Saturday, June 30, 2012

Old Photos

This is a poem that I recently wrote while I was visiting my mom.  We spent an enjoyable evening going through photos that I hadn't seen for many years.

    I emailed the draft to my siblings and, with their insight, made a big improvement to the ending.  (Thanks, sisters!)  That's why I love the feedback (positive, and in this case "constructive") because it helps me improve the final product.  However, with writing, I'm not sure I ever get to a "final draft."  I can always go back and find something to tweek. So feel free to point out things you like and dislike.  Just be sure to tell me why.  :)

Old Photos  by Janet Sobczyk, 2012ⓒ

Peeking into the past
viewing my youth with adult eyes:
black and white, cute baby pictures,
faded, colored teen years,
so thin, so young, such clothes!
with big hair and funny glasses,
smiling for the cam'ra.

At the pool, on my horse,
on a vacation or at school,
with a friend or with my siblings.
Look at our old green house!
when it was fresh and new
with tiny bushes and small trees,
antique cars in the drive.

Mom and Dad were so young,
even the grandparents were, too.
They looked like such dif'rent people,
their hair was much darker,
with smiles on smooth faces.
Everyone happy to be there
together for the day.

At home in the 1970s

Friday, June 29, 2012

How to post comments

I don't want to insult those who already know how to do a comment post, but I have heard from new readers who don't know how to do it. Like I said previously, I've had trouble with that, too.   So, this is what Carolyn told me.

First, click on the comment link (which is in red and says "No comments" or "1 Comment" etc.)  at the bottom of each of my posts.  A box will open up to type the comment in. 

But first choose an option in the smaller "Comment as" box by clicking the tiny triangle which will drop down the options.  Then you could click "Name/URL" and enter your name (full name or first only or initials, whatever you prefer.)   After typing in the comment into the large box, click "Publish" to send it.  That's it! 

Also, when you click the red comment link, any other comments on that post will appear.  Feel free to comment on someone else's comment.  :)

Thanks again for taking the time to view my blog!  I know it's a bit different than other family-style blogs which usually have daily news and photos of family, but I hope you will enjoy the variety of topics.   Eventually, I will add a photo here and there as well. 

Speaking of photos, tomorrow's post will be  a poem about viewing old family photos, which I think everyone can relate to.  Come back soon!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Liver Trick

After posting the first poem about my experience of motherhood, it makes sense to follow it with one I wrote about my mother.

When we were kids, mom occasionally would make liver and onions for dinner, which I ate and didn't mind too much.  (Years later I tasted my Aunt Claire's liver recipe and loved that!  So I guess if one recipe isn't good, try another.)  But my dad did not enjoy Mom's liver and as the years went by, Mom made it less and less.  By junior high I really don't remember any more liver dinners.

Years later when I was married and cooking for Tom, Mom shared this story with me about why she didn't make liver anymore.  I think it was  intended as a lesson in basic kitchen survival.

When my brother read this poem last fall, his exasperated reaction was, "Why didn't she just say she wanted to go out?!"  Well, I don't know, but this is one of those things that men will never figure out about women. 

The Liver Trick  by Janet Sobczyk, 2011ⓒ

Bev was a good cook
who liked to eat out
once in a while
but didn't like to suggest it.

Bill worked hard all day

but came home for lunch
then he would leave
asking what would be for dinner.

Bev usually tried

to please his palate
but had one trick...
she knew he didn't like liver.

Bev would put it out

on the sink to thaw
Bill would see it
a frozen package of liver.

Bev would wait it out

and after a while
Bill would call her
and suggest they eat out tonight.

Bill was never told

and he never guessed
Bev used the same
package of liver all those years!



I realize it's a little hard to figure out how to post a comment on a blog.  I've had trouble with that in the past, too.  I'll check with my techie daughter about making that easier to spot.  Anyway, I thought I would share 2 emails and a text that I got yesterday, which really made my day.  I hope nobody minds my quoting them, but I really appreciated the quick feedback.

"I really like the blog, and the poem is very true-- it made me laugh!"  --K

"I think it looks really great..."  --C

"Wow!  Wonderful job!  Just went on~ loved the poem...sooo true.  Good for u glad u created the blog for all to enjoy  :)"  --R

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Motherhood is a Circus

This is one of the first poems I wrote about my role as a mother.  The few moms (my best friend, my sister, and my mom) I have shown it to really seemed to enjoy it, so I thought this would be a good first posting. 

Peter & Janet as Clown & Ringmaster, 1999

Motherhood is a Circus  by Janet Sobczyk, 2011ⓒ

I took my kids to the circus one day
and we sat in the stands munching popcorn.
The show began with a big, long parade,
the characters seemed familiar and good.
As each act appeared I could soon picture
these strange parallels to my motherhood:

Silly Clowns provide the laughter,
with outfits and antics galore.
Mom needs a sense of humor, too,
to see the fun, enjoy the kids.

The Ringmaster with a loud voice,
directing the flow of events.
 "Time for dinner,"  "Let the dog in,"
"Do your homework,"  "Off to school now."

The Elephant lumbers along,
repeats old tricks, without feeling.
Just like dull housework and car pools,
do the shopping, do the laundry.

The Sweeper follows animals,
cleaning up the dirty messes.
Glasses of spilled milk and stained clothes,
muddy shoes and sticky fingers.

Trick Dog Act charms the audience,
takes patience and reinforcement.
So much like training young children
to become model citizens.

Concessions Seller cries out loud,
"Peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy!"
"What sounds good for dinner, my dear?"
Name your menu, short order cook.

The Contortionist bends with ease,
unending flexibility.
Thus, a mother moves from one role
to the next, changing plans daily.

Juggler stays focused tossing balls,
spinning plates without dropping them.
If Mom gets sick and can't perform,
the whole household comes crashing down.

Lion Tamer cracks the whip,
shows no fear and is very brave.
"Have no fear, child, mother is here,"
tames the fear in herself as well.

Girls in Leotards and makeup,
paste on a smile and look perfect.
Put on a calm face, be happy;
keep a clean house and lovely kids.


When the show ended crowds left the big top,
but we waited for most people to leave.
Yet all the sights, smells, and sounds didn't stop;
the events and thoughts whirled 'round in my mind.
Moms live in a three-ring circus, it's true,
but a more rewarding life you won't find!