One Rainbow Tribe in an Orange World (but only for now).

Monday, December 10, 2018

Paradise Lost, Heroism Gained

Dear Sillies,
It's time to say what we say every year: "I can't believe the holidays are here already!" Note: I'm not adding the traditional profanity - this is a family establishment.
I am, however, adding a very sweet dose of inspiration.
   Meet Joe and Jenny. Ssh, they don't know I'm posting this. Neither does my friend, Keith, who took the photo.  But it's worth it. They're a remarkable hearty dose of wit, smarts, love, and pure inspiration. He's 94, and she's 90. (I've teased him about robbing the cradle.) Joe and Jenny hailed from Paradise. He drove them to countless gatherings in Chico, and I had the good fortune of meeting them years ago.
   I was relieved to learn that they'd made it out of the fires in relative ease, and were staying with another extremely kindhearted couple in Chico. So I paid a visit with a small selection of cozies (blanket, socks...)
   Jenny greeted me at the door. "Oh, you didn't have to," she said, donning her typical shy and warm smile.
   Joe approached with the most firm and earnest hug I've ever received - actually, equal in strength to all the other hugs he'd given me.
   "Well, where's your guitar?" he joked. (I don't play guitar, but nearly all of our mutual musical friends do.)

   As you can see from the photo, Joe loves to read. I'd brought him some books that I had, but that are way beyond my level of comprehension. He said he lost 80 books to the Fire.
   Joe had supported my book launch for Woman on the Verge of Paradise, bought, and speedily read the book. He's since attempted to elicit dirt on my (non) sex life every time I'd see him.
   "So, you getting any action these days, Robyn?"
   "Probably a lot less than you, my friend. I can't find a man, Joe. Much less keep one."
   "Lemme tell you the secret to keeping a marriage going. There are two things you gotta do. One, don't get divorced. Two, don't die. I'm doing pretty good at both so far."
   "You're doing amazingly well at both!"

   It's impossible to have known this couple and to NOT believe in "true love." They are just that.
  
   Regarding the Camp Fire, Joe says they'd been through it before. Paradise has had a number of evacuations in the past -- never, of course, anything like the terrors of 11/8. "If I'd have waited 15 minutes longer, we wouldn't have made it. We're much luckier than most."

   I only wanted to tell them how important, and how inspiring, they've been to the entire community. What came out was "I love you, Joe. I love you both."
   "Oh, all the women tell me that."

   Joe and Jenny are missed, but for good reason. They've relocated outside of the area to live with family. I'm hopeful they have a sense of what they've meant to Chico and Paradise. They've forever changed us in the most beautiful of ways. True heroes, this couple. May they be safe and loved for years to come.
  
  


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Happy Chanukah! May the Miracles Commence!

My Dear Sillies,
   I haven't been in the holiday spirit, but after Al Penwasser (Psst, he's back!) wished me a Happy Hanukah, I dug up my Hanukah miscellany. Tonight's the first night. 
   Fire feels incredibly ugly, though, being as it murdered Paradise. The thought of creating it did not sit well. 
   As I went through the motions, though, I was calmed by the flame's beauty (on a small, non-inferno scale, of course). 
   This holiday marks a celebration of miracles, of good conquering evil, of lights, of all that shines with resilience and optimism. There's no shortage of miracles surrounding me/us. So yeah, it was important and even healing to light the candles tonight.
   Let the miracles commence!    
   Happy Hanukah! Spell it any which way; you can't go wrong unless you double up on vowels. 
   May you savor at least one precious miracle in the week ahead.
Love and light to you and yours. 

PS Have you had potato latkes? Mmmm, so good!


