Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WTF - by Laura Foley - Review

WTF - A review by Toni

When I was offered the chance to review and present this book, I actually didn't read all the information that was sent to me.  I just was ready to read something and talk about it  here.  I even got all the author information and pics set in my blog in advance without really knowing what I was going to read.  I planned to read it when I read the book.

I am not always good with understanding poetry, poetic "stuff."  Sometimes it has to be spelled out for me. Usually when it is broken down for me then I am in heaven and in love with it.  I love to glean and appreciate human experience from poetry.  Other times, the poetry, it actually speaks to me and from the beginning and I feel blessed.

I don't really know "how to review poetry."Sometimes I agree to review it to force myself to indulge, experience and enjoy.   Here is my experience with this collection.  (Long intro........)

I read this collection in one sitting.  I made a little post-it note for each poem  and stuck it  on my Ipad as I read.  Jotting down a little note after each entry, was just the perfect pause I needed after each piece.   I was deeply moved by this collection of memories and feelings.  It is the first I have read from Laura Foley.    I sat for a half hour in the company of her words.  The collection flows from the child daughter to the father, from the father to the grown daughter, to the soldier/POW to the daughter and the past to the present.   It is an honest and brave journey that reaches  a reckoning and understanding.   The sadness, jealousy, hurt and respect swept over me as I read each title.

It was an honor to read this.  Thank you Serena for thinking of me.    Thank you Laura for writing it, and thank you Mr. Foley  for your service to our country.

About the Book:
Laura Foley’s “WTF” refers to her father’s initials and, slyly, to the abbreviated colloquial exclamation, in a pun that laughs and cuts, in this reckoning with a fraught father-daughter relationship. These spare poems communicate more like snapshots than narrative lyrics, beginning with sympathy and gratitude, moving through disappointment, anger and resentment, without ever losing compassion, as Foley examines her father’s formative WWII experiences and, consequently, how he shaped her experience and character, ending with a positive recognition of her father in herself.
About the Poet:
Laura Foley is an internationally published, award-winning poet, author of six collections. She won the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; and the National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poetry collections include:WTF, Night Ringing, The Glass Tree and Joy Street. The Glass Tree won a Foreword Book of the Year Award; Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review, in the British Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, and many other journals.
A certified Yoga Instructor and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, she is the mother of three grown children, grandmother to two granddaughters. She and her partner Clara Gimenez live among the hills of Vermont with their three big dogs.
Follow her on GoodReadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Find out what people are saying about the book. 
Follow the Tour!!!!

Tour Schedule:
March 28: The Modern Creative Life (Guest Post)
April 5: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
April 12: the bookworm (Review)
April 13: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
April 18: Celticlady’s Reviews (Book Spotlight)
April 25: Soapy Violinist (Review)
May 3: The Modern Creative Life (Guest Post)
May 4: The Book Connection (Interview)
May 11: Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Review)
May 15: Katherine & Books (Review)
May 19: Margie’s Must Reads (Review)
May 24: Suko’s Notebook (Review)
June 1: Readaholic Zone (Review)
June 5: Patricia’s Wisdom (Review)
Follow the tour with the hashtag #LauraFoley

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Our Earth, Ourselves

Dear Blog readers:

 (I know you read even if you don't say much, I am so grateful to feel your presence)

Happy Earth Day!  My thoughts are to celebrate this beautiful Earth and how it clearly 100%  it sustains us through all the good and the very very bad.   We plunder, bomb, litter and it is beautiful and it restores itself and it selflessly gives us life and a home.  However,  this is not a day where I plan to think about the over all picture, because I intend to be grateful.  And I don't want to be sad about our declining Planet and the absence of humanity.

I can pick up some litter, recycle, reuse and donate.  I can make lists of ways to help make the planet clean.  Ride my bike, feel the sun on my face.   Donate clothing instead of dumping, reuse fabrics to create useful items, rugs, pillows, toys.  Use less napkins, less tissue, wash clothes when they need it instead of  just because I wore it for two hours.  And I can pray.

I will plant food to share and bake bread to share.  Perhaps in being close with one another and sharing we can gather and hoard less, waste less, pollute less and save ourselves and our planet through our love.  Hug a tree, hug a human and connect and be well with each other.

