Starbucks Saved My Neighbor

Or at least that chain of coffee houses, saved my neighbor’s car. And for that I am eternally grateful. I have a wonderful neighbor.  She has saved my life on numerous occasions by providing a stick of butter, a teaspoon of baking powder, and shoulder to vent on.

I swim laps in her pool during the summer. We consume fine wine while listening to the oldies and playing Rummy Q.  We talk an occasional walk. And we talk. And talk. And talk.

She even walked me through a roller coaster ride at Disneyland by holding my hand and assuring me we would land soon at the same place where we started. And that I wasn’t going to have a heart attack.

So, Sunday morning she was making pancakes for her son (being the great mother that she is) and her daughter, a typical teenager wanted Starbucks. Like I said, my neighbor is a great mother, so she obliged her daughter’s wish, putting the pancakes on hold for a few minutes.

A few minutes in which her life would have gone down a different path if she’d stayed home flipping those pancakes.

Starbucks is a short drive from our block, yet long enough to keep her away while the wind charged through the trees, whipping the palm tree into a frenzy and dropping multiple fronds onto her driveway.

I recently switched to Peets, but I’m coming back you, Starbucks.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



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A Personal Time Bank

THEN : Changing the Time

Apple watch



NOW : Changing the Time

With the end of Daylight Savings, Time has been on my mind. That elusive concept that always seems to pass too slowly when you’re young and way too fast once you’ve crossed the half century mark of your life.

I mean, really.  One minute you’re walking down the aisle in a cap and gown and the next you’re wearing a backless gown and being wheeled down the corridor for a colonoscopy.

So, I’ve been thinking.  What if instead of simply turning the clocks back an hour in March and then gaining that hour in October, we could actually save time itself?

If all those hours of Daylight Savings were actually saved in Personal Time Bank accounts.

Every Daylight Savings we would add another hour, not be used until we turned forty or of an age when we could really appreciate time.  Our hours would accumulate and then each fall when we turn the clocks back, we could go to our time bank and withdraw whichever hour we wanted.

Think about it.  You could withdraw an hour from a day in high school when you followed your crush around, waiting for him to smile at you.  To remind yourself of how young love felt.  To help you relate to that hormonal teenage daughter sulking at you from across the kitchen table who wants only to send a text to her boyfriend and not have to listen to you bitch about her lack of respect.

You could withdraw an hour from the day your child was born and relive how it felt to cradle her in your arms.  Before she learned how to talk back.

Or maybe an hour from when you were laid up in bed with a broken bone.  An hour that would remind you to slow down, take a deep breath.  You don’t need to be there for everyone, all the time.

If you were sad over something, you could take a “happy” hour from your bank to remind you of life’s ups and downs.  Perhaps withdraw an hour to help you through a tough situation.  Or even an hour to spend with someone who is no longer with you.

You could revisit the days when we called each other to say hello instead of sending emails.  When a text usually meant a book, a virus referred to something attacking our bodies, and a window was a large opening looking out onto the world.

And let’s take it one step further.  How about being able to withdraw against these hours whenever you needed a few extra minutes to meet a deadline? Instead of rushing from the market to the soccer game to the doctor’s to the office, you could borrow from your Time Bank and make that tightly squeezed day, just a bit easier.

Or maybe even trade hours with your friend to see how it really feels to walk in someone else’s shoes.  Oh, how we could learn to stop judging and just accept each other.

Best of all, we could loan hours to someone whose life is being cut too short.

Oh, the possibilities are limitless.

If only this were possible. But, it’s not. So, I’m going to use this hour for some “me” time.

How about you?

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The Future Can Be Spooky

Passage 99 Cover

So, here it is – almost Halloween.  The night when the ghosts and goblins (ie, trick or treaters) invade our inner peace.

But who is to say that what lies ahead isn’t just as scary?

Check out my new science fiction story, Passage 99.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Halloween.

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Remembering 9/11

Flags 911

It was supposed to be an ordinary morning. The alarm would go off. I’d listen to the talk radio, dose off for a few minutes, listen some more and then force myself out of bed.

As usual, I’d be the first one in the office, and I’d pray that everyone else showed up before the boss.

Lateness didn’t set well with him.

Over coffee, I would listen to what my co-workers did the previous evening.

Whose kid didn’t clean up her room the night before. Who had a headache because the office was too hot. Who had a headache because the office was too cold.

We’d complain about customers who didn’t pay on time. Rant over a jammed printer. Bitch about the mail arriving late.

It was supposed to an ordinary morning.


But the only normal occurrence that morning was the sound of the radio clicking on. After that, nothing was normal.

It was September 11, 2001. 6:40 a.m. PST.

The talk jock mentioned something about not only one plane, but two that had just crashed in the World Trade Center. I flipped on the TV to the most horrifying sight. Yet, I didn’t quite grasp that it was real. That I wasn’t watching a movie.

