Friday, February 15, 2019

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark, and Deep

We're back to the snow, and this time there's actual snow on the ground with more on the way. There are dogs and boys and plenty of coffee and a fireplace and winter things. And miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Day of Hearts

I have written before about my history with Valentine's Day and the music that goes along with it. For Valentine's this year, I'm linking to my favorite love song of the last decade. Brandi Carlile's "The Story."  It always makes me cry so either I really love it or I need a new SSRI prescription.

Happy Valentine's, friends!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

4 Blankets, 2 Coats, Gloves, and a Hat. And That's Just Me

My friend Amy took this photo of Emily and I at the kids' baseball game on Monday night. If you live in Southern California, 44º feels like a blizzard.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Teddy! Levi! Teddy! Levi!

This is what it looks like ten seconds after I have called the guys to come in the house. (No one is coming in the house.)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019


Levi can always tell where people's weak spots are. In an effort to save me from myself, he always, always, stands between me and the full-length mirror.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Thing I Made

Including this quote from Morgan Harper Nichols

And in those moments where the sun is setting and the house is quiet and you are weary from the day, may you know that there is grace for you in that space, and no amount of heaviness or loneliness can take that away. And because of that grace, you are free to slow down. You are free to breathe and rest, no matter the things not sorted out. There might be some mystery here and there might be longing, wondering, and waiting. But there will also be boundless peace that goes beyond any understanding, running wild like a river through everything, no matter how heavy these moments feel. So rest easy, when everything is approaching. Tomorrow is surely coming, but in the hours in between, you are free to rest till then.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Gong Xi Fa Cai

I keep thinking, now that it's the beginning of the year, I need to get organized and get myself together. I keep thinking it. Now, I've thought my way into February. No longer the beginning of the year. Unless I go with the lunar calendar again, as I have in recent years. It's my version of a fast re-set do-over. So, I'm doing over. I've started clearing out old files. I'm putting some new habits into action. I'm working in earnest on an old project. I got that new/old double root canal situation handled. I even drank some water in addition to my omnipresent coffee. Somebody throw me a parade.

Happy New Year. Gong xi fa cai. Wishing you great happiness and prosperity.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Rainy Night

It's been raining, well I was about to say "raining up a storm" but that's a little on the nose isn't it? It's been raining a whole lot the last few days. This song has been in my head and I think it's a good one for a rainy day.

Saturday, February 2, 2019


"We're going to keep walking in front of you and sitting wherever you're trying to get just to make sure you understand how much we're not appreciating this thunder and lightning so you can make it go away please and thank you."

Friday, February 1, 2019

My Own Personal Polar Vortex

It was 50º and raining at the baseball game tonight. The guys couldn't find me immediately after the game because I had teleported to the car as soon as the umpire yelled, "Ballgame!" (There are seat warmers in the car, not in the folding camp chair.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Levi Rosenberg, Charge Nurse


Patient, Lisa Rosenberg, was up during the night. I followed her around the house. Watched patient eat a mashed banana at 3:15am. Side note: I do not like mashed bananas, I prefer the peels.

Patient is on bed rest. Passes time playing Wordscapes game on cell phone. Have observed some cheating.

Mrs. Rosenberg, reports pain at oral surgery site, but still requests coffee at odd hours.

Patient hogs all pillows in bed.

When patient appears to be in distress, I move to head of bed and get into the "small spoon" formation for cuddling purposes. This appears to calm her.

I often lick patient's ice pack to ensure it is still cold. And delicious.

Patient is expected to make a full recovery in 24-48 hours. Although she is sometimes fussy, I will miss having her under my constant care and watchful eye.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

Jeff bought Picante Lime Corn Nuts from the snack window at Bob's game on Friday night. He left them next to me while he went to keep score and I ate them. All of them. I don't even like Corn Nuts or the picante chemicals these were dusted with. I was out of my mind.

The next morning I woke up with a toothache. Damn you to hell, Corn Nuts. Chewing on the yellow rocks had clearly done something to upset my mouth. I took a lot of Advil over the weekend and called my dentist on Monday morning. The x-ray revealed a large infection under my #18 molar (lower, driver's side). The infection had been there for awhile but biting hard on the Corn Nuts had brought it to my attention. This tooth had already had a root canal, but it had apparently failed. (It should have studied harder for the final. Hello, comedy!) I was referred to an endodontist.

This morning, the endo juiced me up with two needles full of Novocaine and explained that the failed root canal had a fractured root and she would need to look for a different root to go in with. If that wasn't possible, I would have to have the tooth extracted, and nobody wanted that. There were a lot of x-rays. A lot of pulling and jackhammering. More x-rays. "Open  your mouth as wide as you can, now just a little bit wider than your widest."

Usually during unpleasant experiences I am able to check out and think about something else: a white sandy beach, a full moon on a foggy evening, not having jackhammering going on inside my face - things like that. This time, I couldn't get there. The best I could do was to concentrate on the music in the office, the SiriusXM Music for Oral Surgery Station. Ah, Toni Braxton. What's she doing now? A little Faith Hill country-crossover music that I shouldn't yet do know all the words to. Hotel California. Electric Avenue, Good Vibrations and how does one find a theremin instructor, exactly? Google it, I guess.

There were more x-rays and something called a 5-20 being jabbed into my mouth over and over.

"This thing is stubborn, but not as stubborn as I am," said the endodontist. After more jabbing, there was one more x-ray. This time the results elicited a "Yes!" from the doctor. We were now in the home stretch. And then, a quick two hours and fifteen minutes after we had started, the procedure was over.

