Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pre-Spring Begins

Today, December 21, is the Winter Solstice.

It is the shortest day of the year.

Sometimes, I feel that I just want to sleep until Spring comes.

But then I remember that tomorrow the days will begin to lengthen. Only by 2 minutes a day, but by early January it will be noticeable.

So I prefer to think of this new season as Pre-Spring.

In only three months, Spring will be here...

Have a very happy Holiday Season!

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Leaves

The leaves of October...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

KLM's New Lost and Found

I enjoyed this short video showing a new feature of KLM's Lost and Found Department. When you watch it you will see why I find this so appealing.

In Dutch with English subtitles.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Day, and a Question for Teachers and Parents

Happy Thanksgiving Day to Canadians!

We celebrated early by going to a dinner party on Saturday night at a friend's house, where we had great food and even better company.

Yesterday we went to a Sukkot (harvest festival) party at another friend's house. It was fun trying to decide which of the many samples of chocolate cake was the best.

Here's a link to a wonderful-sounding film (I haven't seen it yet), a comedy written and produced by Israeli Orthodox Jews about Sukkot. It's named "Ushpizin."

Today, Monday, is also Columbus Day (or some other named holiday) for Americans. I guess we all want to have a long weekend in October.

I get why Columbus isn't a politically correct person to celebrate. Here's a link to a video parody by John Oliver and Last Week Tonight, entitled, How Is This Still a Thing?

My question to American and Canadian parents and teachers is:

When I was in Grade Five, Columbus was considered a great explorer. What do teachers teach kids about Columbus today? (I need this for some background for one of my projects. I'm not writing about Columbus.)


Monday, August 25, 2014

Vacation in Kingston

Last week we were in Kingston, Ontario. We visited with our friends who live there, walked along the lake, and just relaxed.

On the way there, we stopped to take a picture of The Big Apple, a site I've seen often but never photographed. This appeals to my love for quirky things. It's a restaurant which specializes in apple pie, oddly enough. :-)

We had beautiful, sunny weather every day except one, when it poured.

I love looking at the sailboats in the harbour, no matter the weather. M and I would fantasize about which yacht we would like to own. M liked some of the motorboats; but for me sails are essential.

Best of all, I did lots of writing on my next work-in-progress.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday in Stratford

Yesterday we drove the 90 miles to Stratford, Ontario to see a matinee performance of King Lear.

Although we drove under some dark clouds that threatened enough rain for the storm scene in Act III, by the time we arrived, the sun came back for its encore.

After a picnic lunch, we watched the play.

We took a stroll along the river to look for swans before leaving for home, taking the slower, more scenic highway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Redesigned my website

I've been working on a fresh look for my website for about a week.

It's now ready to unveil. Take a look:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mystery Man

The Apollo 11 moon landing was on July 20, 1969, 45 years ago today.
Here is the villanelle I wrote about it.

Mystery Man

One small step can seem like almost nothing,
a quarter million miles for three to fly,
as we held our breaths to watch that first landing.

Four billion hopes--a planet's wondering
reflected in the mirror in the sky--
is one small step away from almost nothing.

Buzz followed you, while Mike was orbiting.
How could your tiny step not make us cry
as we breathlessly watched that first landing?

The media frenzy you found stifling,
a leap to fame that you would soon decry.
One small step can seem like almost nothing.

Who is this man? The press is suffocating.
Cocooned within your silence you just sigh,
and hope news will eclipse the first landing.

Mystery Man, no moon songs do you sing.
Can astronauts be brave, but also shy?
One small step that changes everything
at once. We exhale, hope for safe landing.

Copyright Barbara Etlin 2014, all rights reserved
by Barbara Etlin, Deco Owl Press.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Too literal

Too Literal: A one-minute play

Me:                   I should have kept that Philosophy of Existentialism textbook from university,
                          BEING AND TIME by Martin Heidegger. I should have schlepped it
                          from house to house all these years. I couldn't read one page of it without feeling    
                          sleepy. It was the perfect cure for insomnia!

Husband:         Your birthday's coming up soon. Would you like that for your
                          birthday present?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Farewell to Tulips, 2014

Most of the tulips have faded, except for a few purple ones. Here's what the terrace looked like about a week ago.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fabulous review for ANTIQUE PIANO & Other Sour Notes!

ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES got a great review on Book Viral Spotlight!

Take a look:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May is Tulip Season

Last weekend we cleaned out the gardening centre of the last of its tulips. Most of them are red, a few are yellow or orange, some are purple.

Then there are the Mystery Tulips...

red, orange, and purple
The stone owls guard the tulips from any stray squirrels who may have wandered over from our former house.


The Mystery Tulips turned out to be white and pink.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Canterbury Tales

History teachers made this fun music video about The Canterbury Tales:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Echo's Bark Mitzvah

Happy 13th Barkday, Echo!

Today You Are a Dog! (because it's your Bark Mitzvah)

But you'll always be a puppy

because you believe you're a puppy.

Maybe even Superdog!

Friday, March 7, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Chat with Jama Rattigan about Antique Piano & Other Sour Notes


Jama Rattigan interviewed me for Poetry Friday

about ANTIQUE PIANO & Other Sour Notes

on her blog!

I talk about poetry, humour, working with a cover designer, and more.

Take a look:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Echo Announces My Book's Birthday

I, Echo the Sheltie, have taken time away from my nap

to make an important announcement.

Barb's book is having a birthday today!

(Show some enthusiasm? Yeah, I can do enthusiasm. For enthusiasm, I'll need extra treats.)

You can get it here:

or here:

Just buy it, okay?

Don't make me beg.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Victor Borge and Dean Martin on Punctuation Marks

Funny video of the two comedians using Borge's audible punctuation--while singing.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Owl, Owl!

Yah for March!

It's a new month, so instead of "Rabit! Rabbit!" I'll say, "Owl! Owl!"

Hope you had a good Valentine's Day, with lots of chocolate, or whatever you like best.

What happened to February, you might ask?

I got away from this:

meaning, the weather, not Echo, although we did leave him behind
and saw lots of this:

birds of paradise at our hotel's garden

Our room's patio overlooked a marina.

We went here:

Seaport Village

We even had lunch (coffee and an apple) at Upstart Crow on Valentine's Day when the other places were busy. Then I wrote at my favourite inside table while M. browsed at books.
 Unfortunately, I missed out on an anticipated meeting with an online writing friend. Another one! :-(
Shelter Island, looking at naval base
Is this gull thinking of walking across the Coronado Bridge?

View of Coronado from Point Cabrillo

Chess set at Horton Plaza

Patio where I did some writing

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cover for Antique Piano & Other Sour Notes

I'm delighted to reveal the amazing cover for my collection of humorous poetry!

Isn't it fun?

My friend, Kevin Slattery, designed it.

Antique Piano & Other Sour Notes will be available in early March.