Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Girls Hunt In Packs

Girls hunt in packs
They sniff out the weak ones
By the scent of insecurity
Like blood on the air.

They like to play with their prey
Before tearing her apart 
With their painted claws
And their sharp teeth behind glossed lips.

Girls rarely kill
They prefer to maim
Then watch the injured struggle
As they laugh.

You can hear them whisper
As they approach
They don't try to be stealthy
They know she won't run
There's nowhere to go.

Girls hunt in packs.

submitted to One Shot Poetry Wednesday, Week 39 at One Stop Poetry 
also submitted to Photograph Prose

Warm Fuzzies!!!

Warm Fuzzies abound this week!!! I've been nominated for another Versatile Blogger award by Dragonkatet. Check out her beautiful blog, Dragons's Dreams and her awesome poetry.

Mouse Droppings was also the featured Poetry Blog of the Week on Poets United. This is a great site for all levels of poets to read, post, and share poetry. It has weekly prompts as well as informative articles about writers, poets, photographers, artists, etc. Great place to hang out. Do visit.

To accept the Versatile Blogger Award, I will share my 7 facts about myself in verse this time:

My birth sign is Capricorn; that is the goat
I have 2 doggies, on whom I dote
I can't digest lactose so I don't drink milk
I mostly wear cotton but I do love silk
My eyes are brown and so is my hair
Although there are many a gray one in there
And I'm very nearsighted so glasses I wear

As for my nominations for the Versatile Blogger award, I hereby nominate:

Thanks to all who made my week so warm and fuzzy!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


T hough my
H opes
A nd dreams may be humble
N evertheless, I cherish every
K iss
F rom you like an
U ncommon
L avaliere

submitted for Thankful Tuesday at Tingtasy

Neurologic Ballet

image courtesy of  Roger Allen Baut

Silvery thin threads
Dance an electric boogie
Nervous energy

Monday, March 28, 2011


image from Magpie Tales 59

Does your mama know you're hangin' around, Lisa?
Does your daddy know that you've been downtown, Lisa?
You've been ridin' with the boys in fast cars
You've been knockin' back at all of the bars
Is that any way for a good girl to behave?

Well you're always wearin' a smile, Lisa
But are you cryin' all the while, Lisa?
Because the boys, they talk about you
And the things that they can make you do
If your grandma heard, it would send her to her grave.

What's behind that smile you wear
Mona  Lisa?
Does anybody really know ya'
Mona  Lisa?

I've watched you since you were a kid, Lisa
And I won't tell your daddy what you did, Lisa
But don't play me for a fool
While you're breakin' all your mama's rules
I know where you go when you sneak out at night.

What's behind that smile you wear
Mona  Lisa?
Does anybody really know ya'
Mona  Lisa? 

You're a legend in the halls, Lisa
Your number's written on the walls, Lisa
But I think you're more than just a smile
Can we talk for just a while?
And maybe I can get to know ya
Mona  Lisa.


Life is slow; the grapes can grow
We stroll among the olive trees
And feel the gentle mountain breeze
This land I've quickly come to know.

Barn swallows swoop down to below
They steal our bread with studied ease
Life is slow; the grapes can grow
We stroll among the olive trees.

Each morn we hear the rooster crow
See sunflowers taller than our knees
Each sun's alive and hums with bees
No clock to dictate ebb and flow
Life is slow; the grapes can grow
We stroll among the olive trees.

submitted for Poetry Potluck, Trips, Travel, and Vacation
                    Experimenting with Poetry Forms, Rondels
One Stop Poetry, Rondels II

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ponytail Girl

I watch you trudge off
To your first day of school
You've got your bangs dyed red
Hanging over one eye
You're dressed all in black
With skulls on your pack
As I smile at my baby
With a tear in my eye.

