Writer – Author – Poet

Finding Solace

Thanksgiving

Usually, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season. Although, for some, it starts earlier than that. Many celebrate the day with a big meal with family and friends. The table is filled with traditional foods: turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cornbread, and pie. Families gather around the table and share what they are thankful for. In the morning they may watch the Macy parade or

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Sundays

Growing up, Sundays were a day of rest. Later, when I had my own family, Sundays continued to be a quiet day: no hurry to get out of bed, everyone pitching in to make a delicious brunch –waffles were our favorite, sometimes baking a special dessert for dinner, leisurely walks in a nearby park, a drive up into the mountains. A time for reflection. Often, I wrote in my journal

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New Laptop

The screen went black and then the infinite spinning circle went round and round for about an hour before my laptop simply shut down. I waited a bit before powering it back up. Next, my homepage screen image came on, and I thought all was well before the screen went brown to black, and then nothing. Dead. Sigh… I’ve worked on my laptop continuously since I got it in 2017

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Arrival Fallacy

The daily process of working toward a desired goal can trigger reward centers in the brain whenever one gets closer to achieving that objective, let alone finally reaching the finish line. However, dedication to a long-awaited purpose or goal can be slippery. The continuous work to improve can bring an unattainable illusion of perfection or a cycle of always having new goals to take the place of those already fulfilled.

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The Birth of Wandering

The first signing event for the hardcover limited edition of my second book, Wandering …a long way past the past, has come and gone. It was a beautiful autumn day, with clear blue skies, and warm enough to open the large door at the yoga studio where I teach. After cracking open the cases, the owner of the studio and I marveled at the striking book cover and placed them

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Massage Therapy

Massage therapy dates back as far as 3000 BCE in India. Used by Hindus in their life health medicine called Ayurveda, the practice of massage was passed down through the generations to heal injuries, alleviate pain, prevent disease, and even cure certain ailments. Early written records of massage therapy have also been found in Egyptian tombs; images illustrating people being massaged or rubbed by others. In China, there are texts

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Thunderstorm

Meteorologists predicted a series of thunderstorms starting around midnight, but the storms did not roll in until just after sunrise with a series of intense booms and dazzling lightning strikes; followed by deep thunderclaps. Then, the rain fell in a steady pour, soaking everything. Little rivulets formed over dry earth patches. The moss, sopping up the moisture like a sponge, changed from its’ dry brown tinge to green in a

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Be Brave

Brave /brāv/ ready to face and endure danger or pain. The word brave originates from the 15th-century Italian word ‘bravo’ –courageous, untamed, savage; based on the Latin word ‘barbarous’ –wild, primitive, foreign. Bravery is the admirable quality of being able to confront frightening things. When I think of someone brave, I conjure up images of a soldier going off to war to defend his homeland or Amelia Earhart, the first

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The Present Moment is a Gift

The word present has a few meanings. It can mean a particular place: I needed to be present to get my reward. Or, occurring now: my present situation overwhelmed me; as well as, meaning right now: I refused to think beyond the present moment, no past or future. The word can also mean to give or make something known such as I won and was presented with a gold medal.

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The Loft

A special place for writing was not something I ever had until recently. A cleared spot at the kitchen table, outside on a park bench, ideas jotted down on paper scraps, thoughts scribbled on the back cover of a work journal, and occasionally taking a personal day just to write wherever I could, was my normal. However, when I retired from my long career in the mental health field and

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Gone

Joni Mitchell’s 1970s song Big Yellow Taxi has a famous line I like to repeat to myself, especially when I feel a little melancholy about things… “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘till its gone.” This week those words seem truer to me today than they ever have for it appears many things I have cherished over the years are diminishing. Last summer,

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Curveball

In baseball, a curveball is a type of pitch thrown with a distinctive grip and hand movement that creates a forward spin to the ball, causing it to dive as it approaches home plate. In American slang, the meaning of curveball is when something surprising, disruptive, or unexpected happens. Curveball clichés often include the baseball metaphor, for example: when life throws you a curveball –swing; when life throws you a

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Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is roughly described as distrusting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. This psychological occurrence is more prevalent among high-achieving women, and it is estimated that most people will experience the imposter phenomenon at least once in their lives. Most writers feel like an imposter at some point on their journey and since it is so common, it can almost be viewed as a rite of passage. I’ve

