Welcome to The Squeaky Pen

...where life is slow, and ripe with rural treasures

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When White Isn’t White Anymore

I have a rental property that I’m planning to have painted this summer. My painter stopped by to discuss, and left behind a Sherwin Williams color book as thick as a cement block.

Great! I thought. Lots of colors! Anything my little heart desires!

Immediately omitting black, orange, purple, and brown, pondering the pinks and the blues and greens, dismissing most of the yellows, and momentarily considering a shade in the beige family, I finally settled on something easy and classic: white.

Classic? Yes. Easy? Ho ho.

Here are some of the possibilities:

Marshmallow. Downy. Snowbound. Pure White. Extra White. Ceiling Bright White. Alabaster. Pearly White. White Duck. Natural Choice. Creamy. Dover White. Ivory Lace. Antique White. Shoji White (shoji, FYI, is a Japanese rice paper screen). Eider White. Incredible White. Aesthetic White. Reserved White. Site White. Original White.

That’s from section one.

Incredibly enough, it goes on: Smart White. Quartz White. Dreamy White. Gauzy White. Hush White. Gorgeous White. Polite White. Nice White. Everyday White. Modest White. Reliable White. Pacer White. Devine White. Navajo White. Moderate White. Panda White. Nonchalant White. Ethereal White. Frosty White. Spare White. Spatial White. Discreet White. Nouvelle White. Patient White. Intimate White. White Beet. Alluring White. Eggwhite. White Mint. Aura White. Soothing White. Heavenly White. Spinach White (spinach white???). Touching White. Feather White. Welcome White. White Willow. White Iris. White Lilac. Minuet White. Whimsical White. And my personal favorite, Ibis White. For those of you who aren’t ornithologists and/or don’t have a dictionary handy, an Ibis is any of several large wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae.

With all due respect to Sherwin Williams and the people who sit around in little cubicles drinking coffee and coming up with paint names, are they kidding?

I remember being taught in grade school about primary colors of the basic wheel: blue, red, yellow. In those days, a piece of paper was white, a bowling ball was black, a stop sign was red, grass was green. Period.

In all, there are over twelve hundred hues in the Sherwin Williams color book. I counted them. And I have to choose a white for my house from sixty-four options, all variations of what should be a straightforward and classic color for an American home. I want white…not a spinach white, or a polite white. I don’t want my white frosty or spatial or discreet, I don’t really care if it’s hushed or soothing or whimsical, I’m not particularly thrilled about it being alluring or intimate or gauzy, and I most certainly do not want it to be the color of a large wading bird from the Threskiornithidae family. White, Sherwin Williams. I want the house white.

In the end, I’m leaning toward Nebulous White (yes, that’s actually one of the SW colors) because about my painting project I am clearly feeling hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused.

Having choices in life is wonderful. Having this many choices is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is that not one of the little color swatches out of twelve hundred said simply: “White.”

Sherwin Williams, are you listening?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Congratulations Peggy!

On Sunday, March 27, Peggy O'Connor was inducted as the latest Sherburne Citizen of the Year. It was SRO at the American Legion, where Peggy humbly and eloquently accepted her plaque. Peggy received a standing ovation at the end of her acceptance speech, which was peppered with humor, poignant remembrances, and genuine gratitude. From toddlers to seniors, all in attendance let Peggy know how much she is appreciated. "I graduated from Sherburne-Earlville High School," she said, "and went to Niagara University, where I graduated with a degree in business administration and marketing. After graduation, to quote an old Irish song, I returned to the town I love so well." We're all glad you did, Peg. Congratulations!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet Nothings Lost in the Void

