Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Bearing Pain

I'm in sooo much pain.... 



teeth gritting...stabbing...pain

I can hardly bear it.

I think my pelvis slipped away from the sacroiliac joint a little bit.

Can't see the pain doc until next Thursday.

taking Dilaudid when I can't take it no more, then have to stay in bed

hate it!



Returning from the midwest
flat, lifeless,
humidity stifling,
we craved the sight
of that vast limitless sea.
We wanted to taste
salt water on our lips,
breathe in seaweed enhanced air,
listen to barking seals,
the waves breaking on the shoreline.
We anticipated our bodies tingling
with electrifying exhilaration of the ozone,
bringing life back into our starving lungs.

We had missed it so much
that vast subtle azure
meeting with the gray horizon
kissing the clouds
watching over us.

We could feel a sweetness,
a freshness,
a newness,
as though we had never
been here before.

We stood at the end of the land
on the cliffs
reveling at the rythym
of the tides below,
counting seven waves
hoping it was true
that there is a cycle to the swells.
to walk
on hot glittering sand
in our bare feet,
to squish our toes
into the edge of the foamy brine.
We could hardly wait
for the water to caress our feet,
to roll up our pantlegs
and wade as deep as our knees.
the current pulling at us,
daring the depths to take us away.
We knew we would stay
in the water
until our legs were cold and numb

We climbed down
the precarious zig zag path
where we had been before
so many years ago.
We were like lighthearted children
splashing as we ran
alongside the puddles
and clumps of seaweed,
disturbing the seagulls,
there cries piercing the air.

Slowing down
to pick up seashells
and smoothed pieces of colored glass
green, brown, red
and our favorite...

We passed around
the corner edge of the cliff
seeking the wall where the mermaid
had been etched by some ambitious artist
How had he done it?
Did he hang off the side
by a rope? stand on a tall ladder?
Certainly, it was magic!
Around the bend
searching the tide pools
seeking the crabs,
we were not aware
of the rising tide,
of the increasing
strength of the wind
in that protected cove.

Was it someone above us
hollering a warning
to return?
A surfer, maybe?
Was it intuition?
We turned and saw
the threatening sea rushing in
as the sun prepared to set.

At sea level
we would be
at the mercy of the rising tide.
Hurrying now,
adrenaline rushing up our spines,
tightening our throats
vibrating through our muscles.
The slippery challenge of the rocks
threatening to toss us off
like pieces of driftwood.

We clung to the edge of the cliff
scraping our hands,
where it cleaved to the shore.
Water weighed us down
as we tried to run,
in heavy slow motion,
being held back
like those in a dream,
the tangled seaweed
hampering our escape
gut wrenching fear driving us on.

At the last moment
in grateful relief,
we safely ascend.


Note: Based on a true experience


High School Girls

Sharon Smith was my bosom buddy in high school, when I lived in Wright's Corners, New York. She had the most gorgeous shiny black hair and a figure to die for. Mine was a figure to cry for. She had a soft spoken way about her. I was the the loud blond ditz. Neither one of us was all that popular, so we sat in the lunchroom eating our brown bag sandwiches and watching the others with their lunch trays with french fries, peas and fake hamburger. Sometimes we envied them, especially if it was fried chicken day or fish sticks day. Other times we snorted behind our hands making up names for the disgusting concoctions being offered. It made up for not being included in the popular kids lives.

We stuck together, Sharon and I. Though we came from different backgrounds, books were our commonality, and music... classical music. What fifteen year old doesn't like classical music? Eh? Well, maybe that's what set us apart.

It's not like we walked around the hallowed halls of Newfane High whistling Beethoven. Nor did we discuss favorite composers in class. I didn't even know enough details about Classical Music to talk about it intelligently. All I knew was that I liked listening to it, and there was little opportunity to do so. Sharon knew more. I could tell. She would call me on the phone and tell me to turn on the radio to the far away Buffalo station for a particular piece of music. I strained to listen as we both silently held the phone.

Now, to be sure, we were not entirely Nerd Girls. We liked the Box Tops as well as the next kid.

"Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane. Ain't got time to take a fast train. Lonely days are gone, I'm a-goin' home. My baby wrote me a letter..."