While I watched, a man’s voice spoke from the Pentagon. Less than ten minutes later, he shouted that the Pentagon had been hit. Hijacking number 3. On my way to work, I heard about Flight number 93.

And then I cried. While driving on that ordinary street through my familiar world with office buildings, convenience stores and gas stations on every corner, I cried.

And nothing has been the same since.


That day at work, we didn’t talk about what food we undercooked the night before. Or whose husband didn’t help with dishes.  Or how hot it was because the air conditioner wasn’t working.

Collectively, we listened to the news as it unfolded.

Privately, we listened to our hearts. And began to sort out what was really important.

It seemed insignificant to complain or worry about those small things we worried and complained about only the day before.

We had each other. We had our health. We had a “tomorrow.”

With each new story, I couldn’t help but wonder what the people in the World Trade Center might have been thinking.  Were their last thoughts about a mortgage payment? A bad hair cut? About an argument with their spouse?

With each new story, another of my tears fell into the atmosphere already so heavy with sorrow and anger.

Now, sixteen years later (yes, sixteen years!) I know what is important and what is not.

I keep in touch with friends on a daily basis.

I say “I love you” to my husband, my sister, my parents, my children and my grandchildren each time I say goodbye. (Sometimes to telemarketers because I forget who I’m talking to.)

I’ve put my life into perspective, taking a good look at the big picture, at the scope of things.

I plan for the future, but live, truly live for the moment.

I want to feel textured emotions from each rich sunrise to sunset.

To thread the fabric of each hour into the next.

To welcome the darkness without “should haves” or “what ifs.”

With time, there became another ordinary morning.

But I will never forget that day when it all turned upside down.

My heart and prayers go out to those families and friends whose lives were forever changed.

Flags 911

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Passage 99 – A Pleasure Sister Story

If you like science fiction,  check out my new story – Passage 99.

A thought-provoking story about life in the future.  Pleasure Sisters must life by THE MANUAL.  Breaking a Passage will change your life forever.  Especially if it is


Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you enjoy my story.



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Ode To Our Porcelain God


You’ve been a great companion,

But, sadly, here’s the scoop.

It’s time for us to say goodbye,

We need a place to poop.

We’ve shared a lot of stories,

And a stomachache or two.

And you my miss my squishy butt,

But it ain’t gonna miss you!

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Between the Lines

Hands for SS Final

One mother’s story of going bra shopping with her tween daughter, turns into so much more than a trip to the mall. Read my short story

Between the Lines.

on The Sunlight Press.




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Love, Love & More Love

New Mercury Cover


Yes, it’s that time of year again – time to show your loved ones how much you care.  Be it with candy, flowers, dinner and wine. Or as in my case- an adding machine! Yes, my husband gave me one of those practical gifts many years ago. And we’re still together, adding up moments, creating a lifetime.

Happy Valentine’s to all!



If you love young romance – read how Emma survives falling in love during Mercury in Retrograde.



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If It’s Tuesday, It’s Dad’s House


I’m sure you didn’t expect to be in this situation when you said your “I dos” and spoke those “for better or worse” vows. When you stood beneath the huppa, or kneeled in the church, or at stood the edge of the ocean. Wherever you were when you declared your undying love for one another, I don’t think you ever saw that love dying.

And I’m sure a future of shared custody and visitation rights didn’t occur to you when you were holding that newborn baby in your arms.

But somewhere along the way, your marriage got messy and out of control. The love departed and, in its place, arrived the need, the want, the necessity to separate. And that’s all very well and good. I don’t believe parents should stay together for the children at any expense.

But now what?

You are not alone

Thanks for reading,


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Alaska: Seven Days at Sea

The ship

Our cruise started on a cool Friday afternoon in Vancouver. After being greeted with a glass of champagne and a smile, we headed for our stateroom, a perfectly designed space with lots of drawers and cubby holes.


Around 4:00 pm, we set sail for Alaska.

Sailing off

Day on ship


After a day cruising the high seas we docked in Ketchikan.


Next –  A quad ride through Icy Straits.

Quads on Icy StraitsIcy Straits ocean

Nothing like a summer day in Juneau!


Breathtaking ride through the Yukon Trail in Skagway.

White Train passTrain tracks

A cold martini to top off an strenuous day of sightseeing and walking.

Martini glass on bar top

And my favorite day – cruising through the Hubbard Glaciers.

Glacierglacier 2

A beautiful night on the ship.

Ship at night

The captain, cruise director and every member of the crew aboard the Millennium X were all fabulous. Happy to point out directions to the bars and the spas.  And continually offering a squirt of hand sanitizer with a wish for a good day.

On the train way to Anchorage

train to anchorage

Of course, the very best part of the cruise was traveling with friends and family.


The trip ended way too soon and now I have an important decision to make. Should I pick up this


and start cleaning?

Or start packing for another trip?


If you ever get the chance to take an Alaskan cruise. Do it!

I leave you with this final scene: Alaska – The Last Frontier

last shot






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