She packed your lunches, changed your sheets, pretended to be the tooth fairy, and made sure you had clean underwear. She stood on the sidelines at all those games. Trucked you around to gymnastics meets, swim team, and tennis lessons. She found all that drek under your bed. Once in a while, you saw her kiss Dad, but my God, they never did it. Just those two times for you and your brother. Jeez.

She is the one you call for advice. She never wavers in her support. You think she envies you in your life and your future. Sometimes, you feel sorry for her, stuck in that house with all those antiques, house plants, and “good dishes.”

But guess what? Once she was 16. She was in love with a boy that isn’t your father. She still dreams about him sometimes. At 16, she had very long legs, wore cut-off Levi shorts that revealed very supple thighs, and her hair was long and glinted in the sun. She liked to run. In her diary there were entries about all the adventures she planned to have, and they involved having sex, going to Portugal, sneaking out of the house after midnight, and writing poetry. She knew that she would go to New York and live in the Village.

At least four men loved her. And none of them were your father. One was a soccer star, and another one had a Harley. These men thought she was wild, exciting, and just out of reach. She laughed when they pleaded. Then she skipped away.

Your mother polished her nails bright red. She experimented with drugs, but they made her feel unmoored, and she hated that. She despised the taste of beer, but she drank it anyway. She danced all by herself at parties, never afraid of who was watching. She was free.

She has memories of bonfires, lying in the woods and looking up at the sky, skimpy bikinis, and laughing boys. She remembers the time she went to New York City all by herself to meet that young musician, and the weekend they spent roaming the city.

Don’t look at her that way. She is more than that.


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It’s here. The release of my second novel, officially out on May 9. Of course, the paperback has been shipping for about two weeks, but the eBook won’t release until the 9th. I cannot believe that this is book three for me.

I didn’t even imagine when I started blogging over a decade ago that this would happen. There are many people to thank. They know who they are! I am starting on another novel, but as it takes me about two years to finish one, this is it for a while.

On another, more pleading note, do you know how important book reviews are to authors? Especially on Amazon, the titan of all booksellers. At 50 reviews, a book is boosted up in the algorithm so that more readers see it. Over 50, and the book gains credibility as one that is worth reading. Thus, more opportunity for sales. Let me tell you in a few short steps how to review a book there:

  1. Sign in to your Amazon account.
  2. In the search bar, search for a book you want to review: Crossing the Street, of course!
  3. At the moment, because the eBook is still not “out,” be sure you choose the paperback version of my book. After the 9th, this is immaterial
  4. Click on the little underlined Write a review.
  5. Write a short review. No need to summarize the plot. Just say what you liked about the book. A few sentences is all you need.
  6. Write a headline for your review.
  7. Give the book “stars” from one to five, five being the best.
  8. Click “submit your review.”

THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP ME AND OTHER AUTHORS YOU LIKE! If more people did this, I might be raking in the dough. That is an exaggeration, as dough-raking is definitely not something most writers get the chance to do. But this time around, I am hoping for some good sales. I put my whole self into this baby!


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Remember last week, when I lost the will to get the screened porch ready? Well, today, it is done!

It is a two-person job. The accordionist (for those of you who don’t know me that well, he’s my husband) and I worked together. Here is what it takes to achieve a Martha-Stewart quality porch for your cats to use more than you do:

  • Vacuum the floor. It is covered with dirt and dust. Your back hurts already.
  • Lug two brooms, Spic and Span, and a huge bucket upstairs.
  • Look around for the cats, because you have to shut them out of this wing of the house so they don’t track dirty footprints all over the place once you start washing the porch in earnest.
  • You can only find one out of four cats. You close off that part of the house (calling it a “wing” is a bit pretentious–it consists of the master bedroom and an adjoining bedroom and bath) anyway.
  • Open up the porch and move all the furniture to one side. Your back now is shouting “you are way too old for this sort of activity!”
  • Fill the bucket with water and Spic and Span.
  • Open one porch screen so you can haul up the hose from the deck, which the accordionist has tied to a rope. He looks sort of pale.
  • Start scrubbing the floor. Three cats show up from under your bed.
  • Chase the cats out of the area, screaming “Out, out!” One of them dashes across your bare foot, leaving big punctures with his back claws. You contemplate Googling cat scratch fever, but figure you can do that later, when this job is done; the incubation period must be at least a couple of days.
  • As you scrub, the accordionist flushes with the hose. Move furniture around as you work, in order to get the entire floor clean.  A lot of bending. Then you both sweep the dirty water towards the drain hole, onto the deck (which, by the way, you had to clear of all the furniture down there before you got started, so the dirty water wouldn’t get all over that stuff.
  • It takes about a half hour, but the porch floor is clean.
  • Have a cup of coffee while the floor dries and the accordionist mows the lawn. While he finishes that, lug two (what seem like forty pound) ferns up to the porch. Oh, incidentally, did I mention this porch is on the second floor?
  • Rest and groan while floor dries.
  • Ok. Now, get trash bags and take the covers off the furniture, putting them in the bags and carrying those up to the attic for the time when if you survive this, you will need them to cover the porch furniture for the winter.
  • Haul the furniture into place. Put on the cushions. Realize that they are covered with cat hair from last fall, when using the tape roller was just too much work.
  • There are also mysterious stains on the cushions. The accordionist is helpless in this department, and so he is dismissed to wander around the neighborhood with a beer.
  •  Use an entire tape roller on the furniture, then try to remove stains. Futile. Turn cushions over, vowing not to spill on the “B” side.
  • Open the cupboard and get out all the accessories: the lamps, the coasters, the bowl of seashells, the little frog candle holder.
  • Windex the tabletops. Arrange the accessories. Take two Excedrin.
  • It looks great! The cats will love it!

