Tag Archives: kindness


It’s tough for anyone. Both of our next door neighbors came by to say goodbye. One with a six-pound daughter. I’d seen him on move-in day and years later on move-out day. In between he’d run a “hotel” service for paying clients and none of us thought highly of that.

Our other neighbors are due a lasagna to place in their new oven for a free and easy dinner tonight. It is my ten minute lasagna recipe on this site. I helped them pack for two days and tweaked an ankle injury I received 25 years ago walking my first dog on a craggy road. I was looking at flower gardens, not where my feet were going, and sprained my ankle. Anytime I over-do it, it tweaks a bit but is much better now.

I’ll call this morning and arrange to drop off their lasagna with cooking instructions. They called us here, to our current home, without either of us knowing it and were here five years, arrived shortly before we did. We always had fun together, and they always checked in on me when my husband was away on business.

Two neighbors have left but another is expecting a new arrival. I plan to give them a ready-to-go dinner when they return. For them. The baby will get it second-hand so it won’t be Texas chili. Other neighbors wish to get a dog over the holidays. We’re now the anchors, ambassadors and our dog Zoe protects them and their homes.

I need to go and make Beef Carbonnade for dinner. Beef, onions, bacon and beer cooked for hours. Cheers! Dee



What did I fear most as a kid? I was afraid to be smart. Of course I was set aside as smart with another kid and we got to read real books, in the back of the classroom, years earlier than other students older than me.

I do not know what happened to my reading companion after that but we enjoyed studying different books together at the back of the classroom. We were made May Queen and May King for Mayfest in 2nd grade. That was a degree of notoriety I never intended. Reading and understanding and crying at home reading Death Be Not Proud was not something my fellow students wanted to know or learn. They were learning phonics, and S and I had already known how to read for years. We learned to read early and I taught my sister when she was four. Our parents fought ITA, phonics, for smart kids who were already reading 2+ years ahead.

Sitting in the back of the classroom, the new teacher, first day, would butcher my name.  I’d raise my hand and give them my nickname as they were not smart enough to master my given name. They didn’t care, nor did my parents for giving me the name. I did. I was a little kid with a big name. It was scary to raise my hand from the back of the room and say “call me Dee.” I love it now but still everyone calls me Dee.

They always put me in the front of the class, front of the grades until later when… that comes later.

I was always so shy. I did not raise my hand so was called on and always knew the answer. Now the Olympics are on the television and I got to see bits of W0mens’ gymnastic vaults and uneven bars. This was a passion I’ve had since before you were born. Olga Korbut, Nadia the perfect 10.

When my family moved to a new city it was summer and I was 15. I tried out for the gymnastics team before the season/school and made it. Then I was immediately made captain. I had been at an elite public school (ever seen the movie about the trouncing of my alma mater in football by TC Williams? Ask Denzel Washington about it as we were G.C .Marshall.)

I was a much better captain than gymnast. That’s why I like to think young girls like me made a new sport better by caring about it and trying to do better tricks than Olga Korbut could do in the seventies, and even the first ten Nadia who brought down everything in her brilliance.

Now I don’t even understand the scoring mechanisms and new rules but have loved seeing womens’ vault and uneven bars competitions. They are so beautiful, I could cry.

As a captain there are duties, leadership responsibilities, education. Foremost are inspiration, aspiration (life goals) and I believe there is kindness to others. These are high school kids. I’m captain of a ship my younger sister is on who wants me to fail every moment and this is high school.

It was difficult. I led some elite gymnasts and taught others. I taught one team-mate humility after she wanted to leave the State Finals after her own performance. I said her team was there for her, the best gymnast in our school, all along and we deserved her support until the end of the meet.

In the locker room I said unless she did this for her team, as the captain, she’s off the team as of now and I’ll tell our coach and she’ll tell the judges her captain says she’s off the team immediately and she will not win anything.

Guess who was in the stands cheering her team-mates? She won her award. I finally spoke out. These mates have been cheering you on all season. You have to cheer us on as well. She did it.

I know she did not do it for her team as she didn’t have a team except herself. She wanted the award but her team-mates needed to know she was there for them. I made sure that happened for them, not for her.  No-one knew except me and Coach, as I had to ask if I could strip her of her medal, and I hope this helps our old team and coach, and haunts her even now.

After 11 I need to go to bed because I’ll know what I missed and and have been up for nearly 17 hours because of family duties, tomorrow, friends, cheers from Dee







When we were kids we got paid fifty cents allowance per week and had to do many chores to earn that money. We were fined five cents every time we called each other dumb, stupid or an idiot.

We never ventured to learn if we learned to swear or place a hand on one another.We didn’t need to do so. We had words.

I’ve never been in a physical fight in my entire life and since I’m nearing sixty, will not engage in one. It is verbal or written. Yes, I have my fights. I am the butterfly (rest in peace Muhammed Ali) that dances around and finds out my foe’s weaknesses. Even what’s wrong with driving or walking the streets and how to sweet talk my way through the byways.

Words, writing will take him/her down. I can do it if I wish to put in the effort (sometimes it’s better to let it go) and hit them where it hurts, whether it’s a business that has treated me really badly or a restaurant with horrible food and service.

