Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016

My January Recap 

As January comes to a close, I wanted to look back at some of my personal accomplishments and blessing that have happen.  I will not be able to write every single thing that has happen during these last thirty day. However, I will touch on those things that are placed on my heart.  My intention is for this post is to open the door for others to connect, experience, or perhaps try something new.

I was very please to begin cross stitching again. I completed and framed two projects. The cheerfulness and colors of each design bring me joy. Both will make a wonderful gift for a special friend.

I really like the touch of handmade gifts and how they can express the care one has for the person it is intended for. 

I have been reading a good amount and was a bit disappointed that I did not finish the book reviews. However, that is ok, I plan to write these during the month of February.

I feel so blessed that I was taught to read. This may seem very simple but reading has opened new doors to me. 

Marie Kondo has inspired a bit of tiding up in our home. This will be a long journey because like many. we have too much. Yet, I was able to tackle the craft areas and we almost heavily discarding and donating clothes at the moment. 

Furthermore, I participated in a mini month challenged with Busy Being Jen. This month the feature was hydration. I also added the daily practice of meditation. I did very well with both of these opportunities and hope to continue my practice with both. February focuses on achieving and the benefits of a good night's sleep. Jen has provided printouts and wonderful information on her blog.

I have also enjoyed time with friends, watching my husband cook, and my greatest personal joy was to reach  the 20,000 word court in my novel that I am writing.  

Oh and not to forget the wonderful amount of snow we had! Thirty eight inches was the final count.

Overall it was a great month and I look forward to the new moments in February. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Half Lovers

Do Not Love Half Lovers

Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life and do not die a half death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it 
for an ambiguous refusal
is but a weak acceptance
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn't live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists
to live a life not half a life

Gibran Khalil Gibran

Monday, January 18, 2016

King's Dream

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We commemorate as well the enduring values he communicated through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, I encourage everyone to remember the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness, and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Poems by Clarissa Simmens

Parallel Universe Cafe and Other Poems

by Clarissa Simmens

Book Review by Ginger Dawn Harman

It can be difficult to know whether or not to recommend a book of Poetry. I find it almost difficult writing a review for such books and collections.  The reason for this is because every reader is going to respond to a poem in his or her own way. However, Clarissa Simmens has written an amazing collection titled, Parallel Universe Cafe and Other Poems. Simmens’ poetry is solid, uses powerful images, and provides a strong emotional reaction. Her poems grapple with ideas that are meaningful and compelling. For example, in the poem “Impermanence” Simmens’ writes, 

"We are all merely a Buddhist sand painting A created, colorful mandala Years in the making Seconds in the melding Of individual grains With the earth, water, wind and fire.”  

This poem provides the reader with a visual moment that conveys a big truth. From “Survival Mechanism” to “Self-Sabotaging Seventies,” Clarissa Simmens is not afraid of digging deep. 

A good poem demonstrates excellent command of diction and syntax. Clarissa Simmens has perfected the choice of words with each line as conveying to the reader a story and theme. My favorite line was, 

The silent gas seeped out and Swirled about Plath’s mane Of thick hair hiding the pain A life lived under a bell-shaped jar.”

With a balance of emotion and powerful images. I also like how every single word, comma, and punctuation mark is carefully place—and not one single space is wasted or unnecessary. The poems are clear and to the point! However, in the poem “Sojmo" (Hawk) Simmens almost writes it as to not elicit a strong and immediate emotional reaction. Instead, this poem has mentally followed this reader around for weeks—lingering and begging to be deciphered. It begins with,  

Dad was a great story teller A bard who hoarded words And plots, heard in the kitchen Where he slept on the ledge of a stove.”

I was captivated with the “shamanic hawk perched on The Tree of Life.”

Parallel Universe Cafe and Other Poems by Clarissa Simmens is a book that I could discuss for months. As a matter of fact, it has been a focal point at several neighborhood coffees and phone conversations with friends. 

"Calls for water To quench the fiery anger When faced with injustice Listening to barbed wire words That increase my fears."

As I said in the beginning of this review, each reader has his or her own expectations for a poem. And there are certainly no rules about how a poem should be written. Yet, when I find the words and topics lingering in my mind and evoking a response with so many of my friends then it is evident that message endures. I give my highest recommendation to Parallel Universe Cafe and OtherPoems by Clarissa Simmens.

“I cannot help you through that door We each fight our own war I will return nevermore…

"Clarissa Simmens is an independent poet--since the age of four--and a Romani drabarni (Gypsy herbalist/adviser). She is also a music addict, writing her poetry simply, striving to compose musically, including talking blues, folktales, and memoirs of life. She likes all music genres but especially classic rock, folk, Romani (Gypsy), and Cajun with an emphasis on guitar and violin music mainly in a Minor Key. She hopes to heal souls and maybe poetry can accomplish that."


Friday, January 8, 2016

Poem: Wooden Boards on a Pier

Wooden Boards on a Pier

By Ginger Dawn Harman 

Warn wooden planks stretching toward the far horizon
Each one with a story to tell that will enlighten
Whispering wishes of my ethereal dreams lost
Its misty plank holds a secret of each piece I crisscrossed. 

Barnacled boisterous boards that held a fisherman’s catch
Telling bygone legends of stories that others can’t match
Bodacious bragging to uphold its ego
It’s only stories are that of long ago.

Knotty knowledgeable beam of the historic past
Display the medals of burns and cuts from a sailor’s cast
Kindly keen timbers sharing wisdom as it ages old
Its splinters are inspiration for those who need consoled.

Tactful testimonials of each rusty galvanized nail
Even they support wooden boards with their tale
Theological teachers give lessons of balance
Its mindful approach to all is inner silence.

Perfectionist pillars guard the Pacific edge
Gracing courage on a boundary ledge
Perched passion emotions stir
Its sitting gulls are domestically demure

Standing stoic as the brave sun sets
I saunter to the culmination of life’s silhouettes
Stouthearted satisfactory at the journeys end
Its ambiance is freedom that will transcend. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

I Love Dolly's Cooking!

I stole a New Year’s Kiss from Dolly
And Oh Boy did I like it! 


On New Year ’s Day, I decided to bake some cookies. However, I wanted to treat my family to something new and different. I haven’t had much luck with peanut butter kiss cookies in the past. 

Most of the time they turn out dry or gritty. However, I have a Maryjane’s Farmgirl blogging friend named Dolly who is my "go to girl" for cooking!  I found her at

Dolly loves to cook and can remember her Mama teaching her as soon as she could reach the stove.  The recipes featured on her website “Dolly Is Cooking” are very near and dear to her heart.  They are from her rural South Carolina family recipes.  Some handed down through four generations.

I added cherries to 24 of the cookies.

Well, let me tell you that her Peanut butter cherry chocolate kisses were not only the smoothest cookie ever but now a family favorite! I hope you enjoy them as much as our family did. Oh and I guess a stolen kiss is like getting your hand caught in the cookie jar! But Dolly has no idea that I am blogging about her so I have not been caught.....YET.

This recipe makes approximately 70 cookies.  Adjust to your needed quantity.  

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees


3 cups peanut butter

3 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 -1 Tsp. Almond Extract

Hershey's Kisses

Optional maraschino cherries


Unwrap candy kisses.

Place all ingredients into stand mixer bowl. Mix thoroughly.  

Using a tsp or 1- 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop make little balls place on very lightly oiled cookie sheet.

Bake 8 - 10 minutes.

These were so easy to make and the combination of ingredients is amazing! I hope you try these cookies and check out Dolly's blog


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