Technology is a fascinating phenomenon. If there are modern-day miracles, technology surely is one. Our desire for communication has, in a strange way, become its own religion with millions genuflecting to characters ticking across a computer monitor.
My own technological journey is easy enough to trace. The odyssey began with three TV channels (one fuzzy) on a black and white set, a floor-model radio/stereo combo that played record albums; maps tucked in a car seat pocket; unwieldy projectors and film reels and teetering vinyl screens; and one black telephone, in the kitchen, attached to the wall. There were manual typewriters at my first real job, and refrigerator-size computers. From there: boom boxes and electric typewriters; cassette tapes and 8-tracks and VCRs; phones in a bag (popular with traveling salesmen); my first desktop computer, which featured an overbearing monitor and blinking green letters on a dark background; CDs. The web and email; cell phones with drop-down mouthpieces and pull-up antennas; shrinking cell phones with no visible antenna and no drop-down anything; DVD players; laptops; floppy disks, hard disks, flash drives; BlueRay. Flat-screen everything. iPods, GPS systems, Blackberries, iPhones, iPads, texting, tweeting, Facebook, the ability to email from anywhere, the ability to call anybody from anywhere, the ability to snap a photo and send it around the world in two minutes, the ability to watch movies or TV shows on impossibly tiny gadgets, devices embedded in the cell phone giving parents the ability to track their children, or spouses the ability to track each other, or stalkers the ability to track their victims…wait a minute. How did we get from my parents’ black wall phone to stalkers tracking victims? Like any religion, I guess, sometimes going too far with a “miraculous” discovery can take us to a dark place.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate technology, I really do. I can work from anywhere thanks to my Backberry and my laptop. Technology has set me free. So if I’m free, why is this miracle of communication starting to feel like a large ball and chain?
At this very moment I’m sitting near a pool in Florida. The palm trees are swaying. It’s 79 degrees. Birds (not celebrities) are tweeting nearby. I’m typing on my laptop, and my dinging Blackberry is resting close, just in case I get some vitally important email or phone call or text message. I’m not looking at the palm trees, the breeze is breezing by unnoticed, and bird sounds are dwarfed by the dings of my phone. Something is wrong with this picture. Like so many others in this new and exciting technological age, I’m hooked on communication; or rather, I’m hooked on the hope of a communication thrill because let’s face it, unless an agent is texting that she’s sold my book to Random House and has a million dollar advance check in hand, most computer communications are pretty dull. Nonetheless, I’m as much as addict to this ridiculous quest for contact as the 17-year-olds who text in the deli, in the restaurant, in the elevator, on the toilet, the minute before they go to sleep and the minute they wake up. Our drug is the trilling phone and the blinking light. We have mail, and we can’t wait to get to it, never mind how pointless that mail might be.    
Down in my basement, I have a big cardboard box full of letters. The letters are in all sizes of envelopes that are yellowing and bear aging postage stamps and return addresses of high school and college friends, old boyfriends, my mother, aunts and cousins, and too many others to name. My family teases me sometimes about keeping this stuff which, to them I’m sure, is as pointless as most of the texts we all now get. For me, these old letters are a part of my history, a part of the communication of my past. I remember being just as excited getting a letter in the mailbox as I am getting an email from a friend now. The only difference between my box of letters and emails is that letters are tangible mementos. Emails and texts are fleeting, disappearing as quickly as we can hit the delete key. What, I wonder, will a 17-year-old 25 years from now have to remind her of this time in her life? Emails and texts might as well be helium balloons. There they are, the string firm in your hand, but when you let go they rise and are gone. Will anybody have a box of emails in their basement decades from now?  Probably not, anymore than they’ll have a box of balloons.
Mankind has always been addicted to communication, and that’s a good thing. I suppose what’s bothering me these days is the quantity and speed of our contact. We don’t savor the words being written, and we certainly don’t save them in a big box in the cellar. We dash off a dozen text messages in as many minutes then delete them, our words being dumped into the void. There’s something hollow about this that makes me sad. Maybe it’s imagining a love letter ticking across a tiny Blackberry screen, in 140 characters or less, with a heart-shaped smiley face at the end.
We’re losing something special in this new age of communication, and I guess we won’t know exactly what it is until it’s gone for good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

In The Name of Mother Earth

I was out with friends a few nights ago, and talk turned to spring, and gardens. Personally, I despise gardening. I’m crazy about the results, but the work is just…well, too much work. The best I’ve ever been able to accomplish is shoving some impatiens into the ground. Impatiens are great because they’re colorful, easy to plant, and bloom all summer.

This year, however, I’ve decided to take a crack at gardening. So I listened carefully to my friends’ conversation, and was delighted at the non-toxic talk. Paul and Rose were discussing how to get rid of garden pests “the old fashioned way.”