And next week, it will probably get so hot that you will have to close off the porch and turn on the central air conditioning.

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I had a big plan today: I was going to throw on some work clothes and open the doors to the screened porch wide. Then I was going to race downstairs, get buckets, the mop, the broom, and wash it all up out there.

After that, I planned to first, arrange the rug; and second,  drag around the porch furniture until everything looked just like Martha Stewart’s screened porch. I would happily sort through my accessories, deciding whether to put out the little frog or the fake jade plant on the side table. I would dust off the lampshades, set out the new pillows I got the other day at Pier One, and finally heave a sigh of contentment.

But it’s a bad hair day. There are a few grains of cat litter between the sheets when I go to make the bed. I burned my toast. I am getting a cold.

Instead, here is what I did:

  • I stayed in bed longer than usual (eating the burned toast and not noticing the cat litter as yet) and listened to a podcast about a woman who was murdered, but they never found her body in the Australian outback. This podcast never features a case that is actually solved, but I like the voice of the narrator, who is called “anonymous,” and has a very sexy accent.
  • I got dressed in the same clothes I had on yesterday.
  • I put all of my bed socks in the hamper, figuring that I won’t need them again until November.
  • I rooted around in the medicine cabinet until I found the nasal spray. Used it.
  • While flossing, brushing, and taking what my mother called a “sponge bath,” I listened to another podcast about a man who is 22 years older than his wife and has had multiple heart attacks. That was so depressing that although I had just made the bed, I had to lie down on it for a few minutes to recover.
  • I petted my cats for fifteen minutes. This is good for them.
  • Got up.
  • I looked through the French doors onto the porch and noticed how filthy everything was out there. At least a half-inch of winter dirt and dust. I had a sinking feeling.
  • So I lay (I looked this up, it is “lay, not laid”) down on the bed again to restore myself.
  • I had a second cup of coffee  at the kitchen table while reading about Donald Trump’s first 100 days. This was not good for my general disposition. I headed upstairs, but stopped myself from going into the bedroom to rest, because my husband was watching,
  • So I went back down and filled the bird feeders. This was exhausting.
  • I emptied the cat litter boxes and put in new litter. At least when the cats track it into the bed, it would  be clean litter.
  • I looked at my emails. Then I switched over to my podcast app and deleted a bunch of podcasts about unsolved murders.
  • I wandered around the house, making a mental list of chores to do when I have more get up and go.

Now I am bored.



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There is one magical bun. He is very soft and gentle, but he hops terrifically fast. The expression “hops like a bunny” is about him. He is the bun who brings all the Easter eggs and hides them around your backyard. On cold days, he hides them in your house. Some of the eggs are the ones you colored two nights ago with your mom while your dad checked his emails. The other ones are plastic and have jelly beans inside. You hate the licorice ones!

You might wonder why the bun brings eggs instead of an Easter Chicken. Kiddo, that is a mystery that will never be solved.

Easter is fun, because of the EASTER BASKET. The bun hides that in a really tough hiding place, where kids never go. So look in your laundry hamper. Or check under the sink in the kitchen.

The Easter Bun is trying to get you healthy, so if there’s a toothbrush or a box of raisins in there, try to act happy about it.

There will probably be ham for dinner with the hash brown casserole from Gran. Don’t be a fusspot-eat two bites of ham and sneak the hash browns into your napkin. Then casually knock your milk glass over, and nobody will expect you to finish dinner. Your mom will sigh and tell you you can go and watch TV but only eat THE EARS off the chocolate bun in your basket.

It’s a hoppy bounce day, isn’t it?

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