Monday, April 9, 2018


Public Service Announcement:

I got my condo and will be moving to ABQ on the 20th April, closing down there on the 23. Possibly a post next Monday, none the Monday after that, but Auntie Lenora will be back, never fear ;-) 

Fry bread, red chili, sunshine, and warmth—here I come, ready or not!

No, I'm not bored. Really. However, the other day while waiting in a neighborhood restaurant for friends to arrive, I overheard two women in the booth behind me talking. More to the point, I overheard one. Her voice was loud enough my hearing aids picked it up. I'm guessing she faced the back of my head. I didn't hear the other lady, who probably sat with her back to me – or was too shocked to speak.

When I came in, I noticed them, and they seemed to be about my age, well dressed, and mature (is that the right word?). Well, they looked to be about my age, but one, the one I could hear, was really a child in disguise. She whined. She sighed. And she stated how rough her life was, how poor she was, how broke she was, how old she was, how bored she was, and oh woe, woe, woe. (Woe to me! for being forced to listen!!) Sigh. 

I was shocked. Shocked, I say! Had that woman never learned that boredom is a choice? Her choice? Poor thing, she must have driven her mother mad as a child, whining for someone to "fix" her unhappy state instead of doing it herself. As I sat there, an unwilling participant in the discussion, I started thinking--always dangerous for me. Anyhow, how old were my kids the last time they whined they were bored? Six? Seven? Maybe five? The poor girl-woman behind me must have been raised in a home filled with Poor Pitiful People unable to do for themselves, let alone teach others to do for themselves.

For that matter, I can't remember the last time I was bored. Admittedly, I am a bit of an odd duck, but surely not that odd. True, I live with hundreds of people residing in my skull (no, I'm not psychotic, I'm a writer; they're characters) who are lots of fun to converse with. My home is filled to the rafters with books, most of which I've read. Well, at the moment they're in boxes ready to move to ABQ. However, my phone and my eReader are also loaded with books, not to mention the other half of my bed. And there are fat squirrels outside my window to watch. Mostly I watch them, but now and then one or two watch me through the window. And the birds are building nests. There are always quilts to make (yes, my sewing machine is packed, but I know how to thread a needle and poke it into and out of fabric), pictures to photograph or paint, trips to take from the comfort of my sofa. Not to mention poems and stories to write, tv to watch. And did I mention I read a lot of books and have been known to now and then to text (not tweet)? Oh, and I dream. Dreams are important, not just when asleep, but also when awake. And sometimes, I just love to sit with a cuppa and watch the world go by. When would I ever have time to be bored???

Truly, I cannot understand why anyone older than six or seven would choose to be bored. Have they no imagination? No room to clean? No dishes to wash? No laundry to take care of? No puppy to pet? However, you'll be proud of me. At least I hope you will. I did not turn around and tell Poor Pitiful Person that if her life was truly that bad, if she was truly that bored, why didn't she just end it? No, I remembered in time that I had not walked a single step in her shoes, and mercy of mercies, my friends arrived and saved me from making a disastrous social faux pas in a nice restaurant.

Oh, the last thing I heard her say to her friend as they got up to leave, "I'll get this. Lunch is on me."


Boycott Head-Banging Sports
Save Brains
Save Lives

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."  --Brian Tracy
Read more at:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Auntie Lenora is Somewhat, Albeit Happily, Frazzled!

Since the last post, when the unethical real estate agent who wanted to buy Auntie Lenora's condo with her children backed out of the contract, someone else came along, made an offer, and Auntie Lenora's closing date for her Kennewick Condo is 20 Apr! Yes, it's fast, but it's a cash deal, so sometime within the next 3 weeks, Auntie Lenora is moving!!! Yaaaaayyyyyy for her team!

See Auntie Lenora do her Happy Dance here.

Which means, she may not be as punctual in posting. If she doesn't post anything until after she's moved, do not panic; assume that no news is good news ;-)

When the gal backed out of the contract, Auntie Lenora's agent from ABQ (aka Albuquerque, but Auntie Lenora can't spell that) called and told her not to worry, that she would sell it during the weekend, by Tuesday at the latest. She assured Auntie Lenora she was very intuitive about those things. Yeah. Right. And Auntie Lenora looks like a penguin. 

