Monday, November 19, 2007

Rhian's Blogiversary

Step into the tent,everyone - there's lots of room. Welcome to the International Dance Tent, celebrating the energy of The Creative Goddess. In honor of Rhian's One-Year Blogiversary, I've assembled dancers from around the world who will be performing throughout the tent. Be sure to snag something from a tray as cuisine from different countries will be wafting by, as well.

Before I read my Poetry Train offering, I just wanted to say a deeply-felt thank you to Rhian for starting the train in the first place. I've read so many incredible pieces since I hopped aboard. It has reawakened a cherished part of myself.

Today's poem is in honor of another creative goddess, my mom, who celebrated her 66th birthday on Nov. 16th. I wrote this for Mother's Day when I was 23.

When I Think Of My Mother

My memories belong to no other
Daughters think of mothers
Who aren't you
My sister
Thinks of a mother
Who is not the you
Of my memories

Standing in my crib
Dim grey light
Day shut out
My gaze on the door
Finally you're there
You lift me out and liberate

To me you are a smile
Framed by autumn hair
My favorite season
Do I see my mother
In every brilliant leaf?

Sitting on your lap
I reach for coffee cup
Listen to the
Lilt of conversation
Cyphers and whispers
Needing only the
Sounds of your speech

Sun drops down
I rock in the swing
You left your work to push
I see you in the square of light
Kitchen window face
Glow of yellow comfort
It too will be mine
As soon as I'm done
With my One More Swing

Creeping to you
In the dark
Patiently poking
Praying that Dad
Won't wake first
Always on guard
Ready to show me
There's nothing to fear
At last you stir
Mumble incoherent
Lift the covers
I crawl beside you
Getting no sleep
Reassurance settling
Like your arm around me

Piling onto your lap
Our baby stands tall
We sing
'Dinah won't ya blow'
We laugh
When my sister claps her hands

Does that little girl
Erupt from my giggles
As your hands
Seem always
To hold the wisdom
Of a mother

The mother you are to me

Copyright Julia Smith 1988

(Big hug for my mom.) The Blogiversary dance tent is huge and there are thirteen acts scheduled, so if you want to pop in and out, feel free. I'm going to head over to the stage - the tango is up first!

Ooo, I'll snag a sip of Mate, an Argentine herbal drink. Oh, hi Devon!

And I'll have a bite of zapallitos rellenos(stuffed zucchini.) Hey, there's Ann Aguirre. Isn't this delicious? Try some, it's good.

And a few strips of Argentine grilled steak, marinated in wine, vinegar, rosemary and pepper. Mmm. Miss Frou Frou - hi!

The dancers are walking onstage. Three men and one woman...hmm!

Argentine Tango

Wow - that was hot! Oh, something yummy just went past me. I'll grab it.

Mmm - ginger beer.

Looks like the East African musicians and dancers are taking the stage. While they set up, I'm going to taste a little bit of this. Hey, No Nonsense Girl!

Mmm! This is fantastic. Coconut bean soup. It's heavenly. Cute little bite-sized servings so I won't get full before I've had a chance to eat my way around the globe.

Ooo - this is good, too! Ethiopian berbere stew, with lamb. Ginger, garlic, red pepper and the distictive berbere spices. Woo, I need more ginger beer. Danika - hey! Here come the dancers. I'm totally grooving to this.

East African Trio

Woo! I danced along to that! Can't help myself. Phew, I need another sip of something. This looks good - thanks, yes, I'll have one. Oh, my, my. That is delicious. What's it called? Lava Flow.

Akelamalu! Have one of these. Mmm, rum, strawberries, coconut, pineapple and banana. Mmm.

The dancers are approaching the stage. I'll try some of this while we wait. Hmm - poi, is it?

I'll take a few wedges of this, for sure. Love pineapple. Drippy! Oh, here they're starting. Red - Red Garnier! (hug) I'm already dancing again.

Maui Hula Dancers

That was really great! I should try doing that once a day. My hips would be lethal. Here's a little something I could use. A sip of soothing peppermint tea from the Crow First Nation.

Acorn pan bread. Amazing. Isabella! (wave)

Assiniboine bear stew. Hey - Camille! Yeah, bear stew - I can honestly say I've never tried it before. They've got dandelion root in here, maple sap, mint leaves and wild onion. I can hear the jingling of some of the costumes. The dancers are stepping onstage. Four of the North American First Nations will dance, each in their own style to the same music.

First Nations Pow Wow dance

Time for some Sangria, I think. La Espia T., take a glass. You too, Karina.

