Anti Anti-Microbials: 'No!' to Germ-Free Pencils

As if I don't have enough things in my life to be irritated about, my kid came home from school yesterday with a box of pencils. Oh, but not just any pencils, pencils impregnated with Microban. In little print, it says: "Microban protection inhibits the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria on the pencil." ...more
 @ldskatelyn Thank you!more

In Which I Shoot My Mouth Off About Electric Cars

One of the things that I realized during the #Snowtober power outage is that it's a damned good thing we don't have a plug-in electric car. It's one thing to run a handful of appliances off of a small generator, and use candles and batteries, and open the garage door by hand. But I dare say you can't recharge an electric car with a little Subaru generator. So then what? Huh? Stuck until the power company sees fit to restore you to the grid. ...more

On Personhood and Schrödinger's Cat

On a beautiful July afternoon, nine years ago, we had a late lunch with friends who were visiting from Iowa. As I sat in that sidewalk cafe on Madison Avenue and sipped my cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I contemplated the fact that I was pregnant....more


So you probably think that because I titled this post "Banks" it's going to be all about Occupy Wall Street and dissing capitalist pigs. Wrong! It is about banking, though, but banking at home, not in an institution. ...more

Getting Things Done - on Steve Jobs and Robert Moses

I'm not sure that I have anything to add, but I need to say it anyway. The first computer I owned was a Macintosh, bought in 1985, for about $2500 – which would be about $5000 in today’s dollars....more

No Child Left Inside: Why Digging for Worms Is Good

There is a little piece of me, the usually dormant compulsively tidy piece, that gets irritated when she digs up worms in the middle of our not very stable lawn-on-a-hill, or builds forts with sticks woven through newly planted shrubs. But I bite my tongue a lot, because really? I like that she's outside communing with nature and making hosta leaf boats for ants and acting as midwife to worms. Digging in the dirt, learning to fish, planting seeds -- it's all part of keeping her connected to the earth, something that is incredibly important for lots of reasons....more
Get into the garden with your kids. Whether it is in your own backyard or someone else's. There ...more

Letting the Family Help Decide on Charitable Donations

This year, I decided to do something a little different. Usually, I just sit down and write checks as I see fit, with little or no input from my family. But I thought it was time to involve the seven-year-old in the charitable giving, to try to get her to think about something other than buying more things for her. ...more

I am posting this everywhere. It may be a good way to teach other children about children with ...more