A nice walk is in my plan.   A wonderful mentor talked of a walk earlier this week.  A wandering walk with awareness of just being connected. Without checking for speed, elevation, distance or time,  a walk of wandering and observation.  My wandering soul connected to this thought so I will do that this weekend.  In honor of my home, the Earth, I will gather human litter and feel the Earth's thankfulness.

Let us celebrate our Earth today and make a plan to do it the same way each and every day as long as we have the gift of walking on this Planet.  A planet whose goodness is to big to even describe.  

What word or words would you use to describe our planet?  I would love to hear just how much you love our Mother Earth.   And any lists and activities that you do to contribute to the wellness of our glorious planet home.

Peace and Joy.
Love, Toni

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Foodie Pics...

This is cinnamon roll cake.
This is pulled pork with pickles.

This was my first attempt at fried pickles.  Yum!!

Spicey chicken enchiladas
This was a cheese chunk macaroni salad
These are lemon brown muffins.



Friday, March 10, 2017

A Woman's Strength

A Woman's Strength

In her heart  and mind she could describe it as like being hit by a truck, and split open wide, especially her chest.  Watching in slow motion as her heart flies from her chest towards a pile of molten lava.   Then desperately slowly reaching in to rescue it, scorching her hands while retrieving it.   In a true moment of self preservation, she tries to shove the swollen, dirty and burned heart back in the gapping bleeding chest.  It will not fit, her body is rejecting her own heart as her burned and bloody hands struggle to hold it.  She keeps trying, she tries to take a deep breath and her lungs close down so she can't achieve the sanctuary of air to relax enough to fit the heart back into the already closing cavity.  Betrayed by her own heart, body and lungs, she proceeds toward the light.  Crawling, limping and panting forward for help, carrying a beating heart while bleeding all over the place through tears.

Never give up she says and she inches forward seeking healing, seeking truth and begging her heart to go back into her chest.  Begging her lungs to accept more air. Begging to be worthy and happy.  Begging to belong and feel grace. Looking within, praying for acceptance, living to be enough.  Each day, living to change and give back. Anything to make it better. To get her heart and her air back. To live and not die.

All the while she is invisible.

Toni Gomez - 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trails...and girls

Today the last Sunday in February 2017 I had a chance to go to Auburn/Cool California for more trails.  Today's walk/hike was special... The little grand daughters hit the trails with me.  My daughter is due to have her first son, and my second grandson in less than three weeks and she was there too. It was a special time.

The Quarry trail for the 1.5 miles that we travelled is pretty level and easy enough.  It was a chilly but sunny day and I recall about 45 degrees.  The wind added a bit more chill than I expected but it was refreshing.  The American River is full and noisy.  The soothing sounds of water. Who can resist?

There were waterfalls and little mini streams across the trails. The water was so clear, the pebbles were washed so shiny and fresh from quickly moving water.

I need to get some serious trail and training time in for this coming October 2017.  I am behind in miles for February.  You know let's just say for February, I am a little behind in everything.

 Its is already March. Happy March and thanks for stopping by.


San Francicso 2017 - Belated Post

Belated posts from drafts.  I am having trouble with my photos to my Ipad, old blogger won't access my Ipad pro library... anyway...what was going to be a great new start to writing on the go and when I got the urge...has been...well let's just call it a slow new beginning.  Happy End of February.

It is the second Saturday in February 2017.  I am sitting in one of the best places that I have every written a blog post. I am on the Wharf in San Francisco, California. (Pier 39).  I am at a little wine tasting bar.  I am drinking a glass of Murphy Goode Cabernet.  It is nothing too special.  Where I am now is such a treat, I think even Koolaide would taste good here.   In hind sight, I had planned to finish that post and send from the wine bar to my blog.  That made it so very very cool.  I have done some writing in other places, this was just one that was so nice.  I felt particularly enabled, at my table, in my spot, alone writing.  It was empowering.

What a luxury to take in a familiar and favorite sights and have the luxury to write.

