Apr 12

The Thing About Hearts and Limping Dogs


And now here we are … I have a limping dog that needs to see the vet, and a husband with very difficult heart and lungs, and kidneys that can’t decide if they’re in Stage III or Stage IV disease, and then, there’s my own heart that refuses to accept any of it. I’ve no idea at all about my own kidneys … or my heart that catches my breath and flips and flops all the time … or my dear liver that’s been drinking in all this wine of late.

I’m deeply suffering from what some might call Pre-Grief. It’s unremitting, and as wide and unpredictable as any ocean might be.

It’s ridiculous. There’s nothing to really fuss about, yet here I am fussing away like a two-year-old in full tantrum. I’m sorry, but this is what a sensitive-hearted wife does. She simply fusses beyond reason, and I’m really, really sorry about it all. It makes me cry. It makes my heart sadder than sad.

I don’t know how to write about this. I don’t know what to say. It’s all so very silly, and I’m so very embarrassed by this response to something beyond my control. Still, this is what I’m doing.

I can’t seem to help myself.

Lately, I’ve been researching palliative comfort care (not to be confused at all with hospice care) for a man who sees no reason for any of it. We talked about it tonight … he’s happy. He goes to the book store for tea and magazines. He goes to the library where he reads the local newspaper. He catches up with his golfing buddies as they round the 9th tee. He is fine. He’s happy. He doesn’t care about his terrible and frightening symptoms. “I’ve lived a good and long live. I’ll die when I die,” he says. He’s happy.

It appears I’m the one who needs the palliative care. I’m the one who needs to find comfort. It’s said that caregivers often suffer more than their caregiveree. I’m beginning to notice the truth of that.

Maybe I’m just another limping dog who doesn’t know what to do until someone takes me to the vet.


Apr 01

It’s Been a Long Time

2014-03-31 19.34.20

Yes, it’s been a while. My fingers have been silent. My heart too.

On December 20, 2013 … My Dan, my handsome husband, the love of my life … had three heart attacks. Yes. THREE!!!

Four stents were installed into his right artery. My own heart was wrecked. It’s been a wild ride since that crazy day. Dan’s been solid.

He survived.

He survives still. Like new seeds in our garden, My Dan grows.

He’s the semicolon that continues the thought.

He’s My Dan.

You can see by my fingers … I’m still wrecked!


Oct 20

Here’s What Love Would Do


Love would Google her fingers off until an answer was found
To make sense and rekindle the health of her loved one.

Love would dust the house in the midst of a
Story storm that envelopes that very house.

Love would kiss the morning neck of the man (or woman) who showed you
A rainbow the evening before.

Love would fix your backyard sprinkler,
Your split-in-two heart,
Your grammar and punctuation,
Your terror regarding stinging insects.

Love would turn a pancake for you.

Love would run his fingers over your old typewriter
Like it’s a treasured friend.

Love would not change your past, but rather,
Enhance your future.

Love would help you
Figure things out …
What to watch on Friday night.

Love would help you dig deep, find your story,
Enhance, hang pictures on the wall, paint first,
Change colors, do it again, fix, mend, weave,
Dream, scheme, age, lose, find, adore, reject,

It would say … Oh, oh, that … that I adore.

Love would find you.

Find you.

Find you.


Sep 24

My Dan

My Dan’s not been feeling tip-top lately.

He’s had tests.

Then more tests.

It’s said waiting is the worst part.

I don’t yet know if that’s true.

We’re in the waiting part.

The knowledge part doesn’t start until



Still, we know this: There are changes.

Something here … and another something

Over there, and possibly something else just below.

There are hardenings, subtleties, fine distinctions,

Unremarkable notings …

All of which are caught in this net of watch and wait,

And the magical thought that if I just don’t think about it,

It won’t happen, and if it does happen …

It won’t be true.

Aug 28

The Kindness of Expand-o-Foam


We’ve been having scorpion problems in our house,
As happens now and then in Phoenix.

The bug guy came this morning.
Sprayed inside and out.

Then Dan decided to place expand-o-foam
Under the cabinets
… In the spaces …
Where scorpions might enter.
As we worked, he spraying,
Me cleaning up behind,
The following conversation occurred:

Me: If I were to die first, you’d be able to take care of things, no?
Him: Hmmmm.
Me: So I think I should die first, to be polite, you know.
Him: Naw … I don’t so much like scorpions. Ordinarily I’d say you first,
But not when stinging things are concerned.
I’ll go first, if you don’t mind.
Me: No.
Him: Get a nice condo – you should have a nice one.
And on a high floor where there are no scorpions.

We’re so silly.

We know we don’t have a choice in the matter.
Nevertheless, my Dan is so kind to me!
He fills the spaces in my heart,
Much like his expand-o-foam.

Aug 17

The Ups and Downs


I visited my sister today and found good news and bad news

Good news —

She is talking again

Bad news –She’s lost her legs and can’t walk
Her blood pressure is 74/45

She’s dizzy – presumably because of that wacky blood pressure
What she says doesn’t make sense
She took my glasses and now they’re hers

Conclusion —

Whatever is going on, I love my sister!

Aug 16

Who Doesn’t Love FREE Stuff?

I’m delighted to announce that from August 17 – August 21, All the Dancing Birds will be available for FREE Kindle download at Amazon.com. If you decide to take advantage of this free download, after you’ve read the book, I’d love if you’d go back to Amazon.com and leave a brief review. Enjoy!


Aug 06

It Takes What it Takes

holding handsMy sister smiled today.

It took an hour and a half of engagement,
Asking questions,
Making banal statements.

Dreaming up what to do.

Then, I quoted a nursery rhyme:
Hey Diddle Diddle,
The cat in the fiddle. . .

She smiled!
That was good enough.

Jul 09

A New Cover



Thank you, Independent Publisher and Benjamin Franklin award people — I’m forever grateful you selected All the Dancing Birds for awards for Popular Fiction!

Jun 28

Spicy Friday

When reading, I’ve long had the habit to use bookmarks rather than turning down the page. My reasoning is that one day I’ll release my gathering hoard of books so that others might enjoy them as if they are still new. I’ll arrange them on my drive for a magnificent Saturday morning book sale, or cart their pristine titles to our local used book store. So I keep my books safe. Guarded. Lovely.

Mostly my bookmarks are corners torn from yesterday’s newspaper, or a magazine ready for tossing.

To me, it seems a thrifty way to go.

So today when I opened my newest read (Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout) and transferred my little torn paper bookmark, my eyes fell to the writing on it.

“Hold the Salt,” it read.

But NO, I thought.

I want salt. And cracked pepper shot across the top of everything.
And chipotle.
And soy sauce, dark and salty as night. And ginger. And basil. And thyme.
I want to notice how thyme rhymes with time, because that’s what I want!
I want pesto, and garlic crushed beneath my knife,
Chopped cilantro and tomatoes,
Sweet basil crumbled through my fingers.
I want bright yellow curry and cumin that tastes like the earth.
I want peppers and onions strong enough to cry with me.
I want SPICE.

But Hold the Salt?


I considered the thought of life as spice as I (for once) folded down the corner of a book, and tossed  that now-useless bookmark with its words of wisdom that don’t apply to me.

At least, not right now.