The Pandemic, Racism, Politics, and Gnocchi

Gnocchi is my favorite food, especially homemade gnocchi. When I’ve successfully made a batch of potato dumplings ready for the red sauce, the texture is delicate, airy, and fluffy—they’re like tiny, heaven pillows. But holy gnocchi, there is so much below the surface.   Those babies ain’t easy.   I love my grandma Ciarolla’s recipe, … Read more


The following is an excerpt from a blog post written on October 4, 2018, shortly after my first encounter with a big cat on the mountain bike trail. At the time, I wasn’t sure if what I had seen was a bobcat or mountain lion. I named the section of the trail, “The Maul” and was a … Read more

Digging Our Heels In

According to Wikipedia, the term “confirmation bias” is defined as “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information that confirms or supports one’s prior personal beliefs or values.”   All I have to do is look at my newsfeed to see there’s a whole lot of confirmation bias going on.   Also known … Read more

Dot Connecting

Dot Connecting   I’m a big believer in the power of connecting dots. When I saw the video of the woman in Central Park wielding her power over the birdwatcher, I was disgusted—no, BEYOND disgusted. Mind-body-soul-spirit disgusted. Revulsion. I don’t want to think she represents me. I wanted to look away. And this was before … Read more

The Secret Sauce

    The Secret Sauce     The long strip of sunlight from the gap between the shade and the window seal was enough to illuminate the room and welcome us to the new day. I had just opened my eyes, when John rolled over, took one look at me, smiled, and said, “You look … Read more

Even the Uneven

 Even the Uneven   This photo was taken almost two years ago. We were zipping along the Ligurian Sea on our way to our waterfront table at Les Viviers du Pilon Saint-Tropez, in the South of France. That’s how we spent our 34th wedding anniversary.   Last year, on our 35th, we stayed home and … Read more

Murderous Hornet

Murderous Hornet   Just after dawn: Thundering down the dirt trail like-nobody’s-grandma from Laguna’s “Top of the World,” I felt a sudden sting on my leg as I, with cat-like reflexes, swatted at the origin of the sharp pain. Since all I could see was the blurry yellow corpse I sent sailing with the palm … Read more


Details   I’m a self-professed, unpaid people watcher, evidence gatherer, and dot connector, so I LOVE to notice nuance—those details that might otherwise go unnoticed. To me, something as simple as a snapshot is a treasure trove.   I was a little detail that, but for my mom, I could have “gone unnoticed.”  She noticed … Read more

I Try Again

I Try Again My two-year-old grandson is learning how to work through a catastrophe. Now, when he’s building with his blocks and one gets knocked over by a knee, instead of harrowed wails, he will now sometimes grab a tool or two from his life skills coping toolbox: He actually remembers to take a deep … Read more

This is Us: Berthday

This is Us: Berthday   It’s my birthday. There’s a pandemic out there so the party will be small. Since I have the gift of waking up to another day, I’m giving myself the gift of waking up and writing because it’s one of my favorite things. And I think it’s one of the things … Read more