An Odd Trio – Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel.

My bowl of chicken soup was sitting on the kitchen table. It had been quite a while since I nuked it and it was probably barely tepid at this point.

72-cropped-cheshire cat grin

Probably I should nuke it again, though if it had ever contained anything other than artificial flavoring and salt, nuking it again would surely finish it off.

Except I was disinclined to touch my soup. To so much as approach it. A little bit left of the bowl from where I was standing, still wrapped in a damp beach towel — my sandy, wet bathing suit was on the bathroom floor and I promised myself I’d go wash it out soon — a toothy cat’s grin hung in the air.

Cheshire Cat was back. In my kitchen. And he wanted my soup.


Twenty-five years ago last October, moments before game three of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, fans were thrown from their seats at Candlestick Park as an earthquake shook the Bay Area. The earth trembled for 15 seconds and brought Alameda county to its knees.

The San Francisco–Oakland earthquake registered 6.9 on the Richter scale. It seriously damaged the roads in the Bay Area, causing the collapse of the Nimitz Freeway and a piece of the Bay Bridge. It cost more than sixty lives and injured thousands.

collapsed expwy SF 1989

I was working remotely from our apartment in Boston that year. I had a great contract. It paid enough money so I didn’t need to do any other work. Just as well because Garry and I were getting married and planning a wedding. Which really meant I was planning a wedding. Garry was planning to show up.

Working remotely left me free to get the rest of my life sorted out and our apartment was big, enough room for me to have a spacious office. I loved working remotely and never was happy working a regular office job again. But I digress.


Before I could get started on the project, I had to go to Berkeley and interview the people who used the software for which I was writing the manuals. They were paying for the trip and I’d only been to California once before, to interview for the contract. I was glad to go.


Everything went smoothly until I came down with the flu. In just a few hours, I went from feeling fine to having a heavy cough, high fever, and being utterly miserable. I cancelled the remainder of the trip — three days — and flew back to Boston.

The earthquake occurred the following day. If I had stayed on my original schedule, traveling back and forth on the expressway from Berkeley to Oakland, I’d have been one of the people trapped by the collapsing expressway.

It was a most fortuitous case of the flu. It probably saved my life.


We watch a lot of cop shows. Murders. Forensics. NCIS, Law & Order reruns, CSI, and so many more. Everyday, right in my living room, someone is convicted on blood evidence. That’s why I know how incriminating traces of a victim’s blood can make someone look.

This evening I nicked myself with a paring knife. Not so unusual. I should be more careful. I work too fast. I’m easily distracted by conversation, dogs, ringing phones, whatever is on TV. The result? I slice off fingertips, though I’ve also stabbed myself in other ways. Other places. After which I bleed copiously. 

Morning light in my kitchen as coffee brews ...If I didn’t bleed so much, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem … but I bleed like mad.

Ironic because when I go for blood tests, no one can find a vein or get any blood out of me. I have suggested bringing a knife and slicing open a finger for them. They’d have more than enough blood. For some reason, they don’t find my suggestion nearly as funny as I do. I think it’s hilarious.

Today I cut myself slicing onions.

This is twice as painful as any other cut because it hurts when the knife cuts me. And when onion juice gets in the wound, it stings something fierce. 

blood evidenceIt wasn’t a terrible cut. Just a band-aid sized wound. I should have stuck a band-aid on the finger immediately because it wasn’t a gusher. Merely a dribbler. Not life threatening.

But instead, I finished chopping onions then went to the cupboard, found bandages and stopped the bleeding. There was blood everywhere. 

I’ve left a trail of blood with every slice, nick, or stab. My blood is between the tiles, in the drain. In every nook and cranny of the kitchen. Not only in the kitchen. Gory accidents are part of my lifelong battle with packaging … and packages have been opened in every room.  

blister packBe honest. Haven’t you ever found yourself stabbing at a blister pack of pills in the middle of the night with whatever pointed object you can find? In the bathroom, it’s usually a tweezers … the only sharp object I can grab without going to another room. Which would wake the dogs. I don’t want to do that.

You know what I mean. It says “press here,” but if you press there, the pill gets crushed and you still have to stab it to get it open. 

So that’s how come you can find my blood on keyboards, furniture, medicine cabinet, tweezers. Headboard, night table. Rugs, desk chair. You name it, I’ve bled there. 

CSI would have a field day. If anything were to happen and my poor guiltless husband were accused of killing me, they’ll find my blood everywhere. The poor guy would look guilty as hell. So, if the cops come to get Garry, please show them this post. Thanks. I appreciate your coöperation.