Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness

The other day I went to the market. It was a fairly chilly day when I got in the car to head home, and I noticed a bee sitting on my sun-warmed windshield. Coincidentally (or possibly not), I had just been reading about bees. As insects, bees need warmth to keep moving. The bees we […]

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A Different Holiday Season

It is a typical California December sunset. Branches of deciduous trees and a few palms are silhouetted against the dark shadow of the mountains and a sky that has a slash of deep coral fading into peach, pale yellow, and the purest blue blending into the blue-black cap of the night sky. Tonight, the moon […]

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The Gift of Furry Home Health Aides

Seven weeks ago, I had thumb-joint replacement surgery. I knew it would include a three-month rehab period at the start. What I didn’t know was that Teddy and Sadie would be all in as caretakers.  When I arrived home from the surgery, the pups greeted me exuberantly but seemed to know that a lot of […]

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In a Nostalgic Frame of Mind

I was just sent a 55-year-old photo of John’s sister Ginny and her husband, Bill. The black-and-white photo shows a smiling movie-star-handsome young couple. Looking at this photo put me in a nostalgic mood, and I became acutely aware of the passage of time. Outside, these feelings seemed mirrored in the midfall landscape. Deciduous trees […]

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Real Rain . . . At Last!

I’m looking out at the small valley where we live on the central California coast. Ordinarily I would gaze straight out at the parched mountains of the Santa Monica National Park, but today the first significant rain in ten months clouds the vista. My eyes are drawn to the neighborhood trees swaying in the wind […]

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What Are You Grateful For?

I was at a women’s breakfast a few weeks ago, and the organizer used this question for an icebreaker: “Over the past 18 months, what is one thing you are grateful for?” She waited a few minutes, and then one by one, each person took a few minutes to share their thoughts. Since I was […]

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Up for the Challenge?

We were all packed. A large bag of travel snacks was by my purse. Our Yeti containers were filled with water for the journey. The only thing missing was our travel companions, but it was not quite 6:30 a.m., the pickup time. Then the phone rang. Our daughter, Lu, and her husband, Doug, might not […]

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Four-Legged Drama Queen

I have never thought of myself as a drama queen, but I have lived with some. The current one is black and tan and has four legs. If you have heard that dachshunds are stubborn, I can tell you that is absolutely correct. I would even say relentless. They wear you down until you give them […]

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A Canine Epidemic?

This week we met with Genie Tuttle, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Yes, we had reached a tipping point, and it was time to bring in outside help. Teddy had started nipping at human visitors’ clothing and shoes, and from there it is just a hop, skip, and a jump to chomping down on someone’s hand […]

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Dogs Behaving Badly

Last night I went to my first in-person, without-masks meeting. It was lovely gathering together, enjoying our combined energy and face-to-face camaraderie. Then one person asked me how our dogs were. Rather than reel off a list of some of our current challenges, I said, “They have been very naughty,” and laughed. A lot of […]

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