Category Archives: Breadcrumbs

Snow Day

It takes a long time to learn how to do nothing. -Marty Rubin

There are few things that are as much fun as watching Samoyeds play in the snow. While some of my friends are probably “getting stuff done” today, I am being wonderfully idle.  The most productive things I’ve done are change the one clock I’d neglected to adjust to daylight savings time, delete a bunch of photos and unload the dishwasher. I spent a few minutes out in the back yard with The Blues Sisters and made a short video of their play. I found a video of Krishnamacharya and shared it with my power yoga teacher training class.  I absorbed a bit of wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh. I spent just enough time looking out the window and thinking.

It has been a very good day.


Ball Momentarily Forgotten, DeltaBlue Discovers Snow is Just Frozen Water


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Begin Here



In December I made a decision to begin yoga teacher training. I signed up immediately – months in advance of the February 22nd start date. Every yoga class I took was preparation for the teacher training. I ordered the suggested text  Journey Into Power – by Baron Baptiste, purchased a deluxe yoga mat, began a yoga journal and marked each class on my calendar.

Now, less than a week away from the first class, I look at the schedule and wonder whether I can do it. Now each section of the course material seems daunting, the requirements challenging and my age an impediment.  Do I imagine the new pain in my knee or the tightness in my lower back? Have I made a mistake?

Then this morning I received an email

Hello yogis,

Power Yoga Training starts next week! The teacher training team is excited to gather together with you and get this journey started.

Once you make a decision, the world conspires to make it happen.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I read on, the excitement returned. I could do this. I will do this. The Emerson quote reminded me of all the beginnings I had made and all the joy they had brought me.  The secret – whether it’s a novel, a marriage or a pile of dirty dishes: First you begin. Then you continue.


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The Day I Took 2nd Place at the Dog Show

In honor of all the dogs competing in the Westminster Dog Show


Arlo – Best Dog Ever

I put on two pair of socks and three pair of sweat pants and took Arlo for his pre-dawn walk. It was 3 degrees. Arlo is built for that kind of weather. My lips froze. When we got back I filled my backpack with the things I thought I would need at the dog show and dressed like the handlers I had seen on TV – dark colors to show off the white dog, sensible shoes, hair tied back so it didn’t fly around and distract the judges or the dog. I loaded the jeep with dog, crate and backpack and headed to Point of Rocks.


When I arrived there were dogs everywhere. All of the handlers looked the same. They had big hair – like my Aunt Gladys – they wore spandex pants and pullovers with pictures of Samoyeds embroidered on them. They were all named Carol or Judy. With the help of two volunteers I managed to get Arlo registered for the show. They gave me an armband with a number 12 on it.

“Put this around your left arm. You can take your dog into the judging area so he can get used to it. Have fun!”

For the next two hours Arlo and I walked, trotted, and stacked our little hearts out. Once I tried to leave the ring and Marge (Arlo’s breeder) screamed at me “Get back in there. You can’t leave until you are dismissed.” I obeyed. Marge is quite a commanding presence. That day she was wearing white, fluffy earmuffs that looked like they had been made from a badly behaved Samoyed.

Marge had thirty minutes to puff and fluff Arlo before the judging began – combing and brushing – talking a mile a minute. Arlo took it all much better than I did.

“Number 12 to the ring. Number 12 to the ring.”

“Oh my God. We’re number 12, Arlo.”

Marge lifted Arlo from the table and I made my way awkwardly to the ring, fumbling to secure my armband with a rubber band while guiding Arlo through an obstacle course of dogs and bitches.

“Here we go, Arlo. Just do whatever that dog in front of you does.”

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Contributor’s Note

I was first introduced to Michale Martone and his Contributors Notes in Marj Hahne’s  workshop at the IWWG Summer Conference.  After meeting Martone – in the flesh – last week at AWP I decided to try to write some of my own Contributor’s Notes.  Try it.  It’s fun.

My Contributor’s Note  images

Brenda Mantz was born many husbands ago in Kings Daughters Hospital in Norfolk. Virginia. Her mother was there too and it was the closest she ever was to her daughter. They had been inseparable for nine months and Frankie May was happy when they cut the cord. While Brenda was being born her father Virginius was at the Gloryhole sifting through plastic baskets looking for the shells with three peanuts, cramming nickels into the jukebox and drinking salted beer. Brenda once had her knuckles crushed playing shuffleboard at the Gloryhole where she excelled at finding three nutted peanuts

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I was awakened by the Snow Moon at 3:30 this morning – or it might have been heartburn from an unusually rich meal I consumed at Acadiana.  The fried green tomatoes, corn pudding and grits in combination with the full moomotivatorbb8a3309d970aac8b6df1660690478907dc392b7n kindled vivid dreams that vanished before I could record them. In a few hours I will return to the DC Convention Center for day 2 of AWP17 and expect to be overwhelmed again by the number of writers and the variety of writing programs I will encounter there.  I dream of being a writer but until recently those dreams were eclipsed by the necessity of earning a living. Retirement has opened up a world of possibilities ranging from yoga teacher training to ceramics classes.

My challenge now is to to protect my dream of being a writer from all these seductive opportunities.

What dream are you protecting today?

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Now is not forever.
Young dogs become old dogs.
Rain falls on parades.
Lies catch up with us
Memories fade
Memory fades
and the best intentions go where algebra went


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Goodbye Discovery

I didn’t see it, but all day I clicked on pictures and videos posted by my Twitter and Facebook friends. I have been fascinated by the space program since Alan Shepard became the first American in space in 1961. Ten years later I watched him hit golf balls on the moon. I must have consumed gallons of Tang after NASA used it on John Glenn’s Mercury flight. I was home sick that January day in 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight. I watched the explosion over and over and wept. Listening to WTOP on the drive home from work today I heard several eyewitnesses to today’s flyover talk about how they wept as they watched the Discovery make this last flight. I feel a sense of loss – not only for the shuttle program but for the national optimism that made it possible.


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It was a Very Good Day

Even though I knew I was okay, I was happy to see my best friend Emmy waiting for me in the parking lot of Washington Radiology Associates this morning. I was there for a re-screening after a routine mammogram showed something suspicious. Emmy kept me distracted while I waited to be called. As I lay on the table waiting for my sonogram it felt good knowing she would be waiting in the reception area regardless of the results.

Happily I had good news to share. My message here is two-fold. First, those annual screenings could save your life. We all dread them but do it anyway. Next, never underestimate how valuable the support of a good friend can be when we face things that scare us.


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Working in My Pajamas

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. I work at home on Fridays so what can go wrong? I am sitting here in my most comfortable chair, sipping coffee and returning emails…in my pajamas. Morning Joe is on. My dogs are on squirrel patrol.

I am not superstitious but I am just as happy not to drive on the Beltway today and I plan to keep things simple today. My most ambitious plans include a manicure and a trip to the grocery store.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you on Friday the 13th?


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We Are One

It’s my birthday. The first thing I did was kiss my husband then my dogs. Next I checked Facebook (doesn’t everyone?) and found that by 5:00 AM I had birthday wishes from around the world. Next I checked Twitter – my major news source – and saw scores of tweets about the Indonesian quake. I hope my “experts” are right and that the chance of tsunami are low. Birthday greetings interspersed with earthquake news remind me once again that we are one


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