Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.


  1. Once again, Saturday mornings mean yard sales – an alternative economy that runs into October around here. I’m putting requests in to my two favorite, very savvy, shoppers. Last time they picked up a nifty pair of speakers for my stereo — five bucks, at that — and two fine Spanish diccionarios. See if they can come up with those CD opera collections I’d enjoy.
  2. The first daytime sounds of spring – lawnmowers and motorcycles – are in the air. Peepers, long in play, have been filling nights around vernal ponds.
  3. The first smells of spring for the American male: the charcoal or gas grill and igniting, plus the roasting food – countered by lawnmower gasoline.
  4. In my research for my newest novel, I come across the affectionate Greek word koukla … doll, girlfriend, pretty, pumpkin. Never connected it to one of my favorite children’s television sereis in my dim past, Koukla, Fran, and Ollie, which I’d always thought was one word. Those puppets still look better than anything on the so-called Reality Shows. Their dialogue was no doubt better.
  5. Sometimes, slipping into visual artist mode, I see other humans as cartoon figures. Usually it’s on the street.
  6. So much of my life has been out of balance. Quaker worship, at least, keeps restoring the equipoise.
  7. One shaman, who stayed briefly with us, goes drumming and singing for whales to return after a long absence. Much of his lore comes from comes from weekends spent with his grandmother in a nursing home. I’m grateful to those who’ve stayed faithful.
  8. From what I’ve observed, those who speak most stridently of liberty have tyranny at heart. They’re contemptuous of others, mean-spirited, and misery.
  9. The first week of May is gaudy. Trees of big clumps of bright yellow-green, for starters. Somehow autumn comes to mind first when we mention gaudy.
  10. The month of fresh asparagus stirs memories of Yakima, where the spears grow wild as “local ‘grass” throughout the valley. We’d glut ourselves to the bitter end of each season.


Can anyone decode this Dumpster graffiti for me? Love the style, as it is.
Can anyone decode this Dumpster graffiti for me? Love the style, as it is.




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