Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The last day of the year began
on a beautiful note;
a gorgeous sunrise to precede a 
warm winter day, followed by 
a poignant goodbye, fun with 
the neighbors and fireworks on a 
perfectly starry night.

catherinenglish 12-31-2013

Monday, December 30, 2013


You haven't lived until you 
have a chance to go to the Rowdy Beaver,
chic biker bar in Branson, Missouri
with one of your best friends, and have 
a beer and conversaton with other Husker fans,
from Iowa, no less.

catherinenglish 12-30-2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Anna and Jane came to my office
to see what I have surrounded myself 
with each day I'm at school, 
finally teaching at a university,
my hopes and dreams fulfilled,
much happiness after thirteen 
years of hard work and dedication.

catherinenglish 12-29-2013

This symbol means only one thing:
the greatest Cornhusker fan I know 
has arrived in Springfield, Missouri
all decked out in her Husker gear,
happy to be here and find this insignia
on a stop sign in Vintage Hills about 
two blocks from our house. 
Go Big Red!

catherineenglish 12-28-2013

Friday, December 27, 2013


What a joy to see my 
great niece, Emry, 
open her eyes even more, 
so we can see that she
indeed sees us
and knows us and is 
aware of her very
small world at 
Children's hospital 
in Omaha, Nebraska 
but also
her mom and dad
and big brother Wyatt. 

catherinenglish 12-27-2013

I have had to replace the candle
and the bells over the years,
but a lone berry candle as a 
centerpiece on my table is a 
reminder that one small light 
in a dark world is all we really neeed.

catherinenglish 12-26-2013

The sentiment on this
ornament is just right; 
Merry Christmas
with a hint of holly
and one red berry.

catherinenglish 12-25-2013

I remember making this Advent 
Calendar over twenty years ago
in Tecumseh, Nebraska,
sewing the green felt to the 
burlap, and then drawing on 
the felt and cutting out each
ornament to place on the tree
each day of Advent. Over the 
years, it has lost a few pieces,
so I should replace them.

catherinenglish 12-24-2013

Monday, December 23, 2013


Each Christmas there is always
a new toy promoted by our 
love of consumerism and this 
year it is Jake and the Neverland pirates; 
what ever happened to children just 
reading a good book or watching a 
television show for the joy of the story?

catherinenglish 12-23-2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Joey loves opening presents,
especially ones that are just as 
tall as he is; even if it is for 
his sister Rory.

catherinenglish 12-22-2013

Joey cannot believe he couldn't roll
a 5 to help his dad get a full house
in a wicked game of Yahtzee with
Aunt Anna and Grandma English.

catherinenglish 12-21-2013

Over the holidays, the English family
has a tradition of playing board games,
but it gets increasingly difficult when 
you have two toddlers, but we forge on
anyway, rolling the dice for a chance
at rolling a Yahtzee! 

catherinenglish 12-20-2013


Although she may never 
grow up to play football,
my granddaughter prefers
the football shaped pacifier
over the pretty pink ones.

catherinenglish 12-19-2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I wish babies stayed
babies for just a little while 
longer, looking back,
Rory, at four months old,
quickly changed in 
less than a year.

catherinenglish 12-18-2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


When we bought our house in Aurora
eight years ago, I decided to do two 
Christmas trees, one with the old fat
multiple colored lights 
and one with all blue lights with 
accompanying lights and shades of blue
decor throughout the front living room.

catherinenglish 12-17-2013

Monday, December 16, 2013


There is nothing 
as precious
as a new baby 
finally opening 
her eyes after 
two weeks of 
pain reducing 
narcotics, to say 
without speaking,
"Hello World!" 
and recognizing 
her mother and father's voices.

catherinenglish 12-16-2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The photo cannot do justice
to the color of the sky; 
it's missing the gorgeous purple-pink
above the sunset,
kissing twilight's indigo,
illuminating that single star,
the planet Venus,
like a night light,
guiding a child,
finding her way
in the night, 
alleviating the fear 
of the dark. 

catherinenglish 12-15-2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013


It may seem like a 
small thing, but my 
great niece opened
her eyes for the first 
time today, recongizing 
her parents' voices, 
a joyful ocassion 
that only a few 
can understand.

