Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Me, In My Mother's Hat - HAPPY NEW YEAR

                                     Silver Birch - Me, in My Mother's Hat

To read a poem that was SO much fun to write, click on title under photo. A little sad and whimsical, too... I miss my mom. This is a tribute to her. 

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Happy Hanukkah 2016

I haven’t missed Facebook nearly as much as I thought I would. I do jump on every now and again to have a look at poetry/writer’s sites but staying away has afforded me a huge (sorry, very overused word this last year) amount of time.

If anyone wants to keep up with me my blog is available at and while it’s not as newsy as Facebook, it does give a glimpse into my life. Frankly, that’s all anyone needs: a glimpse, if they are interested at all.

It’s not a secret I was devastated by the election. Without going into detail (who wants that anyway?) it’s been a pretty tough year on other levels and it seemed like icing on the cake. (The cake was made of dog poop and glazed with battery acid.)

I'm happy to share that the edit of my book is in the final, excruciating stages before it’s sent back to the small press that has temporarily accepted it. The temporary part has to do with their marketing director’s encouragement for me to seek bigger publishing houses in the meantime, and though I’ve had some interest from various agents, no one has given me the big YES, other than PageSpring, 

I continue to blog for clients and have had a lot of fun writing about Panama and Columbia this year, while keeping up with my Mexico pieces. The BIG DEAL was a poetry competition I entered, which has resulted in publication in the Sixfold Anthology.  I was amazed since the opposition was not only heavy (253 finalists) but I haven’t felt my poetry was at that stage. The first place winner received $1000 and I will admit, his poems are extraordinary. I came in at 17th and almost fell off my chair when a fellow poet pointed out the significance of my placement. The anthology will be out sometime in the spring and I will surely be announcing that on Facebook.

In other news, I’m making some changes to my eating habits at my old age. My daughter, Olivia has recently become a consultant for a nutrition/skin care line and we’ve seen several people have amazing results. I only recently got on the bandwagon myself. I’ve dropped significant weight, not hungry and don’t miss the foods that were doing my body harm. Anyone who wants to know more, I am glad to expound. J
My plan is to get my butt down to Puerto Vallarta in January. I have to pay my property taxes and take care of my place, which sits mostly (sadly) vacant. Once I deal with all my personal tchatches and do some serious donating, it will be ready to rent out for a great price.

My biggest revelation of the year was how to use my cell phone as a tool I can like, rather than hate. (Texting and autocorrect drive me nuts. I wish we could just go back to the phone on the wall with the cord that stretched around the corner. But that’s not going to happen, so adjustments are required.) One thing I do, which could be a sign of my doddering: I make elaborate lists for errands or groceries, whatever… I get in my car and arrive at my destination to realize I’ve left the list on my desk. Argh. My new MO is to take a photo of the list! Yay! All I have to do it remember the phone!

That brings to mind a tale worth telling: Yesterday I was at Pike Place Market with a friend. Anyone who isn’t familiar with the place, I will say it was packed to the rafters with tourists and indigents, a typical combination. I left my phone in the ladies room. We had visited at least two shops until I discovered it missing. Panic ensued, of course and my friend was probably a lot more supportive than I might have been. It turned out a young woman found it; she’s from Hawaii, in Seattle visiting her family for the holidays. There are angels everywhere. We do need to keep our eyes peeled for them; they might be standing right by you.

I can’t write a true Christmas letter without mentioning the Grands. They are the smartest, best looking kids I have ever known. Mila will be 13 in May and is a budding actor, singer, lawyer and a diplomatic wonder. Coco, who just turned 12 this month is a piano composer, violinist, and artist of incredible talent. Luca, who will be 9 in May is an aspiring magician who also plays piano and violin and can tell you facts about the Titanic that you probably never knew. I adore them, all three.

It’s time for us all to be kind. Be kinder. Be kindest. Give. Smile. Laugh and sing out loud. Do things you’ve always meant to do. See old friends and make new ones. Hug lots and often. Cry, if you need to; it’s good for you. Hug. Hug often and long. Give thanks. There are so many who are so much less fortunate. 2017 is going to be a great year, because we are going to make it so. Spread love; I am right now. 
 Photos are of a house that 12-year-old Coco made. The details are remarkable and I had to share.

                                                                        A sled made from popsicle sticks! 

Thanks for reading.