 
   
   

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Paradise Lost, Beginning to Say "Goodbye"


How can we start to say "goodbye"
It's too godawful to believe
One merciless inferno
ceded far too much to grieve

When can we start to say "goodbye"
Each day's haze, too thick to clear
Death threats invade the nightly sleep
We're paralyzed by fear

Where do we start to say "goodbye"
Sans your crisp, brisk pine air 
One more slice of Black Bear pie
A final ounce of your down-home care




To whom do we start to say "goodbye"
Endearing senior pairings 
married fifty years or more
like the ones that owned and nurtured my favorite antique store (Treasures of Paradise)
Or the banjo picking cow folk, 
the flag-flailing Trumpeteers,
                                   The man who saved his neighbors' homes
                                   asking only for some beers

To the men resembling Santa
if Santa dropped one hundred pounds
The teens labeled "disabled"
who beat me in every Skip-Bo round
But if we start with children 
How can we best explain
Their rooms and schools, all burnt to ash
Not one swing-set remains
FACTS ABOUT THE CAMP FIRE:
It lasted from 11/8 to 11/25/18.
It incinerated an area the size of Chicago.
153,335 acres burned
13,972 single-family homes
18,793 structures  
85 identified deaths
296+ unaccounted for; may likely never be identified
52,000 people displaced 
over 90% of Paradise is no longer
                                                        
Honey Run Covered Bridge - before and after 11/8/18. Built in 1886 on the original road that connected Chico and Paradise, it was the last bridge of its kinds in the US. Plans are underway to recreate it, as a memorial to those who perished.

first photo: me in front of Coco Amatrice, 2011

This one "goodbye"
spans miles beyond
the passing of a friend


                          How can we start to say "goodbye"
                             when "goodbye" has no end?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gratitude and Thanksgiving Erotica

My Dear Silly Hearts,
   Step by step, we're slowly treading a fractured path between survivor's guilt and gratitude. No cluster of  braincells can wrap itself around the enormity of 11/8/18. It's much easier to keep doing and moving, to participate in relatively mundane routine. Thus, I'm hopeful that you're okay with my continuance of abnormal normalcy. (In this case, I mean poetic erotica.)
  There are more than enough (likely too many) photos of the devastation.
  But this is a sweet niche -- my blog, you, and my geographic surroundings.
  In time, I'll bring you heartening, hopeful glimpses of life after the Camp Fires. Chico has accommodated Paradise, literally and figuratively. It's a beautiful thing.
   Some of you have reached out personally to find out how you can help. My favorite local charity, and the one to which Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers donated $1 million, is North Valley Community Foundation.
   An angelic couple in Sacramento started Paradise Fire Adopt A Family- a phenomenal effort that garnered over 10,000 likes and views in the first seven days. They're making connections throughout the world for fire survivors. "It's not about money. It's about loving your neighbor," -Eric and Heather Lofholm. You can find them on Facebook under that name, or on the internet at this site.
  Yet the fire survivors aren't requesting money. When I spent time with them this past weekend, I asked folks one by one, "Do you need anything?" Most said "no thank you." Imagine that! A few playfully told me that I could get them a new home. The rest made simple requests: Pepsi, a Rockstar, beer. (For the first time in my life, I bought beer. I was thrilled to do so.)
  
   Fires are extinguished, but gratitude is eternal.
   We welcomed today's rain.

   Have a safe and grateful Thanksgiving.
Naughtiness is okay (or better than okay) too.
Love you.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Paradise Lost

My Dear Friends,
   I can hardly find one syllable, much less the words to inform you about the staggering devastation in my part of the world.
   I am fine, lucky to be safe. Chico has remained intact. Yet the Chico and Paradise connection is uniquely, lovingly enmeshed. Two very different cities (different demographics, politics, size, climate, lifestyle), somehow we and our Paradise neighbors have grown closer than close. Only ten miles apart, scores of people live/d in one city, commute/d to the other for work. Birth families are/were split between the two. My friends from Paradise have spent oodles of time in Chico, and vice versa.

   A handful of you might recall that seven years ago, I moved to Chico for a job in Paradise.


February, 2011 Sign reads "May you find Paradise to be all its name implies."