"Now Lisa, you're going to be sore and swollen, maybe bruised for a day or two. You'll need to eat soft foods for a few days and nothing hot until the Novocaine wears off in a few hours. You'll want to ice your jaw, the infection was sitting right on top of your nerve. Are you in pain now?"

I nodded and made a small noise that sounded like, "Meow."

"Okay, I'll give you a prescription for just a couple of these. Are you allergic to Codeine?"

"No, ma'am. No I am not."

"That's good."

I think it really, really might be.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Tool Box

This tool box belonged to my grandpa. In the late 1940s, he took it with him to north Texas bars and cafés to fix their juke boxes. I don't know my way around a juke box so I use it to hold office supplies. It's one of my favorite things.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter Tuesday

It's still winter, but don't tell the miniature daffodils Mr. Rosenberg brought home from Trader Joe's.

Monday, January 21, 2019


"This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we would do his memory justice by honoring all of his legacy. Not just the parts that make white Americans comfortable." 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Once Loved, Twice Broken - An Art Show

My friend Chris has a gallery show at the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica thru March 17th. His sculpture is intricate and funny and all about his own particular brand of social commentary. The show also includes a replication of his spectacular living room.

I mean just look at this piece, you guys. Zoom in and really check it out. It's spectacular. 

You can read more about Chris and his work here.

If you're a Southern Cali person, come see this. You will thank me. And please feel free to do that thanking while handing me a large cup of black coffee from the coffee place of your choice. I'm easy. Follow him on Instagram @ChrisFraticelli

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Very Good Things

This morning, while it was still dark out, I could hear the rain hitting the roof. Laying in bed with a sleepy Mr. Rosenberg and two snoring dogs, it occurred to me, this - this is good. It's been awhile since I've written a list of very good things. Here are some recents.

My mom blowing out birthday candles.
My friend Chris' first art show. (More on that tomorrow.)
Coffee, always coffee.
Pajamas until at least noon.
Bob talking baseball cards and stats with his friend Ben.
The life of Mary Oliver who the world lost and found today.
The red hibiscus blooming outside the laundry room window.
Mr. Rosenberg playing the drums in the garage.
Levi and Teddy touching noses when they walk past each other.
My friends who make me laugh and cry and that sentiment may not be original but it's true.
The red candle that smells like mandarin orange.
Watching Friday Night Lights with Bob. (Clear eyes, full hearts, he's finally old enough.)
Sweater weather.
Andrew Bird all the time.
My umbrella that's a knock-off of Van Gogh's Starry Night.
The sweet book I just finished, The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain.
You guys.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


There's no "before" photo so let me paint you a picture. In this corner, was a big basket with holiday wrapping paper and bows and three gift boxes and cards and envelopes and stamps and snowflake stickers and my favorite pens and eleven empty Christmas stockings and a weird stray sock inside of it.

The "after" photo might look like just an empty corner but it's really the start of a whole new year.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Sometimes it's your assistant who tells you when it's time to knock off for the day.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Smacksy Sunday Links

A simple guide to creating good habits.

Best personal financial resolutions.

Moving for love.

The wild baroness of Greenwich Village.

The little tree library.

A stunning octopus cut from a single piece of paper.

And dogs who look like tiny teddy bears.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019


This tiny, darling girl is my mother, Sandra Lee Zimmerman. (Later, Sandra Page. Now, Sandra St.Amand.) She was sitting for her portrait in 1949 in her hometown, Borger Texas. Today is her 75th birthday and she is still sweet as pecan pie. I love her so.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


You know when you're too tired to make it all the way to the bed? Teddy knows. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Breaking it Down

When Mr. Rosenberg returns home from the outside world, it's never good when he starts a sentence with:

"Hey, you remember that song--?"


"'Valerie' by Steve Winwood?"

"Did you hear it at Trader Joe's?"

"Rite Aid. Remember it?"

"Not really."

"It's all synth-y? It goes like this--"

"Please, honey. We're all still recovering from the Home Depot 'Hollaback Girl' situation."

"No wait listen. Valerieeeeeee..."

Monday, January 7, 2019

My Lovely Aunt Josie

We recently lost my 93 year-old Aunt Josie. She was kind and tough and had seen some life. So many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in her infectious giggle. Sometimes I hear that same giggle come from Bob. She always called me her sweetie pie. She was loved.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Chandelier

This photo appeared on my phone. Like a butt-dial-style photo bomb something. I like it.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Yo Soy Crazypants

I may have titled yesterday's (Thursday's) post "Friday" because I didn't really know what day it was, but in other ways, I'm still (overly) on it.

Perhaps you've witnessed a photo like the one above of the inside of my glorious, alphabetized, spice cabinet before. (Lucky!) You have an idea of what I'm made of. Last week was a reminder of what happens when I'm in an Airbnb and left to my own devices. Yes. I will organize your kitchen situation.

Exhibit A: Airbnb Lihue Kaua'i, Hawaii. Drawers organized, refrigerator shelves re-positioned for optimal grocery storage.

Exhibit B: Airbnb Lisbon, Portugal. Upper and lower cabinets organized, drawers reorganized, expired spices thrown away.

Exhibit C: Airbnb Vancouver BC, Canada. Drawers organized.

Exhibit D: Airbnb Lake Arrowhead, California. Drawers organized, expired spices and condiments thrown away, upper and lower cabinets organized, sink polished.

The sink polishing move was purely extra credit on my part.

Thursday, January 3, 2019


It's great to be home and everything but, man - look at that place.