Category Archives: Inspiration

New Release – Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Hot Press! Hot Press!

It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new release Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance.

About the Book

Blurb

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.”
~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My Review

Grief Songs: Poems of Love and Remembrance is a poetry collection written in Tanka form. After her mother passed away, Elizabeth Gauffreau cleaned up the “forbidden rooms” and found the “hidden photographs.” These are the photographs of the author and her father, mother, and brother George.

Grieving is a personal process that can last for any length of time. The memories of the loved ones could be fleeting or lingering moments, and the emotion of grieving could be of the surface or intensely deep.

In Grief Songs, the photos brought back the intensity of the precious memories to the author. Elizabeth expressed her grief in poetry. She paired the poems with each photo included in this collection.

One poem was about the author’s mother took her and George to the vaccination. Their mother gave the kids a treat of root beer floats for being good for the occasion. By the way, root beer is a soda, not a beer with alcohol! Another fun poem was about a youth group picnic when the author and her brother waited for their dad in the car after the picnic. Apparently, their dad didn’t come right away. They pressed the honk for so long that when their dad finally came back; the battery was dead. I loved the poem and the photo with Elizabeth and George sitting on their father’s lap for reading time as a nightly ritual. The lines were, “Waiting until your father gets home, not a threat but a promise.”

There were poems about Elizabeth as a kid for the first sacrament, confirmation, and baptism. What precious memories as she could see the history from the beginning of her life when father and mother holding her in their arms that led to her present life.

Family time such as clam bake at the beach and the family reunion always flashed back fond memories that ache the heart yet bring smiles on the face. The dying takes away a part of the ones left behind yet leaves them something sweet and long-lasting.

The poetry is a short read, yet the emotion of joy and sorrow lingers long after I put down the book. Highly recommended

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098TQBM1R

Trailer:

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Elizabeth Gauffreau

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Website/Blog: https://lizgauffreau.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Gauffreau/e/B07NTZFVSF?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGauffreau

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.gauffreau

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Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

This week, the theme from Sheetalbravon is ‘A Glimpse into your world’She invited us to show the things we love that make our world spin or things about our world that make us delirious with joy.

The immediate world that fills me with inspiration and amazement is my garden. My morning routine, especially in the summer, is to visit the garden while I drink my coffee. After coffee, with the gardening tools in hand, I check the flower bushes, trim the dead branches, or dig up weeds.

I started feeding birds from 2014 and the regular visitors are Ruby Throat Hummingbirds, mourning doves, American Finch, American God Finch, Scrub Jay, Song Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, and a few I couldn’t quite identify. Over the years, there were baby Mourning Dove, baby House Finches, and One baby Hummingbird born in my garden.

There are other animals such as squirrels, stray cats, and lizards roaming during the day or at night.

I have many hobbies, more than I have time to fully enjoy each of them. Not included in the images here is photography, which I started as a teenager when the photos were black and white. Another hobby is ceramic. I did the whale free hand with clay. I made it into a nightlight for my baby daughter. When my daughter was nine years old, we took a ceramic painting class together in the summer. It’s something we continue doing separately until these days.

I learned to draw and watercolor painting as a young adult. After retirement, I took classes on both and used some watercolor painting to illustrate the poems in my book.

My immediate community of 35 years is a church fellowship and the group of ladies. They are a part of my world for fun, for friendship and support. Some of these friends’ kids and my daughter grew up together. The ladies gave a bridal shower to Mercy for her wedding. Some friends still send gifts to my granddaughters as their own.

Music has been my world since I was a kid. I didn’t have a family background to nurture my love of classical music. It seems to be a natural favorite. The first time I performed Handel’s Messiah was when I was still in Hong Kong.

Most of my family except for one sister are in Hong Kong. Lynton’s family is my extended family, and we see each other regularly.