And a little gazpacho, please. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Darla, hi! Samantha!

And paella. Oh - this is just delicious. Here come the flamenco dancers! Jill, you're just in time. I love flamenco - it's SO sexy.

Flamenco Couple

My, oh my, that was scorchy. Oh thank you - this is an Indian drink, is it? Lime, date and honey - mmm. Nimbu Pani. Hey, Gautami!

Some tandoori chicken. Pass a napkin, Lesley? Thanks. Mmm!

Matar Paneer - cheese cubes and peas in a delicous sauce. Divine! Gabriella, hi! Just in time for the next dancers, from India.

Indian Gypsies

Time for a stiff shot of vodka, I guess. (only knocking back a tiny sip) That ought to keep me warm! Not that I was cold after all that Indian food. Susan! (hug)

Perogies! Oh, how I love them. Anna J. Evans! (wave) Ooo, sour cream, too. Mmm!

What's in this sweet little pot? Oh, hi Dara!

Kutia - wheat berries, poppy seeds, honey, nuts, raisins and cream. Mmm. Here they come! You can really see where modern classical ballet jumps came from when the men start dancing.

Photo from Christine at EastFeast Recipes

Ukrainian Folk Dance

Here comes some Dim Sum and tea. Hi Ann from Fractured Fiction! Here, try this. Oh, this one's good.

Hey Sans! Cool how it makes a flower once the water's poured. The original Magic Grow toy.

Shelley, hi! Shall we try some shanghai noodles? They're my husband's favorite. I love them, too - Julie, hi! Though I'm a total rice fanatic. Hey Jessica!

Chinese Fan Dance

Now, who wants an Irish coffee? Bridget? Jenny?

And who wants a pint of Guinness? I'm going to have an Irish coffee, myself. Toni and Miss Sniz! (hugs)

I'll have a few bites of that Dublin coddle. What about you, Sandee?

Irish soda bread. My first boyfriend used to make this. It's delicious. Wylie, Wylie! (hug) And Carrie! Oh, here they come! I always loved this part of 'Riverdance' when it played at the theatre where I worked. Always brought down the house!

Riverdance Thunder

I'll take one of those Cachacas. Mmm - hits the spot! Rhian, have one of these. You want one too, Lisa?

And how are these? Dip them in a little mayo. Manioc fries from Brazil. Hot! Hey, Dr. Bill! Dale! (wave)

Bananas in rum - decadent. Robin - hi! Time for a little samba. Lillian! (wave) I won't be able to keep still for this one.

Brazilian Samba

Time for some saki. Hey, Stak.

Sushi? I'll try a bite. Mmm. Want one, Sparky?

What's this, now? Jakopi tofu. Delicious.

I can't believe the Japanese dancer is so quiet. I didn't hear her get onstage at all.

Japanese Dance

Ahh! Here it comes, my darlings. My beloved single malt whisky. Double shot, neat. Inhale first - oh, the shiver of delight. Touch it to my lips. (sigh) Thomma Lyn, hi! (hug)

Let me sink my teeth into this Scotch pie. Hey, Kelly! I should introduce you to Uberstrickenfrau - she knits, as well.

Another sip of whisky. And now for some shortbread. I'm think I'm dying, this is so heavenly. Want some, Annie Mac? There's lots, I promise I won't eat it all. Annette, hi! Amy! (hug) Skittles!

No, wait - now I'm in heaven because the men in kilts are coming.

Scottish Folk Dance

So I guess this is the final dance presentation. What do we have here? Labrador tea. Hmm - can't say as I've had it before. Have you ever tried it, Dewey?

Clam soup. (sip) Mmm! Hey, Kailana! I'm glad it's not seal flipper soup. Probably figured our palates weren't brave enough for hardcore Inuit fare, eh, Christine?

Salmonberries. Oh, these are delicious! Angela/SciFiChick! (wave)

Inuit Throat Singing

Thanks for sharing this celebration - hope you had fun. If there's any leftovers, scoop them up before you head out for more fun with Rhian's Tribe. Hug and kiss!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

INCREDIBLE post, Julia!!!! Wow!

The poem's wonderful, too. Makes me wonder what my kids will remember of me when they are older.

Lisa Andel said...

Don't wonder about such things Susan, you may not want to know! (Seriously, just kidding).

Absolutely wonderful post Julia!!!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I'm stuffed. Wow, what a feast. You really know how to throw a party. Awesome. Have a great day. :)

julia said...

