Memorial Day: Focus on the Good Times

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for a lot of people, and they’re excited to get that 3-day weekend to celebrate. That’s fun, and I used to water ski so I know. But all over the U.S. this coming Monday means more — we will remember. Not only about...

A Passion for Driving & Independence

“I couldn’t wait to drive so I could get away from the house.” My husband has said this many times over the years whenever we talk about his passion for driving. It’s a common issue around here because I’m the opposite. My car gets me from A to B and that’s all that...

Computer Purging: Deleting Electronic Clutter

Income taxes got the ball rolling. Searching for information to fill in forms is frustrating and I just knew there must be an easier way. Every year after taxes, I’m the one who gets into files and purges last year’s flotsam so I know It’d be easier to find stuff if...

Valentine’s Day: More Than Romance

It’s 7:30 in the morning and a piece of this chocolate heaven is melting on my tongue as I write. Then, as the last trace disappears, the urge to have another rears its ugly head! A box full of my favorite See’s candy, Bordeauxs, came in the mail yesterday. And what...

Bowling: The Rolling Thunder of a Good Time

The sound of thunder when I opened the door was startling! Bowling balls crashing against the floor, pins clattering every which way, and always a cheering crowd. A hundred people eating, laughing, yelling and rolling. The hint of claustrophobia that hit me...

The Relief of a Neighborhood Community

When I lived on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, we had an unofficial phone tree in a large, cohesive neighborhood — our own community. One day we got an excited call from a neighbor. She hears the telling “blow” of a gray whale making its way into the harbor. We had...

Holiday Humor: Santa’s Lap is Not Just for Kids!

It’s never too late to tell Santa what’s on your mind! It was 1978 at my daughter’s school and we had arranged a treat for the kids. A long line of youngsters, including my own, had aired their hopes on Santa’s lap when suddenly the impulse struck to take my...

A Cup of Tea Calms Holiday Pressure

You can’t help smiling, right? This bit of cup tea whimsey helps to preserve my most coveted of moments during the holiday season, a guaranteed pause of calm. Starting with a deep breath after the first sip! Grabbing these moments when I can reminds me to enjoy the...

Thank You for Tuning Into My Book and My Blog

Dear Friends, Where do I begin? At the top: Thank you my body for keeping me healthy. Thank you my beautiful family for the love. Thank you my dance partners for swirlng me around the dance floor. I’d like to especially thank those who have bought and enjoyed my book....

Loss: Compounded by the Holidays

I won’t be popular with this thought, but Christmas is celebrated with such fervor that sometimes the season feels more like a job to me instead of the pleasure it’s supposed to be. The pressure to “celebrate” comes from the assault early on of goodies, lights, music,...

Olympic Fortitude: Opposite of Me

Competence is compelling. I’ve been watching in wonder this week as the world’s finest athletes display their skills, some seem humanly impossible. But I have mixed feelings. To see what the human body is capable of is awesome and encouraging, but the word...

Reboot to the Positive Side: Give Yourself 5 Minutes a Day!

First thing every morning, list in your head or on paper the positive side of your life. You know, what you’re thankful for. Even if there’s only one, it’s a start. As a reminder, write “my 5 minutes” on a bright little post-it and stick it somewhere prominent. If...

Halloween Means Laughter: A Good Chance to Lighten Up

Halloween allows for creative minds to wander into wild and wonderful places. Making people laugh is the goal after all! As a ballroom dancer, I look forward to wearing something fun on the dance floor every year. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of twirling! No...

The Pleasure of Revisiting Photos

I got to relive this day recently. I got to feel the joy, once again, of spending time with jellyfish, otters, and octopses. My mood was showing as this shark’s jaw on display reeled me in. They say you experience the same emotions when you think about something as...

The Pleasure of Dancing: Therapy Without All the Talk

Today just happens to be my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to talk about my favorite thing: the pleasure of dancing. Whether it’s in a formal class or my own living room, the urge to boogie is good for my body and soul because frowning and dancing...

Moods Rub Off: Seek Good Ones Often

  I’ve always thought bars were filled with people drinking themselves off their bar stools and have avoided them like the plague. But moods are contagious, and if you’re around good ones long enough, you’re bound to catch some of it. Enter, Squirrel’s Tavern, my...