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A Special Place

Etienne de Gellett once wrote, “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do or show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”  I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately and how true they are. Recently, I traveled to a beautiful spot I had often

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The Joy of Camping

Prior to the 19th century, most Americans viewed nature as solely a resource for food, clothing, and shelter. However, by the early 20th century, American families began to discover the joy of camping outdoors, spending their vacation time sleeping under the stars, fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking, and or backpacking; due, at least in part, to the transcendental movement inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and other

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Diamonds on the Lake

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to take my kayak out on the large lake near my home. Because there are many people who also enjoy getting out on the water, I tend to prefer a quieter weekday morning, especially when the winds are light and variable, providing just the right amount of breeze –not too hot, not too cold. This morning was one of those

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A Good Movie

The first color-tinted films of the early 1900s were not very long, averaging only about eight minutes. Then, in the 1920s, the film industry started using Technicolor and began to make lengthier motion pictures. In 1928, The Academy Awards for motion pictures was created to celebrate movies, actors, producers, directors, etc. The movie Wings won the best picture that year and many great movies have been produced since that time:

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Ice

One of the things I love about summer is a cold glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime with lots of ice. I love the clink of the ice followed by the sizzle of the pour. I often drink this refreshing thirst-quencher on my back porch, appreciating the coolness, especially after working on the land in the hot sun. My refrigerator has an ice maker where

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The Natural Order of Things

Today dawned a clear blue-sky day, cool in the morning, warming up nicely in the afternoon. Perfect for the few chores I had planned: weeding out some of the thistles in the tall grasses; transplanting a few wildflowers; washing a window or two; sweeping the front porch. I didn’t get to the weeding until later, methodically combing through the dewberry, kinnikinic, and meadow grasslands. With trowel in hand, I pushed

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A Long Enduring Mind

When I lived in India, a teacher there once told me that I should cultivate a “long, enduring mind.”  At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about. The statement seemed more like a paradoxical anecdote or riddle. My mind tended to jump from one idea to another quite rapidly, more like a hummingbird buzzing from flower to flower than an eagle perched quietly on top of a high

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A Year of Solace

Every week, at the end of my blog, I write: How did you find solace this week? So, for this week, I would appreciate hearing from all of you on those things in your life that may have increased your well-being, brought you comfort, and or gladdened your heart. Here is a recap of my weekly Tuesday blogs—65 to be exact—on how I found solace for over a year now:

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The Big Smoke

The Big Smoke means a large city in Australian lingo or slang. Some say it stemmed from the Aboriginal people who used the term for any European settlement, in contrast to the “small smoke” of their campfires. Others assert it was a popular phrase used by rural residents in nineteenth-century England when they traveled to London where they could see thick smoke enveloping the city, primarily caused by the burning

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A Cup of Tea

There are several anonymous quotes about tea that I like: a cup of tea makes everything better; tea is the elixir of life; tea is an answer to most problems; tea is always a good idea; life is like a cup of tea. But the quote by K. Cohen sums up my lifelong love affair with tea the best: “A cup of tea is a cup of peace.” I drank

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Never Give Up

In 2010, I attended a writers’ conference that hosted a wide variety of classes, clinics, and talks. One of the seminars I selected was for a group luncheon with about eight agents and a few well-known editors; each sharing knowledge and recent information about the publishing world. They took turns speaking about a particular issue: self-publishing versus traditional publishing, queries, new author blunders, social media, and book marketing. I listened

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Calypso Orchids

This week, whenever I needed to take a break from my writing, I usually went for a walk in the forest near my house, in search of the elusive Calypso Orchids in bloom this time of year. The orchid takes its name from the Greek word ‘calypso’ meaning concealment and only grows to be about three to six inches tall with one single leaf at the bottom. They are petite,

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Solitude

One of my favorite books is a children’s book titled, Island of the Blue Dolphins, written in 1960 by Scott O’Dell and first published in Great Britain by Constable & Co. The book is based on a true story of an American Indian girl abandoned in 1835 on a lonely rocky island off the Californian coast. After her younger brother’s tragic death, she survived eighteen years of great danger and

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The Sky

The airport was crowded, messy, and noisy. The flight attendant announced that we had to give up our carry-on luggage because the flight was too full. So much for packing light. When I got on the plane, I checked twice to make sure I got the seat assignment right –the middle seat in a non-reclining row. A bulky man got up to let me in and I settled in as

