Great Expectations

Great Expectations

How busy are you? Shopping. Cooking. Wrapping. Christmas cards. Parties. Secret Santas. Ornaments. Crafts. Cleaning. House guests. Travel. Concerts and plays. Any of this sound familiar? I do love the heart of Christmas. The music of Christmas. The glory of Christmas. The story of Christmas. At the same time, I find myself asking: When it […]

Gadgets: Simple or Complicated?


This is the time of year when gadgets seem to crawl out of the woodwork. Catalogs, Internet coupon offers, store racks, mall kiosks. Organize this. Open that. Charge this. Store that. Cook this. Hang that. Press, clip, mark, etc., etc. They come in all sizes. What are all these things for? Why do we buy […]

Why I Returned to the Wild


Over the last few weeks I’ve heard various comments from friends, in person or in social media, about how they are put their yards to bed for the winter. They say that like everybody does it. Well, I’m here to say today that my yard has not had a bedtime for the last couple of […]

Where It All Started

Olivia Newport childhood library

I guess I’m feeling sentimental today. No deep thoughts. No efforts at advice. Just warm fuzzies. Maybe it’s because this is Thanksgiving week, and I’m thinking about things I’m thankful for. The building in this photo is one of those things. This was the pubic library of my childhood. My church also had an awesome […]

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 […]