Post 49: Are You Wearing a Hair Shirt?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.  –Robert Frost I once heard a radio reporter say, “Living an environmentally friendly life is like wearing a hair shirt.” Really? I thought—wondering if she’d ever tried it. Since I was never able to locate her story online afterward, I’m still wondering. But the search brought up plenty of othersContinue reading “Post 49: Are You Wearing a Hair Shirt?”

Post 45: Home Free

My marriage was killed by home-decorating magazines. Or at least they put a big nail in its coffin. I was lost. Paul knew what he wanted to do with his life and was passionate about it. I didn’t, even with two degrees. I had a lot of interests—and yes, even passions—but I had no ideaContinue reading “Post 45: Home Free”

Post 44: Three for Free

So now we’ve got inflation again, and higher prices at the grocery store. We’ve got empty shelves, here and there. Supply chain problems, we’re told—but “chain” is too simple a concept. Our global interdependence is more like a fine web, covering the planet in such detail that nobody can understand much more than the nearbyContinue reading Post 44: Three for Free

Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!

Starting with my early writing, I decided to avoid using brand names if possible. To me it seemed to cheapen fiction. “She put on her tightest Levis, got into her Kia, and drove to the nearest Olive Garden.” See what I mean? Brands are just too pop. Would Dickens or Twain ever write a sentenceContinue reading “Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!”

Post 34: Loving Your Before and After

I. INTRO: FOUR DECADES I’ve lived at this property for nearly 41 years. It should be looking a little bit different by now, right? At the time we bought the house, I didn’t know anything about fixing up a home interior, and not much about gardening or landscaping in the desert, either. We had littleContinue reading “Post 34: Loving Your Before and After”

Post 33: Free Your Tea

Not much of a tea drinker? Don’t click away just yet. This post goes beyond tea. As my friend Keith let me know when I referred to my hot herbal drink as “tea,” true tea comes from the tea plant. The leaves of Camellia sinensis—a plant, shrub, or tree—have been consumed as a hot drinkContinue reading “Post 33: Free Your Tea”

Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff

My daughter’s house used to be trashed. I think she’d be the first to admit it. I mostly refrained from saying anything. It had a sort of “punk” look. You know, something like what my generation was hoping to convey with threadbare shirts, jeans that dragged in the dust, and—if we were old enough toContinue reading “Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff”

Post 29: The Compost Post

I’ve published a couple of teasers, here on this site, about composting. There was the ribbon that lasted for years, unchanged, at the bottom of the bin (Post 22, “Ribbons Are Forever”), and then the little sheets of plastic coating shed by a milk carton (Post 10, “To See the World in a Plastic Cap”).Continue reading Post 29: The Compost Post

Post 28: The Curbside Mall

This week’s post is a short photo essay, with notes. Lately I’ve been noticing an increasing number of people taking pictures of discarded stuff, both curbside and in alleyways. I suppose it’s because most of us are carrying a camera around in our phones these days, and it’s an easy way to record things—for laterContinue reading “Post 28: The Curbside Mall”

9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.

WARNING: IF YOU’RE A HOARDER, OR HAVE EVER BEEN TOLD YOU MAY BE A HOARDER, DO NOT READ THIS POST! You may look at the pictures, no captions, and THAT’S ALL! I have nothing against minimalism. The two champions of our moment’s minimalism, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn, have succeeded almost beyond belief inContinue reading “9. Minimalism. And Nuffi Stuffi.”