Fall is my favorite season, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees. 

Hilarious, that David Letterman.

So is New Yorker artist Edward Koren on this 1988 cover.



I won’t be seeing most of my feathered friends for a while.  Before they return, I have lots of Fall house cleaning to do.



Cleaning out birdhouses isn’t without surprises.


They’re filled with an assortment of grasses, twigs, leaves, feathers, and mosses and wildlife too small to see.


Mine are designed for Sialia sialis, the Eastern bluebird. Males and females arrive in spring, investigate two or three houses, and then the male steps back and lets the female decide where they will nest.

IMG_0018This summer, my blue beauties were driven out by tree swallows and house sparrows and wrens.

These birds never clean out the rubbish left by previous residents.

While they’re busy listening to their personal cassette players and falling from trees,

some of us have work to do.


Toni 11/5/15


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 David Letterman, a.k.a.The Big Man


Blast-of-fresh antics. Seismic style. Nothing off limits. Ever.

Goofy, vulnerable, snarky.


Published about three years into the production of the show, Markoe’s book takes the cake and eats it too. Frozen moments from the early seasons.

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Dave and his Grauman’s-bound team



Oh, take one last look at the place that you are leaving
Take one last look.


A scraggly lullaby for Dave, Tom Waits nails it. Gulp.

“Take One Last Look”

Let’s watch the sun come up in another town
Try our luck a little further down
Leave the cards on the table
Leave the bread on the plate
Put your hand on the gearshift
Put your foot off the brake

And take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look

I beg for something that the wind can carry
There are all points of ways across the waiting prairie
This car looks like it could give us a good run
A choice to leave was a good one

And take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look

Let’s look forward to the lights that are new,
The world is a ribbon of road for you
All towns have churches and tire stops
They put up speed limit signs and they hire cops
I love to see the wind in your hair
All we ever need we can get anywhere

And take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last look
At the place that you are leaving
Take one last look
Oh take one last look
Oh take one last look

Toni 5/21/15



When you get older, you learn certain life lessons.

You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say,

‘Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go.’

~ Robert Redford

Think anything longer than 140 characters is a homework assignment? Sometimes I do. In fact, there’s a good chance your eyes are glazing over right now.


But I have to admit, I do like lists.  Think: Ellen, Oprah, Cosmo. The specific promise of the headline. The simple outline format that’s easy to skim and bullet points ~ a perfect balance of piña and colada.

Social media is about generating conversations and a list fascinates everyone I know.



I like to see what’s on it and whether it affirms what I think or is completely wrong.  Like The 7 Accessories That Will Change Your Life (the must-have statement necklace, remember Cleopatra?) or The 12 Secrets of Better Lawn Care (lots of sprinklers).



Did you ever see David Letterman’s very first list?

Dave inspires me. But why stop at 10?


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3. Money doesn’t buy happiness ~ but it does allow for a secure life and resources to share with others.

4. Truly, the best things in life are free.  Take a hike, play with kids.

5. Show some love.  Go out of your way to thank people, pick someone up on their way down.

6. Be a problem solver.

7. Seek out the company of inspiring people. 

8. Never judge a book by its cover.  

9. Say no when you mean no, don’t say maybe.  Just be nice about it.

10. Embrace play.  Skip the sitcom rerun, join a community project.

11. Recognize how fortunate you are. 

12. Keep learning new things.  Exit the comfort zone.

13. Cherish your old friends and introduce them to your new ones. 

14. Run towards adventure.  Transform yourself.

15. Look inward.

16. Be brave.  Play on a swing set at least once a year.

17. Face your fears.  Don’t waste your energy on worry. Lose the guilt.

18. Think for yourself. 

19. Grow your own food.  It’s judderingly awesome.

20. Go places.  Anywhere will do. Ask Dr. Suess.

21. Be persistent.  Inch your way there.

22. Just be.  Sit, listen, let your mind wander, feel the peace.  Breathe.

23. Create...music, words, art…and share it with the world.

24. Enjoy a simple pleasure every day.  The slow sunrise, a long shower, berries on your Kashi.

25. Go on picnics. 

26. Journal. Just get it down ~ on paper or in pixels.

27. Watch movies in your bathrobe.

28. Nap in the afternoon.

29. Bake.  Anything with chocolate.

30. Tell jokes.  Write the punchlines on your hand, if you need to.

31. De-clutter ~ in short time chunks or long ones.  Be merciless.

32. Back up your computer. 

33. Google it.  What do you want to know?  It’s all there.  Shocker.

34. Use your best stuff every day.

35. Cook dinner.  It’s a ritual worth celebrating.

36. Avoid roundabouts.

37. You can have carbs at night.  Eat protein all day.

38. Spend part of every day outside.  Yes, even in winter.

39. Get up in the middle of the night and eat peanut butter with a spoon.

40. Pump iron.  It beats dieting.

41. Add something to the tip jar. 

42. It’s OK to be different.  Note: you’re not as different as you think.

43. Try everything.  Even stuff that scares you.

44. Read books. Lots of them.

45. Take care of the earth.  And it might take care of you.

46. Learn the rules.  Then it’s OK to break them.

47. Sing.  If you can’t sing, sing anyway.  Especially at karaoke.

48. Give away something you love. 

49. Make life simpler.  Embrace technology.

50. Marry your best friend.  Hold hands.

51. Believe in miracles.

52. Tell the truth.

53. Learn from your mistakes.  

54. Don’t settle.

55. Focus on what you have.  Be grateful for the goodness.

56. Smile. 

57. Be honest. 

58. Keep a ‘To-Don’t “ list.  You know what goes there, don’t you?

59. Find a mentor. Or five.

60. Family is everything.

61. Focus on your strengths.  Do what you love.

62. Accept yourself. You are your own best friend.

63. Follow your gut, you’ll thank yourself later.

64. Remember what your mother taught you.

65. Take walks with your camera.  This little film tells me that a creative life ~ in whatever way you break from routine and for as much time you can spare ~ is one worth living.


Toni 3/26/14