Painting by Charles A. Waugaman (1932 – 2010)


Favorite art by Charles
from a card he sent me some time ago.
All rights reserved.

The Christmas poem by Charles in my Pages on this blog, with a different painting, is bringing many new visitors.  It is the Top Post, and for some time now.  How he would love blogs!  Happy to honor his work and friendship.

His art and legacy also continue at Time Of Singing, which he edited for years.

a quiet day


A quiet day.  I’ve written a few notes.

At this moment, Lake Michigan is a pale blue-grey color, and the sky is a soft grey.  I’ve been listening to the water . . .

Under Pages on this blog, the Christmas poem by Charles A. Waugaman that I posted, is one of your favorite poems.  It was from a card he made.  This morning, on my Psalms and Nature site, I posted a Thanksgiving poem by Charles.

Here’s the link to the Psalms and Nature post:

Charles had a big heart and his influence continues in many lives.

The images are from the Dover Design Sampler this week; from Masterpieces of Art Nouveau Stained Glass Design: 91 Motifs in Full Color.


The house is speaking . . .


The pine wood walls in our home are from the 1940s.  When I said that the house is speaking, Karl said that is because of the humidity and changing temperatures.

On another topic, for a long time I’ve been following nichepoetryandprose, by Jane Tims in New Brunswick, Canada.  She creates in many ways.  This morning, I’m admiring her “gallery of watercolors.”  The link to her gallery is

Yesterday I found a 1958 copy of Time Of Singing at  I bought it and look forward to seeing an issue from its first year.   Benjamin P. Browne was the Founder.  It’s not every day that a poetry print journal lasts so long, and is always new.

I decided to renew my ISBN account for Elin Grace Publishing.  I’m not seeking submissions, but rather think it is time to collect a few of my poems into non-profit large print books.  I have a heart for nursing homes.  This will be informal work.  But the books page at Time Of Singing still offers the Welcoming Hope book, which includes many people from TOS; edited with Lora H. Zill and Charles A. Waugaman.

The fall clipart is courtesy of the Public Domain Images section at Karen’s Whimsy


Daily Prompt: The Stat Connection

Beach032610 015

The prompt for July 22, 2013,  written by michelle w., asks that we check the top 3 – 5 posts in our stats, and then reflect on why they are well-read, and what the connections might be.

I thought today I’d look at the BIG PICTURE, since December 2009.   Please use the Search Feature (home page, upper right hand corner), if you wish to locate the specific posts.  They also show up often in “Top Posts & Pages” (right sidebar).

The top three posts for “all time” are:

1.  Home Page/Archives

2.  Acrostic Poem for HARVEST – with quote from Psalm 126

3.  Acrostic Poem for READING

Some additional observations:

Karl’s photos are popular – our beloved Lake Michigan and all the flowers.

Charles Waugaman’s Christmas poem, which I placed in the Pages (right sidebar) is well-read every week.  This makes me happy.  He was called Home in 2010, and this would please him.  He was one of the very first editors to take my work seriously and publish it in Time of Singing.  Lora Zill is the current editor of this print journal.

More recently, I can see readers are enjoying my short poems, prose about my story (everyone has a story), and new work with The Haiku Foundation (the detailed haiku lessons).  Jim Kacian is the editor for this work, which includes many people.

Looking again at the TOP THREE, how much this reflects my life.  I love language, reading and writing.  Reading the Psalms has been my spiritual practice since the mid-1990s, and they were always a part of my life. 

They that sow in tears
shall reap in joy.

 Psalm 126

Blessings and thank you,



Books and other creative work to share

I’m enjoying books by fellow bloggers.  In the Comments today, please feel free to share about your book.  I’ve thought of writing some reviews, but I worry I might forget someone.  This is my fourth year of blogging with WordPress.

These could be small books that are homemade, books published by another publisher, an online collection etc.   If you’d like to share more about a special feature on your blog, or a new site, that would be great too.