Before I tell you what they said, let me tell you about lawns downstate. They’re perfect. Utterly, perfectly perfect. Not a weed dares rear its ugly head. Sprinklers are going continuously. Yards are green and weedless and full of blooming flowers, edges are edged, bushes are trim and tidy. My lawn down there, in comparison, was a disaster. The first year I had a lawn, every bit of it was burned to a crisp by July 1st. Why? Because in upstate New York, nature waters the lawn. Unknown to me at the time, nature is not so accommodating on Long Island. Good for golf, bad for grass.

Okay okay, so I got a sprinkler and put it on a timer. Still, the yard was a nightmare. While the grass (and weeds) were green, the overall picture was a mess. I had a wisteria that looked like the star in Little Shop of Horrors. Squirrels were eating what few tulip bulbs I had planted, slugs were lurking around the patio, dandelions were popping up in the sidewalk joints, and once I even saw a deer nibbling on my back yard foliage. But for a few impatiens fluttering around by the doorstep, my yard gave the impression that the house had been abandoned.

Why, I finally whined to a knowledgeable acquaintance, is my yard full of weeds and creatures?

“Do you use insecticide? Weed killer?”
“Well there you are! You have to kill all that stuff!”
“You’re telling me,” I said to him, hands on hips, “that all the lawns around here are perfect because people are dumping poison into the water table??”
He nodded proudly.
 “I see. So I guess the answer to the deer, squirrels, and slugs is a nuclear weapon.”

The nodding stopped. He was not amused.

With Paul and Rose, there was no mention of toxic sprays, and there was certainly no mention of poisons drizzling through the grass, the soil, and into the water table below and one day not so far off ending up in the coffee pot and bath tub. Instead, here was their fine advice:

“Sprinkle hot sauce around the vegetable garden, it’ll keep the deer out.”
“Place mint around, it’ll keep out the mice.”
“Plant marigolds…woodchucks hate marigolds.”

We didn’t talk about weeds in particular, but another friend once told me about pouring boiling water on those dandelions that are peeping up through sidewalk cracks. Just be careful not to pour the water on your unsuspecting feet (as he did), or you’ll pay a price with blisters.

I was elated at these simple (and safe) remedies, and so did a little Internet research. Here are some of the gardening tips I found:

To keep out grazing animals: In a 1-liter spray bottle, mix a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and 1 ounce of hot sauce then add water and shake well. Or, mix ¼ cup of water with a whole beaten egg. Spray either solution directly on the plants.

Mice, rats, rabbits: When you notice a trace of rodent activity in your area, look for their possible routes. On these routes place some rags or cotton balls that are soaked with peppermint.

Ants: Vinegar, diluted or used full strength, can be used to destroy ant trails. Without clear trails, the ants will get confused. Dust outdoor nests with cinnamon and black pepper. Adding borax to sugar also works. Since the goal is to have the ants bring borax back to their nests, start with a 5% or 10% borax to sugar ratio and gradually increase it to 40%-50%. The mixture should be placed where you see the ants or on the ant trails. Try putting bay leaves, cloves, and cayenne pepper at the ants’ entry point, and in drawers, shelves, etc. Finally, talcum powder is not appreciated by these bugs. The theory is if you dust the ants and the trail, they’ll stop coming around. Note: regarding peonies, the Heartland Peony Society recommends that you don’t try to get rid of ants on your peonies. They may or may not help with blooming, but in either case should be gone by the time the peony is in full bloom. If they’re not, soak the peony blooms in water before bringing them into the house, or simply shake the ants off.

Slugs: Fill small bowls with stale beer and place the bowls strategically in areas of the garden where the slugs are most active. Slugs apparently like stale beer, will climb in and drown in the liquid. Other liquids that work are grape juice or a tea made with yeast, honey, and water. Salt also works, poured directly onto the slug, but beware, it’s a mess.