   Last Thursday, November 8, within one day, an unbelievably monstrous fire tore through and ravaged Paradise - which had been home to over 27,000 people -- many, sick, elderly, and impoverished.
                                                       November 8, 2018 photo by Skip Culton


   An entire town lost its homes, schools, businesses, precious heirlooms, farms, horses, beloved pets, musical instruments and studios, . . . so much that cannot or won't ever be replaced. Remnants of bone are still being found; numbers of the dead may reach into the hundreds.
   I'm relieved to say that my friends and clients are alive and safely housed - though they lost everything but the clothes they wore to escape. 
   As of now, the fires are only 40% contained. It seems Chico is out of harm's way, as vicious winds push the fires into Paradise's other surrounding cities. Air quality is off-the-charts hazardous, here and throughout much of northern California.
   There aren't words for this type of devastation. Well, I can articulate that I'm extremely grateful.  I am housed, safe, and loved by many. I also feel guilty. I'm fine. I haven't done enough.
  And there's too much to do. The needs of our new neighbors (survivors) are endless.
  Our love and determination to help carry them through is also infinite.
  It's going to be a very, very long recovery process.
   In the midst of it all, heroism and love. I hear story after story - a man who drove his Toyota Tundra to and from Paradise to save people. He got out of it just before it melted. He didn't care; he was thrilled to have saved lives. Upon learning about this, Toyota promised him a new truck.
   A man risked his life (as did countless unsung heroes) to keep his and his neighbors' home intact. When asked how they could repay him, he said he'd be happy with a case of beer! (I hope it's high end stuff. Is there "high end" beer?)
   Local churches, the fairgrounds, and the Chico Airport are housing evacuees.  Businesses are serving free food. People are opening up their homes to whole families, asking nothing in return.
   A soft heartedness pervades.
   As I sat in an In N Out for the luxury of chocolate milkshake therapy, a woman at the table next to me asked if I'd been affected by the fires. I told her that I was fine, but I evacuated for a few days -- to be safe. She then offered to buy me food. (So sweet. She doesn't know me, and that I consider a chocolate milkshake to be a nutritious meal. Thus, I was deeply touched.)
   One of my clients gave me flowers recently, saying she's thankful for me.

   Some of you have checked in on me, and that means the world.
   Humankindness endures.
   It survives the worst of tragedies.
   It won't be destroyed.
   It will outlive this unrelenting nightmare too.

This article by a survivor and Chico Professor, Sarah Pape, is incredibly well written. I don't know how she wrote it, despite her own pain and shattered heart. She's amazing.

  Please don't worry about me. I'll be fine.
  Stay safe, my dears.
  Take care of yourselves.
  I love you.

Monday, November 5, 2018

One Rainbow Tribe! Showtime

Dear Sillies,
   A few months ago, I decided to bring my book to the stage. I thus bribed various friends, pleaded with a local cafe to host the show, designed the set, purchased a stuffed porcupine and other props, sifted through the script many times...Showtime arrived on October 27.
   We had a large audience, one that laughed and enjoyed the show. It was amazing to see the story take on such a lively, endearing, strange, and silly life. There was semi-nudity, the striking of small balls, the toss of an orange blob (bag of Cheeto Puffs) through the air, and more. (I'm sorry I can't post the whole thing; it's too big.)
   Regrettably, I have yet to pay Poor Cubie -- the porcupine on the Trumpeter's head. He did a very good job, as you can see, and stayed in place, thanks to three shoe laces and a red plastic head band.  
   Note that I didn't instruct the Trumpeter to destroy the set before joining the rainbow tribe. It was an accidental but timely gesture on his part.
   I'm hoping you're able to view this. Please let me know, if not. It's very short (one min or so). It's the grand finale - my ultimate message. Note my Bernie socks.
   Take care of yourselves.
   Keep a smile.
   Keep a stash of chocolate.
   Know that you are loved.
                                            
