Writer and podcaster Joshua Pantalleresco has had more than a few unexpected twists and turns in his life, but he’s learned to embrace change and opportunities when they come… and has usually been grateful he has.
The kids are on school break. I'm finishing up an assignment for Move Up Magazine, then will be spending any other writing time on the home stretch of my first draft of Finding Heaven, plus a couple of newsletters I'm overdue on. I'll appear on Facebook and Instagram occasionally, but what I'm trying to say is, I'm taking a short break from blogging until the new year.
Yep, it's time to hibernate.
I hope that you have a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, friends! God bless us, every one. :-)
In the time it took to capture this, my exposed camera hand got very very cold. No wonder, at -31C! But sharing beauty like this with you is worth a few chilly fingers. . View of the Peace River from the East Bank, near the museum in the Town of Peace River. . For those of you who don't know, that "steamy" river would still give you hypothermia in minutes. It will likely freeze solid in the next week or so. It is only the movement that has prevented it from freezing already. . #beautifulwinter #winterinthenorth #PeaceRiver #mightypeace #babyitscoldoutside #spreadsunshine #seekbeauty
Making roads a soupy mess
Rain is worse than snow
Yesterday, I wrote this poem and posted it on my music blog. For those of you who didn't see it over there, here it is.
The Reality of Being Me
By Talena Winters. ©2012
Sunday starts the week off busy
My “to-do list” makes me dizzy
Some church, some tea--do you suppose
Today I’ll find time to compose?
Monday, up with both feet running
Clean the house until it’s stunning
Drink some tea and help with school
Maybe take kids to the pool.
Grind the flour and bake the bread
I’d really rather be in bed!
“Wake up my inner songwriter?”
Oops—forgot to notify ‘er!
Tuesday, things don’t look much better
Good thing I’m a real “go-getter”
Or at least, I used to be--
I think it’s time to drink some tea;
Ah, yes! Now let’s help kids with school
And no! We’re not going to the pool.
And why don’t you all go outside
While laundry keeps me stuck inside?
I’ll pretend I’m doing lunges
In between the toilet plunges.
Maybe lyrics will come to me
While boiling another pot of tea.
Wednesday, sleep is torn asunder
By the sound of distant thunder.
Wait, that’s just the children pounding
Up and down the house, resounding.
What do you mean, you’re still not dressed?
And who’s going to clean up this mess?
The dishes done and children cleaned--
Good thing the schedule intervened
To keep the chaos under wraps.
Some tea, and maybe, just perhaps
Another cup. Ah, yes, at last
The school is done, and none-too-fast
‘Cause mommy’s got more work to do
Inside the office, so why don’t you
Go take the dogs out for a walk?
(Is this the cure for writer’s block?)
Thursday starts off with a clang:
Jump up because the cell phone rang--
A customer from Timbuktu
Who didn’t know, here it’s only two!
That’s how it goes on the internet
When you sell online, you can forget
‘Bout “business hours;” ‘cause “work from home”
Means your biz is everywhere you roam.
You’re at your friend’s house, having tea
Chatting quite industriously
When the phone rings, and “back to work!”
Answering questions, feeling like a jerk
While your tea gets cold (a sacrilege!)
And you lurk beside the fridge
Conducting business on the phone
While Friend drinks her tea, all alone.
But really, I am grateful that
My “job” lets me be here, not at
An office, where I’d never see
My friend for an afternoon tea
And more than likely, I would miss
The extra hug and extra kiss
My kids give me as we “do school”
‘Cause growing with them is way more cool
Than all those things I kinda wish
That I might “someday” accomplish.
The time for that will be the day
I watch my collegiates drive away.
But isn’t there some room in “now”
To write a song or two somehow?
Friday morn, I contemplate
If there is too much on my plate?
But no, I’m thankful for my life:
Mother, Teacher, Entrepreneur, Wife,
With dreams that God has given me.
I know that He will help me be
The one I need to be today
To tackle what He sends my way.