The Power of an Image: Heat Relief in Miniature

The magic is in the bubbles! I’ve seen plenty of water play depicted in photos and pieces of art, and none are quite as magical as those with lots of bubbles. Maybe it’s the action that helps my imagination along because I can almost feel that water on my skin! To all...

Small Things Make the Biggest Impact

Have you ever had a bad day? Ha. So who hasn’t. Or maybe a bad week… a bad month… a bad year? Whatever the reason or timeline, it can be the small things that have the biggest impact in bringing your mind and your mood back to where it belongs. In an effort to walk...

A Tree Frog Called Buddy: The Visitor That Stayed

We’ve been adopted! We weren’t looking for a pet and we didn’t really want one, but here we are, enthusiastic caretakers of a Tree frog we’ve dubbed Buddy. This little guy has made himself at home in our shop, where there’s plenty of insects to feast on. Housekeeping,...

The Many Faces of Pleasure: From Contentment to Excitement

Summer used to be my happy time. Summer meant bare feet and WATER!!! Sunshine, swimming, boating and water skiing was how I grew up in California, where warmer water temps kept you coming back for more. I now live in the Pacific NW, where rivers and lakes and ocean...

Thinking: Your Most Important Work

Thinking looks like doing nothing, but no. Thinking is beautiful. I’ve always admired people who come up with great ideas and love the term “Think Tank”. I envision a group of super brains sitting around a round table, maybe one that’s polished and inlaid with a...

Helping Someone Through Their Loss.

We’ve recently seen tragedy in our neighborhood and it’s got me thinking, again, about sadness and loss and grief when a loved one dies. I’m guilty of jumping to conclusions when someone I know has to go through this, and in my mind I think — your spouse has died and...

The Shot: Overcoming Fear

Fear is weird sometimes. Being scared when your house is on fire makes sense, but being scared of a tiny needle and 10 seconds of pain is just plain silly. I call it “silly” to make sure my brain keeps it in the trivial category — I do have a habit of making mountains...

The Sheer Pleasure of Backyard Wildlife

Our backyards have welcomed their share of wildlife over the years, but this really does take the cake. To have a surprise visit from an elegant Egret, out my own back window, gives me the greatest of pleasures. All thoughts of my husband’s task at hand, mowing,...

Adapting to Change: Baby Steps

Change happens. I know this and yet… I’m bad at it! Even though I know life requires us to change in big and little ways every day, my brain continues to resist, “Oh no, what now?” The good thing is every time I go through this I remember to remember: where there’s...

Income Tax time: Resistance is Futile!

The left side of my brain is losing power. This is the side that logically puts 2 and 2 together and is currently warring with the side that’s yelling, “Who cares. I’m tired of trying to figure stuff out!” Another income tax season ended yesterday for the Wisemans as...

The Ups and Downs of Travel

I get it. It’s exciting to see new places… to travel and get away from everyday life. New adventures keep your spirit alive! Sadly, new adventures aren’t as appealing to me as they once were. I take way too much time now weighing the pluses and minuses before I jump...

Nature: Calms a Busy Brain

Spending time in nature calms you down and clears your head, making more space for what matters most to you. Seeing this beauty first thing in the morning sure did start my son’s day off on the right foot… or at least in the right direction. Jesse lives close to a...

Writing Stuff: Juggling Important Words

A month is a long time in the blogging world, and it’s been over that since I last posted. Life got busier around here with a new writing project and it feels good to steer my brain in a new direction… to start juggling important words again. My time has...

Help in Emerging from Whatever Loss You’ve Endured

Blue Mountain Press took a chance on me 10 years ago, and this beautiful gift book was born. My 10-year anniversary is at hand, and I want to offer up a taste of Emerging from the Heartache of Loss periodically in the coming year. I sat down this week to read it cover...

The Best Yard Sale Ever!

Thrifting is my deal. This brand of treasure hunting gives me a secret little thrill so I do it whenever I can. Tiny shops are really fun, but best of all is an unexpected find at a yard sale. The memory of my own — wild — sale is at the top of “The Best Yard Sale...

From Lowman to Wiseman: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? Probably nothing, and Shakespeare would agree. When Juliette posed the question to Romeo, she was telling him she would love him even though his last name was Montague, her family’s sworn enemy. [“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any...

