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Small Beside the Ocean

July 5, 2013

The second part of my water story has been published on If you are a “follower” of this blog, would you please change, or at least add to your allegiance, my professional blog? Writings are primarily going to be posted there, from now on. Thank you!


After My Rebirth – Bali Revisited

July 3, 2013

Bet you thought you would never hear from me again! Ha!!

Another adventure in Bali is coming up in a week. I’ve started journaling about it on the “professional” blog. Please read After My Rebirth by following the link. Thanks!


Bob Kaufman – The Coffee Shop and Beat Poetry

October 16, 2012

I am still here! Really….

I am actually writing……

Please visit The Literary Traveler for my latest published article.

Thanks for checking in on me.

coexistence bagel shop north beach

The Co-Existence Bagel Shop, North Beach

What Do You Do When You Are Bored?

July 15, 2012

Life without an ongoing challenge is the enemy. Of course in the middle of busyness, relaxation is often foremost in my mind. But as soon as I have it….. BORED!

A little over a year ago I made a list. What should I do next? I felt dull, dissatisfied. I longed to do something demanding.

Hmmmmmm….. I am big on lists…..

        Bike across the continent, east to west.
        Snowshoe to the North Pole.
        Scuba dive a coral reef.
        Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
        Walk the Great Wall.

I can’t find that inventory.  I know there were a couple more ideas on it, but I don’t remember what they were. After ticking off pros and cons for each idea, I settled on one. It was actually the undertaking that posed the biggest risk for me. Is that why I chose it? That may have been  part of the reason. It was also a venture in which I could contribute something, which held priority in making the choice.

In August, I began researching volunteer organizations. It had to be an international entity, I required it be reputable and endorsed by respected people and groups, and it needed to offer the type of volunteer work I was looking for. I settled on Global Vision International. I chose to join a group monitoring the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: the Mexico Conservation Expedition.

It was a perfect fit for me. I could go for four weeks (or longer if I wanted) during the summer. The focus was coral reef preservation, which I feel is paramount for our future well-being. And it was a huge challenge, because….. I was afraid of deep water. How crazy is that?

Exploring that fear and subsequently overcoming it became the first step in the process. I asked my friend Elizabeth to hypnotize me so I could traverse my subconscious. A few little clues popped to the surface, which we talked about and I journaled and meditated over. I also went to work in the swimming pool. I joined a club with a beautiful large pool that uses an ozone filter system instead of chlorine, so my skin, hair and overall health were not jeopardized.  I was going to be spending a lot of time in the water!

I began by standing on the ledge in the deep end (twelve feet) and putting my goggled eyes under the water, staring at the bottom for as long as I could.  That started out to be for about ten or fifteen seconds before I had to look away, panic bubbles rising in my chest.

Breakthroughs came, however. I swam four or five times a week.  I took six private swim lessons between September and January. I completed the on-line PADI diving certification course. I finished the pool, outdoor classes, and diving requirements, receiving my Open Water Certification in early June. I purchased all the necessary equipment. I have gone out on a few fun dives with my group from Underwater Connection.  Next week I am taking the PADI underwater photography class with them.

In less than two weeks I leave for Mexico. I am a little anxious and very excited!

The Adorable Teagan is Back!

July 8, 2012

She is two years and four months old.  The terrible two’s….. well, not terrible, but definitely opinionated!

“Hi Mommy!”


As we ride down the street on our bicycle, we spot a group of Harley bikers quaffing drinks at a street-side beer garden.
“Look Nana, pirates!  Where is their parrot?”


Riding the bike another day.
“Nana, I’m frustrated.”
With what?
“This bike.”
“My head itches under this helmet!”


Skyping with her Uncle Derek in California is a weekly event.  He likes to teach her how to make fake burp noises and he puts on silly faces for her.
“You are being ridiculous Uncle Dada.”


Teagan, it’s not nice to hit other children on the slide.  If you continue to do that, we will have to go home.
“No.  I want to hit them.”
“Because I want to.”


It’s time for bed Teagan.
“No.  I’m not ready yet.  One more book.  Pleeeaaase!?!?”
Who could resist?


Who is in this picture with you Teagan?
“My Princess Ariel.”


Who’s loud??


