Out of balance

  Nationally and worldwide, we are experiencing a heat wave like no other in history. In Denver, where I just spent a three-day weekend, it was ninety-five degrees outside every day. It was so hot I could hardly walk, hardly think, hardly able to make decisions, and for the first time in years I experienced actual sweating. But when inside I couldn’t stay warm enough. The people I was visiting, who so wonderfully welcomed me and fed me and took care of me, kept their air conditioning up so high my whole body shook from the cold. The wind on my face – the only uncovered part of me in bed one night – kept me from sleeping. I also felt that way – absolutely freezing with a blanket on me – going to and from Denver on the plane. The weather has kept me out of balance, something I’ve never thought about so much before these last few days. I’m better back in Los Angeles. I actually felt a bit of a chill when I went out for my early morning walk today. That was a welcome … [Read more...]

How to relax on a budget? Ask Emma!

Perfect timing. An article by Emma Grace Brown about how to relax in Los Angeles and do it on a budget. Here's Emma.   How to Relax in L.A. Like a Celebrity Without Spending Like One by Emma Grace Brown  Los Angeles is the perfect place to get away and refresh your mind and body. There are so many wonderful things to do and see, and so many memories to be made. At the same time, you need to leave some room for self-care. That way you don’t end up needing a vacation to recover from your vacation. Now when you think of L.A. and self-care, you may immediately picture pricey spas and resorts, but the following are much more practical options, including the pointers below. Stay Like a Local for Less  When you’re looking to relax, the last thing you want is to get stuck in a less-than-perfect hotel room. However, good hotels are notoriously expensive in Los Angeles. Which is why if you’re traveling with friends or loved ones, you may want to look into renting a short-term rental … [Read more...]

January small stones

I've been faithfully writing my small stones every day - even though my time has been limited the past few weeks. I took on a consulting job three weeks ago back working at my old day job - helping engineers write and produce a proposal to the U.S. Government. It's always interesting and fulfilling and very busy, but doesn't come close to the pleasure I feel when I'm doing my creative work. I'm happy to say the job will be over on February 21. That said, here are my January Gems - my daily attempt at writing a short piece every day of the month. They aren't meant to be masterpieces. Just a way to jump-start my writing for the day. January Gems Happy New Year everyone. I love that we're still keeping up with our small stones. Let's make 2017 a great writing year. The floats in the Rose Parade are spectacular. They're getting more elaborate and tech-y every year. After our recent heavy rains, it's gotten unseasonably cold here in southern California. But not so cold … [Read more...]

Photos from the Women’s March, January 21, Los Angeles

The march was wonderful. What a loving and  inspiring crowd of people. They estimate 750,000 people walked in Los Angeles, causing huge waits to get anywhere. We stood huddled together for long periods of time, and still we smiled, cheered, chanted, sang, and danced. Here are some photos of some of my favorite signs that people carried with them throughout the day. We walked with our local SB Cares group - 140 of us went on buses from the South Bay. (The first two photos and of my friend and day-long march buddy, Debra and myself.) I'm wearing the Spirited Women's Namaste scarf. Will I ever do another march? The answer if a resounding "yes!" Everyone I hear from feels the same way. We loved it! And in the meantime, SB Cares is still working. We've developed several task forces to do what we can to keep moving forward, not backwards to where our new president wants us to be. I'm a co-chair of the Women's Rights task force and a member of the one on mental health. Come join us. … [Read more...]

My favorite uncle

In July 1949, my favorite Uncle Phil was killed in a plane crash in the Burbank California mountains. He was returning home to Los Angeles from Chicago where he attended a furniture and textile show and visited with family. I wrote the story below from my memory of the day we found out about the crash and that he was not one of the fourteen survivors. I couldn't let the month of July go by without a mention of him. Uncle Phil still has a huge place in my heart. "I Didn't Have Time to Worry" I was nine during the summer of 1949. My baby sister was a month old, and my brother was away at camp. I spent those long, lazy days being the big sister. I either helped my mom take care of the baby, swam in Lake Michigan a block away from our apartment in Chicago, or I was curled up with my nose in a book. I was the chubby girl with short, dark curly hair. My eyes were hazel and my skin had a deep summertime tan. And, I was already a romantic, hopelessly in love with my Uncle Phil, one of … [Read more...]

A new poem

A trip to the Getty Center in the hills above the 405 freeway in Los Angeles inspired this poem. I've illustrated it with a couple of photos I took with my cell phone. Getty Garden Bowl    Bougainvillea bowers stand as sentinels at the plaza's edge, as we start slowly down the circular path. The stream, winding its way amongst the rocks, the hydrangea, and tall yellow grass, at our side. We stop to peer at the succulents beds, their little puffed-leaves arranged like swirling rose petals, in pale greens tipped in blood red. Finally we circle to the bottom where the azalea bowl overflows in soft and hot pinks, its blooms sucking in the moisture of the pool underneath. … [Read more...]

A couple of stories from Storylane

I'm sorry to say Jonathan Gheller has closed down his Storylane site. It was a good place to post and share stories and to get a little feedback. Plus there were always a lot of great prompts to choose from. However, upon its demise, Jonathan generously sent me back the several stories I've posted, and now I can share them here. I'll start with a couple. Please let me know if you like them, and if so, I'll share a few more. I'll also share my latest Buddha picture. I love it. How I Got My First Job Out of College I graduated from UCLA with a degree in English and had no idea what I would do professionally with it. I had wanted to work as a journalist and actually completed all the course work for a degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin. But family illness caused me to transfer to UCLA for my senior year, and UCLA didn't offer a BA degree in journalism.So I was stuck in a city I didn't know and where I hardly knew anyone. I tried valiantly and unsuccessfully early … [Read more...]