Thursday, August 13, 2015

This morning I finished knitting a sweater for Miss Emma. Today she is 5 months old. I celebrate her love of laughter, her beauty and her early wisdom. She knows all is well and good.

Writing and knitting are my top two creative outlets. These days I simply go from one to the other.

I love this quote by Abigail Thomas, author of "A Three Dog Life," and latest, "What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir."

"Nothing is wasted when you are a writer. The stuff that doesn't work has to be written to make way for the stuff that might."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 12, 2015

Received this the other day from my "writing coach on all things spiritual," Rev. Geoff Layng.

Rev. Geoff prays with me often in keeping my focus on writing a book on adoption and he also reminds me that I can do this - with the help of God, my co-creator.

"We live in a holographic (inner connected) universe. Everything alive has consciousness. At the subatomic level of life everything is connected to Universal Consciousness. When we change our consciousness, we are changing the world's consciousness. Know that consciousness directly effects our reality. We can direct energy to create a new outcome. Our thoughts and beliefs become the udder of new realities. Time is not what it appears to be. It does not flow on one direction. The future exists simultaneously with the past.

"The book you are writing today is not the book you would write yesterday. We have slipped into a new awareness that is bringing us closer to new world consciousness. Your writings need to address this change." - Rev. Geoffrey Layng

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wrapped in a circle of love

“I am knitting a pink wool scarf for my oldest child. Nothing new in the way of knitting, except this is for a daughter I have never seen. I don’t even know her name. On her birth certificate, I filled in the blank, “Tiffany Jo.” I’m certain it was changed.”

Above is the first paragraph in the draft of my latest book, as yet untitled. Writing this book is my most challenging endeavor. Thankfully, God has signed on as my co-creator.

My story is about adoption: Finding and celebrating the reunion with my birth daughter after placing her in a closed adoption, and the recent birth of my adopted granddaughter through an open adoption. 

After giving birth to my daughter in 1966, I started college, “moving on” as I was told to do. However, I did not move on. I grieved, silently, for 42 years. 

In those first months of higher education, my college roommate taught me how to knit. Sitting next to me she often counted, in her native language, each stitch - un, deux, trios, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix, etc. From that first row of knitted stitches, wrapping wool around two sticks, has comforted me throughout my adulthood. I am forever grateful to my dear friend.

My book, again as yet untitled, will knit together family, friends, spirituality, the joy of reunion and creativity, and show how we are all connected through synchronicity. 

Below is my column that was published in the Laguna Woods Globe. This explains why I retired/rewired from The Orange County Register.

June 4, 2015

Globe editor leaves post to take a new path

For the past 16 years, I have been an editor, reporter and columnist at the Orange County Register. I am grateful for all I have learned and experienced. As anyone knows, who has ever worked in a newsroom, no day is the same; news happens 24/7.

What I have witnessed in the Laguna Woods bureau for the past 4 plus years is that it is never too late to fulfill a dream, even if it terrifies you. My dream has been to write a book about adoption, all sides of the triangle. So to accomplish this challenging endeavor, I am leaving my position as the city editor of the Laguna Woods Globe on June 12.

What has prompted this sudden departure is this past spring I experienced another side of adoption.

On March 13, beautiful Emma Janee Virata-Potter, weighing in at 7 pounds 11 ounces, 21 inches long, became my granddaughter, a long-awaited gift. I was fortunate to be at the birth along with my son Andrew, his husband Michael and his mother Tita, in Oklahoma City. At the hospital, nurses named our assigned room, “the daddies and the grans.”

You see, Emma has been born into an open adoption. Throughout her life she will know her biological family, through visits, photos and that wonderful invention FaceTime. The daddies didn’t want the birth mother, like me, to see her baby for the first time 42 years later.

In a December 2011 Globe column, I wrote about a miracle of love journey, “Some day wrapped in a blanket of love.” At the time, my son and his husband had just joined with an agency with the intention of adopting a baby. They went through months of weekend seminars, home study visits, and physicals, parenting classes, all with grace. When their website went “live,” we waited for a pregnant woman to choose them to be the parents of her baby.

While my daughters, Juliet and Marilyn, and I knitted blankets, we prayed for a baby to be placed in the arms of these wonderful men. We had to wait almost four years; however, our prayers were answered to absolute perfection.

Miss Emma has brought so much joy to our family. She smiles all the time, doesn’t even fuss when I dress her up in sparkly pink ruffled dresses and socks and big hair bows. My little princess loves lots of bling, just like me. My husband and I are grateful that Emma’s daddies allow us to stay in their San Diego home almost every weekend – so far no complaints.

I hope you will follow me on this journey of writing a book about my experience with adoption. If you have any comments or you have been touched by adoption, feel free to send me an email at 
Your emails will not be published.

Monday, March 28, 2011

With the boys

And who says Laguna Woods Village isn't a happenin' place?

