• Meaningful Objects
    Some people keep them to preserve history or to connect with the past, others may be motivated by their status or monetary value, and still others may become obsessed with or are just curious about the objects they acquire. My reasons? Nostalgia, beauty, and fun usefulness! Throughout my childhood, I was a conchologist, memomagnetist, andContinue reading “Meaningful Objects”
  • The Only Real Constant
    “I like when I plan an event and it takes a turn in a different direction.” “I like when our grocery store is out of my favorite cashew butter and I have to choose something else.” “I really like being forced to do things out of my comfort zone.” Said no one named me, ever.Continue reading “The Only Real Constant”
  • Puppy 101
    Is it possible to begin nodding off while showering, or when working at a desk typing on a computer, or while sitting in a hard plastic chair in a cold garage? I would have said no, but after this past week, all three have happened. Anyone who has ever brought home a furry bundle ofContinue reading “Puppy 101”
  • Expanding Hearts
    The hardest part for me was the change of routine, followed by having two less birthdays to celebrate, and then the fact that our house seemed too quiet, too clean. Every time we went for a walk, no companions. Every time we’d come home, no wagging tails. Every time we’d wake up, no pitter-patter ofContinue reading “Expanding Hearts”
  • It Makes the World Go Round
    Tomorrow is the day we celebrate the four-letter word described as tenderness, fondness, warmth, passion, even adoration.  It can bring us great joy, pleasure, and happiness. It can make us feel energetic, giddy, even euphoric. It can lower our blood pressure and stress levels, as well as lead to better mental health. Wow! It’s thatContinue reading “It Makes the World Go Round”
  • Top That!
    While other Catholics, those would be the good Catholics, were eating fish obeying the religious practice of no meat on Fridays, my mom and at least one of us kids were headed down Linden Street for Tony’s to pick up greasy, cheesy, salty, saucy triangular slices of heaven! Usually, two large cardboard boxes were handedContinue reading “Top That!”
  • More Than I Thought
    I had completed Day 6 when I decided to make it official and take it on as a 30-day challenge. I simply went to class one day, then showed up the next, then the next…you get the picture… and when almost a week went by it dawned on me that I should give it aContinue reading “More Than I Thought”
  • In Balance
    Wanting to make changes to our Arizona home many years ago, I happened to meet someone who claimed she knew just what to do. Although she worked for a pharmaceutical company, she had a consulting practice on the side. Karen explained the process and gave me the names of two of her clients, Cherie andContinue reading “In Balance”
  • Nearly the Same
    Decades ago, my mentor teacher Chris referred to them as “Golden Words”. Not the same as Magic Words which include Thank You, Please and May I. And not like the first words that beginning readers need to memorize such as it, the, and in. No, these words were different. Chris assured me that my classContinue reading “Nearly the Same”
  • For the Fun of It
    Conlanging, E.I., and kendama are ones I wasn’t familiar with until now. Constructing a language to communicate with others, ironing clothes in extreme situations like on a rocky ledge, and performing endless tricks with a ball attached to a handle with a string…really? Who engages in such activities? Intriguing as they sound, I won’t beContinue reading “For the Fun of It”
  • Ushering in the New Year
    More likely than not, on any December 31st you will find us among other merrymakers situating ourselves at a table to get the best view of the stage, waiting for the emcee to kick off two hours of anticipated fun. No matter the experience, delivery style, or subject matter of the recognized or unfamiliar performers,Continue reading “Ushering in the New Year”
  • ‘Tis the Season
    Unpacking holiday decorations three weeks ago, I came across our “Le Vitrage Leuchtglas”, a candle holder adorned with a quaint and colorful winter village scene including smoke rising from chimneys, people dressed in coats, hats, and scarves talking to one another, children waving, and a horse drawn sleigh in the foreground.  It transported me toContinue reading “‘Tis the Season”
  • Happy Holidays 2022
    How can we find a path forward With the world in such disarray? Perhaps starting at the local level and Being active will lead the way. A sad good-bye began our year With Kashi’s unexpected passing Although we miss her sweet face Our memories will be everlasting. Robert underwent a second hip surgery As theContinue reading “Happy Holidays 2022”
  • Write on…and on!
