Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings


Today was a great day for comfort food.

It was a cold and gray and unsettled day.

I made a big pot of chicken and dumplings.

It didn’t solve any of the world’s problems.

But it was hot and delicious and comforting.

As Baby Bear would say, “It’s just right.”


National Nachos Day

National Nachos Day

I just now learned that today is National Nachos Day.


I already had my dinner.

Why didn’t I know about this before I ate?

I know, I know, I am a grownup and I can eat nachos any time I want.

But I would have liked to have been invited to the party.

I have been holding up well this entire terrible year.

But this is the last straw.

Now I think I need to rage eat a second dinner.

I would, if only I had a more youthful metabolism.


National Nachos Day.

It’s going on the calendar for next year.

dog family storytelling

The Puppy Chewed Them Up

the puppy chewed them up


I once had a pair of shoes that I loved.

And then the puppy chewed them up.

Actually, he only chewed up the left one.

But the right one was rendered useless because one good shoe is of no use to me.

I threw the shoes in the garbage.

Later, I found them in my closet.

“Where did these come from?” I asked The Husband.

“I found them in the trash. They’re perfectly good. Why did you throw them out?”

I showed him the wrecked shoe.

And I threw them out again.

When we moved to Texas and I was unpacking a box, I found the shoes.


“Where did these come from?” I asked The Husband.

We proceeded to repeat our previous conversation.

Although he denied that we ever had ever spoken on this topic before.

I threw the shoes out again.

Today, much to my surprise, I found the shoes lined up neatly by the back door.

“Where did these come from?” I asked The Husband.

We proceeded to repeat the now-well-rehearsed conversation.

And he proceeded to deny, again, that we had ever spoken on this topic before.

I threw the shoes out again.

What do you want to bet that, like a bad penny, these shoes will show up again?

family storytelling

Of Course He Can’t Find It

of course he can't find it


“Do we have any mayo?” The Husband shouted from the kitchen.

“Yes, I just bought some,” I hollered back.

“Where is it?”

“If it’s not in the pantry, then it’s in the fridge.”

“I can’t find it.”

I sighed.

Of course he can’t find it.

I grumbled under my breath and trudged into the kitchen to find it.

He knows the drill.

If I find the thing in five seconds, I get to punch him as hard as I can.

He’s lucky that I’m all talk and no action.

So far.

family storytelling

I Was Having a Moment

I was having a moment.


The Grown Sons complained bitterly because I was doing noisy housework at 9:00 am on a Sunday.

I patiently explained that I had been awake since 5:00, but I refrained from making noise until a decent hour.

They continued to complain bitterly.

I gave them some wise, motherly counsel.

I don’t remember my exact words.

They were something like:

“Watch your mouth.”

“Quit your bellyaching.”

“You freeloading slackers.”

Neither of them, by the way, are freeloading, nor are they slackers.

But I was having a moment, and it just slipped out.

At any rate, the house is clean.

But the family is cranky.

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday.

family memoir storytelling

I Swear It Was Justified

I swear it was justified


Bob got up very early this morning to do some yard work.

In the middle of his work, he asked me to make him something to eat.

Bob is perfectly capable of making his own food.

However, he was wet and muddy and too dirty to come into the house.

I made him a fried egg sandwich.

He stood at the back door the entire time, back-seat egging me.

I swear, I’ll tell the judge, I swear it was justified

memoir storytelling work

They Can’t Block Me

they can't block me


I was in a Zoom meeting.

One man mentioned that he had seen the Blue Man Group.

I burst out laughing.

I thought about the Blue Man Group story line on Arrested Development.

“I’m afraid I just blue myself,” never stops being funny.

No one in this group had seen Arrested Development.

They did not understand the reference.

What a crushing disappointment.

These folks could all use the Method One acting clinic.

I will spend the rest of the day quoting Tobias Funke lines to my family.

They can’t block me.

Can they?

memoir storytelling work

I’m Hangry for That Book

I'm hangry for that book


I love David Baldacci.

I heard his lecture series on Masterclass.

He gave a fabulous presentation.

I picked up the first Atlee Pine book, Long Road to Mercy.

It was so engaging that I read it in one sitting.

I picked up the second Atlee Pine book, A Minute to Midnight.

It was so engaging that I read it in one sitting.

And now, to my overwhelming disappointment, I find out that the third book won’t be published until November.


What am I supposed to do for two months?


That’s just crazy talk.

I need to know what happens.

I’m hangry, but not for food.

I’m hangry for that book.

memoir storytelling

The Protocol for Unattended Bananas

The protocol for unattended bananas


At the airport, there are constant announcements.

They tell you to wear a mask.

They tell you to socially distance yourself.

They tell you to watch out for unattended baggage.

But they don’t tell you the protocol for unattended bananas.

I felt kind of bad when I saw it abandoned on a seat at the gate.

Someone paid a small fortune for an airport banana, and then they left it behind.

Eventually a woman came by and joyfully exclaimed something in another language.

“Oh THERE’s my banana!” is what I imagined she said.

She picked it up.

And then she dropped it while she continued to rush through the terminal.

Again, I didn’t know the protocol.

Should I chase after her?

Should I alert security?

Should I make a fruit salad?

They called my flight, so I had to go.

I’ll always be a little bit bothered that I don’t know how this story ends.

memoir storytelling

There’s Always That One Guy

That one guy


I just got back from a trip home to So Cal.

I was nervous about flying.

But everyone wore masks.

And everyone stayed far away from everyone else.

But there was one guy…

There’s always that one guy…

He sat down wearily at the gate.

And he kicked off his boots to rub his tired feet.

He was not wearing any socks.


Without socks.

That’s so gross.

It’s a good thing I was wearing a mask.

He might have seen my horrified face.

Even from an appropriate social distance.

I prayed that I wouldn’t have to sit next to him on the plane.

My prayers were answered.

But he will haunt my nightmares forever.