We've always been a "shoes off at the door" household. Not tracking outdoor dirt into our home reduces our exposure to germs, allergens, and environmental toxins--and it saves time on sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming! The downside is that standing for long periods on bare feet or sock feet can cause aching in the feet, legs, … Continue reading Kitchen Shoes: Stay on Your Feet While Cutting Down Dirt!
After years of working with data from the United States Census to help study the effect of growing up in a high-crime neighborhood on young men's criminal careers, now I have the honor of collecting Census data in the field! For the past six weeks, I've been an enumerator, one of those people who knocks … Continue reading Sorry I haven’t written much; I’ve been enumerating the Census in a pandemic.
You might think kids doing distance learning don't need "school lunches"--but our kids showed us in the spring that they need more structure.
Games are great for practicing our ability to follow rules and compete fairly--but sometimes, we learn by breaking the rules. Join my 6-year-old, dinosaurs, Time Repair Agents, and Christmas carolers on board a ship in the year 345....
Nowhere to go these days? Take a walk for exercise and enjoy all the things you can't see from your windows! Photos from an evening stroll in Pittsburgh.
This is hardly a comprehensive list of what's best to read while staying home and staying safe--but some of these books turned out to be applicable to our current situation! Now that we've been enduring locked-down life for four months, I'm thinking that the next book to read now has one or more of these … Continue reading What to Read During a Pandemic
Food Fix is a book published at the right time: It went to press before coronavirus hit the United States, yet without mentioning the pandemic at all, it explains very clearly how the problems with our global food system addressed in this book are worsening the spread of the virus and its deadly effects! Read … Continue reading Bricks and Balloons
This is something I've been thinking about all through this strange springtime when, despite being home so much more than normal, we are in fact allowed to go outside, to walk all over everywhere, to enjoy the flowers in everyone else's yards as well as our own gardens. Twenty-one years ago, when Daniel and I … Continue reading Spring Flowers and Ex-Boyfriends
This is a guest post by Anaïs Peterson, a Pittsburgh-area social-justice advocate. She wrote this on Facebook on June 3, and I am reposting it here to spread this information to people who choose not to use Facebook. I have not looked into all these resources personally. This post is aimed at people who want … Continue reading Black Lives Matter…but what can YOU do about it?
Oh, here we are in the middle of a pandemic and frantic efforts to end racial injustice and police brutality--and I'm talking about what kind of tea to drink?! Yes, I am. This is not my first round of lifestyle disruption and suddenly being stuck at home with a lot to worry about--and over the … Continue reading Finding the Right Herbal Tea for This Moment
About ten days ago, I read my newly six-year-old Lydia a science fiction short story that she's since asked her father, older brother, and me to read again and again. It's available free to read online: "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Leiber. My father read this story to me many times, beginning one night … Continue reading Pandemic Perspective: A Pail of Air
This wasn't my recipe originally, but it's been one of my favorite soup recipes for more than a decade! Now that the "365 Days of Kale" blog where I found it is gone, I'm sharing the recipe here, with a few tweaks I've made over the years. This hearty soup makes a full meal--maybe you'll … Continue reading Sweet Potato Soup with Beans, Kale, and Garlic
I've made corn chowder several times from various recipes. I was never very happy with it because it turned out so bland, high-carb (both corn and potatoes!), and high-dairy; it just made me feel drowsy without seeming like a fully satisfying meal. When I go to the trouble of making soup from scratch, I want … Continue reading Improved Corn Chowder
Enduring the pandemic has gotten me rereading familiar books more than I'm reading new books. When the stay-home order began, I had the idea of rereading the first six volumes of the Outlander series (the ones I own), knowing that a long book full of adventures helps time pass more quickly. I did read the … Continue reading Two Good Books About Education
Here is another easy way to make a delicious, creamy curry! Say it's lunchtime, and your refrigerator isn't offering you a full portion of anything, but you have a bunch of odd bits of vegetables and some coconut milk, all of which really need to be used before they go bad. In less than 10 … Continue reading Quick Coconut Curry from Leftovers
Well, here we are: We got through the longest Lent, we endured an Easter Sunday when nobody could go to church or a community egg hunt or a big family feast, and more than three weeks later most of us on Earth are still staying home most of the time. You might think it's not … Continue reading Enduring Easter
I'm writing this on the day before Easter, the last day of Lent. This should be the last day of fasting and self-discipline, the day I'm preparing to resurrect the Maundy Thursday leftovers in a festive reception to follow the overwhelmingly inspiring Easter Vigil service, the middle of a weekend of seeing friends and family … Continue reading The Longest Lent
I've been reading a whole variety of books lately, both to myself and to my kindergartner Lydia. We Need to Talk by Celeste HeadleeA radio host and expert interviewer tells us "how to have conversations that matter" in this book that has a lot of good advice but might have worked better as a shorter … Continue reading Book Reviews All Over the Place!
Recently, there's been a lot of interest in "a plant-based diet" as the path to good health. Sometimes people use the term as a synonym for a vegan diet (excluding all animal-derived foods) and other times they mean "a diet of mostly plants, with a lot less meat and dairy than a typical American diet." … Continue reading Feasting on All the Kingdoms of Earth
Each morning, I've been glancing at the progress of the spring flowers in my garden, coming up from bulbs. Only the snowdrops are blooming so far, but the others are putting up their leaves. I admire the way they push up right through the autumn-leaf mulch, no matter how thick it is or how firmly … Continue reading Hope Springs Up Green