The biggest world to me is my daughter’s family. My granddaughters lighten my heart and give joy every day. My daughter has a TinyBeans.com account where she posts multiple photos and videos daily to chronicle the kids’ growth and family activities. There was not one day I go without checking on what they do. Nora’s birthday on March 22, and I wish to visit them.  

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Thank you for reading. I hope to hear what the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.

Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

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SoCS February 3, 2018

The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “in other words.”

Last Saturday, January 27, 2018, I attended a Women’s Retreat. It was a day of reflection on our personal life in 2017. We spent the first hour leisurely charting the major events, the spiritual journey, and our insights. The following hour was sharing our charts and thoughts. The next hour was meeting in groups of three to pray for each other. We also had individual time to be alone doing the reading, meditating and writing.

The retreat was from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. held in a private home with plenty of space for small groups and individual time. The pace of the schedule was just right. I came away feeling very refreshed and peaceful, ready to face my new journey of 2018.

One precious thing I valued deeply was spending a whole hour with just three people sharing. We were not chitchatting superficial things. We shared our deep concerns and prayed with each other. It was a unique experience that I didn’t have before. It is so often when we meet, we talk about the busy events. If we don’t share our concerns, even when we talk for hours, we still go away feeling unconnected.

After the retreat, one lady and I decided to meet once a month not chitchatting but to share and listen. In other words, we want to be caring friends to each other.

Badge by J-Dub @ https://jilywily.wordpress.com/

Linda G Hill’s SoCS February 3, 2018

 

Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Cee’s Share Your World – November 27, 2017

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

I always wanted to have a Sunroom as my art studio as well as for my indoor plants. I like to paint in a room with good lighting. Painting in my backyard would be ideal, but I must put the easel, the paint, other materials, and tools away every day. A Sunroom would allow me to leave everything in the room. The sky, the trees, and flowers are always the sources of my inspiration in any creativity. In fact, a Sunroom could be my reading nook and a place for the indoor plants.

We had a quote this year to install a Sunroom. The one with glass roof costs $40,000, and the kind with glass windows without glass roof runs about $27,000. Do I want to pay that much money for an enclosed patio for painting, reading, and planting? I don’t think so. At the meantime, I paint in a room with good lighting.

 

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Share Your World – November 13, 2017

This is my response to Cee’s Share Your World – November 13, 2107

Do you ever sit on a park bench for more than ten minutes?

We do that often, especially in Laguna Lake. My husband and I love to walk around Laguna Lake which is 0.77 miles around. We walk around the lake twice, then find a shaded bench and sit down. The lake is a home to many kinds of ducks, Egyptian Geese, turtle and many sea creatures. The irrigation system keeps the water of the lake flowing while there is stillness on a calm day. In the summer, the ducks enjoy their lazy nap by tugging their heads under the wings. We relax and watch people doing their leisure fishing, riding their horses, their bikes, jogging, walking their dogs, or walking their babies in strollers.

 

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Cee’s Share Your World – July 31, 2017

Cee’s SYW questions and my answers.
  1. If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

My vision has been changing slowly. I had tried contact lenses, but since I have been wearing glasses for many years. I prefer the look of wearing glasses.

After having a vision test at the ophthalmologist’s office, the result showed that I had a large blind spot in the pupil area of my right eye. In fact, I almost had an accident because I didn’t see a car coming from my right when I made a left turn. As a result of the vision test, I had both eyelids lifted as a medical procedure.

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The pair in the front is my current glasses

  1. Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

I am neither a dog person nor a cat person. We had a dog and a cat for our daughter. The cat got old and lost a lot of weight toward the end because she didn’t eat for many days. One day, a dog from across the street darting over at her and got her scared. Later, we found her passed away in the backyard. She might have had a heart attack. We also had a black puddle. My daughter had fun with him. One morning, we got up and looked out at our backyard, and found Pierre had been bitten and killed by a coyote. We let our daughter see it before she went to school.

Our daughter waited for a while before she got another cat.

