Some people in 2020-2021 have been acting like masks to reduce the transmission of germs are some kind of new, unproven idea. They aren’t! My family wore them on Christmas 1986, and we knew why.
In the past few months, I've mostly been rereading novels I had read before--most notably, I was already midway through Snow Crash [reviewed here] when Facebook announced its intention to create the Metaverse, so that was chillingly appropriate! Let's hope we don't all catch a brain-stem virus. Anyway, I also read two excellent nonfiction books … Continue reading Growing Sustainable Together, Ramona’s World, and The Vagina Bible [book reviews]
If you live upstairs with no elevator, how will you bring home heavy stuff if your body won't tolerate carrying extra weight as you climb the stairs? Here's a solution using ordinary household items.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
This is a quick, easy, tasty way to get a lot of vegetable into your meal! With the right cooking technique, kale becomes very crisp, almost like potato chips but a bit chewier. Garlic makes it taste great! (You might want to chew some xylitol gum to freshen your breath after eating....) We cook this … Continue reading Crispy Garlic Kale
Buying a share in a community-sponsored agriculture farm every summer since 2001 has forced my family to try some vegetables we wouldn't have chosen to buy at the store! Turnips are a good example. They're nutritious, but we struggle to prepare them in ways that we'll enjoy eating. My father really likes turnips, so I … Continue reading Turnip Fries and Other New Experiences
This is a guest post by Jill Exman Tedlock. Read Part 1 here! What do I feed my kid? We follow Kids Eat in Color's recommendation of feeding kids exactly what adults are served. Kids Eat in Color toes a pretty hard line: Kids eat “adult food”. In our house, we serve both things the … Continue reading Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 2
This is a guest post by Jill Exman Tedlock, whom I met through New Mom's Coffee, an absolutely wonderful resource here in metropolitan Pittsburgh. Once you've attended this in-person discussion group, you can join several affiliated Facebook groups to discuss raising children of different ages or to discuss related topics, like cooking for your family. … Continue reading Tips for Feeding a Picky Eater: Part 1
At some point during my many years of working in an office, I developed the habit of making a cup of peppermint tea as soon as I got to work every morning. I'm less consistent when I'm between jobs (as I am now) so I'm not necessarily sitting down at the computer every morning--but peppermint … Continue reading Peppermint Tea: Healthy Helper or Just Hot Water?
My family spends a lot less time in the car than the American average, but we get into our car for hours-long errand binges some weekends and several long road trips each year. For the past three school years, my son had to be driven through urban rush-hour traffic to a weekly activity at dinnertime. … Continue reading Cutting Back on Car Snacks
There's a lot of bad news about America's food supply in this century: Terrifying pesticides! Increasing rates of food allergies and gluten sensitivity! Food poisoning! Junk food loaded with crappy ingredients, pushed on us from every direction using unscrupulous marketing techniques! Insane amounts of Earth-destroying packaging! Endocrine disruptors! Epidemic obesity! Food crops threatened by the … Continue reading Good News About Irradiated Food!
In this particular household of Earthlings, we all have about the same color of skin, and if we wanted to wear makeup we'd get the second-lightest shade in most brands: We are not the palest people on the planet, but we're fairly fair. That said, we're not especially prone to sunburn, so we don't wear … Continue reading Sunscreens that Save Your Skin Without Hurting the Earth
This is a question people used to ask me really often. Then, when I became a mother, the question changed to, "How did you lose the baby weight?" Sometimes, these are just rhetorical questions, a way of saying, "I see you're thinner than I am, and that bothers me." (See Jessica's article "Stop Telling Me … Continue reading How do I stay so thin?