Drum Roll Please….Today’s Word is “In”


The word carefully chosen from the bowl i…IN.


Originally posted on Dueling Laptops:

maxine in love

Only Fools Fall “In” Love by Her

I did a little research before writing this as I was curious what the “experts” say you need in order to be “in” love rather than “to” just love. According to Aish.com, you need to:

  • Have “us” time
  • Connect through the day
  • Give appreciation
  • Try new things
  • Praise your spouse’s physical appearance
  • Make your spouse laugh

Have “us” time

Hmmm…our “us” time during the week consists of a quick kiss and “love you” right before I walk out the door to go to work. Total “us” time = 15 seconds.

Connect through the day

We talk on the phone at lunch if I don’t have a meeting. He gives me the daily report – Did our older dog Izzy eat? Did either or both dogs poop? What he did after he got up and before he called. He then asks me how my…

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I will share one of the pieces I wrote while in Camas, Washington at my TLC Women’s Writing Retreat. We went on a field trip yesterday to an antique store and we were asked to take a few pictures of anything that might be used as a writing prompt. I wandered the store snapping a few shots and then I found my inspiration. This story goes back to a great time in my life somewhere around 1994-95. Matt and I were living in our apartment on North 12th Street and this is the story of a most unusual morning. 

The day Bob entered our lives started no different than any other day for this single mom and her 13-year old son. The alarm went off and I hit the snooze the obligatory three times and finally got up in a rush to get my son to see the light of day. As I searched for what dazzling outfit I would wear to work, I began to silently kick myself for not taking the clothes out of the dryer the night before. Yes indeed, most of our socks and underwear were in fact sitting at the bottom of the dryer drum waiting to be rescued.

I spent an extra minute or two in the bathroom hoping that Matt would come out and ask where the clean clothesbasket was, but to no avail. I was going to have to go down to the bowels of our 75-year old house, fighting spider webs and imaginary goblins, and empty the dryer.

Flipping on the light, I made my way down the stairs. Sitting ominously at the bottom of the stairs was our washer and dryer. I shimmed between the stair rail and the washer, scratching my butt on the resident coca cola bottle opener which was nailed right below the rail, and stood in front of the dryer. I grabbed the ratty old clothesbasket which only had support on one side and opened up the dryer. Immediately, something flew out at me.

“Ahhhhhh,” I screamed as my heart jumped into my throat. “Maaaatt,” I opened my mouth to yell but no sound came out.

I ran up the stairs and slammed the basement door shut. My son was standing in the middle of the kitchen scratching whatever it is that boys scratch and turned to look at me.

“Whaaaat’s up?” he drawled in that sort of annoying way that only teenagers can utter that instantly irritate their moms.

“There’s, there’s, there’s something in the basement,” I stuttered in a panic-strickened voice.

“What?” he questioned. “My clean underwear?”

“No, no, no, I think it’s a bat, or a huge bug or pteradyctl. Go down there and kill it.”

My son, similar to me, was not brave. He no more wanted to go downstairs than I did, but with some unknown act of bravery within him, he cautiously approached the basement steps. I followed behind and as he made his way down the steps, I closed the basement door all but an inch or two and watched him make his descent. I heard shaking and crackles and suddenly I saw him racing back up the stairs. I quickly opened the door and once through, I slammed it shut.

“Mom,” he said. “There’s a crow sitting on the basement window sill. I can’t kill him. He’s bigger than me!” We looked at each other with wheels obviously turning to come up with a solution to remove the crow from the basement.

“There’s too much crap downstairs for me to be able to get at him,” Matt stated. “We have to get him up here.”

“Up here?” I moaned. “No, not up here.”

Suddenly Matt’s eyes lit up and he said, “Let’s nail a sheet between the dining room and kitchen doorway and close all the other doors except the one to the back porch. I will then gently push him with my tennis racket out the door.” “Mom,” he continued. “We will call him Bob. Bob the Bird. He is our friend.”

So we took on this mission to save Bob the Bird from our basement and return him to the wild. I grabbed the top sheet off my bed while Matt retrieved the small step stool from the back closet. We worked as a team preparing the bird sanctuary from which Bob would graciously spread his wings and await Matt’s gentle tennis racket urging to head for the great outdoors.

