Step Inside

“Enter when you will, take what you need, leave something of yourself when you go”

I have a friend I met over a bottle of scotch in a Brandywine Valley bed & breakfast some odd years ago who travels constantly and widely, sending me bits and pieces of the world as he goes. Each picture contains a sense of mystery, or surprising humor, and/or most likely the bicycle he rode in on.

I forget where he said he shot this wide planked shack. It is intriguing, don’t you agree? The sun and scattered leaves promise it is a bright, brisk day, yet, I wonder what musty odor fills your nose when you poke your head through the door, what scurrying varmint lives in the corners, what fingers grab your ankle once you cross the threshold and the heavy door slowly shuts out the light, the long, strong boards slide through the door handle locking  you inside…

… you go first…I am right behind you…


six months

oh Ma —

it’s been one hundred seventy seven days today since I last spoke to him —


one hundred seventy seven days since he —



gotta go, Ma –


love you




There once was a princess named Reese,

Who pulled on her coat made of fleece

pulled on her gloves, and her bright yellow boots,

then wiggled and giggled, shouting out great hoots,

as Great Aunt, Roxanna, tried to hug her great niece.





2017 Garden Review

Cosmos all blooming in a big pot out front, check; birds flocking to the sunflowers out front; Father’s Day rose honoring Brandon healthy and blooming; Japanese beetles caught and dying in the traps;  Big Boy tomatoes going mad-yum; basil and Swiss chard available every day now; one (1) green bell pepper just starting; one (1) Big Max pumpkin about 4 inches around <sigh>; and still, for the eighteenth year, not a single zucchini… I ask you, who cannot grow zucchinis? Me, I, Moi, Yo….oh, the continuing humiliation…


holds my fascination: her bright, rose colored, single layered skirt, delicate tufted bodice crowned with a vibrant ring of the tiniest, golden blooms, and attended daily by her fattest lady-in-waiting, Mistress Bumble Bee…

The Hollyhocks bend in awe.








Another C.J. Box book to recommend – PARADISE VALLEY, 2017, MINOTAUR BOOKS

Another terrific C.J. Box adventure. I could hardly wait to dive in, knowing it would be filled with people I’ve come to know, stories that have become part of my psyche. And, as always, as the tension built, the outcome working its way to its peak, I wanted to slow down, savor each word, turn each page slowly, so it would not end.

The Lizard King is a twisted bastard. Cassie Dewell knows him like no one else. Kyle Westergaard, a sharp, tough North Dakota Norwegian kid whose nightmares have nightmares, just wants to float the Mississippi like Tom Sawyer. As always, when the Lizard King comes to town, people die, reputations founder, idiot politicians rise and fall, but Cassie pushes forward, with Kyle as her reason, and, in the end, her accomplice. Great story…it flows logically to its conclusion, except for the unforeseen, and unnecessary cruelty and destruction of an evil man…but then, what else to expect from a sicko. There seems to be a straight line from North Dakota to that cabin in Montana, but there are gas stations, and break downs, and grouchy grandmas, and egos along the way that make you question the likelihood of success. And damned, if on occasion, you don’t almost feel sorry for the bastard they’re tracking.

READ THIS… you will hate the bad guy, you will applaud the good guys, you will grieve for the innocent, and you’ll wish to hell you had the chance to sit around a campfire with Bull Mitchell listening to his stories with a bottle of bourbon saucing them up.

p.s. if you have yet to read the other C.J. Box books, you will find yourself WANTING to read to read them… great stories to take you out of any humdrum day…  he was here at our library last week… neat to hear him talk with all of us who love his characters…

Saturday 8/5

so, I ventured to the Paris Street Market yesterday, just to see what I could see. One booth had beautiful, hand made quilts…old, with soft fabrics and neat stitches…at incredibly reasonable prices. Sometimes you find old quilts priced as though the vendor hand stitched them herself, paying herself by the number of stitches. Ugh. But, these were lovely, and nicely priced. I could not resist a wedding ring with a neat, blue star in the center of each ring – perfect stitches making the white muslin backing beautiful, too. We talked a bit, Judy, the vendor, and her husband, and I. I’ll check in again next month to see if the perfect Dresden plate is still available.

