Friday, December 1, 2017

Poems About Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering

This is a beautiful picture of a mother and a child. 

I collected six of my poems about being a mother of a child and a daughter of a mother. Let me know if you like them.

Mothers are central in our lives and, if you are a female, mothering is central to your life. Mothering is in our DNA because it is essential to the survival of our species. 

When I was writing poetry, I would often find that I thought I was writing about one thing, but the poem would turn out to be about some aspect of motherhood. It seems my unconscious had some ideas that needed to be expressed.

I came to motherhood myself at a relatively advanced age.  I was in my 40's when I adopted my son. There is a favorite little saying--you might call it a poem--that is common among adoptive mothers.

You grew
not under my heart, 
but in it. 

I've been told by parents who have both adopted children and natural born children that the love they feel for these children is the same. I believe them. 

Each of these six poems looks at a different aspect of motherhood from being a mother-in-waiting-to child-raising to the death of a mother.

Click the link above to see my poems. Let me know how you like them.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I Was Sent to Facebook Jail

facebook jail
The avatar that I sometimes use on facebook to represent myself
 is shown behind bars.

If you are a Russian with rubles to pay for ads, facebook welcomes you with open arms. American citizens who just want to share information and opinions who can’t afford to ante up for ads—it’s straight to facebook jail for you.

I’d like to see Mark Zuckerberg in jail. If he broke any laws by spreading Russian propaganda to help Donald Trump win the election, I hope the Feds prosecute him to the full extent of the law.

Talking about the law, aren’t there some anti-trust issues with facebook? It is a monopoly. If you don’t like the way facebook treats you, but you still want to remain connected, there is no place left to go.

(BTW, individuals like you and me are not facebook’s customers—that would be the advertisers.  We are its product and facebook sells us and the data it collect about us to the highest bidder.)

What is Facebook Jail?

 “Facebook jail” refers to a user having their usage of facebook suspended for a certain amount of time. The time varies from 5 or 6 days to a month. When you are in jail, you can’t post or comment, sometimes not even onyour own facebook page. Once I had everything I had ever posted, even on my own page, just erased.

There was no warning and there was no appeal. In theory, you can appeal. A little box will pop up, and you can use that box to explain why you think facebook has blocked you “in error.” You can offer your explanation, but don’t expect a reply. I have never gotten a reply. I have never heard of anyone getting a reply. (I asked people I know who have also been in facebook jail and also googled it.)

Why Does Someone Get Sent to facebook Jail?

 I googled that too. No one knows. How much is too much posting? Does it depend on what you are posting? Is it a form of censorship?

If you don’t know the rules, how can you avoid breaking them?  I think facebook keeps moving the goalposts, so to speak. After I got out of facebook jail the last time, I cut back on posting to about a third of what I had done previously. Bam! No warning, in about two weeks, I’m back in jail.  

Why do I post a lot?

 1.  I’m a writer and a writer wants to be read.

I want to express my opinions. I usually write about subjects I am passionate about—religion (from an atheist perspective) and politics (from a liberal perspective.

2. It strokes my ego.

I post to facebook groups that are appropriate for my content. I get very positive feedback from readers—lots of likes, lots of shares, and lots of comments. The comments are mostly positive because I only post to groups where I can expect a favorable reception. People often tell me how much they liked an article I wrote.

Sometimes I have been contacted by admins who ask me to join their group and post my stuff there. Sometimes, if I haven’t posted to a particular group in a while, the admin will contact me and ask me to post to his group. The admins of some groups do not allow posts to appear unless they have approved them. My posts are always approved.That's very flattering.

Not every admin loves me. I know this because sometimes I am booted from a group. I’m fine with that. The admin should be allowed to control who can post to his group.

However, facebook doesn’t think so.  Facebook thinks they should control who can post to your group. Even if you want that content—too bad. Facebook says no.

I should state that my content is well within the guidelines—no nudity, no profanity, no pyramid schemes, no selling. Likewise when I comment, I never use profanity or insults. I also follow the rules of common courtesy, so if someone comments, I reply.

3. I often learn new stuff.

The comments I get are very helpful to me as a writer. Sometimes a reader will point out a typo, a grammar error, or an error in fact.  (Sometimes politely, and sometimes nastily. I ignore the snark—that’s the nature of facebook.) I’m always grateful for the correction.

