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

Fall 2020 TV Show Lineup

I wonder if future movies / tv shows will incorporate the pandemic / quarantine into regular, previously established plot lines, or ignore it.

For example, NCIS in fall 2020: There is a dead marine, Gibbs gathers the team. Israeli music plays as Zeva leaves a cryptic message on Gibbs’ cell phone. Suddenly, everyone is forced into quarantine. Ducky makes a cameo appearance, rambling on about the pandemic of 1918, which apparently, he lived through. The newer, younger characters solve the crime using the internet and cell phones. Gibbs is in his basement, either taking apart or putting together his boat. All is good.

Meanwhile, on House : Patients start flooding the ER with symptoms of a mysterious new, flu-like illness. Cuddy and House bicker (alright, already! Why don’t you two just do it already!). Cuddy, who watches lots of Fox News (the reason House won’t “do” her), wants to inject patients with hydroxychloroquine. House says no. Various treatments are tried. People keep dying, now it’s spread to little kids, who develop weird coronary symptoms, too. Suddenly, summer comes, everyone stops wearing masks, and the death toll of the pandemic isn’t counted any more, and everyone ignores House when he says, “Just wait till fall”.

Golden Girls : Corona virus spread throughout the house, friends, and community of the Golden Girls. Everyone dies. No one cares.

Big Bang Theory : Raj, after visiting his family in India during winter break, brings Covid-19 back to the USA and the Cal Tech community. Everyone gets a mild case of it and is ok, but the university shuts down for 3 months. Since Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj are all on soft-money research grant funding, they all lose their jobs, and can’t pay rent. Stuart closes the comic book store forever. Everyone moves in to Howard’s mom’s house, and now Bernadette, Penny, and Amy are the only ones working and bringing home money bc they work for big pharma. The guys sit around on the sofa all day, playing video games, until Bernadette forces them to become door dash delivery guys, using Howard’s scooter.

Modern Family: Jan 2020: Lots of people in southern Cal are getting sick, no one knows what’s going on. The Pritchetts, Jay and Gloria, staunch Republicans, refuse to quarantine or wear masks. Jay dies. Gloria inherits a lot of money, and starts looking for husband #3. Manny gets sick, but survives, albeit w lasting heart disease. The Dunphys, stuck together in their home for 3 mo, all squabble, but are ok. The disease is mild for them. When the quarantine ends, Claire files for divorce bc she just can’t take it any more, cleaning up after everyone else all the time. Cam and Mitch both catch it (from not practicing social distancing) and Cam dies, bc he has pre-existing conditions and is obese. Mitch is devastated, bc Cam did everything, and Mitch is incompetent. Lily spends the rest of her life taking care of Mitch, but resents it.

Life in Pieces: Covid-19 strikes, everyone goes into quarantine. Grandpa John and Grandma Dr Joan hunker down, refusing to see anyone without a mask. They kick Matt and Colleen out of the garage. John and Joan are ok, but their co-dependent children complain all the time since they can no longer mooch off of them constantly. Tim and Heather are stuck at home with all their kids, losing their minds. Their son, who lives in a tiny house in the backyard w his girlfriend, breaks up, then makes up, with the gf a dozen times. Matt and Colleen, kicked out of the parents’ garage, buy a tiny house and park it in Tim and Heather’s backyard - now there are two tiny houses back there, and 8 people living at that residence, which only has 2 bathrooms. Heather claims the upstairs bathroom for herself, forcing all 7 to share the one downstairs. Corona virus ravages them all, due to the cramped living conditions, but everyone is ok. Both Clementine and Colleen get pregnant, have babies, making their population now 10. Sophia takes care of them all. Greg and Jen avoid everyone. Jen bitches a lot about everything, cleans constantly, and drinks heavily. Greg hides in various places around his home (attic, basement, garage, closets) bc he’s afraid of Jen.


