Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dare Me...

Don’t ever tell me that I cannot do something. It makes my resolve bubble up like saliva around a sweet tart. I love a good dare. It gives me a focus and a purpose and a drive. Dares might just be the only way that I move forward in my life.

But no one dared me to sell my house and move into a townhouse a couple short blocks away. I can practically see the out- of- control 50 foot curly willow tree from my front porch! They haven’t cut it down yet even though I disclosed the snapping branches in the escrow papers. But they did remove the beautiful buttercup blooming Magnolia that Dale planted for me in the front yard three years ago. And the potted flowers on the front porch that I left behind because they were oh so pretty and I wanted the new owners to enjoy them… gone now and nothing to replace them.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Patty to the Rescue!

This is me and my bestie at my son Peter’s wedding. The day would not have been complete had she not been there to share this special life event with me and my family.

Patty and I have been friends since we were 14 years old. We were two Catholic girls from large traditional families thrown into the local public high school. Somehow we found each other amidst the 700 kids in the class of ’74. Our friendship solidified and took on a more spiritual dimension when we attended late night Catechism classes on Mondays at St. Boniface Parish in Anaheim.

We cleaned up real well for this picture, but you should have seen us this weekend. Crazy hair, workout clothes, minimal makeup.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Occurring at a favorable time. Opportune. Involving divine foresight or intervention.

I think both definitions fit perfectly but I am leaning towards the latter.

I am finally in my new home. It feels somewhat like a new shoe. Super fabulous looking but in need of some breaking in.

My sons and my daughter in law have all come to share a glass of wine, Chinese food, snacks, coffee and bagels. My grand-dogs have run through the house, making my cat, Ethel, climb up high on top of the kitchen cupboards just like old times. I’ve had interesting people in and out buying items from my Craig’s List postings (thank you, Patrick), giving me some nice cash to buy lots of take out so that I can feed the “help” until I get this new kitchen organized.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


Imminent- about to happen, close at hand, forthcoming, in the offing, on the horizon, expected, anticipated, looming…

It’s like waiting for the wedding to begin. Everyone is giddy with excitement and suspense.  Or waiting for a baby to be born where there’s a conglomeration of anxiety, longing, and hopefulness.

We spend so much time in our lives waiting for something to happen.  My friend, Tom, calls it “waiting energy”.  We wait for the clothes to be dry, for the turkey to be done, for the pudding to set, for the tomato plant to produce for us a bumper crop of sweet fruit.  We wait for someone to “pop the question”.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You want how much for that refrigerator??

Yup.. she’s a beauty.

And everyone knows that food is love and the bigger the frig the more food and the more love! It would be a huge splurge. It’s what I love to do. Entertain. Make food. Food Is Love.

The stainless steel doesn’t turn me on. But I’ve been told that it’s time to join the real world and stop being a hippy. I’m still not sure this refrigerator fits my lifestyle. I really loved my magnetic door white frig with the 100 pictures plastered on it and magnets broadcasting everything from what wine to drink with dinner all the way to the phone number of my favorite appliance guy, Kenny.

I guess those days are over… sigh.

Monday, August 3, 2015


I recently traveled to Pendleton, Oregon via Portland to attend a wedding with my manfriend, Dale. Driving along the Columbia River, I requested to stop at Multnomah Falls, a place that I hiked often with my little family when we lived in Portland almost 18 years ago. I was totally unprepared for the flood of emotions I felt as we stood at the base of the falls.

The next morning in our hotel, after engaging in a ruckus round of early morning texts with my siblings- not an unusual exchange and something my son, Patrick, refers to as a Lebanese alarm clock- my brother, Johnnie, who lives in Pullman, Washington, singled me out in communication.

“Did you drive or fly in?” he inquired.

I responded: “We flew into Portland. Made me sad. Good memories.”

” Yes.. I bet.” He replied.

Me: “Don’t you wish you could have some do-overs in life?”

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ya'aburnee.. you bury me.

I was quite saddened when I read about Vice President Joe Biden’s 42 year old son, Beau, who just died of a brain tumor. This poor man has been through more trajedy than one could imagine. First losing his wife and infant daughter in a car accident with his two small sons fighting for their lives. Then years later having one of them succumb to cancer after not only surviving but also thriving with an enviable life, a successful career as an attorney and a fulfilling marriage with two beautiful young children.

