The Clemstead

A place heavy with history and screaming for new thoughts.

Mag 37: Reflection Contemplation

Is it the reflection that is damaged or the real image?
Is it my perspective that is skewed or is it me?
How do I trust the reflection if what I see is not real?
How do I trust the real image if I do not see the flaws?
How do I fix the perspective if it is wrong?
How do I fix me?

WI 25: Unleash

Remove one link and you flood the land, while draining the sea.
Unleashed, the balance is skewed, tilted, and torn.

Nature and the force behind it, try to repair what you do not see.
Unleashed, you are the catalyst skewed, tilted, and torn.

Focus and move or be bound forever to your deeds.
Unleash, but act with control and not your selfish needs.

Mag 36: Come hither…

Come hither and play for you have no school today.
Come hither and see the leaves are more than green.
Come hither and smell the smoke from banked fires.
Come hither and feel the late season sun ebbing.
Come hither before fall ends and winter begins.

WI Prompt #24: Then and Now

I remember that tree so long ago;
I climbed it at age five.
It seemed so big and safe then;
now it looks all alone.

I remember those leaves so long ago;
vivid, green and alive.
They seemed crunchy and fresh then;
now they look all alone.

I remember that blue sky so long ago;
I’d watch soaring birds dive.
The clouds were white and vibrant then;
now they look all alone.

I remember color in my life so long ago;
before the adult crushing drive.
Life used to be safe, fresh, and vibrant then;
now I look dull and all alone.

Calling All Woolly Bears

Woolly Bear found on the Internet :)
I was sort of hoping that we would get a break this winter only to stumble onto woolly bear caterpillars that are ALL black fuzzy and fat. We have yet to find one that is banded.

While researching the black woolly situation I also found out that our extra large crop of acorns this year is also an indication of a hard winter. Say it isn't so!

If you come across this blog let me know about your woolly bear and acrorns discoveries. In the meantime, it's time to buy a Farmer's Almanac and test out how well acorns burn.

Mag 35: Kinderfall

The fourth-generation granddaughter skips into my kitchen.

“Grandma you promised we could do a project this week! What are we doing? Are we going to back pumpkin bread with chocolate chips? Are we going to string cinnamon sticks or pine cones?”

I smiled at her but inside I was groaning. Instead of an answer I really wanted to ask her if her other grandmother ever attempted any of these things with her.
Looking back at my childhood I remembered a project. Quickly I looked around my craft area and my kitchen.

“We’re going to make a leaf stain-glassed pumpkin!” I proudly announced.

“Yippie! What do we do first?
“Go outside and start looking for the prettiest leaves while I gather all of the things we need to have for this.”

Locating the orange construction paper I drew a pumpkin with an inside section that was to be cut away. Out came the wax paper, glue, iron and ironing board to go with the scissors and other tools I had out already

By the time I plugged in the iron and it was hot she was back with her booty. “OK, come over here mind the iron and we’re going to arrange your leaves between two pieces of wax paper. While Grandma makes the wax melt with the iron, you’re going to cut out the pumpkin over there on the outside and the inside.”
Oh the concentration on both of our faces as we bent to our tasks. Soon we were both done.

“Get the glue…” I directed. “Now glue the pumpkin to our leaves. When the glue is dry we can cut out the extra paper so it doesn’t show. I’ll get you a snack why don’t you put your project on the radiator in the hallway so it dries faster?”

One snack later, some TV watching, a few snips of the scissors, and the project is done just in time. Her mother has come to pick her up.

“Look Mom, look what I made! It’s a pumpkin with stain-glass leaves. I found the leaves all by myself… and” she chattered as she skipped back out of my house and to her home.

Mag 34: Wickless Ages

Only two hours and I need to get this assignment done. Music on check, text book check, questions set for class check.
Down to business… the questions.

