Friday, October 14, 2022


OMG I finally have a new Apple MacAir and already my inferior computer skills have become so much easier. This includes being able to post photos on my Blog without Herculean effort. 

Here's home: where I'm nesting these days. It's a beautiful place to be inside and out. Our house isn't fancy but it's comfortable and welcoming. I spend a lot of time looking on this scene, from the couch, often writing. It's a big deal that I've added Microsoft Word to my laptop. It's been a foolish disadvantage I saddled myself with since every agent and publisher wants manuscripts and queries and everything in Word. So now I can stop worrying about how a document or file will look when I export it. Not to say that I know what I'm doing even on Word, but I'll learn. I'm motivated. 

The time of day and the tides here in Provincetown determine the light of scenes like these. I'm amazed every time. The third shot is just outside my front door. Sunset. 

In two weeks there will be mid-term elections in the United States. It's horrifying to think that people who lied and still lie about our Presidential election still have a following--and a violent following at that. It's a troubled time in the world. I don't know if I can even write about it. I keep thinking that too many people don't understand what it actually means if Democracy fails. 

This glittering scene is one block from our house. It's hard to feel anything but grateful when I pass by this. I'm an optimist. I hope reality doesn't force me to reconsider. Already I'm no longer a loyal fan of  the human race.

 And finally today, this little tree in the front porch is my reminder that the holidays will soon begin. I'm all over that! For some reason I'm far more creative during the Christmas season. I draw more; I search for interesting presents; JB and I bake and decorate our almost-famous sugar cookies. And we have little get-togethers and pot-lucks. This time of year, I do my best to offer some much needed cheer. 

Monday, October 10, 2022


His name is changed but this is a true story. I was a psychotherapist some years back and I could tell you a hundred stories like this. 

The spacing didn't turn out correctly on this post but for some reason it's right as it is. 

 Davoni never answered. No matter what I asked him, he grinned and shrugged. “I don’t know,” he always 

said. This was his response when I asked him if he missed his mother, when I  asked him how he felt when his 

foster mother told him that she didn’t want him anymore, what he thought when the new foster family shaved his 

head and he had to he start a new school in a new home. I told Davoni that I would pay myself  a nickel every 

time he said “I don’t know.” and I’d soon be rich.  “Oh another nickel—that’s fifteen cents so far today!”  I joked

and and we laughed together, the way we sometime laughed for no reason when we walked to the little room 

holding hands and  tickling each other’s palms. He’s only six and he’s been in three foster homes so far. 

Davani only cried twice in front of me, once on the last day of kindergarten, when two of  his teachers kept showing him his special music award and told him how great he sang.. But later, in the school library room where we sometimes met, when I  asked him about the award and, he began  to cry and couldn’t stop. Finally he sobbed, “It should have been in spelling, not music. I didn’t try in music.” 

Last week he cried like that again, this time because he scratched another kid in his afterschool program and was suspended for five days. The teacher aide told me he cried so hard he couldn’t talk. She said he seemed like a good child, and smart; that she understands that he is in  a new school with new teachers and a new foster family, new faces, new  rooms, new rules. “But,” she said, he had to be punished. She also said he’s falling asleep in class.
“Do you sleep okay in your new room?” I asked him.
“I dunno,” he said.
            “Oh! Another nickel!” He laughed. We laughed. 
“Devoni,” I put my hands on his head and rubbed  his stub of hair. “About scratching that kid at afterschool, I can teach you how to use your words instead of your hands. I think that will help a lot, what do you think?” 
He looked up.“ I dunno.” He smiled and  paused. “Yes,” he said.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Betty Bird

 This is Betty Bird, made by my partner JB from a piece of driftwood and embellished to her heart's content. JB is finally realizing her passion and dream as an Artist. She's in a local gallery and she's as happy as a clam. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Time to Chill


Hello from Sebago Lake in Maine. JB and I are here on a five day mini-escape from chores and obligations. Life is finally settling down after months of unexpected and important demands. During that time, I've done nothing to promote either of my already published books and instead, I've started a new one!  I've already shared a couple of chapters of our pre-Covid Road Trip across America, but as of today, I've finished a draft one run-through and I'm beginning to edit. But the really fun part comes when I start  adding photos. This will be a different kind of book for me; the pictures alone will make it different. But it's also personal, almost a memoir, and sometimes it's hard to know what to include and what to leave out. Other people and their feelings and reactions to my descriptions of them matter, but so does the honesty of my writing. And once something's in print, there it is--so I want to be extra careful about boundaries. 

None of this is easy for me. My computer skills are lacking. Even the most basic formatting--setting up margins and indentations and paragraphs--is often too confusing, and sometimes I end up messing up what I already have.