We walked with determination toward the basement steps. Matt, armed with a tennis racket and a beach towel, awaited the opening of the door. With great trepidation, I gently turned the doorknob and pulled. Bob was waiting for us at the top of the steps and sailed into the kitchen. I screamed and ran into the bathroom but saw Matt throw himself to the floor.

“Mmmmmattt,” I eeked. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, Mom. Just stay put,” he commanded. I could hear swooshing and an occasional, “Come on Bob” from outside the bathroom door. Finally I heard the screen door close and I inched my way out of the bathroom. I peered around the kitchen and saw the tennis racket lying on the floor in the middle of the room. Turning toward the back porch, I looked out and saw my son sitting on the back steps with a towel draped across his knees.

“You got him, huh?” I asked.

“Yeah, I got him.”

“Did you have to hurt him?” I questioned.

“No, I threw the towel over him when he landed on the table sort of wrapped him in it and then let him go once I got outside and he flew away. I was gentle.”

We sat there side-by-side, shoulders touching, for a while just looking around. Finally, Matt stood up and looked at me. “Mom,” he said kind of forlornly. “I’m going to miss Bob.”

I looked at him and smiled, “Me too, honey. Me too.”




Our latest offering…

Originally posted on Dueling Laptops:

The word of the day is “light”. One might think after reading our offerings that we have absolutely nothing in common. This would not be far from the truth! Enjoy!



There I was, routinely guiding my Parrot Bebop over a nearby-enchanted forest, intensely watching the camera feed on my battered laptop, and there he was! Clearly visible in a small clearing, unmistakable, a dragon!

I jumped into my red Nissan Juke, the Ruby Rocket, and sped to the location. Surprised to be discovered, he was hostile, at first. After much cajoling and whining on my part, he reluctantly agreed to an interview. A lifelong dream realized!

Me: Thanks for agreeing to this, Mr. Dragon. I’m a big fan.

Dragon: My first impulse was to burn you to a crisp, but my race has a longstanding tradition of watching over humans — the good and the stupid ones, anyway. Besides, people…

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The latest in the word bowl series!

Originally posted on Dueling Laptops:

Our latest bowl word is “cane.” I’m fairly certain that I came up with the word and have silently cursed myself since Richard picked it from the word bowl. Other than my short use of one during my recent knee replacement, I’ve had little experience with a cane. We had to think long and hard on this one!

The first effort, my husband’s, is purely a work of fiction. Mine is a memoir. 


I sit in my father’s hospice room. I have been there, off and on, for days, maybe weeks. After a while, it all runs together. It has been a long vigil, too long to be exact.

It is a deathwatch for an only child. My father is terminally ill, and he has decided to die. He has stopped taking his medications. He has stopped eating. His organs, the doctors say, are shutting down. The time will come…

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12 things I’ve learned in nearly12 years of marriage as we are about to celebrate our wedding anniversary


Anniversary is the word! With our 12th quickly approaching, we explored what we’ve learned about each other and life since tying the knot!

Originally posted on Dueling Laptops:

  1. I’ve learned that men just poop more than women and they take their sweet natured time about completing the action.

Not only do men poop more, but they are unable to carry out the mission without words…written words. I’ve seen my husband scrounging the house for something to read when the month is drawing near the end and he’s gone through the multitude of magazines that he subscribes to and houses in his bathroom. I can see his mental struggle when he has to choose between my Oprah magazine or the back of a cereal box for possible reading material.

I order two magazines and very seldom get through either of them. As a practical matter, I poop once a day and do not dally about. I get in and out. I do not read. I poop and leave the premises once my mission has been accomplished. I can think…

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The latest installment of Dueling Laptops – present (is in now), present (as in here it is), present (as in show me the gifts)…where did they take it????

Originally posted on Dueling Laptops:



The present is that infinitely small slice of the space-time continuum in which I travel. Behind and ahead of me stretch the infinite past and the future.

The size of my now cannot be measured. Scientists have put numbers on how long the continuum has been and will be. Perhaps that gives them comfort.

I have been present throughout my timeline. To simply be present does not differ from being absent. I must be actively present if I am to steer my line, even imperceptibly outward or inward, as I move forward through time.

My infinitesimally small bubble of present must be expanded to include those who lines intersect mine. To not do so is to deny those who would add meaning to my life.

My timeline is a present from the Universe. When it ends, I will present myself to the Universal Mind and hope to not be…

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