And I thank God you're not a ponytail girl
No one's brand name is blazed
Across your chest
Although you've got looks
You'd rather read books
And if a boy tried to hassle you
You'd lay him out flat
Thank God you're not a ponytail girl
You're above all that.

submitted for Poets United, Think Tank Thursday, 41, Uniforms and Service

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Folly of Love

image source

Miss Dolly was a dancer
She was famous for her fan
She worked at Ziegfeld's Follies
Where she kicked up a can-can.

As she performed one evening
In walked Mr. Big
He took one look at Dolly
Said, "That girl has a new gig!"

"I want her for my honey,
I want her for my squeeze,"
His offer to Miss Dolly
Was not one at which to sneeze.

Miss Dolly was not haughty
And she could have used the dough
But she still rebuffed his offer
Said, "I must simply tell you 'No.'"

Mr. Big could not believe it
No one ever turned him down
This dancer would not make him
A big joke around this town!

He roughly kissed Miss Dolly
But on her face felt something weird
Underneath her make-up
Was the stubble from her beard!

Mr. Big was not so big then
He'd need a new game plan
Miss Dolly was his folly
Because Miss Dolly was a man!

submitted to The Poetry Bus for Monday, March 28

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp

photo by Temari 2010

The trees are older than our cares
I walk beneath a cypress sky
I hear the barred owl's plaintive cry
And soon forget the day's affairs.

The birds and frogs sing joyful prayers
 The breeze breathes like a lover's sigh
The trees are older than our cares
I walk beneath a cypress sky.

I spy a young deer unawares
 The cypress watch us live and die
The creek keeps flowing by and by
Its secrets with the earth it shares
The trees are older than our cares.

submitted for: One Stop Poetry Form-Rondel
                     One Shot Wednesday-Week 38
                     Thursday Poets Rally

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jabberwocky II: This Will Slay You!

image from Magpie 58
And so what of the vorpal sword
With its tiolver* blade?
The beamish boy did wield it well
The Jabberwock, he slayed.

Post frabjous day, what happened ere
The Jabberwock was gored?
What dersmate fate would soon await
That mighty vorpal sword?

"A trophy case would be the place
For the sword I cherish!"
His mother shook her stivent head
She thought that far too garish.

And so the vorpal sword it went
Beneath the bed to store
And quickly became covered in
Dust and dirt and more.

image source
Until one day twas brillig
With spring cleaning in the wabe
And mumsy became milicarb
At her messy beamish babe!

"This stuff must go! Heave ho! Heave ho!"
His room glowed as if glossed
But at the end of tidying up
The vorpal sword was lost!

Now don't you worry, curious kitts
I'll tell you where it went
I found it at a yard sale for
Two bucks and fifty cents!

And so that sword it hangs today
Above my own berld bed
And if a Jabberwock attacks
I'll just cut off his head!

submitted for Magpie Tales 58

* My made-up words are from various "captchas" and word verifications I've had to type this week
inspired by and apologies to Lewis Carroll

Monday, March 21, 2011

Drink Up!

Raspberry Cosmopolitan
 Sweet Alcoholic Treat
Pinkly Delicious
Fruity Cold 
Its Glass
Thin Finger
Beckoning "Come"

Submitted for Experimenting With Poetry Forms, Week 11, Shape Poetry


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ode to Imperfection

photo by James Rainsford
I find perfect things

Perhaps that is why I prefer
     Rough drafts
     First tries
     Unpolished gems

Full of passion that hasn't yet been edited out

I never loved the pretty boys
     With the perfect skin
     And calm blue eyes

Better the disquieted ones
     With tumultuousness barely hidden
     Or maybe a scar
     to lend a bit of asymmetry

I know the David to be
     A great work of art
     A masterpiece
But I cannot seem to love it
     For it is too perfect

But take a marble statue
     Worn and weatherbeaten

And perch a bird on its head
     Like a feather in a jaunty hat

And I will love it all the more.

submitted for One Stop Poetry, Sunday Poetry Challenge

Saturday, March 19, 2011


image source
The moon full and close
Like a toy ball stuck mid-bounce
In the black tar sky