Oh, I'm stuffed, too! What did I like best, though? The Spanish paella was absolutely delectable. And the Indian matar paneer, I loved that, too. Some of the Dim Sum was yummy, yummy, yummy. Couldn't get enough of the shortbread, but I never can. And my whisky rocked.

Rhian said...

OMG!!! Do you know how to throw a party or what!
i'm sooooo hungry now - i'll have a little bit of everything - thank you. And that ginger beer looks divine.
Kicking back to watch the fabulous entertainment.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I ate so much here earlier and so enjoyed the great party I decided to award you the Best Blogging Buddies award. It's a brand new award that Colin of Life created. Congratulations.

julia said...

Sandee, thank you SO much! (hug)

Rhian, I keep clicking on the dancers, too - I seem to keep watching the Hawaiians and the Africans. And the sexy flamenco dancers. And the tango dancers...

M. said...

hey, I have throat singers in one of my WsIP!
i'd like to stay and comment more but for some reason i'm hungry - i have to leave and go see what enticing snack might be hiding in my pantry

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm bummed that I didn't know how big this thing was going to get. The boys would've stepped up for a set!

Robin said...

What an incredible looking celebration. Room for one more? I'll bring along a bunch of yummy Israeli salads and some fresh bread.

julia said...

Yes, thanks, Robin - you can set the salads over here.

And Susan, I wouldn't think that Trevor and Mitchell and the boys would wonder if they should join the jam - they would just pull up a space next to the other musicians and have at 'er!

Rhian said...

Back for a LAVA Flow before I head out to my Writer's Group. I need the liquid courage. They're all "real" writers. (i.e. published and in the bookstores.) I is skeerd.
If anyone rolls their eyes at my writing I'm gonna burst into tears, I just know it.
whimper. Can I have a double?
I'll be back tonight to drown my sorrows after they clobber me.

No Nonsense Girl said...

That's an awesome post Julia!!!!

The poew is great!!! Thanks for inviting me to the party!!!! The food was good!!! :)

Have a great great day! :)

Paige Tyler said...

Great post is right! My hubby and I took Argentine Tango lessons, and absolutely love it! It's such a sexy, romantic dance!


julia said...

Rhian, don't be skeerd. Anyone who would roll their eyes probably can't paint. Would you roll your eyes at their stick figure people? Of course you would, but you wouldn't let them see you do it. Go have fun - no skeerd for the creative goddess. Push past that comfort zone!

Emily Veinglory said...

Pass the sangria :)

julia said...

Paige - that is heavenly. My husband and I took ballroom dancing lessons before our wedding so our first dance could be to Sergio Mendez. But how I would love to tango...

Anne Douglas said...

I haven't even made it to all the other links yet - i got caught up in travelling youtube looking at the Argentinian tango videos. ROAWR!!

Jenny McB said...

I was so busy reading all the descriptions that I missed the Every thing looked so good and everyone was enjoying both food and beverages.

Thank you for inviting me! Congratulations Rhian!

Wylie Kinson said...

WOO HOO- what a party!! I ate WAY too much. And did you notice I slipped a little Gosling's Black Rum into the ginger beer? That's what we Bermudians call a Dark and Stormy :D

Congrats on your bloggiversary Rhian! Let's do this again next year, okay Julia? ;x

Wylie Kinson said...

btw Julia - that poem to your mother was so beautiful. She must have been incredibly proud and touched when she read it.

Ann said...

Hi Julia, Awesome party! I've been wandering around checking out the dancers, having some of the paella as well as the dim sum. Yummy, I think I'll have some of that Irish Coffee, and I'll be good to go.
P.S. Lovely poem.

Happy Bloggiversary, Rhian! :)

Anonymous said...

Wowie, what a fabulous post! I feel like we've all partied hearty, eaten so many yummies we're all full, and seen such beautiful dances. Everything was scrumptious, but I think my very favorite was the Indian food! :-D

I just love the poem you wrote for your mom. What a blessing she is to you, and what a blessing you are to her.

Happy Blogaversary, Rhian! WOOT!

Lesley said...

What a lovely poem! And all that food made me so hungry!

Red Garnier said...

OMG, Julia, what a hostess!! Rhian HAPPY BLOGAVISERARY! Woot, you are DA BOMB, you do know that, right? Congratulations wench! And congrats to Julia's mom! Umm, the dancers are super talented. And the food . . . may I have a second serving please? ;)

AuthorM said...

Ok, so I'm late to the party but I'm here! I hope there's some food left because I'm starving...


