Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Slugs

Head on out to Muir Woods on a rainy day. Bask in the glory of the redwoods above and the banana slugs below. 
Banana slugs live along the Pacific coast, all the way up to Alaska.  
They are the second largest slug in the world. The Ash Black Slug is the largest.  

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Middles

Another writing assignment.  Won't tell you the prompt because it was even weirder than the last one, but the results work out in the end, so I'll just keep doing my best and forget the rest.  

Back Home Again In Indiana

Lee Heffernan

search the shelves at Moonstone for reddish carnelian, good for creativity

find it buy it put it in the bowl with K2 Jasper

hold it cold and smooth until writing appears



Zippy runs after the fawn in the backyard

Bluejay chases a redtailed hawk

hippos kill over five hundred people yearly



potato salad for breakfast and lunch

worked on Spelling Bee but could not seal the deal

you brought me a cup of tea after my nap



They told Trump it was illegal to overturn the election

Trump doesn't care what anyone says

No one told Trump about the laws of our country



Displeased about potato salad for breakfast and lunch

Some foods must be eaten until gone

cubes of soylent green for dinner 



first date in the coffee shop 

couple talks about hair styles

groom drinks ice wine at the wedding

bride plays corn hole with brother-in-law

they argue later about custody of  the cats 



Rabbit hops up the back steps

deer walk down the road

animals took over during your time away



at the library a man calls out for 911

toddler wails over stolen car on play rug 

i'm here to buy used magazines

four for a dollar

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Coffee Shop

2 Cuties: Nancer and KR

 In a wide open nearly empty coffee shop, a young couple decided to sit right next to my table, plopping down in two purple comfy chairs.  I understood the appeal of the chairs, but honestly, let's talk about personal space.  While I was working hard on drawing strawberries and potatoes in my writer's notebook, these 2 went on and on about trivialities like hair color and how everyone in the world should wear a baseball cap at all times. Then one said, "When I was a kid, I was a second degree black belt."  And the other one said that she too was a second degree blackbelt in her youth, but she "lost her passion for taekwondo."  Turns out they both lost their passion for taekwondo, which is pretty sad when you think about it.  

Right after the youngsters left the premises, the internet shut down and a message appeared on my screen telling me that I would have to buy another beverage to use the wifi. They only give people one hour per purchase.  Weirdly, Husbandman didn't think that was excessive. Really?  Every hour I have to buy another beverage?  Seriously.  I'm boycotting them for awhile.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Drumming Circles

 The wedding set me back a bit on my writing class.  I'm not pointing fingers, but R and K... please never get married again. 

The prompt was kind of odd this week.  Take something from your writer's notebook and turn it into a poem or story.  (I chose story).  Then pick 3 or 4 words from your piece.  Look up these words in the NYT archives, choosing dates close to when you actually wrote the piece.  Cull some sentences or phrases from the archived articles to put into your piece.  


Anyway, it worked out okay.  Here's a story you should read if you feel like it.

Drumming Circles

by Lee Heffernan


            Mildred Gravier and her maltipoo Belle heard the drumming in Congo Square from blocks away.   When they reached the square, Mildred sighed. Under her favorite live oak, a circle of drumming, field tripping children pounded out a racket of rhythms.  Their teacher danced outside the circle, tapping shoulders and shouting vague encouragement like, "Yes!" and "Feel it!"  

            "This must be that social emotional learning nonsense we've read about," Mildred muttered to Belle.


            Mildred's usual bench was covered with a line of backpacks, so she stood watching the lead drummer, a man wearing a shirt patterned with bright red and yellow leaves, steering the music like a captain. Mildred didn't know how he signaled beat shifts, but every few moments rhythms from the children's drums broke loose and took off in new directions. Mildred shouted to the teacher, "Can some of these backpacks be moved? Benches are for sitting." The teacher smiled and danced over to make a spot for Mildred.   


            Mildred lifted Belle to her lap, stroking her fur. Once Belle settled, Mildred held up her phone to make a recording. Her crafting club would appreciate this clear proof of woke indoctrination and waste of taxpayer dollars, but before she could click the red dot, the teacher bee-lined toward her, shaking her finger in the air, displaying the universal sign of No, No, No.  Mildred's eyes narrowed, but she dropped the phone back into her sweater pocket.  The children paid Mildred no mind.  Their eyes were focused.  Their hands kept drumming.  


            Belle barked when figures from the bronze sculpture in the center of Congo Square caught the energy.  Stepping off the platform, they danced and sang their way to the circle. Mildred held Belle in her arms, seething at the impertinence of these strange, out of place, figures, but the astonished drummers widened their circle, their lineages intertwined. The drumming grew louder. Belle whimpered and Mildred straightened up, alert. She yelled to the teacher, "Excuse me.  When will you finish up here?" but the drumming drowned her out.  


            When the live oak, Congo Square's living monument, let go of the beats it had been storing for centuries inside its coiled branches, Mildred jumped up, holding shivering Belle in her arms. The pulsating pushed Mildred backward, sending her out through the gate with a mighty gust of wind, like a dancing marionette.


