. First, in your own words tell us a little about you.

Hi, my name is Carol Farnsworth and I’m pleased to be interviewed for your Featured Author of the Week segment.

The creative world has always been a part of me. I have been an actor, singer, dancer, pianist, and artist. I’ve won awards for the In Sights annual art contest for the past four years.

When I lost my sight completely, I turned my attention to writing. I learned to appreciate nature and use my other senses with my memories.

With two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband John and I explore nature from a tandem bicycle. We have been a tandem team for over 20 years.

My daughter has been a help and a source for writing material. The book, “Leaf Memories,” cover photo is of my daughter Ruth playing in a pile of leaves. The poem with the same name is about playing with her.

Where do you live?

I live in a small village outside Grand Rapids, MI. My husband and I have lived here for 25 years.

Who are the special people in your life?

In addition to my husband and daughter, I have a special friend that I call my Brazilian sister.

Do you have any pets?

I have no pets of my own, but thanks to my daughter, my husband and I have three grand-kittens.

What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work? 

Finding the humor in daily life. Being blind, there are many times when funny things happen to me. When I helped with support groups for the newly blind, I saw their despair that life was over. I approached them with the humor from my own life, so they could laugh and not feel hopeless.

What is your favorite song?

My favorite song is “O It’s time to Start Living” from the musical despair. The song is upbeat and inspires the listener to start enjoying life in whatever stage they’re in.

What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.

My favorite movie is Ghost. I love the idea that love is never gone even after death. I also love a good cry.

What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.

I don’t seem to be able to name a favorite book, but historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love a good suspense story. I enjoy Dean Koontz novels which always tell the story of good taking a beating but coming out on top.

What is your favorite food? Feel free to elaborate on all your favorites.

Anything spicy. I enjoy trying many types of hot sauce.

What is your favorite quote?

“If you are going to be anything, be kind.” – Dr. Seuss.

This is something that we all can strive for.

What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?

“Things happen.”

Instead of worrying about situations that happen, I try, where possible, to use them in my writing.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

When people talk to the sighted person and not to me, it makes me wonder if they do not see me. Occasionally I will say “I can answer that” or “ask me,” but often they will still defer to my sighted companion.

What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?

My empathy for others and my sense of humor helps me connect by way of both conversation and writing.

What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?

Usually there are several projects on my burners at once. Trying to give enough time to each project sometimes means I’m not doing my best. I need to learn to say no.

What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?

I hope people who read my work get as much joy out of reading it as I did when writing it, and may they get an inkling of what it means to be blind.

What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?

My preferred way to communicate initially is email and should anyone wish to reach out to me for any reason, they may write me at: carolfarn@aol.com

If anyone would like to purchase my books they may visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BLSN5RD

If they’d like to learn a bit more, and find other book buying sites as well, they may visit my author website at: https://www.dldbooks.com/carolfarnsworth/

Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself or your work that I’ve not asked?

I must say, I’ve enjoyed interviewing with you. You’ve provided some wonderfully thought-provoking questions.

I would like to close with the introduction to my book.

Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of myself and my work with your readers.

A smiling toddler with short, dark hair and a red, polka-dot shirt is immersed in a large pile of leaves, with a white tennis shoe poking out beside her. The leaves are brown and maroon and cover most of the ground in the photo. Behind the pile is a green lawn with a large black trash bag on its side, ready to scoop the leaves.

From Leaf Memories

Introduction

I have always loved walking in the woods. I usually explore with my husband or daughter to act as a sighted guide. They find flora for me to touch.

When I had some vision, they would point out fauna—a deer, or a bird taking flight. At those times, I was lucky to see the white of a retreating deer or hear the sound of wings in flight.

When I became totally blind, I developed my senses of touch, hearing, smell and taste to see the world.

I incorporated visual memories to complete the picture.

After two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband and I became a tandem cycling team. This allowed me to experience nature in a different way.

I wrote this chapbook of poems after I lost my sight. I found there are many ways to enjoy nature, such as using your hands to explore, along with your other senses.

“Reflections”

Rain distorts the reflection in the pane.

I contemplate my twisted hold on reality.

Memory of the visual world changes with age,

reforming like a deck of shuffled cards.

The rain forms tears from heaven.

They water our souls and spirits.

I take a card to see what memory is on top.

Building a story around the thought.

That story is my new reality.

About the Author

Carol has worn many hats: speech pathologist, musician, dancer, actress, artist, and traveler. Now she has turned her hand to writing. Carol and her husband, John, have lived in a small town in western lower Michigan for the past 30 years. They have one married daughter and three grandkitties.

Carol started to write essays and poems in 2018 to tell about the lite side of blindness. Her blog, https://blindontheliteside.com/, puts a humorous spin on living with blindness. While she has experienced a gradual loss of sight all her life, Carol still sees the laughter and joy in living.

Her writing has appeared in Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Magnets and Ladders, Breath and Shadow, Spirit Fire Review, and The Handy, Uncapped Pen. She is a regular contributor to The Blind Perspective and Newsreel audio magazine.

In addition to tandem bicycling with her husband, Carol enjoys creating felted art animals, cooking, and working in her container garden.Patty Fletcher | February 11, 2022 at 8:00 am | Tags: AuthorBlindnessCarol FarnsworthCyclingdisabilityLeaf MemoriesNatureNew ReleasePoetry | Categories: Featured Author of the WeekFriday’s Fantastic Finds| URL: https://wp.me/pcZCK2-8JK

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Two will be One February 10,2022

My brothers will agree with me that our Dad was quite a storyteller. Brian , the youngest brother would add, “and some of his stories were even true!”

The following is from my imagination. Bruce did marry my mother, who was a Catholic. Family lore states that Dad’s family wasn’t happy and threatened not to attend. The rest of the story is a could have happened. Enjoy.

Bruce’s View

Bruce visited his family at breakfast. This was the best time to catch his family together. Clearing his throat as he put down the cup of coffee, he stated, ” I am getting married …to Rita… next Saturday… at the Catholic church.”

His Mother, aunt and sister started to speak at one time. “What is that? You can’t marry a Catholic! I won’t step into a Catholic church!”

“No one in this family will attend!”

Bruce’s Dad quietly stirred his coffee.

Bruce angerly retorted,” Well I am getting married you are invited whether you come or not is your decision!”

He banged his cup of coffee, spilling most of the contents. He rose and left without a goodbye.

The Cup

I sit on the table after Bruce filled me with coffee. He added cream and two spoonfuls of sugar. He stirred my coffee but didn’t drink. He finally took a sip waiting for a pause in the conversation. I was placed on the table while Bruce talked about a wedding and inviting the family. I heard many angry voices of women. I only caught a word here and there. “What…you can’t…in a Catholic church, no one will go!”

Bruce rose quickly spilling my contents on the table. I was picked up and plopped into the dish water. I couldn’t hear what was said then. Later, I asked the large blue cup that Cliff always used what happened.

Cliff continued to stir and drink his coffee until the rest of the family became quiet. Picking me up to put in the dish water, he quietly stated, “The car will be in front of our house an hour before the service, to drive anyone who wants to attend.”

Next Saturday, Bruce was surprized to see his whole family in the front pew of the church.

Happy Valentines Day

Caroaspot@aol.com

copyright 2-10-22