Film Review: My Hero Brother (2016)

Want to see a light film that you didn’t expect to like but has a subtle and uplifting impact? Read about some incredible sibling relationships, and a lot more!

The film is not in the theaters now, but you’ll be able to find it on Netflix and elsewhere.

Read my published review of the film, My Hero Brother, by Yonaton Nir. Here’s the link, as published in The Newton Tab:

‘My Hero Brother’ shows the treasure we share

And then drop me a comment!





Poetry Submissions: What Would Joyce Kilmer Say?

submittableI’m sure many of you poets have all encountered this email text:

“It is difficult to make a judgement about a poet’s work based on one poem. Therefore, I am asking you if you could, to send, say, 6 – 8 more poems by return e-mail? We would then have a better idea, and we can then see whether or not we can go forward.”

I’m imagining a dialogue like this:

Joyce: I would like to submit my poem, “Trees.”

Editor: Dear Mr. Kilmer, while we enjoyed reading this one poem, it is difficult to make a judgement about a poet’s work based on one poem.”

Joyce: It’s a darn good poem. It has staying power.”

Editor: Yes, but we would don’t know whether or not we can go forward with promoting you as a poet with just this one sample.

Joyce: Dearest editor, I wouldn’t call it a “sample.” It’s a poem. It’s inspirational. Universal and timeless. It will resonate with the entire English-speaking world. How about if I send you 3 others at this time? I’m kind of busy getting ready to defend our country, to enlist in the National Guard, you know. Maybe you can wait until I return from fighting World War I on the European front? I might have some really good poetry for you then. Very graphic, you know.

Editor: Mr. Kilmer, this poem is but twelve lines.”

Mr. Kilmer: It speaks volumes.

Editor: I’m sorry, sir, but please do get back to us when you have more and possibly longer poetry in your collection.

Or possibly the dialogue with Ms.Charlotte Bronte would have been like this?

Editor: Ms. Bronte, your poem “Parting” is really very evocative. However, we would like to see additional samples of your writing. Besides, we’re much more interested in prose fiction these days.

Ms.Charlotte: Dearest editor, as an artist I must be true to my “voice.”

Editor: My dear Ms. Bronte, let me be blunt. Literary tastes are changing. The
marketplace simply does not support poetry any longer. Besides, for a female writer, I would suggest you look into literary prose.

Ms. Charlotte: Dearest editor, it’s so easy to be anonymous on the internet these days. Perhaps I can just create a male moniker and nobody will ever know that I and my sisters are of the delicate gender!

Charlotte Bronte went on to write her great and enduring novel, Jane Eyre. She and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote, under false appellation, the volume of poetry, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, published in London in 1846 by Aylott and Jones, which sold only two copies.


Joyce Kilmer went on to write his enduring and beloved poem “Trees,” first published by the magazine “Poetry” in August 1913, subsequently published in his literary collection “Trees and Other Poems” before he enlisted and fought in World War I, when he died  France, shot through the brain while he was out scouting for tactical information, in 1918.





Our Grand Rose of Sharon, and Her Attendants

Our beautiful lady has been showing off for four months now. Days shorten, evenings cool off, and still she (and her attendant bees!) glitters. All these, and more, from one bush.








I know you’re in there, oh bee!


Come out, bee, and show your face!


And on a new day in different light….



REPRINT of PRINTS: A Poem for Dogs (and Those Who Love Dogs)

The online journal River Poets Journal has been, in honor of National Poetry Month, soliciting “napkin poetry,” short poetry that can fit on a napkin! I’m so pleased that they published a poem of mine, “Prints.” (April, 2016). Each published poem is printed on – you guessed it – a napkin! Here is “Prints” for you to enjoy!


The above poem I was inspired to write one day, as my husband and I were taking a walk through a park, at the end of a winter where we saw over 110 inches of snow!

Journals abound that writers can submit their writing to, but I really like and recommend River Poets Journal for its simplicity and creativity of design, its embracing of all poetry styles, the editors’ willingness to discover new talent, its conceptual creativity (dedicating a page to napkin or pocket poetry, for example), and its online and print (.pdf) presence. I also delight in its all inclusiveness: In addition to poetry, prose, art and photography, even musical compositions are accepted and available for listening! River Poets Journal is dedicated to “(w)ork that inspires, excites, feeds the imagination, rich in imagery, work that is memorable” and I highly recommend that you please visit it and stay awhile!

(Maybe you’ll even decide to submit some of your best work!)

Weekly Household Haiku Challenge: Art


TJ Paris has been offering his weekly household item haiku challenge and I’m a week or two late on this one, art, but presenting it nonetheless.

