Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Authors for Ukraine Charity Auction

 This auction just started today and has already raised over $5,000.  

I am so proud to be included.

"The brainchild of mystery author Amy Patricia Meade, Authors for Ukraine was born on February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Tired of watching helplessly as a multitude of horrors were inflicted upon innocent people, Authors for Ukraine decided they needed to actively do something, however small it might be.

And so they banded together and utilized the best tools they had: their words - and their signatures.

Authors for Ukraine now boasts 170+ authors from across the US, Canada, and the UK in genres such as mystery, horror, romance, fantasy, and children's fiction.

Thank you for visiting and please remember that this auction is for charity. An enticement, an incitement even, to donate to a charitable cause to benefit refugees in Europe's darkest hours since World War II.

Authors for Ukraine Charity gives readers the opportunity to bid on SIGNED AND DEDICATED books by over 170 of their favorite authors as well as discover and support works by writers who might be new to them.

All proceeds from this auction benefit CARE's Ukraine Crisis Fund, which strives to reach 4 million with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance — prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly. https://www.care.org/

CARE is a Charity Navigator four-star rated charity.


To minimize expenses for our authors, who are donating not only their time and work, but all shipping costs, THIS AUCTION IS LIMITED TO RESIDENTS OF THE US AND CANADA. If you are outside this area and wish to help, please click the 'Donate' button.

Thank you again and please bid generously!"

Monday, March 28, 2022

Language of Love


When I wake up in the morning I roll over to my left and look up.

That coffee mug is usually what I see.

Here's why.

35+ years ago it became a daily thing for Donald and I to bring one another morning coffee in bed.

Whichever of us happened to get up first would make coffee and bring two cups to bed.

It's how we started our day.  

Things have changed over the years.  Now that we're retired, I am often still reading when Donald falls asleep, so he's usually the first one up.  

Sometimes the first one up by several hours.

He'll fix me a cup of coffee and leave it on my nightstand.

Yes, sometimes it's stone cold by the time I wake up and he's gone on about his business, and that's okay.

It still makes me smile.

And I know I am loved.

He doesn't have to flex his muscles and make a fool of himself in a pitiful caveman show of protectiveness.


I am Woman.  Hear me Roar.  

If some jackass making a lame joke hurts my feelings, I'll handle it.

Hopefully, in a civilized manner.

Will Smith could learn a thing or two from my husband.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Losing weight is hard


Damn right it is.

Anyone who has tried knows the struggle.

And anyone who has done it, only to have the pounds creep back (like me) knows how frustrating and depressing it can be.

I was a skinny little kid.

A skinny adolescent.

A skinny teen.

A skinny college girl.

A skinny bride (three times).

Until all of a sudden, toward the end of my '40s,  all those years of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, came to a crashing end.

Because I had never counted a calorie or worried about a carb I truly had no clue about what I needed to do.

And so began my years of off and on dieting.

Name a diet, I have done it.

And they worked.   Every single one of them.

Until I stopped the diet and went right back to what I had done for more than half my life - eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

And then, almost always, the diet cycle is triggered by a picture taken of me that clearly lets me know I need to lose a few (or more than a few) pounds.

And so goes the cycle.

This time it was a photo or two taken at Topsail Island last September.

What can I say.

I like to eat.

I love good food.

I love junk food.

I have an appetite that rivals the biggest truck driver you've ever seen.

Food is how I celebrate any and all occasions - even the ones I make up.

Feeding friends around our table is one of my greatest pleasures.

Having to stifle all that somewhat just pisses me off.

But, ya do whatcha gotta do.

And I have a favorite pair of jeans that I'm itching to get back into . . .  


Between September 19, 2021 and today, March 26, 2022, I have lost 20 pounds, with more to go.

Slowly.  Very slowly.

But fairly steady.

Some weeks I might lose a half a pound.  Some weeks I might gain two pounds.

But 20 pounds lost is 20 pounds lost.

It's a win.

This time I'm simply keeping a daily log at loseit.com .   There are two versions, a free version which is what I'm using, and an upgraded version with some bells and whistles which you can pay for.

And I'm logging in every single bite, every single calorie.  If I go over my calorie allotment for the day, which, of course is going to happen, I try to do better the next day.  If I have a not so great week, I move on, put it behind me and keep my goal in mind.  Those favorite jeans I want to get back into.

Will I be successful in keeping the weight off this time?

Hell, I don't know, but why jinx it??

Just lose the damn weight.  

Those are the words I'm saying to myself these days - "Just lose the damn weight."

