Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Prettiest Face: Andelin Grace

Look at this bright-eyed little beauty, aka my great-niece. She's as pretty as they come, isn't she? And she looks even prettier next to that owlish blanket Dave and I gave her.

Anyway, her name is Andelin because that is the maiden name of one of her great-grandmothers. And her name is Grace because that happens to be the first name of her other great grandmother, my mom. Pretty cool, right?

I have a feeling we will be making a trip to Utah sooner than later!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Philanthropist

click below for more stories 

I'm liking Ms. Matlock's style with her Saturday Centus lately. Seems like every prompt helps me dream up an idea or two. Today's phrase, as always, is shown in red (below). I even managed to stay within the 106-word limit! You're welcome, Jenny.


The Philanthropist
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

Unflinching resolution is
a phrase that always conjures you.
Your war cry is "Snap out of it."
And "Seize the day" is your world view.

You dabble in philanthropy,
dispense it with a heavy hand,
and find the lack of gratitude
quite difficult to understand.

Sometimes you give for goodness' sake.
Sometimes your motives aren’t so pure.
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you break
them. Pfft. Only the strong endure.


True charity empowers, not impairs...ennobles, not enables.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Surrendering to Social Media

Hello, friends. Have you heard that the old relic who runs Sue's News Views 'n Muse (yep, that'd be me) has finally surrendered to the social media explosion? It's true, and evidence of my capitulation can be spotted at the bottom of this post, where you will see several small symbols like those pictured above, albeit not as colorful. No doubt you will be thrilled to know that you can now e-mail my posts, blog my posts, tweet my posts, facebook my posts, google plus my posts...why, I've even joined Pinterest so you can pin my posts, which is something I swore I would never do under any circumstances. And you know what? I'm having fun with it! (In fact, I'm hoping you will check out the top of my sidebar and click my follow button.)

Can't say that I've put out any tweets lately, but who knows? Maybe I'll get the hang of that, too.

For now, though, I'm just keeping my beak shut.

for more S posts, click below

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Sage Speaks

I'm always happy to see Jenny's Saturday Centus roll around again, and this week I am having a bit of fun with the prompt (shown below in red). We're supposed to use no more than 103 words, which puts me at five too many, but I'm hoping Jenny will grant me a little poetic license...


The Sage Speaks
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

You hold forth in your wisdom 
as if truth began with you,
each argument refuted by
your worthy point of view.

No other man's experience
remotely matches yours.
Let others curb their tongues or
be revealed as crashing bores.

Why must they prattle on and on,
when your premise is clear?
These cretins ought to show respect
and lend a listening ear.

Let every upstart quaff the cup
of knowledge at your feet.
May all drink deeply of your words
and find the nectar sweet.

But as for me, I must defer,
though all the world's in awe.
For every time you speak, I fear
that I hear blah, blah, blah.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review, Revise, & Respect (the language!)

I've never posted a rant about grammar before, and I don't want this to be a rant either, but I can't help noticing that grammatical and spelling errors are becoming increasingly common on the web, in the news, and even in advertising. Where are the copy editors of yesteryear? And why do people continue to make the same mistakes, over and over again?

Some of these (like using should of, would of, or could of as a substitute for should have, would have, or could have) are so easy to spot and correct that I never cease to be amazed when they quite regularly are not spotted or corrected. I mean, this is pretty basic stuff, right? Adding to my annoyance is the frequent interchanging of such words as affect and effectyour and you'reit's and its, there and their, which and thatless and fewer, say nothing of using I as an object when me is the right choice or throwing in a whom where it doesn't even begin to belong.

Agreement errors are common, too, including tenses that change within a sentence, subjects and verbs that should never be seen together, and pronouns that have nothing whatsoever to do with their antecedents. Dangling participles, split infinitives, and sentences ending in prepositions are also commonplace. Using different than instead of different from and forgetting that you bring it home and take it away are less obvious errors, but that doesn't stop either one from being pet peeves of mine.

Even the use of commas has run amok, as evidenced by this example of a fractured quote, taken directly from an article in a "prestigious" newspaper: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing." You can be sure that poor old Edmund Burke would be chagrined to see a comma arbitrarily placed before his verb. (And by the way, please note that all commas and periods are now placed inside quotation marks, with no exceptions.)

We all make mistakes, myself included, but it appears that not all of us actually care about them. And that's where my worries lie, because preserving the English language in all its glory, eccentricity, and inconsistency is important to me.

