Friday, April 30, 2021

Not Just About A Book Club April Adventures.

 April 1

Book club sends their love

I caught the love

April 4 book club members sunday walk

April 15 yappy hour in the park



April 22 Zoom talk with author Kristin Hannah

April 23 Yappy hour in the park and then a surprise visit to Barb's house

April 29th

"Hard times don't last...LOVE DOES!"

Today's Intention

 "Move into your week with intention.

Believe that it will be good, believe

that you can find joy in it no matter

what. Focus your mind on that 

singular effort, looking for the joy.

Smile! ..." -Maria Shriver




Thursday, April 29, 2021

Adventures in Baby Sitting With Sofia and Rocco


Rocco battles his way to freedom

Free at last...

Where did that baby sitter go?

That was a struggle...I still don't know where she went.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Oscar Sunday April 26th


 It was a beautiful day on Sunday. We decided to rest and read in our back yard instead of our usual outings to the park and bay. I started “Educated” which has been sitting on the top of my books to read. I was hooked from page one. Mike is reading a book that Aria sent him. Now I’m getting ready for the Oscars! Mike asked if I’m going to get “dolled up.” Hah! I think this year like last will be most casual. I may add a bling ring to my sweat pants and matching top! Chilling Prosecco. Cheers to a sweet sweet Sunday!




Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tea Cups From Lucy

In closing my in laws estate a box was found in the basement with these tea cups. On the box was written "For Mike's wedding".  My brother in law just mailed us this wedding gift from my mother in law Lucy.  I think they are just beautiful. Thank you Lucy and Nate. 

" Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things." – Chaim Potok



Monday, April 26, 2021

Hard Times Don't Last. Love Does


The other day I listened to a zoom talk I had signed up for with author Kristin Hannah. I'm reading her latest book "4 Winds" right now. Like many talks with authors it's so interesting to hear about their writing process and to learn how their stories evolve. I'm right in the middle of "4 winds" and it was so interesting to hear Kristin talk about the timeliness of the subject matter of people struggling in hard times and how it was serendipitous to have the book come out during the pandemic. How the story in ways parallels the hardship that people faced during the great depression and now. I thought of that myself as I read the story. How people who are fighting adversity now might look at history as a letter of hope. We are resilient and we will get thru this time as well. I also loved the message of kindness which I have felt throughout this book. How people with almost nothing have shared the little they had. That message of kindness at the heart of humanity was my take away and which strikes me all the time. The kindness that people give to one another. It's so important.
  I decided to read "4 winds" before I did anything else this morning at 5:00. I'm midway through on page 282 and it's Christmas day for the family. Elsa has saved the letter from Grandpa Anthony and Grandma Rose to read to the kids as a xmas treat. On the top of pg. 283 they write "Hard times don't last. Love does. ..' to me that was just what I needed to read. 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

An Amazing Group of Friends


Friday my book group was gathering at a local park to talk about a zoom lecture which featured Kristin Hannah, the author or our chosen read for the month "4 winds". We will meet later in May to discuss the book but this was one of our extra meetings which we call our "Yappy Hours". I could not attend but one of the members texted me and said she wanted to drop something by my house after the park. I was out front when she arrived and then one by one I saw each of my book club friends park and get out of their cars. I was so surprised to see everyone. They said since you couldn't come to us we just wanted to stop by to see you and to give you this. They handed me a beautifully wrapped gift with many cards. Bewildered I asked "What is this for?" They said "we have been thinking of you and have been concerned since our conversation a month ago about the recent Asian hate crimes issues." "We want you to know we stand with you!" I was completely overwhelmed with their thoughtfulness. I opened the gift and found a lovely wind chime. They said "whenever you hear the chimes know that we stand with you." Thank you to all these wonderful friends. Your thoughtfulness and kindness touches my heart more than words can say.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

A Beautiful Tribute

 The following is from

I subscribe to Katie Couric's daily "Wake Up Call" This was posted on Saturday April 24, 2021 and it was so beautiful to read.


My brother Steve passed away earlier this week after a four-and-a-half-year battle with pancreatic cancer. These last few days have been filled with a kind of emotional vertigo. Feelings of heartache, loss, relief, love, kinship, loneliness, and disbelief flash through me.

