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:

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:

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?