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
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
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
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
It's October. That means, at least here in Pittsburgh, everyone is beginning to talk about how to commemorate the terrible thing that happened here last October 27, when some guy from the suburbs drove into our Squirrel Hill neighborhood, went into the Tree of Life synagogue, murdered 11 people, injured others, and traumatized many more. … Continue reading Relighting the Tree of Life
There are various methods for teaching a child how to do household tasks and motivating her to be involved in the daily work of maintaining the family home. One that's worked well for me is this: Show the child how to solve a problem she created, and then extend her new skill into routine maintenance. … Continue reading How to Get Preschoolers to Help with Housework
Last fall, when I pulled down dead vines from my front yard, I tossed them onto the hillside in the back to help control erosion. Some of the seeds fell into the soil and grew into vines that have climbed over everything that helps them reach the light.
It's great to hear from readers who say that The Earthling's Handbook taught them some incredibly helpful idea that they use all the time now. That's what I want to do! I want to make the world a better place by sharing things that work for me, especially things that help people conserve resources, eat … Continue reading Am I your role model?
I wrote a short review of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I have more to say about this book. The author is a marriage counselor whose experience with clients led him to identify 5 distinct ways of expressing love and to recognize that the acts that convey to you that someone really … Continue reading more about The 5 Love Languages
Good morning! It's time to start another productive work-week! My recent rant about how teenagers aren't so terrifying was inspired partly by being the parent of a teen and partly by reflecting on my own teenaged years while sorting through some of my old stuff. One thing I found was the journal I wrote for … Continue reading Have a Marvelous Monday!
My son Nicholas turned 13. It happened more than a month ago, and I wouldn't have any more to say about it than any other birthday if it weren't for other people's reactions. Nearly every time somebody asks how old he is now and I tell them, they have something to say about it (beyond … Continue reading Oh, no, a teenager!!!
A few years ago, some people from Alumni Relations invited me out to lunch so they could ask for my perspective (about 20 years after graduation) on what my Carnegie Mellon education has meant to me. I was flattered, and it was such an interesting question to consider that I've thought about it many times … Continue reading What I Really Learned in College
Are you the parent struggling to leave your child's school each day as he clings to your legs, screaming and crying? Is every morning a struggle to get yourself ready for work and your kid ready for childcare, while she delays in every way imaginable until you're shrieking in frustration, and then she looks at … Continue reading Coping with a Clingy Child
This is one of the easiest things you can do to make a positive difference in the world. Every time you choose a vegetarian meal instead of meat, you conserve some resources. You don't have to be vegetarian full-time or forever to make a difference. Meat production has a huge environmental impact. Growing plants and … Continue reading Become a Temporary Vegetarian!
This is a story I've been wanting to tell since it happened, but it almost doesn't sound real. This really did happen, though, and it was an important encouragement just when I needed one, and now I'm at a point where I really need encouragement again. I'm kind of writing this for myself to read, … Continue reading EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT.
My grandma would be 101 years old today, if she were still alive. Last year I tried to write the centennial tribute she deserved, but I was recovering from a brain injury, so not only was everything a struggle but I felt really terrible and inadequate about everything...and also, I realized, "Grandma meant so much … Continue reading Grandma, Grace, Portage, Petunias, and a Jade Green Sweatshirt