Columns

Fall fest plus sports games equals joy

Hot Flashes

“Football and pizza, oh man, my two favorite things.” So said a supremely content 14-year-old grandson who survives on four basic food groups: pizza, cheeseburgers, chocolate shakes and fries. I love people who are easy to please and am grateful at least one is a family member. Take my oldest grandson—yeah, you know, the frequently pregnant daughter has kicked out […]

What to do when a Fitbit becomes a Fatbit

Hot Flashes

For me, anticipation is a form of exercise. Just knowing that Mr. Fixit bought tickets weeks ago to the debut of “Downton Abbey” left me breathless. Unfortunately, ye olde Fitbit did not register any additional steps for my state of breathlessness. Since I’m basically an old slug at heart, I’ve renamed it: Fatbit. Another thing. When it comes to big […]

Listen to this advice about hearing loss


On weekends, my husband and I walk our dog, Rolo, together. Rolo is blind and deaf, but is a joyful 10-year-old pup in otherwise good health. Me, on the other hand, while I am in good health, I’ve been having some trouble hearing. On our dog walks, we traverse a busy road for a short period of time, walking in […]

Lipstick and Stones make for a rockin’ girls’ night out

Hot Flashes

“Goes great with red lipstick, girls!” Spoken triumphantly with authority, but we aren’t surprised. Because she discovered in the ’60s how her sparkling red lips make everything look better, like that Kate Spade purse she purchased at the outlets, her matching Converse tennies with extra Band- Aids for the blisters, her dainty glass of rosé and our Rolling Stones tees, […]

Intervention can help homeless veterans

Veterans Connection

How did I get involved with doing outreach work for homeless veterans? It started because I needed help finding a place myself and I couldn’t afford the cost of living in Ventura County. I ended up getting a VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) voucher, which is basically Section 8 low-income housing for homeless or at-risk veterans. In the process, I […]

A teen date will eat your food

Family Man

I don’t mind sharing. Relationships, however, can be complicated, especially when it comes to food. Not every restaurant serves ‘family style’ like Buca di Beppo, so when my wife and I are at any other place and I’m ordering food and I ask her if she wants anything off my plate and she says no, and then I place my […]

Angels: God’s protectors

Roots of Faith

Heaven must be pretty crowded. Along with the many faithfully departed, heaven also has “thousands upon thousands” who minister to God and “myriads upon myriads” who stand before him (Daniel 7:10b). We’re talking about angels, of course. Angels are spirits who don’t marry (Matthew 22:30) but exist to praise God and do his work. “Are they not ministering spirits sent […]

Tree and shrub stylists hit or miss

On the Trail

At the end of Langspur Court in Westlake Village’s First Neighborhood is a young coast live oak that outgrew its tidy dome shape and sprouted dreadlocks. I could empathize. I’d just had a very bad haircut and suddenly every severely pruned tree or topiary shrub that crossed my field of vision got me boo-hooing anew. I began wearing wide-brimmed hats […]

Just how safe are safe deposit boxes?

Other Side of 50

My neighbor John has been collecting gold coins for the past 20 years. Upon purchasing a coin, he would place it in the safe deposit box he and his wife, Caitlin, rented at their bank. John put the gold there for an obvious reason: security. A thick steel door safeguards hundreds of stacked metal boxes. The boxes are protected by […]

Postcard from the Capitol

Hot Flashes

Other than my garlic-cheesy bread recipe, I have little to offer my grandsons. Once the little darlings appeared, I wondered what I could do to create memories for them. What kind of old-bat enrichment can I offer other than pure adoration and a genetic predisposition to buck teeth? After all, if I reflect on my childhood, my grandmothers were clearly […]


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