There are lots of other eco-tips out there, depending on your needs. With the ever-increasing interest in healthier living and with organic food on the rise (translation: the food my dad grew in his big garden out back), I plan to use all of the above and more when I tackle my gardening project this year. My gardens might not be perfect, but at least I won't be poisoning myself, my neighbors, and other passing organisms in the name of pretty grass and flowers. Long Islanders, on the other hand, will have ideal yards, which I guess they can stay busy taking care of with one blind eye and a newly-sprouted third arm. I'll just use the two of each I now have, grow some roses and organic tomatoes, and reach for the spice cabinet and that leftover Bud when the upstate creatures come around.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Citizen of the Year

I spoke with Peggy O’Connor the other day about being named Sherburne’s “Citizen of the Year.” Typical Peggy, she was humble. Very.
“I’m still scratching my head,” she told me. “What have I done for Sherburne?” How strange these days that we feel we actually have to “do” something to be recognized as a special person. This of course isn’t to say that Peggy hasn’t “done.” She is, in her own way, an ambassador for this town.

A few Peggy O’Connor vignettes:

Peggy was in my high school graduating class. As a senior, she was voted Most Humorous, a title well deserved (just ask anybody from the class of 1974). That’s because Peggy always had (and has) a smile on her face, which as far as I’m concerned is one of the best reasons in 2011 to go into the Sherburne post office. I know I’m going to get a hearty “Hello!” when I walk in, and in fact try to schedule my mail pick-up times when Peggy’s there. Not a day goes by that I walk out of the post office without a smile on my own face after hearing Peggy’s greeting.

I have a client for whom I manage a substantial mailing twice a year. When my office was downstate, the postal employees would groan when they saw me coming. Not in Sherburne! Postal employees here not only avoid the groan, but Peggy thanks me for the business. The first time she did I blinked as though I’d lost my hearing. I have never before, in 30 years in the workplace, been thanked by a postal employee for delivering a thousand envelopes for them to process. And if that wasn’t enough, Peggy now asks when I’m coming back with more, and says “We appreciate it!” when I promise to return soon, laden with mail.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held this year on snowy March 6, has become another reason to look forward to spring in Sherburne, one that helps local business and that brings people together in a way that can only be appreciated if you live in a small town. Floats and bagpipers and…dare I say it again? Smiling people. Peggy and her sister Kathy are an integral part of this event. They are, in fact, the parade’s lifeblood. I hope people here thank them frequently for all their hard work. They deserve it.

Who doesn’t remember the popcorn stand? If you don’t, your youth is showing. It was a staple here for many years, and behind every cotton candy twirl and bag of corn handed out to elated children was Peggy O’Connor and her family.

I know Peggy won’t be happy with me for telling this one, but at our last class reunion there were a few who couldn’t afford to pay. Peggy covered their cost. When she walks to work, she calls "hello!" and waves to people. Behind the counter, she offers stamps and shipping advice and, when necessary to strangers passing through town, directions. She has an infectious laugh full of fun and welcome and, yes, a touch of mischief. She is, in a word, delightful. I’m thinking Peggy O’Connor might be the nicest person in town.

So Peg, when you scratch your head and wonder why people voted for you …stop. You’ve got this one coming.

The official ceremony for the 2011 Citizen of the Year Award will be at the American Legion on Sunday, March 27. I hope the event is standing room only. If it’s not, it should be. We should all be there cheering Peggy on. Come on down to the Legion and wish our latest inductee well. More importantly, bring your kids and grandkids and explain to them what’s going on. Show them it doesn’t take being a billionaire, or an American Idol contestant…or God forbid a troubled celebrity shouting “Winner!” on YouTube…to be recognized. Tell them that sometimes – and not often enough – being a happy, honest, considerate, polite, and first-rate citizen is all it takes to be a star.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mark Your Calendar

Sunday, March 27, American Legion, Peggy O'Connor will receive the Citizen of the Year Award.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My last spring on Long Island was a strange one. Not because of weather or throngs of people, but because of critters. For the first time in 12 years there, I had mice.

Now I am not a squeamish woman. When I was a kid, mice would venture into the house now and then (we lived in the country) and my parents would set traps. I’ve emptied many a trap with an “oh well” sort of attitude. Stay outside mouse: live long and prosper. Come inside mouse: not so much.

Still, in 2009 on Long Island, I was freaked. I had never seen a mouse in that house, and for some reason (my Armageddon mind whispered) mice were a-plenty. At first I denied it. My two cats started spending evenings staring at corners and at cracks behind pieces of furniture. There would be periodic thumping around in the laundry room. And late at night, in the dark, my normally snoozing Ruby and Lucy were stampeding up and down the stairs. “Nah,” I said (deny deny deny). “Can’t be anything. They’re just…wired…tonight.”