I retired from publishing books awhile ago, but the collection with Time Of Singing is still available for sale on their books page.  The title is Welcoming Hope: Poems For Those In Need (2007, Elin Grace Publishing).  Welcoming Hope includes many poets, and I edited the book with Charles A. Waugaman (1932 – 2010) and Lora H. Zill.  Charles illustrated the book. We all learned a lot from him about hope.  All proceeds benefit Time Of Singing.

Always love simply saying hello as well . . .

Blessings and thanks, Ellen

Inspiration by Charles A. Waugaman

Charles Waugaman (1932 – 2010) was the editor of Time Of Singing (TOS) when I first subscribed. I asked Lora Zill, the current editor, for permission to reprint a few of his poems.

The link for TOS, a beautiful poetry print journal, is  This poem by Charles was published in Volume 24, Number 2, October 1997.  His art offers hope.



“All my fountains are in you,” * Lord
You give the water that quenches my thirst
Not just for the moment, surely forever:
You are refreshment final and first.

Pigments are locked and brushes are useless,
Thoughts remain static unless they can spill
Out of the pen and onto the parchment.
Minds remain useless that Love cannot fill.

You are the medium freeing and binding
Colors and textures that make beauty whole
You are the fountain that answers desire -
Flow of my spirit, flood of my soul.

Life and expression, scummed and grown stagnant,
When touched by your Spirit bubbled and soared
Self gathers power when it is surrendered
“All my fountains are in you,” Lord.

* Psalms 87:7 NIV

by Charles A. Waugaman
All Rights Reserved.



Short Holiday Poems – a small resource

A  bright sunny day here.  I saw in my stats that readers are finding my short Thanksgiving poem.  So I began a new small site this week called Short Holiday Poems.

I used the About page to tell readers they are welcome to use any of the poems for free, as long as proper credit is given.  These could be poems for bulletin boards, collages, note cards, and other crafts.

I’m reviewing my Archives and will add poems in advance of special days, as I know how far ahead teachers plan.

I was 22 when I began a new special class, in a new-for-me state.  With budget limitations, teachers often spend their own money for classroom materials.  I also remember working over the summers, without pay, to get ready for the new school year. So if this new little site helps a teacher, or someone else, find a poem, I am truly blessed.

Part of creating new sites too is that I love the WordPress themes . . . the whole creative process.


The image is from a personal card,
by and from Charles A. Waugaman (1932 – 2010).
All rights reserved for his family.

Salvaging Hope by Charles A. Waugaman

Salvaging Hope

Like truth out of living
I salvage blueberries, one by one,
From the tangled mat of the meadow.
Small as they are,
The grasses fight for them,
Vetch maneuvers in camouflage,
And wild rose claws at my wrists.
Birds spy from the hedgerow
And sing indifferent melodies
Hoping to lure me away
From their succulent repast.
Why this surprising demand?
Blueberries are wealth:
They are something of sun
And something of soil;
They are sky and wildness;
Beauty and wine,
Winnowed from weedy worthlessness,
Blueberries glow in my palm
As welcome … as hope.

By Charles A. Waugaman

Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in need
Lora Homan Zill and Ellen G. Olinger, Editors
Charles A. Waugaman, Art Editor, Illustrator

Elin Grace Publishing, 2007
Oostburg, Wisconsin
ISBN 978-0-9729848-4-3

This is a book with TIME OF SINGING (TOS).  Please see their Books Page for ordering information, or simply more info in general.  All proceeds benefit TOS.

This is also the last book I published under the name, Elin Grace Publishing.  The name is in honor of my Swedish grandmother, Elin; and my German grandmother, Grace.

Charles is in Heaven.  HOPE is certainly a word that describes his life’s work and legacy.  We shall meet again.

This lovely poem by Charles was published first in 1974:  Jean’s Journal Anthology, These Are My Jewels.  

The Story Of Elin Grace Publishing, A Story Of Hope

Margie’s comment in response to my previous post inspires me to share more about the name, Elin Grace Publishing. Her wonderful site is Latebloomerbuds:  I enjoy her photos, haiku, and uplifting approach to life!  Thanks, Margie!

