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?

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.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Smacksy Sunday Links

Things about happiness and money we're often taught too late.

How loss can teach you less is more.

The correct way to serve grapes. I have special grape scissors that I love.

My friend Stuart Vance does portrait art on his iPhone. Wonderful.

And a baby squirrel eating a strawberry.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Night and Day

At night we sat under stars that if we stood on chairs, we surely could have touched. Above us, the fuzzy band that makes up the Milky Way, and down below, the ocean glowing from
bioluminescence. We saw not one but two falling stars in the space of four minutes. There would have been more to see if we had stayed awake long enough. By the time we woke up the next morning, the moon still hadn't gone to bed.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Lucky Apples

The thing with these apples is they've got a view of the ocean. They hang over a bench where people stop to visit or read a book. They are sprinkled regularly with rain water. They enjoy warm summers with their tree roots buried deep in the soil. And at least a few of them will eventually fall from the trees and be eaten by deer. 

Small price.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Show

From the outside, it looks like any other nondescript building on York Avenue. I give my name to the woman at the card table and she checks me off the list. A dark entry gives way to a shadowy, cavernous room filled with people. On the left, there’s a wall of weathered, fabric faces like the kind you try to knock down with a bean bag at a carnival. Next to the wall sits a three-foot wide orb of chewed gum shrouded in plastic wrap. The gum balances atop a delicate multi-layered fringe-work of silver gum wrappers.

It’s a hot night in Highland Park and even hotter inside this warehouse of curiosities. More than once, I glance up to see what’s dripping on me and discover it’s just my own sweat running in rivulets down my scalp. The crowd is too close. I bump into a pillar made of wigs.

Chandeliers of buttons and shells cascade from the ceiling. My purse gets caught in an amorphous sculpture made of silver beaded bracelets.
I turn too quickly and bump into a tall wooden box adorned with a grid of human teeth. “Look Dad, this one has a cavity,” says the kid standing next to me. “Looks like more than one,” says his dad.

The heat and the people and the art objects give me a feeling of being underwater, suffocated. I want to be one of those cool types who understands modern art, really gets it. I know I’m supposed to feel something, something besides heat stroke and the need for a Xanax.
I am so god damned hot. My mind races. What if I died here? “Her dehydrated body was found slumped against a wall made of toy pianos. She died of art.”

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Half of 110

Well, today's the day. I'm 55-years-old, or as I'm choosing to think of it, half of 110. My hours are often filled with a rolling mental gratitude list of all the events, large and tiny, good and unexpected, strung together to make up my days. Blessings all. Today especially, I am enjoying Mr. Rosenberg's consistent reminder of the 1984 Sammy Hagar classic, I Can't Drive 55.  One foot on the break and one on the gas, hey! And so that's my plan, one foot on the break and one on the gas. Just keep moving forward, headed to 110. I'm half way there.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Silent Treatment

I left the house for a few hours. Before leaving, I closed the door to Bob's room because Teddy has a tendency to barf on Bob's bed. (I don't know why either.) When I returned home, I realized I had inadvertently locked Ted IN Bob's room. (He did not barf.) When I let him out, he ran straight to the couch and curled up in a ball. He did not say "hi." He did not make eye contact, and wouldn't wag his tail at me. He kept this up for over an hour, stopping only for a brief cookie break, then right back to the silent treatment. That'll teach me.


Huddling up under a pink sky.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Smacksy Sunday Links

Ways to find more time in your busy life.

Whole moments.

In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books.

This exquisite southern time capsule.

And this little bat, h/t Mary Laura.

Happy Sunday.

Smacksy Saturday Photo: This Guy

When Bob's friend Felix was over after school the other day, the guys sat down to do homework. later, I was straightening up the kitchen table and found this. A Felix special.

Friday, September 6, 2019

A Thing I Made

I made this thing.

Who's With Me?

I was a little frazzled running around this morning. While in RiteAid I took some time to calm myself in the best aisle in any store, the back-to-school/office supplies area. I had no intention of buying anything, I just wanted to soak up the ballpoint pens and spiral notebooks and multi-colored Post-It notes.
It totally worked.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


Bob and his old pal Felix, playing teenager games. 


Bob needed a new lock for his school locker. He requested "the kind without numbers but has the round thing that moves around in the middle." He was referring to the Master Lock Speed Dial. I picked one up at the hardware store. I told him I'd get it out of the packaging while he was getting ready for school. Getting it out of the packaging required retrieving the instructions and combination from deep inside a plastic cavity in the housing of the display box. There was no way I was going to figure this out before he left for school. I was in way over my head.

I tried using scissors to open the plastic door in the package without success. I tried jamming it with a flathead screw driver which served to only seal it tighter. I passed it along to Mr. Rosenberg before I injured myself and he successfully opened it with a pair of kitchen shears. This lock was already too much trouble for something that says "Easy" on the label.

Picture a montage: Me trying to read microscopic instructions with reading glasses under a strong light. Me trying and failing to open the lock with the combination. Me trying to reset combination by "simply" moving the tiny lever on the back of the lock. Me attempting to dislodge tiny lever with a Phillips head screw driver. Me attempting to dislodge tiny lever with a Phillips head screw driver and a hammer. Me driving to Ace Hardware while muttering to myself. Me exchanging the blue lock for a new red lock.

And then, the hero shot:

Please notice how unlocked I got it.
Wednesday was a long day.