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Apparently a mop is an exciting contraption if you are a kitten. For me, not so much. This morning our two adolescent cats followed me around the house in a state of rapt attention, their eyes glued to the mop in my hand. Though it may have been my imagination I thought I heard feline chuckling. Sadly, I am not nearly as skilled at the art of mopping as my larcenous ex-housekeeper…. Read More

“Ma’am, you need to come over here now. Edward has died”, said my husband’s live-in housekeeper over the phone, almost exactly two years ago today. Edward and I had not lived together for several years, but we were still legally married. I had planned to visit him in two days’ time. Now he was dead? My knees buckled and I had to sit down. “What happened?”, I asked. “I don’t know, Ma’am,… Read More

Wow, lots of you guys are dog lovers!! I’ve had so many messages during the past month asking how Private Ryan is doing and I thank you for caring about a dog that one Englishman in my neighborhood recently told me “needs a bullet”. Well, the answer is: Private Ryan has developed a small belly during the past month! He also has much more energy than he used to have, but his… Read More

He’s not much to look at right now and maybe he never will be. The fact is, he may not live through the week. But then again, he might. I’ve named him Private Ryan because he’s in a battle to survive and he definitely needs saving. Private Ryan lives in my neighborhood, though in an area where I rarely travel. I saw him last week and was horrified and angry. “Oh, you… Read More

The Filipina maid walks into the living room, interrupting the conversation between India and her husband, Edward. “Sir”, Leah says to Edward, while looking at India, “the woman is here for your blow job.” India is not surprised by this announcement, though she thinks that one o’clock in the afternoon is an odd time to be having oral sex. The day is blistering hot. Who feels like copulating in this weather? She… Read More

“Wow, you’ve lived on this island for fourteen years! You must really fit in — I mean, you’re not a gringo anymore” said a vacationing American to me recently. I had to think about that for a few seconds, before I answered. “No, I don’t fit in at all”, I said. “We’ll always be gringos here. But I guess I’ve been a pretty successful gringo — I mean, I’m still here.” That… Read More

I received no Christmas gifts this year — unless I count my new milk frother, which looked very much like a gift in its festive holiday bag. But since I bought it myself on the way back from Hong Kong last week (the best $100 I’ve spent in a long time, by the way) — I don’t think it counts. And in a rare effort to be practical, I chose not to put up… Read More

I’m not sure how I have come to be so deeply connected to Asia. Yesterday, as I sat in the back of a taxi on my way to Manila airport, I saw the taxi’s reflection on the side of a mirrored building. In the background were a Bank of the Philippine Islands and a couple of scrawny palm trees. Wow, that’s ME in that car, I thought. How on earth did I… Read More

I thought you might like to know how we fared during Typhoon Hagupit. First, let me just say that typhoons suck. A typhoon will materialize out of nowhere, march across your island and smash everything in its path — then it will disappear like a melted ice cube, leaving you cleaning up the shredded mess that used to be your lovely tropical garden. Or worse. Much worse. In the Philippines, it’s not… Read More

UPDATE Sunday, December 7th 3:45 p.m. We are still waiting… Typhoon Ruby made landfall on the eastern side of the Philippines late last night and is very, very slowly crossing the country, dumping far too much rain on areas prone to flooding and landslides. I have no idea how much damage the storm has caused or if there has been loss of life. On the bright side, the storm’s wind strength has… Read More

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

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