Sunday, November 15, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Minimalist tips to maximize the holidays. 

Alex Trebek made Jeopardy a sane place in a mad world.

How your brain tricks you into taking risks during the pandemic.

Get cozy with 25 books about home.

Could Stacey Abrams be any cooler?

Try these simple things.

Easy weekday habits that let you be lazy on the weekends.

French things i wish existed in the US.

Which of these time traps is eating up all of your time?

Don't be weird about cast iron.

The Juliet Club.

And a flock of starlings. 

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Stacey Abrams is changing the tide in Georgia.

Destress, calm down, and feel less lonely right now.

Stress cleaning.

How to be at home.

Little traditions to do each week to make quarantine more special.

These acupressure points can help instantly diffuse overwhelm.

Reminders from your mom if you're having a bad day.

Who wants to live in this old cafe in Paris?

And dogs are returning to the White House.

Happy Sunday. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

When your task list is overwhelming.

Distractions that keep us from fully living.

How to throw yourself a middle-age reveal party.

Staying in your own business.

I was in charge of the deck chairs on the Titanic and the absolutely needed rearranging. 

How the pandemic has changed our reading lives.

The pandemic DIY boom.

Your photos are irreplaceable - get them off your phone.

Remembering Robert De Niro Sr, one of the strange great secret painters of America.

Watch popcorn popping in super slow motion.

Meet the opossum lady.

And a baby cow and a hurricane. 

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

100 Items to declutter right now.

Books to read over and over again.

Beautiful Airbnbs for your next road trip get away.

Strategies to read more books.

A guide to Beirut's small shops and hidden gems.

And finalists of the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Smacksy Saturday Photo

Mr. Rosenberg made these gorgeous, plum hand-pies. I'm going to need more hands.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Showing up even when you're not feeling it.

A list of hundreds of businesses led by black women. 

Experts explain why unplugging from tech really is that good for you.

Don't complain.

Breonna Taylor is on the cover of Oprah magazine.

Birds fly in a V.

Open a new window somewhere in the world. I could do this all day.

The release of The Great Gadsby prequel.

The inter-war glamour of the beach pyjama.

And facts about the tarsier.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

The Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment and racial inequality in the United States. They provide legal representation to the most vulnerable people in American society, including prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes and prisoners who cannot afford effective representation.

Black-owned restaurants organized by city.

Black-authored cookbooks to add to your shelf.

This Poem:

Engage in the long, faithful work.
Surrender the need of striving
to be the best or always right
and focus instead on leaning into Light,
that reveals all things.
All that is good
and all that stands to be corrected,
and redirected.

And as you lean into Light,
be gentle with the word “darkness.”
For more than it merely means wrong or bad,
it is also the color of a full, starless night sky,
and actual bodies
of human beings
who have been overlooked
too many times.

Many, many words
hold more than one meaning.

Language on “light” and “dark” may have its place,
and this is also true,
this very language has been used to say,
“You are a threat. I am not. I am worth more than you.” It takes kindness to understand this, for
even though kindness is a beautiful word.
it does not mean that nothing gets disrupted.
Sometimes a way of thinking must be interrupted
in order for kindness to truly thrive.

For as sure as kindness
leans into what is good,
it also speaks about what isn’t right.
It is compassionate and gentle
when long histories are pulled from mourning into morning.

Engage in the long, faithful work
of awakening
with your heart and mind open to the possibility
that things are more complex than they once seemed.

And as hard as it is to hold all of this,
you are still free to dream:
you do not have to be who you used to be.
You do not have to think the way you used to think.
You are free to take hopeful, thoughtful action
in pursuit of better things.

So here’s to new beginnings,
knowing it is impossible to ignore the long history,
opening up to the mystery
that grace still finds you here.

And grace is unmerited favor
but it might not always look the way you want it to.
It will invite you out in the open
and it will also reveal what has been broken.
You might have to unlearn the way you thought things would be.
You might find that being undone
is the best way to move on, humbly, mindfully, wholly.

For how liberating it is
to pursue wholeness over perfection,
finding that grace is more than a beautiful word,
but a daily act of being undone, an awakening, a direction.

- Morgan Harper Nichols

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Friday, May 22, 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Another Graduation

I saw this little mourning dove hiding behind an azalea in the backyard.  She wasn't able to fly but did a good deal of hopping and flapping when she saw me. I thought she might be hurt so I consulted with The Google, and found out that she's a fledgling. Doves leave the nest at around twelve-days-old. Fledglings will spend about four days on the ground before they learn to fly. They are still fed by their bird parents, but are left alone the rest of the time. It's the fledgling equivalent of backpacking through Europe during their gap year. This hostel is a mess.

Fledglings are vulnerable to predators during this grounding time. I will keep an eye on her, and not let the dogs in the backyard for a few days, lest they see her as a fun, feathery snack option. I put a small saucer of water near her because she is a guest, and I her hostess. She denied the chips and onion dip.

I will check her out every couple of hours partly because I have a crush on her and partly because I have literally nothing else going on these days.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Constant Ted

We think we're rolling along here doing a-okay, and I guess we are. Teddy, however, seems to be absorbing the low hum of something in the house. Anxiety? Uncertainty? Always-home-ness? Constant dish washing? Restlessness? Maybe all of that? Whatever it is, has parked itself in Ted's noggin. In short, my man is feeling off.

He'll follow me into the bathroom and attempt to scratch the door down if he gets left out. Same if I head to the back porch without him. He is my constant shadow in the house, aiming to stand between me and the sink and laying down in front of the washer when I attempt to do laundry. When I take a bath he sits with his chin on the edge of the tub. It's his thunderstorm behavior but the weather is sunny and warm.

