Gift Guide to Local Christmas Shopping

We probably all know, at least intellectually, that it’s better to shop local. Here in the heart of the Golden State, you can find so much in your own backyard. Behold, your local gift guide for Christmas shopping. Let’s start with foodstuffs. In our consumer age, a lot of people have more than they needContinue reading “Gift Guide to Local Christmas Shopping”

The heart of hospitality

Before walking out the backdoor I grabbed the pair of toddler size, navy and white spats. I circumvented the puppy, closed the gate, and escaped. All she asked was that I text when I was on my way. She heard me open the gate at her house and make my way through their front yardContinue reading “The heart of hospitality”

Hope after the Storm

I made a to-do list for my husband only to discover he dealt with the flooding of an outbuilding all night. Part-way through the school day, the children shouted, “it’s raining again!” and I threw on my boots and jacket and moved sandbags with my husband. We avoided worse damage. On one end I sawContinue reading “Hope after the Storm”

Joy in all Forms: A Review of Better than OK: Finding Joy as a Special Needs Parent

In our own unique story, I have been there. It was during the twenty-week ultrasound, when after the images were taken and we rejoined the nurse practitioner hearing the strange words following the diagnosis, “if I had to pick a defect, I would pick this one, because it can be corrected by surgery.” There endedContinue reading “Joy in all Forms: A Review of Better than OK: Finding Joy as a Special Needs Parent”

Break the Routine

The wind blows fiercely outside my window. I hear the shouts of children as they raise their voices above the gusts to communicate how each should play with their new puppy. Times are changing. There is hope in the air. Impressed with their progress and hard work this semester, I elected to give my childrenContinue reading “Break the Routine”

Autumn is Here

The Next-door Treat Map is back. Trunk-or-Treat will park on Hughson Ave on October 29. The Hughson Arboretum is holding its first Fall Festival on November 6. We’ll go there after stopping at Vintage at the Yard. The Community Thanksgiving Dinner is handing out Thanksgiving meals on November 13. We learned some ways to copeContinue reading “Autumn is Here”

Reflections on Marriage and Henry James’ “The Golden Bowl”

Can an outsider break this bond? The Golden Bowl by Henry James is unlike anything I have ever read. It feels like an academic read, the kind you read in graduate school, challenging, brilliant, and long. It centers around four main characters whose lives are tangled together as they sort through their relationships to liveContinue reading “Reflections on Marriage and Henry James’ “The Golden Bowl””

When the Garden is Good

Gardening came with home-owning. Growing flowers came as therapy. A flower is a piece of art. A bouquet is a collection of art pieces, arranged to showcase the beauty of the feature star. With our new home came new possibilities. It was difficult to keep the sprinklers running without their getting clogged. Perennial, drought-tolerant plantsContinue reading “When the Garden is Good”