Sunday, August 30, 2015

Poppa Troll

My grandkids love a Nick Jr. show titled: Paw Patrol. I watched it for the first time this past week on an evening when I was playing my Nana role with my grandson.

"What shall we watch?" I asked

"Poppa Troll!" he sung out, quite clearly to my ears.

Baffled by the title, but certain such an odd title could fit a child's fantasy animated show, I searched the numerous lists of shows available via cable television. Nothing similar was found on the pre-recorded and saved list. Nothing remotely close was found among the "On Demand" selections. I searched "KIDS" and then Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoons. Nada!

Meanwhile, I kept asking my grandson to repeat the title of this show, certain now that my hearing loss was playing tricks on me. I considered alternate possibilities, such as "Paw-Paw Troll" and "Paw-Paw Toll" and though the first makes sense, the second doesn't and neither currently exists as a show for kids.

And then I stumbled upon it, on the Nick Jr. channel: Paw Patrol. Lights brightened and I laughed. "Oh! PAW PATROL not Poppa Troll!" 

My grandson looked at me as if I'd grown a set of horns. Then we settled together on the couch and I soon understood his pleasure in this show where dogs play a role in rescuing other animals. Both of my grandkids love animals, though so far, in their young years, most of their encounters are with the stuffed-animal and at-a-distance zoo variety.

It still sounds like he's saying "Poppa Troll" when he calls out the show's name, but at least now I know what he really wants.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Too Many Wildfires

When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Wind shifted overnight
no onshore breeze
pushes marine air
across Portland
summer's heat;

air storms in
from the north and east,
wildfire-filled zones
air thick with smoke,
thick enough
my nose samples
of backyard burning,

smoky haze so dense
particles are visible
floating in the heavy air
hanging at ground-level.

Eyes struggle, tears form,
lungs cloud with congestion,
heart fills with sorrow
for the losses
of forestland,
animals, too many
houses, ranches, lives.

And the sun lingers
in a cloudless sky,
fire-smoke red-orange
all day long.

by judy Beaston
August 22, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Sizzles and Other Notes

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After reading a post by a writing friend, one I know only via writing classes and Blogs, I realize my summer slips steadily past, my Blog page sorely lacking attention. I set an intention for a once-a-week post, but I seem to need more than intention to become close friends with my Blog page.

I could blame it on the heat. This has been a year for the record books in the northwest. We're not unique in our weather reflections of Global Warming. Elsewhere storms rage with rare intensity and quantity. Elsewhere, like Europe and Alaska, soaring temperatures out of proportion to even non-average years has become the norm for 2015. And here, in the Pacific NW, we've broken records for lack of rain (driest in 23 years), HOT months, HOT nights and now a new record number of days at or above 90 degrees in one year. And we're not done with summer yet.

Being quite more adapted to clouds, cool, and intermittent rain to break up the monotony of blue skies, I fought through the early parts of this summer. My muse fled for cooler climes, but left me behind and my lack of true creativity proved it. By mid-July, my system had acclimated to the relentless blue sky and HOT climate. I'm not yet the happiest camper, nor has my muse returned (though she sends me ideas and encouragement from her much more comfortable locale), but I'm composing poems and stories again.

What I've enjoyed about this summer includes more involvement with my grandchildren (5 and 8 - almost), mostly as Nana-taxi, but I also get to watch a little bit of their summer camp experiences. My grandson (5) gets to play little Ninja warrior twice each week in his pre-school Taekwondo class. He's learned to ride his bike, improve his water skills, and he taught me how to set up and play Skylanders (video game). Ah, clueless Nana! I never have been a video game player.

My granddaughter has been involved in theater camps, gymnastics, wilderness camp (called Trackers), studying environment and biology including her first river canoe ride, and something with dance. I think her return to school in September will be her "vacation" time.

And now I've just returned from ending the life of a mate-seeking giant house spider. Normally, I play catch-and-release with spiders, even these big ones. Between my family and me, we've caught and released more than six of these big ones. With the high proliferation of spiders (of every size) this year, my spider anxiety has been tested again and again. I had to knock tonight's big guy off the ceiling first. I'm shaking from the adrenaline, but maybe I'm knocking the fears into oblivion, too.  (Spider photo on the way)

I'll stop here for today. I HAVE been busy writing and taking classes since the first of the year. Maybe I'll bring some of that into the light of these NW Notes.

Giant House Spider Under Glass (not amplified)