Loss of Friends: Moments of Lonely

I don’t want to move anymore! The patience it takes for that whole process has “left the building!” I keep reminding myself that the upside to settling in a new town is the opportunity to explore and to meet new people but, darn, I miss my old people! The loss I’ve...

Love/Hate: Tumbling Down the Tech Rabbit Hole

I love my iPhone. I hate my iPhone. Negotiating between devices, apps and icons, spins my head faster than Regan’s in the bone chilling movie, The Exorcist. But I am determined and shall soon be smart once again. ha I know deep down that the upsides far exceed my...

Ears Need a Break: The Value of Silence

Look what I found on my walk this week! With the enthusiasm of a rare bird sighting, I rounded the corner and saw my neighbor tidying up her small patch of grass with the gentle clickity click of manual mowing. The silence, or nearly so, was music to my ears. I love...

Self-Confidence Boost: Letters of Recommendation

I opened a file this week that kicked me in the butt. Income tax time in my house is for culling and shredding the past year, but this old file will remain in tact for the rest of my life. It reminds me of the good stuff. “Resumes” contains Letters of...

CPR: Saving Lives is Complicated!

Yesterday I saved some dummy’s life. In a two-hour CPR class I learned that “CPR is violent.” This, the instructor’s first sentence, was startling. The compression it takes to keep blood flowing to the brain can cause injuries but, as per his handout, “While...

The Urge to Purge: Organizing Makes Life Easier

I can’t remember exactly when I first felt the urge to purge. Maybe I was trying to find someone’s phone number in the Mt. Everest of paper piles. Or maybe it’s when I first got interested in Feng Shui 10 years ago. Whatever it was, the challenge and...

Enjoying Your Own Creativitiy: Acrylic Paint Pouring

My daughter started it all. Christy is an artist who temporarily put down her brushes and started pouring paint onto the canvas instead. The fascinating art form of Acrylic Paint Pouring seems like great fun, but really challenging. Some of the pieces she’s produced...

“Worry Wears Worse than Work” (1915)

The science may be wrong and I laughed when I read it, but even 104 years ago they knew that “worry” eventually takes its toll. The following is excerpted from the chapter called WORRY in a little treasure of a book I inherited, A Physician in the House by Joseph...

Conquering the Slippery Slope of FOMO

I’ve felt it myself so there’s no more denying what I originally scoffed at, FOMO (internet slang for Fear of Missing Out). **Anxiety that you are missing exciting events that other people are experiencing, especially caused by things you see on social media.** This...

Smiles Matter and Won’t Cost You a Dime!

To be avoided if possible: perfect gifts, kitchen slavery, mandatory cheerfulness. “Friends and family” is a familiar phrase this time of year, but not everyone has family or friends that can or even want to spend time together. Advertising and social media makes it...

Cheerfulness: Its Influence Upon Heath (1915)

“The brain of an irritable person is overcrowded with blood and that of itself is a cause of disease. It’s most important, then, that we cultivate happy dispositions; dispositions which make others comfortable; dispositions which laugh at slight troubles and accept...

Milestone: 10,000 Books and Counting

Numbers don’t lie. But in case they do, I double checked. My book, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss, has now sold 10,134 copies. Now this 10,000 milestone won’t rock the publishing world, but it’s rocking mine. To think that I had a part in helping 10,000 hearts to...

VOTE: Priority #1 This Week

It never before felt so good to vote. I’ve never felt so desperate to get us all on a track beyond name calling and rock throwing. Voter turnout is always discouraging, and I’ve wondered how different the outcome would be if 99% of us voted for the people and measures...

The Case for Smiling: Do It More!

A smile says, “Welcome.” A smile says, “You matter.” Moods can shift dramatically with this simple gesture — both for the smiler AND the smilee. I know this for sure because when I see someone smiling at me, my face automatically smiles back. And I feel more relaxed....

Changing Perspective Calms the Rage

Avoiding the subject of politics this week is tough for me. I’ve got it on my mind… a lot. However, in keeping with my blogging vow to uplift instead of bitch, I have no choice but to try and avert my attention to the “glass-is-half-full perspective. It ain’t easy,...

Knowing Someone Cares is Like Gold

“You can tell if someone really cares what you’re going through. They are watchful enough to know when to leave you alone and helpful enough to assure you that you’re not. Your lousy day can change with the smallest of gestures: someone asking how you’re doing and...

Making Time for Unexpected Visitors: Pig Alert!