So, with another cup of tea
I teach the children “A-B-C”
I answer e-mails and organize
Clean the house and agonize
A little, ‘cause this whole week long
I didn’t write a single song
But no, remember? That’s okay
‘Cause I just gotta live today
Which has enough stuff of its own
Guide these l’il birds ‘til they’ve flown.
Now, looking forward to tonight
At supper, with candles alight,
We’re at the time that I love best
The Sabbath-when God said to rest.
We thank him for our family
And for blessings we can’t even see.
This special night helps blow away
All the “to-dos” I missed today.
On Saturday, I sit at last
Talk to my husband, holding fast
To precious shared time, sipping tea
Letting the week’s worries be.
The phone is off, the ‘puter, too
--Brief respite from the daily zoo.
Reflecting on the week gone by,
I wonder where the time did fly?
My kids grew some before my eyes!
And suddenly I realize
That I don’t want to miss a minute;
My life is busy ‘cause I’m in it.
I’ll knit and sew and teach and clean
I’ll work and play and love and dream.
I’ll sing my songs, whene’er they come
And be thankful that God gave me some;
I’ll live my life, eyes open wide
Enjoy each twist of this wild ride
And thank the Lord that He gave me
My passions, family, friends—and tea!
So today, Noah got to write his own "snow" poem for English. First, we wrote one together:
by Noah and Mommy
to get wet!
some wet snow!
Then, Noah got to write a snow poem all on his own. His is a little tricky to follow without all his verbal explanations, but not bad for a first grader:
Loseboot [a name, apparently]
Is going to toot
Play in the night
Night fight. [à la Dr. Seuss]
Not to be left out, Jude wrote his own little poem on a scrap of paper:
Jude the dude who was not rude
Okay, okay, I get the hint. Lunch is served...
(Re: Jude's poem: What else is new?!)
This is a little poem I wrote today while modelling rhyming poetry-writing for Noah's English lesson. It's no ee cummings, but for an impromptu piece, it says exactly the way I feel as I look out my window at the winter wonderland outside. (It gets a little more abstract as the poem goes on--the first part was for Noah, then I wrote the rest after the lesson for me.)
by Talena Winters
Wet or dry
From the sky
Snow falls down
Earth's bridal gown
Heart on hold
Sun, take her hand
Thaw heart and land
Spring wedding night
Melt snow and fears
amidst the boxes in tumultuous rows
That fill our space; and in the hall
the kids are banging on the wall
Scarce noticed by the cats below.
We are the moving; scarce weeks ago
We had power, and heat, and water's flow.
But now we shiver on rainy nights
In Winters' House.
Take comfort in these things, you know:
That though we're running to and fro
Like chickens unaware they've died,
If you listen close as it rains outside,
You might hear from us still, though chaos grows
In Winters' House.
(It's safest, if one is going to plagiarize, to choose an author that has been dead for nearly a century.)
If at first you don't succeed,
'Tis a lesson all should heed--
Try, try again;
Let your courage then appear;
For if you will perservere,
You will conquer, never fear;
Try, try, try again.
Twice or thrice though you should fail,
If at last you would prevail,
Try, try again.
When you strive, 'tis no disgrace
Though you fail to win the race.
Bravely, then, in such a case,
Try, try, try again.
If you find your task is hard,
Time will surely bring reward;
Try, try again.
That which other folks can do,
Why, with patience, may not you?
Only keep this rule in view--
Try, try, try again!
-E. Hickson (adapted)
They asked when I was four.
Quickly I replied, "An artist."
"Well, then you'll be poor."
This bothered me, but then I thought,
"I'll love art all the more."
"What will you be when you grow up?"
At twelve, they asked again.
"A musician," was the fervent answer.
"Perhaps you will find fame."
Do what you love, that's what I thought
Whether or not they know my name.
"What will you be when you grow up?"
Was the whole point of the test.
My aptitude, as it turns out
Was for a botanist.
For books had inspired fascinated thought
On what each plant did best.
"What will you be when you grow up?"
They asked me at my prom.
"I'd love to be a wife and lover,
After that, a mom."
