Posts from the ‘The Skinny’ Category

Wishing You a Joyous Winter Solstice…

~ May 2019 bring us all closer to the good side of humanity ~

A Special Thanks to Cheryl McLaughlin

Well over a decade ago, I met the multi-faceted Cheryl McLaughlin at a Left Coast Writers meeting held at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA. Not long after I took a workshop from her on creating an online presence as a writer. (It’s crucial to know when to seek out professional help!) This was a two-day workshop and at the end of Day 1, Cheryl gave us homework: have some fun creating a “sandbox blog”. In other words, just play around with it. Nothing serious. Best assignment ever! Cheryl McLaughlin has always been a pioneer. Born on a ranch in central Montana and raised by a gold-mining/journalist/writer grandmother, she learned she could do anything. It didn’t matter that she was a girl.  Read more…

My Sidewalk Friend


Monday, November 26, 2018: Earlier this morning on my walk, I run into an elder woman I’ve seen twice before, her skin is the color of perfectly browned drop biscuit peaks, and her face is mapped with lines that tell the story of her life to anyone willing to stop and silently listen, read.

Each time, our paths cross in roughly the same spot, in front of a newly planned community a five minute walk from my house. Every time we meet, she has stepped down off the sidewalk to give deference to me. Me! Lowly whippersnapper by comparison and yet. The second time I stopped and chatted, she has virtually no English but I learned she’s from India. This morning, same thing:  as we approach each other she steps down into the street fingering her prayer beads, her thick-soled sneakers and cable knit sweater an anachronism against the long black dress and striped apron she wears.

I stop again. Clasp my hands together as if in prayer and bow my head to her. She does the same. And then I step aside gesturing to her with both hands toward the sidewalk. She hesitates, her smile widening before she steps up onto the sidewalk, still fingering her beads, and walks on.

What is the prayer she utters walking down this suburban street in Northern California?  Who is her family? Maybe a son or daughter bought one of the developer houses and moved her from her home in India? Does she have grands who don’t really understand grandma but are being taught to respect her and her deeply ensconced ways. The ones that caused her involuntary muscles to guide or down off the sidewalk when anyone else passes.

I walk on, not surprised by the tears in my throat which moved me to share this with you.

Oddly enough,
a few minutes later, after spending the rest of my walk dictating this text, our paths cross again—and again in front of the developer houses.  And this time I step down before she can. She smiles, steps down, too, so we briefly have dueling deference until she finally steps back up. I join her and we pantomime another conversation. She says again “India”  and “no English” . I point to her prayer beads, indicating how beautiful they are. With their hands clasped she points up to the sky. Then she taps her knee and I tap my knee and we agree that walking is good for us. We part ways.

This time I don’t have tears stuck in my throat only a small prayer that I could speak her language/dialect so that next time we could actually chat.

#5 From the Archives: “It’s Almost Like Praying” ~ New Music video for Puerto Rico Relief

October is hurricane month. This year we had Michael, last year Maria devastated Puerto Rico where the death toll last December was said to be 64. In Aug 2018, the Puerto Rican government raised the number to 2,975; 46 times larger than the previous.


First published: Oct 17, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new song, “Almost Like Praying” was written and recorded to benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico with proceeds benefiting The Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund. He brought together a bevy of stars for the effort ~

Read more…

#4 From the Archives: Haley Gray ~ Young Avante-Garde Jazz Artist

I featured Haley two years ago and I’m happy to report that she’s still taking her music to the next level from her junior year in college. She’s growing into her voice; spellful, grounded in a youthful wisdom that makes you glad you are listening.
Here’s an update from Haley:

Since starting school at Hampshire College in MA, Haley has studied history and philosophy while continuing to pursue music. After meeting fellow classmate, Hunter Johns in a jazz improvisation class, the two began writing songs together. As the songs developed, the project blossomed into the 5 piece indie jazz band, ‘Grey Heron.’

After performing for several months on Hampshire campus and Brooklyn, NYC, Grey Heron recorded a small EP album made up of songs written by Haley Grey and Hunter Johns. They are on the brink of releasing their debut album and are out with their first single, “Home is an Airplane” available for now on bandcamp and soon Soundcloud and Spotify.

First published: July 12, 2016

From the sidelines of her childhood I’ve watched Haley Grey grow from a vibrant, bright-eyed baby to a beautiful young woman with an enthralling singing voice. Now, at 18, she is coming into her own; headed to Hampshire College in the fall and celebrating the release of three brand new songs: Sleepless Eyes in the City, My Boy and All Enough for Me... Read more…

Seven Years…no itch…

Oct 2018 has been a challenging month, usurped by the Kavanaugh circus plus on-going orange White House madness. And then there was Hurricane Michael. My hometown, Albany, Georgia and much of the southwest corner suffered greatly, as did parts of Florida and South Carolina.  As I pause to celebrate this blog’s 7th Birthday today, I continue to hold close my family and friends who are still recovering. 

