National Memo Day

Image by Chris Curry


Note to self:

Choose to be better and do better every day… today, tomorrow, forever.

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Do Not Despair

“In all things it is better to hope than to despair.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
German poet, playwright, & novelist

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Why Not?

“The next time you’re in a meeting, look around and identify the yes-butters and the why-notters. The why-notters move the world.”

— Louise Randall Pierson (1890 – 1969)
American author

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Stay Strong


“A strong mind always hopes and always has cause to hope.”

— Polybius (c200 – c118 BC)
Greek historian of middle Hellenistic period

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National Pack Rat Day

Do you tend to hoard or collect or squirrel away some unneeded items? I do… particularly old photos, letters, scrapbook items, and family mementos. Today is our day… National Pack Rat Day… Or we could flip it around to National Rat Pack Day and save items that reflect Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr, and Dean Martin. Just sayin’.

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

— Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Indian lawyer, spiritual & political leader, and nonviolent resistance advocate

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International Family Day

As I learned in Hawaii, where my sister has lived for the past 24 years, Ohana is the family you live with, and Ohana is the family you choose. For International Family Day, I thank you for being my family… my Ohana. You appreciate my efforts, you forgive my faux pas, and you love me through it all.

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Image by Steve Leisher


“I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.”

— Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011)
British-American author

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Things that make you say, “Hmmmmm…”

Image by Maxim Hopman

Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book” 1774-1776:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms.. Disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve to encourage rather than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

— Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
American statesman; 3rd US President: 1801-09; wrote Declaration of Independence

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and those who love and care as mothers.

“A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.”

— Amit Kalantri (1988 – )
Indian mentalist, magician, and author; from “Wealth of Words”

I am blessed with an absolutely marvelous mother and immeasurably blessed to have her still with us and healthy as she approaches age 94 next month. My sister Deborah took this picture as Mom was enjoying a lobster roll at the Lucky Lobster in Dunedin, Florida in celebration of Mother’s Day. May she enjoy making lovely memories for many more years. Thank you, Mom, for being the very best.

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Eat What You Want Day

“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.”

— Unknown

Thanks to you all for the multitude of sweet birthday wishes yesterday. I enjoyed a splendid 70th with a few friends who came over for tapas. And Sir Ronald added an ice cream cake.

Since today is National Eat What You Want Day, I will share one of the items I created for yesterday’s birthday tapas spread.

Super Simple Chicken Taquitos
You can also make these with veggies, beef, combinations, or just cheese. Use your favorites!

Leftover chicken, shredded or chopped, seasoned to suit your taste
Cooked bacon, chopped
Sweet onion and/or peppers, finely chopped & microwaved 1 minute
10” soft flour tortillas (or zero carb or other wraps)
Queso or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (seasoned, if desired… see Notes)

Combine chicken, bacon, and veggies; warm slightly in microwave. Cut tortillas in half. Before filling, soften each for 15 seconds in an olive oil-sprayed skillet over low heat. Lay the softened tortilla half on your work surface with the straight edge facing you. Spread a heaping tablespoon of your chicken filling along the straight edge; top with cheese. (I also scatter a few shreds of cheese on the exposed section of the tortilla, as the melting cheese prevents the taquito from unraveling.) Roll up the taquito and place seam-side down on an oil-sprayed baking sheet. Repeat to make as many as you like. Place in 400°F oven for 7-8 minutes. Then use tongs to turn them over (adding more oil spray, if needed). Let cook another 5-6 minutes. Serve with a favorite picante sauce.

KISS Notes: I like to add some sass to the cheese by tossing it with some cumin, chili powder, finely chopped cooked chorizo, and a dash of garlic powder. I stir, then melt them all together. After refrigerating, the combo is perfect for spooning atop your filling. For more kick, include finely diced fresh or pickled jalapeños. To make the recipe extra easy, combine the chicken, bacon, and veggies ahead of time; then simply warm them up a touch before loading your taquitos. You can also deep fry taquitos, if preferred. Corn tortillas are usually fried. By the way, the only reason I cut the tortillas in half is because I want less wrap and more filling. Traditionally, you can simply place your filling on the lower third of a whole tortilla, for which you may prefer to use smaller tortillas.

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“It takes a long time to become young.”

— Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)
Spanish painter & sculptor

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To Wealth of Friends

“Awards become corroded. Friends gather no dust.”

— James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (1913 – 1980)
American athlete and Olympic track and field multi-gold medalist

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Learn, Don’t Burn

Photo by Florian Olivo

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., (1929 – 1968)
American Baptist minister & civil rights activist

Hmmmm… Perhaps only the wisdom of time, age, experience, and hindsight helps us grow and learn to educate ourselves before blindly spewing hatred, violence, and ignorance in unwittingly random directions. Let’s be better and smarter than this. Let’s get it together, America.

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Fun in May


We have so greatly enjoyed the visit with my sister Deborah from Hawaii!






And the Bonfire Taco Party attended by 40+ friends.





Special thanks to all who helped with preps and clean up and for the delicious goodies several of you brought to share during the festivities. We had a terrific time and look forward to the next gathering!

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Growth through Friendship


“A friend is someone who accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

— William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
English playwright

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We Have the Right!


“Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.”

— John G. Riefenbaker (1895 – 1979)
13th Prime Minister of Canada (1957 – 1963)

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Feast, if You Will

“Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.”

— Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD)
Greek Stoic Philosopher

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Overcome Discouragers

Image by John Hain

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember… the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”

– Zig Ziglar (1926 – 2012)
American author

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National Teachers Appreciation Day

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”

— Chinese proverb

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Global Love Day

Image by Gordon Johnson


On the first of May, we celebrate Global Love Day. Ah, yes. We all know that we deeply need a whole lot more love, locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Peace be with you.

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Let Hope Fly!


“True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings.”

— From “Richard III” by William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
English playwright

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Here’s to Your Health!


“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” 

— Joyce Meyer  (1943 – )
American author & speaker

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Ahhh, Intimacy


“To share intimacy with someone, maintain kindness and respect. Skip all snarling (a.k.a. bitching, whining, and order barking.) Duh!”

— Cathy Burnham Martin
Author, voiceover artist & dedicated foodie

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It’s Pageant Week in New Hampshire

October 5, 1975 in Warner, NH

Nervous, enthusiastic, and accomplished young women compete tonight in the finals for the title of Miss New Hampshire 2024. As so many of my “Forever Miss New Hampshire” sisters have done during this Pageant Week, I now share a pic of me “back in the day” in 1975. I sport the gown I made for the Miss America Parade on the famed Atlantic City boardwalk.

A warm, loving hello to all my fellow “formers” and all the best wishes tonight and always to the contenders for the 78th annual title. Always remember to wear the crown in your heart and not just on your head.

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Hope Lives


“From the withered tree, a flower blooms.”

— Zen saying

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The Strength to Be Strong


Courage is contagious.  When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.

— Billy Graham (1918 – 2018)
American evangelist

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Dream Great Dreams


“Great hopes make great people.”

— Thomas Fuller (1710 – 1790)
African slave and renowned mathematician

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RIP Elizabeth Carpenter

Elizabeth Carpenter

Heaven’s choir just added another angel. One of our extraordinarily talented friends, Elizabeth Carpenter, has gone to be with our heavenly Father. All I know now is that her passing was natural and sudden. Her voice and caring heart will be deeply missed. My apologies for my grainy video on YouTube. Her vocal gifts ring clear forever. Rest in peace, dear Elizabeth.


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Friendship Finds

Photo by Julia Gadalina



“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

— Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014)
American poet & civil rights activist

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Attitude of Gratitude


“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”

— Neal A. Maxwell (1926 – 2004)
American scholar & educator

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Freedom Is Not Free

When I wrote the “Destiny” historical fiction trilogy that tells my Armenian family’s story, I had no idea that the religious intolerance and violence themes would be emerging again. Yet, they have. Not just in the Middle East region, but here in our own nation.

For true hope, love, and faith (also powerful themes in the “Destiny” trilogy) to prevail, a great deal of education, compassion, and forgiveness are required.

Freedom must never be taken for granted. Not there. Not here. Not by anyone.

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Work… Or Not


“The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.”

— Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)
American poet

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You Are Worth Strong Self Esteem


“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

— M. Scott Peck (1936 – 2005)
American psychiatrist & author

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PJ Party

Launched in 2004, National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day is celebrated every year on April 16. It’s a sort of reward for staying up nights working on your taxes. If you work from home, PJs for work may not be new. If you work away from home, well…. Use your own best judgment. (But cartoon characters would be great if you can get away with it.)

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National Tax Day

For National Tax Day, here’s a look at some quotes regarding the income tax.

“They can’t collect legal taxes from illegal money.”

— Al Capone aka “Scarface” (1899 – 1947)
American gangster & businessman


“A fine is a tax for doing something wrong. A tax is a fine for doing something right.”

— Anonymous


“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”

— Albert Einstein  (1879 – 1955)
German-born theoretical physicist; developed theory of relativity

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War Is Hell


“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” 

— William Tecumseh Sherman (1820 – 1891)
Union General in the American Civil War

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Succeed Happily


“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”

— Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)
French theologian, philosopher, physician, and Nobel laureate

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National Cheese Fondue Day


For National Cheese Fondue Day, I gleefully share a recipe from my book: “Champagne! Facts, Fizz, Food, & Fun.” (Yes, still available in paperback and digital formats.) This timeless classic may be decades old, but it still reigns as fabulous!



1970’s Cheese Fondue
This is an early recipe creation showing the emerging Keep It Super Simple thinking.  Fondue was very “in,” and this recipe was very easy.  Both fondue and simplicity are back in vogue, so this vintage recipe, originally created by the KISS Kitchen in the 1970’s, is perfect. 

1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 single serving can (6-oz) tomato juice
1 envelope dried onion soup mix
2 c shredded Swiss cheese
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese (mild or sharp)
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat and stir together all the ingredients until melted, thick, and stringy. Serve and keep warm in a fondue pot with large cubes of crusty French bread, whole mushroom caps, fresh broccoli florets, sweet red pepper sticks, and wedges of Granny Smith apples.

KISS Tip: Feel free to garnish your fondue with items such as, roasted pepita nuts, chopped parsley, or a sprinkle of spice or pepper.

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Find Your Contentment


“If I can be somewhere with sunshine and have bare feet and a book, I’m happy.”

— KT Tunstall (1975 – )
Scottish singer-songwriter

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