  • Assume you are a humanities instructor tasked with explaining the social role of the arts in the Middle Ages.
  • What are three relationships between the arts and Early Middle Ages culture you would want your students to know?
  • What are three relationships between the arts and Late Middle Ages culture you would want your students to know?
  • Why did you select those relationships?
Guess there is no answering without reading. Is that the last ray of sun going down already? I still have 30 pages left and no closer to answering. [sigh] POP!

“What happened to the lights?”
“Where are the candle?”
“Burnt them.”
“You don’t want to know”
“Well… I need to get school work done can you light the emergency lamp and bring it up here?”
“Um…can’t. [pause] there’s no wick”
“I bet the stinking people in the middle ages would have had a wick!”

Reading by laptop computer light in the hopes that the lights come back on or I find the best torture technique to try out for extra credit. [evil grin]

Mag 33: Eau de Raid

“Good Lord what is going on downstairs?
[Sniff, sniff, sniff]
Boys, what’s that smell?
Answer me and stop the glares!
Someone had better answer. Well?”

“Is it coming from a spill?

Is it coming from outside?
[Sniff, cough, sniff]
Is it coming from a landfill?
Answer me or I’ll tan your hide.”

“It saturates the air;

it clogs my nose.
Was this done on a dare?
[Cough, sniff, cough]
It closes my throat.”

“You sprayed it in the hall?!

You sprayed it in every room?!”
“Daddy got it from the mall,”
they squeaked, “It's his perfume.”
[Cough, cough, cough]

Mag 32: Granular 40s

Holding on clinging to the side;

I will not fall I will not abide.

Let the grains fall to no avail;
I will stay and watch them sail.

Gravity will not take me I will cling;
Let the others soar and sing.

I want to stay up high;
Fore it’s time I want to defy.

Old Smokey or Just Old?

I just finished Zum… ba
an’ now I’m all stiff
good think I can ty… pa
an’ finish this riff.

Joined the Monkeys

For those of you who like to tell full stories head over to 'The Million Monkey' website. This writing project is free and allows you to collaborate with other's who like writing stories.

Before you can start your own story you need to do some writing and earn the right to start a story. This allows to to get used to the format and interact with the website prior to hosting a storyline yourself.

Checkout the link on the right and start reading what's there. Hope to see you over there with me.

Mag 31: Nunsensical

I do this every time, oh Lord when will I learn?

It draws me to its beauty I come to the window to view its glorious splendor and BAM!

I forget that the old oak tree has been removed and that one ray of sun reflects off of Sister Mary’s pie plate and right into my eyes. [I told her there was no need to scare off the birds from her garden this time of year.]

Now all I see is spots! When will I learn dear Lord when? If I move I may trip if I don’t someone may wonder what I am doing here.

“Oh Sister Claire… there you are. I was wondering where you had gone!”


Mag 30: A Vain Affair

“Please are you serious? Fred, come on! Get that thing off of my magazine.”

“It’s not poisoned move it yourself if you don’t like it.”

“Your apple, not mine.”

“Your magazine, not mine.”

“Precisely Fred, my magazine why would you place that apple there after biting it and letting the juice get into the magazine?”

“It was there and I needed to put it down. Look the bite mark isn’t even touching the page. You’re not going to get cooties or anything. For god’s sake Sheila you kiss me and there is spit ‘swappage’ what is the problem with this?”

“Because you’re messing up my property without a thought as to how I would like it and well… it’s a bit gross. I wouldn’t do that to your stuff I don’t understand why you’d do it to mine.”

“It’s a stupid magazine it’s not like you’re going to find anything in that magazine that will miraculously take off inches from those thighs or yours. Clothing is just an illusion to hide what you’re not willing to work off.”

“Fred… Are you saying that you haven’t gained weight either?”

“Nope still the same size I was in high school. If you don’t believe me go take a look at my pants over there. I just got them from Old Navy the other day.”

Sheila starts to giggle. “Fred… you have been suckered into vanity sizing. You’re size 36” pants is actually… <> 41 inches. So get that blessed apple off of my fashion magazine and I suggest you do a few sit-ups while you finish it.”

Mag 29: Flutter and Flitter

“It’s your turn”

“Why me?”