Picture this: Suddenly there’s a pig in your backyard. You don’t know where it came from. You don’t know where it’s going. Quick, grab the phone. Never mind that you’re still in your jammies. That was the scene from my couch yesterday at 7:00 AM. Mid-sip morning...

Weeding Out Habits: Make Room for Change

Habits dig ruts so slowly you don’t even realize it. Pretty soon you’re doing the same thing in the same way all the time… year after year after year. And when a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain starts snoozing. It’s why we can so...

Coming Out of the Closet: Me & My SmartPhone

Coming out of the closet is part of my master plan. I’m coming out of the “flip-phone” closet by getting my very first smartphone. Welcome to the 21st century—15 years late! It’s not that I’m a computer-phobe. I’ve been a Mac fan since day one, love my desktop...

Tech-ing yourself to death!

“I saw a guy at the Starbucks today. No iPhone, no tablet, no laptop. He just sat there, drinking coffee. Like a psychopath.” To whomever mixed these words together, thank you for your genius.

Simplifying Life Easier Said Than Done. Learning to Flex.

SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE screams loud and clear in my head and feels more like a command these days than a mere suggestion. I’m making great progress because everything in the house seems to yell at me, “Do I need this? Do I love this?” How many people do you know who can...

Learning Something New Helps Keeps You Relevant.

Learning something new always peps up my brain so taking a class now and then feels really good. I just registered at my local community college’s Community Ed department for: Traveling Across Cultures: Embrace Cultural Differences. Sounded like a good idea...

Pausing for Puppy Love: All Work & No Play Gets Me Grumpy

Like faery dust, the magic spell of “puppy” covered me on my first visit with Stanley. Our friends and neighbors across the street, Jeff and Bernie, just added a new member to their family. And when they texted “Puppy visitations are open,” I was there in 60 seconds....

Smartphones Sabotage Face-to-Face Conversation

Forgive me for being in the dark ages. Me and my flip phone were doing just fine. It fit discretely in my pocket or the pocket of my purse, and has long been my security blanket for imaginary emergencies and last minute change in plans. Facebook, emailing, writing and...

On the Loss of Youth: Losing Muscle, Gaining Wisdom

“This is harder than it used to be” has been going through my head lately. Physical strength is something I never gave a second thought to. I’ve always been a fast mover and used to work, volunteer, parent, and party late on Sat. night then get up early on Sun. to...

The Sweet Sorrow of Parting With Your Stuff: De-Cluttering

The scrumptious smell of leather lured me into the store. When I admired the black leather vest the sales person was wearing, she took it off right then and there and handed it over. What? That was 25 years ago, and it’s been hanging in my closet ever since, waiting...

Mental Survival: Silliness Saves My Sanity

I caught myself recently being drawn to the epitome of trivia — toothpaste. I looked at that tube night after night and felt a growing challenge to get one more squeeze out if it. Could I do it one.. more.. time? This private competition with myself lasted a...

Conversation With Strangers Delight

A bold, bald, robust man leaned over to peer into my plate and said, “Ma’am, what are you eating there?” When I said Avocado/Bacon Benedict, he jumped on it and ordered the same. Now I’ve looked at diner’s plates as I walked through restaurants before, but this was...

Lego Play Shakes the Cobwebs Loose

This “toy” is for a six-year-old, according to Lego. Hahahahaha, the joke’s on me. Putting this child’s toy together cost me one hour, 6,000,000 brain cells, and the comeuppance of incompetence. Cobwebs in there are cleared… for now. I have to confess that I...

Limping Along for a Spell: Loss of Mobility an Eye Opener 

One day you’re kicking butt at the bowling alley. The next, you’re lucky if you can get yourself to the bathroom in time. The loss of mobility affects everything. My husband and I recently adopted a new sport. We’ve been bowling occasionally with our son Jesse over...

Addicted to Comfort: I Must be Danish!

Denmark beckons. Here they embrace a lifestyle I’ve spent years trying to achieve. Imagine a whole culture that’s built around comfort and snuggling up, or so it seems from a book Santa left for me under the tree this year. This lifestyle revelation may not be new...

Thrift Shops, a.k.a. Goldmines

Thrift shops rock and top my list of pleasures for the treasures they contain. And here’s the latest reason why: this awesome print now hanging next to the table in the dining nook. My husband and I often go thrifting together and have great fun with this “sport”!...

I’m Bored!

Breaking routine gives a body something to look forward to. Even people who live in Hawaii get bored with what the rest of us are flocking to. Apparently dreamy weather isn’t so dreamy when it’s constant. Sameness is numbing and boredom makes you dread the day ahead....