    Looking at my desk calendar, I saw September 13th was circled in red with a hand drawn smiley face next to it, indicating session number one. Oh, happy day! But, as I prepared my notes, a little apprehension kicked in. Despite my years of being a classroom teacher and tutor, these first meetings still fillContinue reading “Write on…and on!”
  • Showing Up
    I was sixteen years old when I was first introduced to meditation in motion. At the time it was a toss-up between that elective or jogging inside the gym at Taconic High. Though I was a runner, I opted for choice number one because the beauty of stepping into sneakers and heading out on foot,Continue reading “Showing Up”
  • Like Most People
    My daily trip out the front door straight ahead a few yards to reach the three-foot post cemented into the sidewalk that securely holds our correspondence receptacle, most often feels like pure joy. I get downright giddy at the prospect of finding unexpected treasures awaiting me each time I pull down the handle and peekContinue reading “Like Most People”
  • Giving Thanks
    With thoughts of past Thanksgivings in mind, I perused my journals, a couple of current ones and a few dating back to the early 90s. Curious as to what I wrote about on those Thanksgivings, I wondered how did we celebrate? With whom?  Where?  And what was I grateful for then? From my journal: NovemberContinue reading “Giving Thanks”
  • Happy Trails
    Never shy about raising my hand to volunteer, this spring I offered to organize an activity for the Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter in our area. While many BBBS sponsored events take place all year long, this would be an additional one. Not for fundraising purposes or to interface with the staff, but one purelyContinue reading “Happy Trails”
  • Welcome Back, Curcubita Friends!
    With Halloween now in the rear-view mirror and Thanksgiving just up the road ahead, one of my favorite foods is still being featured in magazines and on cooking shows and are readily available at grocery stores and roadside farms alike. Round, smooth-skinned, ribbed, and most often a bright sunshiny shade of orange, I always lookContinue reading “Welcome Back, Curcubita Friends!”
  • When You Believe in Things That You Don’t Understand
    I’ve never thought of myself as the type of person 25% of folks in the U.S. truly claim to be, but because I have indulged in some questionable behaviors, I fit the description. For instance, I have crossed my fingers when hoping for a positive outcome.  I have knocked on wood to avoid jinxing something. Continue reading “When You Believe in Things That You Don’t Understand”
  • Crazy About Them
    While I vaguely remember the incident, I vividly recall Dr. Maislen in his white lab coat, his white hair, and the white walls of the waiting room where children whined trying to settle into chairs or onto their mothers’ laps. Thinking back to visits with our family’s pediatrician, most were positive. This time, not soContinue reading “Crazy About Them”
  • Wash and Dry
    I’ll admit it. I never truly appreciated our Fisher & Paykel Front Load Series 5 side by sides with 13 cycles each, until January 7, 2011. That’s the day we were reunited.  By then, they had been a part of our family for about eight years.  Although now that I think about it, we onlyContinue reading “Wash and Dry”
  • Fed Well
    The first recorded one was chiseled into clay tablets dating back to 1750 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia. The first one printed and bound came along in 1471 just two decades after the Gutenberg Bible and was written by Bartolomeo Platina called “On Right Pleasure and Good Health”. And the oldest recorded copy still in printContinue reading “Fed Well”
  • Wherefore Art Thou?
    From my journal: September 27, 2022, Newbury Park, California “Another HOT day on the the 90s…hopefully only a couple more scorcher days, ugh!” Looking at the weathered vines and root remnants in our raised beds this morning, I smiled remembering the bounty of goodness that came from our sown seeds.  Zukes, cukes, beets, carrots,Continue reading “Wherefore Art Thou?”
  • Cheers to John Chapman!
    Among the things I loved most about teaching 1st grade were the seasonal units. In September, we’d learn about the fruit students love to give their teachers, the one that originated in Kazakhstan and what East traders carried along the Silk Road. 7,500 varieties of these crispy juicy gems are grown throughout the world, andContinue reading “Cheers to John Chapman!”