The Ouija Board

A gaggle of giggling girls
We gather again
Sit in a circle
Behind a closed door
On the cold, pink bathroom tile

We are
By our leader
And owner of the game
Made to remember and repeat
Our oaths

The question is posed
The light switch is flipped
     then DARKNESS
Nervous laughter

We gently place our finger tips on the pointer
And wait
Our heartbeats pounding loudly in our ears
And quickly in our still boyish chests

Ever so slowly
The pointer begins to move...

submitted for Magic in the Backyard's Wish Jar

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank You!!!

I'm so excited! I recently received another Versatile Blogger Award nomination from kshawnedgar , a terrific poet whom you should mos def check out! I know I'm supposed to nominate 15 more bloggers, but having just done so, my brain is fried. I will, however, dredge up 7 more "fun facts" about myself.
  1. My name "mouse" came from my squeaky laugh which was mercilessly evoked by someone named Andy in high school Physics class nearly every day.
  2. I am Jewish and my husband is Italian Catholic. We celebrate a lot of holidays and eat well!
  3. My favorite color is pink (don't hate!)
  4. I spent many early Saturday mornings in colleges as an escort for Planned Parenthood.
  5. I hate horror movies! My friends dragged me to see the Excorcist in high school and to the famous steps in Georgetown that the priest fell down, and I don't think I have ever recovered!
  6. I hated reading in grade school until my father gave me his copy of Catcher in the Rye. It is still one of my favorite books.
  7. My favorite jellybeans are the black ones.
I do have one person to nominate for the Blogger award. She is a prolific writer, very thoughtful, and has a lot to say about herself, women, and the world she lives in. I nominate Olivia at http://oliviasbiopiclog.wordpress.com/. Check out her blogs. I'm sure you'll find something interesting!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hope (with apologies to Pope)

image source
Hope springs eternal
Crocus heads pushing up snow
Spring's eternal hope

submitted for Thursday Think Tank-#40

For Bernadette

Image found here.
The Luck O' the Irish passed you by
Out of 3 girls and 1 boy
Only you
Inherited your father's affliction
But like your patron saint
You still saw possibilities
Where others saw obstacles
And believed in miracles
While taking what science and medicine had to offer
And when your disease took your hearing
You still listened
When you could no longer walk
Your wheelchair became your legs
At the end it took everything
Except your grace
And it was we who had the luck
Of knowing you.

This poem was written for my sister-in-law Bernadette, who died last May of neurofibromatosis 2.

submitted for Theme Thursday

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Distracted Muse

I called to my muse
Alas, she did not hear me
Her iPod was on

image source
submitted for One Shot Wednesday-Week 37

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Triolet on Violets or Teenagers

image from Magpie 57

Benign neglect helps violets thrive
Don't light them too directly
Too much care they can't survive
Benign neglect helps violets thrive
Thirst a bit, the blooms arrive
Overwater, they wilt abjectly
Benign neglect helps violets thrive
Don't light them too directly

submitted for Magpie Tales 57

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walk a Mile

source: georginadollface.com
Take a look at the kid in the dirty clothes
Do you think he doesn't know he has a smell?
And what about the kid with no winter coat?
He's living in his own private hell.
And where is the girl who's not in school today?
Cause she's at home taking care of her mom
Do you think maybe she's got more on her mind
Than the dress she'll be wearing to the prom?

Take a look in the eyes of the man on the street
Who is trying to hang on to his pride
He grabs your arm as you pass him by
To tell you how the government lied.
Listen to the words of the girl who begs
Will you please give me just one dollar bill?
She's trying her best just to stay clean
But her habit is stronger than her will.

