The Long Road to Peace

I count handmade crucifixes nailed to trees and fences during road trips. Some are religious statements; others memorialize deaths–which begs the question: Aren’t Jews and Muslims accident victims, too? I’m pretty sure Jews wouldn’t nail together six wood sticks to shape Stars of David; we’d hire someone to make them and add a temple donation appeal. Muslims would need jigsaws to craft Islamic symbols and I’m certain they’d fall victim to haters and graffiti artists. Sadly, even highways tell stories about our nation’s religions divisions.

Fixing My Rusty French

Rust and Bone
I suffered through “Rust and Bone,” a French film about a woman who lost her legs training Orca whales after meeting an angry guy with a neglected son. The sluggish movie featured a beautiful performance by Marion Cotillard. I might even have liked a shorter version. Weary as a result of the snail’s pace at which the tale unfolded, I turned off the subtitles, practiced my French and reinstated them at the film’s conclusion. Want to assuage guilt associated with renting time-wasting foreign films? Bone up on whatever you learned in high school. Works every time.

The Skinny on Doubting Myself

Ever since I was notified that I was eligible to write premium articles for a Nevada website catering to clients from around the world, I’ve felt edgy and unsure. I seem to thrive on self-doubt. As a result, I do some of my best writing when I sink into underdog (in my case, under cat) mode. Give me a raise, promotion or elevate my status and demons camp on my shoulders. Working through bouts of self-doubt usually requires a little time, some mirror-talk and French fries. Let’s just say I wear my insecurities on my thighs.

A Hill of a Thrill

Hillary letter
My letter to Hillary Clinton on behalf of Northwest Suburban Women Democrats was our way of supporting her political ambitions. I enclosed the rhino figure we award to women we admire (symbolizing Eleanor Roosevelt’s comment that women must have rhino hide to run for political office) with the note. When we received a personal letter from Hillary to thank us, I was so stunned, I was speechless. That letter and accompanying photo will be on proud display at our future functions. Another lesson learned: Never assume that a small gesture won’t result in a big reward.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Good Wife
Not since I learned Raymond’s mother was his handler in The Manchurian Candidate have I used the word gobsmacked, but after watching the most recent Good Wife episode, I resurrected it. Will dead? Saw the episode three more times; sure enough, he’s dead after each one. I’m eager to see what the show’s writers do with future plot lines because the thread of Will’s and Alicia’s affair was such a dominant theme for over four years. Jump the shark? More like jump-starting the heartbeats of The Good Wife fans everywhere.

Just Call Me Resale Convert

Granddaughter Brandy and friend Geni are fans of resale shops, but I was never interested in them because I assumed I’d only find stuff suitable for the homeless there. Then I started volunteering at one and on the day I sold 6 fur coats to a young, fashion-forward woman for a hundred bucks, I started perusing the inventory. My recent purchase? The coat above, snapped up at the “end of winter” sale for $1.22. I don’t think even Joseph could have snared a better bargain when he shopped for his coat of many colors.

Foiled Again

Tuna foil
My imagination truly isn’t capable of inventing Tuna’s antics, but with each new (frustrating) adventure, I admire his resourcefulness. I awoke at 2 a.m. to the rustling sound I tried to ignore until getting back to sleep proved impossible. I found Tuna dragging around an unspooled roll of aluminum foil. Cats are supposed to be afraid of foil; at least other cats I’ve owned avoided it like the plague. Now, I’m trying to find a use for an entire roll of foil decorated with teeth and claw marks. Maybe a wall hanging?

Fast and Furious

I love opportunities to make a buck espousing topics that enthuse me, so when Yahoo put out a call for weight loss articles, my submission wrote itself ( Last year, I happened upon a PBS program about “Intermittent Fasting” and thought I’d try it out. Talk about miracles. I could easily become a spokesperson for this way of life and my dieting days are over. I’ve run into other people who feel the same way. I do believe that there are enough of us to start a fan club. Make that a fast club.

Sky-High Theories

The disappeared Malaysian jetliner has set people’s imaginations on fire. Writer friends have been conjuring up multiple, imaginative solutions to the mystery: One suggests the world will awaken in unison to find that only minutes have passed and the news was a dream. My own take: A hostile nation needs experimental, stealthy technology tested to knock out bugs before snapping up planes to create a terrorist air force. On the other hand, Greyhound and Amtrak could be colluding to attract more business. It wouldn’t be the first time industries used guerilla tactics to beat the competition.

Be Still My Heart; Wait! Forget I Wrote That

As a woman of a certain depressing age, health scares are becoming a fact of life. That’s how I wound up being hooked up to a heart monitor 24/7 to see whazzzup with my occasionally erratic beat. I awoke on the first night to find the cats playing with wires connecting me to the monitor. Leads disengage without warning. The first innocuous beep alerting to a rhythm change scared me so badly, I contemplated calling paramedics. I’m stuck with this monitor for 30 days and have already lost the carry case in addition to my mind.