  • On a Positive Note
    I entered the wonderful world of teaching after 20+ years of working in business. Switching gears was exciting yet challenging. The environment alone was a huge change. Spending my days in a shared office with adults differed greatly from being in my own classroom with children under the age of 12. But no matter myContinue reading “On a Positive Note”
  • A Centenary Celebration!
    From my journal: November 4, 2020, Newbury Park, California “A Journal Journey has finally launched! Yay!…Have been so nervous about sending my posts “out there”… What if I can’t come up with ideas to write about?  What if I get negative feedback? What if no one reads it at all? Glad Robert has given meContinue reading “A Centenary Celebration!”
  • Sweet Release
    I had to laugh when I came across this comic in the L.A. Times recently. Ha! Relating to it, I cut it out and posted it on my peg board. I wanted to hang it in a prominent place to remind myself that at times, I need to… just…LET GO! There has been a plethora ofContinue reading “Sweet Release”
  • A Labor of Love
    From my journal: August 1, 2021 Newbury Park, California “Having our garage sale on Saturday…found so many books I had packed away…will sell some but have to keep some school ones…though no longer teaching can’t part with them!” I was tickled pink when I recently came across one of my favorite language arts related texts.Continue reading “A Labor of Love”
  • Gotcha!
    Do you know what one thing interrupts a person’s focus and redirects it to something new, and for a moment causes muscles to tense, especially in the neck? This thing also lowers your heart rate, increases blood pressure, and lights up pleasure centers in your brain. Can you guess?  Surprise!  When a person experiences somethingContinue reading “Gotcha!”
  • There’s a Job for That?
    Painting my toenails recently, I happened to notice the black print on the white screw top of the Essie polish bottle in my hand.  It read: “bare with me”. It was of course, a beige tone. Then I looked in my cosmetic stash for the polish I used earlier this summer and found a cheerful shadeContinue reading “There’s a Job for That?”
  • …Family Abroad
    From my travel journal, August 7, 2007, Tel Aviv, Israel “Will get together with Zev and Zohara again on Thursday…will be nice to meet more of the family then, such good people…“ On our third night in Israel, we found Zev and Zohara, standing among the grave stones in the old section of the SegulaContinue reading “…Family Abroad”
  • Connecting With…
    Why is it that whenever a family member gets a whiff of a trip you’re taking – any trip – they feel compelled to give you the name of a long lost relative they want you to look up and meet?  It doesn’t matter if it’s your third cousin’s aunt once removed from the familyContinue reading “Connecting With…”
  • …Has its Rewards
    Day One of our weeklong stay at the retreat in Devon was a “light” day, mainly due to the Health and Fitness Assessments that took three hours to complete. However every day after began at precisely 5:45 a.m. It’s then we’d be awakened by a way too loud bell ringing three times, accompanied by JulieContinue reading “…Has its Rewards”
  • Changing Expectations…
    From my journal: March 23, 2009 London, England “Just received an email from someone with the initials JB…? It didn’t ring a bell at first…turns out it was from Julie from Devon!” After reading the email twice, it all came back to me…ah, that week in October of 2008. Overworked and needing some time away,Continue reading “Changing Expectations…”
  • Slurps Up!
    You’d recognize it easily by its sound, maybe even before it’s appearance, or it’s taste.  Born by “happy accident,” it was created by Omar Knedlik in the 1960s when one of his soda fountains broke and he had to save his sodas by storing them in a freezer. The result?  An icy cool drink peopleContinue reading “Slurps Up!”
  • A Special Summer Place
    The excitement would start to build about a week after school let out. By then, we had all adjusted to a new routine. Easy mornings in our pjs, my older brother, sister, and I would gather in the kitchen and play eenie, meenie, miney, moe with the mini Kelloggs cereal boxes on the counter. OnceContinue reading “A Special Summer Place”
  • Be Heard
    I met all the requirements. I had to be: at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have a valid CA driver’s license.  I had to be:  flexible, positive, and on time. I also had to be able to: follow directions, handle and resolve situations as they arose, and have a keen eye forContinue reading “Be Heard”
  • All Hail to the Squash
    First rooted in Italian soil, it made its way to America in the 1920s.  Cylindrical in shape, its firm glossy skin is often streaked green and yellow making it look striped. Mild in flavor, its soft and tender flesh can taste slightly sweet to lightly bitter.  I am definitely a fan, and what I likeContinue reading “All Hail to the Squash”
  • Color My World
    Yellow, blue, green, and pink, have each been my favorite color at one time or another. Yellow reminds me of a smile, like the smiley face first popular in the ’60s.  It also makes me think of sunshine and honey.  Blue brings to mind the vast sky, oceans, and blueberries.  When I think of green,Continue reading “Color My World”
  • Sew Much Fun!
