Duke is a disobedient dog. He is sweet, funny, and smarter than a lot of people I know, but he doesn’t like taking orders. Or coming when called. Or stopping if told to “cut it out.”

He’s working on it, though.

He can’t figure out how come I know he’s trying to knock down the dining room gate even though I can’t see him. He hasn’t yet realized I can hear him, even from another room.

He is learning. Not as fast as I would like, but not bad, either. He connects the “time out” with the event that caused it … and not every dog does. We’ll work it out.


Share Your World – September 11, 2017

I don’t know how come it’s almost the middle of September. This month started the day before yesterday. Summer went fast, but this is ridiculous. I am not ready for time to swing by at this supercharged pace. Slow down, world! Slow DOWN!

And now …

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax-free.

Now would be just fine, thank you. Who knows what will be a year from now?

Korea might bomb us. We might bomb them. The Chinese might bomb everybody. I might die or they might give the money to someone else. I’ll take it now, thank you. A new bathroom awaits!

There’s a story about this …

Once upon a time, there is a poor, old man living in a tiny settlement miles outside of Minsk. One day, the Czar and his minions ride into town. They are, of course, looking to see if anyone has money, because that’s what Czars did, back then. Unlike now, where our governments gets our money in other ways and don’t have to actually ride into town and confront living citizens.

The dog might talk!

The Czar spots the old man and demands he give him all his money. Every last kopek, and then some!

The old man says, “Your majesty, I have very little to give you, but of course as your subject,  I will gladly give you everything. But consider this. I have a dog who I am teaching to talk. If you give me a year, the dog will earn me a fortune and I will give it all to you.”

The Czar looks at the dog, then looks at the old man. “I doubt it,” says the high and mighty Czar, “I don’t think that dog is ever going to talk, but I will give you a year. Then, I will be back demanding payment. If that dog doesn’t talk, I will slay you on the spot.”

The old man bows as the Czar and his cronies ride off.

ARE YOU CRAZY?” screams the old guy’s wife. “That dog can’t talk! The Czar is going to come back and kill you!”

“Well,” says the man, “It’s a whole year away. In one year, the Czar might die. I might die. Or … the dog might talk.”

Is it more important to love or be loved?

Both, of course.

List things that represent abundance to you.

Enough money to live on and enough left over to cover emergencies.

And, finally, in answer to the unlisted question, I did NOT have a single inspiring moment this week. I’m not a very inspiring kind of gal. I’m pretty sure if I was inspired, I’d be writing about it — or shooting pictures of it!


I grew up the middle child of three and I was known as “the communicator.” My brother was four years older than me.  My sister was five years younger. My brother passed away more than a decade ago and my sister vanished into a world of drugs.

We three were the children of the same parents, but not really. Matt and I had a lot of similarities, but our personalities could hardly have been more different.

We do not create the children we dream of, if indeed we dream of children — and not all of us do. They are not those little chips off our personal blocks. We learn to understand them, eventually — or at least mostly — but it’s remarkable how different we are from our kids.

My mother was a hands on person. She painted, sewed. She was athletic.  She loved books, but she loved the outdoors more. Horses and ice skates and bob-sledding. All I wanted to do was read. I could not hook a rug or knit to save my life.

The single thing my siblings and I all shared was a basic failure to understand numbers. We made them work, somehow, but we weren’t kids who had that “instant grasp” of numbers as a language. We suffered through arithmetic and were nearly undone by geometry … only to be buried under trigonometry and algebra. It’s a pity. I actually loved science … until it got to the numbers part. Then I sank like a stone.

So we were three kids from the same two parents with personalities entirely different from each other. My sister seemed like a kid who dropped into the cabbage patch by the stork. My brother was merely different.


We always say “Oh, we all had the same parents,” but we didn’t. Our parents were  different. The oldest sibling had the youngest “what are we doing with this kid?” parents. The youngest kid had the most mature parents. By the time they made it to the littlest kid, they had parenting basics down. They had eased up a lot on restrictions. I always thought if my mother had given me the freedom my sister automatically got and didn’t appreciate, life would have been grand.

I told her that, shortly before she died.

“Well,” she said. “Parents have to grow up too.”

That isn’t something we get until we have our own children or have other experience with children in “parenting” ways. That’s when you look back and say “Oh. I see. Now it makes sense.”


We knew each other from across a room. She had dreamed of me. I recognized her. We were friends pretty much instantly. Through 40 years, our lives, even when we were out of touch and on different continents, have followed parallel paths.

Our husbands are friends and sometimes similar enough to be startling. We wear the same size clothing, even the same size shoes. Like most of the same music, movies, books.


Yet we come from completely different backgrounds — ethnically, religiously, culturally. It has never mattered. Not way back when we met or now.

We have seen each other through so many crises, so many rough times and we’ve always managed to be there and banish the gloom. I think the thing we have most in common is a weird, ironic humor … a sense that the only real power we have over a malign fate is our laughter.

Friendships that last a lifetime and remain active and alive, not “memories” of what were, are rare. That two lives could follow such similar paths for so long is even more rare, but it happened. And I am very grateful. I know there is somewhere on earth at least one person who can make me laugh no matter how horribly wrong everything is going.