Sometimes a comment will provide new information on the topic. Once in a while I have taken this information and added it to my essay.

Sometimes a reader will try to refute me. I consider that an opportunity to learn. I have often spent up to an hour searching the internet to find the information to confirm or refute what the reader has said in his comment.    

4. I earn a small amount of money.

I’m not selling anything, but I do earn based on views. It amounts to less than one fourth of one cent per view. In a good month, I get between $50 and $100 a month. (And that is for pretty much 40 hours a week of effort.) I’m retired and live mainly on social security so the little bit of extra money is nice.

Interestingly, during the tie I have been in jail, my views have not decreased very much--maybe 800 a day instead of 1000 a day overall. Most of my views come organically, from google, bing, etc.

Work it out. I earn $2 or $3 a day. Obviously, writing is more of a hobby than a job. I keep thinking I should try to write articles for publications that pay, but then I couldn’t write what I want when I want. And the pay for writers is pretty low anyway.

I don’t see myself as posting for self-promotion. I am a content provider. Facebook should pay me. They should pay all of us that provide the content that enable them to sell facebook users to advertisers. At the very least they should see it as a fair trade—free use of the platform in exchange for allowing them to sell us to advertisers.

I’m sure facebook would be happy to have me buy ads. But that means I would spend more on the ads than I could earn back in views. And I've just spent $50 for the annual fee to use a photo editor--that used to be free.  (I created the picture above.)  I feel like I have spent enough money on this hobby.

5. This is how I have fun.

I’ve made a few friends though my writing. Even though we are only facebook friends, I have enjoyed our brief connections.

Facebook is a cruel despot.

Facebook has cut me off. I’m going through withdrawal now. I will really miss facebook.

This whole article is just me venting. There is nothing I can do.

I’ll probably continue writing, because I like writing. If you want to be able to see my writing, follow up on facebook and join the two groups I have set up. One is The Eclectic Atheist Forum and the other is BlueAmerica Fights Back.  I have also set up two facebook pages The Eclectic Atheist and Politics for Blue America so please like and follow these pages. 

 I also post other interesting stuff I have found on facebook and the internet—it is no all my own writing.  And of course, other people pot to these groups and pages also.

Finally, when you come across my writing, please share it.  A share is the best compliment I can get.


Facebook is officially out of control. I think they just added a day to my sentence. Why? What did I do today? 

I was interested in the Donna Brazile frecas. I scrolled through my feed and quickly found two posts that explained why Brazile had it all wrong. I shared these posts. I made a few comments on these and other posts--maybe about five. 

Then I saw a post with a very long thread. Someone complained about being sent to facebook jail for no reason. In the comments some people said the same thing had happened to them. I commented that it happened to me and I included a link to this post rather than trying to tell the whole story in a comment.   

Then I moved on to another post in my feed and I tried to post a comment. Bam! I box opened up with a new end-date for my prison sentence--a day longer than before. .Evidently fb doesn't like it when you expose they autocrataic behaviors. 

Does anyone want to file a class action law suit. I'm in.

© Catherine Giordano 2017

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Calling all Catherines, Kathryns, Kates, and Kays

My name is Catherine. If you look “Catherine” up in a book of baby names, you’ll find the meaning is “pure.”

Origins of Catherine

This name is derived from the Greek Aikaterina and the Latin Katharina. Why is the name spelled with a "C" in much of the world? When the name was introduced into Anglo-Saxon Britain, it was spelled with a "C" because the letter "K" did not yet exist in the English alphabet.
Catherine, spelled with a “C” is more old-fashioned, romantic, and feminine than its variant, Katherine, spelled with a “K”, although the latter spelling has become more popular in recent decades.
The name Catherine is a very popular name around the world. In the United States, its popularity peaked in the early 1900’s, and then began to fall. Despite a brief revival in the 1950’s, it has steadily declined. It may no longer be a fashionable name, but it is still among the top 200 names. It is probably far higher if you add all its variants together.

Famous Women Named Catherine

Catherine has a great history. 
It is the name of a number of saints, Including St. Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of philosophers, students, craftsmen, nurses, and librarians.
It is a name with a royal lineage. Queen Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of the notorious Henry the VII. Catherine the Great was an Empress of Russia. It is also the name of the Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William who is second in line as heir to the English throne. (She is sometimes called Kate, but she hates that name and never uses it for herself.)