    It was made of a white sheer cotton fabric embellished with small dots known as Swiss dot.  It had a rounded Peter Pan collar, short puffy sleeves, and a sash waist that tied prettily in a bow at the back.  This A-line dress was tea-length, skimming my legs mid-calf. A plastic tiara with attached veil,Continue reading “Sew Much Fun!”
  • Critical Questions
    It was Tuesday, April 20, 1999, when I was wrapping up my field experience at Four Peaks Elementary School in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  I had just met with my mentor teacher, Mrs. G. and was excited about this moment because it meant I was nearer to finishing my Post-Bac degree in Elementary Education, and IContinue reading “Critical Questions”
  • Wise Words
    The other day I was looking through a pile of notebooks, journals, and assorted magazines, searching for some inspiration. Something to spark new ideas, something to make me want to pull out my paints, inks, and markers. Funny enough, what I found was a handwritten list sandwiched between pages of a long ago purchased artContinue reading “Wise Words”
  • Tossed, Composed or Bound?
    I had never heard of the Association for Dressings and Sauces, nor that they’ve been around since 1929. I was also unaware of their annual conferences in which attendees discuss topics such as: “No Two Acidulants are the Same”, “Sensory Science and Flavors” and the wildly popular “Natural Preservatives: A Peek Behind the Curtain”.  ButContinue reading “Tossed, Composed or Bound?”
  • Your Next Stop
    Shot in black and white, the 156 episodes were written, narrated, and produced by a man who used ideas inspired from his dreams, and news events from the 1960s to create them.  Unique to this series are the genres the episodes were based on. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, suspense, psychological thriller with a little darkContinue reading “Your Next Stop”
  • Lessons in Learning
    When I was teaching, May was one of my favorite times of year. It’s when there was a short breather before sprinting to the finish line and wrapping up the year with a big bright bow. It was right after spring break when we were assessing our students, taking pleasure in their progress. It wasContinue reading “Lessons in Learning”
  • It’s Good For You
    Scrolling through a list of programs and movies streaming on Amazon Prime recently, we were looking for something lighthearted and humorous to view. That’s when a Canadian version of a show called “Last One Laughing” appeared. Have you heard of it? First off, the name alone made me smile. I mean it’s initials are LOL!Continue reading “It’s Good For You”
  • A Breath of Fresh Air
    I have nine magazine subscriptions.  When my hard copies arrive, I put on the kettle, gather them up, and plunk myself down in my retro teal twill swivel chair and get ready for a Peruse Fest!  After I flip through the pages, I make a note of articles I want to read in further detailContinue reading “A Breath of Fresh Air”
  • Playing with Others
    It was a case of you don’t know, what you don’t know, until you know. I was aware maybe the fourth time we gathered around the glass table in their Tustin backyard under the pergola, sitting in aluminum chairs tucked in close.  All materials lay before us just waiting for the challenge to begin.  TheContinue reading “Playing with Others”
  • The Soundtrack of My Life
    From my journal: May 21, 1988 Redondo Beach, California “Heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on K Earth 101 this morning…I couldn’t help but smile…” Songs are powerful.  They can transport us to a time and place when we first heard a particular song, or they can bring up memories of an event, fillingContinue reading “The Soundtrack of My Life”
  • There’s a Holiday for That
    From my journal: December 21, 2001 Thousand Oaks, California “Never went to work in my pjs before!  Pajama Day at school was fun!  Wearing pjs made the day very relaxing.” There are many things I miss about teaching; the students, creating new ways to teach the same subject, and the sense of community.  I alsoContinue reading “There’s a Holiday for That”
  • Art in Crafts?