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Patience

Yesterday, after I taught my yoga class, a student remarked, “I’ve had it with this cold spring. I need it to warm up so I can sit outside and enjoy my lunch instead of still having to wear my down coat.” She fiddled with the rings on her finger. I nodded because I too would like to sit outdoors at my favorite coffeehouse. Yet, I had to remind her of

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Eating Out

For the past two years, I have rarely gone out to dinner. The Pandemic was one reason. The other was my favorite restaurants in town closed or went out of business. If I wanted to eat out, I had to drive an hour to the nearest, metro center. So, this week when my husband suggested we go out for dinner, I enthusiastically replied, “When? Where?” We agreed on a local

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My Best Friend

There’s this saying by S.E. Hinton, If you have two friends in your lifetime, you’re lucky. If you have one good friend, you’re more than lucky. Which has always been a comfort to me because I don’t have a lot of good friends, but the ones I do have, I’ve known and cherished for a long time. The brightest of stars lighting up my life with their humor, wisdom, creativity,

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Return of the Bird Song

One of the things I have appreciated this week is the return of birdlife, filling the air with their distinctive calls and song. Few birds stick around for the northern winter, preferring to fly south to warmer lands, and so for the past several weeks, I have heard a new bird call almost daily, each bringing a smile to my face: the chicken-like cluck, cluck, cluck of the sage grouse;

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Truth

Growing up, to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, was a big deal in my family. Honesty is the best policy and keep your word were constant phrases. Lying was considered a sin and as a priest once told me: “sinners go to hell.” When I was young, images of an eternal life in a demonic realm of fire and agony always kept me trying to tell the

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Doubt

This week, working on final edits for my memoir –Wandering … a long way past the past, I’m faced with  important decisions. Do I accept my editor’s directive to split a long chapter into two, consequently upsetting the flow and creating a domino effect of juxta positioning other chapters? Do I agree on a change in some chapter subtitles? Do I insert callouts to enhance the text? These directives, which

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News Fast

As of late, newscasts have been filled with all sorts of worrisome stories with words such as war, invasion, bombing, fatalities, bereavement, downfall, refugees, collapse, crisis, overthrow, ruin… This barrage of negative information from around the globe, with reactions, replay and analysis here in America, have triggered a certain disquiet in my life, spilling over into other areas: a restless sleep, a lower ability to handle little stresses like a

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The Beauty of Color

With the melting of the winter snow and increased sunlight, green shoots are popping up everywhere. The buds on the deciduous trees are beginning to open. A few crocuses have emerged, along with a rare early spring wildflower or two. Although I love the stark beauty of winter when everything can be covered in a hushed blanket of white, the first colors of spring are truly wonderful: bluebell blue, orchid

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Spring!

For many of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is a special time. The snow melts and the earth thaws. The bitter cold retreats. Where I live, the deciduous trees blossom into a luscious lime-green color. Migratory birds return to nest and enjoy the north’s summer abundance. Hibernating animals wake from a long winter’s nap. Rivers and creeks run fast and powerful, filling lakes with snow melting off the

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Fasting

Years ago, when I lived in India, I used to fast one day a week as a way to maintain good health. When I returned to North America, I continued this practice for a couple of years, then switched to fasting one time every six months, and then once a year, before abandoning the ritual altogether; only fasting when I thought I needed to give my body a break. During

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Less is More

When I write poetry, I try my best to convey my thoughts and or feelings with the least number of words. Then, I save, close the document, and let it be for several days, sometimes even weeks, before I return to read it. When I do, I scale it down again, remove anything excessive; save, close, and repeat the process until I capture exactly what it is I wanted to

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A Winter Morning Alone

I found solace this week on a solo cross-country ski close to home. When I got to the trailhead, there were only three cars in the parking lot. I saw only one couple the entire time I spent skiing between trees and rocks and boulders, resting every now again to admire the view or appreciate the moment. The swish of my skis on the newly groomed trail was the only

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Daydreams

I learned at a young age that daydreaming about what I wanted or needed not only filled the empty void of my longing, but often satisfied it as well. The small settlement I grew up in did not have much in the way of merchandise stores so I used to spend hours leafing through the free Sears & Roebuck catalog that made its way to our house about twice a

