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Has big ax to grind at LAX

Hot Flashes

Oh sorry, my pea brain has been distracted by another task and I haven’t been able to bore you with my useless thoughts. But I’m free and easy again, job finished after multiple trips into the dregs of L.A., and here’s what consumes me: I know the code to every Starbucks’ WC on the trail. Pacing potty stop to potty […]

Last-minute deals: thing of the past or still a present option?

Flying Squirrel

One of the questions I get asked most often as a travel expert is “Are there any last-minute deals out there?” I understand this. Many travelers who ask this may have unexpectedly found themselves with a surplus of time or money, and they decide to take a vacation right now. In addition to “sudden travelers,” others who tend to ask […]

Dog dashers of Trancas Cyn.

On the Trail

Gem was my great trail dog from some years earlier, known to dash after horses and bicycles. I never let go of her leash, so I guess officially it was the “Gem and GG dash.” We never harassed any other recreational trail users; we gave them an ample head start then pursued their fading tracks. I can’t say I understand […]

Learn life lessons from celebs

Heed tales taken from the headlines


There comes an age when you begin to hear with increased frequency of the medical challenges or deaths of celebrities you loved growing up. It’s a harsh reminder of our mortality. Because the stories of these deaths are so widely disseminated, they can also serve as cautionary tales about later life challenges and planning to ensure your own wishes are […]

Tracking the dog dashers of Trancas Canyon



Gem was my great trail dog from some years earlier, known to dash after horses and bicycles. I never let go of her leash, so I guess officially it was the “Gem and GG dash.” We never harassed any other recreational trail users; we gave them an ample head start then pursued their fading tracks. I can’t say I understand […]

Off the plane, pick up a pen for writing


If you traveled somewhere this summer and if you’ve ever written an essay in school or a report for work, I have a suggestion I want you to consider: Be a travel writer. You might scoff at this notion (“Me, a travel writer?”), but the truth is there’s never been a better time to share your travel experiences with the […]

Teach a teen something? Well, not impossible


My 15-year-old no longer has patience—not with inconvenience, not with failure and not with learning, which is often the takeaway in times of inconvenience and failure . . . if you have patience. It seems my kid is focused on not looking bad when he struggles or is wrong about something rather than on seizing a moment to gain the […]

Dinnertime grumblings produce food for thought for the faithful

Culinary complaints lead to some meaty insights. The Israelites had left slavery in Egypt. After a year’s journey, they reached the Promised Land. We know it took a year because they celebrated the second Passover at this time, Numbers 9:1. The people griped that they were sick of eating the same old manna each day and had no meat (Numbers […]

Security measures begin at home


Last week someone published our community’s entrance gate code on social media and in printed signage. Neighbors were in an uproar and, of course, the code needed to be changed to deter trespassers. While this was an unfortunate situation that cost our homeowners association money (to send a mailing of the new code to all homeowners and for the gate […]

Rock-climbing rookie takes bite out of height


Rock climbing is not in my genes, but the temptation can be overwhelming sometimes. In once trying to prove my mettle as an outdoorswoman to a former beau, I revved up the bravado and hastily scaled up one side of a huge boulder that loomed above Trancas Creek in Malibu. Once I reached the top, the bravado evaporated and panic […]


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