I get it, Ted. I do. Times are weird and your people are weird and everything's weird. The best I can do is let you do your own weird thing, stuck to me like these quarantine yoga pants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Time Is a Meaningless Construct

Time is just different now. Do you feel it too? Days are hours and months are weeks except when it's 3:00 AM when minutes are years.


With all of the weirdness of being locked out of my blog for ten days and the whole upside down time situation of the world, I ran right past my blog anniversary. Last Saturday, May 9,  marked eleven years of Smacksy.

Maybe you've heard me talk about how this space has been life changing. I've been introduced to friends I don't know how I could live without. I've generated a writing practice. I've had to notice the seemingly small moments and conversations of my life in order to find themes and topics to write about. My time is measured here in words and pictures.  It's all one big gift to me and I thank you for being a part of it, a part of my time.

Friday, May 8, 2020

And Just Like That, It Was Gone

A week and a half ago, Karen called to let me know Smacksy was down. Not sad down, more omg-where-the-hell-did-all-my-writing-from-the-last-eleven-years-go down. This site has never been down.

During the first ten years of Smacksy, when I posted every day, if I was late with a post, I would get emails and messages asking if I was okay. For the past year, I've eased off a little and my posting has been spottier but I still post multiple times a week, with a photo, a piece of writing, a video, a something. Smacksy is my home, of sorts, and this felt as if I came home from Von's one day to find that my family had moved and forgotten to tell me.

Where my site had been, there was a page listing my domain name as lapsed. I will spare you the details of the hours Mr. Rosenberg spent on the phone with GoDaddy. Just know that it was a week and a half of not knowing if Smacksy was dead or alive. The problem was ultimately solved, obviously, because here we are. I am grateful to be back. Having a live-in internet technology expert is fantastic. I highly recommend it.

If you missed Smacksy - Hey! We're back!
If you hadn't missed Smacksy - Hey! We're back!

We're back.  Thank you for still being here.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Thing I Made Today For a Friend

He likes to bake.

There has been an issue with my domain name for the past few days. Hopefully it will be back soon. In the meantime, I'm here at

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

On home.

The brain fog you're feeling is perfectly normal.

Side effect of the pandemic - reading got a lot harder.

What weird things do you do to make yourself feel better?

This is the special occasion you've been waiting for. A good reminder.

All the ways you can help.

Living through a pandemic

Artists capture a surreal New York.

And platypus babies.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Thursday, April 23, 2020


When I was growing up, my mom always kept a bag of Gold Medal flour and six packets of Fleischman yeast in our freezer. When the flour got low in the copper canister on the counter, she filled it back up with the freezer flour and then a new bag of Gold Medal quickly took its place. I never questioned why the back up flour lived in the freezer, I just continued the tradition as an adult.  It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned keeping flour in the fridge was to keep out the bugs they had in the panhandle of Texas, where my mom grew up. Flour was a staple, along with rice and beans and you needed them in the house. at all times, just in case. Her mother did it, and her grandmother did it. It's how it was done.

I like to bake, maybe not as much as my mom did, but I can work my way around a recipe. Back in the 1980s when I got sober, I spent my first few months of sobriety methodically, obsessively, baking bread. It was a deliberate exercise with a beginning, middle, and an end. When my process was finished, there was a tangible result. It kept me busy. One afternoon, I went to the movies with some friends. Because my dough needed to be punched down at a certain time that conflicted with the movie schedule, I brought the bowl of dough with me to a matinee of Less Than Zero at the Beverly Center. Yes I did.

Now, during this uncertain time where we are all locked in our homes, many people have turned to baking bread for solace. Baking is holding many of us together. Loaves of all shapes and sizes are turning up in pictures on social media. I understand this on a deep level. When Mr. Rosenberg turned toward baking bread a few weeks ago, he went through the ingredients quickly and supplies were scarce at the markets. Of course, we had the back up flour and yeast waiting next to the ice trays and the frozen peas. That just in case moment is upon us and we're ready. It's how it's done.

Monday, April 20, 2020

May 24, 1944

May 24, 1944

Hello Melva,
We have at last returned from the southern part of England and are about to get things straightened around again. It certainly takes a lot of work to move around and operate. While down there I saw several places that were 600 years-old and some were a great deal older. It included a few castles and such. The houses are built with stone, many with slate roofs. They use wooden pegs to hold the crossbeams in the stone. I got one of these wooden pegs and I'm enclosing it in the letter. It came from an empty farm house down in Wales.

Do hope that you'll keep right on praying for I'm going to need it before so very long. I will take care of myself but you be sure to do the same for I couldn't bear to have anything happen to you or Sandy. Don't get tired of waiting because when we do come back, it will all be worth the while. I just live for the day I can come home.

Lee (Here is another bear hug.)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

May 18, 1944

May 18, 1944

Hello Sugar Puss,
We have been on the move again and there has not been much time to sit down and write as I wanted to do. Your letter was good to get and it almost makes tears come to my eyes when you tell me about baby Sandra. I love to hear about her and the cute things she does. I look at the pictures often.

You know Puss, I write when I can so don't wait 'til you hear from me to write. Your letters are about the only thing that keep me going at times so don't let me down. Gets lonesome as hell over here after the joy we've known and anticipate knowing again in our own place. I miss you truly and when your letters come, it's just as if you are here talking to me. I loves you Puss.

Better go for now -- continued tomorrow if chances are right.
Again Puss, I love you.

Sunday, April 12, 2020