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It’s Just a Matter of Time

The legendary Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu (believed to have lived in the 6th century BCE), wrote that time is a created thing with no past and no future. Other philosophers have advocated  for time being a continuous flow, with no stopping or starting point. Physicists have described time as a fourth dimensional reality and Einstein concluded that time is relative, meaning it all depends on your frame of reference. A

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Carefree

Once, while in Nepal, a spiritual teacher told me that one of the best things in life is to be carefree; “being open from within, not constricted, or tight or bumping up against things.” But rather, to be relaxed, free, unhampered, without the need to achieve something or be someone special. He even went on to say, “even when something isn’t funny, still smile.” I think what he meant was

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Change

Snow fell almost every day for two weeks, creating snow piles up to my thigh in places. I did get several chances to ski right off my front porch and snowshoed even more. Then, the temperature rose and it started to rain, all day and all night. By the next morning, temps plummeted and everything, and I mean everything, was covered in a sheet of ice. Ice on top of

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Being Thankful

There are people I’ve met over the course of the many years that I’ve lived, who seem to have a natural grace for gratitude; appreciative for each day, viewing their cup half full, not half empty. I am not one of those people. I have to work on gratitude. Many years ago, I read that in order to develop a grateful heart, it was helpful to start with a gratitude

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Cold

Deep cold in winter reminds me of growing up in a small rural town in northern Canada. One winter we had an artic front descend into our area and the temperature plummeted to negative forty for several days and one morning, the temps fell to over negative fifty. Half the town lost electricity. Schools closed. The few businesses in town suspended their services. Outside, the only sound was the wind

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Health is Wealth

A plastic cup with the words, “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” written in bold black letters was my constant companion when I grew up. By the way, that quote was made famous by Benjamin Franklin, yet to be historically accurate, it came from the Greek philosopher Aristotle. I drank my morning milk from that cup, awful stuff in those days, dry skim

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Wind Gusts

It’s a blustery day. The wind has blown all day long, the trees swaying with the gusts. I tend to like the sound the wind creates as it snakes its way through the cedar and spruce boughs. When the wind really picks up speed, I sometimes can hardly hear anything else at all. It can also cause a lot of havoc as I watch the grill cover and the plastic

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Happy New Year

The new year begins on Saturday. 2022! It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by. It feels like I lost a year because I keep saying things like, “remember that kayaking trip we took to Canada?” only to be corrected with, “That was two years ago, my dear, not last year.” Last New Year’s Eve, I think I watched the ball drop in Times Square on television, and

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Happy Holidays

Most of us know the Story of the Magi, a short story written by O. Henry and first published in 1905, about a poor couple’s struggle to buy Christmas gifts for each other. On Christmas Eve the wife, Della, visits a hairdresser who buys her long hair so Della can buy her husband a chain for his watch. When the husband, Jim, comes home that evening, Della tells him she

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Winter Wonderland

Several inches of new snow fell overnight covering the landscape in a blanket of white. Snowflakes as big as nickels continued to fall all day muffling the sound of a distant train. A deer family, that usually passes through our property, did not; and other familiar visitors such as a snowshoe hare, a grey squirrel, and a reddish chipmunk stayed inside their prospective burrows. Even the snowplow did not show.

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Music

When I write, I usually listen to music; different genres to help create a scene, develop a character, a plot, or deepen the protagonist of my story. I tend to appreciate movie soundtracks that go on for long periods of time to keep pace with the way my brain works: Interstellar, The Hours, The Danish Girl, or The Theory of Everything for example. Right now, I’m listening to a melodic

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Getting Back to Normal

With the recent rains, the air smells of water-logged leaves, moist soil, and hints of wood smoke from neighbors’ fireplaces. Yesterday, it poured all day creating big puddles on the roads. Dry streams are now running full and the moss in the forest is a bright green. The crispy-dry parched earth and smoke-filled skies from this year’s intense summer replaced by what it should feel like here in the northwest.

