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Blog Down! Blog DOWN!

Hey all,

Lots of stories and photos to share, but we at are having a few technical issues. Mainly, the blog and Flickr are fighting and I can’t figure out how to get them to JUST GET ALONG ALREADY.

As such, hang tight. The nerds are on the case.

If we don’t chat before — wishing all my American buddies the best 4th ever.


Peace, puppy dogs and fireworks,


She Makes Hats

My friend Robyn recently released a book chronicling her quest to knit 10,000 hats for those in need. Newborns, the homeless, veterans — anyone with a cold noggin who could use an act of kindness. The memoir tells a bit of her story, and what led her to such a large creative endeavor.

Knitted cap

Of course this is right up my alley. Robyn and I have been supporting each other’s blogs for nearly a decade. She is a doll, and so much goodness should come her way.

I’ve seen the book and it is a beauty, not surprisingly. So — if you are interested in supporting a crafty, lovely woman whose passion is helping others, please consider picking up her new book. It is nearly as fantastic as she is.

Five out of five bananas, absoloodle. Congrats Robyn!



I dragged myself to the Golf Fore Africa event in north Scottsdale this week. It had been a long week; I’d already taken time off of work to attend a different lunch-time event and was behind. Always behind.

Poor. Poor. Me.


I have been ass dragging for months. I entered the ballroom with 400 other women, drowning in self-doubt. I promised myself I’d find the friend who invited me, make polite conversation, and not let my tires screech upon escape. For someone who has little to no problem with public speaking, wading into a sea of socialites has always made my palms sweat.

These women were former beauty queens, retired professional athletes, local business mavens. One at my table mentioned after a dozen other accomplishments, “Oh, and I’ve been appointed several times by the President to serve on boards.”

To which I asked, with a mouth full of salad, “President president? Like THE President?”

She patted my hand and smiled, too kind to laugh.

Thankfully, in that sea, I did find a few familiar faces. Women who had served on non-profit boards, volunteered at the community garden, and others who I’d met at smaller events. I took a deep breath and tried to shake myself out of this funk.

It wasn’t until Mary Fisher took the stage that my pathetic self-pity fell away. Mary Fisher, who I watched in 1992 bravely stand before the Republican National Convention to tell the world she had HIV, and she wouldn’t be discriminated against.* Mary Fisher who went on to change public health policy on HIV, become a renowned artist and do fantastic work in Africa. Mary Fisher, who I often wondered about. Is she still alive? Is she still making waves?

Continue reading Metamorphosis

La vie en rose

Baby hat for Layla

Baby hat for Layla

Baby hat for Layla

I started this post a few days ago to talk about how sweet babies are and how much I love knitting and now it is late Friday and I’m exhausted and ready for a “Holy-shit-we-made-it-a-year-cocktail!!” with the Mr. Yeah. I know. That went by fast for me too, never mind it also involved two cross country moves, three states, far too many moving boxes, two new careers and one very annoyed, pampered pooch.


Mazel tov, salud and cheers to all,


Reading: Polite Society

My friend Colleen published her first book this year, Polite Society. Collen’s book itself is gorgeous. Hardback, with gold script across the front, each chapter starts with a hand-drawn illustration. The physical presence of the book itself makes it worth the $32 price tag.

But of course, you should read it. Polite Society is a look into a family’s life in suburban Oregon. The aging teacher who lost her husband at a young age. The grandmother unexpectedly raising her grandchild. The little girl whose imaginary friend is Bob Barker.

Colleen's visit

I enjoyed the story, and of course I am bias. Colleen is a wonderful person and I understand the nail-biting anxieties that come with self-publishing your first baby, waiting for the reviews to come in. The story is so much of you. Your paper-thin ego wants nothing more than to hear it is great.

Colleen: this is a great story! And I am so proud of you for pushing forward and finishing. I will keep this beauty for ages.




Word Count Wednesday. Kinda.

Southern California

I’ve got a lengthy list of excuses. Can I add those to my word count? How about this: I’m in the thick of writing this novel. I’ve added 3000 words this week, and it feels good. I’m in my groove. Next week will be better, with more words and progress.

In the meantime, how great was time on that beach? So great!


How You Like Them Apples?

Remember how I said the apple trees in the neighborhood were going crazy? Thanks to Roman law, I ended up with about 25 pounds of large crab apples last week.

I love me some free fruit.