So what do you think? Am I a nit-picking old fussbudget (aka elitist linguistic dinosaur), or are ya feelin' me?


for more R posts, click below

Monday, September 17, 2012

in the breach

Salvador Dali - Venus and the Sailor

in the breach
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

call me from the sea to meet you
in the breach of dawn and dusk
shapes and angles flow to greet you
midnight masses, morning musk

neck to shoulder, limb to toe
rise above and fall below
in the deep, along the sand
breast to bosom, palm to hand

swirl inside this sacred eddy
twirl across the ocean floor
i will leave you sated, ready
nothing wanting, wanting more

for more Mags, click below

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Woman at the Well

How do these Saturdays keep rolling around so quickly, Jenny? One thing's for sure, your inimitable Saturday Centus is a great way to kick 'em off! Thanks for this word-related prompt (seen below in red). Ya gotta know I loved it!


Woman at the Well
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

"I love you," she whispered, dropping the words like old pennies into a well gone dry. But the words didn't land.

"I love you," she murmured again, fumbling the phrase deep in her own territory, a Hail Mary pass that went to ground.

Show some self-respect, she chided inwardly, full knowing that her need for him eclipsed it.

"I love you," she insisted––this time launching every letter (seven smooth, heat-seeking missiles) at his heart, fearing his heart no longer burned.

The pause was deafening, devastating.

Words can be puzzling,” he said. “Sometimes, omnipotent. But words can’t wake the dead.”


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quips, Quotes, and Queries


If I eat healthy today, I can have one piece of candy as a reward.
If I eat unhealthy, I can have the whole bag.

Honey, do you have anything to say before football season starts?

I think all car alarms should be replaced with a boy's voice
crying, "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" over and over.

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

I see nothing but growth and expansion for the foreseeable future,
but enough about my diet.

The inventor of the doorbell did not own a chihuahua.

I finally got my head together. Now my body is falling apart.

Sometimes autocorrect is your worst enema.

The cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good, spit it out.

Don't bother me. I'm busy converting oxygen to carbon dioxide.


Happiness is a form of courage.
Holbrook Jackson

The two most important days in your life are 
the day you were born and the day you find out why.
Mark Twain

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abe Lincoln

We may not be able to control the wind, 
but we can always adjust our sails.

If you don't like something, change the way you think about it.
Mary Engelbreit

Ring the bells that still can ring; forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

We fit together like a hook and eye...a fish open eye.
Margaret Atwood


What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Some look at things that are and ask why?
I look at things that never were and ask why not?
George Bernard Shaw

It's true hard work never killed anybody, 
but I figure, why take the chance?
Ronald Reagan

Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?
Paul Simon

Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?
James Allen

If God did not intend for us to eat animals, 
then why did he make them out of meat?
John Cleese

Where did we come from? Why are we here? 
Where are we going?

If you never change your mind, why have one?
Edward de Bono

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck 
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


for more Q posts, click below

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

God Bless America (and let's help Him)

Remember Congress singing God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol?
Can you tell the Democrats from the Republicans? The Independents?

I just finished watching the video of Dave Letterman's first show after 9/11 and was reminded how that shared experience managed (for a time) to bring all of us together in ways that, sadly, only tragedies sufficient to threaten our very existence seem able to do. While I did find myself wishing we could somehow sustain that unity in the absence of heart-stopping terror and/or universal grief, there was comfort in viewing recorded proof that, in those moments when the very fabric of our nation is tested, Americans still possess the capacity and inclination to stand as one against anything or anyone who threatens us. At our very core, we are still the United States of America.

The challenge to us now, as citizens who value our way of life, is to realize that serious threats to our country are not limited to skyjacked airplanes, suicide missions, or terrorist bombs. Sometimes the worst threats contain no physical elements of danger at all but are internal, indigenous, insidious, and all too often, invisible. They include unprecedented disrespect for the founding principles of our nation, disaffection with the constitution and its tenets, disharmony among ourselves and our leaders. They encompass the paralysis that comes from politicians and legislators holding petty self interest above the welfare of this country, the disillusionment that accompanies too many broken promises, and the despair of feeling (even in the process of exercising our right to vote) that we are entirely powerless to change anything because elected representatives on either side cannot be trusted to act in our best interests or the nation's.