“Because if that little brat inside that house bangs on that window one more time I’m going to have a heart attack.” Flutter whined.

“You’re too high strung.”

“You’re my nest mate you should know that one.”

“OK only one more time I hate messing with such good nectar and throwing it up just so you can feed your face.”

“Flitter, once the kids goes away I’ll go myself. You wouldn’t want your brother to starve do you? Don’t you remember when the reflection got me and I was trying to feed from the glass? That cleaning solution and those crows were just nasty.”

“Flutter, I have the same bad eyesight you do. Like I said once more and that is it.”
Flitter leaves

“Shoot for the red, Flit!”

The stork has landed

In the whirl of beeping, tubes, and blue gowns another baby is born. This little guy, with a full head of hair to rival any girl, is Caleb. He was born just two days ago and has begun his travels into this world with his homemade “blankie”.

Caleb is grandchild number three and will remain the youngest “grand” for some time. Here is to years of puppy chasing, bug catching, and gardening with us.

Mag 28: This Lil Piggy's Bath

Wine flows, tune blows, air blows, water flows
Bubble slop, trouble stop, drip stop, slip slop
Toes jiggle, wiggies giggle, Willow’s giggle, piggies jiggle

Lil Piggies jiggled,wiggled, slipped, slopped...
all the way home.

Mag27: As the Screw Turns

“OK, who was the one that leaked?” Ti moaned.

“I’m dry.” Pip piped in, “What about you Spots?”

Spots moves one direction and back. “Nope enough thread here to hang a horse.”

Ti started twitching, “I know that my fittings aren’t as tight as they used to be but you guys don’t seem to have a problem staying in.”

“Will you guys stop? You’ll break me apart!” Bent L yells.

All gets quiet as each take inventory.

“Do you think they will replace us? I’m not sure what I’d do without you, Ti.”

“Hey Pip, did you forget we were introduced to Ti at the same time? If you go I go remember that was the deal when we joined. Besides what’s all this talk about being replaced?”

“Besides Ti” Spots quietly sooths, “Bent L has depended on artificial means for years without that crutch he’d never keep straight and strong.”

Bent L began to shutter, “I met with her first! So I get to stay. You guys get to leave.”

Deep male voice:Three men... one woman and only one is being replaced. Who will it be? Tune in to tomorrow’s episode of ‘As the Screw Turns’ when you hear Ti scream, “No!!!!!!”

Farscape, Great Expectations & WoT

I'm not exactly a Farscape virgin but it has been years since I had my first taste of the series that was pulled from the Sci-Fi channal in 2002. I started the series by borrowing a dear friend's (my Crichton without the romantic steam) collection and was forced to stop when out account was dropped for another customer support service.

Recently, I became a member of Netflix and found that Farscape was availalbe to stream. I was going through a season a week until I hit the wall and now have to resume with the mailing of DVDs to finish. It's worth it, how could you miss with Science Fiction and Jim Henson productions all rolled into one.

In the meantime, I have been rereading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (One of my favorite books from my Jr High school days) and listening to the Wheel of Time audiobook series (RIP James Oliver Rigney, Jr aka Robert Jordan) that I started when my first born was two and because frustrated when I was reading faster than the author could produce.

You can imagine when just the other day all three activities collided:

  • Pip is obviously the main character in Great Expectations
  • John Crichton (Ben Browder) calls Chiana (Gigi Edgley) "Pip" in Farscape even though the script called for "Squirt"
  • Mat Cauthon who is lucky with dice acquires a brown horse he names "Pips"

I'm not a gambler so you wont see me running to a casino anytime soon (even with getting this "sign") but I need to wonder if there is a benefactor, a way home, or a lucky roll of the dice coming my way.

Bullfighting a Fly

It's either read my college material for the discussion questions this week or... bullfight a fly using my computer cursor. Since the material is Psychology the fly won out. (as if the race was even close)

You would think that the fly wouldn't care or even see the cursor yet this one would lounge and follow the cursor around the screen. The color of the background on the screen didn't matter white, black, or even pink and the fly would follow.