If were a person, born on October 27th, “they” would be an imaginative and idealistic Scorpio with strong intuitive powers and powerful emotions. Their unique combination of determination, personal magnitude, and penetrating insight would make them excellent at combining business and pleasure. (like that idea).

I’m fascinated by the hidden signs and meanings in numbers so I consulted with a friend who’s into numerology:

I’ve always understood the number 7 to be the number of the spiritual seeker of truths. If you’re in a 7 year numerologically, it’s an introspective year when you feel the need to withdraw and be a bit hermit like—and then emerge in the 8 year, which is a good year for manifesting and making money…  —Holly Blake, painter, Numerology Geek, Residency Manager: Headlands Center for the Arts

To all readers who share this birthday ~ Happy Birthday and Many Glorious Returns of the Day!

After seven years, PSM.Blog and I have are not parting ways anytime soon, and I’m grateful to all you Followers, many who started with us back in Oct 2011. Starting today for the next 7 days, I have a special celebration planned so stick around…

The number 7 is amazing in its own right and made even more famous by the psychological term seven year-itch, which (according to Wikipedia) suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage. In 1913, Phillip Gibbs published the novel, The Eighth Year, in which he credits the idea to British judge Sir Francis Jeune. Of course, here in the US the phrase was popularized by George Axelrod’s 1952 play, The Seven Year Itch and the 1955 comedy film adaptation starring Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe. (Ewell also starred in the play with Paulette Girard who must’ve been pretty miffed when Billy Wilder, et al, chose Marilyn for the film. But hey—heaven help any “ingenue” going up against NORMA JEAN).

Not surprising to learn that seven year itch started as a name for long term, irritating, contagious skin complaints. Man-o-man do I know a little something about skin complaints: eczema—interestingly enough—lasted seven years, finally going away after a 3-day hospital stay in 2006. Toward the end, a clerk in a health food store told me “Oh, you’ve been suffering for seven years? Then you’re almost done.”  She based that on the theory that every cell in our body is replaced in seven-year cycles. A myth. Our miraculous bodies are constantly replacing cells: colon cells refresh after only four days, and we get a whole new skin every 2-3 weeks. Believe me, it’s more than a notion to watch your skin fall off at a rapid rate: flakes in the hospital bed and all over the floor. It’s been twelve years since my trauma with eczema ended and somedays I still sit and marvel at the blessing of no part of my body itching. My heart goes out to anyone suffering with chronic eczema.

These days seven year itch is used in any situation where we find ourselves in a lull after a long period of time—a full-time job? buying a house? revising a novel? Nah. I’m actually in year 12 of this novel-writing process and—while I definitely feel like an introspective hermit—I’m way past any itch. As you may have heard me say, the light at the end of this tunnel is so bright I have to wear sunglasses here at the computer. Feels real good to know Bloggie’s year 8 is just around the corner—I certainly would like to manifest a book deal in 2019.

The seven-day week was associated with the seven heavenly bodies: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. As a result, some believe, marking rituals every seventh-day became important.

To celebrate, I cracked open my archives and selected one popular post from each year to re-publish, one-a-day for a week. Day 1 will begin tomorrow. Please leave brief comments so we know you were here. If you have a longer, more personal treatise, please email me:

Numerologically speaking ~
To figure out what year your’e in: add up the digits of your birthday, month with current year. EX: if today is your birthday,10/27/18
becomes 1+0+2+7+2+0+1+8=21 and 2+1=3 so you are in a 3 year ~ representing vision, imagination and joy of living. You and Bloggie possess a great talent for creativity & self-expression. (Like the sound of that, too!)

More tomorrow…

💃🏾🐒 🎂🎊🎉

Watch, share and VOTE.


If you don’t VOTE, you can’t WIN.

Another great Voting video from the Herzig series. Be sure to share — this message will resonate with someone you know.

Read more…

Think your vote doesn’t count? THINK AGAIN.

Breaks my heart to hear young folk say they don’t vote because their vote doesn’t matter. How did we get THIS far off course from the work of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s? College students and teenagers lead that Movement—risking their lives against police with billy clubs, cattle prods and water hoses to make their voices heard. Did you know that teens as young as 12 and 13 wrote their last will and testament on the eve of protests? THAT is why your vote matters in 2018. Click through to my blog and share the post: a whole heap of young folk need to see it…

Read more…

Wanna make a statement?—VOTE.

Click here to see more of Herzig’s VOTE 2018 videos

While the message is universal, the links and voter registration deadline in this video is specific to California (where I live).
The VOTING LINKS below are valuable no matter where you live:

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