Virtual Tip Jar Fail

I love live music, and the pandemic has made it harder to find. Some of the local bands have gone online, putting out their virtual tip jar while they play for an hour or two. Sometimes they are sponsored by a business, sometimes they do it from their apartments. I love the Beatles, so when… Continue reading Virtual Tip Jar Fail

The Uses for a Nine Year Old

My Girl Friday (who works for me on Mondays) has a daughter, who sometimes comes along with her to work. Now that her daughter is nine, she is useful in many ways. 1. She entertains my dogs. 2. She entertains my sister, giving her someone to watch. 3. She brings music into the house, since… Continue reading The Uses for a Nine Year Old

The Blond-tourage

Every woman over fifty gets the same advice from her hairdresser — lighten up your hair. As our skin fades and our looks do, too, we need brighter lipstick, sparkly-er clothing and blonder locks to stay looking as young as we can. My apologies to women of color; this may not apply to you. So… Continue reading The Blond-tourage

Moon Over Lafayette

Trudy worked at an engineering firm. Joe was the visiting copy machine repair man, or as her office mates called him, the Xerox guy. One day Trudy had to make copies. Joe was at the machine, repairing away. “Oh,” she said. “No copies for me!” “Hey there,” Joe said. “We should catch dinner sometime.” “Okay.”… Continue reading Moon Over Lafayette

Not your Normal Fishing Trip

Really, folks. You can’t make this stuff up.  My fisherman friend, we’ll call him Pete, took a buddy and his boat and spent a day on the Delta (San Francisco Bay) where the Sacramento River meets the ocean, and the delta, a mixture of fresh and salt water and just as cold as the ocean,… Continue reading Not your Normal Fishing Trip

Melanoma and Me

(re-run) This is the kind of post that is scary to write, knowing that melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. When I got the call, I was hiking in one of the most beautiful places on Earth near Carmel, with two friends, a happy couple who happened to be in town. “I have melanoma,” I… Continue reading Melanoma and Me

Bomb Shelter Blues

Our house on 69th Street in Urbandale, Iowa, had a big bump in the backyard. It’s where my grandfather built a fall-out shelter that connected to our basement. It was during the Cold War, and thoughts of atomic bombs being dropped on us was enough to motivate him to save his daughter and five of… Continue reading Bomb Shelter Blues

The Blond-tourage

(re-run) Every woman over fifty gets the same advice from her hairdresser — lighten up your hair. As our skin fades and our looks do, too, we need brighter lipstick, sparkly-er clothing and blonder locks to stay looking as young as we can. My apologies to women of color; this may not apply to you.… Continue reading The Blond-tourage

The Darwin Awards

(re-run) The world is insane. A snowstorm is predicted for the East Coast. It’s Mother’s Day weekend. The local news station reported that scientists may take llama antibodies for Covid-19 and give them to humans to see if it would help with immunity. Does that mean the humans might start spitting when they are angry?… Continue reading The Darwin Awards

Rattlesnake Season

(re-run) It’s rattlesnake season here in the West.  Snakes are cold-blooded and love warm surfaces like rocks or sunny trails when they are cold, and dark and shady places when they are hot.  At night they curl up in the strangest locales – in coiled-up garden hoses, under the edge of pool covers, and now… Continue reading Rattlesnake Season

My Twix Bar Habit

Her name was Pat, and she ran the middle school where I taught for six and a half years in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Pat knew everything, and everything went through Pat, the principal’s secretary. Pat was all business, and so was I. We didn’t develop a rapport past simple nice-ities.  Others could get Pat to… Continue reading My Twix Bar Habit

Uncle Frank and the Jar of Coins

I grew up with three uncles, one in Colorado, another on the other side of the state, and one near my home town in Des Moines, Iowa. Uncle Frank was older than the other uncles, but since his daughter, Nina, was my age, I hardly noticed.  He was married to my grandma’s younger sister.  They… Continue reading Uncle Frank and the Jar of Coins