chicken in a pot

Between working on a manuscript, following the Kavanaugh hearings, and fretting about whether Hurricane Michael was going to hit Pensacola (have you seen the video from poor, devastated Mexico Beach and Panama City?), I realized yesterday that I’ve gotten myself into a state of sleep deprivation. Never good. So last night I brought out the big guns: a beautiful whole chicken, carrots, onion, celery, broth and a generous splash of dry vermouth. Settled down with Buck for our usual evening cocktail — a Manhattan for him and scotch and water for me while the ingredients simmered into heavenly medicine. It worked its magic and I got the first really great night’s sleep I’ve had in days, if not weeks. Woke up feeling like a tigress and ready for a dash to the gate with Lula Belle. We dashed because a cool front had rolled in, at last, and the temp at seven was 54 degrees, a tiny bit cool for gym shorts and tank top.

did someone say category 3?

But it’s October. And the ten-day forecast calls for fall temps here in the Florida panhandle (finally). 


We live in Pensacola, and my younger brother lives in a vulnerable spot in the small waterfront town of Apalachicola.


So I’m headed to the grocery store for just-in-case supplies. We checked the generator last night to be sure it’s working and the underground tank has enough gas to run it for several days. 


Shelters, hospitals, and all emergency service organizations are scrambling.


The sky was filled with bright stars last night. I stood gazing upward, a soft breeze lifting my hair. 

This morning dawned sunny and perfect for a walk to the gate with Lula Belle. 

But here’s a link to the latest Hurricane Michael update from the Pensacola News Journal, and it can’t be ignored, no matter how pretty today is.

Landfall Wednesday. We’ll be fine. We live in a sturdy dwelling, nearly 20 miles inland. But there are many in harm’s way between Pensacola and Tallahassee, including my brother Steve and his dear friend, Carol. Time for a phone call.

I’ll keep you posted.

a simple september supper

Years ago, I never met a kitchen gadget I didn’t like, but these days I like to fill the freezer with simple favorites, tried and true. I like to make a huge vat of Great Northern bean soup seasoned with a smoked turkey leg. It has a silky texture that causes me to murmur endearments to my bowl.

Blog Design: The Problem and Opportunity of Categories and Tags

Gee, don’t you love it when I talk technical?  Seriously, though, this might be important. At least, it sure is for me. I find something last night in an old box of novel-in-progress notes. Like so much that happens in life, it was a good thing in the wrong place, really, the best deep-dive thinking I’d ever done on the vexing issue of imposing a broad contextual order on a blog (any blog) I might write. Especially for the myriad of peripatetic stabs in the dark I’ve made over the years.

I’ll do a brief post on each of the new categories, and then will get rid of my 1001 current categories (maybe not quite that many) and relabel them to fit into one of the following eight broad groups. We are not posting in indelible ink, here. It’s always a work in process. Erasures, cross-throughs, and do-overs are where the heart peeks through.

  • Creative Life
  • Daybook
  • Home, Growing Old, Friends, and Food
  • Inner Space
  • Love
  • Memoir
  • Nature
  • Travel

Tags are the place to celebrate the specific.

stalking the wild cochlear implant

My beloved husband has been hunkered down with his computer all this gray Sunday afternoon until just a few minutes ago. I was in the kitchen starting supper when he came in.

“I’ve learned more about cochlear implant technology than I could imagine existed,” he said, and began to share his day’s research with me. Buck has been wearing hearing aids for more than thirty years. His audiologist has acknowleddged there is no new hearing aid technology that will help him hear and understand language well enough to keep up with the accelerating hearing loss.

His first thought was, “No.” But that changed today. Tomorrow we’ll be calling Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville to set up tests and a consult with otolaryngologist,  Dr. Larry Lundy.

First step of an exciting journey.