Saturday came – no lookers; Sunday  – came and still no lookers; Monday came and though there were no lookers an agent who had shown it before called and wanted to show it to an out of town buyer at 5pm on Tuesday. He spent 30 minutes looking at it. Wednesday he made an offer, Auntie Lenora countered, and on Thursday he accepted the counter! 

Auntie Lenora is heading to ABQ!!!! And fry bread. And red chili. And her sister of choice, Kitty. And it looks like she's going to get the condo of her dreams ;-) Can you tell she's happy? (For a refresher, go here.

Can you tell she still has lots to do before she leaves?

Do you want to come help????

At any rate, she may, or may not be posting, and just wants you to know why she isn't if she doesn't.

Auntie Lenora is ready for ABQ! Is ABQ ready for Auntie Lenora?????


Boycott Football.
Save Brains.
Save Lives.

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." –Helen Keller

Monday, March 26, 2018

Auntie Lenora's Guide to Home Shopping

Can you tell what Auntie Lenora is doing? Yes. Home shopping. She doesn't mean shopping from home, she means shopping for a new home and selling the current one!

Here are some things she thinks you may find of interest should you be in the home shopping department.

1. Get pre-qualified for a loan. Have a pre-qual letter to give to your Real Estate Agent. This serves a couple of purposes. It lets you know what you can realistically afford so when you go home shopping you won't put on your rose-colored glasses. It's very frustrating for you as a potential buyer to find the perfect $1M house, make an offer, and discover you can only afford $100,000 home. It's also very frustrating for the seller who thinks they had a live offer. In fact, if your realtor doesn't ask you to get pre-qualified, get a different realtor! (Auntie Lenora has just gone through 3 offers, one with a pre-qual on half the borrowers but not the whole, and guess what? They all fell through.) Ask your realtor to put a statement in the ads that offers will be only be entertained/accepted from those who have a pre-qualification letter.

2. Find a Realtor you connect with, one who doesn't insist you belong in that cute little house with the big yard, when you want a larger condo and no yard. It's OK to shop for a realtor, as well as a home. And make sure your realtor will be working for YOU, not the seller.

3. Fees are pretty well set in every state. Find out what they are up front. What will it cost you to move into your new home? What will it cost you to sell yours?

4. Before you start, make some lists. Auntie Lenora recommends you make 3 columns – Gotta Have / Wanna Have / Not Just No! (But Heck No!). We all have those little things called 'deal-breakers' and 'deal-makers.' Auntie Lenora doesn't care how perfect the house is, but if she opens the front door and has to make a decision whether to go upstairs or down, it's out. Nope. Nada. Deal Breaker. She's too old to be forced into those management-level decisions. She also doesn't want to climb stairs from her garage to her kitchen. After all, groceries and wine are heavy enough on their own.

On the other hand, She really wants a garage. Preferably a 2-car garage, but a garage. She'd love to have the home all on one floor, but she can deal with stairs, as long as they aren't between the garage and the kitchen. AND she'd prefer the garage open to the kitchen, and not be at the other end of the house. That's a Wanna Have. She's lived with worse.

So her list looked sort of like this:

Gotta Have
Wanna Have
Not Just No!

one level
split level entry
3+ bedrooms
gas f/p, heat, stove, H2O
gated community
no carpet

pull-outs under counters

family oriented
swimming pool

personal patio boy

pool boy

OK, you get the idea. Obviously, it has to be in her price range, remember, the word Mortgage means Hand of Death (or Death Hand).

5. If you are moving to a place with a lot of gray, gloomy, dark, wet weather do your best to go home hunting on yucky days. If the house looks cheerful on a cruddy day, it will be marvelous when the sun shines. If you must shop on a sunny day, make sure it's really, Really, REALLY cheerful, because when the clouds roll in (and they will) you want it to be as happy inside as possible.

6. Call different movers. Get good faith WAGs (wild a** guesstimates) as to how much it will cost to ship stuff. Ask them about things—is it cheaper to ship your cast iron four-poster bed, or replace it? Pack it yourself. And pack tight (see Auntie Lenora's Helpful Tips for Moving Across the Country With a Cat) (Auntie Lenora does tend to like long titles, doesn't she?) AND leave those heavy appliances. You'll spend more on moving costs than replacement costs. You don't really need to ask Auntie Lenora how she discovered that, do you? Don't move your desk chair – it will get trashed, and they aren't that expensive. Move your beds—at least the springs and mattresses, maybe not the cast iron part, your sofa, but maybe not the side chairs unless you just have to have them for whatever reason. 

