Blog Entries, Essay, Writing

Brilliant Idea

I was watching a documentary called Little House in the Forest on Rakuten Viki about living a simpler life.  It was actually an experiment where the producers sent an individual to live in a tiny house in the middle of a forest somewhere in Korea.  

The experiment was to see if the people were happier when they unplug from the city.  They were not connected to the electrical grid, city water or city sewage.  They had firewood for the wood burning stove and solar panel for minimal electricity.  They had an outhouse.  They were permitted to bring their own food and clothing–enough for 3 days.

The experiment involved So Ji Sub, the guy from the Korean Romantic Comedy Oh My Venus and Park Shin Hye the girl from the Romantic Korean Comedy While You Were Sleeping.

During the first episode, they mentioned a trend in Korea where people strive for minimalism.  The narrator said that most people owned 8,000 to 10,000 things and only used 2,000 regularly.  So, in Korea, people would challenge themselves to throw away 1 thing a day for 30 days and then post a picture of the discarded item on social media.

I think I will try this, however, instead of posting on social, I will post photos of the discarded items on this blog. So many things to choose from!

Blog List, Exercise, Writing

Another Blog List

Lists are supposed to be popular on blogs. I read somewhere that if you can’t think of anything to write and nothing funny is going on in your life, to make a list and everyone on Earth and a couple of planets in a galaxy far, far away will read your stuff.

So, here is my list of stuff I know about men.

  1. They are very knowledgeable about porn, cars and sports equipment.
  2. I know this because they helped me shop for some… sports equipment and cars, that is. When I was younger and into more sporty things than I am now and was trying to get the really hot sporty jock kind of guy to notice me.
  3. The jocks never talk to nerdy chicks
  4. Or ask them out on dates, regardless of how much sports equipment nerdy chicks ask advice on.
  5. They can’t cook.
  6. I know this because I did all the cooking.
  7. They’re very smart.
  8. I know this because I did all the cooking.
  9. And the cleaning.
  10. They can identify a Maserati just from the sound of the engine.
  11. They want a Maserati, but the guys I know cannot afford one.
Blog Entries, Essay, Writing

2 Lists: Things Every Woman Should Have and Things Every Woman Should Know.

 We all get older. I recently took some time to reflect on my life. I created a list of things that every woman should have. This list applies if you are 22 or 55 or 67. I also included a list of things every women should know.

Some of the things on this list were borrowed from Glamour magazine. 

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
  1. One old boyfriend who reminds you of how far you’ve come. 
  2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family. 
  3. The knowledge of how to entertain unexpected guests and a house clean enough that you won’t be embarrassed when someone does drop by unexpectedly, but not so clean you make your guests uncomfortable. 
  4. A purse, a suitcase and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying. 
  5. A youth you’re content to move beyond. 
  6. A past interesting enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age. 
  7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it. 
  8. An e-mail address, a voice mailbox and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
  9. A set of good dishes. 
  10. A pretty journal and the time to write in it
  11. A set of screwdrivers, a hammer and a lace bra. 
  12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it. 
  13. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30. 

There are also some things that every woman should know: 

  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself. 
  2. How to comfort someone who is in mourning. 
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship. 
  4. How to find joy in the little things: A circus, a thank you card, a pretty sunset.
  5. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best dry cleaner in town. 
  6. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to. 
  7. Where to get a picture framed professionally, who to ask for advice, and what to wear to a cocktail party. 
  8. That you can’t change the size of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents. 
  9. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over. 
  10. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.  
  11. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long. 
  12. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.  
  13. Why they say life begins at 50 and 50 is the new 40. 
  14. How to be comfortable when you are by yourself for an extended period of time.
poetry, Writing

Sonnet V – Season of Love

Season Of Love–Sonnet 5 © 1998 Karen Vertigan

Previously published material.  
Cannot be reproduced with the written permission from the author.

By the gods, a frost.  An age has crept by 
More swiftly than Hermes’ winged passage. 
And shadows grow in strength and depth and height. 
Time chills the meadows of tattered spring blossoms.

By the gods, snowfall comes.  An age has begun. 
Recall the season of Demeter’s tears 
And dry leaves are rushed across stone paths 
And down the lane that leads to you… and love.