I remember one day, going up to Lockport by myself on the bus to spend a Saturday afternoon and my allowance. It cost me a dollar to by an LP. (That's a long playing record album.) This was before there was such a thing called Stereo. The LP was titled Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian composer. I didn't know the music. I had no idea who Edvard Grieg was. I knew it was classical music. I liked the name of the "songs", Anitra's Dance, Hall of the Mountain King, and I liked the picture on the front, an inspiring sunset.

I brought it home and put it on the turntable. My Dad was in the other room and hearing the music, came in to ask where I got it. Not only was he surprised I bought it myself, but  he ended up explaining the story behind the music, a bit about the composer and more details than I can remember now. This was when I learned his mother sang opera, played classical music on the piano and taught my father how to play. My father... play the piano? And I thought my father was only an electrician! Now, I was the surprised one.

I happily absorbed the information and suddenly I was an expert. I could hardly wait to call Sharon and fill her in. I was a bit cocky with my new knowledge. I played the music in the background and told her the whole story as my father had told me dropping details like precious tidbits. I was so proud of myself, I would have tripped over my own feet if I was walking. Sharon patiently listened, enjoying the music in spite of me.

She missed school on  that Monday. The next day she was cool towards me, and went to the library instead of going to lunch. Clueless that I was, I didn't realize that I had struck a nerve with her, hurt her feelings rubbing it in that I "knew" something about classical music that she didn't. As the week went by she warmed up to me and never said anything about my attitude. She invited me to go with her that weekend to stay overnight at her Aunt's house in Buffalo. I was tickled to be invited, and begged my Mom to go. She didn't know Sharon's family well and hesitated, but gave in to all my pushing.

Sharon's Aunt picked us up and drove us to her home. Her car radio was set on the only classical music station in the area. The closer we got to Buffalo, the less static, and the clearer the listening. We stopped at a restaurant and had a wonderful meal, better than anything at school and even better than what mom cooked at school. It was a fancy restaurant. I didn't know how to behave. Sharon's Aunt explained how to use the silverware as Sharon demonstrated she already knew how.

By the time we got to Buffalo we were told it was time to retire. Sharon and I talked half the night. I told her how embarrassed I had been about my clothes in comparison to the other diners, and she reassured me it was no big deal, to stop worrying about it. Tomorrow was another day and there were surprises in store.

The next day we went shopping. I'd never been shopping in such big stores, nor in any stores that weren't called Kresge's or Goodwill. Sharon tried on some dresses her Aunt picked out, and while we waited she gave one to me to try on, "just for fun". It was the most beautiful dress I ever saw. The next thing I knew, her Aunt paid for the dress and we wore them out to lunch where they had paper lace doilies under the water goblets on top of a blue tablecloth. I couldn't stop saying thank you for the dinner, the new dress, the lunch, as Sharon smiled away glancing repeatedly at her Aunt.

When we returned, Sharon's Aunt took us into her parlor. Or was it called a drawing room? She sat down at a piano and began to play, Chopin, she said. I was on the edge of my seat, enthralled, as Sharon sat back with her eyes closed. As each piece of music ended, we would ask to hear another. I kept thinking about my father and wishing we had a piano and he would play music for us, too. Chopin brought tears to my eyes. I felt lightheaded. I felt like I was floating in a sacred room somewhere other than earth  and I was in love with Chopin! Finally, the music stopped and no amount of urging to play another brought forth anything further.

Sharon's Aunt turned to her and asked her to play the Polonaise. i didn't know what that was. Sharon begged off, saying she couldn't possibly, but walked confidently to the piano, sat down and broke my heart. She already knew Chopin intimately. She loved him before I had ever heard of him. She played the music as well as her Aunt, and I had new respect for my humble and talented friend.

Note: Since I don't have pictures from that time period and location, my photos are meant to symbolize the music.


Quoting Grandma

I was born at the house on the corner
across the street from the store....
during a blizzard.

  I think... 

behind our house 
was Papa's blacksmith shop
in Breeseport, New York.
I don't recall names of crossroads. 
A road going up thataway...
Uncle Clark and Aunt Maude lived there,
They were Brewers, not Bordens.

