Dogtail Hour in Our ‘Hood

Dogtail Hour in Our ‘Hood

It’s BYOT — Bring your own toy There’s an unofficial dog park on our block It’s really just a large lawn, mostly flat but sloping gently toward the middle, originally put there by the developers as an aesthetic way to handle drainage. It’s bounded by streets on two sides, by an alley on one, and by an expanse of cattail-studded brush on the other, the haven of red-tailed blackbirds and white-tailed deer that stretches between the outskirts of our neighborhood and the river. In practice, though, it’s a community recreation center. It’s where kids build tepees out of dry cattail…

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Americans Agree on a Lot

Americans Agree on a Lot

So let’s change the narrative of division Months back, I vowed to stop writing about politics But that doesn’t mean I won’t write about democracy, or about what it means to be an American in these critical days. Especially having just passed the first anniversary of January 6, 2021 — a day that I believe ranks with 9/11 in terms of existential threat to the nation — the state of our Union is a topic that is with me, waking and sleeping. I find myself ricocheting, feeling hopeful and resolved one moment, frightened yet resigned the next. I know I’m…

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Hear That Sound?

Hear That Sound?

That’s January arriving. Brace yourself Remember November? How it appeared burnished with gold and, as the weeks swelled into the feasting time, dripped with butter? Then December bustled in like a pleasantly plump auntie, eager to help decorate and shop and bake cookies until it was time to sit down with a nice cup of something. November invited us to have second helpings. December clapped its hands in delight as we opened presents. January barges in and tells us to get back to work. November sounded like gloriously colored leaves fluttering earthwards to spangle the sidewalks, and like saucepans bubbling…

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In Praise of Lull Week

In Praise of Lull Week

The truly most wonderful time of the year What to call the week between Christmas and New Year’s? Google the question and you’ll find many answers, none of which we seem to have settled on. It appears the Brits, or some of them anyway, call it Boxing Week. In my judgment that’s a faded extension of Boxing Day and lacks the imagination of other suggestions: Betwixtmas; Crimbo Limbo; the Merrineum; Prepiphany (that last one is mine). Some Twitter wits (Twits?) dismiss this week as the doldrums, a period in which time loses meaning and we are left to drift aimlessly…

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Hit With Holiday Sads?

Hit With Holiday Sads?

Three tips that can help The holidays are rough on some of us; that’s not news. Their arrival during the shortest days of the year — assuming you live north of the equator — comes freighted with expectations and associations like no other turn of the calendar. If for whatever reason you’re not feeling the magic, the contrast between the twinkling lights and inescapable music of your outer environment and the tangled murk of your interior can really bring you down. This year, that contrast is even more acute. The holiday energy is doubly frantic, as though we’re trying to…

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I’m Listening to My Body, and Here’s What It’s Saying:

I’m Listening to My Body, and Here’s What It’s Saying:

Sorry not sorry I’m supposed to be doing things Writing this blog post, for one, which is taking about all the energy I can muster, so if it trails off somewhere in the middle, please understand. Also by now I should have recorded another blogcast episode. Shameless plug here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1860172, available on almost all platforms and new episodes landing weekly! Also I should have reorganized and cleaned out the bathroom cabinet because we’re having the whole thing remodeled right after Christmas and all that stuff is going to have to live somewhere else for the duration. My current novel-in-progress languishes…

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Time to Take Your Time

Time to Take Your Time

It’s not available for refund or return We live in a culture besotted with doing. We’re devoted to breathless, full-tilt busy-ness. If we take time to meditate, we justify it by pointing out how much more productive our practice makes us. It’s okay if we sit still for ten minutes in the morning because it helps us get more done.  At work, we and our coworkers indulge in competition over just how much we’ve got going on, how little we’ve slept, how many hours we’re putting in. “I’ve been working crazy hours,” we’ll say to explain our frazzled state, and…

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There’s Glitter on the Dog and We’re Running Out of Batteries

There’s Glitter on the Dog and We’re Running Out of Batteries

The holiday season has arrived I don’t do Black Friday I know there are people — some of them my friends — who relish the ritual of awakening early on the day after Thanksgiving to gird themselves for retail battle. They brave the mired parking lots, aren’t put off by the fevered hordes competing for bargains on everything from smart televisions to smart socks, and willingly endure the soulless countenances of the store employees who were forced to rise like zombies from their turkey-induced comas to man the checkout lines. Not me. I am not immune to the collective frenzy…

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I No Longer Write About Politics

I No Longer Write About Politics

And here’s why It’s not that I’ve stopped caring. Quite the opposite. The last five years in American politics have been especially brutal, but I’m not pulling, turtle-like, into my shell — as tempting as that can be. And boy howdy, is it tempting, especially now that my husband and I have moved from the overwhelmingly liberal bubble of NorCal to the overwhelmingly conservative bastion of Idaho. While I refuse to disengage, I intend to be strategic. Doing something that helps fix a situation — from communicating with my representatives to supporting just causes to showing up for other people…

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