Click box in bottom right corner, after pressing Play, to view full screen.
Cast: Narrator Corey Finnegan; Clan Fans Steve Ferchaud (Illustrator) and Dallas Darnell; Teen Melissa Dye; Classmates Andan and Judi Casamajor; Clown Vic Estrada; Rushing Bride Knat Annie Fischer, Knit Robyn Engel (Author); Trumpeter King Allan Nixon; prickly hairpiece, Poor Cubie the Porcupine. Filmed by Michelle.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween Erotica: The Sweet Climax

Dear Sillies,
   Please have a safe and happy Halloween.
Also, we'll just ignore the little "Go Dodgers!" thing. It didn't help last year and well, we need not discuss this year's outcome. As if that wasn't enough, Martha's busting out. Oy. Apologies.
   Love you.




Monday, October 29, 2018

Talmudic Inspiration

Dear Hearts,
   I've been, once again, for the seemingly millionth time, at a loss. Sometimes silence says it best. Yet I saw this on a friend's Facebook page yesterday -- a quote from the Talmud.*
   *While the Old Testament (Jewish Bible), is written in narrative, the Talmud is more of a scholarly collection of philosophies regarding how to live life. These words instantly calmed me.   
   One of our biggest challenges is keeping ourselves and each other afloat, while the greater forces in control of the media promote grand helplessness.
   I hope this offers warm inspiration.
   Love you, and I'll be back with something by Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Double Dog Dare, A Pre-Halloween Scare




My Dear Sillies,
   Do you remember the days when blogland was less about begging you to buy and review my books? I mean, pushing our books on each other?  We were merely excited to meet and connect.
   Regardless of our motives and/or writing journeys, we've become a wonderful fanbase for each other. And that's a very nice thing.
   A loving lady, Jenny Matlock, used to do a Saturday Centus exercise. I occasionally participated. This photo was the prompt. The challenge: using all five senses, write about this in 100 words max.
   Here's my story, The Double Dog Dare...











“I double-dog dare ya to go in,” Johnny challenged. He was cute so I acted brave.  

“Okay.” I swallowed my jelly bean whole. Salty black-licorice flavor stuck to my tongue.  Entering the creepy old shack, the smell of mud overtook me.  I was blinded by darkness.

“Welcome!” A boyish voice came up through the floors’ wooden panels.  I noticed a gaping hole at my feet and felt the sudden firm grip of fingers clasping my ankles from below.

“Let me go! Help! Help!”

A familiar giggle slowed my pulse.

“Johnny, you poo-poo head! That wasn’t funny!”
  

Monday, October 15, 2018

Halloween Erotica II, More Candy Porn

 



Dear Sillies,
   One is never enough, right? Here's Halloween Erotica, II for ya.
   And a repetition of my annual announcement: When shopping for Halloween candy, please follow one and only one rule: AVOID ALL THINGS HERSHEY. They haven't changed their evil ways. Hershey supports child enslavement in the West Indies - where it gets its chocolate. But there are plenty of healthier options (raisins, granola bars, or closing the door and shutting the lights).

   Please be well. Be safe. Be naughty. Be nice.
   I love ya.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Halloween Erotica, The Original Candy Porn

Dear Sillies,
   My annual announcement: When shopping for Halloween candy, please follow one and only one rule: AVOID HERSHEY'S. They haven't changed their evil ways. Hershey's supports child enslavement in the West Indies - where it gets its chocolate.
   Unfortunately, all the sub-par standard candy (M&M's, Milky Way, etc.) is owned by them too. But there are plenty of healthier options (raisins, granola bars, or closing the door and shutting the lights).
   On a sweeter note,  years ago, I began to write a playful Halloween poem. But my warped brain and lustful sweet tooth penetrated inappropriate terrain. So began my poetic erotica series. Accidentally. Don't blame me. Blame the dark and milky ones that I can't get enough of. Wink.
    Enjoy.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Courage, A Poetic Repost

Hi, Dear Sillies,
   Certain events brought me back to this one. I'm sorry I haven't generated new poetry lately. It comes and goes and has been gone for a while (except when I wrote The Trumpeter).
   Happy October, dear ones.
   Be good to yourselves.

