Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Twenty Second Affirmation


This morning,

as the grogginess unfolds from your mind,

Before your feet touch the ground;

Prepare the prologue.

Give it twenty seconds.


Like those last few kernels of popcorn--

Think about the coming day, and all the letters, words and sentences you will use in a positive manner.

Plan your day like a story with a happy ending.

Remember there’s a beginning, a middle and an end to this unique day, and you are the main character.

Don’t even look toward the window, in case the weather influences your outlook.

Be it cloudy, rainy or windy, let your mind float into a place where your voice is heard, your smile appreciated, and your touch treasured, as if it were a blessing.

This is your day.

A short delightful chapter in the eloquent, exciting book of your life.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Focus on the Fun!


There’s not much to say when you’re having fun, and enjoying summer. Some folks sit around complaining about the heat, while others decide to jump in and forget all about complaining. This month we’ve dashed into air-conditioned buildings as if it were hailing golf balls. As if our flip-flops would melt and take a piece of our souls down into some fired up inferno.

And, still we laughed, splashed and forgot about those slick news anchors and their horrid predictions. We took each hour at a time, and dressed accordingly. We brought hats and sunscreen on our daily adventures. We sang and watched the sunset while enjoying cool drinks. We listened to a band, danced, and ate magnificent food. We froze at the movie theater while watching the Elvis movie. We ordered ice cream and everyone looked happy. No complaints. (Even our dog Baba, likes the heat.)

Of course, there’s more hot weather ahead.

So, I guess my point is, we need to focus on the good times. 

I’ll remember the laughter caused by messed up lyrics, twisted jokes, and crazy selfies. There was that ice-cube that slipped from my hand and traveled across the floor, soft breezes that tousled my hair, and colorful flowers that seemed to enjoy blasting sunshine mixed with giant dollops of  humidity. 

Here’s hoping incredible memories and awesome escapades outweigh any future discomfort.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Happy Fourth of July!



Please remember that fireworks are not allowed in Riverside County, California, but there are several spectacular shows planned around the area. Since we have a rescue puppy, we will probably hold her and try to keep her calm all evening. Unfortunately, many people forget there are also people suffering from PTSD who would rather not hear the loud explosions caused by fire-crackers. Even sparklers can be dangerous to small children, and the smoke can bother those with inhalation and respiratory issues. I've also noticed that birds, bees and butterflies are affected by the toxic fumes. Fortunately, there are many ways to remember our freedoms: music for example, dancing, singing, swimming, and of course eating are a few basic ideas. Lawn games like badminton, croquet, football and tag might be fun. Plus there are board games, puzzles, table tennis, and good old fetch with the pooch, or pooches. Either way, have fun, and celebrate responsibly. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Summer Climates Among the Vines


Summer Heat

The wisteria might not bloom.

Months after sprouting curling branches,

temperamental vines know the weather is changing.

Perhaps she heard screeches from the

brazen bougainvillea that latched onto our window screens.

Thorns lacerating left and right—creating holes--

a magenta blur on windy days.

“Let me in! It’s coming,” she seems to scream.

Two hot days and the tender clematis surrenders.

Arrogant weeds are in their glory.


Meanwhile the frolicking jasmine,

holds a perfume competition with the roses.

Though most lemons are gone—

squeezed into winter recipes--

barely enough for a pitcher of lemonade--

their new blossoms add a joyful citrus scent,

luring us out—

into the shade,

where pale green matures into a bold,

 fragrant palette.


Until late summer—

when the desperate vines cling—

droop and wither with abandon.

When the parched grass fades to yellow,

and we now smell our neighbor’s barbecue,

tropical scented sunblock,

a floral fabric softener that reminds us of wisteria.

The time comes--

when even the dastardly weeds wither and die.



Eve Gaal

Sunday, May 29, 2022



I love trees. I think trees know that I love them. Still, one had to be trimmed, and the tree fought back. Two chirping birds landed in the leaves above my head. It’s like the tree had lobbyists or flying spokes-feathers. Maybe they were sent to warn me. Or a nest?

I’m on a hill with a hand saw, the branch gives way, grazing my face, nicking my hand and bruising my chest. Of course, I saw stars for about an hour. My only excuse, “I thought it would fall the other direction.” The worse parts were tongue lashings from family and friends.

