a 1944 Christmas book returns to its original owner

I was intrigued by this “vintage” Penny Parker mystery book I found at a public library book sale for 50 cents, because I recognized the author–Mildred Wirt–as the true author of the first 25 Nancy Drew mystery novels I so loved to read when I was 11 years old. Nancy Drew books were […]

A Different Halloween Treat




This Halloween instead of handing out candy for treats, we tried something a little different. We placed 100 books for young readers on a bench with a sign that said “Happy Halloween. This is our Free Little Library. Please choose a book that looks interesting.”

We had no idea what […]

Switch to a Safe Straw

You might have read about the “straw ban” that has been instituted in numerous cities in California. The ban has been implemented to end the danger that single-use plastic straws cause in the ocean.

Straws, due to their shape and size, can’t be recycled. Where do so many end up? In the ocean. After […]

Wool Dryer Balls vs Stinky/Toxic Dryer Sheets

The artificial smell of “freshness” created by dryer sheets and fabric softeners turns out to be worse than artificial. In fact, it’s quite stinky.

I’ve read many articles that outline how fabric softeners and dryer sheets laden with chemicals can cause everything from headaches to central nervous system disorders. In fact, I have read […]

Lessons I Learned From Sue Grafton and Kinsey Millhone


When I learned Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone detective novels, had died on December 28, I immediately recalled the days she allowed me to disrupt her writing schedule to film my documentary, “Women of Mystery: Three Writers Who Forever Changed Detective Fiction.” I had convinced her that she, along […]

A Wonderful Walk Ends With an Unfortunate Reminder of These Times

A few weeks ago we walked through a neighborhood of beautiful old houses in Pasadena. In two short hours, we viewed beautiful architecture, visited with a neighborly woman who enjoyed telling us about her 1886 house, and went on an unplanned self-guided tour of a courthouse that has been in its past life both a […]

Reading Makes the World Wider

I love reading, even the sadness of turning the final page and seeing the simple, yet solemn words: The End. I know that the final gleam of story will linger inside me. The story lives. And my world is wider. – Natalie

Natalie and I were talking the other day how we feel […]

Thinking About Time, as is Wonder Woman

Early in the wonderful movie “Wonder Woman,” Diana asks the human who has landed in her midst what his wristwatch is. And he explains that it tells him when it’s time to do something and she, in disbelief, says: “You let that thing tell you what to do?” The wristwatch takes on powerful symbolism […]

Taking Small Steps is the Way Toward Desired Change

Making small changes can even lead to more lasting solutions than big changes. I have always found this idea so reassuring. If I think about making a big change, big step, big decision, I can easily feel paralyzed, overwhelmed and indecisive. Small change are do-able!

Moreover, I have learned that making smaller changes can have […]

Hidden Inside Some of Our Quirks: Our Talents

Some quirks are undeniably annoying. But so many more are not. Natalie, Bill and I made a list of some of our quirks. We discovered that some of our quirks are actually talents, lovable traits, or allow us (and our companions) to laugh with pleasure. What are some of your quirks?

Remember: hidden inside some […]