Extending the dance, 

When you’ve long lost your groove
Swimming to shore too frail to move.

Stepping towards light, when darkness abounds
Permitting a laugh amid no other sounds.

Confronting a beast no one should endure
It strikes with no warning, no reprieve and no cure.
 

Snuggling with hope, when the pain you can’t bear
Unveiling your heart in the face of despair.

Conveying a smile, when you’d much rather cry

Speaking the truth though it’s safer to lie.

Taking a stance, when integrity’s lost
Forcing what’s right in spite of the cost.
 


Holding to faith in your value and worth
Maintaining a grace that softens the earth.
 


Passing with ease
As you air your last breath

A hero whose soul
Transcends life
and death.
Photo by me, 9/17, Greek Perspective

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Trumpeter's New Clothes - a video SHTICK

My Dearest of Dear Sillies,
How are you? Smiling, I hope.

                                                                        
   I'm very fortunate to have a generous, talented group of local friends, in addition to you. Bill Mash, in particular, put this video shtick together, asking nothing in return. It's ridiculously funny, with ear-catching sound effects. 
   To spare you time - and given the average attention span these days is approximately 2.5 seconds - I suggest you listen to it at 58 seconds through 1:41 (43 seconds total, IF I'm doing the math correctly. That's iffy.). My favorite part, though, is the end bit, from 8:06 minutes to 9:18 minutes. (72 seconds and just as iffy).
   This is my book in its entirety, along with a lot of meshugenah.* I'm narrating it, and I laugh every time I hear the Trumpeter King's (a local friend, Jason Allen's) voice in this. Bride Gnat and Bride Knit are played by one phenomenal actress-comic, Annie Fisher. Anyway, I hope you enjoy for 42 seconds or so.

Meshugenah - from the Urban Dictionary
A yiddish word that jews use meaning crazy.
That bitch is meshugenah
by harry shvang August 24, 2006

Take care of yourselves.
Til next time. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wherein I Hugged an Emu

Hi, Dear Sillies,
May you be safe and well.
Last weekend, I traveled to wine country (Geyserville in Sonoma County) for a friend's birthday gathering.We celebrated at Isis Oasis retreat center and animal sanctuary.
There, I took photos and cozied up to an emu.
The California grapevine. How could I resist plucking and eating one? or two? I couldn't. Ssh.

I don't know this emu's* name. It's approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall -when neck is outstretched- and weighs 140 pounds. That woman? She basically birthed this emu - I didn't get (or want) the explicit details. But when he was a wee wee one in an egg, the egg needed to be incubated for a stretch of time. She took care of that. It's kinda her baby. [Note that I have all sorts of questions. Did she sit on the egg? With panties on? Did she breast-feed once it was born?...] They did appear to be very, very close.*Emus originate in Africa and are the world's second largest bird. First is the ostrich, but you knew that.
Who'd have thought a white peacock would be so beautiful?

                                                                                               silkie


Funny how outgoing all the creatures were. This parrot was ready to pose for (very) close-ups.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Happy Jewish New Year! 5779

Dear Sillies,
It's a New Year for the Jewish people, 5779. Oy vey, we're old.
Happy New Year everyone! We can all use a new start, right?
Let's see how celebrities pay tribute to this milestone...
Click on image, if you dare.



















Love,
Bernie and Robyn

Sunday, September 2, 2018

TeachErotica: Learning Can Be Fun!

Dears,
It's back to school time, and I'm a strong proponent of higher education. Learning is good. Learning by doing, even better. Gentle yet decisive individualized hands on guidance? As good as it gets! Enjoy. Wink.
 