“NO”, they said. “You could have killed yourself. Never again”, they said. “What if you were knocked onto the cement at the bottom of the hill?” All right, I capitulate. A friend brought over hydrogen peroxide and Band-Aids. I’ve been through worse, and I’m sure I’ll live. I love trees. Let them grow. Sorry little birds. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

At Dusk-The Puppy Transformation


I’ve been calling our live-in rescue, Petunia Butt-Cakes, because she doesn’t like home remodeling. There are contractors setting tile upstairs, which inspires unprovoked barking tantrums. She refuses to learn the outside from the inside, hangs off of puppy pads to do her business, or goes for the larger pads-aka-rugs. She also forages for sticks in the yard, chews on them, which in turn gives her constipation, and that annoying itch under the tail.

Of course, she’s teething, chewing and destroying everything she can, even digging up plants, and turning over lamps. Her numerous toys don’t excite her as much as any form of trouble. You should see what she did with my yarn. And, she shouldn’t have separation anxiety, because we are here, babysitting, and trying to train this 13lbs of terror, with treats, all day long. I turn my back and she’s standing on the dinner table. Still, she doesn’t believe she’s not the Alpha dog. Somehow, she has determined that she can do as she pleases, and it’s none of our business.

Her dad has threatened to send her back to the rescue; even offered to sell her in front of Walmart. I think he was joking, but the scars on his hands just healed. We bought books on training puppies but those people/writers/doctors or whatever they call themselves, are crazy. One book, that ended up in the thrift-store box, suggests a choke-hold leash. Another famous dog guru said to use electrical shock collars. How are famous veterinarian’s able to offer such horrid advice?  In fact, I’m astounded, but I don’t want to dwell on it.

I’m hoping when the floor is finished, things will settle down a bit. Until then, I’m investing in odor eliminators and rolling up the rugs. Someday, I want to write about her sweetness. It happens after dusk. After the workers are gone. After running us ragged, after we threw the ball a hundred times, after the zoomies in the yard, after she’s too pooped to bark anymore, she finally, runs out of energy and wants to snuggle-up while we watch television. Adorable.

 A sleeping monster waiting for the sun to rise on a new day. Our Baba-Chanel, the cutest Jekyll-Hyde character you’ll ever see. Petunia Butt-Cakes.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Three Wonderful Reasons to Be Busy


The last few weeks have been busy weeks for several reasons.

1. I’m participating in a couple of online writing groups that offer prizes, and print the best stories in their anthologies. One of these groups is a critique group that meets with zoom. While it’s fun to read other stories, we’re supposed to critique them. This is where I’m having some trouble. You see, I don’t think of myself as an editor. In my opinion, writers are creative, and who am I to tell someone they shouldn’t use clichés, or they should think of a different word for ‘very’?

I say, let it flow, and if the story doesn’t jive with readers, then maybe they’ll write another one. ( I do). Eventually, they can pay an editor to fix mistakes and overused expressions, but honestly, I don’t think I’m cut out for critique groups. I’ve tried three different critique groups and felt uncomfortable in all of them. One was in Rancho Mirage, one was in La Quinta, and another in Temecula. All the writers were amazing.  Some wrote science fiction, memoir, steam-punk or mystery. One guy wrote poems. Seriously, I enjoyed hearing every story, but I write in different genres, mostly, romantic adventures, and faith-based fables, nevertheless, everyone has always given me wonderful, constructive advice.

On top of all that, if I missed one meeting, I’d lose the flow. Characters were introduced, and there were new twists in the plot. It was horrifying, for me anyway, trying to tell these artists, anything about their creation, since I had skipped a large chunk of valuable information. And yet, it was obvious the attendees would thirst for any input, or glimmer of feedback we could offer.😟

Anyway, I’m sticking to the online groups for a while, especially since a couple of my stories won a prize! Awesome group of writers, fabulous stories and I'm proud to be part of this incredible process called Bardsy. My story can be found in an anthology titled; Love is Blind, and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09XZBNMK5

2. I also have a new column at In2ition Magazine!

Watch out world, because this gorgeous magazine is not your mother's coffee-table periodical.  It's about empowering women, so I shared a short bold scene from a day in my life. 

 It’s called Apple Blossoms and you can read it here: https://www.in2itionmagazine.com/issues

3. We are remodeling our bathroom. This idea of a safer, less slippery floor has grown into an immense project that has kicked us out of our bedroom. It’s like a colossal trilogy that never seems to end, may have a happy ending, but I'm ready to flush. 😊

Thank you for sticking with me on this long post. Have you ever joined a critique group? Did you enjoy it? Have you remodeled your bathroom? Is this really May?