Love: If you're happy and you know it

“Aren’t you happy that I’m happy you’re home?”“Oh yeah. I’m happy,” Mr. T deadpans, without looking away from his computer screen.A few seconds go by.I watch as he then claps twice and gives me a curious little side-eye.A beat passes before I burst into laughter.Image used with permission....more

Struggling to Finish a Project? Form Your Own Writing Team

I love the stereotypical image of a writer: A solitary figure, holed up somewhere chain smoking and drinking buckets of booze coffee, surrounded by piles of books and articles and balled up manuscripts. Or enigmatically penning the next great American novel in a coffee shop, maybe in a black turtleneck, but definitely all alone. Loneliness. The part about writing that sucks the most. Or not. ...more

2016 theme: ‘Bitches get stuff done’

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve spent a good number of days at the airport with my father-in-law, Ray-Dad, wrenching on airplanes. The Cessna 182 I fly is months overdue for its annual inspection and as a Christmas gift, Ray offered to assist me in completing the examination and repairs....more

Exam time: I'm not "giving" grades

“Where did you see the score??”“She just posted them.”“When? I just looked awhile ago.”“No, like just posted.”I listened as awareness and surreptitious online gradebook checking rippled throughout the room before class started.Damn. Our first meeting in 10 days and the atmosphere felt dark and pensive. Not the way I wanted to begin the semester’s last hurrah....more
Songs of Home Frustrating. While I appreciate their ability to keep track of grades along the ...more

19 steps to a perfectly decorated Christmas tree

This morning I asked my Facebook friends to guess how many feature length films it would take me to decorate my 9-foot pre-light perennially perfect Christmas tree. The guesses ranged between 3.5 and 4, which came pretty close. It appears I’m known for laborious efforts in the Christmas department. You, too, can decorate a tree like me. Just follow these steps:...more

The U-haul workout

I was conveniently out of town the last several times my little sister moved. (Just like I’m conveniently out of town when anyone I know moves…) But she and my bro-in-law just got their first house together, and their move date happened to be during my university’s fall break. And as it was also right after two ginormous Thanksgiving meals, I volunteered to help thinking, Sure, that’ll make a nice workout....more

A grateful heart: Nosy neighbors and night time walks

I made Mr. T pull over at the entrance to our neighborhood, hopping out into the balmy 37 degree night. Iwaddled walked toward the house as he tailed behind like a secret service detail, illuminating my puffy down jacket silhouette.We continued down the street for a minute until someone pulled up next to T. I heard loud male voices, and then the car circled around and T sped off toward home....more

Thanksgiving joy and gratitude doodles

As the food coma wears off and another Thanksgiving comes to an end, I’m feeling especially grateful for family, friends, and fantastic feasts. I especially loved a new feature at my mom’s table–doodles. She covered the table in white paper and supplied a rainbow of sharpies for us to draw what we were thankful for this year. So fun!Since I’m still too full for tons of words, I’ll let pictures do the talking today…...more
sarahas5 Thank you!!more

A grateful heart: Baking with Marm

When I was little, we lived next door to my grandparents for awhile. On Thanksgiving, I remember traipsing the few hundred yards over to watch my grandma and mom in the kitchen, the sound of parades and football blaring, and begging, sometimes successfully, to play my uncle’s Atari or Nintendo....more

Green tomatoes

It’s nearly December and I’ve just divested my tomato plants of their final fruits. This is indicative of so many things: stupidly warm California weather, lazy gardening, and late fall garden planting, to name a few.Now I’ve got give pounds of mostly green tomatoes to deal with. I’m considering pickling or roasting. Any recipe suggestions?...more