Catherine has also been the name of some of the great romantic heroines of literature, including Heathcliff’s love in Wuthering Heights and the passionate nurse Catherine Barkley in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. 
In popular culture, we have a few famous actresses:  Catherine Zeta Jones and Catherine Deneuve are two of them renowned for their beauty and talent.

Variations of Catherine 

Here are a few of the variants and nicknames of Catherine/Katherine—just the ones most popular in English- speaking countries.
There a dozens and dozens more. 

We are a vast army, we descendants of Aikaterina.

This is a great book if you are choosing a name for your baby or if you want to know more about name. The Name Book: Over10,000 Names - Their Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance

© Catherine Giordano 2017
Picture Credits (from left to right): 
Catherine of Aragon by Public Domain
Catherine Middleton by Maximus0970 CC-3.0 
Catherine Zeta Jones by David Shankbone CC 3.0
Catherine Deneuve by Georges Biard CC 3.0

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Head Shots

I have new head shots. The photographer was Michael Orlando, Florida. I think he did a great job and he was fun to work with.

Now all I need are some new jobs.

My agent chose the first picture for me to use as my main picture. But I kind of like the ones with me in glasses. What do you think?

I had over 100 proofs to choose from. It was hard to choose; they all looked great.I think the photographer deleted the bad ones before he sent me the proofs.

P.S. My hair is darker in some of the pictures because it is a wig.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017
A new Year-2017: A time to look back and a time to look forward. 

Just taking a moment to wish everyone a happy New Year and share some of my accomplishments related to my writing. Pinterest sent me a notice. I always add the pictures from my on-line writing to Pinterest. Here is how that worked out for me in 2016.

My writing on HubPages as been going along well I sailed past 250,000 views in December and now have a total of around 263,000 views. I have 120 different essays.  Take a look. I'm sure you will find a few you like.


I started writing for another site also--Niume. I only started two weeks ago and I have over 2000 views already. This is a fun site because I can write short posts—I can do one in under an hour sometimes. I think of them as gum drops—short and sweet and a little bit addictive. I've done 14 posts so far. You can see my posts here.
Niume pays for referrals. If you sign up, you and I will both earn a dollar after you do your first post. This is a very easy to use platform. You can write on whatever topic you like and then share it on your social media.  (Maybe you would like to write about and post pictures of your vacation, for instance, and then share it on your facebook page.) Plus you can make a little bit of money. Here is my referral code. Please click on it to register on the site.

And I still do my blogspot blogs. I’ve been doing a lot about politics. I post them onto my blog that I started for reviewing and commenting on the Bill Maher show. Now I just use it for politics.  It’s been getting about 6,000 views a month. I’m up to about 47,000 views.

My Pinterest views have been piling up also. Pinterest told me that in 2016, I had 168,506 views. I don't earn from Pinterest, but if you click and get to the post that used that picture I get my usual fraction of a cent.

So when you come across a social media post for one of my writings, please click and take a look. I earn a fraction of a cent for each view—a tiny amount, but it adds up. Plus, if you see a product advertised, I hope you will click on that also. The amazon ads earn me a small commission if you decide to buy something even if it isn’t the item I advertised.  Again it adds up. 

If you have been reading my posts, thank you. I hope you have enjoyed them.

Happy 2017!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I'm a Star--My Acting Career Takes Off

Star balloon weight
I won this prize for my acting.
It’s been a meandering road. And there’s no end in sight as a reinvent myself as a blogger, poet, public speaker, writer, and now actor-- an actor who is featured in a commercial. 

It’s a only a 15-second spot for Valencia College and it’s only shown locally, but I am featured and it is on TV. It’s such a thrill. I play it over and over.  

This is the first time I am featured. So far, my other acting work has been as an extra. I’ve been an extra in a movie, a TV show, and a few commercials.

Here is a link. I play the grandmother. The scene shows my birthday party. Watch and let me know how you like it.

I should add that I benefit from the current trend in casting--they want "real people."  They are not looking for movie-star good looks, just average nice-looking people. 

