Friday, June 27, 2008


TA DA! Here it is. My first book of plays.

After much huffing and puffing and on line chat help from Lulu, I have the first volume of my plays in a slim paperback book.

I used the old fashioned courier font as that is traditional for performing material. Although some would say old-fashioned.

Except for the last one act play, they are all three to five minutes in length. Using the courier font with the margins that I have used you can estimate one minute per page. Give or take. I produced many of them for my church with great success.

Click on the Lulu button in my sidebar storefront and you can buy a hard copy for $9.95 or download it for $6 even.

It was quite an ordeal getting this done. Writing the plays was far easier. I'm hoping the second volume will be easier to publish now that I have more experience. Then there will be a volume of my stories. Maybe two. Hopefully by the end of August.

If you do buy it and would like some extra tips on how to produce the plays for your church, send me an e-mail.

I'm just gonna sit awhile and stare at the pretty red cover.


Please bear with me. I am just a beginner at this.

Since I went all eco awhile back on the disaster of plastic and plastic trash wreaking havoc on our sweet planet, I have set out to try to follow my own new mantra: Make a difference, one choice at a time.

And I have found that it is really really hard to do.

We are surrounded, bathed, saturated in petroleum products and plastic. From the computer I now type on to the cell phone I use to the summer dishes to the medicines in my medicine cabinet to the fertilizer that grows the food I eat. Even going through Whole Foods - plastic everywhere.

Instead of wallowing in despair I have made the following efforts:

Instead of buying a case of this for the car:

I bought some of these:

and while they tend to spill, we can live with that till we figure it out.

Then I found this at the store for under $8. It is plastic, but it is reusable. And came with packets of Koolaid and coupons. This will work in the car while the thermos cups we can use in the house.

And I've switched from this:

To these, shaken up in reusable cups

And for camp, instead of a plastic water bottle, Wonderboy takes this on his back:

I realize that except for the thermos cups, it's a swap of plastic for plastic. But it is different in that what I use now is the kind that doesn't leach into the body; doesn't degrade as quickly and is reusable; and is completely recyclable.

And I figure that I have, since last April, not bought about 3 cases of ocean destroying plastic water bottles, and this covered the cost of the new drinking cups. While I still have to use bottled water in these items (my city's water has Chromium 6 in it that they're not yet filtering out, and they're still busy discussing if they should get rid of it in committee for the umpteenth year), that water, at least, comes in recyclable bottles with a deposit. And won't end up in the ocean.

I will try to do even more. And I'll share what I find. If you have good ideas too, please leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This week I received a letter in the mail from Wonderboy's camp. Because their vans pick up most of the children from home and take them to camp for the day, then bring them home in the afternoon, the owners are asking us to pay a voluntary gas surcharge.

Now, it is absolutely not a lot of money. And I am more than happy to pay it, because the camp owners did not, in their wildest imaginings, plan for gas to go up the way it has. And they were so nice the way they asked, and made it voluntary.

But it started me wondering. There are going to be gas surcharges on everything. Food prices (which curiously went up BEFORE the gas did), store products trucked in, airfares. In fact the only thing perhaps not going to be surcharged will be beans. And that is gas that will not get us anywhere.

I'm wondering now. Who do I charge for my gas surcharge? Should I attach a percentage premium to deduct from Wonderboy's allowance for driving him to school and activities? Maybe a Mom Surcharge for when I take my mom to various appointments and places.

And shouldn't we get some kind of government credit for doing more shopping on the internet?

I know the IRS is increasing the mileage allowance. But what about those of us who don't have an employer to charge mileage to? Shouldn't we be able to submit mileage deductions for taking care of family business? Seems right to me!

I do know one thing. If thems that's tryin' get their way and drill off California and in Anwar, gas prices will NOT go down. But the huge profits will just change direction and go into the pockets of about 5 Americans who don't need it, instead of to the foreign companies. And the push to alternative sources will be stillborn.

UPDATE: Here's just another question that occurred to me as I was changing my quote widget: Just how much more money do you think the various government agencies are collecting now from the taxes on the sky high gas prices? Instead of rolling back the gas taxes (which I don't think would reduce the price at all), why not just excuse state income tax for a year and cut the federal tax rate in half? Then I could restore my pedicure budget!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is Davey. And me. Christmas. 195-something. Davey got a shiny new plastic machine gun. He shot me with it many times that day. But it was all right, because you can see by my arm band that I got a nursing kit, so I could patch my self up till kingdom come.

Davey lived next door. Being six months or so younger than me, I was of course FAR more mature. But he was still one of only two playmates I had till Michele finally moved in.

When we were about three, Davey bit me. My mother watched the entire incident from our kitchen window as she made our dirty breakfast dishes sparkling clean in her Playtex living gloves. Being normally tit for tat at that age, I bit Davey back. His jaw dropped in stunned surprise for just a little moment before he burst into tears and ran to tell his mommy. I went home. Mommy of Davey burst into my mom's kitchen and exploded with "Do you know what YOUR DAUGHTER did to my Davey?" To which my mother sweetly smiled and said, "Why yes. I saw the whole thing."

That was me and Davey. We'd play just fine until one of us would go nova on the other. Thank the Lord Michele moved in and I could move onto more mature play with Barbies. And stickerbomb wars.