Add about 5 hours of cooking, boiling and labeling, and voila: apple butter and curried apple chutney:







Things learned from this canning adventure:

1. The food mill featured above was worthless. I had to return it. So, the apple butter has some seeds in it. I suppose I’ll only hand it out to those who don’t mind a little extra fiber with their breakfast.

2. I could use a good food mill.

3. This curried apple chutney recipe from the traditional Ball canning guide makes a TON of food. I canned some 14 jars of chutney, and it made the house smell wonderful.

4. Apple butter in the Crockpot is a great idea, but be wise that it will burn overnight if you aren’t careful. Better to start it first thing in the morning and keep an eye on it during the day.

5. Cheese and rice, my pantry is now full of apple recipes. Considering one more round to clean up all the apples falling in the yard: apple sauce.

6. Who wants to come over for some apples?



I’m not exactly a sports fan these days. I very vaguely keep my eye on golf, the Broncos and Olympic swimming. So I wasn’t exactly as in the know about touring Butler University.


{where Hoosiers was filmed. who knew?}

Come to find out, the way to sell me on a sports team is to tell me how they have been the underdog (no barky pun intended) for years and yet continue to make it to the final four. Or that they have the “Butler Way”of putting community and education before baskets. Or, just have me walk around the campus for an hour and meet a handful of the most polite students I’ve ever encountered.

I’m starting to think Indiana is the home of good manners. Have I mentioned lately I love Indiana?



Plus — their newest mascot is super cute, with birth announcements hanging around campus:


Awww. Go bulldoggies!





What Had Happened Was…

I’m dedicating the next week’s worth of posts to my new favorite state in the union: Indiana.

That’s right, Indiana. Home of the Hoosers, the Butler Bulldogs and the best book club I know.



Have you ever been? If so, you know Indianapolis is a surprising delight. Clean, with huge monuments, lots of trees and flowers, locally owned shops and great restaurants. And the people? Well. They are the nicest I’ve ever encountered.


How did I find myself in Indianapolis for three days this week? Well. Brit, a girlfriend from Phoenix, read Under the Same Moon and gave it to her best friend Lisa in Indy. Lisa, in turn, bought the book for the entire club and made it her selection for the month of April.

That’s how things work in our book club. Someone selects a book for that month and every member has to read it. I quite enjoy doing it this way, to be honest, as it allows you to read genres that you may not have read if it wasn’t for this club. It really is a great idea. I’m not quite sure what I would choose when my time comes to select a book, although I know a few people who would want to read some of these Free Erotic Stories as their choice. Now, that sounds intriguing, but I’m not sure the club would go for this though, so we’ll have to see.

As for this month, it is Lisa’s turn to put a book forward. Brit and Lisa sent an email — would I be willing to fly out for the meeting? Brit would come from Arizona too, of course.



This happened in November and I was beyond flattered. A book club was reading my work and wanted me to come to their group. How could I say no? I immediately bought a ticket, threw it on my calendar and tried not to think about it. I mentioned it to a few friends here and there but it wasn’t until Brit sent an email saying she couldn’t attend that I started to get nervous.

This left me flying across the country to stay with folks I’ve never met for, oh, just three days. Lisa, of course, played it cool by email. She explained she’d be there at the airport to pick me up and she and her lovely boyfriend Dan were so happy to host me. Their gorgeous home and four cats awaited my arrival.


I’m not going to say it was love at first sight with Lisa because I was just too nervous walking out of an airport TO GO HOME WITH SOMEONE I’D NEVER MET. (This trip violated every stranger danger rule I’ve ever learned.) But it was darn close to love at first sight. Maybe it was the female pheromones in play, I am not sure! She was so friendly and made me immediately feel at home. And I did. By the end of the three days, I was truly sad to be leaving.

Lisa and Dan are unbelievably kind, warm, and generous. They didn’t just welcome me into their home, host a party in my honor and let me take a tour of their wine cellar (Hello, Cellar. We are going to be great friends…), but they also arranged a Segway tour of Indianapolis, took me to Butler University and a walk through the natural history museum, and bent over backward every moment of my visit.


They’ve redefined hospitality. And I can’t wait for them to come stay in Colorado so I can return some of the love.

What did it feel like to have 16 people over for dinner to talk about my book? SHEER TERROR AND COMPLETE EGOTISTICAL DELIGHT. But I’ll leave that to the next post.


*the title of this post is a shout out to Joe, one of the attendees of the book club. He regularly starts stories with this colloquialism, “What had happened was…” By the end of the trip, I was saying it too.