    I’m seeing myself in a whole new light these days, as I recently learned that all the time my family and friends complimented me on being artsy, they really should have been referring to me as craftsy.  This notion has been bothering me, but I’m not sure why. I mean, is being an “Artist” moreContinue reading “Art in Crafts?”
  • Waiting Just Outside
    Thinly slicing sweet Fuji apples to bake on parchment-lined trays recently, I happened to glance out our kitchen windows into our backyard. There before me I saw an amazing flurry of activity. A breeze was ruffling the pale triangular jagged-edged leaves on the limbs of our white birch trees. A pencil-sized bumpy gray lizard layContinue reading “Waiting Just Outside”
  • Here’s to Women!
    From my journal: March 6, 1986 Redondo Beach, California “Wish I could see her more often and that we lived closer. She’s so down-to-earth, fun to be around, honest, humorous and expressive…Three thousand miles is a very long way away.” Although I wrote that about my mom more than 35 years ago, I still feelContinue reading “Here’s to Women!”
  • How Do You Spell Fun?
    I love a good challenge.  And when I learned this one involved words, I was intrigued. And when I found out you get multiple tries to win, I was ready to start! As I brought up the app on my phone, I was feeling confident.  How could I not win at this game? Afterall, IContinue reading “How Do You Spell Fun?”
  • A Presidential Visit
    While I had visited several times when I taught 5th grade, my first trip there “sans students” was just three weeks ago.  My brother, Ray and his wife, Meghan were in town and when she suggested this outing, I was thrilled!  Located about 14 miles northeast of our home in Newbury Park, it took usContinue reading “A Presidential Visit”
  • My Happy Place
    My earliest memory of visiting on my own, happened on a frigid blustery weekday afternoon in January, just after I turned eleven. With books in my knapsack, my blue puffy parka zipped to my chin, red stocking hat with a pompom on my head, matching mittens on my hands, and brown rubber boots on myContinue reading “My Happy Place”
  • Just to Say Hi
    When was the last time you went to your mailbox, not your email inbox, but the physical one most likely posted outside your front door, then tugged down its handle, and inside you found an envelope with your name and address handwritten in pen right there  – smack dab – in the middle of it,Continue reading “Just to Say Hi”
  • Hello Sunshine!
    Welcome Back! It makes me so happy to know that you are taking time out of your busy day to read my blog! It’s readers like you who make my digging through hundreds of journals and photos each week to find just the right topic to expand upon…you…you make it all worthwhile. To those ofContinue reading “Hello Sunshine!”
  • Never Forget
    We were in Munich to enjoy Robert’s Golden Apple Club winners trip and had one day left to explore the city before the Awards Banquet that evening and our homeward bound flight the next day.  It was early May of 1990 and we were standing outside of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof hailing a taxi toContinue reading “Never Forget”
  • A Recipe Handed Down
    As kids, we called them Padoggies. I never questioned their proper name, until I learned my dad made up words. For example, he called pajamas, naugies. I didn’t even know naugies weren’t what other people called them, that is, until I invited kids over for a Naugie Party.  Imagine that? Parents of my young friendsContinue reading “A Recipe Handed Down”
  • What I Would’ve Said
    From my journal: January 3, 2022 Newbury Park, California “I was so overwhelmed, I know I thanked people, but I don’t remember what I actually said.” Had I known this past Sunday that Robert had been planning a birthday party for me for months, I would’ve been prepared. I would’ve written a framework for aContinue reading “What I Would’ve Said”
  • Sixty Years Old
    Yesterday as I turned 60 years old, I wasn’t thinking of what people have said to me about starting my 6th decade of life, which includes some humorous, but not-so-humorous thoughts on aging, usually passed down by my slightly older, well-meaning friends and family. Things like, “It’s the beginning of the final chapters of yourContinue reading “Sixty Years Old”
  • No Respect Cake
    My sister Donna reminded me just recently, I am the only one she knows who likes what many people claim to detest and make fun of, calling it a door stop or unpalatable loaf.  I’m not so sure I even like it, but when we were young kids visiting our grandma Jadwiga over Christmas break,Continue reading “No Respect Cake”
  • Season’s Greetings 2021
    With the pandemic still lingering And our nation’s political and social unrest Our beliefs, thoughts and behaviors Have been certainly put to the test. We’ve adjusted to new ways of traveling Testing, masks and vaccinations Fortunately, we were able to get away on A few greatly cherished vacations. While all destinations were scenic Back east,Continue reading “Season’s Greetings 2021”
  • Fill in the Blanks
    I guess there are worse things to be addicted to, but in the last four years I’ve been getting up quietly around 5:30 a.m. and with slippered feet, I make my way to my studio office.  There with the plantation shutters still closed, I turn on my computer and carefully type in my Password.  WithinContinue reading “Fill in the Blanks”
  • Learning About Hanukkah
    I know from teaching that learning anything new comes with mixed emotions. Surprise, confusion and awe, as well as discomfort and even fear. I also know understanding and even appreciation come only after being immersed in whatever one is learning, over time. Uneasy and anxious is what I mostly felt, on that late December afternoon,Continue reading “Learning About Hanukkah”
  • Soup’s On!
