Thursday, December 31, 2015
by: Connie Biltz
One of my blogger friends, Daisy, at: www.conniebiltz.com, has written a terrific poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. Here's a brief review of her book.
Biltz, Connie. Rainbow Chaser. Bradenton, Florida: BookLocker.com, Inc., 2015. 163 pp., paperback. $14.95.
Connie Biltz chases the gloom away with her delightful poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. Sip a cup of hot cocoa and refresh your soul with her verse. Her title poem seeks goodness in the world:
"Bring on the colors, the glow, and the hope.
...so call me a rainbow chaser.
Bring on the balloons, the chocolate, and the confetti,
I guarantee we won't regret it."
Connie takes the readers on an image-filled journey in her poetry book. She uses sounds and word play to keep the fingers flipping the pages. Her sense of humor amuses and surprises us.
Nature influences her poetry. Not even the rain keeps "Rainy Day Daisy," down:
"Swaying in the wind,
a daisy stoops and struggles
under the weight of heavy rain.
...Springing back after the storm,
tilting and nodding,
the daisy turns
and faces the sun."
We take an exciting walk in her poem, "My Listening Walk." Sounds, word play, and rhythm get our feet tapping:
"Walking shoes, rhythmic feet,
catch in a bit of gravel-
ping, clickety, ping."
Connie's poem, "Whispering of Angels," soothes the spirit at this time of year:
"Midst the clamor of merrymaking, card-sending, and cookie-baking, seek the quiet of the not-yet-frozen lake. Listen closely. Hear the whisper of angels as you savor each glittery snowflake."
She captures vivid word images in the changing seasons. Sparks ignite leaves in "Flames of Fire." Chocolate sauce drizzles over ribbons of peppermint in a winter sunset. Piles of sculpted snow are like slain dragons on the sides of roads. At last a bunny bounces, kicks up spring. Now look! Think of the crocus and its amazing hocus pocus. Winter may cling and linger, but it will eventually slither away.Besides writing about nature, Connie's family and friends are dear to her. "Gratitude List" and "Blessings Counted" cause us to pause. Ponder. Give thanks!
"Bits and Pieces" is the final curtain of her poetry collection. Get connected. "Ditch Those Digital Devices":
...Put the phone down.
Look up and look around.
Communicate one on one:
make a friend, make a point,
win a heart, and stir affection."
Connie Biltz wins hearts with her beautiful poetry book, Rainbow Chaser. It's a great read!
You may order Connie's book at Amazon.com, or contact her at: www.connieblitz.com.
Book reviewed by: Brenda Kay Ledford
the verdant grass
the field--a pond
deer nibble cut corn
in the Blue Ridge Mountains
a black blanket
soars to the pines
squawk, squawk, squawking
a scarlet ribbon
flutters through fog
a New Year!
--Brenda Kay Ledford
I wish my blogger friends a very Happy New Year!
Monday, November 30, 2015
Not a sound
in the Matheson Cove,
snow glowing on black velvet,
cattle kneel at midnight.
Rabbit tracks zigzag
across the Shewbird Mountain,
wood smoke curves heavenward,
icicles dangle from the log cabin.
A hickory log flickers
in the fireplace,
corn pone bakes in the Dutch oven,
paper chains and popcorn
drape the fir tree.
Younguns toss in feather beds,
listen for reindeer on the roof,
will Santy Claus find the cove?
Early Christmas morning,
cranberry skies spill across
the Blue Ridge Mountains
echoing with sleigh bells.
Ronda, Reba, Ralph, Reuben,
Rena, Robert, Robenia, and Ray
grab goodies from their stockings:
apples, oranges, hazel nuts,
candy canes, peppermint drops, toys
Pa carved in the woodshed.
Before dinner Ma reads
the story of baby Jesus.
Robert gets his fiddle,
voices blend with carols.
An old-fashioned Christmas,
come to the manger!
--Brenda Kay Ledford
My mom ( Blanche), and I wish all our blogger friends a very Merry Christmas and joyful New Year!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
A replica of the Statue of Liberty and an old tractor grace the front of this historical building.
Bruce Davenport of Hayesville, owns this barn and has restored it. He and his family decorate it seasonally. The old girl shines in all her glory at Christmastime.
It's ironic that Bruce placed the Statue of Liberty in front of the barn. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, the barn was central to farm life. Here the mountaineers stored hay, housed the livestock, milked cows, fed cattle and horses grain, cleaned the stalls, shucked and shelled corn, and stored the tools to upkeep farm equipment. Work. Always work.
The good old days were hard. There was hardly any leisure time for the farmers. In this sense, I think freedom is a good symbol for the old barn. Freedom from working sunrise to sunset on the farm, digging a living out of the earth is a good theme to preserve.
I love old barns and this is one of my favorite in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
It was one of those days. My list of chores included shopping for groceries. Most times I don't dread this task, but I was running out of time and needed to hurry, hurry, hurry.
I pulled into the parking lot at Ingles and rushed to get my groceries. A soldier sauntered across the lot wearing his uniform. He walked straight as a stick with his head held high. I wanted to shout and thank him for his service, but he was gone before I had a chance to show my appreciation.
