My Son, my Grandson, my Great Grandson

April 21st, 2013



Love goes


and on.



Word for today: “commitment”

April 20th, 2013

This is a difficult word. Right now I am thinking of it in terms of keeping my nose to the grindstone; keep going on the short stories; dedicate a time every day to work on them. Keep at it don’t be swayed by other diversions.

That is the commitment that I need right now, however there are other commitments that get in the way.

Duties to family and community begin to shrink because of age and it is time for me to let others take over.

I need to pay attention to “myself” which includes paying attention to what keeps me healthy, mentally capable, financially ok. Time for these things involves playing bridge, healthy diet and exercise. As for money, my grandfather always said, “Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I always pick up pennies for good luck.

As for the short stories, the book is growing: there are several about ancestors and right now I am working on Africa.

April 14

April 14th, 2013

Today is Lester’s birthday. He did more things in his short life that any other man might hope to do. His family came first, then work in the community and the world.

word for the day

March 6th, 2013
My word for today is “proactive”.  And It is almost 9 AM and I need to get busy and act on it.
An excerpt from the definition in Wikipedia: The author, Austrian existential neuropsychiatrist Dr. Viktor Emil Frankl, used the word proactive to describe a person who took responsibility for his or her life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people. Frankl stressed the importance of courage, perseverance, individual responsibility and awareness of the existence of choices, regardless of the situation or context.


New Commitment

January 30th, 2013

A new year, but I don’t want to focus on a new resolution. I do need a new commitment or perhaps to visit an old commitment. I am trying to remember why I started this website. One of my goals was to have a place to print some of my poems. Another was that it could be a sort of memoir. Later it was helpful as a place to sell my book, Layer by Layer.  It has been all these things, what can it be now?

Maybe it can be all of that; I just need to start out fresh.

As for a memoir or journal – my day-to-day life is not very exciting. Perhaps I can dig up some personal comments; if nothing else it might exercise my brain.

Perhaps I will put in a poem now and then. The one I wrote last summer when I suffered a bad fall is already in the poetry section. It explains a lot of my current situation. 2012 was a difficult year, a year of change, a year of taking stock, a year of decision.

As for writing, I am focusing right now on short stories. They are based on family, past and present.  Not sure whether to say they are creative non-fiction, memoir, or family myths; perhaps all of the above. I’m doing a lot of research. Sometimes finding the right date and putting the story in the context of the time makes a huge difference. Research can be so addicting that it takes up a lot of my writing time. My next book will be short stories.

Speaking of books, Layer by Layer is still available. Just go to the section “Buy the Book”. I have received many wonderful comments from those who received the book as a gift at Christmas. Here is part of one note:

“I received your wonderful Layer by Layer It’s great to read and re-read. – – – Your book is truly a jewel and your wry sense of humor precious. I’ve read sections to a group of friends who were just as appreciative as I am of your ways with words and memories.”

Then she added this comment: “P.S. The unique, very clever illustrations match your book.”



More of Donald’s Pencil Drawings

November 28th, 2012

Pencil Drawings by Donald Grube

November 5th, 2012

Donald Grube’s drawings add to the enjoyment of Layer by Layer.

page 103Donald says:
“These drawings weren’t created for Layer by Layer. They were drawn sometime before and then selected by Patricia, Alice and myself. The pictures are from three different time periods, however, for each period, I tried to recreate similar guidelines and processes. I used the paper as a game board to record and study each stroke’s identity, heritage and future. In fact, I was intrigued with the stroke-to-stroke aspect of my work. Sometimes I would artificially speed up or slow down my thoughts and/or the application of the medium to attenuate or catch up with myself. The pieces appear highly structured to me, maybe because my personal life was less so.”

Patricia says:
My poems are very accessible; his drawings add an element of mystery.


A Great Gift for the Holidays

October 21st, 2012

In the store today I see they are already featuring gifts for the holidays. So I decided to join in and suggest that my book, “Layer by Layer” would make a great gift.

The price has been reduced: $17 with free shipping.

What a year!

October 18th, 2012

Changes, decisions, changes, discussions, readings, changes, building, tearing down, replacing, building and so on until my mind was completely congested, confused and in other words unable to sort things out and then I fell down.

Most important first. I have no broken bones but my right arm still can’t do very much. I need to get back to the Silver Sneakers exercise program which I abandoned all summer because of the fall. (I am putting a poem about my fall on the poem page.)

The discussions, decisions resulted in changes that probably don’t look like real changes. My house has two stories and in January I moved out of my cozy space downstairs and moved upstairs to the airy sunny main part of the house. That had been my primary space for 30 years. I love that space with high ceilings, big view windows, familiar kitchen open to the dining and living room (so everyone is included in the conversation). For years the kids had control of the downstairs with a large family room and their bedrooms. The downstairs is the space I converted a few years ago to my space. I moved there and shared the upstairs with family members.

To make a long story short, I moved up and then I moved down. Each move was an opportunity to sort and discard, a process I am still doing. I had decided to sell this place and move downtown. Then new plans developed that make it possible to stay right here. So I moved downstairs again.

Alice and Ron have moved upstairs to share this property on a permanent basis. She even remodeled a part of the garage for a music studio. It is charming. if we open two new big doors, it is possible to have a recital or such right in the patio.


Tiny Greenhouse

June 25th, 2011

recycleI want to share with other gardeners my favorite recycle secret. A Tiny Greenhouse can protect each newly planted seedling by cutting the bottom off your gallon sized milk container. This is easily done and makes a dome over the new plant to keep out snails, slugs, birds and earwigs. Remove the bottle cap and allow air to enter.