Davey was always getting into trouble. When he was Wonderboy's age, maybe six months older, he lit their trash can on fire. The fire department had to send a truck, though I believe my dad had the fire out when they arrived. Davey got a very stern talking to. Though he did still play with matches.

I completely lost touch with Davey and his life more than 30 years ago. I heard that as a teenager he raced dirt bikes and was somewhat of a celebrity in those circles. Then I heard that he grew up to be a really nice man. Lost the speech impediment. Got married. Had kids.

Davey was the third child of four. With three sisters. It was one of his sisters who hurt me when I was seven. Another sister was a very close friend for a few years. They were a good Catholic family. Davey's mom died from emphysema many years ago and his dad died about 10 years later.

Michele's sister keeps up on the old neighborhood, and Michele and I talk often. She tells me the news of the old 'hood.

Davey died while I was on the beach last week.

He had a heart attack, and was taken to the hospital. At the hospital apparently he had a massive coronary and passed to glory.

Now just the three girls remain.

I didn't know him well enough any more to be really sad. Though his passing does make me sad. I think it has to do with being at or near the top of my own life's mountain. On top of so many people I know, my age or younger, dying in the last two years. I have to ask myself, "how many reality checks do you need young Skywalker?"

It shifts the meaning of things. All this death. It does.

Rest in peace, young Davey. I gotta go clean out some old storage. And keep patching myself up. Till kingdom come.

So to speak.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This week from Mother Laura:

"The Grimes-Honkanen bunch is settling in after a challenging move, and bubbling with gratitude for our new "cozy cottage by the beach": a tiny rented condo on Pacific Coast Highway.

She shares her wonderful experience on the beach and asks:

So in honor of summer, please share your own beachy memories, plans, and dreams with a "Beach Trip" Friday Five."

1. Ocean rocks, lake limps? Vice versa? Or "it's all beautiful in its own way"?

While I love places of water in all their glorious forms, I do prefer the beach of the ocean. I have enjoyed the the seasides of North Carolina, Florida, California, Oregon, and *sighs wistfully* Hawaii. There is no smell and no sound on earth that I find more comforting, relaxing and peaceful than the ocean's calming waves and healing salt air. And to swim in a warm ocean! Heaven. Snorkeling's even better.

2. Year round beach living: Heaven...or the Other Place?

I believe that someday I will live at the beach, because I have had so many dreams about it. And the dreams are of living at the beach on the northeast coast of the U.S.. I sort of lived at the beach, in Marina del Rey. But that was in the 70's which was a time with a different focus for me.

3. Any beach plans for this summer?

Ha ha. Funny you should ask. Wonderboy and I are going to be at this beach next week for five glorious, salty water filled days. Can't wait.

4. Best beach memory ever?

~ Lying in a hammock, sipping a Mai Tai, reading a great book, swinging in the tropical breeze on a beach in Maui. Looking up from time to time at a gorgeous sapphire colored calm sea. Breathing air scented by plumeria.

5. Fantasy beach trip?

Kauai, anywhere on Poipu Beach.

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what the beach means to you.

No contest:


Edgar went to the bank to cash a $5,000 check for the petty cash at his business. Unfortunately he chose right after lunch to do this when he had a spectacular case of hiccups.

He approached the teller, hiccups crescendoing, and presented his check and ID, saying "I'd like *HIC* to cash *HIC* this ple*HIC*ase".

The teller, Anna, took the check and his ID, typed into her computer, then looked at Edgar sadly, shaking her head. "I'm sorry, sir" she said, "But you do not have sufficient funds to cash this check".

"What?!" Edgar asked, stunned. "That's impossible! Of course I have funds to cover it".

"And what's more, sir, there is no money left in this account at all," Anna said.

"You HAVE to be kidding me," said Edgar, quite flummoxed.

"Well, yes I am, " Anna said, counting out the cash, "and you'll notice you're not hiccuping any more."

Friday, June 06, 2008

FRIDAY FIVE - Taking in the View

From Sally this week:

"This week I took some time out to stop and walk and take in the view; my son Chris is studying in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, too often we simply drive up there, turn around and come home! This time Tim and I took time out to take in the view. It occurs to me that we need to do that more in life...."

With that in mind I offer you this weeks Friday Five:

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person?

I need both. I am an unrepentant question person. And I am not happy until I run out of questions and they have been answered satisfactorally. I am relentless in pursuit of as many details as possible to fill in the hows, whys and wherefores of the big picture. That's where the magic happens for me: the cross pollinating and the "coincidences" between different "big pictures" that further outline an even bigger picture still. This happens for me with faith and science. And most especially with various, seemingly unrelated groups of people.

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty gritty details of life?

I am right brained and left brained. And often argue with myself. But always look at both. At the same time. Yet I still have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Go figure.

3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension ( one....what am I thinking....)

Some, but not all:
Movie soundtracks:



4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily?

Descanso Gardens:

5. A picture opportunity... post one if you can ( or a link to one!)

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Wonderboy's choir sang at church this morning. They did ALL the music. And they were wonderful!

Plus we had a slide guitar as one of the accompanying musicians

Nothing like a slide guitar accompanying "What A Friend We Have in Jesus". Toe tappin' fine.