Archive for June, 2021

July 4, coming soon

There are other significant dates this month, however. To make it easy for you to plan your celebrations, I found this site that lays them all out.

And happy 4th everyone!

No-grill hamburgers

Quick dessert for July 4 BBQ

It’s not too soon to gather the ingredients for No-bake, no fuss “hamburgers.”

TIME TO PREPARE: about 15 minutes

YIELD: 12 mini hamburgers


I box vanilla wafers

1 box soft chocolate cookies (SnackWells or the equivalent)

1 tube green frosting

1 tube red frosting

1 tube yellow frosting

1/8 cup sesame seeds (optional)


1. Arrange 12 vanilla wafers, flat side up, on a tray or platter. These are the bottoms of the “hamburger buns.”

2. Using the green frosting tube, squirt a ring around the edge of each wafer. Using your finger or a toothpick, rough up the frosting so it resembles ragged lettuce.

3. Place 1 chocolate cookie (the meat!) on top of each green-ringed wafer.

4. Using the red frosting tube (ketchup!), squirt a ring around the flat edges of a dozen additional wafers (the tops of the “hamburger buns”).

5. Using the yellow frosting tube (mustard!), squirt a yellow ring over the red ring of Step 4, allowing the two colors to mix in places.

6. Place each newly ringed wafer, flat side down (top of the bun!), on top of a chocolate cookie/wafer.

DONE!  You now have 12 hamburgers, with lettuce, ketchup, and mustard.

7. (optional) Dot the top of each bun with egg white, and use as adhesive for a few sesame seeds.

Be creative: add a smooth ring of white frosting for an onion, a square of orange frosting for cheese, or smooth the red ring so it looks more like tomato.  

Any other ideas?

Send them to me in the comments and I’ll add to next year’s recipe!


Today my guest is RITA LAKIN, screenwriter with credits for 474 produced television scripts spanning 30 productions. She also writes a series of comedy mystery novels featuring Gladdy Gold and her zany geriatric partners in crime-solving. She’s the author of The Only Woman In The Room, a memoir of her life as one of the first female show runners and one of the first women in television.

Here’s Rita!


I’d rather it was Hair Today, or even Heir Tomorrow. But the truth is I’m old. 91 is old.

I cannot pretend I’m still middle-aged. That word was bearable. That only cost some wrinkles, men no longer undressing me with their eyes, or even a cutesy pinch now and then. All my life, I never even thought about getting old. Who does? Why would they when they’re still bouncing around with life choices?

I’m sure people plan ahead; smart people who put away money so that they wouldn’t end up in a cardboard box in some park when it all ran out.  I had a good business manager. So I sit in comfort. Though unable to do anything but watch TV. I have a caregiver. Oh, how I hate that word.

But here’s the reality—when at the yearly checkup at the doctors, hearing those death/knell bells ringing, Your body is fading away and you are on the way out. How can I deny my legs that do not walk, fingers shaking, with the whole left side useless? I do a self-check. I had to give up driving. Bye-bye independence. Look in the mirror. Deny that grey-haired harridan is you. I want to cover all mirrors; but I don’t.

I can’t even sign my name. I now type one letter at a time on the computer. The list goes on and on of what I can’t do anymore.

 SHUT UP! How dare I complain! I was pretty. I had the gift of intelligence, which led me to enjoy the arts. I’ve had a wonderful life filled with a loving family. A multitude of friends. And true love.

 Much delightful travel. Many unexpected adventures. An enviable career, showered with great reviews and rewards. 

So I tell myself to count those blessings (and forgive the errors) every single day.

And stop looking in the mirror.

More about Rita’s amazing contributions to television, movies, books.

Rita won first place for her IMBA bestselling Getting Old is a Disaster. The same novel won Left Coast Crime’s LEFTY AWARD for most humorous mystery published in 2009.
Her many other awards include those from Writers Guild of America, MWA’s Edgar™️, and the Avery Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan.


I Pledge Allegiance

Not just any flag

A long, skinny box arrived in the mail the other day. A poster? A roll of wrapping paper? An English cucumber? One of those extended balloons that float around car dealerships?

None of the above.

A flag, and not just any flag, but one that stood in the ground at the National Mall in Washington DC on the day of President Joe Biden’s Inauguration.

Shown here, the flag stands on the floor in the middle of my office. Soon it will have a more dignified, permanent home.

Though I can’t find verification, I’ve been told that the public was allowed to take a flag from the mall the next day. And since the friend who sent it to me is not in jail, I’m inclined to believe her.

Also, the bottom couple of inches of the pole shows signs of having been stuck in dirt.

That’s good enough for me.


THE PRU, mentioned heah is the tall building on the right.

Remind you of a song? Something by Bing Crosby?

What I really want to talk about, however, is ACCENTS.

I’ve lived in California for more years than I want to admit. When a stranger—an airplane companion, a clerk in a store, for example—asks where I’m from, I still say Boston, where I grew up and went to college, or The Bronx, where I went to graduate school.

When I first arrived in California, I had a heavy Boston accent. I’d deny it, except there are videotapes with the evidence. I worked hard to speak Californian, which I acknowledge is closer to a “national” accent:

• Stress those r’s wherever they appear.

It’s harrrrrrd, not hahd; forrrrrrty, not fohty. And so on.

• Insert an r, when the next word begins with a vowel.

Cuba(r) and Laos, as JFK would say

My sistah(r) and my mothah.

When I stahted teaching in California, I noticed my students having a hahd time understanding me.

For example, the designation for the nuclear radius is R-with a bar across the top. R-bar. Or Ah-Bah, as I would say. So I worked at it, telling myself I’d learned Italian (all through home and school); French (in high school, because it was there and Nino was taking it); German in college (because we thought the Germans would prevail in science); Russian in graduate school (because we thought the Russians would take over science, what with Sputnik and all).

I could certainly learn Californian (one of my Boston friends says Cali-foh-nia).

And I did. But I slip now and then when I’m on the phone with a cousin back there. And a few days ago when I was telling a story about a mall in Boston, illustrating it with my hands:

“The Pru is heah,” I began. And my friends laughed.

How about you? Can we tell where you’re from by your “accent?”