• Family
  • You Can’t Go Home Again

    Birdhouse Light Switch Cover. You Can't Go Home Again.

    “I know they say you can’t go home again.” That is true figuratively but not literally. I did “go home again” this summer to visit my parents. I slept in my childhood bedroom. I took the photo above, of the birdhouse light switch cover. That little birdie did not fly out of the nest. He […]

  • Blog
  • I Pitch

    Some negotiations are complicated dances. Others can be stripped down. If I am in the dance setting, I try to put my Getting To Yes skills to work. I know I am supposed to identify the underlying issues for both sides and keep an open mind about the resolution. But sometimes, dammit, there is something […]

  • Family
  • Mommiavelli

    Overheard in my house this summer: Moi: Honey, why don’t you make chili tonight? DH: OK! Moi: But not too much, OK? Don’t make a full two gallon pot. We will just have to throw it out. DH: Moi: Please do not make too much. DH: Moi: There better be at least 2 inches of […]

  • Blog
  • Pecking Order

    Academic institutions have a rigid hierarchy. The effects of that hierarchy are everywhere. Most of those effects are not good, so when I see them, I mutter to myself, Nothing like a pecking order to make you want to peck someone. I had always attributed this saying to David Rakoff, from his book Don’t Get […]

  • Blog
  • Kindness Rocks in Boulder, CO

    I learned about kindness rocks from Pinterest. The idea is simple: painted rocks with encouraging, inspirational, sweet, or just kind messages. I loved this idea. Our front yard includes some sections of rock garden. I smiled at the thought of the neighborhood kids discovering special, painted rocks among the drab, regular ones. I spent a […]

  • Books
  • Writers on Creativity

    I like reading writers’ memoirs and their books on writing. I especially love a window into their creative process. Since I first saw it, I have been gripped by this description from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Often when you sit down to write, what you have in mind is an autobiographical novel about your […]

  • Teaching
  • Mommy, Is Manny a Boy or a Girl?

    My sister’s family went to a Red Sox game. This was many years ago when my niece was in the single digits, maybe 8 years old. The players were announced. Manny Ramirez. For some reason, he caught my niece’s attention, and she wanted to know: “Mommy, is Manny a boy or a girl?” This isn’t […]