Oh, My Aching Back!!!


The bathroom remodel is well underway. Yippeee. But along with life’s lovelies comes a reality check–aching backs. Try necks, ankles, short-hairs? Well, maybe not that bad, but you name it, it’s sore.

Is this why we prolonged the remodel for so long?

Much as I love Carole King–it is way too late to stop this remodel and we WILL make it. Or rethink the pain involved in getting ‘her’ done!!! (Don’t you love that big kitty???)

Yes and no.


Anything worth having–even a stone and porcelain wonder palace–merits the struggle. The PAIN! Like the words we writers wrestle down, snag from the sky, and chip out of Moria’s mines, daring man and beast to bring you joy. Us, too. Never underestimate that sense of accomplishment? DIY therapy is addictive and handy. Especially when other duties require getting grout done right, quartz seated, pipes sealed just so, and carving custom baseboards. Hello! (The aches and pains brought on by my ergonomically challenged workstation don’t even compare.)

Zoro? Or A Mean Man with a Circular Saw???

SO, if you have any well wishes, prayers, or positive thoughts to spare, please, give it up for the BEST BIL EVER!!!! (Names are withheld to protect those with superhero capes and secret squirrel eye-wear. Or is that the mask of Zoro?)

Thank you to one and all–whatever your craft–who suffer the slings and arrows so we don’t have to!!

Write on!


Fuel the soul—feed the stomach! A must for writers who need to write.

MGM in Maryland? Who’d have thought?

Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Spiritual or gastronomical? Well, Divine Providence strikes again. The Grinch and I discovered MGM National Harbor on our way home from Church last Sunday. (Whoever cast the deciding vote to purchase our new congregation digs in Maryland, WE LOVE YOU!) The drive from Virginia is beautiful and smooth. A perfect mental prep for Sunday services. But, and I don’t say this lightly, a man’s gotta eat.

Me, too. And routines, despite tendencies to cleave to them, can get pretty stale.

Looks like a space ship ready to launch!

No more. MGM National Harbor—besides the gambling flash which I try to avoid—has so much to offer. Yes, there’s shopping, nightlife, a sumptuous hotel, and all that goes with that. I’m ALL ABOUT THE FOOD, however, especially with a hungering Grinch who, despite kindness, tends toward the dark side if certain needs aren’t met.


Osteria Costa at MGM National Harbor is a casual reprieve where guests will enjoy a variety of wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, fresh seafood and Italian spirits. Each day, a fresh assortment of limoncello will be crafted in-house available to be poured neat, or as part of a refreshing cocktail. The wine program will reflect the southern coast of Italy and celebrate vines from the region. Osteria Costa’s vibrant design exudes the class and comfort of the Amalfi Coast with bright colors and rustic touches reminiscent of the picturesque villages clung to the Italian coastline.
The Grinch put in a double order!

You get the picture. And if you’re into Eggs Benedict…oops, I mean Prosciutto Cotta Benedict, then Osteria Costa is the place to go.  Check. It. OUT! Prosciutto to live for (Can’t eat if you’re dead.) The Grinch gives the homemade brioche a double thumbs up. The coddled eggs, molded into delightful little caps, are perfecto. Same goes for the accompaniment of chunky-cut potatoes that are boiled, baked, and fried.

Wow. That’s a lotta prep. Just like grandma didn’t used to make. Mine were Swedish. LoL! But the combo makes for a delicious bite–a tactile delight for the discerning palate according to he who cleaned his plate.

Maybe if I wear shades, my scale won’t know its me!

The caciocavallo cheese curls are like, “snow.” Or so says the Grinch. Being on a high protein diet, I resisted temptation–Divine Providence reminding me that without pain there’s no gain. (Or loss considering I’m keen on dropping a few more pounds.) But I’ll be back!!

But the venture beyond the rut — for spiritual sustenance and good eats — fueled this writer’s soul. It’s an adventure I plan to continue. What fun places to eat are in your backyard? I’d love to know.

Write on!


To Burn or not to Burn!

Wegmans where are you???

That’s my question. It all began – well, recently anyway – with a Friday fish quest. Youngest kiddo and I – that’s Nick aged 20 – set out early to Wegmans. A great place for food if you don’t get lost and hungry on the way. Needless to say, yours truly, driving our red Dodge Ram sans GPS got lost. I’m not admitting for how long, but it took me a while to heed Nick’s encouragement to retrace our route and head for Harris Teeter. Virtually down the street, a straight shot albeit a long one. (My son would make an excellent hostage negotiator, psychiatrist, etc., etc., etc. Brag off.)

What makes a good fish go bad? No comment — who am I to judge fish behavior?

Anyway, afternoon came and Greg—my beloved mattress thieving Grinch—fried up our catch of the day. Gak. That was my reaction coming down from my writing lair to a cloud of unmentionables. How could it be? The fish looked good. Nothing like the lurid aroma wafting up the stairwell crept over the counter when the fish-man smiled and wrapped it up. Like a good soldier, though, I proceeded to eat what was set before me. (I always do having been the youngest of eight.) To my delight, my husband admitted the fish was awful. Gag worthy. Both the tuna and the swordfish steaks. Thank God, my effort to down the stuff ceased. But…

The Grinch may be a brown-shoe sailor at heart, but he wears suits now–every day!

How could this be? I’d tried so hard to bring home the proverbial bacon. Suffice to say, after I trotted plastic wrapped lovelies out to the garbage can, I was burning. Not angry so much as frustrated. The house wreaked. The reminder of my failed quest lingered and I wasn’t going to stand for it. Greg wasn’t either. Getting lost all the time is bad enough, but when your husband barks Lysol like a Navy emergency drill it doesn’t make mom happy.

So, after the disinfectant, I lit up. That’s candles. Plumeria, Violet Fields, Honey Something, and a double-discount blue discount thingie that transformed everything. I was in control. Maybe out of control considering the odd combo of scents driving bad fish back to the sea. But it felt GREAT. It smelled fabulous. It still does as I’m on a burning roll.

But I ask you. Is it the benefits of aromatherapy working its magic here or am I simply gleeful about having a positive effect on my environment? To burn or not burn is now the question. Greg is on the verge of hiding candles. (He won’t admit that’s what he was doing when he removed the two I had on the kitchen counter and relocated them to places unknown until I asked.) Older daughter—Melanie my self-care angel—suggests the solution is a DIFFUSER.

Say what? I can get those lovely scents without reaching for my extendo-flex Bic lighter? I’ll be finding out. That is if Melanie decides to send that diffuser she insists will keep both Dad and I happy. The closet full of candle jars awaiting repurposing is overcrowded.

What do you use? Candles? Diffuser? An open window? What? Inquiring minds—those that rarely rest—need to know if only to mellow out and…

Write on!