But, aside from legitimate guilt in not promoting my existing books, this process of new writing is such a joy for me. I can tell that my writing has gotten tighter and more descriptive, all good, but I'm never sure whether anything I write is good enough. I know that's common and I know that's not a reason to avoid writing. 

So here it is, fall in New England. I am currently looking out onto a vast shimmering calming lake. Around me I have my manuscript and laptop and colored pencils and a moleskin and a coloring project I just might finally finish. All good ways to spend a few days creating. Because we're on an island, JB and I have stocked up on interesting food and treats. Mattie is with us and where we are is isolated and private and beautiful. No TV, no heat. No demands! 

I'm aware that this kind of 'escape' is essential from time to time. Otherwise my head fills up and my body gets depleted and I explode. Last week I got so frustrated over nothing important that I threw a coffee box and then a paper bag across the kitchen. That sounds ridiculous and harmless enough, right?--but I was mad and actually out of control. Too many problems that needed fixing were piling up and I reacted. Lucky that I didn't throw a plate or a bowl. I could have. So I'm aware that anger is too close to the surface for me, and I'm at least smart enough to know I have to break that cycle.

So here I am at Sebago Lake. It's been a brilliant decision. I wholeheartedly recommend a change of pace and a change of scenery from time to time. Especially now, with so many political and moral challenges adding to the human pot. 

More to come about the road trip book. I'm excited to have the first go-round done!

Thanks always for stopping by. 

love kj

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Two Homes

I currently live in Provincetown, at the very tip of Massachusetts, where the bay and ocean is barely a block from home. Before that, for more than a decade, JB and I lived in Western Massachusetts, in farm country that also had the benefit and vibe of six local colleges. 

I don't think I'll have to tell you which photo is from which location. What I will say is that the Universe has blessed me with wonderful homes. I love having the sea a part of my daily life--JB and I check the tides every day--and at the same time I miss the farm stand that was barely a mile from our house, where we bought just picked strawberries and just picked peaches and just picked corn on the cob, all of this following the rhythm of the farm seasons. 

My life here is Provincetown is a new chapter for me. I've 'retired' from my paid consulting work, although my 'volunteer' schedule is still pretty busy. I have the skills to help people get through tough times, and I can't (yet) justify not jumping in to help when the need is right in front of me. In any case, 'retired' isn't the right word. I write now: I've published two books and am working on two, maybe three more. I garden, sometimes I cook and bake, I have more local friends than ever before in my life, and I have a precious family--my Jessica and her husband and four awesome kids, and our extended family, and JB, my loved and loving partner of how long is it?--37 years? 

Here are some random photos of my life in both places. You'll know which is where.



Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thursday 13

Who remembers Thursday 13? This was a time on the blogs when every Thursday, artists, writers, photographers, nature lovers, and gentle chatterboxes (all of us!) posted 13 of whatever we felt like. If there was a theme at all, it was often snippets of our lives.

So here's my Thursday 13 this week. It's a lot random, because I'm at the mercy of bad computer skills (my own), but these photos do come from my life, one way or another. 

 1. This first shot is the Seagull Motel in Truro on Cape Cod, where my Godmother Marie vacationed twice a year for two weeks each time. Marie used to talk all the time about this beloved corner rental, on the Bay, where she and her 'friend'/partner Jean rode their bikes and picked blueberries and made blueberry pies for their local lucky friends.

Now, Marie doesn't talk as much about her time there or her many travels. She seems to be thinking more about her childhood, about her sisters, and growing up with my Father and my Grandfather, who took in and raised Marie age 12 and her four sisters when their remaining parent died.

I'm mentioning this because Marie is 105 years old and last week we managed to get her back home from a nursing home. She has a live in full time aide and she's much frailer than she was even a year ago, but she's remarkable. She's smart and observant and interesting. And she's transitioning, a respected elder, needing help in walking and self care and meals. I'm witnessing a life well lived. 

2. JB's artwork  is now in a prestegious gallery. This is a dream come true for her and she can hardly believe it. She's making incredible art. No doubt about that. 

3. And here I am soundly asleep and so is Mattie. HaHa. 

4. I KNOW certain people will recognize this painting right away. It graced Renee's blog, right to the end. Losing Renee to the cancer she did her best to kick around was an irreplaceable loss here on the Blogs. The way she befriended and uplifted dozens and dozens and actually hundreds of followers on her blog, as she wrote love letters to her family and wrote about the 'damn bats' that caused her relentless pain, was nothing short of amazing.  Renee was a lover of life and an optimist and so much else. Her blog Circling My Head is still up. It goes back 11 years. And its worth every fantastic word.