Today is a lovely day.  It feels like I am channeling Anthony Bourdain. (I know ... I know ... don't judge me).   Walking around tasting the Wharf food and enjoy the crowds and smell.  I had food at a popular breakfast chain on the way out here. Big Bear Dinner in Vacaville.  It was tasty and the service was so friendly.  The biscuits and gravy and yummy mimosa was a great start to a day in The City.

I am writing from Pier 39 on its  39th anniversary.  All day long it seems that I can't find anything to bitch about. Everything seems wonderful and I am at peace.   And it is the first stunning and sunny day in a while.  It is so clear and fresh, and it is so crowded.  I would say I have never seen it this crowed.  And I have spent my adult life coming here...But that is not getting to me. 

Upon parking and walking across the street to the waterfront, the smells and sounds became so rich.  The air is a crisp 60 degrees but the sun shines bright and warm.  It is an very very clear day in the City.  The view of Alcatraz is very very clear.  At the very front it the wharf there was a huge selection of seafood. I enjoyed some coconut shrimp and a crab cake. The shrimp was hot and fresh and the crab cake was tasty.  (It was certainly more cake than crab).  But today nothing is going to bother me.

The shopping is wonderful and the weather is divine. I swear, this wine never tasted so good. 
Normally I would scoff at this wine glass...nope..not today
I think I could buy two bottles for the cost of this glass... but 
Being here and looking out on the harbor....
Fresh and piping hot shrimp...
There were tulips everywhere....


Flower Power

Happy 39th Birthday Pier 39.

Coit Tower in the back ground.  A clear view from the Bay
Bridge going into the city.

A very quick and busy day... but it was so pretty and vibrate.

I have been going to Auburn for trail walks and runs...that is where I get my nature and mountain fix.   Even there sometimes I think I see too many humans.  I will be in search of a quieter place.  Somewhere where I can get lost in my thoughts without that many humans.  Not complaints...Humans are great.   

Remind me to tell you a story about my favorite wild Turkey... CT.
Have a lovely and blessed week.  Comment and say hi and let me know what you are up to.

January made me shiver.... (belated)

January 2017 came like no other January in a long time.  It has been colder than I recall and certainly wetter.  The rains came and came and kept coming.  I have zero complaints, I truly hope that those that were flooded and the auto accident victims have recovered. That is always my sadness when the bad weather causes monstrous disasters. However, feeling so excited that my state is wet and green and blessed with water.  

This particular January is like no other.  I feel the pain of the election, so many people are hurting, and defensive, offensive, and this seems to be from most no matter who they voted for.   I have the pain and those thoughts too...but for now, this blog isn't about that. It isn't that I don't care or don't have a voice.  I have a big opinion and a big voice.  It isn't that I am complacent, I have activities and a voice.  Just not here. 

My heart hurts and my soul feels the pain of the divisions, not just from my country, but all over the world.  I only ask from the universe that it is growing pains and the light and love will reign and we will all be happy citizens on this beautiful planet.   I always believe in hope, change and love.  I also believe in the goodness of people to unite and help each other.  We have it in us, we all have it inside.   I also trying and watching and correcting my comments, my tone, my hurtful comments, after all it begins within each of us.  

Silence is golden and Spring is coming.

January has been cold and it was remarkably beautiful here in Northern California.   Living in the Valley near the Sierras is a blessing that I am  always eternally grateful.   We don't get snow but on some days we had sunshine, to clouds, to rain, hail, and rainbows all in a few hours.  On my commute home I can see the snow covered Sierras shining brightly with the glow of the sunset.  My view doesn't last long as I have to turn soon after it all comes into view, so I make sure that I never miss that wonderful show that Mother Earth gives me each day.



And I have been busy!  I have been cooking and even knitting.  This past Sunday was my youngest Granddaughter's birthday and I got to make some quiche, baby quiche, bread and a lovely little poncho.  I can't wait to see her wear it.  

This is the week that I have to get out and get moving.... Marathon training 2017 begins.  I have a plan, this week is just a bunch of one mile jogs to get used to the fact that I have a lot of miles to add to my running.

I am excited about a few knitting projects.  My Gigantico Blanket project with my friend, and a lovely shawl/wrap for me. 

Birthday cooking and knitting.
It is fun to be busy cooking... especially for a special girl.


 Some "other" Bread.... (February)