Father’s Day Hike

(re-run) Several years ago on Father’s Day, my three kids went with to their dad’s for a barbeque, and I went on a late-day hike with my (now ex) boyfriend. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t believe in rules and always thinks his way is the best way. We took a hike on the… Continue reading Father’s Day Hike

Worst/Best Dog Trainer Ever

(re-run) When Wiener, the ten-pound family Dachshund, was two, he started pooping in the upstairs hallway. This was not okay with me. I found a dog trainer named Sheila who came to the house and worked with the entire family. That first session was an eye opener. Sheila hooked Wiener’s collar to a leash, and… Continue reading Worst/Best Dog Trainer Ever

Queen Victoria, the Cat

(re-run) Renee, the artist, already had three cats. She wasn’t looking for another. So when her daughter-in-law called and said, “Mom, you need to adopt this cat,” Renee was thinking, No way, Renee. But then she heard the kitty’s story, and she had to reconsider. Renee’s son Brian and his wife were moving to Tennessee… Continue reading Queen Victoria, the Cat

Mountain Lion

Another mountain lion attack was reported on the news last night. A 24-year-old woman’s dog saved her life in Trinity Forest in Northern California. The mountain lion attacked the woman first, but her Belgian Malinois shepherd named Eva jumped in and is now in serious condition. Cub season is now until October. The lion was… Continue reading Mountain Lion

The Weird World We Live In

(re-run) To stay informed, I read the paper each day and watch the news most nights. It’s amazing how many people don’t have a clue about what’s going on around them. Like the local nineteen year old woman who bit a female jogger on her arm because the jogger pepper-sprayed her loose dogs. In a… Continue reading The Weird World We Live In

Romance Coast to Coast

(re-run) Nicky went back to Connecticut to see his mother.“You’ve got to meet this cute Italian girl working in my office,” a friend said.“I’m only here for a week,” said Nicky.“My wife is in night class with a cute Italian girl,” another friend said. “You two should meet.”“I’m only here for a week,” Nicky said,… Continue reading Romance Coast to Coast

Worst Fake Friend Ever

(re-run) When I moved to suburbia in the Bay Area, I joined the town’s Newcomer’s club and then joined the babysitting co-op within the club. We were all new mothers with one or two children, and the thirty of us traded babysitting with coupons while our little families grew bigger. My two-year-old daughter bonded with… Continue reading Worst Fake Friend Ever

Judging from the Trends

(re-run) I was asked to judge a picture book contest. I’m a picture book author of 29 books and also a mom of past picture-book fans. Picture books are books with both words and art, usually 28 to 64 pages, and usually for young children. The gift book people have figured out how to put… Continue reading Judging from the Trends

Sneaking into the Pool

(re-run) While student teaching in Venezuela, we learned how to have fun with not much money. One of the American teachers had stolen a couple of striped beach towels from an upscale hotel, and she had been sneaking into the hotel pool for years. “Just carry the towel and act like you belong,” Linda said.… Continue reading Sneaking into the Pool

Dog Training, the $100 Secret

(re-run) When I got a ten-week-old puppy four days before Christmas six+ years ago, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. I’d trained many a dog, but I did it within the context of my family, with my children at the ready to wear out the new pet. This time I was… Continue reading Dog Training, the $100 Secret