My First Online Class Today on Beloved by Toni Morrison

Today, I started teaching Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Beloved, in an online class offered by Story Circle Network. This will last for 6 weeks, during which time we’ll not only read the book and explore its themes, but will also look critically at Morrison’s use of literary elements, such as figurative language, symbol, diction,…

Covid Blues

Today, I hit a low spot. We had planned all week to return to church today so we could finally get back to “normal” and also be there for the annual parish meeting. But a few days back, Rachael started feeling bad, and then on this past Friday, it was confirmed that she had Covid. We…

A Classic Recipe for Oatmeal Date Bars

I love Greg Patent’s cookbook, Baking in America: Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years. I made a recipe for maple date bars with lemon zest just a few days ago, but tomorrow I am going to make the recipe below. Not only does it call for the zest of a whole orange,…

A Special Gift

Today is my birthday and I received an email from an old boyfriend of mine, Nick, who traveled with me to Italy back in 1975. He and I spent the year teaching English to Italians at The British School on Via Monte Napoleone in Milan. Via Monte Napoleone is one of the top fashion streets…

Late Autumn

Walking through the woods Engulfed in orange Leaves cascade from the trees Each a slight variation Tangerine, burnt amber, cantaloupe Ginger, apricot, honey, rust I step on a crunchy carpet  as I saunter down the path The gray days of winter are coming But today is only orange

One Reason I Share My Writing

I share my writing because I want to create a link with other people. I believe in the healing power of connection through the written word, so I express my thoughts and feelings through fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Sharing my writing has helped me to form relationships with other people that would not…

Buddha Has Arrived at the Orange Grove

Today, a Buddha we have been storing for two years finally made its home in our orange grove. The minute I saw this beautiful statue, I knew instantly that it would be a perfect addition to our Ojai property. This is Phase One of the Buddha’s arrival. We will add more plants to clearly define…

The Gift of Rain

The night air feels both chill and rainy A steady cadence serenades from above Rows of orange trees with silhouettes grainy Wave outstretched limbs in signs of love The full moon with its resplendent glow Hides respectfully behind thick black clouds Unwilling to pierce the darkness and show Its radiant light shining white as shrouds…

Elizabeth’s Birth Story

It is a tradition for me to share my children’s birth stories every few years. Here is Elizabeth’s written nine years back. I have left it as I wrote it back then. Today is Liz’s birthday and I am so grateful to have this lovely young woman in my life. Happy Birthday, Liz. I love…

Here is a photo of me with my first cousin, Lee Leatherwood, when we were little. Lee’s birthday is today and mine is six days from today on the 21st. He and I grew up (for our first five years) only a few houses from each other and, after that, only a few blocks from…