                It’s unfortunate that I used to associate this versatile, easy to make, enjoyable any time of year, warm deliciousness, with being sick.  Maybe like me, growing up, the make-you-feel-instantly-better go-to was a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. My mom would serve it on the coffee table in our living room, while I’d lay onContinue reading “Soup’s On!”
  • Honorable Mention
    I’m not sure how long our local paper “The Acorn”, appropriately named as we live in Thousand Oaks, has held the competition, but I’ve entered it at least three times.  Each time I write and rewrite my story over and over, tweaking a word here and changing punctuation for more impact there.  I make sureContinue reading “Honorable Mention”
  • …and Thirty-Two Years Later
    We hoped our getaway to Kauai this past April would work out. It was our first travel experience since the pandemic began. This time, it wasn’t as easy as booking two tickets to paradise. To board our American Airline flight, we had to have CO-VID tests given by a specific health care provider.  Results thenContinue reading “…and Thirty-Two Years Later”
  • A Trip to Paradise, Then…
    An LA Checkered Cab idled in the driveway of our Southern California home at 7 a.m. I was in the back seat within minutes. During the half hour trek to LAX, the driver and I talked about vacations, weather and our mutual love of San Francisco. Once at Departures, I handed my overstuffed suitcase toContinue reading “A Trip to Paradise, Then…”
  • The Kindness of Strangers
    In just under five hours, we were transported from East Twickenham, a chock-a-block London surburb jammed with people, cars and noise to the sparsely populated Welsh hamlet of Tal-y-Llyn, dotted with sheep, farm equipment and birdsong. Danny, his wife, Sinead and their young daughters, Eleanor and Hannah greeted us with smiles when we knocked onContinue reading “The Kindness of Strangers”
  • First Fall Fun
    Growing up in western Massachusetts, fall was ushered in on cool chilly breezes. When the leaves on the maples were vivid hues of auburn, copper and gold we knew we were in the thick of it. There was so much to look forward to then. Especially, the first holiday of the season which we’d payContinue reading “First Fall Fun”
  • …Let the Good Times Roll
    So..if it’s called Oktoberfest, why does in start in September? Good question! You may have been wondering that too, so let me explain.  The first Oktoberfest was indeed held in October, on the 12th to be exact.  The year was 1810 when Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. (Phew! With a lastContinue reading “…Let the Good Times Roll”
  • When in Munich…
    From my journal: September 21, 2009 East Twickenham, England “Loud vibrating music, off-key singing, packed in like sardines… even dancing on tables!” This oh-so-not-my-kind-of-adventure started like any other… with Robert playing up the positives. But in this case, I wasn’t convinced there were many. Still, I heard him out. We had experienced this craziness before,Continue reading “When in Munich…”
  • Sweet Autumn
    It was usually a chilly misty Saturday morning, sometime before Halloween, when we’d drive down our street, head to West Street, turn left at the Lipton Mart Convenience Store onto Merriam Street, then right onto Housatonic Street, then left onto Barker Road driving past Friendly’s Ice Cream, then onto Swamp Road, past the Pittsfield MunicipalContinue reading “Sweet Autumn”
  • Just a Number
    From my journal: April 14, 2015 Thousand Oaks, California “When did we become the oldest people in the room? Took a rock climbing class at Boulderdash…us.. and a group of kids!” I was reminded again of our age on our most recent trip.  Aboard the Windstar, we were headed for the Greek island of SantoriniContinue reading “Just a Number”
  • Also Known As
    They’ve been around for a very long time, as far back as the early 14th century! Then they were called ekenames. Eke meaning also or in addition. At some point ekenames morphed into nekenames then became what we know as nicknames. A few that I’ve had over the years include: SharBear, Bellhead and PenWiz. FromContinue reading “Also Known As”