Forget all the deadly storms that threaten 
To encompass the heart of the goddess: 
That briefly touched the soul of the flower.

It is the moment of crystal clock works 
That chime to announce a cycle of spring 
And foretell of hope’s bright flight to Love’s house 

And it dwells within the heart of roses. 
By the gods, Love arrives to embrace the time.

Photo by Kyle Sudu on Unsplash

poetry, Writing

Sonnet IV – Fairy Spring Song

Karen Vertigan © 2001

Spring explodes in rapturous dainty trills
And glorious flowers.  It has begun, 
The season of beginning, with dales and hills
Dressed in the blanket of fairy fun.

Sun sets on the last chill eve of winter.
The promise of plenty and kind beauty 
Is o’er the world when the dawn enters 
With blazing brass and boundless bounty.

Softly, the voices arise, like the first bright 
Lark song when it meets heavens bowers. 
Ever more gentle, caressing and light 
Fairies dance among the tiny flowers.

If this be spring, living in beauty bright, 
Blossoms chase away the deepening night.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash

poetry, Writing

Sonnet II — For My Friend

© copyright 2000 Karen Vertigan

When lost in moments of deep silent thought
I conjure up dreams that Time has erased 
And remember all the angry words wrought
By my witch’s heart in torment encased.

White water rapids are green eyes blue 
For precious friends hidden deeply inside 
And weep anew with each tender new clue 
Time old, but recalled, still wanting to hide.

A heavy grief felt for those not forgiven 
And heavier still, their innocence abounds. 
In thought revived, reminded, and enlivened 
And my mind and soul, the anguish surrounds.

But for a while, I think on you, dear friend      
All losses restored and all sorrows end.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
Blog Entries, poetry, Writing

Sonnet 1

Night Song–Sonnet 1

Previously published material.  Cannot be reproduced without written permission from the author.(c) copyright 1999 Karen Vertigan

As heaven puts on her evening gown of deepest blue, I think of you 
Anxious One that I have become when Helios rested from his charge
Do you hear my song slipping from me with all of my earthly feelings? 
It soars high as Aurora’s hem on sprouted wings of rhyme and verse
And flies whitely, in caressing circles, gently touching your smile
My heart, clothed in a timid shroud, begs for release from its bonds 
To touch the soul of the music pouring from your mystic fingers 
Do you know that my love is growing in my restricted chest 
Until the moment it is released with a burst of brilliant words 
That challenge Nyx’s dark dress of despair and loneliness? 
If you are the dreamer in this night, then I am what you dream 
But when you awaken from your slumber, I am your need 
And I grow in my love, stronger when you think on me 
A Nova of starshine that waits in the vast silence of the dome 
For the music of the first kiss…

Published in an anthology of poems titled Connections: Contemporary Verse From Around the World, Sharon Derderian and Robert Lawrence, Editors, Iliad Press, 1999.


Poetic Monday

I went to a website called The Wayback Machine which is an archive for old websites. I used to own a site where I posted things I had written wayback when. I will share many of the stories and poems here.

To Your Eyes

Karen Vertigan Pope

For A Long Forgotten Old Boyfriend… written on Wednesday Morning 2.10.99

Penned on an envelope while musing and found after three years while cleaning out an old filing cabinet which was stuffed with trash worthy papers.

Your eyes are things that capture and hold
And pull me closer to where you are 
Dark and lovelier still, they call out 
With an owl flight voice of such sweetness 
That bearing it is a bright burden 
What secrets do you conceal in the depths? 
Oh, beautiful eyes that you are. I behold life in your eyes 
A flower:  Yes, opening, glittering with dawn’s dew 
A melody:  Yes, touching the soul as only beauty can 
Sensual curves of creativity 
Speak to me in a new language 
Show to me an abstract landscape 
Sings in a voice of such purity 
That rising, it brings me nearer to 
Heaven than ever I have approached before 
And seeing them for the first time I did not know eyes could be so brown
Nobody, not even the song of the lark, has such soft eyes… 
O, beautiful eyes that you are!

Essay, Writing

Love Is Everywhere

Love is actually everywhere you look.  Most of the time it is not earth shattering or even remarkable.  Most of the time it is those tiny moments when we are struck with the simplicity of the emotion. 