Take good care of yourselves, dear sillies.
You are loved, by me and many others.
PS Sorry that Martha needed to show-off her new and improved Dad bod, and I apparently needed to re-post this. Forgive me.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Reasons for Celibacy, #29-33

Hi, Dear Sillies,
   First, I want to point you to Joanne's blog - in case you're not one of her groupies. I'm being selfish. Joanne gave Trumpeter a wonderful spotlight. She's also just an all-out awesome blogger, author, woman, and e-friend. You should follow her blog and buy my book. If you haven't already. 
   Now, it's time to present more reasons for celibacy. As usual, these are lifted from internet dating ads and mixed with my italicized snark.
   Be well, my friends, and laugh.

   Love you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
REASON #29: Argue like an italian. Well, okay. Your Mama's cannoli is the ugliest I've ever seen! What man would want a piece of that?

REASON #30: Me likey the noir. Me no likey your noir.

REASON #31: Looking for a woman who gots my back I gots to guess you gots one of those hairy backs. I gots no interest.

REASON #32: I shall endevour to be as neutral and accurate as possible while maintaining a     "Positive Spin" in a P.T. Barnum kinda way. That sentence was extremely painful, in a freak show PT Barnum kind of way. Lived in a Norman Rockwell painting for several years with no parental supervision. I suppose if I lived in a painting, I’d make sure my parents weren’t watching me either. I am searching for the woman of my dreams. ( Note the use of the singular subject of the sentence.) (Once again, please note the use of the singular noun.) Sweetheart, I suggest you get used to the singular thing.

REASON #33: Need someone to fetch me beers! I have a suggestion, love bug. It goes like this: Go to the nearest kennel, ask for an empty cage, and stay in it. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

On Me, Men, and Meshugenah

Hi, Dear Sillies,

How are you? Please say, and say honestly, that you're doing fine.

Life is meshugenah. This means "crazy" in a fun, Yiddish sort of way.

A lot of excitement has ensued in the aftermath of my breakup with Dude Three last Fall. No worries if you don't remember the story. I'll catch ya up. And because I don't have a real photo of them, I borrowed this resemblance from google images.
Here's the cast of characters:

Dude Three - latest boyfriend. Our relationship lasted approximately 7 weeks. I know. It's almost a new record for me.  But when he proved himself an angry, mentally unstable man, I called quits.

Skank - A neighbor and a friend, initially. Note that I don't judge women who sleep around. I envy them. But this one gets the nickname Skank because she made moves on Dude Three while pretending nothing was going on, when I spoke with her about the breakup. She then announced her new love for him on FB with a photo of them holding hands. Next, weeks later, he moved in with her. Down the street from me. Note 2: We're all in our fifties. Note 3: This story falls under the genre of nonfiction.   

Me - sexually repressed, not-wanting-to-settle-but-routinely-and-naively-settling me. Yet I typically come back to the realization that my life is much better alone. With batteries.

   Months had passed since I learned of their coupledom. I grew tired of, but used to, seeing Dude Three's car every day and night. None of us spoke, though we saw each other regularly.
   Skank would continue to park her car next to mine, in a space that isn't hers. (It's another neighbor, Geezer's. More on him later.)  But I remained mature and well behaved. You all helped me with that. ("Be tall, Robyn." You advised. I thus stood as erect as my 4 foot 8 inch stature allowed.)  Oh, besides the one time I shouted "Skank!" as she walked by my front window. (Damn Tourette's.)
   One morning earlier this summer, I stepped out to put a few items in my car. Skank was by the mailboxes, a yard or so away. She'd purposely been parking extra close to my car, making it difficult to open my car door. I decided enough time had passed, I'd be mature.
   "Would you please not park so close to my car?" I asked, in a polite and calm tone.
   Things got ugly fast.
   Skank dashed to the carport to show me that she'd not crossed an imaginary halfway mark. "Look! This is halfway! See this line! I'm not over the line! Geezer lets me park here! I'm not in your sp--"
   I opened my car door to demonstrate my lack of space. "I can't even open this without hitting--''. My door hit her car, proving my argument.