  • British English
    From my journal: December 10, 2007 E. Twickenham, England “Received a packet of letters from my former students…they’re now in 6th grade! How fun!  Can’t wait to read them!“ Robert had been living in London since early January of 2007.  I wanted to finish out the school year, but when spring break rolled around, IContinue reading “British English”
  • …Leads to Another
    We did end up with a few souvenirs from our trek up to Healdsburg before heading home from our long weekend in Napa.  A tee shirt for Robert and one for me. A cookbook, too. And…more. A whole lot more. Ross’s friend Johnny met us at Mugniani Imports, Inc. on Grove Street just as theyContinue reading “…Leads to Another”
  • One Thing…
    Our long weekend away started like any other. This one was just a hop, skip and jump north to Napa Valley. Our itinerary there always includes a stay at a B&B with bike trails nearby, a visit to wineries we’re members of, and a list of restaurants we’ve yet to try. This time we alsoContinue reading “One Thing…”
  • Diving Rules
    From my journal: December15, 1993 written from Barbados “Slept off and on…reread the instructions in my diving book…hope all goes well today.” The sun had been up at hour when Robert and I were on Route 1 again. Just past Bridgetown we found The Dive Shop Ltd. at the bottom of Carlisle Bay. This wouldContinue reading “Diving Rules”
  • Island Rules
    It was just after sunset when we arrived in St. Peter’s parish on the northern side of the petite pear-shaped island, about 1600 miles southeast of Miami. Known for its soft tropical weather, this independent British Commonwealth nation boasts 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, long stretches of white sand beaches and sparkling clear bays.Continue reading “Island Rules”
  • Strangely Familiar
    From my journal: July 26, 2011 writing from Copenhagen, Denmark  “At the Library Bar tonight… dark wood, leather chairs and books, books and more books!  And that plaid carpet…just love it! Only one more day here.” On the last leg of our Western European trip, we were enjoying our final days in Copenhagen, Denmark. AfterContinue reading “Strangely Familiar”
  • Let Him Eat Cake
    From my journal: August 7, 2008 East Twickenham, England “Went to St. Margaret’s tonight to toast to Robert’s birthday although it’s officially tomorrow…bought him a Harley tee. Asked if there’s anything special he wanted for dinner. He said an angel food cake – yikes!!” Living as ex-pats at the time, I panicked at Robert’s requestContinue reading “Let Him Eat Cake”
  • Bringing Out the Best
    Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, from the second night on, binoculars dangled from one of our necks anytime we left our hotel room.  Our fourth night out, we were back at the Olympic Saddledome. There we watched as The Soviet Union crushed Czechoslovakia in ice hockey.  The final score 6-1. It wasContinue reading “Bringing Out the Best”
  • In the Olympic Spirit
    From my journal: February 15, 1988 Redondo Beach, California “In two days we leave for Calgary to see the XV Winter Olympics!….Can’t wait!” We arrived at the Calgary International Airport on the fourth day of the 1988 Winter Olympics and were bussed into the city center with a dozen of other Apple Computer folks, whoContinue reading “In the Olympic Spirit”
  • Suits Me to a Tea
    I can count at least twelve brands and twenty-nine varieties of Camellia Sinensis and tisanes in our pantry right now. Why so many?  Why not?  Each kind is unique and offers a different experience. Whether it be Oolong, Rooibos, Puerh, Green, Black or White… the square, round or pyramid shaped fiber filled sachet packed withContinue reading “Suits Me to a Tea”
  • A Restless Evening
    We moved to Rolling Hills Estates, a city located about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles in the spring of 1993. Feeling overwhelmed, this was our fourth residence in just three years. We initially chose this area for it’s location to work and family. With the exception of the proliferation of squawking peacocks, it turnedContinue reading “A Restless Evening”
  • Just As it Should Be