Carrie and Alvie Staples,
My sister and her husband,
don't know where they lived when I was born.
Carrie said that people gossiped 

that I was really her kid
because she was so young when wed.
Later, i lived in Erin NY
There was a house that belonged to some side of family. 
We always lived near family
but didn't always get along. 
When I was...
way little,
two or three years old..
always scared of Gypsies 
...a grove down the road
Gypsies camped out there

My brother came running around the house 
shouting, "the Azberman! the Azberman! HIDE!!!
the bad guys are out there!"

Note: don't know who took the picture of my Grandpa and Uncle at his blacksmith shop or the pic of the kids, my cousins (my grandpa's niece and nephew). Put them in there as I didn't have a pic of my mother and her brother together. But, wanted the pic to represent them anyways. This is how they would have looked and dressed for that time period


Eastern Clouds

Chirping cherry blossoms
rickshaw carts
busily waltzing
crowded streets
exploring alleyways

Dappled daylight
sun dances across
mountain crests

Waters lapping bay
caressing boats
sailing smoothly on their way.

Cornflower sky
clouds scudding gaily.

Seagulls squawk
dive amongst themselves
raising screeches
to chirping cherry blossoms

~~~Elizabeth Munroz

Inspired by “Dharma” from the music of Bruce Mitchell on the album, "Hidden Pathways"

Note: Photos taken by author


Baby, Come Back

Yowling Cat! 

Food was not enough! 

Didn't you like the vitamin syrup I put in it? 

Come up on the bed and let me pet you! 

She walks away!!!

Note: Photo is of my cat, Keli who is the star of this poem. Right click and the image will provide a larger picture.


Marauding Mollusks

My least favorite garden pest is the snail. This is odd, considering my favorite aquarium pet is a snail. Maybe it's because the aquarium snails don't eat my garden! Not native to California, snails were brought here by European settlers planning to serve Escargot. A few of the slippery fellows slid away, and the rest is history. We are inundated.

Toxic Snail Bait not being a choice, alternative methods of abatement are many. Clearing the garden of hiding places will help keep the populations down. Some (who wish to not harm any living thing) go snail hunting at night to hand pick, and move them to another location. How far would one have to move the little munchers to keep them from returning like homing pigeons? Those with less scruples, who don’t mind a little Snail Karma on their hands, place them in zip-lock bags to be toted away in the trash. If you are into recycling, place snails into a paper bag, crush, and toss into the compost bin.

Like any other garden maintenance chore, snail hunting needs to be regularly repeated. Snails are hermaphrodites. Both male and female, they impregnate each other. Each one then produces up to 100 eggs. I have noticed that when I venture out at night, I inadvertently step on snails. What an easy disposal method! One might purposely walk back and forth crunching hundreds every night. Do not try this in Sandals, though!

Although a common remedy for killing snails is table salt, it is certainly not good for your garden, making the soil too alkaline. So, put the shaker away. I wonder if Epsom Salts would work?

Use a spray bottle containing a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2
water. When the snails came out to crunch, I gave 'em a good squirt, and they fizzled up in the same way they do when you salt them. The next morning, I noticed the ants quickly finishing them off. I wonder why this works. Isn't vinegar acidic? Is it good for the soil or plants? Would sunlight shining on a vinegar sprayed area cause a burn? Why did the vinegar have no effect on the ants? Some birds are supposed to be fond of snails. If they had a vinegar flavored snack would it be harmful? I swept up the carcasses and dumped them into my compost bin.

Copper is a very effective snail control. But, completely fencing one's yard with copper wire would be costly. Would throwing a copper powder unto the soil work? Copper stripping wrapped around trunks of fruit trees, flower pots, and at the base of any planting boxes where vegetation needs protection would help. Copper is effective for snail control because it produces an electric current that zaps the marauding mollusks. Does it destroy them or just deter them? Copper from an Auto Salvage shop or plumbing supply store would be as effective.

A well known method is beer traps, (which seem to work more on slugs than snails). Do not spray beer on snails! It is not the alcohol that attracts them, but the yeast. If that is the case, then why not snare snails with yeast cake? The idea is to place a dish of beer at soil level so they can crawl into the beer and drown themselves. Of course, the next morning, if you have been successful in attracting them, you will have slimy snail beer soup. Dispose at your discretion. I have also heard of using grape juice instead of beer. Does grape juice contain yeast? Has anyone produced effective results with this method?

