On The Edge

peng-2 copyThe American ethic is that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will succeed. In the large picture that may be generally true, but each of us lives in our own small picture where life can be more variable. Raul is the first in his family to go to college, struggling with working while struggling with courses. But he is a good student and goes to graduate school. He is on the cusp of his PhD and has his first job secured and his future all laid out. Then his life falls apart. More struggle lies ahead for him just to stay even. How does that fit into the American ethic? His story (On The Edge) is under the Life and Love section.

The picture above is a jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus). It inhabits the environs around South Africa and is the subject of Raul’s last research effort before he finishes his PhD. Raul’s life and a penguin’s share some similarities. Suzanne Baird did the drawing.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Fireworks Cabbage

EPKidCabFireworks Cabbage is guaranteed to dazzle the eyes and sparkle the taste buds. It is sliced green cabbage with a stir-fried flavor powered by ginger, garlic, and dried red chili peppers(!). It is at the heart of a story that took place at a dinner party that Suzie and I hosted. We introduced the dish to my old friend and college roommate, Steve, who is from El Paso. He definitely got his taste buds sparkled. Read how he fared, and learn how to sparkle your own taste buds (the recipe and cooking instructions are in the story) by going to the Stories About Friends section and checking out The El Paso Kid.

A dish of Fireworks Cabbage is shown in the photo above.   It’s more than tasty.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

 

The Wild Side

Mt Lion JPEGWild animals are considered wild because they don’t have the same manners as people. They eat their meat raw. (Wild!) They eat their fruit and vegies unwashed. (Wild!) If they move into your neighborhood (or you into theirs), there could be a major culture clash. If they look huggable, with cuddly fur and soft brown eyes, you may lean toward supporting the wild ones. But if they want to eat you, you may lean away. Mountain lions look huggable, but on the other hand …  If you have a deep appreciation for mountain lions, choosing which culture to support in such a clash may not be easy. A story of making such a choice is told in Doing the Right Thing, listed in the section Stories of Life and Love.

The pair of eyes above is a detail of a mountain lion drawing by Suzanne L. Baird. Mountain lions have cuddly fur and soft brown eyes. And they are wild.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Jungle Poop

macaq-2 Most people don’t collect fresh monkey poop in the jungle for a living. However, friends Gord and Dan are doing that for a research project. Then Dan discovers Gord harbors a deep prejudice against his (Gord’s) daughter’s fiancé due to the fiancé’s race. This prejudice is threatening Gord’s marriage. Alarmed, Dan tries to enlighten his friend. Would you? Their discussions have a lot of poopy interruptions. Their story is in Getting Better, listed under the Stories of Life and Love section.

The tiny gems above are of Osmanthus fragrans, commonly known as Sweet Olive. It’s native to China, Japan, and the Himalayas. The blooms have the fragrance of ripe apricots and are used to scent tea in China.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Acceptance

croc-2Most of us have been new members of a group at one time or another. It’s an awkward period as we try to get to know the old members and they try to get to know us. Full acceptance doesn’t come until the members know we are similar to them and can contribute to the group’s efforts. In Steve’s case, not only was he new to the group, he had a separate mission that did not contribute to the group’s efforts. In addition, his presence was forced onto the group. Getting acceptance required conscious effort on his part and a little bit of luck. Isn’t that like the rest of life?

And along the way he learned how to take blood from a crocodile and live to tell about it. His story is in Outside In, listed under the Stories of Life and Love section.

The soft blooms above are of Pittosporum tobira. It hails from Japan and has a bloom fragrance reminiscent of orange blossoms with an edge. They turn yellow as they senesce. The book says they can grow to fifteen feet but mine are over twenty, providing a pervasive aroma to the yard in blooming season.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

The Ark Project

Sin is our subject today. The battle against it starts not with a flood, but with an advertising campaign. Ed Banner of E.Z. Banner Advertising Agency convinces The Lord that a massive flood is like going nuclear: it will kill non-sinners along with sinners and make everything unusable afterwards. Besides, it’s been done. Advertising, however, can change behaviors, and that’s the goal, isn’t it? As the plot deepens there is a mysterious man with perfect teeth, a flood of money, the IRS, romance, and French food. You can read The Ark Project in the Stories Just for Fun section.

The delicate blooms above are those of a Japanese maple (Acer sp.). The unopened buds are only 2 mm across so it’s easy to miss these fairy earrings dangling under the leaves. I don’t know what variety of maple produces them because I inherited the tree unlabeled, but I enjoy the blooms every year. And I keep an eye open for any fairies who may be trying them on.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

No Fear

frog-2Many of us, maybe even most of us, have had a childhood fear that was so intense that we remember it even now with a visceral trepidation. Sometimes avoidance of similar situations is the best response. Sometimes, however, gritting your teeth, clenching your fists, and jumping back in with both feet offers redemption. All her life Joanna addressed her fear by avoiding similar situations, but now that practice would ruin her career. Something had to change. But what? Her story (Up a Creek) is under the Life and Love section. Catch up on your procrastination and poke around there.

The cluster of cheery blooms above is Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata.’ The outsides of the petals are the color of hot maroon while the insides are white, showing a pink throat. All those colors are visible in this picture. The flowers are blooming right now in the midst of winter. Their fragrance is enchanting and takes you away to a vacation spot somewhere warm. That’s why I like them: their fragrance is a summer hello in winter.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.