Then one morning I was in the shower. Through the rush of water I heard all manner of activity in the bedroom. I cocked my head, listened to thumping, and said, “Nah, it must be the garbage trucks outside.” When I shut off the water and stepped out of the shower I could still hear thumping. Opening the door leading into the bedroom, I was greeted by the sight of a small and very fast mouse rushing at a dead run straight at me, and Ruby on his heels, also at a dead run. For one ghastly moment the mouse, the cat, and I were all in the tiny bathroom together. After much screaming, flailing, running, and door slamming, the situation transformed itself into naked me standing on the bed, and the cat and mouse trapped together behind the closed bathroom door.

All became quiet. Too quiet.

After what I determined to be a sufficient amount of time for the cat to put an end to this particular rodent’s life, I crept off the bed. When I creaked open the door, which swung into the bedroom, Ruby (clearly an idiot) came strolling out. The mouse sat in the corner. Looking at me.

Some swearing ensued. I put on a robe and went to the kitchen, where I got a large plastic container and some cardboard. “I’ll catch him!” I thought. “Pin him under the container, slide a piece of cardboard underneath, and toss him outside!” Sidling into the bathroom, I shut the door behind me and studied the mouse. I looked into his pink eyes. He looked into mine. He had cute little feet and big ears. As I leaned down, ready to slam the container over him, to my utter horror he jumped straight into the air. The container and the cardboard flew out of my hands and I staggered back, knocking the door open and stumbling into the bedroom. The mouse, of course, sped out of the bathroom and was gone.

For the next three days I listened to my cats chase and not catch this mouse. I set traps. I sat on the sofa with my feet up. I wept silently into my pillow while the cats charged around in the dark night. What is wrong with these cats? Finally I went out of town, vowing to call the exterminator if the mouse wasn’t dead or gone by the time I got back. When I walked into the house two days later, there was Ruby chasing a clearly exhausted mouse across the living room carpet. This wasn’t real life. This was a cartoon.

In the end, the exterminator didn’t need to be called because Speedy Gonzales, worn-out, stumbled into one of my traps. It was a little sad, actually, when I tossed his stiff carcass into the bushes out back. He’d been cute, after all, with pink eyes and big ears. We’d looked into each other’s faces, there in the bathroom. I was despondent with guilt.

The despondency ended soon, however. There were more mice to come – and in one dreadful incident, a chipmunk who wandered in through the open French doors – and as the spring played out I became convinced that both my cats were idiots. I still didn’t call the exterminator…I have what I consider to be a completely rational fear of bug- and mouse-killing toxins. When I moved out of my house for good to relocate upstate, I have to say I wasn’t unhappy. A nice place. A nice neighborhood. Whatever. Adios to Speedy and all his friends.

You may be wondering why I’m talking about this. It’s almost spring here in my new home. Last night, in bed, I heard my normally snoozing cats stampeding through the house. And this morning Ruby and Lucy were staring at the crack behind my bureau.

Nah. It can’t be…

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dude, Like It’s An Awesome World!

I ventured out today to buy milk. Entered a local convenience store where, upon paying for my gallon and presenting exact change, the teenage salesgirl chirped “Awesome!”

Lord give me strength.

According to the dictionary, awesome is defined as: “inspiring awe; an awesome sight.” Its root word, “awe,” is defined: “An overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful.

Let’s clarify: the Eiffel Tower is awesome. The Pacific Ocean is awesome. Niagara Falls is awesome. Exact change is…not.

Through sheer will, I managed to resist saying, "Sweetheart, are you experiencing an overwhelming feeling of reverence that I've produced exact change for my milk? Or is it a sense of the grand, the sublime? Are you in fact in awe of me that I should be able to pull a few dollar-bills and some coins out of my pocket? Or is it fear, which indicates at the very least that you have one drop of good sense?"

Many years ago, when “duh” was popular, I was on a long car trip with my two young nephews. Duh was their favorite word. They said it about everything.