catherinenglish 12-14-2013

Friday, December 13, 2013


A cold, icy day is a perfect day
to make a cappucciano cheesecake,
rich in butter, cream cheese, sour cream,
chocolate, whipping cream, coffee liqueur,
coffee, vanilla, eggs, and oreo cookies. 
But I'm not telling the eaters of this 
delight all of this information nor the 
caloric count.  Bon Apetite! 

catherinenglish 12-13-2014

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The winter sunrise is brilliant,
a reminder that a new day is 
upon us,
full of energy, life,
and time to go out into
our day, living, loving,
thinking, speaking, listening,
to the wonders that 
surround us.

catherinenglish 12-12-2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's our first Christmas in Missouri,
continuing our tradition of a fresh 
Christmas tree,
for which I drove over an hour,
into uncharted territory, 
on winding, snowy roads,
and when the guy said, 
"Here's the saw so you can cut it
down yourself," I thought 
I was stuck in a movie,
feeling ever so much 
like Clark Griswold,
feeling the happy frozen moment of
Hallelujah at the sight of this tree.

catherinenglish 12-11-2013


To all of those Missourians who told us,
"You won't need a snow blower here in
Southwest Missouri. We don't get that much snow,"
I say to you, "Bullshit." 

catherinenglish 12-10-2013

(In response to a second day of > six inches of snow!)

Monday, December 9, 2013


Can a genetics lesson be as simple 
as a piece of paper towel, 
sketched by a nephrologist
to explain how a newborn 
infant acquired Autosomal Recessive
Polycystic Kidney Disease,
smiling and frowning faces 
to indicate who carried the mutated 
gene and the prospects for future 

catherinenglish 12-10-2013

It's heartening to know what 
a simple sponge bath can do
for a very ill patient, 
eight days old but 
still enjoys the feel 
of water,
the ocean we never can 
forget, that silky 
comfort of amniotic

catherinenglish 12-08-2013

(Emry's first bath)

Saturday, December 7, 2013


My great niece is a fighter,
against the odds,
she has lived for seven days. 
It's inevitable that she will
make it; but her battle is 
all uphill, awaiting 
stronger lungs and heart,
so she can have a kidney
transplant as soon as possible.

catherinenglish 12-07-2013

Friday, December 6, 2013


Overnight snow added five inches
to the accumulation  
in Southwest Missouri,
a deep amount of white that kept 
drivers off the street,
for the most part.

catherinenglish 12-06-2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013


The first snow of winter 
in Missouri,
a reminder of 
without the 
wind chill factor
of 10 below zero.  

catherinenglish 12-05-2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


What a joy it is to teach future teachers,
their enthusiam and creativity eminates
from their sole selves,
ready to conquer a world 
so few would dare to venture,
bells, books, lunch rooms,
amidst the human beings we 
affectionately call students.

catherinenglish 12-04-2013

(It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain an idea without accepting it--Aristotle)

It breaks my heart to
see baby Emry connected
to tubes, such a short time
ago that baby Knox was
in the same hospital,
fighting for his life, too,
and two mamas, 
two daddys,
and older brother
(and sister) have their
hearts broken.

catherinenglish 12-03-2013

Monday, December 2, 2013


Joey wasn't having anything
to do with his breakfast,
not unlike another little 
boy over thirty years ago,
who was too busy to be 
bothered with toast
and orange slices,
ready to run, run,
run for the rest of the day.

catherinenglish 12-02-2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Breakfast at Grandma's 
is a delight, however
simple the meal might be,
a last minute snack before 
a long drive in the car,
hopefully enough to make 
a toddler sleepy.

catherinenglish 12-01-2013

After Friday's horrible 
Nebraska football loss to 
Iowa (there is no greater 
sin than losing to Iowa,
except maybe Oklahoma
during the 70s), so we 
took Joey to an indoor pool
where the inside temperature 
was hot enough to make me lose five 
pounds and a place my grandson 
was reluctant to leave.

catherinenglish 11-30-2013

Those blue eyes look 
so innocent, but I know 
she is thinking about what 
else she might get into 
and in a flash she can
crawl faster than I can 
rush to stop her from 
getting into just about 

catherinenglish 11-29-2013


Thanksgiving turkey makes 
everyone tired, 
including an engergetic
who is powered by 
something other than
an Energizer battery.

catherinenglish 11-28-2013