Snails travel by "foot". This organ is quite delicate which is why they produce slime to travel upon. Any scratchy, sharp material will cut them so they will avoid such areas. Make their path too prickly with rough materials such as sand, gravel, wood ashes, crushed egg shells, or diatomaceous earth. Even bird grit available from pet shops, is useful.  Apply a thick layer of mulch such as pine, spruce needles, or cedar chips. Or use your own "foot" to stomp them out. The USDA suggests using Quackgrass (Agropyron Repens) as a mulch, to eradicate snails. Grow a patch of Quackgrass, cut some, let it dry, chop into small pieces and spread lightly around your plantings. Be careful about using this choice, as it can damage some plants.

The newest discovery is used coffee grounds. Aside from it being a great organic material to add to your soil, it is an effective snail deterrent. Most Coffee Houses will gladly give you their grounds. Spread it generously around your plants, and Snail, be gone!

Originally written for and published by the Monterey Bay Master Gardener's 
by Elizabeth Munroz

The aquatic golden snail lives in my aquarium. The other two were in the garden.

For the Wonder of a Tree

She stands
With breezes teasing
Long leaves dripping after rain
Named Willow,
an old and venerable one
verdant in the summer sun
She survives

Spending winter naked
Withdrawing into herself
to her roots
She hibernated
And slept while cold death
Bit at her branches
Yet she lives

By some miracle
She awoke
At the appointed time
The mystery
Known only to her
and her mother, Nature

She revels in this season
Shading all who pass by
Bending to the winds
In a private dance
The two repeat together
She’s a feast for the eyes
Against the turquoise skies

Yet she weeps

by Elizabeth Munroz


A Month in the Lives of Two Extraordinary People

The voice on the other end of the phone is that of a child in distress. "I c-c-c-can't do this. I I I just caaaaaaan't." she cries.

My heart goes out to her. She has been pushing for this for seven months. Begging and cajoling, cantankerous and fighting for her right to do this. And now the time is upon her. Everything has finally been arranged. All the obstacles have been overcome. She is finally getting what so desperately wanted... to go to the nursing home.

"I understand how you feel, Mom." I say in as soothing tones as I can manage. I wish I could be there for her, but live too far away. My sister is close, but has a job that keeps her from being there at Mom's beck and call. So, the best I can do is phone duty.

A part of me deep underneath is a little angry that she is acting like such a baby. But, I know, I truly know, how terrifically overwhelmed she must really be feeling to face that which she has feared all her life, even though this has most recently been her wish. She says she is a burden to Dad.

At 82, she is 85% blind with Macular Degeneration. She is becoming deaf. She has heart disease, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. She has had three strokes already. Sometimes it seems she's not all there. She has arthritis so bad that just watching her attempt to walk upright with her walker is painful. Tiny little inch-by-inch steps, she can barely lift her feet off the ground, her hips so bad that it looks as though her knees are fused together, her ankles splayed outwards to hold her up. She cannot take care of herself. She has not been able to for a long time. Dad, at 87 has had his hands full trying to count out her pills day by day. His hands that are so arthritic and deformed, he cannot button a shirt or do any fine handwork. How he picks up each pill and puts it in the containers for the week is a mystery to me. He does not complain. He is devoted to her making up for all those lost years when he worked double shifts.

Mom is taking 37 pills per day. Dad has a chart on the wall to remind him which pill is to be taken at what time of day, with or without food. He recently got out of the hospital with pneumonia, a repcurrent complication he has faced these last few years because of his COPD. I'm glad all the arrangements have been made, and Dad will be relieved of his charge. (July 28, 2002) ~~~~~

I get a call from Mom in the nursing home. Dad comes to visit her after driving his golf cart along the busy road the couple miles it is from their home. I think maybe he is late and she's worried.