I have not cut one thing out of my diet.  I just don't have certain things as often as I'd like.  

When I have ice cream, I have a smaller serving and I log the calories.

And I look at some before and after pics.

Am I ever going to be that skinny girl again?


But I'm damn sure gonna be the woman I want to be.  Wearing a favorite pair of jeans with my cowboy boots.

Yeehaw, honey.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

 RIP Ms. Albright

Asked by USA Today in August 2020 how she defined courage, Albright replied, "it's when you stand up for what you believe in when it's not always easy and you get criticized for it."

"It took me a long time to find my voice. But having found it, I'm not going to shut up," Albright said. "I'm going to use it to the best of my ability in terms of making sure that democracy is our form of government and that those around the world that want to live in a democracy have a possibility to do so."

There are some very ignorant members of today's congress  trying to make a mockery of all the things Madeleine Albright stood for.  Don't let them win.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

In Honor of International Women's Day

 19th Amendment Ragtime Parade by Marilyn Chin 

Birthday, birthday, hurray, hurray

The 19th Amendment was ratified today

Drum rolls, piano rolls, trumpets bray

The 19th Amendment was ratified today

Left hand bounces, right hand strays

Maestro Joplin is leading the parade

Syncopated hashtags, polyrhythmic goose-steps

Ladies march to Pennsylvania Avenue!

Celebrate, ululate, caterwaul, praise

Women’s suffrage is all the rage

Sisters! Mothers! Throw off your bustles

Pedal your pushers to the voting booth

Pram it, waltz it, Studebaker roadster it

Drive your horseless carriage into the fray

Prime your cymbals, flute your skirts

One-step, two-step, kick-ball-change

Castlewalk, Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear waltz

Argentine Tango, flirty and hot

Mommies, grannies, young and old biddies

Temperance ladies sip bathtub gin

Unmuzzle your girl dogs, Iowa your demi-hogs

Battle-axe polymaths, gangster moms

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Lucy Burns and Carrie Chapman Catt

Alice Paul, come one, come all! 

Sign the declaration at Seneca Falls!


Dada-faced spinsters, war-bond Prufrocks

Lillian Gish, make a silent wish

Debussy Cakewalk, Rachmaninoff rap

Preternatural hair bobs, hamster wheels     

Crescendos, diminuendos, maniacal pianos

Syncopation mad, cut a rug with dad!

Oompa, tuba, majorette girl power

Baton over Spamalot!

Tiny babies, wearing onesies

Raise your bottles, tater-tots!

Accordion nannies, wash-board symphonies

Timpani glissando!

                    The Great War is over!

Victory, freedom, justice, reason

Pikachu, sunflowers, pussy hats

Toss up your skull caps, wide brim feathers

Throwing shade on the seraphim

Hide your cell phones, raise your megaphones!

Speak truth to power

                           and vote, vote vote!


Nitwit legislators, gerrymandering fools

Dimwit commissioners, judicial tools

Toxic senators, unholy congressmen

Halitosis ombudsmen, mayoral tricks

Doom calf demagogues, racketeering mules

Whack-a-mole sheriffs, on the take

Fornicator governators, rakehell collaborators

Tweeter impersonators, racist prigs

Postbellum agitators, hooligan aldermen

Profiteering warmongers, Reconstruction dregs


Better run, rascals     better pray

We’ll vote you out      on judgement day!

Better run, rascals      better pray

We’ll vote you out       on election day!

Sunday, March 6, 2022

French Chocolates by Ellen Bass


If you have your health, you have everything
is something that's said to cheer you up
when you come home early and find your lover
arched over a stranger in a scarlet thong.
Or it could be you lose your job at Happy Nails
because you can't stop smudging the stars
on those ten teeny American flags.
I don't begrudge you your extravagant vitality.
May it blossom like a cherry tree. May the petals
of your cardiovascular excellence
and the accordion polka of your lungs
sweeten the mornings of your loneliness.
But for the ill, for you with nerves that fire
like a rusted-out burner on an old barbecue,
with bones brittle as spun sugar,
with a migraine hammering like a blacksmith
in the flaming forge of your skull,
may you be spared from friends who say,
God doesn't give you more than you can handle
and ask what gifts being sick has brought you.
May they just keep their mouths shut
and give you French chocolates and daffodils
and maybe a small, original Matisse,
say, Open Window, Collioure, so you can look out
at the boats floating on the dappled pink water.

- by Ellen Bass

Open Window, Collioure by Matisse, 1905