Have you ever been knocked down off your pedestal?
Have you ever tried to walk a mile?
Have you ever found every door was closed to you?
Have you ever sold your soul to see a smile?
Have you ever been hungry for more than food?
Have you ever been face down in the mud?
Have you ever tried to walk a mile?
Til then, little girl, don't judge.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No Blindfold

image by Fee Easton 

Welcome to the new America
You may be Red
Or you may be Blue
But we're all Red, White, and Blue
True patriots!
Home sweet Homeland Security
and good fences make good neighbors
but nuclear weapons will clear out the whole neighborhood
Never mind the fallout
We all have our Potassium Iodide tablets
We wear our RFIDs proudly
Like American flag pins
We have nothing to hide
Scan our fingerprints
Scan our eyes
You won't find anything behind them but fear
We kill the new witches
The dangerous bitches
Who gather in covens singing songs, reading poems
And laughing
Who aren't afraid to see
Who aren't afraid to die
Who ask for
No blindfold and
Three cigarettes.

Eat This! or A Tale of Love, Pies, Lies,and Revenge

She set her sights on the fine young lad
Said "I know how to make him mine."
Took out her recipes and she cooked
All sorts of foods most divine!

She sent cookies up to his office
Sugar and oatmeal-raisin
On the tray was her telephone number
Oh my! but the girl was brazen!

He asked her out for that Friday
A movie, dinner, and dancing
She accepted demurely but devised impurely
More gastronomic romancing.

She brought him lunches to work every weekday
Sandwiches, salads, and treats
Muffins and cupcakes, hoagies and cheesesteaks
No dish was too great a feat.

He fell for her just as she'd planned it
They married one day the next spring
He kept eating her chow and came time for the vow
With his finger too fat for the ring!

They were the perfect of couples
She baked him all flavors of pies
He ate all her food and she fed him real good
But all that he fed her were lies.

The best way to man's heart's through his stomach
She'd followed those words to her best
But when she found out he was cheating on her
Then she shot him straight through the chest!

image by lolita-art at deviantart.com

submitted for Poetry Potluck: Food, Drink, and Indulgence
also for Poetry Potluck: Lies, Deception, and Misrepresentation

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

Lynnaima, http://lynnaima.wordpress.com, Bodhirose http://bodhirose.wordpress.com/ and verseinanutshell http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Two were for Mouse Droppings, my poetry and prose blog, and the other was for Rants From the Hormonally Challenged, my therapeutic venting blog. I humbly thank all bloggers very much for this honor. The Rules to accept the award are as follows:
  • Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post.
  • Tell 7 Random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the award on to 15 new found bloggers.
  • Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so, and let the giver of your award know you accept it.
So, 7 Fun and (Maybe) Interesting Facts about Me (Lolamouse)

