Sunday, August 7, 2022

Books of July

 A Gracious Neighbor inspired by the short story "A Jury of Her Peers," but not nearly as good.  I read it because it's set in West U.  The main character is constantly upset because her house is small and she doesn't fit in with the West U crowd.  And then an old friend from high school and her husband move in next door and now she's obsessed with them. Not recommended.

This Time Tomorrow.  On her fortieth birthday our heroine wakes up to find herself 16 again.  If you're into time traveling, this may be a book for you.  If not, don't bother.

Dark Money.  How the Koch brothers have influenced American politics and culture.

Portrait of an Unknown Woman.  Every year I swear I will not read another of Daniel Silva's books about Israeli spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon, and every year I read the newest one.  They're like ice cream; I can't resist them.  This one was better than last year's.  Gabriel is now retired from The Office, the Israeli spy headquarters, but he becomes involved in catching a ring of art forgers. As usual, he finds the bad guys.

Life's Edge.  A book about trees, genes, slime molds (my favorite chapter) and other plants and animals very different from those we know about.  Very interesting.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

Washington Post Annual Contest: Funny!


Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. The winners are:


1. Coffee (N.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (V.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (V.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (Adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (Adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (V.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (N.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (N.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (N.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (N.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (N.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon , a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (N.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (N.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (N.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.



Monday, July 25, 2022

My Forever Home


I'm not sure if it was fate or just plain luck that I opened an invitation to a lunch to hear about a new senior living facility that was going up not far from my Meyerland home.  Senior living for me?  Living with a bunch of doddering old people?  I was still working, writing, driving, volunteering...but I had nothing planned for that day and besides, it was a free lunch.  Sure enough, when I walked in, I saw gray-haired people, some with rollators.  I couldn't possibly fit in.  But the meal was delicious, the marketing pitch intriguing and the new addition wouldn't be open for two years.  Plenty of time to think about it.

I thought about moving, visited several other senior living places and made the best decision of my life...well, of my elderly life.  I put down a deposit for a two-bedroom apartment at the future building and starting planning my move.

I know many people detest the idea of moving into "one of those places,."  but for me, it's been a pleasure.  One secret is to move before you have to, before you're too frail to partake of the activities and become part of the community.  There's lots to do here--a gym, exercise classes, a book club, bridge groups, Mah Jongg groups, Bingo, canasta, movies a bar, discussion groups, trips to museums, theaters and restaurants, speakers, performers, sing alongs--you name it.  We have it.  Of course, you choose the activities that appeal to you or no activities at all.  Brazos Towers is a friendly, welcoming community with lots of vibrant, interesting residents.  It's also a Continuum of Care community with a health center, assisted living and memory care when required.  We have valet service, transportation, housecleaning, maintenance.  All those pesky things you had to keep up your house are no longer necessary.  We even have a garden with space for residents to do their own planting. don't have to give up your yard; you just have to enjoy the outdoors.  Senior living is safe.  It's secure and in flood-prone Houston, we survived Harvey while watching the bayou across the street rise over its banks.

I've written about Brazos Towers because that's my forever home now, but most senior living spaces are similar and now, with an aging population, there are many to choose from.  I love where I live.  Visit a few, take a tour and don't be afraid to make the leap into a new stage of life.  Being here is sort of like high school.  We're high schoolers with wrinkles.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Books of May and June

 Rivers of Power is a long book about the effect of rivers on human populations.  It's not for everyone (unless you're interested in rivers) but I enjoyed it.

The Woman with the Blue Star.  A Polish Jewish family manages to escape from the Nazis and hide in the sewers.  Amid the sorrows, the daughter finds an unlikely friend, a Polish girl she glimpses through  a grate over the sewer. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022


                                      Written during the pandemic but still applicable.

What if we see the pandemic

As a hard blessing

and a cue to reflect

That truly

Life is beautiful

And we need to see ourselves

As family

Without distinction

And love each other

And learn to give tenderness,

What if we learn to love

Our Mother Earth

And take care of ourselves

And take care of her.

What if in our isolation

We learn to listen to each other

With understanding

And look with wonder at every pebble

Every shadow.

What if we marvel

At the sunset,

At the song of a bird

And a droplet of water

And what if we listen

With a new ear to the children

And the elders.

And what if we search inside ourselves

And realize

We actually don't need a lot,

That the ultimate beauty

Is what we now miss so much--

To hug,

To look into each other's eyes

That we really lack for nothing.


Sunday, June 19, 2022

What Musical Notes Can Teach Us

 C sharp = D flat

Yesterday I attended a memorial service for a well-loved resident here at Brazos Towers.  A comment from the eulogy caught my attention and has stayed in my mind ever since.  The comment had to do with piano keys, that C sharp and D flat are the same key on the piano, the same pitch but are inscribed differently on sheet music so we tend to think of them as different.  The minister pointed out that, as human beings we're really all alike, all homo sapiens, though we think of each other as different.  He reminded us that all faiths tell us to love our neighbors as ourselves and said we should keep that in mind when we encounter people who think differently from us.  That's a perfect lesson for today:  Democrat/Republican;  Jew/Christian/ Muslim;  liberal/conservative--we're all members of the human race who should treat one another with courtesy and respect.  

Sunday, June 12, 2022

For Wordle Lovers

Josh Wardle, the inventor of the hit word game, Wordle, has been named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people.  Here is an article about Wordle from the New York Times written (Wordle addicts will appreciate this) only in five-letter words.




Teeth: brush, floss.

Grabs phone.

Loads.  Rules clear.

Legit words. Slang]


Ready? Ready.


Picks usual first guess.

Sonar?  Cable? Novel?


Ashen block after

ashen block.


Clues, Hints.

Tries again.

Fifth space, amber

(maybe lemon?)

Right vowel, wrong 


Tries again.

Three right!

First, green,  Third, 

green.  Fifth, amber

(maybe lemon)

Brain stirs.

Words. Order. Usage.


Tries again.  Worse!

Feels faint.  Think!

Needs quiet,

Fights doubt.

Avoid doing badly.

Tries again.


Shock, truly


Brain blank.

Sharp panic.

Takes pulse.

Keeps faith.

Brain spark; vowel


Final guess.

Every fiber tense.


First block flips.


Green, green, green.


Alive again!

Prize, pride,

Inner peace,


Night alarm, teeth,

phone, newly blank 


First guess again.

Final point:

minor thing, major\


Daily light among

bleak times.

Happy place.


folks thank

Josh Wardle.

If  you play Wordle, you know exactly how this feels.

By the way,  I've gotten 127 out of 131 correct!  (Happy place!)

If you're a wordle enthusiast, you'll enjoy Canada's game, Canuckle--just like Wordle, but each correct word has something to do with Canada.

folks thank



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