Now understand it's about 85 degrees in this room. It could be that the heat and humidity is ticking this guy off.

Hum... note to self next IT project create a bullfighting icon and intiate it the next time another fly visits. Video tape it and put it to music and I'll have a new youtube hit!

Yes, you guessed it... the material is really boring, but alas time to hit the books.

Mag 26: April 19,1951

A stack of papers lay on the ground as a few reside in an old cabinet covered with bits of green and gray paint.

Some papers are between waiting for a breath or air to push them back into the cabinet or release them into a full fall.

One paper has jagged torn edges, evidence that the exit from the journal pad it once lived in had been violent. A date in a juvenile hand was placed in the right hand corner.

April 19, 1951

“The meeting has now been called to order! Squito-squad please settle down to a low buzz. The sound is deafening. Before we get started let me remind you that the emergency exit has been marked clearly by Blackie’s web strand. She has promised me that it only contains enough sticky substance to get up the hill to the emergency exit and that no harm will come to any of us.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Night Chirper moaned “you aren’t exactly her favorite food. Why must we gather at the crack of dawn? Can we please get to the point of this meeting so I can get some sleep?” Everyone looked at him sourly. “What?!!” he retorted shrugging his antennae.

“Are we done with the complaints?” Ladybug scans her audience. “Good, let us proceed. Ester Wisteria, whom we can thank for our cover today, has an announcement. It seems it is time for Ester’s seeds to break free from their pods. Since only one of us has been though this rite of spring I will ask him to come forward. Mr. Centenarian Pede are you here?

A long form slowly walks down to the bottom "I'm here Lady and you all can call me Pede." He curls himself by the sunflower seed husk that has been acting as a podium.

Bumble shivers despite himself. “I can’t help it he gives me the whillies.” He confesses to Night Chirper.

Night Chirper chirped, “Is that his face? I thought it was his ...” Ladybug bumped Night Chirper before he could finish.

“Now every spring Ester and her wisteria brethren’s pods," Pede began “start to dry out in the sun. When they get too hot they explode and the seeds shoot wherever they may. Simple Ester and her kin's offspring can kill you in an instant. My Uncle Pede III, when he was but a lad, survived a bombardment but the last third of his body became paralyzed.”

Night Chirper snickered and whispered to Bumble, “He had a case of the wanderin’ behind.” Ladybug shot Night Chirper a look.

“Pede”, Bumble quivered “I’m a flyer I should be safe. Right?”

Pede looked at Bumble. “No, you are not. These seeds go into any direction they please and can go as far 6 ft. You will need to take precautions along with the rest of us. I’ve talked with Ester and she has consented to give us an all clear sign by uncovering this here can. So keep to shady areas, if you’re near the wisteria clan, or better yet just stay out of range until this is over.”

Ladybug returned to the husk as Pede climbs back up to the top of the can. “So, we have been given an advanced warning. Thank you, Pede. My hope is that we will all remain safe the next few days. Until Ester gives us the all clear signal, we will need to move the next few meetings to another location. Any suggestions?”

“The well, the well, the well, “the Squito-squad chimed. Night Chirper looked at their direction.
“No way!” he protested, “It will take me weeks to dry out my legs and if I fall in I’ll never get out. How about the tree that has fallen over at the end of the garden? The humans are still have winter in them and aren't moving much and I don’t think they’ll get to that tree for another few weeks yet.”

Ladybug nodded. “Anyone else have a suggestion? No? The tree it is, a week from today. This meeting is adjourned. Stay safe everyone and pass this information along to those that couldn’t make it today.”

Night Chirper blurted, "Someone other than me better talk to the ants. I gotta get some sleep before my next concert."


The anticipated breeze comes from the window and the paper falls to the floor.

When technology gets in the way.

So I'm sitting here most of the day messing with this application called "The Blogger". It reminds me again how stiff this tool is and how much I've lost of my coding knowledge. Ahh to be able to say, “forget it" and code by hand to get what I want to appear on that screen.

