Thanksgiving 2017

November 24, 2017 - Leave a Response

It’s 5:13 am, Thanksgiving 2017.  I am filled with gratitude and look forward to the crowd of voices coming my way in several hours.  There will be baby voices.  There will be voices that have been around for more than eight decades.  There will be  the presence of loved ones whose breath has become air.

This is the fourth year my husband and I have hosted.  We enjoy each year as there is always an important insight and life-affirming lesson waiting for us.  We struggle each year with all the details and suggest this one is our last.  We are clear about this – we are creating a family Thanksgiving, not a party.  Yet, the bigger the family, the more it feels like a party.  Still, I cringe when anyone calls it that and suspect some relatives do it just to make me cringe.  I could be wrong.

Philip Burke celebrates Thanksgiving with fellow Buddhists.  Can we join? I wonder.

Philip is a painter whose work is widely recognizable.  His twin brother is married to my cousin, which is how we are acquainted.  He gets an invitation to our Thanksgiving as we want my cousin’s husband to know we love his family, which is our family, because we are a universal family, although I’m not sure how everyone is the world will fit around our table.

I wrote a play once – Fine Arp! – in which a character briefly wished a painter dead so her painting would increase in value.  This play is not about Philip (although I did use him as the artist she wished dead) and the play is not about me (although we own a Philip Burke original).  I thought Philip might find the play funny.  He didn’t.  I needed an artist so I picked the one in closest range and it happened to be a him, a man I wish many happy fruitful years of life.

The stars are shining bright this morning outside my window and I think I see Suzanne’s sparkly smile, my Grandma’s almost-black brown eyes, Papa’s big ears, and Jody’s long brown braids of the 70’s.

It will be a perfect Thanksgiving.  It always is.

We enjoy a mature respectful and fun relationship with each other as we continue to discover healthy ways.


On Writing

November 17, 2017 - Leave a Response

Some people call me a writer.  I love it.  I don’t call myself a writer.  I say “I write.”

Why?  For one thing, I don’t make enough money at writing to support anyone (or do I?) and I don’t need the label, writer.  I barely take myself seriously as a human, much less a writer.  I’m very serious about being a whiff of light making a brief appearance as a human on planet earth.  What does that even mean?

I know.  I’ll try to explain.

This might sound crazy but I believe every human is born with everything she needs for a beautiful life. How can that be?  No food!  No water!  No education!  No money!  Right.  That baby’s got it all.  I can’t explain any better than that because they truth is…hold on…that baby doesn’t really need her human body.

When my daughters were born, I looked at them and thought…it’s all there.  Just like the whole apple tree and all the apples exist in the apple seed.  It’s all there.  And so, I got very busy tending the soil doing everything I could to make a good and rich place for those seeds to grow and flourish.  My daughters are now beautiful loving and creative adult women and that’s between them and God, as it was from the beginning.

Must I write?  Yes.  So call me a writer or don’t.  It’s all true.

The Fires Burn

October 15, 2017 - Leave a Response

What will you do for money?

What will you do for sex?

What are you willing to die for?

What will you do for an Oscar?  An Emmy? A Pulitzer?

What will you do for a beer?

What will you do to be widely read?

What will you do to protect your children?


The answers will become evident with time.  Burn burn burn.

5 Things Durango

October 1, 2017 - Leave a Response

My husband and I are currently excited about our new book, The 5-Things Travel Guide.  In case we don’t get around to writing it (a very real possibility) here is the concept:  for each location, we give you the top 5 things to do, according to us.

We found ourselves in Durango.  Here are the 5 things:

  1. Ride the train to Silverton (or wherever it is going)
  2. Get a picture with Whinney and Friends.
  3. Have pizza at Fired Up.
  4. Order the country breakfast with orange juice at Jean Pierre (the French French baker!)
  5. Drive the Million Dollar Highway

Where you go There you are

September 18, 2017 - Leave a Response

Know yourself.  Know everyone.

Don’t know yourself?  Can’t know anyone.

Looking for “real people” as a woman I know whimpered over a summer cocktail recently?  Look in the mirror.  Everyone in the world is waiting there to love you perfectly.


August 17, 2017 - Leave a Response

If I believed anyone needed me to be any different (even by a single cell, thought, or atom) in order to be well themselves, I might be inspired to change.  But I don’t.  No one needs me for their wellness.  And still, I change.  Second by second, day by day, year by year…I change.  And, I never change.  I always will and I never will.  Money in the bank.


5 Things Wolfeboro

May 26, 2017 - Leave a Response

With summer on its way, we will be flooded with guests from all over the world.  Here is our 5 Things Wolfeboro list:

  1. Enjoy the lakes.
  2. Hike Mt. Major.
  3. Visit Spider Web Gardens and walk through the cutting garden.
  4. Walk the rail trail.
  5. Have an ice cream at Bailey’s Bubble and listen to the band in Cate Park while enjoying the town docks and Main Street shopping.

Open Letter to Shonda Rhimes

March 17, 2017 - Leave a Response

Dear Shonda Rhimes,

You’re right.  You are a liar.  You can live in Vermont and make jam whenever you want.  You don’t need more money.  I know this because I live in New Hampshire making gingerbread houses and while I may be as rich or richer than you I doubt I have more money in the bank.  You will live in Vermont when you really want to live in Vermont.  Nothing will stop you.  I read your book.  You will say yes.