7. If you have the opportunity to get out and meet your new neighbors, at least some of them, prior to buying, do so. Are they friendly? What do they think of the kids who obviously live near?

A lot of you who are close to Auntie Lenora in age may think you want to live in a community peopled only with old farts and fartesses. And that's fine. But having the youngsters around will help keep you young. Yeah, they can be noisy, but that's called youth and good health, and the little ones will someday grow up to be your doctor, your nurse, and pay into Social Security. If they are too obnoxious, they can be braised with spices and vegetables, or slow roasted on a spit over the BBQ until crispy. Serve with salad and ice cream for dessert.

Auntie Lenora has read several articles that yes, people think they feel safer in gated communities but they tend to stay in them and seldom venture out where they don't have that perceived sense of safety. And, Auntie Lenora isn't all that convinced they are that much safer. Too many people have the codes to get in—friends, delivery people, ex-residents, teenagers who like to hack, etc.

8. Auntie Lenora strongly suggests you check out the area around your dream home. Are the homes well maintained? Is there a Trader Joe's within walking distance? If you awaken one morning and the snow is so deep you can't find your car, can you walk to a Starbucks? Can you walk to a grocery and back? Check out the local restaurants.

So, what did Auntie Lenora buy? A two-story condo. See Why I Posted Late Last Time (Hint: It's not political). At least she thinks she's bought it. They accepted her offer and she has accepted an offer to buy her current home (well, she did make a couple of changes to the offer and is waiting to see what happens on that. -- And what happened is the Realtor/buyer lied, and backed out of the contract. Better now than later. All buyers were NOT prequalified, even though Realtor said they were. So, Auntie Lenora is back to square one.) The view from her new condo if she ever gets it and moves in, is of a lovely park, and from the clubhouse of the nearby mountains. The new home is both pet and family friendly. Auntie Lenora may get another dog when she gets moved and settled. She may get another cat. And she for sure plans for a Patio Boy to keep her patio swept, etc. Auntie Lenora likes the etc.


Boycott Football.
Save Brains.
Save Lives.

"Your right to [assault] rifles. My right to life. Choose."
–Lucia Smith, age 6 [bracket phrase is mine, Lenora]

Monday, March 19, 2018

Will They Prevail? I Think So

It was very interesting watching the student school-walkouts last week in protest of our gun laws, or rather lack thereof. And listening to the adults, especially those who look down their NRA noses at those students.

These kids are Millennials. Some are already registered to vote and plan on voting. The others will soon join them. They will not forget. They will, I think, Vote the NRA Bums Out!

I hope they go on to college and enter politics when they graduate. I truly believe these students are the hope of our country. And I truly believe the NRA and their sycophant politicians had best listen up and pay attention!

There will be a price the students who walked out of school will pay. They know that and say that there must be a price to pay for civil disobedience or it is worthless. They know. They understand. They are educated. They are our hope.

The politicians will pay a price, too. Their days of power are numbered.

None of the students I've seen interviewed have said anything about abolishing, or even curtailing, the Second Amendment. They want common sense gun control and see no reason for military assault killing machines to be in the hands of civilians. That is NOT a curtailment of your rights. It jolly well might be a curtailment of your wants, but not your rights.

One of the things I find so sad, beyond the loss of life, and the grief suffered by many, is the fact the NRA used to stand up for gun safety and advocate for common sense gun laws. But over the years, they have risen to the maxim that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They have become, or at least my perception is that they have become, far more interested in power than in safety and the saving of lives. There was a time when I considered joining the NRA in years past. Alas, those days are long gone.

In case you were out of the country, or in your bomb shelter the past week, here are a couple of links you might find of interest:

Articles on the protest marches:

What an AR-15 Can Do To The Human Body (no gory photos):

Watch the video of what happens when shot with an M16. Don't worry, no gore. They use ballistic gel:

And for a real education watch this video where a doctor talks about gunshot wounds. It's 34 minutes long, so get a cuppa. It's worth watching. There are some actual gunshot photos in here, but you get a warning. Suck it up. WATCH! Why is it we need ARs? Huh? If you're a writer, you gotta watch this! The last 10 minutes or so is medical info for the students, but still pretty interesting.