"All he does is watch the TV! And now, he's asleep on my bed again!" She is indignant sitting in her wheelchair watching him snore. "I don't know why he even bothers to come to visit!" I'm not surprised that Dad has gone to such lengths in the smoggy Los Angeles August heat. "Because he loves you, Mom, and I'm sure his misses you."

This seems to appease her and we talk of other things, how the aide was rude to her, how the food tastes terrible, how noisy the place is and she hates that man who yells all the time, even though she knows he can't help it. She's suspicious that her room mate has disappeared, even though I remind her that the family had arranged a transfer. She says they treat her like she's senile. They wont listen to her. She can't poop, she says. They wont do anything about it.

"This place is a Hell Hole!" she mutters in resignation.

By this, I know she is done complaining and I steer her into a direction of a younger time, where the thoughts are happier, a time when we lived near the lake, a time when life was full for her. I love these parts of our conversations. She always brings forth a new tidbit of information that opens the door to the past. She reminisces, calmer now. (August 20, 2002) ~~~~~

My sister calls me. "Do you know what Mom did?"

"Now what?" I'm thinking she cussed out an aide, or threw something.

"She called 911"


"She called 911, and told them she was in terrible pain and needed help!"

"Oh, my God!"

"And you'll never guess what! They came right into the nursing home and took her to the emergency room at the hospital. She really was in pain. She hasn't been able to go to the bathroom for a week. They're going to clean her out and send her back in a day or two."

I am stunned. I can't believe what I am hearing. I'm annoyed at myself that I didn't take her problem more seriously. I'm annoyed the nursing home didn't keep track of things, or take her seriously. On the other hand, I am so proud of Mom. She's sharp as a tack. She's not losing it, after all! What a clever woman to take the initiative to call 911, and get the help she needed. I'm so glad the emergency team took her seriously. That's my Mom, Mrs. Feisty!

I'm laughing now as I picture the ambulance screaming into the parking lot, the emergency team entering the nursing home, asking where is room 134. I can see the shock on the faces of the aides. I can see the administrator swallowing his bile, as he realizes he will be reported to the state for neglect.

My sister laughs, too. "The nursing home administrator called Dad and told him to come in after she is released and take her home." (August 28, 2002) ~~~~~

I can see it now. Mom making sure things get done, running things the way she used to when we were kids. I can see Dad working double shifts helping to fix the electric problems to keep the lights bright in order to provide for her. In his spare time he sings with the choir. I can see her telling the angels what to do while he's away, maybe taking her to the thrift shop to buy some more knick-knacks to clutter up the place. I can see Dad coming home to their cloud and the two of them quietly, or probably not so quietly, spending the evening together while they discuss whether or not they will be watching Jeopardy or Star Trek on their heavenly TV. But, every night Dad will sing to her, "Good Night, Sweetheart" and she will be comforted. I can't imagine it any other way, and I know they are happy. (April 6, 2009)

Dad lived until age 90. Mom survived one year without him. But that is another story


Nothing to Fear, but Fear

I fear I am not in my perfect mind. - King Lear

afraid to break free
from depression
and loneliness.

afraid I'm not worthy
afraid nobody likes me
nobody needs me
wants me
loves me.

Afraid I'm incapable
of loving
being loved
or accepting love at all.

afraid of making bad impressions,
saying the wrong thing
at the wrong time,
of reversing my words,
slurring my sentences
into indistinguishable pratter,
stuttering aimlessly,
repeating myself----
not making any logical sense.

afraid food is stuck between my teeth
or booger hanging from nose
afraid teeth aren't white enough
or hair isn't shiny
it's too short
the bald spot showing

Afraid mascara will run
like the time
at a party
the guys commented
about my "unusual eyes"
I never knew it was smeared
'til I got to my car
rear view reflection
a raccoon woman stared

afraid of making friends
afraid of trusting
of believing in genuine kindness
or truth, honesty

I'm afraid to go to the beach
afraid to wear a swimsuit in public
afraid others will see my scars
the Bride of Frankenstein
afraid I smell like the Bride of Frankenstein
my body odor is offensive fifteen feet away,
or, worse, private secretions.
After all,
I can smell myself from here!

I'm afraid someone will get too close.
afraid of closeness
afraid of not having someone close.

I'm afraid my too-tight pants will split a seam,
afraid my zipper's been open all day,