Year of Yes reminded me that we all invent our friends, and maybe everything else along the way too.  In 2003, I drew myself a new friend, Gg, and began writing for her.  I had a friend I loved, one I’ll call Randy.  Sadly, she inspired me to be my lowest self.  Randy reveled in my descent.  Nothing thrilled her more than to hear me curse. I only did so when things were painful.  Randy also wanted my things.  She would end up sleeping with my ex, coveting time with my kids, and preparing chocolate-covered bullshit as if I would swallow without noticing.  Who could blame her?  She’d seen me do it before.

When Randy banged him it came as no surprise. She would take him any time she could.  I didn’t know it then but I drew myself a new friend, Gg, because I needed one who would inspire me to rise up and away from all she represented.  I miss Randy now and then but I don’t miss hearing her make fun of others .  Maybe you miss Pam or Ken sometimes?

Gg is my Cristina Yang.  She made me braver.  She opened doors.  She laughs at the devil.  Gg is not famous!  I say this with delight because it’s like having the whole resort all to ourselves.

Our resort includes people like Amanda and Christine, rich women who astound me with their goodness.  They are talented and kind, a rare pairing.  The pool is surrounded with palm trees and people like Wendy, who I’ve known since I was 10 years old.  We grew up making tacos and playing tennis together.  We rarely speak, write, or communicate in any way other than thought.  Love without all the chatter and gossip.  I feel like I could tell these women anything but I won’t.  I simply don’t enjoy speaking that much, except with my husband and kids. I have no friends on Facebook.   I’ve never shared a single word with some of my closest friends:  Wayne, Martha, Byron, Deepak, Eckhart, Louise.   I may stop speaking English all together.

I love French but Spanish loves me and I’m finally mature enough to know which relationship is better.  My mom is fluent and my husband and I just returned from the Dominican Republic where it’s all thatched roofs and Big Ass Fans.  We had a magnificent time with wonderful people like Juan Carlos and Gabriel. Fantástico is my new favorite word.  I choose Spanish.

And, like you, the word diversity bugs me the way it’s used today.  I prefer using homogeny to describe the world I like.  Maybe I’ll get a bumper sticker:  HOMOGENY.  I’ll watch people egg my car and call me racist but I don’t mind if the world is all the same:  kind, loving, generous, forgiving, smart, efficient, patient, punctual, respectful, thoughtful, creative, funny, happy, prayerful, and bright.

So Shonda Rhimes, keep lying to all us liars out here.  We’ll keep tuning in.  Simply wearing our bodies around is sort of a fib isn’t it?  We can’t help ourselves.

Enjoy Vermont.


February 14, 2017 - Leave a Response

Albert Einstein is famous but few people know how he believed history should be taught in school and I agree with him.  According to a book I just read, Einstein believed we should highlight individuals who have improved society by their independent thought and creativity and that should be called history.  Of course, everyone’s idea of who those people are would be different so here’s mine:

Temple Grandin

Peace Pilgrim

Millard Fuller

Albert Einstein

Ellen DeGeneres

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Abraham Lincoln

Byron Katie

Why I love McDonald’s

February 4, 2017 - Leave a Response

I’ve eaten there since I was a kid and, to this day, I love a good Big Mac twice a year or more.  Plus, everyone I know who’s worked there for at least one year has gone on to become happy, healthy, gainfully employed or successful in their own business with gratitude for the golden arches and most everything and everyone else.  Additionally, I don’t know anyone who’s ever gotten sick after eating at McDonald’s, probably because cleanliness matters more than a cool culture, at least to them.




January 29, 2017 - Leave a Response

I had open borders.  Everyone was welcome.  We were robbed blind and injured badly.  Still, I am open, I said.  I build bridges not walls.  Again, robbed and injured.  Now I understand that walls are not bad.  Walls are walls.  Bridges are not good.  Bridges are bridges. Vetting is not bad.  Vetting is vetting.

These days, I appreciate looking into the background and motives of those wishing to enter. And we welcome many.  We are strong enough to help and prosper together.

Healed.  Stronger and wiser.

Your home is your country.  You are free to leave the door open while you are at work and while you sleep.  You are free to clothe, feed, insure and care for all who enter.  That sounds lovely to me.

A cell wall is a structural layer surrounding some types of cells, situated outside the cell membrane. It can be tough, flexible, and sometimes rigid. It provides the cell with both structural support and protection, and also acts as a filtering mechanism.

If you are having a difficult time with the election results (I understand), please watch this.

5 Things Newport

January 18, 2017 - Leave a Response

My husband and I are currently excited about our new book, The 5-Things Travel Guide.  In case we don’t get around to writing it (a very real possibility) here is the concept:  for each location, we give you the top 5 things to do, according to us.  Here’s our list for Newport, Rhode Island.

  1. Cliff Walk – this is a beautiful and long walk.  Wear a bathing suit and pack a towel on a hot day so you can jump into the Atlantic Ocean.  Otherwise, just walk and enjoy the view on any day.  Gorgeous!
  2. The Old Stone Mill, Touro Park at night.  It looks so much prettier at night!
  3. The International Tennis Hall of Fame – even if you don’t like or appreciate tennis, this place is worth a stop.
  4. Sail an America’s Cup sailboat!  Such a great way to be in Newport.  The crews and captain are very friendly and it’s a blast!
  5. Any Mansion.  It’s Newport.  See a mansion.
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