The artwork below is my own two watercolors.

Beach and Bird by Jane Hanser

White moon hovers low
Lone seagull wades on a beach
My walls: canvasses.


Rosemary and Lemon: Aromatherapy for Seniors, Alzheimer’s Patients (and You)

Rosemary_white_bgReblogged from “Mom, Me and Elderly” by Jane Hanser:

“There is no cure for Alzheimer’s” I read again and again. I’ve alternated between accepting that claim and refusing to accept it. Scientists promise a cure in the future, but what about now? Even if there is no cure currently, maybe it’s possible to stop its progression. This – stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s – is in itself a blessing and this is my goal for my elderly mom.

I think about my semi-annual teeth cleanings and how difficult it is to remove plaque! Ouch! (It is so much easier to not allow the plaque to build up in the first place.) Regarding my own high cholesterol numbers, my physician explains you cannot remove the plaque, you can only stabilize it (with statin medications such as Lipitor) so it doesn’t break off and cause heart failure. Or its buildup can be contained by smart eating. But plaque in our brains? Research is now being done in mice to try to successfully remove plaque from their brains but that remains long off for humans.

When it comes to my elderly mother, my mission is to halt the progression of this disease, while she can still get pleasure from life and from our company, and to stop this dreaded disease from further debilitating her mind and robbing her of her intellect and memory. When Aricept had to be discontinued due to gastrointestinal side effects, I discovered that the Exelon patch bypassed that issue, as it is transdermal, and she’s been on an effective dose of the Exelon patch for months with minimal side effects.

Still, necessity mandated that I venture once again into cyberspace, alwyas looking for something I had missed before, or something new, and this time I found a study done by faculty at the Tottori University, Yonago, Japan, which used the essential oil rosemary. Rosmarinus officinalis. The same rosemary that we use for cooking to make food smell yummy? The same herb that I have growing in my garden? The study also used the essential oil of lemon. In this study, the two essential oils, rosemary and lemon, were added to water in a diffuser. Both are presumed to have properties that, by traveling through the nasal cavity, and thus avoiding being broken down in the liver, directly affect the hippocampus or amygdaloid body, which is in charge of discharging neurotransmitters. A compound in rosemary, 1,8-cineole, causes an increase in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. It is the breakdown of these neurotransmitters which causes the lapses in memory and cognition.

AROMATHERAPY? I do yoga and all, but I have my limits in this wellness craze. Talk to me about wellness and all, and you’ve lost me!What did I have to lose? What does my mom have to lose by trying this?

I ordered a diffuser, ordered the essential oils, and we went to work. The morning aid comes in to give my mom her meds and follows the protocol indicated in the study, exactly. She puts just enough water in the diffuser that the oils diffuse in under two hours, while my mom goes back to sleep. She sleeps as close to the diffuser as possible because she loves smelling the sweetness. Pretty interesting from somebody who insisted she had no sense of smell. Is there something in this essential oil is igniting her sense of smell?

If there’s any water left over, in the evenings she holds the diffuser close to her nose and just breathes in the vapors. She loves the sweet smell. And as a bonus it may actually be helping to WHAT the neurotransmitters.

Is it affecting, or improving her cognitive functioning and her memory?

I believe so.  I maintain a log of what she does, what she says, and have been keeping this for months now. We also have a week-at-a-glance book that her aids and she fill in daily. In the last 5 weeks I’ve seen little deterioration, and extraordinary improvement. In addition to the Exelon patch (which, by the way, is designed to block the enzymes that break down the neurotransmitters), she is also taking the doses of coconut oil (see next blog post.)

Doubtful? Read the Japanese study for yourself by following the link above. If your parent or spouse is suffering from Alzheimer’s, what do you have to lose? What does he or she?

As for the rosemary growing in our garden, I have snipped off some branches and every now and then take a deep whiff. A big inhale… AHHHHH! And while inhaling I think about how much my brain loves this…..  Suddenly rosemary is one of the most beautiful smells to me.

And this is over-the-counter! The same type of naturally-growing plant that pharmaceuticals often try to mimic in their medications. I still don’t like to label myself a “naturalist” or get into terms like “wellness” but I’m open to the wisdom of trying these long-coveted medicinals and aromatics, naturally growing plants.

With Alzheimer’s, a nasty disease that usually results in death, it’s best to take an all-inclusive approach. And remember, it takes 15-20 years for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s to appear. So why wait until there’s been an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?

Rosemary and Remembrance. Do some of nature’s own healing aromatherapy with the sweet-smelling scents of rosemary and lemon.

(See also: BBC: What Does Rosemary Do To Your Brain?)