• Words and Phrases

    Last week, when I was playing around with the newsletter I got to thinking about phrasing. I noticed that I used the phrase “in a lather” and a couple of other western-sounding phrases. I had already decided to rewrite what I had when I noticed this. I was in a lather because I couldn’t think myself out of the paper bag I seemed to find myself in–if you read last week’s newsletter, it was the desk, editing, work area setup. (On a side note, the keyboard, stand, and mouse arrived immediately. Sadly for me, the screen, hasn’t come, yet.) I didn’t even realize how “western” that phrase was until I…

  • Mrs. B, The Cat

    I was at the doctor’s office last week and there was this little black cat looking at me. We have a big feral cat problem in some neighborhoods, it skyrocketed when the economy took a spill in 2008. People were dumping cats because they either couldn’t find shelter space or because, well…it’s sad when an animal is abandoned, for whatever reason. Right before we moved into the house we’re in right now, years before the economic downturn, I got a call from our realtor about some loose ends. One of these “loose” ends was about “our new cat.” Yeah, take that in for a hot second. “What?” was my response.…

  • mutts wearing cowboy hats

    They Don’t Like Having Their Pic Taken, Either…

    I so don’t like having my pic taken. I’ve never felt photogenic and when a good pic does come along, there are things. Little things, I have a strange outfit on (my bad), I look heavier (who needs that?), the photo itself is fuzzy (now that’s just sad for me), and I frequently have my mouth WIDE open or my eyes closed. In my mind, it’s a lose-lose situation. You’re probably asking why I would do this to my dogs, then. Honestly? I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never had dogs who let me dress them up and I don’t really feel the need to. I think it’s funny, up to…

  • My Birthday Gift

    This year, my friend Melissa gave me an awesome, thoughtful gift. Thoughtful is her normal, but this one was so timely and planned. She had a cowgirl drawn up, holding my novel, The Reluctant Bandit. It’s supposed to be a caricature me, but she didn’t tell me that until later. The artist has never met me–Melissa just described me. She was so pleased with the outcome. One day, my oldest, Big Monkey Max, picked up the art I had propped against my books, asking, “What’s this?” He looked at it, then looked at me. “This looks like you!” I had to laugh. I didn’t make the connection, immediately. When I…

  • The Weed Called Dandelion

    When I was a kid, I loved Dandelions. They were sunny, bright, and fun. I enjoyed looking at the bright yellow heads, seeing them dotted on the neighboring lawns. Then they went to seed, morphing into something else, entirely–fluffy, round, cloud-like. I always connect those two stages of its life to a daisy, and only because of the colors yellow and white. Daisies remind me of my childhood but only because they were so ubiquitous in the 70’s. Other flowers remind me of my parents’ yard and my childhood, but back to Dandelions. Of course, we loved to pick them and blow the seeds, watching them parachute back into the…

  • Oatman, Arizona

    One of my many obsessions is with horses and donkeys. Last fall break, I convinced The Chia (my younger son) to go on a road trip with me to Oatman, Arizona. Oatman is known for its wild donkeys, descendants of the donkeys prospectors released when mining dried up (simplified version). According the man running the jail “tour,” Oatman was a ghost town 2 times over. At any rate, these creatures roam around the streets doing what they want. Have you ever seen the Honey badger memes, the narrated videos of actual honey badgers? These donkeys are the equine counterpart to that–they don’t give a 💩. At any rate, the rest…

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