I think people have been taking advantage of my age, of late. Luckily I’ve my dog to protect me. It’s interesting that she protects me and I her, and my husband protects her (and me). Some folks, like my butchers, all know me and take good care of me.

Two weeks ago I lent someone a new piece of jewelry. Neither the lendee nor the jewelry has showed up for weeks. Today she is here. I don’t think she is long for this staff assignment so I asked for the piece back. She went into a locked closet until she thought I was gone for nearly an hour then finally came out and threw it at me.

Ah, gratitude. She wanted to learn how to twist metal and never thought I would miss my new bracelet. Hey girl, I wear a wedding ring, Claddagh ring, two magnetic golf bracelets and a Turkish evil eye bracelet from my Dad. I’m not into jewelry so know when things are missing. Oh, I do keep pearls from my great aunt’s wedding in the 40’s but rarely, if ever, wear them. All the rest of her stuff was stolen decades ago including the pewter/wood cigarette box she gave me to put all the sapphires in. I’ve been looking for them on eBay for years.

I still have faith in people, most people. And animals. No, you can’t take me to the Pound because I’ll end up with an extra dog! There’s already a dog around and he’s blind. He and Zoe get along great. They enjoy each others’ presence but ignore each other all the time! As a visitor, I love that! Dee

Kindness and Compassion

While I await my husband’s plane to arrive home (no it is not a private plane) in a few moments I think of the things people do every day to make a day better.

My neighbor took me to the film festival the other day because his wife didn’t feel up to it and asked him to take me.

My husband has been eating restaurant food for weeks so I am cooking his favorite stew.

T, who works for us and always busts my chops, gave me a repreive from keeping me away from my kitchen sink for another 24 hours as he knew my husband was coming home and I needed the sink to make the stew, do dishes, run the dishwasher. He never said anything, nor did I, so I’ll see him on Monday. Or Tuesday. I don’t know.

Every once in a while people suprise us with rare moments of grace and kindness. Savor those moments. Dee

Celebration, Sauces and Elevators

Why does this title not make sense? It’s Saturday morning and Zoe the dog and I were out at the crack of dawn and had to ask multiple police to let us cross the street to “make a deposit to the County” and that means her poop in a bag in a wastebasket in a County Park. City Police got the joke.

It is a half-marathon and I spent about 1/2 hour cheering on the runners, with the dog. It was raining and I got soaked so went upstairs, dried her off and changed to a winter coat and helped out the slower athletes. When we lived out west we were five feet from a path that was used for runners, walkers, cyclists and in the winter, XC skiers. I tried that, it was not pretty, especially on ice.

Downloading “We Are The Champions” blasting it and standing out there on our deck waving, cheering and clapping with the dog for the last few thousand feet was inspirational to athletes and to us.

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Sauces. I’ve made three new ones this week, none perfected. One was a rub and glaze for St. Louis Ribs, another for a pork roast marinated in beer and grainy mustard, the last for pork tenderloin marinated in local French-based hard apple cider and herbs. The last was finished with two beautiful peaches, taken off the pit with skin on, 1/4 of a red onion, honey and sriracha. S&P of course.

My husband grew up on a dairy which is now a cattle ranch. He is deathly allergic to anything thats’ habitat is water. I love fish and he can’t even smell it so I don’t cook it at home. He loves beef, so I’m trying to get him to like chicken and pork for variety.

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Elevators. We know everyone on our floor. Interesting that we only really socialize with those on our end, three of seven. When I am in the elevator and hear someone turning a key in their door I automatically keep the door open for them. Sometimes they will enter and other times they’ll say they forgot something. That may not even be with Zoe.

They do not hold the door for me, someone always closes the door on me (I don’t know who it is) and I have to wait, especially if the other elevator is reserved for a moving company.

Where did kindness go? I always hold a door, elevator or otherwise, for everyone. I help elderly people, pregnant women, mothers with kids, even young men who don’t have the manners to respect their elders. Luckily there are a few gents around who know propriety and respect.

What is happening to us? I’ve one great story. My across the “street” neighbor saved my dog’s life. Their grandkids adore our old dog. We hadn’t seen each other for months. We talked in the hall. Zoe, our dog, stayed out there and I had her leash. The elevator door hard-closed and my neighbor was gone and I tried to throw the leash out because she could easily remain in the hallway until I could get back up there.

The leash stretched and stretched for four floors and disappeared. I yelled at our floor. “NO!” An Indian family we love showed up four floors down and saw me sobbing and said they’d take the other elevator and to go up to my dog.

I was expecting to see her dead. Strangled. My neighbor ran out and pulled the leash as hard as she could and was standing there with our dog who was alive and well and didn’t even know anything happened.

What a treat it was to see my neighbors and their grandkids, who love Zoe and actually whisper her name outside our door so she can come out and play. My husband has also made/twisted balloons for all the kids. Zoe came out of a horrible home and then a shelter, only for a week until we found her.

She has made so many friends. People on the street don’t know my name but they know hers. Our thanks go to neighbors who made a difference in our lives.

Thanks to neighbors. Cheers! Dee