Post 55: My Top 10 Best Alley Finds Ever (Outdoor Edition)

Looking at the examples below, you might think I spend my days prowling the alleys. Not true. It’s great exercise, but I also go for walks via the neighborhood streets. I hit the alleys maybe once every couple of months, adding an extra trip if I’m looking for something in particular. On those occasions IContinue reading “Post 55: My Top 10 Best Alley Finds Ever (Outdoor Edition)”

Post 53: Punished for Our Purchases

A couple weeks ago, Terry and I had to buy some new stuff. Once in a while, as I’ve said, it’s unavoidable. At least we could still protest the shopping trip by biking to the store instead of driving there. The temperature was in the three digits, but it was only two miles away andContinue reading “Post 53: Punished for Our Purchases”

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 42: Is Money the Root of All Evil?

You’ve certainly heard this ancient maxim, and you most likely have an opinion about it. Maybe you even know it’s from the New Testament (Paul’s letter to Timothy) and that in its earlier, longer form it read “the love of money is the root of all evil.” In my experience, modern commentary is more likelyContinue reading “Post 42: Is Money the Root of All Evil?”

Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?

Nancy Mairs was the author who influenced my writing life the most. Her first book, Plaintext, from 1986, introduced me to the personal essay; I realized, then, that this would be the form my writing would take. I never knew her personally, even though she lived in Tucson and the very last sentence of theContinue reading Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?

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 36: Bad Influence

I used to say I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My parents were both against it. My dad said, “Kay, you don’t want to be one of those kooky artists.” Kooky! I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that word since it came out of his mouth. My mother was moreContinue reading Post 36: Bad Influence

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!”