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Summer’s Over


We just returned from our summer vacation at the Russian River. High school started on Monday. Another summer has zoomed by at warp speed. My son began his second year at junior college and my daughter is now a sophomore in high school.





I was talking with my sister the other day about how time goes by faster as we age. I don’t understand why and am on a mission to research the logic behind this. I can hardly recall what happened when my kids were toddlers and I’m not so old that I have early onset dementia. I think the only way to jog my memory would be to break out my photo albums (yes, I diligently made up photo albums from their birth to the present and have about 20 of them). Without a picture it’s impossible for me to recall what they looked like at two and three years old and/or how they acted.

I wish I could have a mental video of their youth but I guess I’ll have to watch the dvd’s for that as well.

What did you do for summer vacation? Do you take pictures and/or videos?





Many things happened to my family in 2006: my mother-in-law passed away, I discovered I had breast cancer, and my 30-year-old nephew was killed in a ¬†motorcycle accident. I try to pretend that year just didn’t happen. I don’t like the memories. I believe I experienced some sort of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I was anxious and depressed and every day was a struggle along with physically feeling like a pile of…well, you get my drift.

Then I found Lucinda Bassett. While listening to her cd’s, filling out questionnaires on anxiety and depression, and practicing meditation I slowly but surely came out of my fog. One of her statements was, “Don’t even bother taking this course if you don’t first do two things: stop drinking caffeine and start exercising.

Following her (I won’t call them suggestions) demands, my life hasn’t been the same since 2008/2009. It worked. I ride my bicycle almost every day, do yoga, and still listen to the mediation cd several times a week.

I did this all for myself, as well as my family.

Do you have a particular way of dealing with stress and/or depression and/or bad times?

I’d like to know.

A Sad Day For The Mafia


I’m guessing there are many readers who would have qualms about feeling sorry for anyone affiliated with the Mafia. However in this case I’m referring to one of my favorite actors James Gandolfini. I watched The Sopranos in its early years then stopped for some reason. I began following the re-runs about three months ago.


As a writer I became extraordinarily intrigued by how in the heck David Chase made me like, no, made me love Tony Soprano. Every evening at eight o’clock I turned on HBO and watched the series unfold from beginning to the very last episode. There were brutal murders (hits ordered by Tony), terrible beatings (also by Tony’s request), extra-marital affairs (featuring Tony himself), violence toward women (involving Tony and his mistresses).

Yet David Chase allowed us to enter the psychiatrist’s office where Tony opened up and revealed his soul. Tony had a soft side to him. He loved animals, be they ducks or horses or the dog his father took from him when he was a young boy. Tony couldn’t stand it when someone mistreated an animal. And he never hit his wife Carmela though she often dared him to do so during their frequent violent arguments. Carmela and Tony’s nephew Christopher were the only ones who could stand up to Tony and not back down.

The viewer ends up rooting for Tony Soprano. Loving him. Liking him.

James Gandolfini could turn our hearts with a look. A tiny facial expression and I could laugh, cry, or nod with complete understanding.

James died last week at the age of 51 of a massive heart attack.

And I am so sad.

When Your Child Becomes Your Tenant…


Opinions abound on this subject and I’d like to hear your views. Many of you are mothers and perhaps have children who have graduated high school. I have a 19-year-old son Dylan. Believe me, I’ve gotten all kinds of advice but I find it intriguing how varied the views are on this topic.

Of course as a parent I want Dylan to learn how to be responsible which is why my husband and I told him after he graduated high school he had to do two things: go to college and get a job. He’s done both. Now he’s saving for a car and his father has said he’ll help him buy one, perhaps matching dollar-for-dollar what Dylan saves.

People have told me we should at least charge him a hundred dollars or so for room and board and perhaps make him do his own wash and cooking and take the bus wherever he wants to go, i.e. no more dependence on me.

I have a hard time suddenly classifying my son as a “tenant”, i.e. that I should charge him rent to live in his own home just because he no longer attends high school.

What do you all think about this?

An Attitude of Gratitude

My sister Susan is the first person to tell me about the attitude of gratitude. She read about it in a self-help book. It’s always rung true with me. I try to be grateful every day for all the things I have, put a smile on my heart and my face, be thankful for the little things as well as the big ones.


And I have a lot to be thankful for – on a daily basis. I had my yearly mammogram last Saturday and found out yesterday that all is perfect. Most people know I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in 2006. If you’re going to get breast cancer they say that’s the one you want! It can only be detected by a mammogram. You cannot feel it.

I will always be grateful for the radiologists at Alameda Hospital. The cancer is considered Stage Zero – woot! – and mine was so far off the chest wall that I didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation or take drugs. I was cancer-free the minute I had my mastectomy. Double woot!¬†Therefore I would say, for me, I’m grateful every day for dodging a bigger “C” bullet which would have required one of those horrendous cures.

images-353But each year I enter the Carol Reed Breast Center with dread in my heart, thinking it’s going to come back. So far I’ve remained cancer-free. However I always remember that day in 2006 when I got “the call”. And I’m not talking about “the call” that all authors wait for from that agent to whom they sent their query letter. Ha!

What are you thankful for?

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