Maybe I should have known that I was destined for acting greatness when I won a prize for best audience–participant actor in a dinner-theater murder-mystery production last year. Prior to the show, the real actors choose a few people from the audience and asked them to play one of the roles.

Perhaps I was chosen because I was flamboyant. The show was set in the Roaring Twenties--I wanted to dress the part, but I forgot. When I arrived (it was at the Winter Park library) and saw others in costume, I quickly improvised. I took the scarf I was wearing around my neck and turned it into a headband. I placed it across my forehead, tied it at the back of my head, and let the ends hang down. I probably looked really stupid, but I never let that stop me.   

The actors gave each of us chosen-few a script to read. I studied mine and memorized the main points so I wouldn’t have to read it. When it was my turn to act, I improvised and hammed it up. I was really over the top both with my voice, facial expressions, and body movements. Again, I probably looked stupid, but I never let that stop me.

My prize was the silver balloon holder shown in the above picture. It is now prominently displayed right next to my TV so I can see it every day.

I’m exaggerating when I say “I’m a star,” but nonetheless, I am having so much fun with this. I love going to the auditions my agent sends me to even when I am not picked. And I really love being on set. I wanted to be an actress when I was a little girl and now, in a very small way, I am. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Flamingo Flamboyance—A Poem and More

by Catherine Giordano

Pink flamingos are fabulous. I collect flamingo-themed items just because they make me feel so happy.

A group of flamingos are called a “flamboyance” Isn’t that marvelous? A group of cows is a “herd, a group of birds is a “flock, but a group of flamingos is a “flamboyance.” 

An item from my collection, a flamingo-themed fabric grocery bag from Publix (a supermarket chain), inspired me to write a poem about why I love flamingos.

I’ll start with the poem and then I’ll give some suggestions for flamingo-themed items that you could use to start a collection or that you might want to add to a collection. I’ve put the items on my wish list.

Flamingo Flamboyance--A Poem

Today I bought a fabric shopping bag
I bought it at Publix
It cost a dollar
I bought it because I thought it was beautiful
I will not use it for groceries

It is too beautiful for groceries

Its intense yellow color first caught my eye
The color of sunshine
The color of butter creamed with sugar
The color of a field of buttercups

The bottom of the bag is a cerulean blue
The color of the Caribbean sea
The color of a summer sky
The color of Paul Newman’s eyes

Lime green alligators skip along the bottom
On their stubby green legs
Grinning toothy alligator grins
Little yellow birds perched jauntily on their backs

Palm trees with saw-toothed fronds
Rise from the blue water
Green fronds edged with blue
Swaying against a butter yellow sky

Most beautiful of all
Are the pink flamingos
On a stately march across the bag
Like a parade of princesses

They lift one leg daintily
Like the outstretched pinky
Of a prim society matron
As she lifts a cup of tea to her lips

The bag is beautiful to me
It's a tableau of peace
A representation of harmony
A fantasy of escape

I sat in my New York apartment
Looking out at the cold grey streets
No money for a vacation
I could only lust for sun and release

One day, passing a store window,
I saw a shirt covered with pink flamingos
I bought this shirt
And wore it that winter
And ever since
Flamingos ensconce my yearnings


Do you want to know more about real flamingos?  Flamingos are as interesting as they are beautiful. Read about them here: Seven Reasons Why Pink Fkamingos are Absolutely Fabulous
If you want to know more about the lives of flamingos in their natural habitats, the 2-disc  DVD ser, Disneynature: The Crimson Wing - Mystery of Flamingos, is an excellent resource. 
The Crimson Wing DVD
And now for some flamingo-themed items you might like. Click below each picture for details of the item including the price.

Get the original pink flamingo lawn ornaments and the book that gives the history behind the bird named by his creator phoenicopteris ruber plasticus; a new avian species, now known to all as "Pink Plastic Flamingo."

Flamingos Splendor in the Grass
Pink Flamingo Yard Ornaments


I’ve collected some other items you might like a shower curtain (matching towels, bedspread, throw pillows, etc. are also available), an insulated tumbler, a cup which turns upside down to become a knick knack, a beach towel, and a figurine of flamingos.

Flamingo shower curtain

flamingo insulated tumbler

Flamingo beach towel

Flamingo figurine
Flamingo cup