5. Enough said during this dark strange time. I cannot truly explain how we got here. 

5. Ahh my poor neglected poetry book. I am so thankful for so many kind reviews and kind words. I had every intention to take promoting it seriously. But in January my cousin Maureen became terminally ill and Marie fell and ended up in a nursing home, and JB and I stepped in to help both women navigate and plan. We are both exhausted even as I write this, but we are also honored and grateful. And the book, it's on Amazon. 

6-10 Family xoxo

an oldie but very very goodie!

11. And another book by yours truly: this one I can just about guarantee is a good summer read. 

12. Once there was a Magic Cottage

13. Where I happen to live: a most glorious beautiful light-filled funky town.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Signs from the Road: Chapter 3

January 24

Provincetown MA

Janet and I have decided to start our road trip today, a day early, even if all we do is drive thirty minutes to Orleans and head back home! But as of today, our kitchen is closed and we’re acting like we’re on vacation already. So on Day 1: 

We give the car a good cleaning.

We have a burger and carrot-cashew soup at the sweet Sunbird Cafe. 

And we both get pedicures and I get a manicure too.

There is a painted rock was in a corner of the bathroom at lunch. It says, Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.

I make another split-second decision to follow that advice. 

We live at the very tip of Cape Cod, and it’s a mini-milestone when the next day we cross over the bridge and are officially off the Cape. We're headed to see our family before we head out in earnest.

We live at the very tip of Cape Cod and it's always a big deal when we cross the bridge off Cape. 

Especially now. 

January 25th

Natick MA

We’re giddy on our way to Jess and Mike’s house. We’ve planned a Chinese buffet dinner that includes Mike’s mother Pat and our four great grand kids. We have to soak in an extra dose of each of them, enough to last a couple of months. There is nothing especially special about our visit, but it's significant because this will be the longest time ever I've been away from Jess and the kids. (Fast forward: we send a half dozen or more postcards along the way, which for some reason don't arrive until two months later, when we're back home!)

January 26th

Greenfield MA

Before we lived in Provincetown we lived in Florence, a section of Northampton, in Western Massachusetts. Greenfield is a small city about thirty minutes up Route 91, populated by gardeners and activists, and home to our friends Marsha and Norm. Both are officially retired, although Marsha is an LPN, Chair of the Building Department at her temple, Co-chair of the local Garden Club, member of a local chorus, assistant manager of the Farmer’s Market, and self proclaimed leader of her improvisation group. She can't sit still. Norm is a City Counselor and a board member of the Greenfield Food Co-operative and gardener and extraordinaire bird watcher. He moves and talks a whole lot slower than Marsha, and his day-to-day life is simpler. He's as frugal as Janet and I are impulsive. These two friends are like family: sometimes we snip at one another, usually involving our kitchens and our collective meals together, but mostly we operate like a family. A few times a year, we go to their house and they come to our house.

We have friends to see. We four meet our mutual friends Kevin and Ginger for dinner at Hope & Olives, a local favorite restaurant. Kevin and Ginger are just over the newlywed threshold: it’s not their first rodeo. We find them over the moon excited because they’ll soon be performing a reading ofA.R Guirney’s Love Letters onstage. We won’t be around, but I make a note to remind Marsha to be sure to buy tickets.  As if she needs my advice. 

January 27

Northampton MA

The next morning, Janet and I meet our friend Lori at Jake’s Cafe in the our former very funky, very lesbian college town of Northampton. Janet and Lori worked together for a Disability Management firm until both of them broke off and started their own consulting businesses. Lori’s has grown internationally and we love hearing about her ventures and ideas and successes. She tells us to be sure to visit Cambria when we get to California. “It’s where I’d live if I could live anywhere in the world,” she says. I write this down in my appointment book.

With Mattie and her blue cloud fleece blanket comfortably settled in the back seat of our locked car, we have a wonderful breakfast. Jakes is one of those special breakfast places that local residents keep secret. There are no better giant buttermilk biscuits anywhere on the planet. We order an extra six to take back to Marsha and Norm’s. Then, with Mattie in tow, we roam around Northampton and drive the back roads of route 5-10 for hours, through the farming towns of Hadley and Sunderland and Ashfield, waving at the frozen tobacco and asparagus farms and checking out our old neighborhood, where we lived for twelve years. We leave a note for our former neighbor Lisa, hoping she’s well. At six, we meet our friends Teri and Rose at our mutual favorite Milano’s for dinner. We have met them there dozens of times, always ordering off the $10.95 special menu. Rose gets the Bella Canto pasta about as often as I get the Chicken Marsala. Rose tells us to be sure to visit Apalachicola on the Florida Panhandle. Like Lori, she tells us she could live there. I can’t pronounce Apalachicola, but I write it down in my appointment book.