  1. I'm a leftie 
  2. My favorite candy is Twizzlers
  3. I like the East Village, egg bagels, and Johnny Depp
  4. I hate Times Square, stinky cheese, and Giada DeLaurentis
  5. I started writing stories and poetry for a literary magazine in junior high
  6. I've had birds, fish, guinea pigs, and dogs as pets
  7. I've had migraines since I was at least 7 years old
Now, for the difficult part: 15 new found bloggers. There are so many bloggers who already have this award, but I will try to find 15 new ones. I nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award:
  1. moon stones http://smallmoonstones.blogspot.com small poems with big thoughts
  2. Inside My Poem Book http://umaspoembook.blogspot.com Uma writes poems, prose, and has a weekly poetry challenge to explore different poetry forms
  3. life whispers http://nene-lifewhispers.blogspot.com  poetry that is sometimes political, sometimes personal, always thought provoking
  4. Lost In LaLa http://layneeslalaland.blogspot.com come on Laynee's journey of self-exploration-you never know where she'll take you!
  5. Art Projects from MN Art Gal http://mnartgal.blogspot.com/ here is a teacher who is definitely NOT burned out! inspiring art projects for the kiddies or yourself!
  6. EveryDayIsAwesome http://everydayisawesome.com Paul Overton teaches us how to tame nastiness without being "hippie-dippie" and annoying (I'm a slow learner!)
  7. Few Miles http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com  talented writer of prose and poetry, host of annual haiku contest, check out the many blogs of Someone Is Special (SIS)
  8. Reflections Of... http://reflections-dreams.blogspot.com/ beautiful poetry, prose, and pictures
  9. Coffee with a Hint of Self Delusion http://muse-on-fire.blogspot.com cool poetry, thoughtful thoughts, photos, etc. from one cool chick
  10. The Simple Life http://odielangley.blogspot.com Odie's blog is a happy mix of personal anecdotes, inspirational but not preachy messages, photos, and fun
  11. Appetite for Words http://appetiteforwords.blogspot.com/  poetry- sometimes funny, sometimes not, always good
  12. Kim Nelson Writes http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/ art, photos, poetry, writings from one talented gal!
  13. Shay's Word Garden http://fireblossom-wordgarden.blogspot.com/  awesome poetry! check out fireblossom's other blogs as well-good stuff!
  14. Pics and Poems http://picsandpoems.blogspot.com/ Dave King is an extraordinary poet and artist. You may even learn some history reading his poetry!
  15. 120Socks http://120socks.blogspot.com/ poetry, photo journal, thoughts, and lots of other goodies! maybe you'll even find your lost socks!
Congratulations to all of the award nominees! You all rock! And thanks again to the bloggers who nominated me! 

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    The Children's Hour *

    image source
    It's the Children's Hour again and the ghosts come out to play
    Some must be coaxed from hiding spots
    Some are loud and boisterous tots
    We welcome them into our room
    We don't shoo them away
    At the Children's Hour

    We build them altars out of clay
    We paint their portraits with our crayons
    With feathers, glitter, and glue
    We construct our own memento mori
    And decorate them with colorful beads
         to wear around our necks
    At the Children's Hour

    We are not afraid of ghosts here
    We have seen them all
    Even the monsters that live
    in your dreams
    And make you think of terrible things
    That make you mad or make you scream
    They're welcome here too
    At the Children's Hour

    Every ghost has a story to tell
    Perhaps about heaven or maybe about hell
    Even a silent ghost
    Has a lot to say
    At the Children's Hour

    This poem was inspired by my work with a children's bereavement group through Hospice.

    submitted for Poets United, Thursday Think Tank #39 - Ghosts

    A Knotty Issue

    A bit of explaining is in order: The Poetry Bus is a weekly challenge organized by the blog Total Feckin Eejit. Each week it's hosted by a different person who chooses the challenge for us to write about. This week, the host is the band The Watercats who present us with the following challenge:

    Thursday, March 10, 2011


    So here you go folks. Despite Eejit's panic that we might have forgotten that we were driving this week, (we remembered all along honest),  here we are. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it it thus.

    1: PROTEST

         dum dum dunm dum dum dee dum
         dum de dum de dum dee dum
         dum de dum de dum dee dee
         dum de dum de dum de dee.

    (or something).

     So, here is my effort:

    Marriage is more than religious
    It grants status quite litigious
    Legalize knots that are tied
    From groom to groom and bride to bride!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    I Am One

    Look me in the eye
    Call me a slut
    A whore
    A sinner
    If that's what you think I am
    Don't hide behind your signs
    And your slogans
    And your fake smile
    While your teeth drip venom
    Don't pretend to like me
    When you see me around town
    Then whisper sharp rumors
    Like knives that stab my back
    I am one of those
    Who has done the unspeakable
    Speak to me!
    I am sick of being stifled
    I am sick of being shamed
    Sick of wearing this tape over my mouth
    And averting my eyes to your gaze
    I am one
    And it's time that I spoke
    I would rather be spit upon
    Than forgotten
    From a wire hanger
    Or a knitting needle
    Between my legs.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Pancakes Every Sunday

    image source
    She made him pancakes every Sunday
    Eggs and bacon too
    She made him meatloaf every Monday
    On Tuesdays it was stew
    On Wednesdays she served chicken
    On Thursdays they had wine
    Fridays were a day for fish
    Saturdays were out to dine.
    Oh, she fed him finely!
    He never ate so well
    After a year he left her
    Saying he was bored as hell!