   Skank's eyes widened. She grabbed her front door handle, opened and then slammed the door viciously against my car. Then again!
   Shocked and angered, my adrenaline soared.
   Skank had left a visible long vertical streak of paint on my car...to be continued. 

Hint: It gets worse.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Latest in Chocolate: Chocolate Frosted Flakes

Hi, Dear Sillies,
How are you?
I'm always thinking about you.
This time, my thoughts took me to...
Frosted Flakes Chocolate Breakfast Cereal - 10.2oz - Kellogg's - image 1 of 9

Admittedly, I didn't eat these for breakfast. I only sampled a scoopful at Costco. That's all it took. Didn't want to spend money on Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. The are not GGGGRREEAT! Don't do it, friends. I love the original. I love chocolate. (Duh.) But this combination is just wrong. I don't know what they use for chocolate flavoring but I don't think it's...chocolate. It hard to detect any real chocolate. Whatever it is, it drowns out the formerly loved cereal for me. I give Kellogg's Chocolate Frosted Flakes a 1 on a 1-10 scale (10 being GGGRRREEAT!). Why'd ya go and ruin a good thing, Kellogg's? Take 'em off the shelves. That'd be great.

Have you tried these? Given them to your kids? Dogs or cats? Let me know what you think.

Be well, and take care of your great selves, my dears.
I love ya. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Beer for the Chocolate or Life by the Shower

Dear Sillies,
Joanne Faries already won our Giveaway Game, when she guessed that those Tornado Shelter signs are in fact in Denver Colorado's Airport.  I went to Denver for a needed getaway, and to visit with friends. One of those friends is someone we all know, love, and miss a lot.

When I first saw their blog, I figured they were obnoxious frat guy types --so cute, couple-y, and confident. Years later, one of them is now a busy Daddy to a one year old. The other has become a very dear friend.

This was our first in-person meeting.
Yeah, I got to meet Bryan Pedas of A Beer for the Shower fame! We had a yummy Vietnamese meal, plus great discourse about our respective lives and creative endeavors. Bryan had to take the blog down, when blogger made for all sorts of complications with his responding to readers. Don't worry, though. He's working on an animated film. I've been honored to be privy to the process, and I'm beyond impressed. It's like nothing I've ever seen. He's amazing, as we know. Very thoughtful and as nice as can be too. The same could be said for Brandon. I think. We just don't know if he actually exists, but I'm told he does. Oh and the cat on Bryan's shirt? He's been asked if that's an actual photo. As in: Is that truly an astronaut cat? Naturally, he responded to the effect of "Yes, it is. Only monkeys get credit for going into outer space, but this cat has been to the moon and back."

There you go. Making the cross from virtual to real life. A Beer for the Chocolate, Life by the Shower, or something. Our connections run deep and keep us going. Tis a wonderful world, this blog land.

Take care of yourselves, my friends.
Love you.



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Fires, Kindness, and etc.

Dear Caring Sillies,
I find myself going silent in times like this. As you likely know, massive portions of Northern CA have been destroyed and the destruction continues. The fires are 75 miles north of me, and I'm perfectly safe. Yet safety feels like an incredible luxury right now. Whenever my thoughts stray to the fires, they land at the sentiment that all I can do is be kind and generous to those in need.

Kindness. It's nothing and it's everything. (I'm re-posting an ole and revised poem).

NOTHING AND EVERYTHING
We grapple to find answers
When there are none to be found
Since trauma and destruction
Never stem from somewhere sound
We want to make wrong right somehow
But can't undo the pain
Of spirits crushed by tragedy
Mere words seem so inane
We can offer loving kindness
To those who fight to live
It's everything.
It's nothing.
It's all we have to give.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Onto fun and cheer ~ the astute and witty Joanne at Word Splash, WON my Giveaway Guessing Game. And she WON so QUICKLY! I didn't think anyone would guess that the blizzard and tornado warnings were in Denver Colorado. But they were. Congratulations, smart lady! 