Dear GirlFromTexas

People ask me the most random things......Serves me right for being such a smarty-pants know-it-all. On a social media conversation about food and recipes the other day, an old childhood friend I’d not heard from in years interrupts with the following question :

Friend: My cell is XXX-XXX-XXXX.  Please text me. I  have an urgent art related question.

Lots of back and forth ensued, with me asking obscure humorous questions to determine if this really was my old friend, or a trolling Ukrainian bot. Once settled that this, in fact, was my old friend, the conversation proceeded like this:

GFT: Is there ever, truly, an urgent art question that cannot be answered via google search?

Friend: An aunt had a portrait hanging in her house which officially is mine.  We went Saturday to retrieve it since she is down-sizing.  It is from 1846 and is of my 3G grandfather or his brother.   It has a 3" slit and two puncture holes.  Additionally it needs to be cleaned and stabilized.  Do you or your teacher know a restorer who won't cost an arm and a leg?  It is about 42"x35" framed.

GFT: I am sorry, I do not personally know of any art / painting restoration experts. You could try asking around at local antiques dealers, art clubs/groups/societies, art stores (my dad used to hang out at someplace in Dallas called “Mr J’s” and met all types of other painters and art folk there), profs at universities w art departments, or museums - where you live (or a nearby big city). Maybe google search “painting restoration ______(where you live)?” Or “how to repair/clean antique painting”. All of the art teachers I have studied with live out of state.

Meanwhile, everyone else on the post kept talking about food and recipes like nothing happened.

It is unfortunate that this is all I was able to offer, but I’m not, sadly, the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz.

_ _ _ _ _ _

Then there are the questions I get from other amazon customers, based on purchases I’ve made on amazon.....This really is troublesome, because I don’t like my purchases made public. Early on, I rated my purchases, but then stopped, hoping to quell the queries. It didn’t help.

For example, I bought some cheap art hobby paint brushes. I then received an email with this question:

   Q: When are these brushes made and what are the materials are used in the handle? 
My answer: Read the product description, dude. I’m not your mother.

Awhile back, I bought an inexpensive stainless flatware set (knives forks, and spoons) for one of my sons. Shortly after, I got this email : 

   Q: Do the spoons pass “the ice cream test”? 
My answer : First, I am not sure of the qualifying conditions under which your hypothesis exists. Do you mean : Can I use these to eat ice cream? Or do you mean, Are these sturdy enough to eat ice cream? Once again, variables must be categorized : Yes, they are suitable and sturdy enough to eat ice cream - from a bowl. Do you mean : Eat ice cream straight outta the carton? What am I, an animal? Again, so many variables: Just how cold is your freezer? How long has your ice cream been frozen? What is the external temperature of the room in which you are eating the ice cream? How long has the carton of ice cream been sitting out? Does the ice cream contain chunky solids, such as candy? What is the high fat ratio of the ice cream ? (I have found sherbet easier to dig out than high fat ice cream, which is oddly easier to dig out than ice milk or low fat ice cream....) You see how I can’t just simply answer this question? 

    Q: Does this shower gel work on oily hair? 
My answer : Well, it’s a shower gel, not a shampoo, so......Hey, what hair are you referring to? 😜

    Q: Does this (non food) product contain olive oil? 
My answer : Read the label, it’s visible on the product photo......Why is this suddenly my job? Why can’t you figure this out for yourself? Why am I in charge? Why do you leave it to strangers on the internet to tell you things? Do you know how many times I had to repeat “READ THE DIRECTIONS” to approximately 200 high school students per year  x 31 years of teaching (Hint: more than once per student per day) 


Covid-19 Humor

As I said earlier, I’m posting about The Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 for posterity’s sake. Perhaps some day, long after the Fermi Paradox has been proven true, in the distant future, an alien species cruising the galaxy will decide it’s finally safe to check in on the 3rd planet from our sun. Who knows what communication will be like then ? Just as humans ponder the meaning of cave art that’s 5000+ years old, future visitors might ponder this.