Category Archives: Smiles

The Brilliant Deplorables!

I never gave up hope.  I was addicted to Fox News, Tivo became a way of life for me, roaring through the nightly news programs and picking our the people I wanted to hear.

My husband told me I was going ’round the bend and it didn’t even bother me.

I love History and have always been interested in Politics. I am far too impatient to have ever been a politician and I am not politically correct!  I have no problem telling you where to put it if I don’t like where you’ve got it, but nicely.

I prayed Donald Trump would win this election. Sometimes on my walks I would say things like “God, I know you don’t care about our stupid politics but wouldn’t you like someone in there who would bring You back into our lives?” The art of the deal comes to mind.

I just kept thinking, People are fed up, they simply can’t keep doing the same things and looking for a different result. But, mostly, I worried about the people who would vote for a woman they knew accomplished nothing substantial in thirty years and constantly lied to us. A woman so paranoid she risked the Security of this Nation to hide her nefarious deeds.

I faltered, I couldn’t comprehend it. I justified in my mind they were voting for Bill. They were remembering the prosperous 90’s and forgot what the Clinton’s were really like, the corruption, the scandals, the suspicious disappearances, all forgotten. A man who had oral sex in the Oval office with a 20 year old intern, lied and was impeached, lost his law licence…how could they be so stupid!  Bill had nothing to do with the prosperous 90’s, he was busy chasing the ladies, it was the dot com boom and Newt Gingrich and “the Contract for America” but people don’t do research, they have feelings and emotions and little actual data.

The night before the election my dear husband said to me, “Look, if Hillary wins it isn’t going to change our lives and we only have one vote each so worrying about it doesn’t matter.”  I knew he was right, but it never was about us. It was about the country we are leaving to our grandchildren…we got ours and I want them to get theirs, to feel the power of success…the American Dream for themselves!

And then came the night of the election and after being glued to the television nightly, I couldn’t watch! I put on Netflix and watched “The Queen”.  I love this country and had come to love Donald Trump, warts and all.  Then my husband came into the room and said, “I think Trump is winning.”

And he did!   The best is yet to come and Donald Trump with the smartest people in this country working with him will bring it.  it’s on the way!

God Bless America!


Nun extraordinaire, Mother Angelica

When I want to feel like a child again, I turn on the television and watch EWTN with Mother Angelica. I know she is old fashioned, but some things never change.  We have the young to teach us the things that change and the old to teach us the important things that never change. She takes me back to the simple life we used to live.  She is almost Always right!  She talks about God and our place here on earth and how God has a plan for us.

We pray it’s a good one!

The world is all hustle bustle today with electronics making us smart and confused at the same time.  We need it, it sometimes owns us, but listening to Mother Angelica it all seems more simple somehow.

I had nuns I did not like, one in particular Sister Dolorosa.  My father picked her as my music teacher because she was Italian, I didn’t like her one bit!  She fell down a flight of stairs and I got a new nun, sister Joseph.  At first I thought I had ” the power” and made her go away with wishful thinking!  That alone should give you an idea of what a handful I was.  I wasn’t a bad kid, just a clever and always thinking one.  My mother had my number  and would say “Judi Mae, I know you are making the balls and  the rest of them are firing  them” and she was right!

When I  grew older I realized I didn’t like her because she was “strict” and was on to me when I didn’t practice. She disciplined me with a tone and a particular look over her glasses that scared the wits out of me. She was in charge and I practiced!  Sister Dolorosa taught me more in two years than any other teacher I had!  Children need discipline to become balanced individuals, we had plenty of discipline at school and are better for it.

Mother  Angelica died on Easter Sunday, she was 92. She had common sense and optimism.  She was a straight talker and a saint.  To me her most  valuable lesson was, Jesus calls us all to be saints , don’t miss  the opportunity!  She never did.


Last night I was looking through a box of old pictures. Once again I was enchanted with the incredible story of resilience, ingenuity and sheer genius of my Mom……Grandmother Greta. My mother was amazing and I wrote a book about her and her sisters (Angels of Warwick) Judith Slaughter, but this story is so great, I just had to tell it.

Many Women today think they are so smart and they often look down on stay at home mothers. I thank God everyday I had one! She was widowed at forty three and had to go to work, but she loved her role as a homemaker because she was a pro!

We often dropped in on mom because if you told her you were coming she would have lunch ready and we liked to take her out on occasion. There wasn’t a restaurant that could cook better than her but that’s another story.

We walked up the driveway and saw a huge pail of boiling tar sitting by a latter. What! She was seventy years old and she was up on the roof repairing a leak. This harkened back to the time she got stuck in her peach tree when the latter fell and she climbed on top of the garage roof and called to the neighbour next door to help her!

She was an original. She dressed to the nines, had gorgeous things and an adorable, comfortable house (she painted herself inside and out). I have so many stories and this has been entertainment for her grandchildren for years.

My father was an architect and we had a beautiful home, but after Daddy died things changed. Mom bought a little house in Garden Grove close to her new job, it was a fixer and let me tell you she made that place a doll house. There were three big drums of paint in the garage, one hot pink, one black and one white. Well, she mixed them altogether and painted the house “dusty pink” with white trim and it was the prettiest house on the block. She had a budget and she made this adorable house a home for us. She took a course and ceramic tiled the kitchen floor herself. Some home repairs she couldn’t do, but if she could, she did. She was a forty three year old widow with three children and we didn’t know money was tight. She never told us! We would have pow wows for out of the ordinary expenses and she would say, “Do you think this is important enough to reach into our nest egg for?” We usually agreed it was not a good idea.

When I think of single women today who work very hard, I pray they have the wisdom and fortitude of this woman. She made us feel safe and secure, we were happy, healthy well fed and educated. She was wonder woman and even though we kind of knew she was special…we had no idea how special. we were just kids!