    There’s really only one thing to do when you make a wrong turn and end up going in a direction not intended….and that is stop…and turn around.  Sometimes, however, it is easier said than done.  Pulling a U-ie, my dad gave the rotary another try. Then, another. My mom snapped off the radio just asContinue reading “Just As it Should Be”
  • Summer Fun
    School had just let out for the summer.  I had nothing to worry about and nothing to do. Because ten, yes ten glorious weeks of “Saturdays” lay ahead. With the exception of just one. From my diary entry June 22, 1973 Pittsfield, Massachusetts “We’re going to the Cape to see Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Bev…can’tContinue reading “Summer Fun”
  • Remembering Dad
    I knew something was wrong as soon as we pulled up in front of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house and parked at the curb.  Normally our niece and nephew would fly out the front door and run over the grassy front lawn to greet us. This time it was their mom who stood there onContinue reading “Remembering Dad”
  • Dog Gone
    It was our second Sunday there. Just eight days earlier, moving vans deposited our belongings into a two-story white painted house on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Silicon Valley. Our third move in less than two years, we felt like pros.  Our furniture was arranged, our clothing and wares were put away. Even the boxes thatContinue reading “Dog Gone”
  • A Remembrance
    From my journal: May 27, 1994 Rolling Hills Estates, California “Looking forward to the long weekend…will be going to Ella & Ralph’s for a cookout.”             I have to admit that in the past I was always happy when Memorial Day rolled around. But… it was more about having the day off, getting together withContinue reading “A Remembrance”
  • The Next Steps
    Our initial meeting included our match specialist, her mom, and grandmother. Wearing cowboy boots, jeans and a spunky attitude, my Little Sister answered questions easily.  A scientist or race car driver is what she wanted to be. And her all-time favorite animal? A cat!  Really?  One criterion for matches is common interests.  So I’d haveContinue reading “The Next Steps”
  • The First Steps
    The application was daunting.  Eight pages of questions.  Some were basic such as name and address, while others called for some thought, like: “What are you afraid of?” I could’ve answered “clowns” or with a more philosophical response, “Not living up to my full potential”. Which type of reply were they looking for? What wouldContinue reading “The First Steps”
  • Keep Moving Forward
    From my journal: July 19, 2020 Thousand Oaks, CA “Feels surreal, like being in the movie“Ground Hog’s Day”…when can we stop worrying so much?” Only four months into the pandemic I, like everyone else in the world, was wondering when life would return to “normal”. Anxious and fatigued, the hours seemed to meld into daysContinue reading “Keep Moving Forward”
  • A Tribute to Moms Everywhere
    Way back in Ancient times, the Greeks and Romans were on to something when they held festivals to pay homage to their goddesses of motherhood, Cybele and Rhea. These annual spring get togethers included food, dancing and singing. The French call it “Fetes Des Meres” and set aside the fourth Sunday in May as theirContinue reading “A Tribute to Moms Everywhere”
  • Unexpected Visitors
    From my vacation notebook: May 21, 1984 Moorea, Tahiti, French Polynesia “Off to find the “cascades”…our waiter told us that it is a secluded place only the locals know about…can’t wait!” We had driven from Haapiti to Afareaitu and followed the directions exactly as they were written down. Did we miss something, we wondered asContinue reading “Unexpected Visitors”
  • Express Yourself
    Standing in front of 20 other 6th graders in Room 8 without notes, I took a deep breath and began repeating aloud the words I memorized while trying to convey just the right mood, tone and meaning of Robert Frost’s classic poem.  After each stanza, I reminded myself to pause for a beat.  I thoughtContinue reading “Express Yourself”
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