Fate is twisted.

Ya’aburnee means “you bury me” in Arabic. It means wanting to die before a loved one so as not to have to face the world without him or her in it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Betwixt and Between

I ran into the Morgan Hill Safeway last week to pick up some groceries and a woman stopped me in the frozen food section. I had dashed back to that aisle to pick up some blueberries and was pretty much done with my shopping.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure” I said, thinking she wanted to know where to find the cat food or to inquire about a good hamburger place in town.

“Do you have a blog? One Hip Diva?”

Stunned, I replied “Yes”. I had never seen this woman before and clearly she had only seen my picture.

“Where did you go? In your last entry you were moving out of your house.”

I had to think for a minute. Where did I go?

Friday, April 10, 2015

When life seems unpredictable, it's good to remember that...

When I began the process of selling my home several months ago, I asked a Realtor to come over and assess the situation. We talked marketing and the best time to list and then we walked around my house and he gave me ideas for “staging”.

“The lions on the front porch have to go. Take those pictures off your refrigerator. Replace that entrance rug with something more neutral.”

And then he stopped in his tracks at this framed quote on my wall- “Everything Belongs”.

“That’s nice” he said.

Everything Belongs. A quote from Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who advocates for living simply so that others might simply live. A reminder to me every time I walked from my kitchen to the front door that no matter what happens in my life, it all belongs.

This morning I am up early to do some last minute packing. I am having my coffee on the floor of my office. No desk. No chair. No potted blooming orchid.

The emptiness belongs.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

When you have a garden you have a Future and when you have a Future, you are Alive. ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

I’m caving.

I’ve been so very strong about selling my house, downsizing, entering a new chapter of my life, blah blah blah…

This morning I worked in my garden. The wisteria and the jasmine are in full bloom. There are birds hanging on to branches everywhere and Ethel is stalking a very naive squirrel. I’m pulling weeds and pruning roses and raking the gravel in the paths. There are pots of flowers and window boxes that need watering. I give St. Francis a little cleansing shower as he stands at his post, keeping peace among the wildlife.

I know I should start dis-assembling things in my home. I need to start packing and getting my head around it all. But this morning in the garden I am mourning. Everything is in utter bloom as if to say in the sweetest way they know- goodbye. And thank you.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Midlife Mischief...

The day began innocently enough. Five friends from high school met in San Francisco for fun and sightseeing. Two of us are currently from the bay area and the other three are visiting from the OC where we all grew up. We’re a classy bunch. At one time in our lives we used to elicit looks and howls from handsome men on the street but now we just kind of blend in with the masses of humanity enjoying the beautiful day and weather. Our best qualities now internalized. Just when did that happen?

Nonetheless, we think we are pretty hot babes. (Or at least Perry thought we were.. more about that later…)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Street of Dreams


My neighbor around the corner used to walk her little boys by my house with their big wheels. We would chat sometimes and she mostly complained about the people who lived behind her who were constantly annoyed by the noise wafting from her back yard when her family and friends were in the pool or just out BBQing. And she always punctuate the conversation with “But I will never move! This is my dream house!”

Imagine my surprise when a couple months ago, her sons now graduated from high school, I spotted a big fat For Sale sign on her property. Now they are gone- to where I have no idea. Since her sons were old enough to travel the neighborhood independently, our only communication was a wave as I drove by her house. She was usually outside meticulously manicuring her yard and garden and/or washing down the entire street in front of her house in her bathrobe.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Year, New Intentions

Many years ago, I attended a funeral with my then husband, for one of his co-workers. The gregarious and well respected engineer died relatively young leaving a wife and two small children. I don’t remember how he died but I do recall how sad the service was and how irritated I was as the priest continued to encourage the congregation to “Let Go and Let God”!

I didn’t think for one minute that this man’s wife and family were ready to swallow that message. Their grief was palpable and there would be difficult days and nights to get through before they could possibly “let go” and find peace with their loved one’s death.  I cried the entire way home from that funeral feeling that life was so unfair and random and unpredictable.  Vestiges of my own personal losses came up out of nowhere.  Letting go was the last thing I wanted to do.

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