JUNE 21, 2022

‍It is a rainy cool spring and in spite of that the flowers around our house where we have lived since November 2021and where I’m discovering what the previous elderly lady tenant planted… still to see what plants come up…plants that do not hang around during the winter.   One of the things is eight rose bushes and I’ve put down some hostas and some other things to fill in space where, as it turns out nothing is coming up kind of ‘finishing the space’ / filling the gaps and edges and discovering how the plants that are there ‘behave’ to see if I want to keep them or tear them out (Sorry!) and replace them. I’m leaning toward doing that with the roses. In my office I am burning the scented wax warmer with a strong cinnamon scent and the tea that I drink I like to be black with just a touch of cinnamon, plain no milk and or sugar. I can get this flavor in bags from Bigelow.

I am watching Rattlecast interviews and readings of poetry from poets in America by Tim Green the editor Rattle literary magazine and he interviews poets and to some degree it’s an enjoyable way almost like being in school again while being safely at home.   I get a lot out of these episodes.  I get inspired to write myself,  but I also enjoy hearing how all the writers go about their craft, what other influences, recommendations, preferences, it all goes into a mix of establishing my own expertise with the dream of one day being published. I get ideas, get inspired to write myself, discover poets and new styles…ideas.  It’s also interesting hearing about their lives, and the ‘story’ behind poems they’ve written.  Most recently discovered poets Kim Dower and Kate Gale.  I have sent poems to 10 literary magazines in the past couple of months and have already been rejected by four, so 6 are still up in the air.  I’ll also be sending to additional magazines.  It’s difficult to get started in this field and magazines seem to like to publish people who have already been published (!) so there’s always that dilemma of how to get started then… who’s going to give you that first opportunity …acceptance…who’s going to open the door to you.  I just keep writing and sending…it’s very similar to throwing seeds up in the air and seeing what manages to eventually grow out of the ground.  I’m just another type of farmer, I guess.

Speaking of school, I have not substituted in the Renton School District for nearly two full years as a result of the pandemic and all of the complications and risks involved with going into a high school for a large part of the time.  I didn’t want to be doing the distance virtual learning because I didn’t have the training for the specifics with this school/district (while not being afraid of the technological aspect of it) …I just wasn’t really looking forward to trying to ‘control’ students or keep them focused while they were in their bedrooms or not in my presence, and I didn’t want to be in their presence either when they later came back to the building because of any viruses they may be carrying so I have just stayed home.  We are not starving as a result of not having that income, but it would be nice to have the average of $500 coming in each month during the school year (just from going in on Fridays) I’m shooting for maybe going back in September. I want to write an email to the secretary at the school to ask her what she expects in the upcoming year.

Our daughter Quilla just got back from Peru. She’s still resting because it involves a lot of travel time both on the plane and waiting in airports although she was able to fly in first class (!!!) which is far more comfortable.  She was eleven days in San Bartolo, the beach town south of Lima where the family grew up, with her Uncle Pepe, overseeing to some degree the remodeling that’s going on there and checking the details of the remodeling that was already finished by the time she got there, as well as scoping out how her uncle is doing health and spirits-wise, because he lived with a brother and his father and both died with COVID…and teaching him some things he does not know,  simple things you would not expect, but that give him trouble …and it’s all more easily observed and taught when one is actually in his presence, than trying to do the same via the telephone.  This is true even with the capacity to have video calls. By the way we use WhatsApp at no cost to us or we have a $5 a month calling card calls/time and both of these are unlimited and when we consider what it was like in the long early years of our marriage when talking to Peru was almost prohibitively expensive… even talking to my parents in Pennsylvania from San Francisco was also expensive and we had to do it at certain days of the week on certain hours of the day.  Those frustrations are long gone and good riddance to them so communication is less of a problem, but there is nothing like being there in person so Quilla spent some time being with Pepe and being the go-between between us and him, or with the workers in the house (who are a whole other aggravating story)… she also took her significant other, Jeff, so he would get a feel for where her roots came from to some degree, as she gets in touch with them herself  there and practices her Spanish. They also, at the end of the 11 days San Bartolo stay flew for a three day stay in Cuzco, this time not going to Machu Picchu, where she had gone once before, but just to check out Cuzco and the Andean experience there.  They had fun in the Cuzco Andean city scene and stayed in a nice hotel which was nice after being almost two weeks in the no frills and under construction family ‘manse’.

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