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Giving Thanks

American Thanksgiving is Thursday and people from all around the country will come together to celebrate with an abundance of food and cheer. Others will volunteer their time to prepare and serve a  meal to those less fortunate. Some will choose not to observe the holiday, while still others may not be able to. I was born and raised in northern Canada where we observed Thanksgiving on the second Monday

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A Delicate Changing World

A few days ago, my husband and I took a hike to a place we had not visited in over thirty years. After a long, bumpy ride on a dirt forest service road we found the trailhead, parked, threw on an extra layer and began the climb to the top. Along the way we remarked on how beautiful the valleys looked, filled with the autumn yellow color of the western

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The Joy of Cooking

Cool, rainy fall days have replaced the intense heat-filled days of summer. The sun rises later and later and sets earlier and earlier. My driveway is covered with fallen leaves and the forecast is for rain and more rain. I’m not complaining. Yesterday, after yoga class, a friend stated, “Love this rainy weather. Makes me want to just curl up with a good book and make soup. A big pot

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Cat Nap

In the whirlwind of post book launch, I decided to take a day and do nothing; just be quiet for several hours. I didn’t turn on the television or listen to music and purposely turned off my computer and phone. My home seemed to breath a sigh of relief or maybe it was just the echo of my deep exhalations. Several decades ago, when I lived in southeast Asia, I

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Poetry

I tend to express myself best through my poetry –finding the fewest of words to convey my deepest feelings. Some people tell me that poetry is hard but I think it’s the easiest form of writing, especially contemporary poetry where I can freely create without worrying about syntax or structure. Growing up I wrote poems on envelopes, receipts, paper bags; anything I could find really to jot down words popping

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Letting Go

The book launch has come and gone. It went well or as good as can be expected during these times. I scheduled the book launch before this recent covid surge and spent the last weeks before the event vacillating between canceling or following through. I didn’t know which one was the best option and I still don’t. Several people did not show due to their concerns of gathering with people

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Clean Freak

My maternal grandparents had twenty-one children, which was always difficult for me to admit to anyone because usually when I told people this fact they’d guffaw or make a sarcastic remark or raise their eyebrows as if in disbelief. “Twenty-one? You gotta’ be frigging kidding me?” More often than not I changed the subject and omitted the other detail that my grandparents lived on a farm in a secluded area

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Autumn

There is a definite change in the air when I lace up my running shoes, put my earbuds in, and head out the door for my morning run. Whether from the colder temperature or listening to the Top 40 hits, I run fast picking up my knees, even climbing a few hills as if I was thirty, okay forty. There is light frost on my neighbor’s roof. I’m a four-season

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Loving Well

When I get close to the end of my life, there will be one question I hope to answer with an affirmative yes. Did I love well? It will not be how many books I wrote or how much money might be in my bank account or the number of places I visited. It will be about how much I unconditionally and wholeheartedly loved my family, cherished my friends and

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Finding Solace when Things are not Calm

For the past week I’ve vacillated from feeling nervous to edgy to agitated with little room for stillness and tranquility. All the ways in which I find solace have not helped relax my internal shakiness, leaving me more tentative than I’ve been in quite some time. It’s as if the rug has literally been pulled out from under me. I got the proof for my book and it looks different

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Laughter

I tend to be a serious person and forget how wonderful it is to laugh; chuckle when I make a mistake or to “lighten up and relax already” –a comment I’ve heard more than just a few times over the years. Today, the owner of the local venue for my book launch kindly offered a chance for my husband and I to taste the appetizers  they hoped to serve at

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Unplugged

Yesterday, I did not turn on my computer or my phone and left my house for the day, traveling up north about twenty-five miles or so; first on the highway, then onto a dirt forest service road for several bumpy miles until I reached the trail head –destination, a secluded high mountain lake. Before I swung on my daypack, I checked the outside temperature: 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The narrow earthen

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Book Launch

When my book consultant asked, “So, what are doing for your book launch?” I shrugged and responded, “I don’t know.” She hates those three words. “Not good enough! Think book launch party, book signing, book clubs.” Images of balloons, party favors, a cake, gifts, champagne sailed through my head. “Okay,” I replied weakly. I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about but I began to research and read

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Yoga

Yoga is part of my daily life; get up, drink something hot, do yoga. I started my yoga practice when I lived in India in the latter half of the 1970s and then continued to practice in my home when I returned to North America; discovering that I just felt better when I repeated the asanas day after day. There weren’t many yoga studios in those days ‘nor was there

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Water

The extreme heat continues to plague the Pacific Northwest causing record drought conditions. Wildfires are igniting and spreading quickly. We are in our third month of no measurable rainfall. The trees around my home look stressed and the tall grasses have already turned yellow brown. Usually, this time of year everything should be an emerald-green color. We’ve taken to turning on a sprinkler every evening to prevent the land from

