Archive for June, 2012

Changing your location, changes your attitude!

 This past year I have had the privilege of teaching some extraordinary men and women throughout my classes here in my office in Palm Desert, as well as the classes I teach at Inter Valley Health Plan and even the classes that I have taught on my travels.

One of my students that I love and treasure has given me so many special gifts since I have been her instructor and her friend.  One gift is the use of her family’s home on the ocean in San Pedro.

This past week I spent 4 days with her and another special friend and we had a great time celebrating her birthday.

The gift of being her guest at this beautiful home overlooking the ocean is breathtaking.  I feel so fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to knock out some of my writing projects in such a beautiful location.

Friendship is the best gift of all, but opportunities that come my way this year in so many forms of good deeds from my students and friends makes me forever grateful.

I am grateful to each and every life that I have taught, from your kind words to your thoughtfulness in so many ways makes me humble.

If your writing has become blocked, try writing in a different location.  Take your laptop or notepad and pen to another location in your house or head to a secluded quiet nature preserve, or into a noisy coffee shop.  See where you go and what happens differently in your writing.  You will be glad you did!







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Super Summer Saturdays!

Those of you “lucky” enough to be a part of the magic of a Palm Springs summer, plan on spending some time writing with some friends!

I will be in and out teaching this summer, but I have arranged some dates when I will be here to teach.

Summer classes are open to both men and women.

Summer dates:

Saturday, June 30

Saturday, July 14

Saturday, August 11

Saturday, August 25

Cost is $65.00 per workshop and includes all workshop material and full lunch

Time is 10am – 2 pm

To register email me at:

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Mondays with Melitas – June 11, 2012

A NEW ENDEAVOR …..                                                                              June 11, 2012                                                                                       

…Or just a dredged up old, past one that didn’t even belong to me;  however Gail Smith and I did all the drudgery to keep Gary’s Fluff and Fold afloat while he stayed afloat on a surfboard searching for the Big One — and no doubt still passing  out his business cards.  (See Mondays with Melitas, 6/04/12)

One day I said to Gail, “I think  it’s about time for us to throw in the towel here —, and she countered back in the blink of an eye with “ Yeah, along with the sheets, wash rags, sweat shirts, and don’t forget the undies.” We were simply washed out in that laundry — and probably all dried up like an older prune (me) and younger one (Gail.)

We went back to our real world.  Gail went back to being a sort of starving artist type, and I went back to being a sort of barkeep type.  This was circa 1965.  A few years later, Gail went back to the farm — and don’t forget the Cadillac Agency — near Kansas Cityto be with her aging father.  They would get along beautifully if he was a kibitzer like she was.  (I must look into that somewhere to see if that is an inherited trait.)  It’s probably been 50 years since we lost track of one another, and who knows?, she may have become “late.” That’s how they say you have croaked in Botswana:  you are late.  Well, that is mighty true.  From here on out, you are late for everything.  (Read about “late” in The Ladies #1 Detective Agency”  series by Alexander McCall Smith —you will be glad you did.)

With Gail out of the picture— and I don’t even know how far out — I have to dig up someone to help me open the New Age Fluff and Fold here in the Valley. It means the pool of prospects is very limited.   Not that many want to take orders or follow my advice these days, and the Warden will testify that truer words have never been spoken.

If  I can’t find all the ingredients to get a nice New Age Fluff and Fold up and running, I have a Plan B to fall back on, and just maybe it might be the better way to go in the first place.  I would give classes on “How to Fold Your Laundry.”  How many of you know how to professionally fold a FITTED sheet?  Ah ha! got  you there right off the bat!  This would not take up all my time it takes up in running the business.  I could schedule classes when I feel like it.

I will approach Tammy, my esteemed Memoir Writing Coach, and talk to her about my plans.  I must try to be very diplomatic and tell her I need her office space once or twice a month on days writing workshop classes are not scheduled, and I will give her a pittance for use of the space, and she can get some of the glory being my assistant at these classes, simply because everyone taking my class will love and adore us for showing them how simple it is to have good-looking, folded laundry — instead of the way they are now just wadding up the fitted sheets because they haven’ t a clue how “they” do that.

There will be hundreds of ladies wanting to get into this class, and probably some guys  may want to learn this folding method.  The classes will be for maybe  6 or 8 at a time, and it will keep me busy juggling the schedule, etc.  Each person will receive a sheet of Instructions and diagrams with all this wealth of information just in case they didn’t get the picture in class, and they will be able to pass it on to the next generation for their enlightenment.  Just think about it!


(Some of my fingers keep locking up on me, so done for now)


MELITAS FORSTER                             MONDAYS WITH MELITAS – JUNE 11, 2011


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A successful half marathon in San Diego!

 What a great race in San Diego!  I had a blast and it is so much fun meeting other runners from all over the United States!  I have now completed my 4th half marathon and am still in training for my first full marathon which I hope to complete in 2013.  Life is exciting!  What goals have you set for yourself that you would love to accomplish?  It is never too late to set a goal and work towards it!  If you read my blog a few days ago you read about my “her-storians” that just graduated.  One of their lines in their “love letter story” was about wind beneath their wings and as I was just starting out on mile 1 that song came on my mp3 player, it almost made me start crying!  I love how beautiful life is!!

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Mondays with Melitas – June 4, 2012


JUNE 4, 2012

Several months ago, I wrote about my very first job where I received an actual

paycheck with the deductions for whatever they took out in the late 1930’s. What I

ended up with was $13.76, and you can bet the farm that I was pleased as punch. (No

Tequila in those days.) That job was during my softball career, and was in a laundry

in Orange, CA. The sponsors of the team wanted to keep the pitcher and catcher

(me) in tow so we could win the World’s Championship. I helped Co-Owner Vera in

the office department. Elwood, her husband, took care of the heavy work in the back

checking in the laundry — the pitcher, Lois, helped him mark and sort. Well, she

had never bothered to learn to type, so it was her own doing, or more like no doing.

