Category Life lessons


“Show me your garden, and I shall tell you what you are.” –Alfred Austin I’ve been haunted by this quote for years, judging myself by the contents of my own garden. Every year I start out with good intentions: This year, the garden will be as neat and orderly as those of my Amish neighbors. […]

Good Grief

A couple of months ago, Ellen Stimson’s publicist contacted me about reviewing an advance copy of her upcoming book, Good Grief. (Apparently, she’d seen my review of Stimson’s first book, Mud Season, on Goodreads back when I was motivated enough to actually write reviews instead of just rating books with stars.) It took me quite […]

Grieving the bees, welcoming the dog

The circle of life keeps turning, and I’m turning with it. It had plunged me downward with breathtaking speed a couple of weeks ago when Paul and I opened my second hive, the one whose bees had been so industriously building comb and sending out foragers, and realized that the plucky rogue queen that I […]

The Chickadee Roommate

This poor little chickadee has been languishing in my photo files for quite awhile now; the bees’ arrival pushed his avian dreams into the background. Things are pretty quite right now, though–the garden is planted, and the bees are humming along–so I’ll put up this picture of the bird who, for a period of about […]

Eerie parallels

January 31 was the first day my dog Chaussette wasn’t there to greet my son when the school bus brought him home after school. (I would put her on a leash to keep her from trying to board the bus and greet her adoring fans, and then the two of us would stand in the […]

November flowers and vegetable love

As I write this, I’m sadly coming full circle to the beginning of my blog, which I’d started to help me grieve when Peri, the dog I’d had for thirteen years, became paralyzed and had to be put to sleep. I’d fallen into a dark place, feeling empty and lacerated, until I got my puppy […]

Grudgingly accepted assignment; witnessed True Love

I have to confess that I almost said “no” when Rachel from the local newspaper forwarded me a request from the Aging and Disability Resource Center for an article on their upcoming caregiver conference. I’d been waiting almost two weeks to be paid for my August articles, and I’d never been paid for July’s; tired […]

The Peri Tree

My long-anticipated mulberry trees have finally arrived. I’d ordered them in my grandmother’s honor—she grew up with a mulberry tree in her backyard—and I figured it would be best to hedge my bets by buying three, one for her house and two for mine. (These trees are more than just trees; they’re commemorations of my […]

Aquanion Castle

Sage’s first piece of architecture has been created: Aquanion Castle was born when he discovered a chunk missing from the edge of a large flower pot in front of our house. “Don’t worry,” I reassured him. “It will make a perfect toad house if we flip it over.” It was good advice—in theory. The reality […]

The Mystery Machine

At first I thought the scraping and groaning of metal outside our house was a plow going by, a vigilante guarding Augusta against rogue snowdrifts. But the noise continued, and I realized something odd was going on. I went to the front window and saw a large piece of heavy equipment with a small plow […]