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  1. If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

We bought a new house twenty-eight years ago. The house had the three things I liked. Half of the house had the second floor. The second level had the master bedroom on one end, the kids’ bedrooms on the other end, and was connected by a “bridge.” The house had a large living room with high ceiling. We could stand on the “bridge” to look down to the living room. It also had floor to ceiling windows on one side of the living room with lots of light coming into the house.

It took two and a half hours each way for me to drive work. For practical reason, we moved to our current home which had reduced the driving time by half.

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  1. What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Last week, I learned to say, “This is all I can do for today. I’ll continue tomorrow.” I’m retired so I could afford to say that.

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https://ceenphotography.com/2017/07/31/share-your-world-july-31-2017/

Commitment Alters Your Destiny

In my previous post “A Tribute to My Dad,” I wrote about how he influenced me on the importance of education. Another major influence came from my childhood hero, President Abraham Lincoln, and how he eagerly learned as a child. Both parents of little Abe were illiterate. His mother, Nancy believed in the importance of education. Schools were uncommon in the lightly populated areas. When Abe was about seven, a school opened nine miles away. His mother insisted to Abe’s father, Tom that children ought to be allowed to attend. Nancy walked the two children, Abe and his sister to school, 2.5 – 3 hours each way. It was a major commitment. The school didn’t last long, however the importance of education was impressed upon Abe’s mind.

The rest of Abe’s childhood and young adult story continued to impress me how persistent he was in his pursue of education and law in particular. He became the sixteenth President of U.S.A.

His humble childhood, his love and commitment in education resulting in his presidency were motivational and inspirational to me. I have been a lifelong learner because of the influence of my Dad and my heroes.

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Daily Prompt: Commit

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 1

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This is my first week of “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” at Haddon Musings. This week I am thankful for sunny days to do gardening. Gardening is my personal therapy.

The official spring date is not here yet, buts spring is in southern California. It has been sunny for a week. We had an unusual winter with cold and rainstorm. I got the flood warning signal twice on my phone. Since our home is situated near the major drainage system, we had no worry. The rain finally stopped a week ago. This is the timing I was waiting for to do gardening.

I love gardening. I love to work with the soil bare handed. My fingernails would be filled with dirt and scratches. This is just a minor detail. Gardening is my therapy. It’s a way for me to be in touch with earth. I love to watch growth. No plants, trees, or flowers are maintenance free. They all need nurturing, pruning, watering, correcting the gesture, nourishing, healing of diseases, and the right timing to plant different plants and flowers. I am thankful for many life lessons learned through gardening experience.

I usually prune the rose bushes in the middle of January, but the heavy rain kept me in the house. My gardener skipped one week in January due to the rain. As soon as it had a clear day, he came to mow the lawn, and pruned all the roses. I was so glad he did that. The rain was welcome after many years of drought. The soil in my garden is well soaked.

With one week of sun, the green and the flowers can hardly wait to burst into showy colors. The plum trees started budding and filled with blossoms. The bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are not around to pollinate the blossoms yet. It needs other flowers such as lavender to attract them to come. Last year, I used a brush to manually pollinate between the two plum trees. They produced about twenty plums. Well, one plum tree was triple crossed bred.

The Valencia orange tree produces two crops a year. Thanks to the rain, the second crop is full grown. When they are first ripen, they are little bit sour, so I will wait for a couple week to pick them. By that time, they should be juicy and sweet.

The camellia bush is crossed bred. It has red flowers as well as pink and white flowers. They are in bloom, so I can make nice flower arrangement for decoration. The purple and yellow freesias; red, yellow and pink snapdragons, and other perennial flowers are complimenting each other with their beauties.

This year is my first attempt to plant irises. I planted purple, fuchsia, and blue bulbs. I am waiting with great anticipation to see their beautiful blooms.

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If you would like to participate in “52 Weeks of Thankfulness,” and share your thankfulness, please click here Haddon Musings.

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