“Nana, are you home?  You’re home!”
Yes, Teagan, I’m home.
“I’m home too!”


Who are you today, Teagan?
“I’m an apple.”
“I’m estrellita.” (little star)
“I’m Super Reader!”
“I’m a frog.”
“I’m Cinderella.”
“I’m a princess.”
“I’m a BIG girl.”
“I’m a monkey.”
That’s for sure!!

Before My Rebirth

June 21, 2012

The Liquid Sparkled
Edmund Dulac
from The Little Mermaid

The thin grass strings of the ghost net were wrapped securely around my right wrist. As soon as I realized what had happened, I began to struggle. That only pulled it tighter. The lines were made strong to entrap the mahi mahi.  I had dropped the knife from my belt, swimming down to grab the immense oyster lying on the sand, under the net that I hadn’t noticed in my eagerness. The mollusk was the size of both of my hands spread out, and I could picture the pearl in the middle, as big as my thumb. In the center of that luminous pearl, a tiny grain of sand. This, my last pearl, had quickened my karma.

My knife lay next to a magnificent, lavender sponge.  Too far, I couldn’t even reach it with my foot. The needlefish nosing around it was of no danger to me now. I settled gently next to a huge fan coral that waved gracefully in the current.  A few small blue tang paused next to me.  Blue body, yellow fins, dark faces peering inquisitively. The school grew larger and encircled me. My wake.

Letting the last of the air out of my lungs, I watched the small silvery bubbles’ rushing and jostling ascent to the surface and the sun that wavered far above.  When I inhaled again, the water felt familiar in my lungs. I was back in my mother’s womb: part of the sea, the coral, and the tangs dancing around me. I found their dance and embraced it.

Cappuccino in Florence: It Doesn’t Get Better

September 6, 2011

The weather was gorgeous, the city was old and beautiful, and the lovely Sinead and I enjoyed cappuccino whenever the opportunity presented itself!

The Continued Tale of Das Boot

August 18, 2011

Das Boot made it to the top of the hill at Boboli Gardens!



Das Boot thought the view of Florence was grand from up there.



Having tried an Italian bus, Das Boot decided to ride the rails next.



To be continued…

A Day in the Life of Das Boot: Italia

August 14, 2011

Das Boot about to enter the Boboli Gardens in Florence



Das Boot riding the bus through the Tuscan countryside



Das Boot admiring the olive groves and the Siena countryside



Das Boot in reception at Palazzo di Valli, Siena



To be continued…..

British chap + Spanish explorer, sprinkle with rain and voila: Vancouver

August 4, 2011

The plan was: Amtrak train to Vancouver, Canada and then fly home a week later.  Cheapoair set up my return travel.

Rain! And more rain!  The tracks were flooded and the train was cancelled.  I stood at the check in counter at the train station with my mouth hanging open for a good sixty seconds. Who would have thought……  There was no way I was going to miss this long planned adventure, however.  I called Cheapoair as soon as I arrived back home, and had immediate success in getting a flight out the next day.

View from The Lookout

I quickly discovered that Vancouver is probably one of the most wonderful cities in North America.  Great weather… it was in the upper 60’s the whole week I was there, in late June.  A little rain early in the morning, and then sun.  Public transport was so easy to navigate and I could get wherever I wanted to go.  Food was fabulous.  You can choose from any ethnic menu imaginable, or go for an organic salad at the little corner bistro.  If you like good coffee, which is one of my favorite things, I found this was a great city to sit in a café and watch the world walk by.

Live volcano…. not spouting off today!

I didn’t get to half of the activities on my list, because every day my list grew. On my first afternoon in town, I saw floatplanes landing and taking off from the harbor. It looked like incredible fun, so I signed on and took a tour up the coastline, flying over mountains, glaciers and snow covered peaks.  That was exciting!  The next day I jumped on a shuttle bus from downtown to the southwest coast of Vancouver, and took a boat trip to watch killer whales.  Wow – incredible is an understatement!

View of Vancouver from a bike in Stanley Park

There were open-air markets, shopping, a comfortable and clean B & B, a wonderful public library, art and history museums, and gorgeous gardens. Everything and even more than I expected to find.

More stories to follow, but I am packing for Italy right now.  (Believe it or not, I broke my foot…. Frankenboot travels to Italy, too.)