Amy Ruttan said...

Oooh I love Inuit throat songs. Love them!!

What a great party for the goddess!

Rhian said...

Collpasing on my butt and watching the Ukranian Folk dancers - dang - them dudes can jump! Pass the Poi and pineapple please!
mmm - the ginger beer suddenly has quite the punch to it! woooowwwwweeee! that's some good stuff y'all!
do you guys know how much i love you all?
writer's group told me to get an agent, like now. how cool is that. i think it means they liked my story.
taking another sip of beer and oogling the dancers with a happy sigh.

Rhian said...

erm that was collapsing - not collpasing... though that might be fun to do too - if i could figure out what it was.
running back to check and see if they've started table dancing at my place yet.

Lisa Andel said...

OMG Rhian, that's so awesome!!!
Pass me some of that beer too.

Jill said...

You are wonderfull, Julia!! Finding a sentence for each member of the tribe!!
And I'm going gaga with all that food!!
And your poem made me feel all of the warmness of my mom!!

julia said...

Jill, I'm so glad I bumped into you over by the flamenco dancers. I was getting a bit overcome - thanks for holding me up!

julia said...

Rhian - I'm feeling the whisky myself, just a smidgeon. But yeah - I could watch those Ukrainians jump all day!

Ann said...

I just dropped in to bring some dessert: fudge and brownies. :)
Is the beer good? Does it taste like beer? (I know, weird question, I don't like beer but the ginger beer sounds like it might be nice).

Ann said...

I just dropped in to bring some dessert: fudge and brownies. :)
Is the beer good? Does it taste like beer? (I know, weird question, I don't like beer but the ginger beer sounds like it might be nice).

Ann said...

Okay, I don't know how it posted twice, I'm usually not that quite on the publish button. Sigh.

Rhian said...

hey Julia and Tribers all - heading to bed but wanted to thank y'all for one of the most awesome parties ever seen in blogland. Wouldn't you all agree?

Julia - you totally rock! I'll be contacting you regarding a thank you present - soon as i think of something to give you! What an exciting day this has been! Okay! I'm going nuts with the exclamations! Definitely time for bed! heh.

gautami tripathy said...

What a post! I felt right at home!

Thanks for that!

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Holy cow! What a party!

Sorry I'm so late, folks, is there anything left? Looks like the guest of honor has already gone to bed.

I've been at a film and television expo all weekend. I'm not a big whiskey drinker, but that looks about perfect right now. And think I'll have a little matar paneer... does that go with whiskey? probably not, but who cares, right?

I've got a tight deadline, so must run. Perhaps I'll pop back by for another snack and to watch some Brazilian Samba... first, I better pop over and say congrats to Rhian.

Y said...

wow, Julia you know how to throw a party! sorry i didn't pop over here sooner. I loved the poem it was beautiful.

Flowerpot said...

wow - what a party! How can anyone follow that?!

Lisa Andel said...

Still one of the most awesome posts I've seen.

Great party.

Sparky Duck said...

I'll take the sushi with a side of that steak and maybe a mojito!

Joy Renee said...

boy can you throw a party.

i bet your mom thought that poem was better than all the party food in the world!

julia said...

Thanks for dropping by, everyone - the party will continue all day and into tomorrow, so relax, enjoy and hugs to you!

Karina said...

What a wonderful feast this was. The sangria was delicious, as were all the other treats. And the poem was wonderful, very touching.

I'll be back for leftovers!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

We are some die-hard partiers...

julia said...

Sure are, Susan!

Akelamalu said...

Fantastic post Julia and that drink was delicious, just what I needed. That was some party! :)

Shelley Munro said...

Wow - your posts are always long but I love them. Although, I was very hungry and thirsty at the end *grin*

Great post, Julia, and the poem was lovely.

T.A.Chase said...

Great post and I'm exhausted from all the dancing and drinking and eating. :)

Touching poem, Julia

Christine d'Abo said...

Woohoo! Fantastic post Julia. And I need you to throw a part at my place some day. ;)

Missy said...

Wow, Julia, what a shindig! Loved the poem.

Toni said...

Wow, the Inuit throat singing was incredible. My kids and I have read Very Last First Time several times now, which is a story about the Inuit walking under the ice, on the ocean floor. I enjoyed your poem too, btw. Beautifully stated.

Camille Alexa said...

Holy Moly, are you one intercontinental party poet!

Christina said...

Dear Blog Author,

I see you have used my photo from

Please cite your source for this photo. It is my own work.

Thank you,