Sunday evening we saw the fabulous singers, "Oh, What a Night," at a sold-out concert in Laguna Woods. These men were so talented and entertaining in their tribute to Frank Valli and the Four Seasons. I am wearing a Jersey Boys jacket that I purchased when we saw the Jersey Boys in Las Vegas. The guy on the right left the stage during the concert, walked out into the audience and sat on my lap while singing a song from "Grease." Alan was amused; I loved it. If you are ever in one of the cities where they are entertaining, be sure to go and see them. Here's their web site:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Launch

On March 3, we launched a new book, "She Writes," an anthology, edited and produced by MaryAnn Easley of Windflower Press. The event was held in Laguna Woods and the evening was filled with wonderful food, books and readings by local poets. One of my stories, "Message from a Stranger" is in the book. I was the emcee. Below is a photo with my friends and sister writers: Nita, left, and Michele, center.

All in the Family

This is why we have children. (Keith, 3 years old)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fabulous books

I just finished reading the best novel, "Left Neglected" by Lisa Genova. It's about a mom who is on the fast track in an affluent Boston suburb. She leads a hectic, career driven life, but it's cut short when she is in an accident and suffers a brain injury, which erases the left side of her world. It was fascinating to me how I didn't like her in the beginning - I couldn't stand how she ignored her children, but in the end she finds happiness and peace for herself and her family. I had never heard of this type of brain injury and found it fascinating.

The one I am reading right now is "A Widow's Story" by Joyce Carol Oates. It's about life after her husband dies. Incredibly sad, but it's helping me understand what some of the widows go through in Laguna Woods.

Jodi Picoult's newest book, "Sing you Home" arrives on the shelves tomorrow. I plan to be first in line. It even comes with a CD. I won't be buying this one on my Kindle, which by the way I love, as I know Juli will want to read this one. Right now I only buy books on my Kindle that I know my daughter won't want to read. We're still all about sharing.

Back in the trenches

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on my blog, actually since September 2010. You see, I have returned to the Orange County Register. I'm now the editor of the Laguna Woods Globe. So I haven't had a lot of time to sit at my computer and write on my blog. I've been busy trying to improve the Globe and it has taken most of my time.

Publishing a newspaper for a community of 19,000 people where the median age is 79 has its challenges. It's tough keeping the readers happy, getting all their club news in each week and still maintaining the truth that we are a newspaper. Some were unhappy when we published their "secret" that part-time employees receive perks. Nothing wrong with that; I believe that the residents should know where some of their homeowners fees are being spent. In five years, $400,000 has been paid in perks.

I have learned some valuable lessons and secrets about aging: We must take care of our bodies, have enough money to be able to travel and take in concerts, etc., stay active, and stay connected to our families. Loneliness is a major problem with aging. If one is active, and I mean physically as well as mentally, one can refrain from being so cranky. The smallest things appear to set some aging people off. For example, one woman calls every week to complain about the paper and says the most horrible things to me. This week she didn't like the business story. "So what are you going to do? Write about every store that opens in Laguna Woods?" I said, "Yes."
She freaked for the next 10 minutes. One old guy threatened to "take me out." Thankfully security is just around the corner from my office. Many of the people are so kind and that's what keeps me smiling.

Although returning to full-time employment can be a drag, this job has had some fun times. Last week I was interviewed for their cable channel by two TV talk show hosts. The program is "Write Now." I was asked questions about my career and my work now at the Globe. Every other Thursday I also do the news with the TV anchor; I'm learning some great things about TV work.

My biggest news, however, hasn't been my return to work. The Royals are getting married on my birthday! On April 29 they will say their vows and throw a huge party at Buckingham Palace or one of their other castles. I'm still amazed that they didn't call me to see if I minded that they were taking the spotlight off my big day. As Andy said, "Mom, did they not know it was your birthday?"

I will be babysitting Keith that day so we will watch the wedding on TV. Then while Kate, William and the family have their post wedding dinner, I will celebrate with my family, probably with hot dogs, beans and cake on paper plates. But I can assure you, I will have just as much fun.

Many years ago I watched William's mother Princess Diana get married on TV and dreamed about how wonderful it would be to be a princess. Of course, we know how that fairy tale ended. Anyway I watched it while my two youngest ran around in diapers. This time I will watch it with my grandson who is in diapers. Where did those years go?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Write your memoirs

What could you write about the Jell-O of your past? Did your mom put canned fruit in it or cover it with cream cheese or whipping cream? Could you write a six-word memoir on this fruity tasting wiggly gelatin?
My fall memoir writing class begins Wednesday, Oct. 6 and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 10. It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Lobo Elementary School (off Pico and Vista Montana), San Clemente. The cost is $99. This class is through the Capistrano Unified School District's Capistrano Adult School program. To register go online:

Putting your past on paper can be a gift of healing for yourself and a gift to your loved ones. Take the journey and come celebrate your life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The next David McCullough?

I’m wondering if my son Andrew, the Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for San Diego County, has traded in his long title for that of a documentary narrator. If you click on
you can watch Andrew explaining the art work in the federal building. I have seen the art and it’s beautiful, representing San Diego families at work and play. Always a proud mama – good work Andrew.