Post 57: Fast Lane, or Purslane?

I’d originally planned for this post to be an essay about the irrigation ditch I dug from the street through my front yard. It was all written, ready for photos, when the contents of the Word file went blank. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but computers are inhabited with little devils, whose favorite pastime—whenContinue reading Post 57: Fast Lane, or Purslane?

Post 40: A Fresh Code of Paint

One afternoon when my former mother-in-law was still my mother-in-law, we were hanging out in my kitchen. She was cleaning my refrigerator–she was always looking for ways to help out, so I started making sure I saved some dirt and grime for her when she visited–while I was painting the door frame. “Why are youContinue reading “Post 40: A Fresh Code of Paint”

Post 38: Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)

CaveatsWith the pandemic waves influencing the opening and closing of restaurants, it’s no wonder that people go a little crazy eating out when everything has opened up again. Getting out means eating out. Probably this is a terrible time to publish bad news about it. Or else . . . it’s the right time exactly.Continue reading “Post 38: Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)”

Post 37: What the Jell is Jojoba?

It’s spring, and there isn’t anything I’d rather do than work in the yard, inhaling the orange-blossom scent until it practically knocks me flat. But why do all the trees and bushes around here keep grabbing my hair, scratching my face, and almost poking my eye out now and then? It’s because they’re growing, andContinue reading Post 37: What the Jell is Jojoba?

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 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

My formerly green(ish) thumb has been gradually turning brown over the past few years. The seeds I plant don’t sprout. I’ve been working harder than ever to provide them good, organic soil, and I even have a new sprinkling attachment for the hose, so they get a gentle rain instead of pressured spray. I haveContinue reading Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

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

20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water

There’s a scene from the movie El Norte that’s still with me 35 years after I first saw it. Actually, there are two other scenes I remember as well: the one where the father’s severed head is swaying in the breeze, and the one where Rosa and Enrique are crawling through a tunnel and areContinue reading “20. It All Comes Out in the Wash Water”

19. Girl Power

When we left our protagonist couple in the last post, they were facing a seemingly impossible dilemma. Should the chickens get to keep their freedom in the back yard, creating havoc and hastening its demise? Or should they be forced to give up that choice territory and be relegated once again to the 185-square-foot coopContinue reading “19. Girl Power”