and afraid nobody likes me well enough
to tell me,
"Hey, your zipper's open,
your make-up is smeared
There's a booger in your nose,
food in your teeth."

I'm afraid of not thinking clearly,
not being understood
not being heard
not being liked.

I'm afraid I spend too much time being so afraid.

Worst of all,
I'm afraid of not being anything else but who I am.


Acknowledging Fear
An exercise in self discovery
From Writing Class
Written summer 1976
Elizabeth Munroz


Spring Strawberries Grown Right Here in Watsonville

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

A Drop of Golden Sun...

Broad daylight
off the freeway
taking the long way around
down the winding mountain road
surrounded by green lace
sparkling light flashes
like mini fireworks

fragrant Pine, Redwood, Madrone
tickling my nose
bringing that rare sense
all is right with the world.

a smile

Others escape with me,
some ahead
leading the way,
some behind me
in the mirror

all of us
snaking down the mountain together
fresh air soothing
sunlight sprinkling like snow
we meet the climbers,
from the other direction
all pass one another
like ants on a trail

I can't watch them now
focusing on cars ahead
red lights braking
car behind me
too close

In a flickering blink
a tawny creature flies

It's Bambi's mother
crossing the road
I can't breathe

A split second of hope
In one graceful ballerina leap,
she makes it!

SUV barrels round the curve
everyone brakes
stops in horror

She's down
all fours tucked round her,
as if resting in a field
her regal head raised
a long gash on her throat

Red so bright
It's the only color in the world.

she'll be alright
she says
with her eyes,
just give me a minute.

The monster backs up,
peals out around her
as if alone
as if no one saw!
a hit and run
Is it legal?
a hit and run on a doe?

Bambi's mother bleeds
I cry
pull over
close as I dare
the edge of the steep abyss
How did she fly so high?

"911 What is your emergency?"

A large deer was hit, she's lying on the old Soquel highway near ...

"Is it on the road or off the road?"

It's on ...  middle of other lane

"If it's dead, pull it off the road."

If I had the strength... I... How much could she weigh?


She's alive.
Can she be rescued?

I'm distracted
People are standing by my window.

"Are you alright?"

Yes.... No!

"Did you hit the deer?"

No, not me. It was a hit and run! I stopped to call 911

I wave my cellphone... 
Where did these people come from?

The woman looks at my front bumper
at the dent there
so many years
shakes her head
says something
to the man beside her

"Ma'am, you need to tell me... the animal, is it alive or dead?
Is it blocking the road?"

I turn to look
Bambi's mother leaps up
a breath of hope
she falls
half on the road
half in the ditch
lifting her head
chest rising rapidly
her eyes wild now

"Ma'am, Ma'am... you need to pay attention to me. Is the animal blocking traffic?

Yes,  It's a very large deer.

a little white lie.
cars are passing by,
carefully, slowly,
traffic has not stopped.

"Animal control will take care of the situation. Stay there until they arrive"

Yes, Yes, okay

But, I don't stay
the doe looks dead

fog crawls in
to catch the spirit
and welcome it home 
No more green lace
or sunbeams
too cold for open window

I drive down the forested road
breathing in
and breathing out

Please note: The scenic pictures were taken by me. The deer pictures were not.

I struggled with the conversational punctuation. How does one do that in poetry? He said, she said sounds so unpoetic. Maybe this isn't a poem?


Lemon Escargot

Did you know that snails eat lemons? Now you have a new treat to feed your pet snail!

Actually, they don't eat the whole lemon, they just eat the rind, leaving the citrus hanging from the tree without it's skin. They have the appearance of a peeled tangerine and all the segments are not yet separated.

Poor naked lemons!

I suppose if one were to raise snails for escargot and fed them lemon rinds, they would be a new sensation in the gourmet world.

Maybe I should go out in my yard and collect up all those voracious lemon eating snails and ship them out of here, and make a little money on the side.

Anyone know where I can sell some escargot?

I have a lemon tree, a miniature Meyer lemon tree. Miniature is a relative word here. It's not any sort of bonsai. It's presently about 6 feet tall and maybe as wide at the base.

I wanted a Meyer lemon tree for ages. Why? You may ask. They are sweet for a lemon, and prized by gourmet chefs. You can't buy them in the supermarket. They don't ship well.

Regular lemons are dumped into giant trucks, driven across country and dumped at destination, their tough skins still intact. Meyers wouldn't be able to handle that. Meyers have a thinner rind than most, so all that dumping and jiggling around in a truck would just encourage them to spoil.