Not long ago, I wrote a post invoking the phrase "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many, one). Undoubtedly, some found my call for that level of unity quixotic at best, but I beg to differ. Although I don't deny being an optimist, even an idealist at times, I am also a realist in my way. For me, the notion of being united as Americans does not conjure visions of walking in lockstep or even sharing the same opinions and/or beliefs. Quite the contrary. We do not have to agree with one another to be united; and in fact, the United States of America is all about the dynamism of not agreeing...being free to speak our minds, be heard, and negotiate a path forward that gives each of us enough of what we want while keeping our country afloat. The unity part is staying in the same boat (even though we have different rowing patterns), refusing to capsize it, and choosing to negotiate a rhythm that accommodates all of us because we are headed for the same destination and are willing to make personal sacrifices to get there. An overwhelming majority of Americans love this country dearly and want to preserve it. Therein lies the universal goal or destination, and sharing it makes us one in purpose. We are all in the same boat, united, and united people make necessary adjustments so they can row (accomplish their common purpose) together. 

We did this after 9/11 and we can do it now, with our eyes wide open and firmly fixed on the prize. It is not impossible, not a pipe dream, not pie in the sky. It requires brotherhood, humility, and self-mastery. It demands a spirit of compromise and mutual respect. It hears every side with an open mind and a stronger desire to do right than to be right. It speaks the language of tolerance, discernment, and discretion. It begins with every individual. 

I'm 60 years old, a baby boomer who has never felt as uneasy about our country as I do today. There is a lurking menace out there, a clear and present danger, and it is usWhich is exactly why we are in a position do something about it.
These firemen, Americans all, rose to the occasion.
So can we.

Monday, September 10, 2012

H(ope) 2 O

I had an interesting and not entirely pleasant experience last week that I'd like to share with you. A friend had come over to talk to me about something important, and we were sitting in the living room chatting. During our rather long conversation, she excused herself to use the bathroom a couple of times, asking me in both instances why our water was turned off. Not at all concerned, I answered that my husband was probably outside fixing sprinklers or something.

Just before she left, my friend used the facilities once more and remarked that there was still no water. Puzzled now, and since several hours had passed, I went to the kitchen to see if the faucet would turn on in there. Nothing.

Of course, the not-very-funny joke was on me. Our water had been turned off by the water company that very afternoon. It seems I had paid them the wrong amount (oops), and their subsequent warning went unnoticed because we had been on vacation. The post office was still holding our mail, and we hadn't found time to pick it up yet. Simply put, our goose was cooked. We had no water; the water company was closed until the next day, and we were going to spend the next 24 hours waiting for relief.

In light of water shortages in third world countries, I'm almost ashamed to say how sorry for ourselves Dave and I were. We had to flush the toilet with buckets of water from the pool; we couldn't bathe or shower, wash our hands, or brush our teeth. My hair was dirty...and so was my laundry, to say nothing of the breakfast and lunch dishes. Suddenly, water held new value for us. We saw it for what it really was...precious and desirable beyond all else. In fact, both of us agreed that we would far rather have lost gas and electrical power than what we now understood was the most prized commodity of all: Water. It was liquid gold, and we could hardly wait to have it at our fingertips once more.

At first I thought it was merely ironic that we lost our water at the same time my friend (Caroline) at Salsa Pie was involving herself in's efforts to raise money for water in Haiti, but on second thought I realized coincidence is highly over-rated in life. I decided my brief experience with waterless living was a providential push for me to join the crusade for water myself. And so I did.

Are you aware that donating just $25 will provide one person with water for his or her entire lifetime? In other words, I give up one dinner at Appleby's and someone across the world never goes thirsty again. I sacrifice a date night to the movies with my husband and another parent's child survives to adulthood and beyond. I turn down my air conditioning a point or two this month and a brand new baby has all the breast milk she needs from a mother who is no longer too dehydrated to produce an adequate supply. What on earth would keep me from doing this? When my sacrifice is so negligible and the rewards are so great, why would I not jump on board this effort and save some lives?

If your heart answers this question the same way mine does, please visit Caroline's blog, tell her I sent you, and make a donation. It isn't every day we have a chance to save another person's life. And maybe, by doing so, we can even save our own.

"He that seeketh to save his life shall lose it: and
he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Matthew 10:39 (JST)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Only Words

I have to thank Jenny for a GREAT Saturday Centus prompt today, highlighted below in red. As those of you who know me can well imagine, this one sorta speaks to me!

"It's only words. And words are all I have..."

 Her friend responded softly, "Only words?...

Their music warms me as a healing salve

and lifts my soul to soar among the birds.