"That's your goal?!" they laughed at me.
I looked back with aplomb.
What did I become when I grew up?
I wonder as I sit.
An artist, yes, with paper and string,
I scrapbook and I knit
To record the lives of those I love
--My husband and my git.
A botanist? I have no plaque
To declare that I am one.
Yet constantly, I research what
Each kind of plant has done.
And how these plants can help the lives
Of each and every one.
A musician? Yes, I guess I am--
I studied it in college.
I write, I play, I even teach
To spread the love and knowledge.
Though fame may not be where I'm going.
At least creative passion is flowing.*
And after all those other things,
Those dreams that have come true,
There's one more thing that I became
I said I'd never do.
I said I'd never be a teacher,
Yet when day is done
And I look at all the things I do
I'm teaching every one.
I teach my children how to live,
To magnify each day.
I teach others' children how to improve
The music that they play.
I teach scrapbooking, I teach health tips,
I even teach crochet.
All this I did, and love what I do--
All this in spite of "they."
*I realize this rhyme does not fit the form I had set, but did you know that the only other word that rhymes with "college" is "acknowledge?" Since I had already used "knowledge," the close repetition of the word did not appeal to me. Purists might ask why I did not change the rhyming word. Answer: I took artistic license. Its my dang poem--I'll change form mid-way if I want to, darnit!
Noah Michael Winters
Two years ago today
Anything VeggieTales or Bob the Builder; Monsters, Inc. (this is a photo of Noah watching this movie today);
VeggieTales' "Bob & Larry's Campfire Songs"--especially track number one, which he loves to play over and over and over again. ("God Is Bigger Than The Boogey Man.")
Playdough, floor food, anything he shouldn't eat; Pancakes with whipped cream; bananas; pizza; A&W burgers
Least Favourite Foods:
Broccoli; green beans
Having a bath; running around; brushing his teeth; getting into mischief;
My First LeapPad with Bob the Builder book; trucks; Mega Bloks road-building set; puzzles; vacuum cleaner; Daddy's boots/shoes; ride-on firetruck;
Happy Baby Things That Go; Dazzling Diggers; Anything about trucks or machinery;
Noah has just started trying to talk within the last few weeks. He will actually try and say words that you ask him to say, and sometimes will come out with words of his own, as well as repeating bedtime prayers. Of course, if you hadn't just said the word to him, you would not recognize what he says back--BUT AT LEAST HE'S TRYING! YAAY! He has been a VERY late talker. Up til now, his only words have been "uh-oh" and "Daddy". (He has said Mommy to me several times this week--made my day each time!)
He and Jude play well together most of the time, but Noah has an unpleasant habit of squealing, whether out of frustration, joy, whining, complaint, or anger--probably due to his lack of words and ability to communicate otherwise. It has been rather frustrating, and difficult to break him of.
We have dabbled with potty-training, but up till now have not pursued it in earnest. Between a new baby and the move, I haven't been all that gung-ho to get going on it. Half the time when I see him pooping I'm breastfeeding, so it's a little tricky to run him to the bathroom. However, the more time that passes, the more keen I become on getting on top of this!
Noah continues to be the little sunspot of our family. Unless he's tired or hungry, he is generally pretty good-natured. He doesn't mind being left with strange kids to play, as long as there are toys. He is generally pretty tolerant of Jude's regular abuse. Unfortunately, he needs to learn to stand up for himself a little more. However, his bright sunshiny personality has made my day, many a time. He is a nice balance to our family. I don't think he has ever even had a meltdown at the grocery store! I could probably learn a thing or two about dealing with life's little pitfalls from his insuppressible good temper.
All that being said, he has definitely had his moments of "two-year-old attitude!" I mean, c'mon, nobody's perfect! I just remind myself that it only lasts for a year (at least, to this degree), and anyone can survive that. I should even have a few months reprieve before the next one starts in on it!
Here's an acrostic poem I wrote for Noah this last year for his scrapbook:
Never a dull moment.
Oh, what endless joy!
A trial and a blessing--
Here comes my little boy!