Two more snapshots:
Wherein I found my zen (from a little chocolate shop in Idaho Springs, CO)
Castlewood Canyon - on the search for waterfalls, which I never found (thus, the half smile).
More to come ~ the highlight, visit with a special person...
On an altogether different, tacky and self-promotional note: The Trumpeter's New Clothes is FREE as an ebook today (7/31) through Saturday (8/4) HERE. 

Please be safe, be well, and treat yourselves kindly.
Love.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Where in the World Did I Go? Giveaway Game

Hi, My Dear Sillies,
    I went away last week. Where'd I go? That's for you to figure out. The first to guess this secret locale will win a copy of The Trumpeter's New Clothes, plus a little treat. If the winner already has my book, surely they know someone who'd enjoy a tiny orange-ish gift.
   Now, come with me!
   A bit haggard, we've landed at the airport.
   Hint 1: We're in a different time-zone than California's.

Hint 2:
Hint 3:
Our flight home is delayed by 11.5 hours due to harsh weather conditions. This affords us the time to begin and finish (reading) a new book; exchange words with United employees, meet nice people, and connect with a former colleague who happens to be booked on the same flight. If you're still with me, we're also going to attempt to sleep on the airport floor. Don't worry, they give out flimsy airport blankets for our convenience. We get free bottled water too, so we're fine. Keep faith. We'll arrive home a day after planned.
   Yet it was entirely worth the adventure because...to be continued soon. 

Take care of yourselves and have a safe, relaxing weekend, Sillies.
    

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

One Rainbow Tribe, One Little Break

My Dearest and Silliest of Friends,
   I'll be taking a little break for approximately one week. Take care of yourselves, and know I'll be thinking about you.
   In the meantime, I leave you with one of my most recent poems. You can find this scroll in The Trumpeter's New Clothes. (Now in e-book for only $2.99!) My exceptional illustrator, Steve Ferchaud, created this illustration using real parchment paper. The message conveys my thoughts about humankind - its threats and its treasures.
PS In case you missed it, the book is here. Wink.
One rainbow tribe!
Love you.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Comment Collage - Starring YOU!

My Beloved Sillies,
It always gives me hearty laughter to pull your comments together.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.
Take care of yourselves.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@


Birgit said Since Georgie had wooden teeth, I bet other parts were made of wood. He may have invented the term woody.
Debra She Who Seeks said Teef and hung like a hamster? Oooooo baby!
Alex J. Cavanaugh said That's why no man will ever give my wife a massage.
Joanne said Oh heavens to Betsy...wave that flag proudly. Kneel when necessary.  
L. Diane Wolfe said Betsy was a saucy girl. The Silver Fox said So, does that mean I might get laid on Flag Day?
Jono said She is so strong and kind and turns me into a noodle.  
Elizabeth Seckman said Does that make me a virgin? L. Diane Wolfe said He might have a job and teeth but I bet he still shops at Walmart.
Alex J. Cavanaugh said And of course Martha has to horn her way in...Anthony J. Langford said I need a good old gust to come through and hoist that baby!
Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said I do loves me a smart sexy woman who can write about topics that make me stand up and salute her genius.                       Debra She Who Seeks said So THAT'S what Bernie's doing these days! Geo said Robyn, you helped cheer up an old man on a difficult day.
Pat Hatt said It would just be rude to poke an eye out after being invited in.
mail4rosey test... just testing to see if this posts. Janie Junebug said Don't you mean John Handoncock?Love, Janie Connie said Whew! It was already hot here, and now it's even hotter!
Elephant's Child said Swoon. Sandy said Read an article a few days ago the a Veteran posted, he says the most patriotic people he sees, are those kneeling. Hurrah for him I say.
Birgit said I'm sorry but I need a cigarette and I don't even smoke.
LD Masterson said And don't let it get rained on unless it's properly lit. (Oddly enough, that's actual flag etiquette. Sort of.)
Connie said You crack me up, Robyn.
Elephant's Child said Patriotic duty suggests that if the flag is erect during the hours of darkness it should be properly illuminated.