Prayers that sound like accusations.

A couple of weeks ago I found a vintage copy of Elisabeth Bing’s “Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth” in the mixed-paper bin at the recycling center. It made me smile, and not just because of the awful 1970s hairstyles and maternity clothes. After four pregnancies in a row had stopped developing, my daughter was expecting again and this time a heartbeat was detected.An omen, I thought....more

Do Kids Still Chase Butterflies?

Today I noticed a Facebook post about talking into the fan “to hear my robot voice,” complete with a picture of a windblown little girl facing a fan and either talking or singing. That is, if robots sing. “Admit it…we all did this,” the caption concludes. Duly admitted. However, my life partner says he never did any such thing. Perhaps that’s because he grew up mostly in Alaska, where fans aren’t a common household appliance. I grew up in humid South Jersey, where fans helped us believe we weren't actually melting. ...more
They do when you kick them off the computer and tv.  I'm always amused by how the silly rhymes ...more

Why I let my daughter pay.

Several times during this visit I’ve tried to pay for things but my daughter wouldn’t hear of it. At one point she noted that she now makes considerably more than I do, thanks to my recent economic downturn.  She wasn’t snide or condescending, but rather expressing a “so glad I can help you for a change” vibe. When I thanked them today for buying me lunch out Abby’s response was, “Thank you for cooking and cleaning.” ...more

Kids don't need as many toys as you think.

Last week my life partner and I had the chance to watch his 1-year-old granddaughter for a couple of hours. Her papa brought along a couple of stuffed animals but no other playthings.That was fine, since I’d prepared for her visit by pulling together:A clear plastic jug that once held eight pounds of popcornA small dough scraperSome metal measuring spoonsTwo canning-jar ringsA large kitchen spatulaFor the first 15 minutes or so Rose sat on the couch like a very small queen with a very large diaper butt. She stared all around her, checking out the scene and fingering the textures of the afghans beneath and behind her.When I gave her the plastic jug with the kitchen items, the fun really began....more

How a burn phone changed my life.

After my recent personal economic downturn I did an essentials-only budget. The most obvious trim was one I’d been planning (and failing) to do for months: getting rid of the monthly cellular bill in favor of a burn phone.Due to my job I couldn’t drop the cell without having a replacement in hand. But researching the best options was just one more chore on a to-do list as long as my leg.The layoff got me off my dime, as it were, and within a few days I’d canceled the cell service and bought a pay-as-you-go....more

Writers: Stop undervaluing your work!

Last spring I turned down a writing job that would have paid $450. The piece would have been long but not particularly hard to do, as I’d covered the topic before. In fact, I did a pretty good outline in several back-and-forth e-mails with the editor.(Note to self: Don’t do that again. Ask what the job pays before you do anything else – and especially before you spend half an hour of your day e-mailing back and forth.)Some of you are probably thinking, “Is she nuts? She turned down an easy $450?!?”But that’s not really what I turned down....more
I totally agreemore

This just in: A woman who's satisfied with her life!

Recently my life partner and I had lunch with his mother and her longtime companion. The most exciting part of the meal was the very large black bear that ran around in a field behind the restaurant until employees chased it away. The most interesting part was what his mom said about flowers.She’d gone to a local nursery and was so taken by the blooms that she bought more than she needed. In fact, it’s been long time since she bought anything she didn’t specifically need.“It was nice to want something,” she said. “I haven’t wanted anything in a long time.”...more

What my mother and I couldn't say.

Today is Mother’s Day, a time when many bloggers will wax sentimental about their moms and how they hope they can give their kids the same kind of magic.Not me. I’m going to talk about regret....more

Midlife love ROCKS. (Ask me how I know.)

I find myself in the middle of a Lifetime movie: Middle-aged woman leaves long-term abusive marriage, goes broke, wins a scholarship, stumbles into an unexpected career – and finds a man who’s perfect for her.A man who’s smart, kind, funny, well-read, musically talented, astoundingly physical and – bonus! – extremely handy around the house.A man who only gets her jokes but embroiders on them, and who wrote a smutty double dactyl in honor of her birthday.A man who wants her for who she is, not for the person he thinks he can turn her into....more

Why I dye my hair (and why I wish I didn't)

Yesterday I stopped at the Division of Motor Vehicles to get my Washington driver’s license switched over to an Alaska one. When I got to the “hair/eyes” portion of the evening’s festivities, I realized that I had to write “blond/green.” My last driver’s license photo was “brown/green.”But that was nine years ago, before hairdressers prevailed upon me to star using lighter and lighter dyes. These covered the gray better, they said, especially since the dyes tended to “lift” (or something like that) prematurely from my type of hair....more