Yes, lemons can spoil. They can get mold if you cram them all together and deprive them of air circulation.

Needless to say, I'm not very happy about the snails. There are an overproduction of them in the area. They are fattening themselves up on all the spring greenery and bringing their cute little kids along for the feast. I guess you can tell I like snails. But, I wish they'd leave my lemons alone!!!

I have lemon every day in my tea. I suppose maybe, I am being selfish. The tree does produce a lot of lemons and I'm not in the business of selling them. I guess I just don't want to share! Granted I can wash them off before using, and I do that anyway. But, just the idea of my lemon juice squeezing out across an old snail trail, I just don't care for the concept. Thank you very much!

According to internet research there are all kinds of methods to get rid of them. Everything from poisons to, guess what, lemon juice!

I don't wish to use poisons. Some poor stray kitty might come along, walk over it, lick his paw and become sick. No poisons. Don't think the lemon juice is going to work!

What do you think?

100 Things to do with Meyer Lemons

Recipe using lemon in Escargot:

Apple Snail in White Wine

  • 2 cups of chopped apple snails
  • 1 tablespoon lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Simmer the apple snails in an uncovered skillet in olive oil with the garlic, lemon, oregano, pepper, salt, sweet pepper and tomato sauce. Add the white wine, water and sliced onion. Cover the skillet and cook for 20 minutes.
Serve with rice or potatoes. (6 persons)

(By G. Perera & J.G. Walls, taken from the book: "Apple snails in the aquarium", see literature list)
(not licenced under creative commons))


21 Surefire Instructions to Becoming a Successful Author!

1. Make the decision to become a Successful writer Author. Think positive!

2. Decide to make that wish come true. Yes, you can do it!

3. Give yourself a month or two to publish your first novel. Mark the date on a calendar to encourage your goal. Be sure to feed the cat to avoid interruptions.

4. Writing by hand is imperative for ultimate brain-hand coordination. Do not use the computer, except for instructions below. Petting cat whenever necessary is important to prevent conflict and keep peace of mind.

5. Go to a high end stationary store. Buy a blank book with quality paper, best if it has a leather cover. Don't let cat chew on leather.

6. Carefully select about a dozen pens, all different. You never know what kind of mood your hand will be in to manipulate said pens. Expensive are usually better. Buy laser pen light for cat while you're at it.

7. Choose a desk or table to write upon. If you don't already have the right one, shop for one. Antique stores often have the kind of desk like famous authors use. Be sure it is big enough for the cat to stretch out.

8. Find the right location to place the table or desk, allowing plenty of light, or buy a good lamp to go with the table. Get flea treatment for cat.

9. Make sure you have a comfortable chair. Remove cat from chair.  Purchase a basket to place nearby so cat wont bother your creative energies.

10. Line up pens, open blank book, and prepare to begin. Prevent cat from disturbing pens by covering them with an upside down baking pan. Encourage cat to lie down in cat basket.

11. Adjust curtains or lamp for optimal lighting. Allow enough room for cat to warm itself in window or beneath lamp.

12. Prepare beverage and snacks. Keep yourself nourished. Keep some cat treats nearby for the cat or give tidbits from your sandwich.

13. Return all phone calls to avoid interference with writing. Give cat hairball medicine regularly to prevent stains on your pages.

14. Check emails and reply so they wont be on your mind. Give catnip to cat.

15. Go to Amazon and order books on writing. "How to write a novel in six weeks" is a good one. Use cat basket to store cat toys.

16. Sign up for online courses on writing. Throw mousies for cat to play with. If arm gets tired, use laser pen light to keep cat occupied.

17. Join various writing groups and sign up for their newsletters. If you run out of cat food, go buy more. A hungry cat can be quite insistent and interfere with concentration!

18. Make sure to get enough rest so your mind is fresh. Allow cat to lie down with you for cat's comfort and warmth. Do not disturb cat if lying on your legs, chest or neck.

19. Create a blog and facebook fan page to keep everyone informed of your progress. Upload all the cute pictures you have taken of the cat.

20. Repeat all instructions until task is completed.

21. If unable to become a successful writer author within 10 years or so, accept your lot in life, and understand it is through no fault of your own. The blame goes to the cat!