Welcome to your Vulcan side (A voice snickers in my head.)

It’s sad but true, my father was a Vulcan and my mother was an Earthling. Yes, I am in technology helping people with their computer gremlins, but I graduated from high school with a Vocational-Technical degree in Commercial/Graphic Arts. Oh yeah to top it off I was born a Libra. Getting unbalanced is not fun to say the least.

I thought the idea of blogging was to balance you? (Earthling side)

So many times when I blame technology for getting in the way I really need to look a bit harder and realize it’s myself that’s getting in the way of well…. Myself. The gremlins are aftermath if imbalance. (Where is Henson when you need him?)

The Rainy Day Cabinet Key

“Did you find the key?”

“For the tenth time, no! Do you have any idea how many keys were in your mother’s junk drawer?”

“I give, too many to count? Besides some of them where my grandmom’s keys. Hey, did you notice that the screw is missing?”

“What screw?”

“The screw that holds the lock to the door, schmuck. How’s it not falling off the door?”

He walks over with a shoebox full of keys. “By the looks of it a few layers of battle ship gray paint. Mind helping out here? There has to be at least a hundred keys.” he moans, plopping down next to her on the floor.

They sit in silence sorting keys by size, age, and the amount of rust, occasionally looking at the lock and the key they have in their hands.
She looks at the mess on the floor, “Might as well dump the skeleton keys, jewelry box keys, and keys with numbers on them back in the box. I’m starting to think that we’re never going to get in this cabinet.”

“Any idea what your grandmother stored in here? It seems like a lot of secrecy for nothing.”
She starts tearing up and cries. He holds her until she’s done.

“Mom and I never knew what was in here. On rainy days grandmom would have us write stories about this cabinet and its contents, to keep us from tearing the house apart due to boredom. When grandmom passed away mom moved in. Everything grandmom had was claimed by relatives or sold at auction. The only thing that remains of her is this cabinet.”

She gets up keys in hand. “Let’s go. I’m not sure I want to do this anymore.”

“We have all afternoon besides it looks like it's going to rain. So no use trying to do anything outside.”

She gave him a weak smile. “Put all the keys on the kitchen table. I’ll try another time. Go... I’ll be there in a minute.” He shugs leaving the room with the box, as she kneels back down to peer at the lock.

"Let's get moving! It looks like a big storm." he yells from the front door.
"Coming!" she yells wiping her face and touching the cabinet door before leaving the room.

The front door to the house closes, the door lock sets as thunder strikes nearby.

The tear left behind rolls and settles into the missing screw hole. A small click emits from the lock and the door swings open, as pieces of paper scrawled on with crayon, pencil, and ink spill from the cabinet onto the floor.

See what happens when you complain...

two years later after the "whoa is me" blog I lost my job (in eight days will be one year), am heading to junior status at college, and have been to so many interviews I could write a book on what not to do at one.

Yes, you caught that right... "I am a Phoenix" at age 40 something. Funny part is I am proving to myself just how much useless knowledge I have crammed into my head over the years of working full time.

The gnaw to express myself and create once more has brought me here. I need to find a way to claw myself out and get back on track. Um... where is the track BTW anyone have a clue?

Upside, I have an organic vegetable garden where the pumpkin plants are morphing and running down the hill at a 2-3" a day rate. Here is hoping that the groundhog proofing holds after the 2009 pumpkin tragedy.

So hold on..sit back and let's see where the next few months takes us.

About Me

My photo
I come from German (Mennonite/Brethren) stock with bits of Norse, Celtic, Native American, and some mysterious unknown combination from an adopted grandparent. Not an uncommon blend for most of us who settled early in Pennsylvania. This type of diverse heritage left me ripe for the genealogical bug. I make a pilgrimage once a month and attempt to trace all the branches of my family tree. Unearthing facts that were never documented previously always brings excitement.

Nakoah is following...

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    7 years ago
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Harvest Time


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