How to Take the “Over” Out of Overwhelmed

Olivia Newport seascape

I just flipped through a magazine that is more than 200 pages long and purports to help me simplify the holidays and still celebrate with style. Lots of pretty pictures! Probably not anything I would actually do. Maybe I’m even lazier than “simple.” Or maybe I know my limits. Last week I never got around […]

How to Shock Your Son


My son generously loaned me his new camera for a recent trip I took to Monterey, California, for a gathering of writers. Basically I didn’t know what I was doing, but I managed to change the lens a couple of times and figured out the rapid-fire shutter button.  When I got home, my son looked […]

How to Understand the Novelist’s Mind


My grown children, and probably my husband, would tell you that my mind too quickly goes to what might go wrong, and I’m full of unsolicited advice about how to avoid those scenarios. They get really tired of it. They think I’m asking them to be way more cautious than most situations require. They’re probably […]

Scavenger Hunt Stop #15


Welcome to the Autumn 2014 Scavenger Hunt. You have arrived at Stop #15. The hunt begins at noon (Mountain Time Zone) on October 17, 2014. You may have arrived here before the start, which could mean all of the sites aren’t ready quite yet. Once the official start has begun, you should go to Stop […]

Operation Stop Hating My Kitchen

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Down came the dropped ceiling, with the ranks of fluorescent lights and plastic ceiling panels that made my kitchen look like a church basement from the 1970s. I’ve lived in this house for eighteen years. At first I thought the brightness of the kitchen was a good thing. And it was. The space doesn’t have […]

Thankful Rediscovery


I’ve been on a bit of a binge lately. I have lived in this house six years longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere else, including my childhood home. I’ve discovered, belatedly, that the frequent moves of the first half of my married life served to keep our belongings thinned down. Frankly, we had a lot […]

Answer the Door. Meet the Day.

Olivia Newport gas can

A few days ago, I had just poured my morning coffee when the doorbell rang. My  neighbor would have called if she was coming over. My daughter would have rung the bell at least six times quickly to let me know it was her. It was too early even for the FedEx guy. So I […]

I Like Trains!

I Like Trains!

All through my childhood, my dad commuted by train to his job in downtown Chicago. It was a daily chore, morning and evening, for someone to drop him off at the train station in the morning and pick him up in the evening. A lot of my practice driving time as a teenager involved driving […]

Field Trip to Limon, Colorado

Field Trip to Limon, Colorado

Eighteen years ago I moved from Illinois to Colorado. For a long time, a couple of times a year we drove back and forth for family visits—usually spring break and Thanksgiving. My kids loved seeing the cousins, and they became quite accomplished car travelers. They knew where all the good truck stops were. Usually we […]

Regret Is No Joke

Fountain splash – LN

“That’s two minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” Ten seconds, two minutes, an hour, a day. We’ve all had the experience of feeling like 1) we wasted our time through our own fault or 2) we let someone else waste our time. I had my teeth cleaned the other day, and the hygienist […]