Thursday, September 6, 2012


I love this depiction of poetree, don't you? After all, poems are living things that grow from our roots, flow into beautiful branches. sprout a few leaves, and bloom forever. Are you one of the poetry-loving people in the world? I am. I like to read it, and I like to write it.

Three of my favorite poems are excerpted below, the first by Robert Frost and the other two by Emily Dickinson and ee cummings.

Frost's is the poem I admire most of all,

with Dickinson's little gem being a close second,

and Cummings' genius taking up the rear of an elite group.

(My own writing style has been heavily influenced 
by all three, and I'm sure I am not alone in that.)

I suppose I ought to close by sharing the best poem I've ever written, but favoring my individual children or poems isn't my style. Instead, I will offer you two of the most popular pages at my poetry site and invite you to visit and read a few more. Maybe you can even pick a favorite of your own...

The Promise
©1999 Susan Noyes Anderson

The sun will rise each day, and night will fall.
  We here can only wait, and watch, and see.
It is not ours to tamper with the flow
  Of nature, nor mistrust her majesty.

  'Twas other hands, not ours, whose heavenly light
Kindled eternal splendor in the skies;
Another whispers peace unto our minds
  When darkness looms before our faltering eyes.

And listening, we somehow come to know
  That in the midst of darkness, even then,
He sends the moon and stars to light our way,
  And promises the sun will rise again.

"Thy sun shall no more go down; 
neither shall thy moon withdraw itself:  
for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, 
and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." 
Isaiah 60:20


Union: The Nature
©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson
our roots run
trunk to trunk
we rise up
bark on bark
we grow
leave knots
love knots
knotholes and
arching separations
always winding back
to and fro
as branch in
branch we dance
and struggle
hang low then
stretch high
boughs yearning
reaching turning
tasting bits of
one (the very same)
bright azure sky
I opened my poetry site in 2008, but it has undergone a couple of renovations (and added about 275 poems) since then. My original purpose was the same as it is today, to take my poems out of the desk drawer and put them someplace where they could see the light of day. Non-commercial use of my poetry is free of charge, but I do like to be notified first. Also, the copyright information must be included exactly as given on the site. Cheers!

Water is life, and my friend Caroline at Salsa Pie has some great ideas today for making sure every human being has an equal chance of enjoying it.

for more P posts, click below

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baptism is a Big Deal!

 When Southern California calls,

 we always come a-runnin.

 Why? Because that's where our grandchildren live!

 Carli was baptized last Saturday afternoon.

 As you can see, she is a beautiful young lady.

 And we are all proud of her decision.

 (Looks like she's pretty proud of herself, too!)

 Her dad was by her side to perform the baptism.

 And her Uncle Ryan came along for the ride.

Along with a few other assorted relatives!
(Sorry, the picture with everyone in it didn't turn out...)


click below for more happiness

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wishin' and Hopin' on Labor Day

Today I wanted to take time out to celebrate the many achievements 
of our American workforce and do a little American dreaming...

Wishin' and Hopin' on Labor Day
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

If I had my wish on Labor Day,
the jobs that have been sent away
to other countries would return
so more Americans could earn.

If I could have my wish today,
the unions would be swept away
unless they used their power for good
the way most workers wish they would.

If my wish could come true today,
people would have the means to pay
for needed things they can't afford.
Indebtedness brings no reward.

Today I wish for work to do
for every man and woman who
are trying hard to live their dreams
but cannot get ahead, it seems.

May this year bring folks everywhere
the jobs they need and pay that's fair
without regard to sex or race.
 A smile would light up every face.

I know, it's pie in the sky stuff, but that's what dreams are made of.
Especially American dreams!



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hollah Back!

Today we're back to normal for Saturday Centus, with a bona fide prompt and everything! (Thanks, Jenny.) I'm in a pretty big rush today because my granddaughter is being baptized, so I was glad to see a prompt (below, in red) that speaks to my very soul.


Hollah Back!

Are you ready for some football?
Are you ready for some fun?
Are you ready for the season 
when no work at all gets done?

Then hollah back. It's touchdown time!
Just grit your teeth and punt.
Get used to couch potato husbands
yelling "Down in front!"

Say farewell now to male attention
and to emptied trash.
Don't try to catch your guy's eye...
It's on pigskin, downs, and dash.

Give up for now on well-mowed lawns
and clean garages, too.
Keep smiling, girl, the GAME is on.
What else is there to do?