Blog

Mrs. Penfire Begins a Project

March 26, 2019

Boxes. And boxes. And boxes…of photographs. Random envelopes of pictures. And a lot of albums, too. Do you have the kind of stash I’ve accumulated over the years? The albums contain pictures of me, my husband, and our two girls; for several years I kept up with dealing decks of prints into bargain priced albums,…

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Mrs Penfire Reads a Book

March 20, 2019

Ever wonder how things got to be the way they are in the “land of the free home of the brave?” Certainly, the America I’ve experienced as an adult is markedly different from the one I learned about in school. Ideals collide with reality And yet the idealized schoolgirl concept of The United States remains…

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No wall is big enough to keep out reality

February 15, 2019

Have you ever pondered the United States coastline from the sea? I had occasion to do so last week while out on Catalina Island for a few days with my cousins. Over morning coffee, with news of “The Wall” fresh in our minds, our conversation turned to the obvious conundrum this spectacular view presented: If…

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Conversation with a seven-year-old old

December 2, 2018

She asked to come along when I offered to drop off the dry cleaning for her mother. It’s a short drive to Patterson Cleaners, a little over a mile—six or seven minutes each way. Who would expect to cover topics ranging from scatological vocabulary to the origin of the species in less than fifteen minutes?…

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Mass Shootings: Are You Enraged Yet? – Part I

November 19, 2018

Can you remember back to March 24, 1998? That was the day two middle school students in Jonesboro, Arkansas, pulled a fire alarm at their school then, using a cache of weapons they had hidden in nearby woods, shot at students and teachers as they fled the building. Four students and a teacher were killed;…

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Two Lists

November 13, 2018

The breath-holding suspense of Election Day (which still continues)  The horror of Borderline, latest of the interminable succession of mass shootings, (which never seem to stop) The strong emotions surrounding Veterans Day’s (which feel particularly upsetting this year) And the California fires so close to home (which, of course, still continue). Mrs. Penfire’s head is…

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Where have you been, Mrs. Penfire?

August 27, 2018

Earlier this summer Mrs. Penfire was truly enjoying sharing the story of her adventures in Italy with Mr. Penfire. And then: life intervened. So far, you have met only one Mrs. Penfire: the outspoken I-will-do-it-myself persona represented by the flame-defying Little Red Hen. She is often compelled to post commentary; in addition she occasionally calls…

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Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Start Out Early, Arrive Late

May 31, 2018

If there is one iconic structure that symbolizes Rome—and Italy—more than any other, it’s the Coliseum. Along with the Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica, it was at the very top of our “things to see in Rome” list. My guidebook recommended purchasing a tickets* or Roma Passes** in advance to avoid long lines. Another suggestion…

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