“Marva?” At the sound of Dorothy calling my name, my daydream burst like a soap bubble. “Yes?” “The look on your face!” exclaimed Dorothy. “Thought you’d gotten hold of one of those earwax-flavored jellybeans my nephew brought over here on April Fool’s Day! What was that – licorice?” I’m no fan of licorice – I’m always... read more


I might never have heard of iridium if not for Tom Lehrer, whose catchy setting of the periodic table of elements to a Gilbert and Sullivan tune did more to heighten my awareness of chemistry than the few weeks of college Chem I I took before dropping the class. “…There’s yttrium, ytterbium, actinium, rubidium, and boron, gadolinium, niobium, iridium, there’s strontium and silicon... read more


“You are so funny!” It always surprises me when someone says that; I can’t be funny on command, but I definitely have a sense of humor and am in tune with the ridiculous. Physical comedy – slapstick – makes my skin crawl, but puns delight me. My son was amused (and appalled) that I knew the punchlines to at least twenty “dead baby jokes” and didn’t even... read more


I have a rule: He who complains about how the job gets done gets the job. My mother used to insist that towels be folded neatly into perfectly creased thirds, then in half, then hung evenly over a towel rack. I’m happy if the kids pitch in and the towels are folded neatly enough I can stack them on a shelf in the closet. Speaking of haphazard towel storage, who builds a house without a linen closet?... read more


Flowers bloom year ’round, here in Houston. Spring wildflowers are blooming, now, and the bees are happy. A bumblebee tried to whisper in my ear, yesterday- “Avoid the butterflies,” he said. “They’re flighty.” “Sure, but you’re a bumbling bee, so you shouldn’t be so critical.” I ducked like a nimble prizefighter as the round little bumblebee dove... read more

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