Following my 20 years of full-time study and work in special education, I experienced my own challenges with major surgery and a chronic illness.  I was in my 40s then.  I am well now, but it took some time. My recovery overlapped with the precious caregiving years with my mother.  She went through so much, for a long time.  Her spirit grew ever-strong and more loving.  She worked hard to stay with us as long as she could, but had no fear of death.  It was amazing to witness.  My energy was low during these years.  I often looked back at my career in Chicago, among other places.  But teaching is also hard physical work and I no longer had the stamina.

So I watched a lot of TV with my mother!  She didn’t want silence.  No matter how ill she was, she followed and anguished over wars, all the news, every individual human story.  Even on what turned out to be her last full day on earth, we watched C-Span for a short time.  I remember reading to her from the Psalms and also Robert Frost.  Many many people helped her–family, in the medical profession, her pastors, friends, people who took care of her home and yard.  Each and every one of us was special and unique.

These are my most precious memories with my mother.

Mom called me Ellen Grace.

So now The Story Of Elin Grace Publishing.  I retired from publishing some years ago, but am still promoting our last book, the Welcoming Hope book mentioned in the previous post.

The name is in honor of my grandmothers:  Elin and Grace.  Elin is a Swedish name, for my father’s mother, whom we called Nanna.  She and Poppa Ernie came to Wisconsin from Sweden.  My parents gave me the American spelling of Elin, my name Ellen.  Grace, my mother’s mother, died exactly a year before I was born, to the day.  I feel I know her though, through her art.  She made aprons, needlepoint and other crafts.  I did not meet Walter, Grace’s husband, either.  But in 1993, I went to a family reunion in southwestern Wisconsin and met many of their family.  I also understood my deep love of the land and water, and why I was called to leave Chicago and return to my home state.  And I still miss Northern Illinois too!

I found Time of Singing through a Poet’s Market book I found at a store, on the way home one semester, after turning my grades in at NEIU, over 20 years ago now.  Charles Waugaman was the editor then and was one of the first to take my poetry seriously and publish it, beginning in 1990.  We became friends and corresponded after he retired; we did not meet in person, but I feel I know him well.  Like blogging friends.  We share our hearts through our art.

Through Time of Singing, and other resources, I found other poetry journals and began sending out my work.  Rejections are all part of the process–it can take time for a poem to find its true home.   I also ordered chapbooks from other poets.  I found the simplicity of haiku and tanka books fit well too, with my life.

I wasn’t writing much, though, during my 40s; especially when compared to my 50s and blogging with WordPress.  But I had the skills and the support of other artists to make a few little books, which I could not have achieved without the help of Charles Waugaman and Lora Zill from Time of Singing.  

So Elin Grace Publishing is a tribute to my grandmothers, for whom I am named.  It was always non-profit and low-key, but it sure filled some empty spaces with friendship and creativity.

Lessons learned:  we do what we can.  As the saying goes, if one door closes, another opens.  Sometimes we need to REST for a good while.  We don’t know how long we have to make a contribution somewhere.  But my faith has grown.  And as my mother said, “God works in mysterious ways.”

Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in need was my last book.  My mother paid the costs and all proceeds benefit Time Of Singing.  I wanted to say thank you to TOS, for helping me begin my life in poetry, and for being a lifeline during some tough years.

Our Books And Other Art

In the spirit of poetry month, please feel free to share about your books and other art projects in the Comments.  Thank you for your generous Comments in the previous posts, and may the discussion about language continue here and elsewhere.

Under the name, Elin Grace Publishing, I published a collection of poems with Time Of Singing (TOS), which includes many excellent poets!  The title is Welcoming Hope: Poems For Those In Need.  It is non-profit and is featured on the TOS Books Page for a small price (to cover the basic costs).  Lora H. Zill and I were Co-Editors of the book, and Charles A. Waugaman was the Art Editor and Illustrator.   Charles was called Home in 2010; yet his art remains ever-new, as is true of all good artists.

TOS is a literary print journal.  The website is

The TOS website also includes guidelines, sample poems, and other information.  I was pleased to see recently that Lora Zill, the editor for many years, is also posting her “editor’s arias” on the website.

Education Symbol courtesy of