Every time a visitor arrives from out of state, they want to see an armadillo. After all, the armadillo has been designated the State Small Mammal of Texas.
And yes, there used to be a music venue in Austin named the Armadillo World Headquarters, if you’re wondering.
When I took my kids to visit my home state of Alaska, they expected to see moose and bears. But of course, moose are so common in Alaska by day three, a moose sighting was greeted with an adolescent yawn of indifference.
Finding a bear is a bit more like an armadillo sighting…
When I was a child, I listened to the words of Big Wicked Bill and cried for the dog.
Now my heart knows why Stuart Hamblen sang, “Sometimes in the hush of an evening when the winds have grown tired and are stilled, By the fire, I sit dozing and dreaming letting memory bring back what she will…
Trying to write about myself, back through time, my mind wanders; I smell high-bush cranberries ripening in Alaska autumn, creosote bushes after a summer cloudburst, my horse loping through the Arizona desert. The silken feel of a newborn baby nursing at my…
It seems oddly unfair somehow. It’s July, day after day, the temperature stays over one hundred degrees and the nights are seventy-five and humid.
All I want from my garden is crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and yes, maybe a watermelon.
Not midwest hot and humid with nights in the mere sixties and days in the eighties. This is Texas hot, Arizona hot.
And no, we can’t grow lettuce outside in the summertime. Now, December, yes. Primetime for greens is in the winter for us down here in the Sunbelt.
I spend a lot of time talking to new gardeners, and…
I never expected it to be this hard. Possibly, writing a memoir while feeling lonely during the forced isolation of a pandemic is not the wisest choice I’ve ever made. Or, just maybe, it’s given me the time to dig deeper than I might otherwise have done.
“In some ways, writing a memoir is knocking yourself out with your own fist, if it’s done right,” Karr writes in The Art of Memoir.
I was born in July 1953. In August, Alfred Kinsey released his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. …
Have you ever published something and gotten a resounding echo in response? Nobody read your article, the editor rejected your book, or you sold one lonely e-book?
What went wrong? You thought your writing was interesting, structured properly, and your grammar was correct. I’ve had this happen, and it sucks!
The answer, “Because I think it’s good,” or “Because I think it’s funny, interesting, or educational,” won’t work.
Next question. “How do I discover what my reader cares about?”
Most of my writing is for business blogs and websites. I must know what my reader is interested in. …
Hooray! Who doesn’t enjoy fall?
I know I do — especially here in Central Texas.
The slight crispness in the morning, the change in the sunlight, and the pumpkins! And butternut, Acorn, Kabocha, spaghetti, and more. Squash of many varieties fill the markets.
Squash are remarkably diverse in color and shape; they are nutritious and delicious. Squash and pumpkins are staple foods in many cultures though under-used by many cooks in North America.
Here we enjoy pumpkin pie and occasionally a butternut soup but rarely use pumpkin or squash as a weekly dish.
Along with sweet potatoes and carrots, all…
If you have the aspiration of kicking ass when you’re 85, you can’t afford to be average when you’re 50.— Peter Attia.
I love this statement because it sets a goal—kicking ass when we’re 85. In my whole life, I’ve never accidentally accomplished something worthwhile without having an intention.
And if I’m planning to be that 85-year old I need to get busy now.
Attia describes lifespan as different from healthspan. Lifespan is the number of years you live, or how long you avoid dying from an accident or disease.
On the other hand, healthspan refers to the number of…
I’ve been thinking a lot about answers to questions I barely know. While writing my memoir I’ve wondered if too many pieces are missing to complete the puzzle.
Do you think I should ask the Ouija board?
It was late at night, or at least it was so dark it seemed to be midnight. But then again, it was the middle of an Alaskan winter on our homestead, and the sun went down about three o’clock.
My mother was in one of her occasional storytelling moods when she’d delve into memories of her childhood. …
I am blessed to have four daughters-in-law and a couple of sons-in-law, who I couldn’t love more if they were my children. Plus, I’ve been fortunate to have had sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and parents-in-law.
But we all hear stories from those who struggle to be close to the partners of their sons, daughters, brothers, or sisters. We may even alienate these significant others unintentionally.
Recently, Bebe Nicholson wrote about this problem in her insightful article Why Do So Many Women Hate Their Mothers-in-Law?
When we love someone, we only want The Best. …
I’m not in denial about my age. Actually, I’m delighted. With the wrinkles comes wisdom, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
What I don’t like is segregation.
Segregation is not healthy or normal. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.
I didn’t send my children to school because I didn’t want them sorted into groups spending their days with only other five-year-olds or twelve-year-olds or whatever the case might have been. I wanted them to be with people, unsorted by age.
I know that the word segregation is most often used to mean a: the separation or…