Follow by Email

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Overjoyed, Overwintered, Overlooked


to finally show you my



Three exclamation marks are totally justified.

Because of the pandemic I couldn't buy new tulips in a crowded store, nor hire our usual gardener to plant them. These are the overwintered tulips from last year. (Thanks, Anthony, for doing such a good job last May.) We've had two snows and frosty nights since the leaves first emerged, and I only weeded and watered. I don't really know what I'm doing. But...


They don't care whether there's a pandemic.
They don't care whether a professional gardener takes care of them.
It's Spring.

They weren't going to miss their party for anything.

Yesterday, May 13, was Stevie Wonder's 70th birthday,

which I seem to have temporarily


Happy birthday to ya, Stevie, and many more!

Stevie is OVERJOYED, too.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Younger Barb,

Keep your diary. You'll be a writer eventually and you'll regret throwing it away.

Your father is wrong about the Beatles, but he is right about almost everything else.

You can do math despite your grades. You just find it boring.

Even the worst experience and the meanest people can be writing material.

Travel as much as you can while you still have your health.

Take more photos of your family and friends. Keep printed photos. Don't put important memories exclusively onto technology that will disappear.

Keep paper copies of all your writing. One day floppy disks will be unusable.

You'll go on a lot of blind dates. Most will be okay, a few good, one horrid-but-hilarious (good material!), and you'll hit the jackpot with one.

The blind date experience is also good practice for writing query letters. Keep submitting.

Keep up your fitness routine. But avoid the high-impact stuff (jogging, skipping, step aerobics) and protect your knees.



Friday, January 24, 2020

Happy Lunar New Year!

The Year of the Rat begins on January 24.

According to the Chinese New Year horoscope for my sign, I will be travelling a lot this year. Unfortunately, no, this isn't true. But I do enjoy looking at travel photos, both my own and other people's. It also says I will have good health this year. And that is the best news, because if you have health you have everything you need. M's horoscope also says he'll have good health, so we're all set.

A live artist installation painting in my local mall. 
The two artists aren't credited.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Happy 2020!

For the first time in many years, we had a quiet New Year's Eve at home.

Our friends didn't have their usual party. That's okay. Schlepping out in potentially dicey weather on slippery sidewalks isn't for us anymore. So we ordered pizza (a new tradition) and had my chocolate pots de creme (our old tradition).

2020 starts a new decade (although there are people who think it starts next year).

Here are some things I accomplished in the past decade.

- sold our house

- moved to a condo and decorated it

- sold a piano after much angst, and got a poem out of the experience

- gave away too many books before moving

- rebought a lot of those books

- turned a closet into a hidden bookcase

- helped Echo live his senior doggy years waggingly in a one-level home before he passed away in 2016

- attended two writing workshops and learned lots

- wrote and self-published a poetry book, which involved hiring a proofreader, choosing a logo, choosing a cover design, learning how to format, and starting a business

- moderated a writers' forum (Verla Kay/SCBWI)

- had nine wonderful healthy years with my husband

- went to Holland with him to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary

- spent one year supporting him through some health challenges

- had a humorous article published in The Toronto Star

- improved my fitness (bought a Fitbit which motivated me to exercise regularly, eat better and lose some weight)

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Rhyming Poetry Challenge

A friend wished me
Happy Hanukkah
and joked that the reason
there are so few Hanukkah songs
is that nothing rhymes with "menorah."

She's right. But I couldn't resist the challenge.

Hanukkah means bupkas
A blip in the Torah.

If it weren't for Christmas
We might just ignorah.

So spin that dreidel
Light that menorah.

Eat latkas and chocolate
And dance the horah.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Rules for Snow

You are a snowflake, thinking of visiting my city.

Here are The Rules for Snow.

1. No significant snow before December 24.

2. Light flaking that melts on contact is permissible.

3. Snow may fall from December 24 to December 26 only. This is your big opportunity. Have at it.

4. All snow must melt by December 27.

5. For the new year, see Rule #1.