On Loss: Aftermath of Divorce and the Heartache of Loss

When you write a book you don’t get to design the cover, and I was nervous putting this aspect in someone else’s hands. But then I opened the box filled with my complimentary copies. At last, the finished product. Oolala, much more colorful and cheerful than I imaged....

Getting Older, Feeling Fine

The calendar demands that I get older, but I feel no differently this week than last. The gradual nature of aging — 1/365 at a time — gives me the chance to fix little things before they get big. Nipping what I can in the bud! Part time work has put me on the other...

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone Expands the View

Oh, the power I felt at holding back traffic in Seattle! Oh, the satisfaction! I’m in the city to visit my daughter Christy. Out of my comfort zone and timid, I edge slowly into the road as if cars would come barreling down. Then my daughter yells as she strides...

Willie Nelson, the Great Bullshit Detector

“Don’t be dazzled by your own bullshit.” I’ve never given Willie Nelson much thought beyond his easy listening music and roguish style, but this line from a book he wrote 11 years ago, The Tao of Willie, speaks volumes. I’m a new fan! For some reason, says Willie, the...

Weaning New Habits Into Place

I am blessed, I have a lot of ideas. I am cursed, I have a lot of ideas. A mind that’s so busy creating work for itself needs to be tamed once in a while and for me, that’s now. This snapshot that my son sent of his refrigerator door jumpstarted my new resolve —...

Days are busier. Days are noisier. Our eyes and our minds are tethered tightly to our cells, but in a busy, noisy world it’s the “human” connections we have with one another that elevate our days.

Vanity: Embracing Fuzzy Photos

The taker of this photo also sent me a “better” one, but I disagree. I like the fuzzy one better. Apparently, my vanity is showing. The shot was taken at the eclipse party next door. Our host sat across the table from me, and when she suddenly saw miniature sunflowers...

Eclipse Brings Neighbors & Friends Together

I didn’t expect it at all but, for that instant, a wave of emotion shot through me. The lump in my throat was unmistakable. How amazing to look directly at the sun — no blinking, no squinting, eyes wide open. Looking it dead on. That was something. Lucky me to...

Getting Knee Deep in De-Cluttering Territory

In my home, sardines couldn’t be closer. No matter how tightly you jam the hangers together, there’s only so much a closet can hold. My greedy self has just spilled over to the closet in the office space and that’s plain silly. My sweet husband worked patiently to...

Talking About the Weather Doesn’t Change It. Heat Happens.

Discussion about the weather usually puts me to sleep, but I get why it’s necessary. There are vacations to plan this time of year that require “appropriate” clothes. But mostly, it’s what people talk about when they have nothing to talk about. It’s a safe beginning...

Finding a Balance Between Work and Play

  My daughter liberated me from the tedium of tasks last week, tipping the balance between work and play on its head! Every year Christy comes to visit on her birthday, which conveniently falls the day after July 4th holiday. It’s a time of year when we reflect...

This Peace of Nature Calms a Busy Mind

I never thought much about sheep before, let alone the peaceful effect they might have on me. They produce wool and lamb is tasty. That’s about it. I’ve seen sheep shorn and was amazed. I’ve even, on occasion, counted them jumping fences in the middle of a sleepless...

Hearing Loss: Lessons in Getting to the Point

“Some people should use a gluestick instead of chapstick.” This meme appeared on my Facebook newsfeed this morning and I identified. My mind zoomed to Trump and his tweeting fingers in the middle of the night, but it’s really more personal for me than that. I’m...

Father’s Day: Knowing You Matter is Everything

With Father’s Day this coming weekend, I once again asked my husband what Father’s Day means to him. His feelings might have changed over the years as the children got older, but no, he’s felt this way since they were small, “To have your children recognize you....

Does Your House Welcome You Home?

This was my front door in 1980. Oh, how I loved that door. Oh, how I fussed to get it just right. Carefully measuring and mixing together different shades of orange and yellow for that vibrant sunburst. Our cookie-cutter house finally said “Welcome.” In our formula...

Memorial Day: More Than Just Time Off

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for a lot of people, and they’re excited to get a 3-day weekend to celebrate. That’s fun, and I used to have a boat so I know. But today means more to the millions who want to honor, not only soldiers lost, but someone dear...

Priority List: Good Health is Inching Toward the Top

I’m sitting in front of an aquarium watching four bright yellow fish and some friends swimming around their underwater home. It’s a fitting opposite to what’s going on beyond the doors 15 feet away. I’m in the hospital waiting for word of my husband’s minor surgery,...