It would be easy to slide into despair — but as much as I hurt, I am grateful. Doctors, nurses, medical staff, social workers, volunteers, advocates, friends, family, and complete strangers locked arms with Steve and gave us four-and-a-half years that we never expected. Every day was hard-fought and won. Every day was precious.



I miss my brother so much already — and I will forever, but he left me with an enduring gift: A model for how to lead a meaningful life.

In searching for a way to pay tribute to and illustrate Steve’s bravery, grit, eloquence, and beauty, I found a shining example in a letter he wrote about two years ago -— for his Harvard University 35th reunion.

Each member of the class of ’84 wrote an update about their lives. Some wrote about new jobs, new spouses, relocations, or retirements. This is Steve’s entry…


The last few years have re-acquainted me with the value of constructive catastrophes. Surviving an encounter with fear, pain, disappointment or death cultivates resilience. It also tempers ambition with the kind of humanity from which empathy and compassion derive.

We learn to define success more wisely, pursue it more persistently, appreciate it more deeply, and more completely identify with others’ struggles. At our age, most of us have at least a story or two to tell about these hard lessons -— here is mine.

You may remember that I had a tumor removed from my spinal cord, just after our 25th reunion. I was mostly over that by our 30th. Seeing so many fit, vigorous classmates at that event even gave me the final push that I needed to go from “healing” to “healed” to “healthy.”

I made some changes. I got my good numbers up, my bad numbers down, and I felt ready for whatever might come next. Then I found out I had pancreatic cancer.

In January 2017, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of high-grade metastatic pancreatic cancer. Inoperable. Incurable. No standard of care. No relative drug trials. In the immortal words of Martha and the Vandellas, “Nowhere to run to baby, no place to hide.” According to the medical journals, my prognosis lay somewhere between “grim” and “dismal.”

I am pleased to report that I have exceeded those low expectations. Genomic razzle-dazzle, aggressive chemo, an ovarian-cancer drug and a lot of music and laughter shrank my tumors. My doctors, nurses, researchers, family and friends were heroic. They waged all-out war on my behalf for seven grueling months. That bought me an improbable 15 more months with no measurable evidence of disease.

I shared that time with my brothers, their wives, their amazing kids and my parents. I also spent a lot of time with the family dogs -— their uncomplicated, unconditional affection was strong medicine. I talked and talked and talked with friends, too. They put the world on hold for me so we could say all the things that needed saying. When I was alone, I watched a lot of car restoration and home renovation shows on T.V. It reassured me to see that others shared my conviction that no wreck is completely beyond saving.

It was a glorious reprieve. Intellectually, I knew that recurrence was likely. I just stopped believing it. My life was so full of joy, love, friendship, and good news that there was no room for doubt. The magical thinking prevailed until just about the time I started writing this. That’s when the cancer came back.

So my future is uncertain. Then again, whose isn’t? Some of you have learned that much more painfully than I have. Your strength inspires my optimism. So too, does the chorus of encouragement that surrounds me. I am disappointed, but not discouraged. I have moments that test me but many, many more moments that reinforce my belief in the combined power of hope, science, a kick-ass playlist, low-carb tortillas, and kale. I embrace the freedom to improvise that lies beyond the standard of care. I have options. I have possibilities. I am grateful.

This experience has taught me quite a bit about myself and the world. Most of these revelations have been empowering. A few have been heartbreaking. I intend to use them all to become a more compassionate, accessable, focused and productive person. That’s what it will take for me to do the job for which I have been chosen -— supporting other patients, comforting their families -— and advancing and promoting the science on which our lives depend.

Statistics are useful -— but sometimes they say more about yesterday than tomorrow. Probability is not destiny. With that in mind, I plan on being at our 35th reunion and many more thereafter.

I look forward to celebrating the gift of time with you. If we don’t get to reunite in person, then I will remember your virtues with respect and affection -— and even your vices with laughter, generosity, and forgiveness. I hope that you will do the same for me.

My brother’s own words summarize his humanity better than I ever could. Love and be loved, care and be cared for, be brave, be positive. Make your time worth it.

These last four-and-a-half years would never have come to pass without the research, science, medicine, care, and love that Steve received. The time would have never come to pass without my dear, sweet, beautiful friend Katie -— and her counsel.

