Mental Health Matters

Finding Solace in all things Great and Small

Moccasins and Old Friends

I’ve worn moccasins around the house for decades, preferring the ones made with soft suede leather and lined with sheepskin; wearing them until the lining has thinned to nothing, the sole has two or three holes, the stitching ruptures or the heel pad is threadbare. Then, I inevitably leave an opened catalog, at the slipperContinue reading “Moccasins and Old Friends”

The Best Horse

Many years ago, I bought a book from a small bookstore in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. The book was called Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryi Suzuki and cost $2.50; which at the time, seemed like a lot of money for an almost out-of-my-teens young woman living on a meager income and attending a fewContinue reading “The Best Horse”

The Moon

Many of my friends have favorite moon phases –the full moon or the half-moon or a new-moon, even no moon. Some tell me their creativity flourishes under a full moon. Others say they don’t sleep well when the moon is full. And a few are convinced that the best time to begin an innovative projectContinue reading “The Moon”

Heat Wave

It’s been hotter here in the Pacific Northwest than I can ever remember. The moss in the forest is crispy brown instead of its usual emerald green and a few of the largest deciduous trees surrounding my property have even dropped a few leaves. If the trees could talk, I think they’d whine, “it’s tooContinue reading “Heat Wave”


My mother-in-law, Grammie, will turn 105 this year and is the beloved cornerstone of her blossoming family of three children, two sons-in-laws, one daughter-in-law, eight grandchildren –six who are married, and fifteen great grandchildren. They all consider Grammie to be the Grand in their Canyon, the Fortune in their Cookie, the High in their Noon,Continue reading “Grammie”

Joy of Writing

When I made the decision to publish my books, I really did not have any idea what that would entail. I was one of those old-fashioned romantics who believed all I needed to do was write a good book and everything else would magically fall into place. Right? I’ve spent years writing my books: rewriting,Continue reading “Joy of Writing”

Chocolate Cake

When my daughter was growing up, I’d make her favorite chocolate cake once a year – on her birthday. The recipe came from an old cookbook titled: The Best Chocolate Cake in the World. I still make that cake, albeit infrequently, even though my kids are all grown and live in a different state andContinue reading “Chocolate Cake”

Getting Along

There’s this tree on my property we call the Miracle Tree. Well, it’s actually four different trees growing out of one huge, very old cedar stump: a birch, a cedar, a hemlock, and a Douglas fir. They are all about the same height and I guess them to be about fifteen to twenty years old;Continue reading “Getting Along”

Surprise and Wonder

Last year I backpacked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. By myself. I carried a 40+ pound rucksack filled with a lightweight single person tent, a thin sleeping bag, a superlight blowup pad, an MSR stove with 2 canisters, a water bottle and a filter system, a down jacket, long underwear, a fleece hat, anContinue reading “Surprise and Wonder”


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