And my theory about what made them so

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  1. Older Dogs, New Puppy — A Tale of Jealousy, Depression and Labrador Retrievers
  2. 5 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You to Take that First Small Step
  3. Not An Overnight Success Story…

While these stories were widely read, the overwhelming number of readers were external to Medium. Therefore the above stories were not big earners. If you are interested in my best Medium earners, jump ahead to the next section (three stories with the most ‘Fans’).

People are generally finding these widely-read articles through Google, and a high percentage of people who view the article actually read it. It took me a little while to figure out what terms the third article was ranking for. …

Wait! This is NOT what I asked for!

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Photo by from

The morning had begun badly.
We stayed up too late.
Got up too early.
Were rude and nasty to each other.

In anger I took 2 dogs and headed to North Lake.
It was 27 degrees and windy,
believe it or not this morning, April 16th, at North Lake at 7 AM.
There was a dusting of snow that had turned to ice on the road.

Crap, probably shouldn’t have worn sneakers.
Definitely should have worn warmer pants
Not these ridiculous lounge-wear things that I slept in.
No matter.
Not going back.
He had a work call and I was pissed.
No where to go, but here. …

A sports story you might have missed

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Billy Mills and Mohammed Gammoudi — public domain photo

October 14, 1964 — Tokyo Olympics

Thirty-eight men approached the starting line in the Olympic Stadium for the 10,000-meter race. The runners steadied themselves, leaned forward. The air was heavy with anticipation. Time seemed to stand still as the starter called for attention and raised the gun. Then they were off, jostling for position, running three and four deep around the curve.

A 10,000-meter race is 25 laps around the standard-size track. It is the longest track and field event that happens exclusively on the track. While popular in Europe, Americans rarely watch a 10,000-meter track race outside of Olympic years. …


Happiness Versus Satisfaction — How I See It

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Happiness image by Jill Wellington. Satisfaction image (girls) by Cheryl Holt.

First, dear reader, what I’m about to say is how things work for me. You might feel differently, and that’s okay.

There’s a scene in a movie where a husband tells his wife that he is filing for divorce. She’s shocked, and he asks, “Honestly, have you been happy in our marriage?”

She pauses, then replies, “I’ve been happy enough.”

I love that line because I am ‘happy enough’ with my life. Not loving every moment, not without heartaches or worry, but I’m satisfied.

Being satisfied doesn’t mean that I’m not pursuing happiness and joy. It just means I don’t expect to bask in happiness, joy, and sunshine all day, every day. …

Missing touch makes my heart ache.

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(Photo by Wade Austin Ellis on Unsplash)

I feel it most painfully when I say goodbye to my elderly mother. She comes to visit me, leaving her senior community with its no-visitation-Coronavirus policy and comes to sit outside. We talk for an hour, six feet apart, sharing a laugh, and then she leaves — before she will need a bathroom and while she feels strong enough for the short drive home.

The part that hurts the most is saying goodbye without hugging her. I can feel my chest ache. I would risk the germs. She might risk the germs — but there are others to consider — my husband, my sister, society and its battle with Covid-19. We just pause and wave. My chest tightens, and something deep inside of me hurts. And then she is gone. The car is out of the driveway. No hug has happened. …

How one simple shift transformed my results

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My kitchen buddies — Lucy (left) and Sam (right) — Photo supplied by author

I’m a messy person. Always have been, probably always will be.

Living with others, as I usually do, forces me to occasionally clean up after myself or face their wrath.

However, for the last week, John and I have been apart, as he is self-isolating following business travel. My only companions, two Labrador Retrievers, never say a word about the mess. They’re known for being agreeable dogs.

The one Labrador is on a special diet that requires me to cook chicken breasts and rice a lot, and I was justifying my messy kitchen as evidence of how much work this is. …

The feeling of freedom was amazing

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Photo supplied by author

I used to get my haircut about every 3 months. Probably longer than ideal for looking well-groomed. I sometimes had to resort to trimming my bangs between trips to the stylist to keep them out of my eyes.

Enter COVID-19

When hair stylists reopened in the summer, I called the salon. Turns out my stylist had moved to another state six months ago, but they had openings with “other talented staff.” Hmm….

My husband pointed out the health risks.

  • The stylist has to be within 6 feet for an extended time.
  • The stylist is someone who is in close contact with lots of other people. …


One way to stay apart and close at the same time

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Photo by from

Shine some light
Bring your bright
Twinkle and glow
A light show

Every night
From strangers
From neighbors
From God and from me
Come and see

Grab your phone
Make a face
Send to me.
I need to see.

Have you ever lost hours of your day to Zillow?

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Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

I gazed upon her beautiful floors,
Five bedrooms, four baths.
A jumbo-size garage that would save me from shoveling snow off my car
And make my husband happy.

I wandered through each stunning room,
Pausing in the kitchen.
She beckoned me to come and see her three-season room.
The views were breathtaking.

She whispered she was ‘walk-in ready’ —
Just waiting for me, for us.
I wouldn’t have to work at all,
Just bask in home-owner’s heaven.

The yard was a little small.
The price a little steep. …

Of all the writing advice I’ve heard, these are my keepers (and why)

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Thanks to Jan Steiner from Pixabay for this image

These writing tips are gifts given to me by other great writers. I collect them in my writing toolbox with the same satisfaction as my husband tucks away his new Makita drill set. “I’m going to build something great with this!” we think. And if we use these tools, we will.

Help someone know why they might want to read what you’ve written

I’m a bit embarrassed to say how recently I picked up this concept. Sinem Günel was critiquing an article I’d written, and she observed that my title and subtitle didn’t really promise anything. …


A ‘Galloping Grandma’. Programmer by day, author by night. I love inspiring stories, Labrador Retrievers and good friends. Creator of

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