Abortion Rights and the Magnitude of Betrayal

Watching abortion rights go down last week shook me to the core. Watching the Supreme Court trample the rights of half the population it serves was like finding out your husband or your best friend betrayed you. Crushing. My relationship with America seems a lot like...

The Pleasure of Social Dance: Room to Improve

“Relax your shoulders.” “Relax your shoulders.” I heard this comment over and over during my dance lesson on Thursday. You should know by now that I’m an avid social dancer, and every once in a while treat myself to private instruction to improve my game. Seriously, I...

Perspective is Everything: Consider Changing Viewpoints

Me: That’s a perfect ledge to put all his house plants on! Husband: [scowling] Oooh, nooo, I wouldn’t want plants in my face all the time. We’d been helping our son Jesse move into his new place, and I was admiring a sun- drenched ledge in the kitchen. THERE WAS A...

Defrosting Blogging Brain Freeze: Getting Unstuck

Could it be I’ve come down with a case of BBF, Blogging Brain Freeze? Or maybe wisdom has its own timeline. As life gets more complicated, I spend more and more time trying to make every single part of my life simpler. These thoughts are running through my head as I...

Escaping Reality: A Mental Health Must

They say a writer should write about what she knows. And today, what I know is a home project gone long. I was drowning in the constant bad news of the day so I came up with a plan: distract myself with a project: a facelift for the bathroom. Mind you, there’s nothing...

The Olympics Inspires Fitness

Every two years I get pumped up to pump iron. Every two years I get jazzed by watching the best of the best in the stunning display of athletes at the Olympics. And it always winds up with the same old phrase running through my head, “You sit too much. You are a...

“Emerging from the Heartache of Loss” and Pandemic Relief

A reminder never hurts. People have lost so much during the pandemic over the past two years that I feel the need to talk about my book again, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss. People have lost their jobs, their health, social contact, and the freedom to come and...

New Year’s Resolutions Change How Your Life is Going!

Life gets pretty boring if every day is the same. Setting new goals every January re-invigorates me and gives me something new to think about. Even though COVID has us jumping through hoops, we can at least try to improve the way things are going. I know others...

Thinking: The Most Important Work You Do

This old quote from Warren Buffett has me thinking lately, and I mean double-duty thinking! “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and...

Downsizing: Culling the Closet One Inch at a Time

I’ve donated bushels of clothes over the years, but this time was different. My latest dent in downsizing took me instead to the women’s consignment shop downtown, Re•volve. You wouldn’t think one would need an appointment for this, much less wait two weeks for it,...

That Special Gift of Time: Service vs. Presents

It took him an hour to process all my knives to a perfect edge. I could tell he was enjoying every stroke of every knife that passed through his precision sharpener. Notice the glass of wine in the corner! Best of all, I know my son’s gift of time was lovingly given....

Kite Sparks Sagging Creativity

Wake up, lazy brain! Is anyone in there? My life, along with my brain, has slowed to a crawl so I’ve taken steps to kick my self in the butt! It might be a fanciful idea, but this kite is going to help my creativity take flight! That part of my brain is sorely...

Heat Relief: The Cooling Sight of Bubbles

If you can’t get in the water, watch someone who can. Seeing these underwater images brought instant heat relief! My son Jesse finally caught his apartment pool empty last week and headed down with his Go Pro. “Empty” is mandatory since great shots mean no ripples...

The Heat & Me: Take to the Water When You’re Hot!

I didn’t do well. Time stopped for us during the heat wave last week as the oven-like temperatures rose higher and higher every day. Minute by minute in my mind! My husband and I couldn’t really think straight because we had only one thing on our minds — behold my own...

Update: Fox Family on the Move!

“I’d like to be a fly on the wall when THAT happens!” It’s a wish I’ve had many times over the years when curiosity got the better of me. And now I am that fly as I watch our fox family after dark. Photos in daylight provide the best pics, but it’s fascinating to see...

The Night Life: Foxes are Back!!!

I feel quite like David Attenborough as I watch four tiny fox kits struggle their way from under our shed at 4:30 am. A gray fox couple has once again chosen our property to raise their family and we’re thrilled to catch it on our new trail cam. My son Jesse gave us...

COVID Vaccination Day!

My mom held my hand as we walked along the sidewalk. The four of us looked like many other families in the neighborhood, all hurrying along to the same place — to get vaccinated against the horror of the times, polio. A snippet of that memory came back last week after...