Handgun wounds: 6 out of 7 survive their injuries! There is a difference between a handgun wound and an AR wound.

Handguns have low penetration; death most likely to hemorrhage.

A bullet from an AR tumbles and 'shreds' soft tissue/organs and obliterates bones. ARs are Weapons of War. Period.


For those of you in the Tri-Cities area, on March 24, between 11am and 3pm, there will be a plethora of local authors including (cue the drum roll) yours truly, at the Kennewick Barnes & Noble. Y'all come by. Meet some local authors. It's ok to feed the authors, most are starving, and they love cookies and chocolate and coffee. Oh, and buy a book or three, or four or more. Bring your friends and encourage them to buy books, too. Once you've bought your books, the authors will be more than happy to sign them. Books make great gifts, and graduations are a comin' as are Christmas and any number of holidays. Books keep. Read it carefully then give it.


Boycott Football.
Boycott the NRA and the Asshat Politicians they support.
Save Brains.
Save Lives.

...and remember, when the swamp drains, there's a plethora of 'gators and gallons of ooey gooey stinky swamp slime to clean...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Why I Posted Late Last Time (Hint: It's not political)

The reason I posted the last blog late is I was in Albuquerque NM, aka ABQ! Monday morning (my usual posting time) was spent inspecting the condo on which I have made an offer, contingent to selling the one in which I currently reside. I offered, they accepted. Now, if I can just sell this place before someone else goes in and makes a non-contingent offer and aces me out.

Wanna see the new home? The hoped-for new home?

If this link doesn't work, the address is 45 Westlake Dr NE, ABQ, so google it.

If the backsplash in the kitchen makes you dizzy, it's the camera making Moiré patterns where none exist.

Have had several viewings on my place, Oh, you wanna see current residence? It's here: I know you all know that I'm numbers challenged, and I thought I'd downsize from my 1478 square foot condo to a smaller one of 1800 square feet. Neat, huh?

I left Kennewick on Wednesday last week, was in Belen NM (about 30 miles south of ABQ) Thursday afternoon. Friday I went house hunting, walked into the condo and knew it was the one. Made an offer. Waited through the weekend, went on the inspection first thing Monday morning, left when it was over, at 12.30 pm and was home the next afternoon at 4.30 – 2650 miles on my new little car.

If you're at all interested in moving to the ABQ area, I heartily recommend a terrific realtor, Natalie Arndt. She's wonderful. Contact me for her information.

On the way home, I stopped off in Cuba NM for fry bread and walked into, or out of, my own Twilight Zone. For years when I've gone through Cuba, I've stopped at this funky little service station at the eastern edge of town, across the highway from the Cuban Cafe, which serves marvelous food. Wrote a poem about it, Pilgrimage to Cuba, New Mexico. Dark, funky, a mechanics shop from the sound of it out back, and the best fry bread this side of Canyon de Chelly. It wasn't there. Oh, the building was there, but not the funky place. I kept on driving, and about halfway through town came to the Chaco Grill. Since they had gas pumps, I pulled in and gassed Big Red to the gills, and went in to pay and discovered they had fry bread, so placed my order. I swear the guy who made the fry bread was the same guy from the other place. I asked about the other place, the funky place—IT NEVER EXISTED! Only in my wee, tiny, pea-sized poetic mind. Sigh. (Cue the weird music and Rod Serling's grin.)


For those of you in the Tri-Cities area, on March 24, between 11am and 3pm, there will be a plethora of local authors including (cue the drum roll) yours truly, at the Kennewick Barnes & Noble. Y'all come by. Meet some local authors. It's ok to feed the authors, most are starving, and they love cookies and chocolate. Oh, and buy a book or three, or four or more. Bring your friends and encourage them to buy books, too. Once you've bought your books, the authors will be more than happy to sign them. Books make great gifts, and graduations are getting close.


Boycott Football.
Boycott the NRA and the Asshat Politicians they support.
Save Brains.
Save Lives.

...and remember, when the swamp drains, there's a plethora of 'gators and gallons of ooey gooey stinky swamp slime to clean...