Then, hugging my new quilt, I passed a few booths of neat stuff, until I came upon a small collection of odd bits laid out on a neat old wood ironing board, and a couple small tables – no flags, no flash, no fancy. The vendor, Paulette, was sleeping under her umbrella. I wanted her four foot, wooden, long handled tool box, $35. I had to wake her. We chatted about the day, and her tool box; how we remembered way back when everyone wanted a wooden trunk to line with pretty wall paper to use as our coffee tables. You cannot give them away, now, says Paulette. I can see that. No, she didn’t take credit cards, so I walked to the theatre ATM, and returned for the box. She sold it to me for less – I knew she would…we’d chatted, y’know. And she ALMOST talked me into an Indian brass, cylinder, portable coffee grinder…why I could grind my own coffee on the train and make that incredibly strong coffee they make in India while on my way to work. I resisted. My way to work is but down the hall…but it was cool, and might make a good Christmas gift.

Feels good to get out amongst people; chat a bit, chuckle and laugh a bit… not too much, mind you…I don’t care all that much, nor do they… for a while, earlier this year, after B died, I guess I was hit with one of those Peggy Lee “is that all there is” moments… and I know such moments will hit again, now and then…but I tire of grief, don’t you? tire of staring at the wall, only partly listening to others? Yeah…at some point, you just gotta get up again… hit a flea market…for no good reason…


Eleven Eleven Ninety Nine,

the day this comfortable house became mine.

It matches, first glance, all others round the block

Same roof, same shutters, same initial plant stock.

I should be ashamed, as a child of sixties fame.

They ARE all made of ticky tacky, and they all DO look the same.

Tho’ they’ve  changed o’er these years as we’ve lived, loved, and lost.

I’ve added, for instance, more  flowers than most.

More daisies, more lilies, more iris, more roses.

Bright poppies reseeded for great June poses.

Even my tree, my poor suffering ash

grows against odds ’round its cruel looking gash

where we cut out the blight caused by dastardly bugs.

The pesticide worked, ‘long with frequent tree hugs.

Yes, the yard, front and back, is chaotic, small splendor,

Like the kind you would get putting all in a blender.

Not the neat, fine order of my neighbors’ straight bricks,

rather,  here a plot, there a pot, grape ivy ’round sticks.

A prickly, old rose from the ancient prairie (I did not plant it)

crowds the bargain lilac near the Hansa quite hairy (I do like it).

I planted six strawberries, back in two thousand two,

which now reach a couple hundred growing where they want to.

Inside my small castle, things are not much finer

by the standards of any highly paid designer.

I know hardwood floors are the dream of most.

I chose commercial carpet; black and tan,  the color of toast.

It’s dark like a floor, and comfy, and soft,

and though a bit tailored, would look great in a loft.

My walls? well they’re sad, with colors galore.

I paint was high as I can reach, then I am loath to do more.

It makes me tired, my arm hurt, that’s all I will say

It’ll all get done some fine day.

My furniture suits me…my long, green leather couch,

my Eastlake setee, where my Grands like to slouch.

The turntable ready to give the Allmans a spin.

The trolls, and the books, and the crucifix – thin.

From the cross hangs a dearskin medicine bag,

hand beaded for me,  a gift from an dear hag.

(Forgive me, dear Margaret Forster, wherever you are,

it’s just that hag rhymed.  YOU are truly a star).

I shall continue this analysis at a later date.

There’s work to be done that simply cannot wait.

Time to head to the front “office,” with its red IKEA chair

and the bed with the red quilt.  Emil Catt is always there.








P-51, quick and wicked

Stearman, classically handsome

T-6, steady as she goes

Each made a high speed  fly by, bringing whoops from the crowd

There is nothing like a airplane to make you tall and proud.



mid-July willows

provide cover for coyotes

in the knee deep muck