Peanut Butter & Jelly & books & racism everywhere

“In case you are itching to foster….” read the text, beneath pictures of several puppies so tiny they collectively could be called a handful. “Do they need to be fostered together?” I texted back. “If not, I can take two.” Someone else on the group text emphasized my words with a HA HA HA. A couple of days later, without telling anyone, I drove to pick them up. I arrived home just after my youngest got home from school. IRead more

Toads and the Fourth and maybe a rat

There’s a toad living in a pair of sneakers I keep on the back patio. He switches from one shoe to the other, but he’s always in one of them during the day; at night, he emerges and hops around the yard. I guess he’s looking for bugs. Every day I peek to make sure he’s there. Do toads sleep? They must. Whenever I look, though, he’s just sitting there quietly, tucked into the dark cave of my shoe, hisRead more

Where I live and the terrible, no-good, very bad N-word.

Last month on Valentine’s Day, I was listening to a talk radio show about schools, guns, and the Parkland shooting. I don’t like guns. I don’t want guns in schools. But as I listened to the show, what occurred to me is this: there are invisible weapons just as dangerous as guns. I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Let me describe Ponte Vedra for you. It’s our ritzy little idyllic community. Our grass is literally greener than everyone else’s.Read more

The Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Chronicles, Part 3

I recently spent 20 minutes designing a new Bitmoji for myself. I shortened my hair and dressed myself in a hoodie, because I’m always cold. I also played around with the shape of my face and eyes, pretending I observe such things. When I was finished, I texted my new doppelganger to the husband. Thirty seconds later, he called out from the other room, “I hate your new Bitmoji.” What? “How can you hate it? It looks just like me!”Read more

I knew lots of Brett Kavanaughs. They don’t belong on the Supreme Court, either.

One Friday night 34 years ago, I wanted to go to a party. “Whose party?” my mother asked. “It’s an open party,” I replied. That’s what we called high school parties given by students whose parents wouldn’t be home. I was a senior at an all-girls private Catholic school, and my younger sister wanted to go, too. I was scheduled to take the SATs that Saturday, so my parents agreed – if they could drive us there and pick usRead more

READ THIS: The Girl From Blind River by Gale Massey

I met Gale Massey eons ago at a writing workshop, and we bonded over our shared passion for wicked humor and self-deprecating sarcasm. We just *got* each other. She’s a writer’s writer, the kind of wordsmith who gnashes her teeth over sentence flow. I love that. She was hugely supportive during my book launch, and in the midst of it, sent me a passage from her novel-in-progress. I was blown away. She and I had also bonded over a loveRead more

Middle school, now and then. WARNING: flashbacks.

The kids start school next week. The younger kids have been sleeping until 11 am, and soon I’ll be waking them up a full five hours earlier to catch a 7 am bus to middle school. What could possibly go wrong? Note to self: Maybe I should practice ahead of time. Neale, who is going into sixth grade, can hardly wait. Really. She’s so excited, and it concerns/baffles/terrifies me. I think she views middle school as some sort of tweenRead more

The Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Chronicles, Part 2

I bark a lot about women being overly obsessed with how they look, and in particular with their weight. I’ve written here that I have reached the age at which I don’t care how I look in a bikini. I have a body, and I have a bikini, and therefore I have a bikini body. Got it? But the truth: I do care. I care how I look in a bikini, and I care about how you think I look.Read more

I WON THE GOLD, PEOPLE! Me and my little book make waves.

Did you know I wrote a book? I’m pretty sure you know I wrote a book. It was released way back in 2017, so you might have forgotten. I’ll refresh your memory. I wrote a book! It’s called The Place of Peace and Crickets: how adoption, love, and heartache built a family. It has changed my life significantly. For example, the word “author” now occupies a plum spot on my resume. Also, I have to spend a lot of timeRead more

Breast is best. FAKE NEWS, says Trump. GAH.

At the recent World Health Organization meeting, the country of Ecuador proposed passage of a resolution in support of breastfeeding and urging limitations on the misleading ads that formula companies run in poor countries. It was kind of a no-brainer. Health officials, scientists, and medical professionals know that breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for babies, thanks to hundreds of studies plus the fact that centuries of breastfeeding literally has led to the ongoing duration of humankind. Ecuador had a goodRead more