I admit, my skill set isn’t even close to hers. She was practical, comical, wise and smart. She was pretty too and she always made us feel special. Many women today work hard and look after loser men. How smart is that? I wouldn’t be proud of keeping a man and you shouldn’t be either. You are better than that. Mom used to say “Women are like tea bags, they find their potential in hot water!”

The job of Homemaker is a fast dying privilege. I sometimes think I rushed out into the world for material things and ego and if I had it to do over I think I would have savoured being a homemaker for a good long while. You can always work but moulding children into good citizens is the best accomplishment in this crazy world and I’m glad my mom did it! She taught me more than books ever did!

Being a Kid……..even forever maybe

When I was a child we didn’t have all the electronics and fun games kids have today. We are never going back, but I think it is time to concentrate on the “little things” that make life grand, maybe only once a month but do it.

Disneyland, Sea World, game parks have absolutely nothing on walking in the park with grandchildren and letting them “discover” nature like we did. Picking leaves from trees and identifying them, watching a bird build it’s nest, following ants on the ground making ant hills, listening to the birds and just plain looking at the sky and “seeing God in all things.”

You don’t need pockets of money to entertain them, grandparents have a special place in their lives and it doesn’t have to be the same things their parents provide or daily television shows they shouldn’t watch. Sit with them and watch a documentary on their country and how far we have come. Let them learn and not just do! Tell them about their ancestors, trust me on this, they love to know about themselves and how they came about. Be a storyteller…it never gets old.

Life isn’t just activity toward an end, it is enjoying every minute and knowing how.

How many children today really know how lucky they are…I mean really know. They think “things” will make them happy because that’s what they see, but when you open up the world’s possibilities to them that are right before their eyes and they actually learn to appreciate…they have it all. Teach them what I call dynamite phrases like…”you are a little cup of GOD” or “God watches us, let’s make him happy today”. “That little light inside of you shines when you are good…I can see it shine!”

Imagine your child coming to you with real wonder in his eyes because he saw a falcon or a small woodland creature like a fox. This is an uncommon occurrence and a privilege you can give them by simply sharing nature walks. And, in California they are everywhere and all around us. We live in a huge nature reserve, no matter where you are there are mountains, canyons, meadows and the incredible ocean and all moments from us all. Block out the traffic and the television noise and get out there and share it with your grandchildren. The toys and clothes we buy for them are soon forgotten, but the memories we make for and with them are forever.

Grandmothers Wisdom!

I recently saw a survey by our government on children with sleep deprivation. I was curious, why do we need to spend money on this nonsense? it creates a nothing job for a nobody! Scientists in clinical studies came to the conclusion, children need a minimum of eight hours sleep every night to get good grades and have better moods.

Alright, I will agree, but how do we accomplish this? With parenting, not guilt that the little darlings don’t see enough of you. What they don’t see is enough of the inside of their eyelids.

The article also said the parents have better relationships when the children go to bed by eight o’clock every night. This gives them a chance to be alone! Wow, this is news. It can create better relationships and of course the result will be happier children.

Alright, I totally agree. Now, I ask you this, did we need to spend taxpayer money to find this out? Did we need a study? Let me tell you what should have been done.

They should have asked a grandmother, almost any grandmother. It might be fun to ask them about the kids diet too. When I was little, we got potato chips on Saturday night and half a coke. We stayed up until 9:00 and we got up and went to Mass. We had a Hershey bar maybe once a month and my family were not poor!

Before bed, my mother gave the three of us a small bowl of cereal with a little milk. (I was four years older so my job was to read to my siblings for 30 minutes) and they loved it. Voila! The milk made us sleep and we got up ready to go. My mother didn’t need a study, we went to bed at eight o’clock and we got up at 7:00, ate our breakfast and went to school for 8:00. We were happy, healthy children and our parents had a happy health relationship.

So, next time, just ask the grandmother. She has the right stuff.

Palm Springs Nights/ San Juan Capistrano days

My latest book just published and I will be on radio 94.3 K News (the Desert radio) with my favourite guys Bill Feingold and Kevin Holmes. Thursday Oct. 29 to talk about it. Palm Springs is a fascinating little town with a most interesting old Hollywood flair and past! It is a magical place and this book does more for Palm Springs than the Chamber of Commerce!

My character, Ramey Wright (everyone is looking for Mr Right, right?) takes you on a delightful adventure while the sun is shining…. and to a dark, underbelly when it isn’t.

I was a bank vice president here in the breathtaking Desert for five years…and I know many dirty little secrets, trust me. Nevertheless, my mission is to try to redeem the wayward adorable Ramey by almost any means I can! Do I? Maybe, maybe not, but I promise to give you something to think about.
Ramey has an innate desire to be good, but the one thing he can’t resist is temptation!
San Juan Capistrano is a far better place for him, but Palm Springs lures him to the carefree fun times he craves. Sometimes it takes a long time to grow up!

Any honest writer will tell you there is a lot of truth in fiction. One rarely has to worry about using real people, because most of us wouldn’t identify with our real characters! This makes an intriguing tale for all who want to live their lives thinking nobody notices! Most often people tend to notice what you don’t want them to…..
So, I extend to you a personal invitation to come with me and let me show you my cute little town, be sure to fasten your seat belt…. .

Angels of Warwick

My new book ANGELS OF WARWICK just launched and I invite all who love to read to read it! It is a family saga mystery/murder/romance and will take you to days when things seemed simpler but were every bit as complicated as they are now! I love to write and this story is right from the heart, my beautiful mother and favourite aunt take you on a life adventure of excitement, despair, laughter, tears and all emotions! Jump into the little Durant Coupe and go on an adventure with two women very ahead of their time…..I loved them and you will too!