    This poem was inspired by the style of Dorothy Parker
    and submitted to the Poetry Bus

    Little Dog

    Little, white, shaggy ball of fluff
    Jumped into my lap and my life
    An early Christmas gift
    From the "Returns" department for pets
    Who makes me love used merchandise even better than new!

    This is a 5W (Who, What, When, Where, Why) Poem submitted for Experimenting With Poetry Forms

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Out of Garlic

    image from Magpie Tales 56
    She pressed the flat edge of the knife against the clove of garlic then brought her hand down upon it with a sharp "smack," perhaps a little harder than necessary. She heard the satisfying crack as the skin of the garlic peeled open, revealing the smooth, white clove. How many garlic cloves had she peeled to saute in oil and add to the countless pots of tomato sauce she'd simmered for countless hours on the stove? She imagined that the months and years of her married life could be tallied up by garlic cloves and pots of sauce. Still, after 23 years, her sauce couldn't compete with his mother's. That she used his mother's recipe held no sway; there was always something missing. Probably those apron strings. Anyway, it didn't matter now. This would be the last pot of sauce he got from her. After this, he could go to his mother's for sauce. Or get it from the Ragu in the jar!

    She put the heavy iron pot on the stove to simmer. It did smell good! She filled another pot with salted water for the pasta and left it, too, on the stove, unlit. He could figure out how to boil water, couldn't he? She set up the Mr. Coffee to come on about 10 minutes before he was to arrive home so that his coffee would be hot. There was a full container of milk in the refrigerator. The week's laundry was done early, so all of his clothes were cleaned and put away. She suddenly felt a small flutter of excitement and nervousness as she picked up a pen and wrote,

    Dear Anthony,

    I'm leaving you. I don't love you any more, and I know you stopped loving me a long time ago. There is sauce on the stove and water for pasta. Your sandwich for lunch tomorrow is in the refrigerator. 


    P.S. You're out of garlic

    submitted for Magpie Tales 56

    A Camping We Will Go!

    To be young and stupid
    And have Nature as your playground
    A tent, sleeping bags, and a quick trip to the grocery
    And we're off on a weekend adventure
    Why not?
    The damp ground can't dampen our spirits
    Even as we snap another cheap tent post
    And can't find dry wood
    To make a decent fire
    Who cares?
    The fire finally struggles to life
    And we proudly cook our provisions
    Cheap steak that is an amazing simulation of shoe leather
    And where did our can opener go?
    Oh well!
    There's always alcohol
    And stars
    And the music of the woods
    To lull us to sleep
    Good night!

    written for Cloaked Monk's March Challenge

    Bubbe's* Gift

    * Bubbe is a Yiddish word for grandmother. When I was seven, my grandmother,who loved to read and to write, gave me the book 101 Famous Poems for my birthday. I have it to this day.

    My love of words began my seventh year
    A small green book you pressed into my hand
     And though I was too young to understand
    I knew that it was something you held dear
    Into those magic poems I would peer
    The distance between you and me was spanned
    Your writer's mark on me you left your brand
    And to this day I always keep it near

    Because of you a truer voice I found
    You taught me how to write from what I live
    You taught me to observe the world around
    You taught me how to listen for the sound
    I read your words wrapped up like gifts to give
    Each time I write, to you I will be bound

    poem submitted for Poetry Potluck
    Thank you to Jingle at Thursday Poets Rally for this award!

