Thursday, October 31, 2019


Happy Halloween, courtesy of our front steps and the ancient Rite Aid skeleton.

September 17, 1943

"Hi Sugar Puss, Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, Stardust - some moody music and I'm ready to junk this place and come home to you. But I can dream and I do... Fired a 45 pistol today and made a good score as a whole - a point above average and not many did that. Having to accept that this job calls for me issuing passes and it is a real headache and no fooling. You get more people sore at you for following orders. Just can't help it if I hate to disobey... Had a sandwich before coming out here. The place I ate is where I left a pack of cigs on the table. Sure enough, the waitress saved them and gave them to a fellow to give to me. Didn't know they had such people left but I guess there are a few of them here and there. I love you awfully, Lee"

Monday, October 28, 2019

Like a Big Silver Hug

Teddy was a little clingy and off. Not sure if it's the fires or the smoke or his horoscope. Here he is modeling his new Thunder Shirt™ It seems to make him feel more secure. And of course, now I want one.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Some More Love, Lee

My grandfather wrote to my grandmother about the upcoming birth of their child, who would be my mother. Not clear exactly what ailment had brought him to the hospital.

Camp Howze, Texas
September 14, 1943

"Hi Sugar Puss, One of the fellows told me to look up the rules and regulations on the warrant officer business because there was one open and he thought that I could qualify. I told him I would look into it as soon as I was back from the hospital. I couldn't do hardly anything now, the way I feel. Getting to the point where I can't drink milk or coffee 'cause my nerves go to pieces over nothing. Received confirmation to the effect that they give convalescent furloughs while you're in the hospital that don't count against your allotted time. If such is the case and I can get it, I'll try for twelve days again. That would be swell wouldn't it? Sure am looking forward to the day when I can pick up the little fellow who will hold so much happiness in his little hands. He seems so doggone long getting here - tell him to hurry up a bit - will ya? I sit here thinking of all the things I want to get back to and I sure do get blue. I love you a lot Puss, and I really do think of you all the time..."

When You Wake Up to This One

Woke up from a nap to find this furry pillow had replaced my own.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

September, 1943

I've started reading the letters my grandfather, Robert Lee, sent to my grandmother, Melva, during World War II.  It took going over the first letter a few times, but I was able to pick up his handwriting. 

Apparently Lee's term of endearment for Melva was Puss. They had married in 1942. She was living in their house in Borger, Texas, north of Amarillo. The first letter was postmarked from where he was first stationed at Camp Howze, an infantry replacement training center near Gainesville, Texas on September 13, 1944. September 13 is my birthday.

"... Sent home for the license that I had on our marriage to send to Washington so that they won't stop your allotment. From this end, I haven't been paid and it looks like it will be a month or so before I get anything. I gave Bruce back $5.00 of the $10.00 I borrowed from him to take along with me. Didn't want to get too far into debt... It was rough luck about the ankle chain but I'll fix it and will never take it off again... it isn't silly to be sentimental about it. It makes me so very happy to know you love me too. It just completes everything I ever lacked. Such happiness you've brought to me. Don't ever take it away..."

My heart.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


When you do a load of laundry for a baseball player, you can always expect a handful of freshly washed sunflower seeds to fall out of your dryer.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ted Redux

I know I just posted a Ted photo yesterday but he's so handsome, can you blame me?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Air Mail 1944

This week my mom gave me a box of letters my grandfather sent to my grandmother when he was in the army, stationed in France during World War 2. He typed a few, but most were written in longhand and hard for my mom to decipher. One of my weird talents is my ability to decode handwriting in tough script. Now it's up to me to interpret what this young soldier was writing to his 20-year-old wife and the baby daughter he had yet to meet.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Another Thing I Made

 A thing I made today.


These are the magazines at the doctor's office that I did not take it upon myself to straighten. It wasn't easy, folks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Place

My favorite vlogger, Kate Singh, asked a question during her latest post. She said and I'm paraphrasing, "Have you ever traveled somewhere that felt like you left part of you behind when you returned home?" When I heard this the place that immediately sprang to mind was Palmela, Portugal. My hometown, Aptos near Santa Cruz, California is a place I carry with me, but that's different.

Do you have a place?

The Bowl

They'd rather share, thanks.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Smacksy Sunday Links

I love Mindy Kaling.

Ways to slow down in a fast paced world.

4 Bad reasons to keep clothes you don't wear.

All the snacks Bon App├ętit staffers keep at their desks.

This home on the Costa del Sol.

And wild mustangs.

Happy Sunday.

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Safe as Houses

Thank you for your concern for us during the Southern California fires. We are miles away from the worst of it and save for a little smoke, we are untouched and just worried about our So Cal neighbors who are riding out the firestorm.


This photo recently surfaced on Facebook from a 1981 production of Chicago I was in. (I'm the third showgirl from the left.) I don't remember much about the show other than I know that summer was a lot of fun. I'd never seen this photo before but seeing it, I felt that giant fan back in my hands. A long forgotten memory recovered - does that make it a new memory or a new-old memory? No matter. We razzle dazzled 'em.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


32 Years ago, I was given the gifts of hope and help, and for that I am forever grateful. I celebrate sobriety today, and every day, and i know in my bones this life would not be possible without it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Yes, of course I squished his little face.

Tiny Vase

I wish for you, a friend who remembers you with gestures like a gift of this tiny vase. (It made my day, Emily.)


Our hotel in Chicago was just fine and then I noticed this photo hanging crooked in our room. If you know me, you know I immediately tried to level it. To my horror, I found that the photo was screwed into the wall in this off-kilter way and not moveable. Screwed into the wall, friends. Obviously, it made me a little itchy the whole trip. For future not-screwed-into-the-wall situations, I may start keeping my tiny level in my purse. Yes, I'm a little crazy, but haven't we established that already?

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Waiting Room

Teddy and Levi are at an appointment. Just routine dog check-up type stuff. This part of the dining room is missing two big, furry pieces of furniture.

About Your Art

I've heard the idea art isn't just the rarified art of museums and opera houses, but everything you do, every choice you make, is your art. We can't opt out of our art or only have the big stuff count. It's your whole deal. Following are a few ideas for your art list.

The stuff held up by magnets on your refrigerator.
The magnets on your refrigerator.
The time you set on your wakeup alarm.
Your shampoo.
The stamps you pick out at the post office.
The charitable organizations where you volunteer time or money.
The style of your checks.
Whether or not you still have checks.
The way you speak to dogs.
The books on your shelf.
The books stacked next to your bed.
The meals you create.
The way you hug.
Your gym workout, or the couch on which you recline.
The flowers you pick out at Trader Joe's.
The thing you do when you first wake up.
The shows in your Netflix queue.
Do you call them sneakers or tennis shoes?
The way you order off a menu.
The songs you sing in the shower or in the car.
The way you speak to children.
Your guilty pleasures.
The way you sign your name.
The thing you use as a bookmark.
The way you shake hands.
What you do when someone sneezes.

You, in all your glory, are a work of art.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Be There in a Sec

These are the eyes that will stare at me, unblinking, until I fill the water bowl. Not creepy at all.