Always on the cutting edge of trends


The NYT recently reported on a sudden shortage of above ground pools, as millions of Americans came to the realization that no one was going anywhere for summer vacation in 2020. Of course, these are the last minute thinkers; those who had foresight started their projects back earlier in the spring.


And so it went at our humble abode.....Hubs promised he’d have the pool set up by early May, but didn’t “get around to it” till June. Texas is HOT! Like Provence, southern Italy, India, or the Australian outback. So of course, as the temperature rose, so did the nagging to “get ‘er done”. I even called on son #1 for help.

Local temperature on Sat June 6 at 4 pm. 104F = 40C.

Wait for it.....(setting the foundation).......

Wait for it......

Wait for it......(checking for leaks)........

Ahhhhhh.......serenity now!

Now all hubs needs to do is finish his shed / bar project........A few weeks back, some neighbor offered a free shed to anyone who would haul it off. Naturally, we took it (our neighborhood has a convivial history of swapping furniture and household goods). The shed is 12’ x 15’, and the pergola in front is 10’ x 10’. What it currently looks like :

And here’s what we hope to get it to look like, eventually (some combination of pool and bar/ shed) :

Squirrel Adventures

The other day I was working in my studio and through the window, a blur of brown furry movement caught my attention. It was the wrong shape / size / color to be either of my dogs, so I went over closer to the window so I could see what was up.  Low and behold, what can only be described as a squirrel scrum, involving at least 5 different tails (too much movement to discern further details, but it looked like an old kid’s Davy Cockett racoonskin hat was having a seizure) was bouncing around in a frenzy on my back yard patio. I thought it was maybe either a bunch of squirrels who were hallucinating from having ingested too many fermented half rotten peaches or else a rabid pile of tiny whirling dervishes. Making their little squeaking chattering noises the whole time.

I went outside to see more closely what was going down - equipped with a broom and a can of wasp spray (all I had on hand) to break up the fight. I was praying I wouldn’t have to actually use either of these items, but the squirrel scrum was too busy to even notice or care that I was there, beating them w the broom and hollering for them to leave. Those rats with tails took no notice of my 70 lb boxer dog, either, and only dispersed when I turned the hose on them.

Turns out the hubs and I, in one of our ever increasing moments of senility, had left the brand new giant 20 lb bag of bird food just sitting out on the patio overnight, after we had refilled the bird feeder late the day before. All the squirrels in a 6 house radius had feeding on the contents of that bag ever since - had gone completely through the entire bag, eating all the sunflower seeds only and leaving the millet and other tinier seeds behind with contempt, mixed with a few squirrel turds. My patio was strewn with 5 lbs of empty sunflower seed shells as the sated beasts waddled off to digest their feast. All the yard birds perched in a semi-circle on the surrounding trees, chirping at me to “hurry up and feed them and it wouldn’t kill you to clean out that birdbath, either while you’re at it.” They do this every day as it is, but the squirrels’ scrum had really trashed the birds’ dining area- plants were knocked over, the birdbath was full of sunflower shells, with seeds strewn everywhere.

I cursed at those @#$% squirrels as I cleaned up after them, “Just more men around here for me to pick up after......I bet they don’t put the toilet seat down at home, either.” For I knew they were all males, teenagers, by the look of them. Good thing I don’t have a doorbell, or they’d ding-dong-ditch my house, too. Later in the week, I saw the same furry ball of teenage hoodlum squirrels bouncing through my rose beds, and again attacked them with the hose. They just laughed and ran away......but I know they’ll be back. 


Happy 26th Anniversary

26 years ago, I married my best friend - For over 40 years now, he’s made me laugh, driven me crazy, given me a family where I had none, taken me around the world, fixed things, (broken things), raised my first child as his own, and generally made my life much, much better than it was before.

Who knew what would happen, when I met him in 1978, all these years later? R is second from left in this photo - he never did like wearing a shirt.....

When you marry a person, you marry their family......fortunately, these are all intelligent, educated people. While we may squabble on the little things, we agree on the big ones.

Agra, India

My dates at our 25th college reunion

Palermo, Sicily

Colorado Rockies


Private yacht off St Lucia

West Texas dance hall

North Shore pipeline, Oahu

New Orleans


South Pacific

 Yukon, Alaska

Corolla, NC OBX

My husband paid for everything for my son from my first marriage - all medical bills, summer camps, orthodontia, sports, SAT tutoring, 2 cars, college - bc my ex and my son’s father, Gregory Scott Panagos, refused

Virginia horse country


Tech Titans Award at UNT

This is how men hem pants - with duct tape

Off Martinique

Brewing beer

His friends and mine

I was thin and R had hair

Antoines, NoLa