I think it first dawned on me at this point that if you wanted to be in business

you should definitely be the owner.

Now we will go down through about 25 years, and at this point in time, I am

on my 4th out of 5 saloons I had owned. My Realtor friend, Vic — a real estate guru –

— calls me one day, saying he has a very good deal for Gary, my son: “Susie, (his

nickname for me) you know the place; it’s Art’s Fluff and Fold laundry up on No.

Coast Blvd. This would be just the thing to give Gary something to do, and start

earning some money.” I said, “Gee, Vic, I will have to talk this over with Gary, so call

me back in a few days.” This Fluff and Fold is where the customers bring in their

dirties — clothing and towels and linens – then it was returned to them all nice and

clean in very neatly tied bundles. I talked it over with Gary, and he showed a little

enthusiasm. He had finished high school, and was just wandering around with his

life, mainly honing his skills as a surfer. He was a very good one.

When the Guru, Vic called back, I said, “Well, Vic, maybe you do have a

pretty good idea, and it’s worth the try since Art is asking only $1200 for this little

business. I’ll find Gary, and we’ll come by your office to sign the offer.” The purchase

price included all the equipment: a whole bunch of washers, a whole bunch of

dryers, a couple of huge washers and dryers for BIG stuff. I am saying “a whole

bunch” simply because my memory card for this stuff is missing. I can see it in my

mind’s eye, but just can’t see how many.

The papers were drawn up, and we went to escrow, so while that was going

on, Gary and I went up to the Fluff and Fold several times to be taught how to fold

the sheets, or the clothing, and putting them in neat stacks for the customers to pick

up. If there were shirts in the customers’ clothes, we would hang them on a hanger.

We also took in dry cleaning, which was picked up every day by a dry cleaner from

Santa Ana, then delivered when ready.

We started out with me helping Gary since my days were free, then he could

find someone to help him out permanently. It only took 2 to tango in this business.

Pretty soon he was appearing less and less on the premises to help me get out from

under all those dirty clothes. It was a good thing that Gail, one of my bar clients,

would stop by to shoot the breeze, and she would step in and help me — saving the

day. She had a great sense of humor, and we always had some good laughs. After

some very funny dialogue one afternoon, I put it right to her: “Gail, why don’t you

come and be part of this great organization? You can be Asst. Boss.”

“Now, Silver Bullet (her nickname for me,) I can see you need me desperately, and

you make me laugh, so why not? If you can’t pay the high wages I would demand,

you can just forget about any green stuff being placed on your bar when I order a

drink — just mark it down on that “House Drinks” list you keep next to the cash

register.” I replied, “That’s great, then we don’t have to keep any books around here.”

Gail was an artist from Kansas City, and I think her dad would send her out to

Laguna Beach all the time because artist-types were probably not all that popular in

K.C. and probably did not fit in with his Cadillac Agency. Besides, she was also a free

spirit and was not about to be cooped up in the inner sanctums of an automobile

agency where all the office work took place.

So there we were washing and drying, fluffing and folding, cracking up at our

own jokes, having a great, old time.

And THEN there was Gary, with thousands of business cards announcing his

ownership of the FLUFF AND FOLD — handing them out on the Main Beach in

Laguna, or at the foot of Brook Street where all the surfers would be hanging out

or “hanging ten.” In between waves — he was an excellent surfer —, he would have

plenty of time to pass out more. For all I know, he could’ve been up in Corona del

She replied,

Mar, or he could’ve gone south to San Onofre to run into surfers there at

the “Trestles.”

Gail and I toiled away for months at Gary’s Fluff and Fold. We had some very

interesting customers. One was a very well-known movie star with a summer home

in exclusive Emerald Bay at the northern city limits of Laguna Beach. She and her

husband had either 6 or 8 kids (there I go again: I sure need to find that memory

card.) When the big, black limousine parked out in front, we knew we were in for it.

If the Chauffeur got out of the car to bring in the stuff, it meant lots and lots of big

black bags, maybe 8 or 10. When Mrs. C. drove up and got out, she had only a

couple of smaller bags. Never did see the Husband. Now, in retrospect, maybe the

Chauffeur was the Husband.

Gary’s cards actually did bring in some business from the surfing population.

Of course, they never did have much money, and their belongings would sometimes

sit on the pick-up shelves for months before they would dig up enough moola to

retrieve their stack of clothes. Then there were some stacks that never would be

picked up. I figured they might be over in the Islands, or maybe in Australia —

always on the prowl to find and ride the “big” one.

The “glamour” of our job was starting to wear thin — Gail and I were running

out of laughs. We could go over to the Main Beach and sit in front of my bar and get

more laughs just people watching the sunbathers in some of their get-ups — I can

visualize some pretty funny scenes. Now there would be no more times when Gary

would come in to give a little help, but then after he left we wouldn’t be finding an

IOU for 10 or 20 bucks in the till.

I called my guru, Vic, and simply said, “SELL!” He countered back with “Why

can’t you have Gary take over? It’s about time.” My retort to that was, “Well, no,

that’s out. He is in absentia as owner of the hip Fluff and Fold on North Coast Hwy

of Laguna Beach. He is in Hawaii visiting with his biological mom, but is more apt to

be looking for that “big” one up on the north end of the Island at Makaha.

Many a time I watched him take those Makaha waves. What memories!


JUNE 4, 2012


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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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