Friday, February 24, 2017

Welcome

Thanks for visiting my web page. Here you'll find links to the places that have my work.  I will also share the work of others when I find myself being pulled into it, and providing I can get permission.
Hopefully this can also become a place to share ideas about writing, particularly poetry, although, almost anything could be interpreted as poetry.

I am available to read my work and discuss poetry with students or anyone else interested, as individuals or groups, and I'm able to travel a reasonable distance to do so.

I live in Michigan, about one hundred miles north of Detroit. I always appreciate hearing from someone who has taken the time to read my work. An E-Mail can be sent by following the link on the right to my full profile.


"The Box" by David Blaine. Poem Featured in Issue 55 of Rattle Magazine, Tribute to Civil Servants.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Twelve Ideas to Eat Better for Less

Here are some ways to get better meals for less money.  It takes effort but your family will love the results.

  1. Learn to cook from scratch.  The cost of processing foods into ready-to-eat is expensive and the ingredients are not always wholesome.  If you don’t know how to prepare whole foods, such as rice, potatoes, noodles, dried beans, etc, then learn.  You're on the internet, right?

  1. Learn how to best prepare the less expensive cuts of meat and poultry.  Cuts like round roast can be prepared using moist heat (pot roasts, stews) and will be as tender as more expensive cuts when cooked that way.  Larger chickens can best be prepared as chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup for the same reason.

  1. Look for discounts on expired food.  The dates are not dates the food spoils on, they are dates the food should be sold by.  If you use them soon there is nothing wrong with them.  Obviously this doesn’t apply to dairy or similar fresh foods which might spoil.  But things like breakfast cereals are certainly good past their “sell by” date.  If you see meat, fish or poultry in the case on or past the sell by date, and it still looks fresh, ask the butcher for a discount.  Freeze what you won’t eat right away.

  1. Buy in bulk.  You’re going to use it all, eventually.  Why buy small shakers of something like garlic powder when you can buy a huge one for just a little more than the small shakers?  Can’t find them in the grocery?  Look for retail outlets of the food service suppliers.  In Michigan that’s Aldi, Sysco or Gordons.  You can also try Sams Club or Cosco but will need to buy a membership for those two. You can actually buy a gallon of mustard for just a couple of dollars.  Which leads us to…

  1. Share or buy co-operatively.  If you can organize a group of neighbors to buy together, you can really save a lot.  Imagine splitting that gallon of mustard 4 to six ways.  You’d each be able to fill three or four empty mustard bottles for about fifty cents.  You can also do that with large bags of noodles, flour, sugar, rice, salad dressings, bar-b-que sauce, pancake syrup, and many, many more items.  Again, look into the commercial food services that have retail stores near you.

  1. Learn the secret of top chefs.  Chefs don’t pick a recipe and then go out to buy what they need, they look at what’s in season, or what’s on sale, and then they choose the recipes that use those ingredients.  So if chicken thighs are on sale this week, make chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, b-b-q chicken, but not pot roast.  An example of this would be buying a turkey when they are on sale, just before Thanksgiving. 

  1. Learn to use the services in a grocery.  Remember that sale on turkeys?  If you buy a larger turkey the butcher can saw it in half, right down the center, and re-wrap it for you.  Freeze one half.  You might ask for this same service in produce.  Are you shopping for a group?  Ask for that watermelon to be split and wrapped as two or more pieces.

  1. Find a day old bread store.  The bread isn’t really stale.  Even if it is, it still makes great toast, French Toast, stuffing and croutons.  You didn’t know you could make croutons?  Bought more than you can use?  Bread will freeze just fine. 

  1. Learn to can or freeze.  Then you can buy a whole bushel of tomatoes for a few dollars and have canned tomatoes all winter for pennies a jar.  You can watch videos or read about canning on the internet, but if you know someone who cans, ask if you can help them for a couple of hours.  You’ll learn all the tricks and short cuts that way!  Jars can be expensive, so keep an eye out for canning jars at yard sales and re-sale shops. 

  1. If you’re going to learn to can, and you have space to grow a small garden, these two things go hand in hand.  Grow foods you like to eat.  Tomatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, and green peppers can all be either canned or frozen for use in cooking later.  You can also keep potatoes or onions for several months after harvest.  Just store them in a cool, dry place.  Again, a good way to learn to garden is to ask a neighbor, friend or relative if you can help them with their garden.  Keep an eye out at yard sales and re-sale shops for garden tools like rakes and hoes.

  1. Check for coupons, but, remember that the store brand may be cheaper, even with the coupon savings on the national brand.  You’ve got to do your homework and detective work to get the best buy.


  1. Think about left-overs when planning meals.  Some recipes create tomorrow’s lunch at the same time.  You can make chicken and dumplings and keep half the chicken for sandwiches the next day.  Just make extra dumplings to make the first meal more filling.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How My Man Came to Leave


Yesterday the Sanilac County Historical Society conducted an event called "House in Mourning" at their museum.  It included a cemetery walk where I served as a volunteer.  I read the following poem at the grave of three sailors who drowned in a storm on Lake Huron.  This year is the 100th anniversary of The Storm of 1913. In one week in November eight ships and over 200 sailors were lost on Lake Huron alone.


How My Man Came to Leave

Some men work
the factory floor;
some men work
at a trade.
But here men go down
to the sea in ships,
our husbands, brothers,

and sons.
They tell you
it’s to put food on the table,
they tell themselves
that too.
But there is a pull
beyond earning a living.
The lake is a temptress,
smiling,

beguiling. In summer
she’s a siren
in shimmering sapphires.
A sailor’s seduction ensues.
Through the Summer a sailor's
enthralled with this mistress.
His home and his family

in memory dim.
But Autumn brings
a new look to the lake.
Still attractive, dignified,
but portending a change,
foretelling a graceless aging

                                                                                                                
too soon coming.
By November the lake has become
a bitter old wench, angry,
short tempered.
She senses her suitors
are longing to leave her,
to abandon her
beneath the coming ice.
But unwilling to die
old and lonely,
one week
in November
during the season of ’13,
Old Dame Huron
reached up her icy arms,
heaved her mighty breath,

and snapped eight ships.
More than two-hundred lovers
she took to bed,
never to wake.

Few were left
to tell the fate
of their ship
and of their brothers.

On shore, 
I soon learn the news
I do not wish to hear.


My sailor has abandoned me
to lie forever by the side
of that Jezebel,
Huron.