The other day, I had one of the increasingly rare moments alone with my granddaughter. She has been going through a prolonged siege of the teenage girl crazies, a ghastly combination of hormones, young men, job hunting, and high drama.

Clearly, she was in need of my best advice.

“If you are going to be crazy, be crazy,” I said. “I was a basket case at your age. It’s a girl thing. But trust me. You really can trust me on this. Everything gets better. Not very long from now, you’ll look back on this time and wonder why you were so upset.”

Then I gave her that best advice: “Be crazy. Just don’t publish it online. Your great-grandchildren will be finding your Facebook posts and laughing their asses off. Worse, your future employers will be finding them too, not to mention your potential life-partners, business associates, friends and co-workers. College professors. Have fun. Be wild and crazy, but don’t publish it.”

Life can be a bowl of cherries ... if you are discreet!

Life can be a bowl of cherries … if you are discreet!

Nothing vanishes once it’s “out there” in cyberspace. Everything is going to show up on someone’s Google search. I can find posts I wrote — supposedly private — from more than twenty years ago.

If you post it on any form of social media? It’s a land mine on which you will eventually step. Anything you do is just a rumor — if it remains unpublished. You retain plausible deniability. Hang onto that.



“Green green, it’s green they say, on the far side of the hill …”

This time of year, it’s green on both sides of the hill. The rocks are green with lichen

With a lot of rain coming down, it will be even greener tomorrow. The air is heavy with humidity and though the air conditioning is on, the house feels just a bit too damp for comfort.

The first to show green in the spring, the last to lose its leaves in autumn, our Japanese maple.

The first to show green in the spring, the last to lose its leaves in autumn, our Japanese maple.

The dogs are sacked out on the floor. It’s cooler there. I discourage them from trying to crawl under the sofa. I know they are just seeking the coolest place they can find, but they keep getting stuck.

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Our house is not bright except at sunrise and just before sunset. The bedroom side of the house faces east. The living room faces west. We get the first rays of light just after dawn and immediately before twilight.

late afternoon bouquet

The living room is particularly lovely in the warm months. Today, as we were relaxing after a long day spent mostly in the car, the sunlight was scrumptious. When it shown on the bouquet, I had to act decisively.

The bouquet has about reached the end of its run, but it’s still beautiful. Especially illuminated with the last light of the day.

Another set of pictures using the Olympus f2.8 60mm macro lens. I’m getting very fond of that lens!

And a link to Cee’s Flower of the day!


I am one judgmental platitude over my limit.

“God never gives you more than you can bear.” Not only does God (via the bible or any other sacred text) never say that, but it’s not true, whether God is or isn’t the giver. Life gives us all kinds of things we can’t bear. Heart attacks and unemployment. You can lose your home, your kids, your loved ones, and finally your life. This goes back to the fundamental false belief that we control our destiny. People who say this stuff are also people who have never been faced with an overwhelming problem. If you say this to someone who is suffering, you are an ass.


“Age is just a number.” No, it isn’t. It’s a stage in life. The part where you can’t do what you did when you were younger. Not because your head is in the wrong place, but because you’ve got arthritis, maybe a heart condition, or whatever else life and DNA has stuck you with. Such statements include layers of subtle judgments. As if you are weak because you have “given in” to age. If you tried harder, you’d be young again? How does that work?

“Everything happens for a reason.” Does it now? And what would that reason be? Where do you get off making that call? I’ll bundle this one with …

“Everything works out for the best.” Tell that to the person getting fired, evicted, dying, mourning. Don’t stand too close when you say it. It could be dangerous to your health.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” What doesn’t kill you, doesn’t kill you. You get to live a while longer. Maybe it will make you stronger, but it is just as likely to cripple you. Soldiering on is not being strong. It’s survival.


“It’s just mind over matter.” Your mind over my matter? If it isn’t your pain, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Saying this to someone in real pain may actually pump enough adrenaline into their system so they leap from their wheelchair and kill you. No jury would convict them.

“For every cloud, there’s a silver lining.” Do I need to dignify this with a response?

Skip the judgments. If all you have to offer are clichés and platitudes, shut up. Please.