Here in Arizona we know that Mother Nature likes to tease us with Fall. But after three days in a row of low 70-degree mornings, my patio furniture begged me to release it from its summer covers so I gave in. I kept telling it – “We’ll have one more monsoon and you’ll be covered with inches of dust. We will see 105 again; you’re just asking for your lovely orange color to be bleached out by the heat.”

It didn’t want to listen. Or I didn’t want to listen. I want to pretend we are out of monsoon season and we will only have 90 degree temperatures until Halloween when it drops to 60. So I gave in. Spent one morning hosing it all down and yesterday morning folding the heavy canvas covers and putting them on a shelf in the garage.

Sitting outside this morning with my coffee, I felt a bit chilled and I loved it! Like the cushions that needed to see the light of day, I felt released from my self-imposed claustrophobic summer lifestyle. You know the one if you live here in the desert. Up before dawn, yard work finished by 6:00, errands completed by 11:00 at the latest, hibernating until the following sunrise.

I hope I didn’t tempt nature too much by doing this, but it does look so pretty outside without those ugly tan canvas apparitions staring at me like ghosts through opened window blinds. The lively colors now brighten both my outdoor area and my spirit and I will enjoy any cool morning we are given from now on. And, yes, I know deep down that we aren’t finished with summer – just yet, but it gives me hope.



Oregon Fires and D.A.C.A.



sunshine through the falls above.


So glad I was able to enjoy the beauty of the Gorge and Multnomah Falls last month in Oregon.  It was rather sad notifying my friends in Paris and Brussels of the wild fires threatening the Lodge and the Columbia River area. We were fortunate to be able to make the trip when we did. I am anxious to see photos once they get it contained.

All summer as I traveled I was surprised at the unusual hot temperatures all across the west coast and even in Minnesota and now to see the devastation in TX and potential damage to FL is shocking. At times I wonder if God is just really thoroughly disgusted with us on so many levels and giving us some strong warnings to treat the planet and our fellow humans the way we were supposed to.

The final straw for me this week was the possibility of seeing thousands of young people threatened with deportation. I was asked why schools didn’t require birth certificates and proper documentation when enrolling students. My answer was probably too simplistic: “because they are children and they need an education.”

The next question was why they don’t just become citizens. I have, on this very blog, provided web sites that clearly explain there is no path to citizenship. If these young people have to leave the U.S. for ten years and then reapply, what will happen to them between now and then? Where will they go?

It seems that politicians and even many of us fail to see past the end of our noses. It’s so easy to say deport them. Deport them to which country? Deport them just past the Mexico border? Deport them to families that for most do not exist? What are they to do if they arrive in Columbia or Mexico or Puerto Rico and speak only English? My only hope is that those in charge will begin to actually think beyond popular phrases like “build a wall”, “round them up”, “take back our country.” Clichés that help no one.

I know I have many friends who disagree. I am simply speaking from my experience and my heart. After all, it is my blog.   🙂  Food for thought…

Web sites:

Eagle Creek fire rages in Columbia gorge, threatens Multnomah Falls Lodge


US immigration: DACA and Dreamers explained



Labor Day, Fall and School

August 26th – and we head into September.

Labor Day used to mean that school started the next day. Leaves would begin to turn. You might go shopping for winter clothes – definitely new Oxfords (shoes for you under 50) and one new outfit for school. Dad would consider when to seed the garden or replace the window screens to winterize. The dreaded July and August heat of an Oklahoma summer without air conditioning was finally over. Wheat was cut and you could see for miles. Winter crops were planted and would sprout after our first frost.

But I live in Arizona now and school started between two and six weeks ago. It’s 105 degrees – 80 when you get up – and we look forward to October 31st when temps typically plummet.

Fall clothes appeared with Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and Walmart’s back to school ads but trying on a sweater or wool coat is near impossible after you’ve just stepped in from burning asphalt. So we Arizonans continue in shorts and T’s and sleeveless dresses for two more months and ‘X’ off the days on the calendar toward November.

With climate change it’s just a bit different this year. I was recently in OR and MN and headed to OK soon, and they are having warmer temps and expecting a delayed fall. I’m having a hard time sympathizing with them I’m afraid.

For now I admire my new spruce green sweater and hounds tooth wool blazer each time I go to the closet for a clean short-sleeve top and tell myself – 8 more weeks … maybe 9 … hopefully not 10.

P.S. School is in session. Kids and teachers need our help. Ask if you can pay for one child’s lunch this year, donate some books to the library, or volunteer in a classroom. The highlight of my week is walking into the third grade class where I help with readischool_suppliesng and I hear, “Ms. W … can I be first?”

how do you say good-bye?

So tiny you fit on a shelf

When I first brought you home.

Those big black eyes looked up at me

And you could do no wrong.

We’ve lived through a lot together

Three houses and three jobs,

An off and on relationship,

A move to the country.

You licked tears from my eyes and cheeks.

You snuggled close at night.

You came running when I entered

No matter where I’d been.

You loved water from the faucet

And chased your laser light.

You put up with bows round your neck

And friends who hated cats.

I cursed you at midnight.

I held you when you hurt.

I ignored you too often

And forgot to brush you.

I’ll miss your bowls and litter box,

And your green mouse pointer,

Your toys scattered around the house

Cushions covered in towels.

But mostly I’ll miss your friendship

And your unconditional love.

To Hermione, named after a Harry Potter character, who found me at the exact right moment and left us way too soon.







Let me know what “somethings” you are doing to survive August in your neck of the woods.


Each August as the heat continues and humidity increases and it’s been so many months since it was cool that I honestly can’t remember sitting outdoors at all … yes, that month! … We Arizonans know we still have September and October to struggle through before the temperatures plummet into winter.

It’s a month I try to avoid by racing to northern Arizona or boarding a flight to Europe if it’s in the budget. This year I “chose” to stay here and take a few short out–of- state visits to see friends and family and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. And still — the short time between trips is taking its toll.

So much so that last night I watched a British house hunting show as couples chose between three lovely country houses (well, some not so lovely) in Oxfordshire and Yorkshire and Somerset. The past two months I’ve been addicted to The Great British Bake Off on Netflix. (which by the way, if you enjoy baking at all is a must-see) I’m practicing my British accent and buying black clothing as if I don’t stick out like an American anyway. I even bought a red rain coat the other day. I believe that the U.K. is calling me again.

Perhaps next year I can participate in the British baking show or meet the house hunters to look at country homes or have tea with the queen. I love fantasy. Don’t you? I suppose that’s why I read three books at a time and then sit down to write one.

Enjoy your week wherever you are. I remind myself that we are taught to “bloom where you are planted.” This day is the day God has given (or something like that). Or as my mother used to say, “Stop whining and go do something.”

Write me a note about what you’re doing to survive summer in your neck of the woods.

p.s. the red raincoat was too small. Please write me if you see another in a Med Petite.

link to British Bake Off below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk › Factual › Food & Drink