Saturday, May 18, 2019

Water Hazards

My house is now full of water hazards because my old cat has feline kidney disease and is therefore perpetually thirsty. 

In addition to the bowls of water next to his food bowl, there’s another tucked into a corner of the dining area . . . and a huge water pitcher in a corner of the kitchen. Upstairs, there are three water bowls in the bathroom. 

But that’s not enough. Not for my cat. 

After a while, he began following me into the bathroom. I permitted absolutely no toilet access. But he was still thirsty. Looking around, it occurred to me that the sink might do. 

Close the drain, fill the bowl, lift the animal onto the counter and voila! A remedy. 

My upstairs sink is surrounded by a counter. Not so the downstairs sink. One evening as I was sitting on the toilet, my cat wandered in, thirsty. What to do? He jumped into the bathtub, peering over the rim, looking longingly at the sink. ‘Oh no!’ I thought. ‘If he jumps, he will land in the water.’ He did jump but managed to balance on the rounded sink rim and drank. Amazing. 

So. When you come to visit, please watch out for water hazards; close the door behind you when you enter a bathroom; and, please, close the toilet lid when you leave.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth Day Birthday

Today, April 22, is my brother’s birthday. My mom chose this date for her caesarian delivery because April 22 was my uncle’s birthday.

My brother was born in 1943; my uncle, several decades before. ๐ŸŒŽEarth Day was created in 1970.

Noting this, my brother claims he is older than dirt. He has told this same joke every year for the past 49 years.

It’s still funny.

It is my careful, unbiased observation that people born on April 22 are exceptionally nice human beings.

 According to my cousins, my Uncle Jack was the best dad ever. [I only spent a little time with him but I enjoyed every minute of it.] He was even at my parents’ house when we celebrated my first-born son’s first birthday (Oct. 5, not April).

And of course, my brother is extraordinary … my favorite (and only) sibling.

So here’s to our amazing and fragile planet ๐ŸŒand to all those who work to protect it (and by so doing, protect the rest of us). They get it. We are co-dependent with Earth.

Celebrate it. Do everything in your power to allow every bug and bird and blossom and butte survive and flourish.

๐ŸŒŽ Hooray! For the interdependent web of all existence.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Colorado Spring

It’s sandals and snow boots time in Colorado. 

 Weather changes reign. Sometimes snow, sometimes sun. 


 All creatures adapt. Last week we went from a 70-degree day to a 7-inch blizzard. 

When the robins had no access to my birdbath, where they usually get their water, they took to the streets where traffic had reduced the snow to puddles. 
I had never seen that before. 


And I believe this is the first year that my dandelions have emerged before my tulips. 

At least they provide a spot of color as green seeps back into my world. 

Green is so welcome. Every day it gathers strength, first transforming beige lawns then gradually adding a haze of leaves on the trees. 

The pace of transformation accelerates. 

 And is so welcome. 

Hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Old Hair


Other than senior discounts and Medicare, one enormous perk of aging is the lack of hairy legs.
Oh, I do occasionally – about once every three or four months – have to harvest the meager crop, scattered sparsely on legs whose veins tend to make them look like maps of the London subway system.

Still. It’s a perk.

Hair is a contrary mammalian trait. It seems to grow where we don’t want it and disappear from places where it is fervently desired.

This is true for both men and women but I will deal only with the aging female here. [And I will not deal with all of the capillary ramifications – like moustaches (which is another dilemma altogether).]

When I was younger and more smug (smugness seems to be characteristic of youth) I would smirk disparagingly at men who had attempted to disguise a balding pate by combing longer locks over barren skulls.

No longer.

My once glorious tresses still exist but, like the earth’s aquifer, are diminished.

My hair is thinning.

From the front and the sides, I still look adequately ‘haired’. Not so much from the back.

Now I too must fluff the remains and try to guide them over my pink, pink scalp.

I even have some powder I can sprinkle over the too obvious hair barrenness. It helps.

So beware, oh youth. Avoid smugness and smirks. All too soon, that which you deride will be that with which you must contend.

Monday, March 18, 2019

A Recent Scribble

I recently attended an event for writers focusing on our respective heritages. [This is a photograph of  some of my ancestors]
We were encouraged to write a little something. I wrote a synopsis of my life:


Like most U.S. citizens, I am a mongrel 
Within my veins and chromosomes flows the heritage of 300,000 years 
Or more 
I, like all people, came out of Africa. 
According to DNA analysis, my Paleolithic ancestors lived in northern Spain. 
I do not remember this. 
Family conversations alluded to more recent ancestors from the British Isles and Germany 
I do not remember this 
I do remember stories of early California ranches and farms – 
Buckboards and stage coaches— 
Not from personal experience 
From stories. 
Then I began to act in my own drama. 
First, following the standard American script: 
School, college, marriage, children 
Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes. 
Eventually, divorce 
Jobs that took me to many lands 
Learning, absorbing, respecting. 
I am part of all that I have met and learned. 
All that I have met and learned are part of me 
And I have only just begun.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Hard Issues

On average, I delete about 90 emails a day. 

The algorithm that runs the show seems incapable of guessing my gender. I have in the past week, received two with the subject line: Men’s Health News (first sentence begins-- If you have ED). I don’t. 

Other subject lines: Impotence (How to Control Your Penis); Male Enhancement, Harder and Longer, Breaking Alert (Men, You Don’t Need Viagra), Hardness Issues, Hardness, etc. 

↑   I realize that this can be critically important in some relationships. I am glad there are resources available. 

But I want to know a couple of things. Is the problem so pervasive that random emails will reach thousands in need? 

And why, if the problem is so pervasive, are there stories of sexual assault in nearly every edition of the paper? 

 And why is there the “Me Too” movement? 

And why was there an article in today’s NY Times that more than 100,000 sexual assault cases have resulted in 1,000 arrests with more on the horizon? And “another 155,000 or more sex assault evidence kits still await testing.” 

And why are there 48,000 immigrants being held in ICE for-profit detention centers? Yes. That’s a related story. 

We need to start treating other human beings as if they are persons of value. 

Because they are.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sweetheart City

I live in Loveland, Colorado. 

Predictably, the city goes crazy every Valentine’s Day. 


Citizens submit designs, verses, and cachet content and the winners are selected for the year's official Valentine’s components. 

The cards are sold in almost every local store. 

A Miss Loveland Valentine is selected from among comely high school students. Later the winner will have a special audience with the Colorado governor when she is introduced to the state legislators in Denver. 

Senior high school students paint ‘love notes’ on red wooden hearts that are hung from light posts on all major streets. The Loveland Thompson Valley Rotary Club sells ‘heart space’ as its major fundraiser. 

Volunteers gather to hand cancel mail with the official cachet before it enters the postal mainstream. 

And on the day itself, or close to it, a “Sweetheart Festival” is held in the city’s historic district. 

I’m probably leaving something out. It’s all kind of fun. 

Personally, I received some nice emails and had a lovely Skype visit with my grandson. But the only Valentine card I received was from the staff at my dentist’s office. 

It made me smile.