I thought I’d put the question to you, the readers, rather than face up to the queries that continually come to me via email.

“Where are you?” I’m continually asked, and then I get a complimentary word or two about people missing the blog. I’ve answered with a standard response: ” I’m getting myself together.”

Unfortunately, that  just begs the question as to what that bunch of wording is supposed to mean. True, I’ve been missing in action. But like my kids always declared, “If she’s not talking, enjoy the quiet time because Heaven be our helper when she decides to open her mouth.

” Ah, the kids! While on the one hand they can’t catch on, on the other hand they are quite astute.

What have I missed writing about? Yes, the shooting in Isla Vista. What’s to be said? Once again, the signs a kid displays are ignored. The family tried for help but the “authorities” knew better.

The police interviewed the kid prior to his shooting up the town, but the men in blue neglected to conduct a thorough investigation. Why? In my book, they decided he was not troubled because he came from a prosperous family and had all the mannerisms that are produced by a mainstream home environment.

In times gone by, my frequent commentary was a view on news events that had a relationship to parenting. But my hiatus has brought me to know we’re inundated with violence perpetrated by young people, and the media glorifies these misdeeds with coverage that influences more kids to duplicate the craziness.

Slenderman groupies, two of them, kill their 12-year-old friend because they said they believed their murderous act would place them in high esteem with this make-believe video game character. And who might Slender Man be?

If you’re anywhere near my age (and I’m not revealing my years) you don’t have much of a clue. I had to ask Brandi, who gave me a brief overview but haughtily said, if I really wanted to know I should Google. I didn’t really want to know that much, but in case you do, here’s the link. Click here

Now, for the good side of life: There’s a cute yellow canary that’s been flying around my yard this past week. Should I catch him and put him in the spare cage that was once occupied by my canary named Tommy Tucker (that the cat ate)?

The bird gets to remain free. But what about the predators? What about his/her survival?

Then there’s the Mama Bear who with her cub who visited a great home in Monrovia last week. A great home because the homeowner didn’t call animal control. She said she watched the animals frolicking in her yard and knew when they were through visiting they would return to their habitat.

Irresponsible not to have made that telephone call for the bears to be tranquilized and given a ride back to the forest?

I’m back!

But as my kids always knew, silence on my part meant, for them, some new rules and regulations. Since readers aren’t my kids, returning to the blog isn’t about a new order, but let’s see if it’s a new direction- does only writing about such things as the Birds and the Bears work for any of you?

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Walt Haddock

    The lady didn’t call the authorities! My, my. Nothing like letting the public bear (no pun intended) the responsibility of staying clear of a natural inhabitant of these here hills, is there! After all, if I can make you be responsible for MY safety, then I don’t have to be concerned about my own lack of responsibility, do I. Bears can be dangerous when a mama has some cubs in the area, but generally, the local bears aren’t dangerous unless humans act irresponsibly. Or maybe, no existence of one species is better than co-existence of two species. So, maybe we should just euthanize the bears. Or the irresponsible people!

    1. Shirlee Smith

      Hey there Walt,

      Looks like you created much thought on the bear and her cub that were allowed to roam. Thanks so much for adding your perspective


  2. Greta Pruitt

    Great comments as usual. You gave words to me thoughts. About Santa Barbara shooting. We make horrible errors through our lack of recognition of our own racism! Love to read your insights. Wish I could go toSeattle on Thursday for the anti BillGates rally of educators. So close right now here in Oregon. Thanks for your commentary.

    1. Shirlee Smith


      So, true that about the errors we make in judging others – most times by one’s own standard of what signs to look for.


  3. Sheryl Owen

    Hi Shirley

    Being in MT has its own challenges and you would REALLY have something to write about here. We have had over the past 20 years (but more recently) a discrimination ordinance that needs to be approved for much that is happening here over various types of people who are NOT (of the norm) approved by some. I have a ton of newspaper writings about “NOT IN OUR TOWN”, and the violence that occurred twenty years ago upon a Jewish Menorah. The particular “order” trying to get passed is called “NDO” or Non-discrimination order.

    Montana is a VERY conservative state but still as large as it is, people want to have nothing to do with others coming in and telling them what to do. Now the lesbian,homosexual, transexual, blacks, disabled (like me), and a new word “binary” for those in transition of a sexual change has flooded the media and our area. Four other counties in Montana have passed this order but is very controversial in Billings where I reside.

    SO yes, hearing from all that is happening in California is interesting to me since I am no longer living there, but a LOT is happening here.

    I enjoy all your “blogs.” IF you want to purview the “Billings Gazette” you might get an eyeful of our State. We are very different here.

    Keep in touch as always


    1. Shirlee Smith

      Ah, “people who are not of the norm!” And many thank for providing our readers with news from Montana. Please keep the comments coming. I think with this new blog format, people will be able to comment on comments in a quicker.


  4. Jean Troy

    I’m glad you are talking again, It is like finding a nice quilt that you had put away only to find it on a cold night. I’ve missed you.
    I worry about the violence among our young people and the lack of support from our society to help families in need. We also need to support our children who are well balanced and are only seeking to establish themselves in society.
    Please keep in touch and it is so nice to have a friend back.

    1. Shirlee Smith


      While I’ve been hiding, I truly missed hearing from readers and especially you, Jean! How long now? Seems to me around twenty years.

  5. Bill Allen, Jr.

    Dear Shirlee,

    Yes…Yes…Yes… The woman should have called the animal authorities about the mama bear and her cub. There could have been ANOTHER kind of OUTCOME that would not have been “so cute.” We STILL are having great disparity with parenting skills for the affluent vs. the everyday-working-class-middle-class or struggling-to-make-it families; let alone the grave injustice of how “justice” is rolled out to “the privileged children” who commit crimes; and “the rest of us.” The “authorities” don’t seem to have much of a “clue” as to what types of behavior in youth need to be seriously addressed or given emotional/psychological health care. Children are still imitating the “violence” that they see from “grown-up adults” or from the various facets of violent “entertainment” in our society. Yes, Shirlee…you may have been gone for a little while…but YOU HAVEN’T MISSED A BEAT. And for better or worse (and I’m afraid things are getting worse), as the old song lyrics went…”and the beat goes on.” Thanks, Shirlee; you’re right on the money.
    Big Hug,
    Bill Allen, Jr.

    1. Shirlee Smith

      Thanks Bill,

      Better or worse? Seems to be our job to keep aiming for the better side. Maybe that means making an attempt to examine the crazy “worse.”


  6. Tony Hicks

    Shirley, as a writer myself I can personally say that sometimes writers “need to take a break” and refresh ourselves. Like most other work it comes a time when the body & mind get tired, and the rest allows us to come back with a vigor for our work! Just sayin!! Keep up the great work.

    1. Tony Hicks

      Oops! Shirlee did I spell your name as Shirley? I know you don’t mind….but there’s an example of why us writers oftentimes need a break too! 🙂

      1. Shirlee Smith

        What’s that saying, something like “call me whatever- just so long as you’re calling me” I think it was worded a lot better BUT whether EY or EE I’m glad for your comment.



  7. -Nate


    I’ve missed you but now I am (finally) back to work where I receive your missives .

    Carry on then .


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