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Handwritten Letters and Cards

When I went to get the mail yesterday, the bundle contained the usual junk mail, a bill, and a card addressed to me in a lovely cursive script I recognized. I thought for a moment, when was the last time I received a handwritten letter or a card or even a note? Months? Years? In our age of social media, with quick to very quick to very, very quick flashes

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Empty Spaces

When I was younger, a common phrase could be heard with groups of friends or colleagues or to loved ones: “I need space.” Space from activities and worthy causes and interesting people and things to get done or days filled with appointments and meetings and dates. Yesterday, I used this old line when my husband asked if I wanted to get together with some of our friends. I drew in

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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 slipper page, in an obvious place hoping or rather knowing my husband will get the hint

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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 few college courses. I’d always felt a bit like a beginner in almost everything I did

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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 project is on the new moon. The one thing I like about the moon is that

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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 too hot.” When I was a young woman, I had the great privilege of living in

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Grammie

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, the matriarch who provides them with a wealth of love and generosity no money could

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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, editing, sending manuscripts to professional editors, rewriting again, editing, sending to professional editors, rewriting again,

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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 and a different country. Here is the recipe: Prepare the following custard in a double boiler

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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; evenly spaced, each of them finding nourishment and strength in the remains of what was

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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, an extra pair of warm socks in a Ziploc baggie, my Tilly hat, and a small

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Awake to Greater Things

Our spring is much warmer this year.  Even the moss which should be spongy and wet is dry and crisp. I want to enjoy the higher temperatures, lounge in my Adirondack chair, and read a good book but I can’t seem to shake an unease about what might be coming. Last year the western wildfires burned an estimated 10 million acres compared to almost 5 million acres in 2019. There

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Comfort in Simple Things

Being fairly new to social media I may not have the best judgment but it seems such a pressured environment; everyone vying for attention. Pick me! Follow me! Read my blog! Buy my book! Look at what amazing things I’ve done or said or hope to be. If you like what I have to say, retweet… Some even voice stupid or even hurtful things to get attention. I have a

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The Teapot

When I retired, my colleagues threw me a party in a nice, rented room downtown; away from work to limit interruptions and where we could all relax. We stood around a table of mostly healthy treats, talking, everyone wishing me well. Then they gave me their gift: a lovely teapot with two mugs —so apropos. Born and raised in the north woods of Canada, my family and I drank tea

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Gratitude

After a long career of intense emotional work – suicide prevention, threat assessment, listening to clients share their pain and suffering and hope for brighter tomorrows, I retired to this much quieter place. A place where I could breathe the rich air, hear the rustle of the wind through the trees, sit quietly and stare at the wide trackless sky, discovering shapes in the cloud wisps; a game I used

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Tweet

I have embarked on the social media journey and joined Twitter. I watched a YouTube tutorial on how to set up a Twitter account twice, and still made mistakes I didn’t know how to fix. How do I tweet? Who do I follow? If I tweet, should I add a comment? Are replies public? Last weekend, my daughter visited. I asked, “How do I tweet?” “Mom, it’s so simple,” she

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The Sound of Stones

One of my favorite books of all time is Driftwood Valley, written by Theodora Stanwell-Fletcher. Chapters from the author’s diary beautifully chronicle her tales of the vast solitude of northern British Columbia; much of which was inaccessible and not yet penetrated by mankind. Published in 1946 by Little, Brown, and Company, the book spans the years of 1937 – 1941, when the author and her husband lived primarily alone in

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Patience

Spring! Tiny grass shoots are sprouting in the meadows, along trails, under trees, and even in the front ditch near my house; lime green moss peeking through the melted snow. My muck boots have sunk in the mud and in the water-logged marsh every day this week. We built a birdhouse and placed it on a tree near an open meadow hoping to coax a mountain bluebird to nest there.

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Finding solace in the simplest of things

I have spent a rather embarrassingly amount of time trying to figure out my blog. I’ve not done anything like this before. I don’t yet have a Facebook account or use Twitter, Instagram, or Tik Tok, even though my colleagues and mentors advise me to “get going, already.” I have to start somewhere. Right? What should I write about? My long career as a licensed mental health professional, guiding adolescents

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