"Make sure you put your seatbelt on.”
"Well duh!"
“Would you like the window down?”
"Well duh!"

Being in the car with them under normal circumstances was trying. In their duh phase, on a long trip, their company was intolerable. So I started the deprogramming program. For five hours, every time they spoke, I shouted “DUH!” Five hours of nothing but duh. I thought their eyes would pop out, and I never heard them utter duh again.

Sadly, I can’t do that to the teenager in the convenience store. Nor can I deprogram the Elaine Benes groupies who exclaim “Shut up!” whenever I say something surprising. “Sweet” is another one. Sugar is sweet. Honey is sweet. Getting a pair of socks at Christmas is not sweet. Then there’s “amazing.” Everything in the new millennium is amazing. The baby is amazing, the Empire State Building is amazing, the song on the radio is amazing, the squashed spider in the bathtub is amazing. I can’t even, like, begin to discuss “like” and the way and frequency that poor word is now butchered in teenybopper vernacular.

I suppose my age is showing, and yes, we had expressions too: cool, neat, groovy (the latter of which was ridiculous, thankfully short-lived, and one I myself never used). I get it, that all generations have words that identify them as part of the youth culture. I was once part of the youth culture. But I’m quite sure that my memory is accurate when I say I did not use cool as the adjective for every single burp and gurgle in my life.

I will, inevitably, return to the convenience store as there are only two in my town, and I will, inevitably, be waited on by the insipid teenager. My inclination will be to tell her the store is awesome, and, like, the milk is awesome, and the cash register is awesome, and her hair is awesome, and you know, like, ask about her awesome hairdresser. I imagine, though, that in the spirit of getting along, I’ll just keep my mouth shut and hope she says thank you when the exact change hits the counter.

If I were a teacher, I’d end up in jail. It would be an injustice, however, since I’m not, like, the one murdering the English language.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am home

It's a Tuesday in March. On Sunday, here in rural upstate New York, there was snow. Lots of snow. Two feet, the weathermen say. Looking at my buried car, my buried trees, my buried roof, and in one heart-stopping moment my buried pet, I suspect there was more. The number of snow days since December has gone beyond my ability to count. It's the Twilight Zone. I drink coffee and stare at my back yard, thinking spring will never come. There will never be another flower, another blade of grass. Budding leaves will not return. My more reasonable weather life on Long Island, not so far gone, seems an age ago. Once I traveled around the world. Now I lay fires and shovel snow. Once I stood looking out hotel windows in Hong Kong. Now I stand at a window in my kitchen, looking at cardinals, red against white. Once I watched lions mate in Kenya. Now I watch a small dog named Harry, and fear he will vanish, muffled, in a snow bank. Still, inexplicably, I am happy here. The return to my hometown has revealed surprising joy.

On Sunday, in the snow, my town celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Early, because of the bagpipers, who have other commitments in bigger towns. Main Street was full of floats, marchers, music, children, happy bundled Irishmen. I rode on a float this year, ballast. I've ridden the Concorde, but never a float. I waved to the few hardy townspeople who ventured out in scarves and boots to watch us pass. Everyone was smiling. A friend has been voted Citizen of the Year, her name splashed on a banner attached to a big truck trundling behind us in the parade. What, I wonder, are the duties of one deemed Citizen of the Year? I think she wonders, too. It doesn't matter. How delightful to have such an honor, whatever it means. Small town life is full of possibilities, and being a good citizen is enough to be recognized.

What was it Miss Marple said? That little places are microcosms representing human nature throughout the world? I've seen the world, or at least many parts of it. Venice, Rome, Paris, London, Vienna, Madrid, Prague, Nairobi, New York City. I've also seen the St. Patrick's Day parade in Manhattan, but I'm sure there were fewer smiling faces there than here in the snow, on Sunday.

I pour another cup of coffee, knowing flowers will bloom. And secretly, I like the snow, though I can't admit that to my friend whose job it is to push cascading drifts aside for churchgoers across the street. Instead, I offer him a warm fire and we talk about the weather, the parade, the Methodists' pancake breakfast. We long for spring, just around the corner, and watch my dog sprawl at the hearth. We are good citizens. I hope this place does represent the true nature of the world.

It's good to be home.

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum