Bye, Bye Baby

Bye, bye baby is what my two-year old grandson says to his reflection in the mirror. While he seems to understand that the baby is himself, fascination with the reflection in the mirror continues. When I travel to Brooklyn these days, it rarely is about going into Manhattan to see shows or exhibitions. Attending music class, a story time trip to the library, playtime at the YMCA, or a visit to the playground is what brings me joy. A ride on the bus or train has become an activity in and of itself as much as…

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What’s New at the Post Office
John Lennon stamp will be releases on Sept. 7

What’s New at the Post Office

Services, facilities and politics are evolving at the USPS.  So, what’s new at the post office? One service I tried out this year and have found very helpful is Informed Delivery.  Launched in the spring of 2017, Informed Delivery provides the postal customer with a daily email, which includes photocopies of the letter sized pieces to be delivered in that day’s mail, as well as notification of anticipated packages. Given the massive quantities of junk mail that the average customer receives, this service is valuable in anticipating important letters and documents. If you haven’t yet signed…

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Summer Road Trips
Colorado Rockies highway. Photo by Lukas Kloeppel, Pexels Photos

Summer Road Trips

Many people will be taking vacations that involve road trips this summer, especially now that the kids are out of school. National parks and monuments are among the favored destinations, as are visits to family summer camps, or to relatives and friends in other states. While Americans’ love of the automobile has waned in urban areas, the freedom that comes from driving on the open road remains a delight. Car/SUV travel brings places and people into focus in unexpected ways. The road trips of my childhood, however, were never about sightseeing or taking a leisurely drive.…

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The Ants Go Marching One by One
Autumn and Percy enjoy ant-free dinner. Photo by Murray Schneider

The Ants Go Marching One by One

This spring, the ants go marching across our kitchen floor, one by one. They are pesky, smart little guys that appear seemingly out of nowhere. The little scouts wander around, looking for something tasty. So far, the main target for these loners has been the cat food dishes. These ants leave no trace of where they come from. There is never a line or trail of marching ants to follow, just one or two scattered here and there. Ant traps placed around the perimeter of the house have had no effect on their presence. In past…

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Love Notes by Denise Tapscott
Seagull

Love Notes by Denise Tapscott

Almost every day, I take a brisk walk.  It doesn’t matter what my schedule is like. I walk at work, I walk at the gym, I walk when I plan to lounge around at home, and I even walk when I’m on vacation. Why the daily ritual?  It’s a way for me to shake off any negative energy that might cloud my day.  The cardio gets my blood pumping (which is definitely needed after creating dark stories and peculiar characters, letting words spill from my brain through my fingers, onto a keyboard).  I also walk because…

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Parlor Games
Photo by Mink Mingle, Unsplash Photos

Parlor Games

At a party late last year with long-time friends from a walking group, the guests enjoyed playing parlor games.  This followed the usual drinking and chatting and eating, including a delicious cassoulet made by our hosts. Parlor games, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, are games suitable for adults to play indoors.  My personal lack of knowledge of pop culture has always led to poor performance in competitive parlor games such as Trivial Pursuit, but in these games, there were no losers, just people letting down their hair, acting silly, and having a good time. First…

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Diaries: Letters to Ourselves by Kay Roberts

A few months ago, I rediscovered a diary I kept when I was thirteen years old.  This find made me think that diaries might make good Christmas presents for my grandchildren, ages ten and thirteen. I cautioned them to avoid dumb entries such as my own: “Washed my hair, went to the show.”  I do like my entry about liking Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, except for being "stuck beside somebody who smelled like barn" (I grew up in a little farm community in Wisconsin).  I had hoped my old diary would give me a glimpse of who…

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The Reveal
Street level window for Local Edition

The Reveal

The word “reveal,” according to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, means “to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known.”   Or, according to Merriam-Webster online, reveal means “to disclose, divulge, or tell.” In screenwriting, “the reveal” generally comes near the end of the script, when the viewers finally become privy to hidden information that explains all that came before. The most interesting stories written by professional journalists include a reveal. This can happen in a feature story or profile, but in investigative journalism, the reveal can make or break a story, not to mention the reporter’s…

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Post Office Boxes by Kay Roberts
Post Office boxes, Calistoga, CA

Post Office Boxes by Kay Roberts

On a recent little vacation in Calistoga, I realized I would miss a friend’s major birthday if I didn’t find and mail her a card.  So I got myself out of a steaming pool and over to the post office.  I go to Calistoga for those steaming pools at least twice a year, but I never had occasion before to visit the post office, and when I saw the rows of beautiful old post office boxes, I became (excessively, says my husband) nostalgic. What memories of growing up in the 1940s and 50s in Cumberland, Wisconsin…

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USPS Releases Mister Rogers Forever Stamp
Mister Rogers Forever Stamp

USPS Releases Mister Rogers Forever Stamp

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, as the mother of young children, Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS was my hero. Mister Rogers taught children his wise and fulfilling lessons about the world and their own self worth, while also serving as a role model for parents. Many of the oft-repeated aphorisms of Mister Rogers have remained with me throughout my adult life. If I have not always practiced them, it is not because I do not believe them. Who cannot see the intrinsic value of being told, “There is no person in…

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