    Friday, March 4, 2011


    If the world looks safe and all is well
    image source
    My little head may poke out of my shell

    But if you knock at me too loudly
    I'll retreat, so please don't crowd me

    I like to observe, watch, take stock
    You may forget I'm around, mistake me for a rock

    Sometimes I'm moody, want isolation
    When winter comes, I crave hibernation

    I may not be flashy, flirty, or fast
    But I know where I'm headed and I'm built to last

    submitted for Smiley Sociology Study Number 4

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Spring's Children

    image source
    Shy, pink blossoms yawn
    Tiny angel winged petals
    Flutter in the wind

    submitted for Weekend Contest at Washington Post.com

    Beauty Is

    Thank you, Jingle and Poets Rally!
    I went to look for beauty today
    I needed to see that it still existed
    After a morning of encounters with ugliness
         foul words spit at innocent people
         a father yelling at his one year-old son
         a long, headache inducing waiting room purgatory
    And dates with distress
         too much blood
         that suspicious lump
         one more test
         and just one more, just to be sure
    Fled to the grocery for something pretty and tasty
    And found the fish wasn't fresh
    And the gossip was stale as well
    But the kid in the check-out lane cracked a lame joke
    And it set us all to laughing
    And for a moment
    Everything seemed beautiful.

    submitted for Thursday Poets Rally, week 39

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    The Joyful Kitchen

    image from Magpie Tales 55
    Hello and welcome back to the Joyful Kitchen! I'm your host Joy Gladwell, and today we're welcoming spring with a lovely picnic lunch, just perfect for those sunny April afternoons in the park with the husband and kids! Or maybe a romantic little tryst under a tree with your sweetie (giggle, giggle!)

    Anyway, we've already made our delicious chicken salad and packed it up with ice packs in our insulated cooler for no more than 2 hours, right? We have our bread packed separately so our sandwiches don't get soggy because who likes a soggy sandwich? I know I don't! We have our fresh fruit packed, yum, it looks so juicy and good, I can't wait! Now all we need is something to drink!

    What better to go with a spring picnic lunch than fresh squeezed lemonade? It's sweet and tart, and when you make it yourself, you can control how much sugar your family gets in their drinks, not like those store-bought mixes. Also there's no artificial colors or flavorings. It's just so worth the little bit of extra work to do yourself! Come on, I'll show you!

    First, we need about 6 lemons or enough to make 1 cup of lemon juice. Remember, wash those lemons off first! And here's a little trick for juicing them: just pop them in your microwave for a few seconds to warm them up slightly, roll them on the counter with the palm of your hand, then slice and squeeze. You'll get more juice out of them than if they're cold! You can use a fork to help you mash the pulp to get all that good juice out. It's not hard, though. I've already done 4 of them, and here's lemon number 5. Just take that knife, and slice it in...

    Oh my! I seem to have cut my thumb a bit. What do I always say about using knives? Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp because you have to use more force! Who forgot to sharpen my knives? Oh dear, it does appear to be bleeding...Well, a joyful kitchen should always be a prepared kitchen! Where are my band-aids? Let's see...I'll just wrap this drippy little thumb in a kitchen towel while I hunt for the band-aids that should be clearly visible but for some God forsaken reason are NOT! Here's another quick hint: to get blood stains out of cloth, like this towel, use cold water, not hot. It works so much better. I know I'll keep that tip in mind when I murder whoever didn't sharpen my knives and failed to stock band-aids in this damn kitchen! Ha ha, just kidding!

    Whoa, this thumb is sure bleeding! Soaked right through the towel! But cool heads prevail in the joyful kitchen! We'll just find some rubber gloves and stick the hand in there until we finish with our lemonade because when life gives you lemons, what is that saying? I can't remember. I'm feeling a little dizzy. Oh, look how the blood is dripping on the counter and the floor! That's not very sanitary! Remember to clean up all spills immediately with warm water and a diluted bleach solution. Yes, that sounds delicious! I'll go make one now! Oops, the floor is rather red and slippery! How did I get down here? Weren't we supposed to go on a picnic? Tune in next week when the Joyful Kitchen does...something...else. Goodnight.

    submitted for Mag55