It would have never come to pass without the Pancreatic Dream Team at Stand Up To Cancer and the brilliant medical counsel at the Jay Monahan Center. And it would not have never come to pass without the intangible magic of love and support -— which take all of those elements and supercharges them. Thank you to Dr. Allyson Ocean, and each and every person who cared for Steve — and for our family through these many years.Steve did not “lose” his battle with cancer. Steve did not succumb to this disease. He did not get beaten or beaten down by it. He fought, and engaged his enemy, outsmarted and outran it — and then he simply knew when the time was to hand the baton off. We now run with it. In his name. In his honor. To victory. No retreat, no surrender. His legacy is entrusted to our hands. Let’s defeat cancer in Steve’s memory and in Jay’s.

An Amazing Artist

 On Sunday, an amazing artist, Richard Schmid, passed away at the age of 86. His works were only surpassed by his insights about what art means to us, where it comes from, and how it shapes us as we shape it. He shared his techniques, thought processes, and ways of looking at subjects. I’m sharing this quote here, as it speaks to me, not as someone who likes to paint, but to all of us who feel centered whenever we create, whatever we create.

Friday, April 23, 2021



from Aria: NYTimes ran a great piece on pandemic comfort poems today, starting with this one: The Peace of Wild Things
Written and read by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

He's 7 months old

 Two moods his mom says: Happy and Happier

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Attitude Adjustment

 7  Steps to Improve Your Attitude:

1. Stand up

2. Stretch

3. Take a Walk

4. Keep Walking

5. Board a plane

6. Fly to Hawaii

7. Never Return.



Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Prince Goes Quietly Onto The Next Adventure


I read where this is one of Queen Elizabeth's favorite photos of she and Prince Philip. I think it's a lovely one of the two together.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Jun 10, 1921 - Apr 09, 2021 (age 99)
May he rest in peace.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Springtime in the Garden

"Nature in her green, tranquil woods, heals and soothes all afflictions." - John Muir

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Morning Laugh with Sofia

 Morning laugh: Anytime I need to lift my spirits I can count on Sofia for an entertaining laugh. Today she facetimed me and had this snorkel mask on. When I said what's going on she said. "Basically when I'm teaching and I have to substitute I have to go with this snorkeler machine to help me breathe. So I'm afraid we're going to have to teach our class from the hospital today. Basically how this thing works is that it helps me get oxygen. It's a little weird but it's how it works so please explain this to the kids." "I'm really okay." (PS This is another one of her play teaching scenarios. She is Miss Sofia and I'm Miss Barbara)


Friday, April 16, 2021

Teahouse of The August Moon Re-Visited


 Last night Mike and I watched "Teahouse of the August Moon". A film made in 1956 with Glenn Ford, Marlon Brando and Eddie Albert. The Teahouse of the August Moon is a comedy about the process of the Americanization of Japanese citizens on the island of Okinawa during the American Occupation of Japan following World War II. The major reason we watched it is because it was the film that started my maternal grandmother's career in movies at the age of 63. She plays the old woman on top of the jeep which is taking Glenn Ford to an outlying country village. Marlon Brando is oddly cast as "Sakini" a country bumpkin interpreter for the army officers. In many ways the film is odd especially with this casting of Brando since he had already done "On the Waterfront" and "Streetcar Named Desire" which began his career. At any rate this dated movie theme still entertained me because of my grandmother. I kept saying "There's my grandma!" Just as I did in the movie theater when I was a child. We were fortunate that my grandma spoke and understood English well which was unusual for people of her generation born in Japan. It was hilarious to see her atop this jeep laden with luggage, children and a goat! I remember when she'd get home from filming at the MGM studios she would say they put a cap on my head and some wig and they didn't tie me very well to the jeep. I had to hold on very tight so I would not fall off. She liked Marlon Brando very much. He avoided most of the people on the set and in the commisary and often sat with my grandma whom he called "Mama-san" and she would address him as "Brando-san". She also like Eddie Albert very much and said he was funny and very nice to her. This was the beginning of a decade of film making and bit parts. She also met Cary Grant in "Walk Don't Run" when his pants flew out of his Tokyo apartment and landed on my grandma's head. She had a lot of funny stories and enjoyed her time movie making. When she became ill I remember one funny event when the paramedics were carrying her from the upstairs bedroom out the door. She said to them "Don't drop me! I'm a movie star!". They kind of smiled and we said "She's not kidding. She really is!"



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