If you look, and not even very hard, you will find examples of love flowing in lives.  Touching each of the senses. Some examples:  


I stand in line at the check out in a department store and a woman in front of me is on her cell phone. Not an unusual sight these days.  She gets a particular smile and her face and then tells the phone, “I love you, too, sweetheart.”  My imagination takes over.  Was she talking to her husband? Boy friend?  Maybe a child.  Hearing love is true music.


I sit at a stoplight, eager as everyone else for it to change so we can progress to the next stoplight.  In front of me a man is driving and a woman rides shotgun.  He leans over and kisses her, tenderly and slowly on her lips, passing the time until they can proceed.


I approach the barista and ask her if they have Kenya Coffee.  She smiles and says yes, hands me a bag of coffee beans and rings up my purchase.  All the way home, the scent of the best coffee in the world fills my car.  I get home, open the bag and inhale deeply, allowing the scent to overwhelm me.  Coffee Love.  Perfect.


Everyone has a favorite flavor. For many it is chocolate, or bacon or oranges.  The happiness that happens when something touches our tongue and awakens the sense of taste is delightful.  It is love.  How often do we say, I love dark chocolate or I love lasagna.  Food is love.  Taste is love.  Sharing food is love.  Just ask any chef.


The tactile sense is overpowering at times.  I find myself walking through a store and gently caressing the clothes on the rack, or the yarn in the bin. Judging the textures.  Enjoying the feeling.  Did you know you have nearly as many nerves in your feet as in your fingers?  The best feeling is when I take off my shoes and caress my feet with the carpet under me. The motion is deliberate, moving my feet to and fro.  I allow my toes to clutch the carpet fibers and relaxation washes over me.  Love.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  Love makes the world go ‘round.  All you need is love.  Love is a many splendored thing.  When I seek love, I find myself smiling more often.  I am calmer.  I am happier.  Love, love, love.  

I challenge you to find love.  Every day.  Everywhere.


Process and Product Crocheters: Which Are You?

By Lindsay Jarvis

Are you a process or a product crocheter? Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about it or perhaps you’ve never heard of these categories before. Read on to learn more and find out what drives your crochet process.

Product Crocheters

How do you pick your crochet projects? If your main focus is the end result of your finished project, you’re likely a product crocheter. Because your main goal is to create the desired piece, you may not even look through the pattern before you begin. For fearless crocheters, this is a wonderful way to gain experience in new techniques you may not have otherwise tried. You choose your pattern based off of a garment or accessory that you want to wear or complete for a gift. Generally, product crocheters will focus on one project at a time and finish what they’ve started.

Process Crocheters

For process crocheters, it’s all about the journey. You love the act of crocheting and simply want to play with different yarns and your favorite stitches. Process crocheters tend to pick larger projects that allow you to crochet away without much stopping for measuring, hand finishing or fiddling with any kind of stitch you don’t enjoy. You may also cherish the act of searching for the perfect pattern, pairing with the perfect yarn, and swatching until everything is just right.

Combination Crocheters

Most of us aren’t strictly process or product crocheters, but a combination of the two. I know there are certain stitches or finishing techniques that I just don’t enjoy, so I do tend to shy away from patterns that are heavy in those areas. For the most part, I have a rough idea of my finished product in mind when I’m searching for a pattern. I usually start with a yarn from my stash and the amount of yardage guides me to what is possible (one skein? A lacey scarf or hat. Several skeins? Sweater or shawl time!). From there, I look at what the end result would be and if I like it, I’ll take a closer look at the pattern to make sure I’ll enjoy creating the piece. Combination crocheters want to cherish both the act of their craft and the end result.

Something fun to note is that preferences can differ from craft to craft. I find my knitting process is very similar to my crochet process, however I’m definitely a product sewist. The act of sewing isn’t as therapeutic to me as crocheting, so I just want the project to be completed and off my sewing table. In contrast, sometimes I just want to crochet for the sake of crocheting. I’ll grab a skein or two of yarn, my hook and a simple pattern repeat to create a shawl or scarf that just goes and goes. I always want something in process on my hook or needles.

So, which type of crocheter are you? Whatever your process, cherish your crochet time!

Find the article here.