images96IVSHair on face

Just curious.  How much time would you spend in conversation with this lady?   Is there something about her that bothers you, makes you uncomfortable?  Please tell me I am not the only one.

I don’t watch The View on ABC on a regular basis, but now and then I turn it on to see what they’re talking about.  I do enjoy talk when it’s interesting.  I often don’t agree with some of their talk, but that stimulates me to discern what I’d like them to say.

But when I do watch I almost have to look away and just listen.  There is something so put-offing when one covers her eye and another keeps uncovering her eye.  I know if I were on that show the producer would say, “Mrs. Markland . . please put your hand down, or Mrs. Markland, for God’s sake get your hair out of your face.”

So today I wrote a poem.  Okay . . you’re saying “There she goes again.”

I made a phone call to find the exact address, and before the day is over I may actually send the poem to The View.  Do you suppose they will read it?  Will understand it?  Let me know what you think.

Seeing Eye to I

I seldom watch the morning View

I’d like to tell you why . .

I cannot watch without the

thought that something’s

in my eye.

I can’t believe the sentiments

of those who hide their face

or those whose hand moves

constantly to whisk hair

back in place.

But even worse is one who combs

then lets her dark locks lie

across her face to keep herself

from seeing eye-to-eye.

I know I’m getting personal

But that’s what you do too

Whenever I allow my set

To open to the View.

And, honestly, I can’t believe

Your thoughts are meant for me.

When you do things to block the view

How do you think I’ll see?

– Doris Markland

A bike to like . . . . .


My daughter and I, driving down a busy street in Honolulu, saw this bike . . parked, locked and decorated to the nines with fresh Hawaiian flowers.

There’s got to be a story here.  I’ve tried and tried, but can’t imagine what it is.  Although Honolulu has very frequent parades, there was none scheduled for that day.  Anyway, you can’t ride a bike full of flowers . . they will fly in all directions. It was parked so that people could see and admire it.

Then it occurred to me that maybe the bike had died. You don’t think a bike can die?  Oh, but mine did.

I don’t know why, but I never owned a bike of my own.  I acquired a bike only when my brother outgrew his and it came to me.  By then I was probably in Jr. High.  The bike was large, a boys’ bike with the bar you had to throw your leg over when mounting.  The tires were narrow and hard, no balloon there.  I should have been embarrassed to be seen on such a monster, but I didn’t care.  I finally had a bike to ride into town, to ride with my best friend.

Then one day the bike died.  While I was riding it.  It split, the front wheel going off one direction and the back wheel going another.  I was dumped on the highway, and I never rode a bike again.

So strange, the simple things that can bring up memories from so long ago.

P. S.  As someone has suggested, in the comments, this bike may be decorated to commemorate someone who died on a bike.  That makes sense.

Rank Decisions . . . . .


Have you ever been ranked?  Have your efforts been ranked?  By others?  So.  How does that feel?

Amazon lists a rank number after the description of each book, the number (I assume) reflecting how popular the book is.  The number showing for my book today is 475, 694. That could smart a little, except for the fact the book is new and relatively unknown . . and the fact that the number was way over 500,000 last week.  If it ever worked it’s way up to the top 1,000, even, that should feel good.  But, you see, it has a long way to go.

I got to thinking about the word “rank”.  It has many meanings.  It can show you’re just in the ranks . . or you’re rising in rank . . because someone is ranking you.  It can mean there’s a bad smell somewhere, when something has sat too long.

We can be ranked in our family by being the #1 child, either by the order in which we were born . . or by being the parents’ favorite.  We are ranked in school by the grading system, and ranked socially by kids who decide who should be their friends.  But, hopefully, these numbers are temporary in importance.

I have never felt I was in a social rank, something we call a class.  Where I grew up in Iowa’s farmlands, everyone was considered about the same and no one I knew ever looked up or down at another person.  People tell me I am innocent or a Pollyanna, that our country does have a social order.  I guess if you want to accept that, it is then your reality.  I have been deeply disturbed by the way the word “class” is bandied about these days and used for political purposes.  It is people ranking people, and some people were not particularly affected by this until they were made aware . . and encouraged to look up or down at others.

If someone wants to insist that I am in a certain class, then someone must decide what class that is.  I must be ranked.  But I will smile and wink at their decision and their innocence.  I am what I am, and I just am.

But, about the book, as far as I know it’s rank on Amazon shows only how popular the book is by the number of book sales.  It does not show how popular the book is among those people who have bought and read it.  I see the book has one review, and that is great.  A few more will help the customers to decide if they might like the book or not.   A few more, on Amazon or iUniverse or Barnes and Noble would certainly help the author to forget the number 475,694.

About the Book . . just sayin’ . . . .


Finally the book Playing Life by Ear is available not only at the publisher’s,, but now at

in both softcover and kindle edition, and also at Barnes and Noble in both softcover and nook edition.

They are all asking for reviews, and I hope someone is brave enough to give one.


Eyes bigger than my stomach . . .


I remember once being at a lovely Easter buffet dinner in Honolulu with my sister and our husbands.  The food was incredible, table after table of artfully displayed foods, and the temptation to sample as many as possible was overwhelming.  I came back to our table on the lanai, by the ocean, with my plate very loaded and. suddenly feeling guilty. I commented “I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach.”

My sister slowly looked me up and down, concentrating on my middle, and slowly shook her head side to side.

Did you ever arrive at a place you’re going to be for a while, so you stock up on groceries at the beginning so you won’t need to go there again for a while?  And then you discover the price of 20 lbs of potatoes at Costco is the same as the price of 10 lbs in the grocery store, so it seems reasonable to buy the 20 lbs.  The same logic seems to apply to many other items, and you return from the store wheeling carts full, exhausted but knowing you will not want for food and will not have to fight traffic to shop for food for some time.

And then, remember preparing to leave the vacation premise, and you find the cupboard and the fridge still stocked with food you must find a home for?  As if you didn’t have enough to do at that point?

I still say “My eyes were bigger than my stomach.”

flowers for book - Copy

A good friend sent me flowers a few days ago to celebrate the release of my first book.  It was also, I’m sure, to celebrate the good times we’d had together in Honolulu and the fact that we were both leaving to return to the Midwest . . where our routines are rather ordinary but necessary.

Every day here brings new surprises.  I did a book reading yesterday at an elegant retirement home and have another one coming up Monday.  I met lovely people, old like me, but functioning very well and still interested in life.  Today I met one coming up on the elevator in my building.

We stood almost shoulder to shoulder as the full elevator ascended.  I noticed that her hair was almost identical to mine . . that is, probably no longer silver but now like a white cloud framing the face.  I remarked to her that we could be taken for relatives.  As people left the elevator we visited a bit and I learned that she lived in the building and was moving into my tower.  She lived alone and was retired.  I asked her what she retired from . . and she waited to answer until everyone had left the elevator except her and me.

Then she said, knowing I would understand, “I retired from Desilu.  I was private secretary to Lucille Ball for many years.”

We agreed to meet for coffee, if we can work it out.  Not so that I can learn about her experience with Lucy, but because she wants to learn how to publish a book.  I certainly think she has one.

There is another well known person living in this building that I would like to meet.  He is Famous Amos, who is known for his cookies.  I see him as we go in and out of the building and perhaps one day we will actually meet.  I read an excellent article about him once while reading an inflight magazine and wrote the author to comment.  It turned out he was the editor of the magazine and he wrote me and said by all means go look up Amos.  He will love to talk to you, and he may give you cookies.  I haven’t done so, but in a way I may be a competitor.  While here I often make some chocolate chip cookies and pass them out around the building.  Er . . sorry, Amos.