            Mildred set Belle on the sidewalk of Rampart Street.  She brushed the wrinkles from her sweater and straightened her hair clip.  She clutched the bars of the wrought iron fence and glowered in at the drummers. She could no longer hear their drumming, or any sound at all for that matter.  Fit to be tied about the possible damage to her hearing, she hurried past the yellow school bus and walked on home.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

The End of the Road

 We have returned to Btown, after nearly a year away.  We ended Husbandman's Sabbatical with an extremely emotional and wonderful ceremony at the port.  More pix to follow. Kudos to these two sweethearts who really know how to throw a wedding. 

It feels good to be home after a stretch of fun times in Lyon, Paris, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Oakland.  Hoorah for sabbatical leaves!  Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.  

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Monday, May 30, 2022


Steven Whyte "Comfort Women" Column of Strength

My writing class assignment this week was called 7 x 7 x 7.  For seven days, write seven lines,  one every hour for seven hours.  Then pick 2 of these to revise and share.  
I kept coming back to the shooting in Uvalde over this week.  Here are 2 sad poems about this tragedy. 

Uvalde 1


Penultimate Day, my teacher called today

sad about leaving my friends, happy for the pool


my teacher walked to lock my classroom door like in drills

my shooter shot her and he kept on shooting


now my grandmother can't see my gold trophy for personal best

and all summer my little brother will swim alone





Uvalde 2


my cousin called 911

but the police were already at her school


my cousin survived

but shrapnel got in her head


my cousin needs an operation 

but leaving the house scares her too much


my cousin hides when neighbors knock

but things will get back to normal soon

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The KnowHow

Wedding is a week away, and because 30 Something and K-Man have organized the heck out of these nuptials, we are able to pack in fun times on the daily.  KUDOS to the WEDDING PEOPLE.

Yesterday we walked through the Mission to our favorite burrito place, La Cumbre.  Husbandman is concerned because the sign above the door has broken and now only says, "La."  He plans to set up a Go Fund Me to replace it.  The burritos were fantastic, just as I remembered them. 

Then we had coffee with 30 Something and visited cool shops in Rockridge and soaked in the view from the Oakland LDS Temple.  We ended our afternoon at a lovely wine bar.  

  I agree with Dr. Seuss, "It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how." Today more fun will be had. We do know how and we have proven that time and time again. 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Left Eye

 Yesterday we walked along the Embarcadero with Good Friend CB.  On Pier 15 the Exploratorium offered opportunities for scientific exploration at no charge.   We spun sediment discs, lifted barnacled pilings from the bay, held hands to connect two poles to get the energy working to hear a classic song by The Doors. At noon on the dot, we walked along the Fog Bridge. The Fog Bridge was created by Fujiko Nakaya, an artist who makes fog sculptures.  I love the fog bridge and have frolicked in Nakaya's fog twice this week.  

BTW, did you know that barnacles are 80% rock and 20% squishy stuff?

On an unrelated note, I winked my left eye repeatedly this week.  I've never been able to wink with my right eye which bothers me, but isn't uncommon. Many people can't wink at all so I'm one of the lucky ones.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Onggi

This week my writing homework involved looking out a window and writing notes for a week and then crafting those notes into a poem.  I rarely write poetry.  Maybe once every decade or so, so this class will be a little weird for me, but you know me.... do my best forget the rest. 

We are staying in M/B's apartment in San Francisco.  Thank you M/B!!!!  I've spent some time looking out the window down on to a busy restaurant kitchen.  Here's the poem I finally wrangled down to the ground. Why don't you read it if you feel like it?

inside 7C

on Hawthorne Street

coffee does its thing


eye spy 

with my little i 

a restaurant kitchen


lone chef 

slices green guava

juicy red circles


rows of onggi 

clay pots 

housing fermenting alchemy


afternoon tea inside 7C

eye spy with my little i

bustling kitchen brigadiers 


before dinner rush  

chefs eat brussels sprouts and chicken

and drink from chunky mugs


the plates they serve

 cost 350 dollars

let's eat in tonight


In 7C it's time

for bed

eye spy with my little i one last time


the gibbous moon 

lone chef 

at the sink

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Aging

 I volunteered as a field trip chaperone for K-man's class yesterday.  30 Something and K-man's mom also volunteered. We ventured into the Academy of Sciences.  FYI: I brought my first grade class there for a field trip in 1987, so the Academy and I go way back.  

Talk about aging well.  This place has upped their game considerably.  We walked up through the rainforest, admired the moon jellies and poison frogs and clownfish and stingrays, got shaken and stirred in the earthquake exhibit and talked awhile with the penguins.

I supervised a group of 5 fun fifth grade girls.  It took a little while, but they warmed up to me as we moved through the museum.  I loved hearing them call me over to various exhibits with "Miss Lee!  Miss Lee!" I reacted with vibrant vim every time they pointed out a marvel with comments like "I can not believe I'm seeing this right now," and "My whole life I've wanted to see one of these and I guess today is my luckiest day" and "I'm going to remember this place for the rest of my life."   In other words, I got into it.

Field trips are a fun hassle, and maybe I'll do more of them.  I'm not sure, though, because I felt so beat when we got home.  I almost fell asleep during the Warriors game.  Will I have the stamina to return to 3rdLand? Only time will tell.  I hope, like the Academy, I will be able to up my game and get ready to make each day memorable and intriguing and pleasant. In any case, I vow to do my best and forget the rest. 

The Slugs

Head on out to Muir Woods on a rainy day. Bask in the glory of the redwoods above and the banana slugs below.    Banana slugs live along the...