My First Attempt at a Sonnet

I have never studied poetry so I decided to take an online Master Class with Billy Collins , who was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-2003. I like Billy’s poems because they are accessible and often about everyday things. The class is just Billy lecturing in 10-15 minute blocks, which works very…

Happy 39th Anniversary, Ray.

When Ray and I got married in 1980, I was 27 and he was 22. Here we are with the judge of Stone County, Arkansas, who was presiding over our tiny wedding. As Ray said today, “Our getting married was a good decision.” Yes, I would have to agree it was. We have had our…

A Window into Grandbaby Lyla’s Birth

Almost a month ago, I had the profound privilege of being present for the labor and delivery of Sarah and Gregorio’s third child, my third grandchild, Lyla Gabriella Pacheco Beaty. With firstborn Luna, I was the very first person to see her little face when she was born and was able to cry out, “Oh,…

Happy Birthday, Rachael!

Today is Rachael’s birthday. She is 28 today.  I am very happy to have this young woman in my life. She is quite a little jewel not just to me but to all who know and love her. We have a favorite story in our family about Rachael. When she was around 3, she had…

Flash Fiction: A Different Light

Mary Lou sank the trowel into the soft ground, digging down to sever the root of the offending dandelion. Several of the weeds sported bright yellow flowers and she found herself feeling a bit sad that she was removing these vivid spots of color from her brown lawn right in the middle of winter. Still,…

The Mixed Blessings of California Rain

When Ray and I first moved to Los Angeles twenty-five years ago, we made fun of the TV weather coverage of rain. A reporter, decked out in a yellow slicker and matching boots, appeared on the television screen and spoke in cataclysmic terms about the threat of 1-2 inches of precipitation. Ray and I shook…

Happy 33rd Birthday, Liz!

Elizabeth Beaty, my middle daughter, is 33 years old today, the exact age I was when I had her. She and I went to a wedding last week together and this is a photo taken of us: Liz is smart, funny and opinionated. She is also devoted and dedicated to people who are lucky enough…

Hoping to Stave Off the Flu

Ray has been sick for the past several days with a high fever, deep chest cough and general flu symptoms. He is on the mend as of today with normal temperature (at least so far) and an occasional cough that is still deep, but far from the wrenching hack that he had been experiencing. I’m…

Moving Forward, One Student at a Time

We are back home in LA and today has been a student day for me. I worked all morning with one of my longstanding students, Elijah, who is now applying to law school. He and I go back to his high school days when I helped him with his English term papers. Since then, he’s…