My mind raced with thoughts of our military. Despite what some folks might think, our country is in war overseas. Soldiers are giving their lives for our freedom. How often do we think of our soldiers? How often do we remember to pray for their safety?
Many men in my family served in the military. Uncles fought in World War I and World War II. My brother served with the US Army in Vietnam. My nephew completed two tours of duty in Iraq and was wounded in the line of duty.
Other families have suffered great loss. Their loved ones did not come home from war.
As we observe Veteran's Day, I think we should lift special prayers for the safety of our men and women serving in the military. If we see soldiers at church or at a patriotic service, thank them for their service. Also, in my latest edition of "Guidepost Magazine," we can subscribe for members of the military. What an encouragement to young men or women to read this wonderful magazine while serving overseas, or recovering from injuries in a Veteran's Hospital.
There are many ways we can show thanks for our military. We can attend a patriotic service, write letters to the soldiers, send CARE packages, or just sing, "God Bless America."
I want to thank all of my blogger friends who have served in the military. It is because of your sacrifice we enjoy the freedom we have in America.
This World War II veteran proudly holds the USA flag. He served his country with honor and duty.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
It was perfect weather for a fall festival. No rain! The bright blue skies of September dazzled above the Cherokee village. Dusty lilac asters, goldenrods and knockout roses dotted the trail. Cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, and pumpkin spice leaves fluttered in the wind.
Native Americans demonstrated carving bears and arrowheads, pottery, weaving baskets, blow guns, playing stickball, and other crafts.
Dan Hollifield played a Native American flute in the Cherokee winter house. He hand makes these instruments.
A storyteller spun tales about the Cherokee culture. The smell of barbecue, fried apple pies, and other food wafted across the village.
Cherokee dressed in traditional costumes entertained the crowd performing the groundhog, buffalo, frog, and corn dance.
The Cherokee Heritage Festival was the best ever held in Hayesville. It gave you a taste of Indian culture that prevailed in western North Carolina before the Cherokees were removed to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838-1839.
You may visit my other blog to read more about the Cherokee Heritage Center and Dan Hollifield making flutes at: http://historicalhayesville.blogspot.com.
This man is carving weapons the Cherokee used in battle.
Here is a carving of a bear that a Cherokee did at the festival.
Some Cherokees are in the summer Cherokee house with a campfire in front.
You'll find at the Cherokee Heritage Exhibit Center displays of tools the Cherokees used.
Dan Hollifield demonstrates playing the flute in the winter house.
Here is a Cherokee winter house.
This is a Cherokee summer house.
The Cherokee stored corn and vegetables in this little house.
This 92-year-old Cherokee still does pottery.
This lady demonstrates making pottery.
Notice the colorful blanket.
This lady is weaving baskets.
A storyteller spins tales about the Cherokee culture.
Cherokees dance in traditional costumes.
The buffalo Cherokee dance.
The Cherokee performing the frog dance.
This Cherokee and his son are playing stickball.
The Cherokee Exhibit Center in Hayesville, NC is an interesting site to visit. It is located below the Clay County Historical and Arts Museum which is the "Old Jail Museum." You may visit the exhibit year round. When you get off the roundabout and head toward Hayesville, the Cherokee Exhibit is on the left side below the museum. You might want to also visit the "Old Jail Museum." There are many interesting exhibits there besides an excellent display on the Cherokee and their artifacts that were found at the Spikebuck Indian Mound near Hayesville on the banks of the Hiwassee River. Also, Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville has an exciting center on the Cherokee culture.
Give Hayesville a visit sometime!
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
sweet September memories.
Looping across Cherohala skyway
in Daddy's old black Ford.
A magical time,
my parents and I
taking a joy ride
on Sunday afternoon.
Work can wait
on the farm,
time with family
can not wait.
I look down
on the rideline
burning like hickory
sticks in the fireplace.
We stop at the overpass,
eat a moonpie and RC Cola,
a whippoorwill whistles
and the cool breeze
brushes my face.
Daddy and Mama smile,
I feel their unconditional love:
work can wait!
--Brenda Kay Ledford
front row: little Brenda and brother, Harold.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Something clicked in my kitchen. It wasn't the clock on my stove. "Oh, no! Something's torn up again," I moaned.
I noticed the little solar-powered flowers on the windowsill waving their hands. Click. Click. Click. The daisies were dancing a jig in the sunshine.
I smiled and thought it would be a good day. I heard a mower humming. I glanced out the window and our neighbor pulled into the drive.
Mr. Wimpey asked if we needed any fresh vegetables:
Tomatoes red as rubies,
the aroma of hot peppers,
visions of fried okra!
"Oh, yes! We would love some vegetables," I said. I was grateful that our neighbors had thought of us and had graciously shared their garden produce with us.
Until recently, Mama raised a garden every year. She enjoyed sharing her vegetables with family and friends.
As she said, "There's nothing like stepping out your back door and picking fresh vegetables from the garden.
Thanks to our good neighbors, we can still savor fresh, mountain-grown vegetables straight from the garden.
I had a feeling it would be a good day, and it was a great day!