Dear Niece, Last night I had bad dreams about the apocalypse without zombies, because I’ve been reading too much Huffington Post. Huffington Post writes about only three things on their main page: Apocalyptic Politics, Apocalyptic Weather, and Kittens. On the Black Voices page they write about Beyonce, Bill Cosby, and Apocalyptic Cops. Around 2:30 AM, I decided if things get too bad you should come up here to “The Wall.” Since it is remote up here in the Northwoods, we will be safer. In a city, we would have more access to better supplies, of course, but the supplies would run out eventually, and weRead More →

Remodel the kitchen or embrace what you have with gratitude and work for social justice instead? The choice should be easy, but it’s not. I admire the man in this article and his family so much, especially now that I pay two mortgages and consider daily how to remodel this new home in the Northwoods. Maybe I should buy a hammer instead of surf Apartmentherapy. How to use that hammer without succumbing to DIY culture is a whole different question, though.  

Give me gratitude or give me debt: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/08/11/give-liberty-give-debt/

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A new romantic relationship has brought with it a Brady Bunch-style merger of household objects into my life. Since my partner makes more money than me, each new item triggers my underlying class-passing anxiety.  Financial planners are full of advice about how to handle money when couples earn disparate salaries, but they don’t say anything about handling preferences in sheets, candle holders, or coffee makers. I could joyfully give away my battered, low-rent belongings and welcome the bounty of bridal-registry quality treasures in my life, but that tiny cash register noise that totals up the cost of replacing everything when the relationship fizzles is overwhelmingRead More →

Many years ago my ex-husband made the quirky observation: “You are like a mother alligator.” Mother alligators, like all mothers, are highly attuned to their young. Upon hearing any sound of distress, and the baby alligator has quite a distinctive voice, the mother will defy all belief regarding speed and agility by launching itself to defend its offspring. In the dark of night, when either the kid or the cat would make the slightest disconcerting noise, I would bolt out of bed regardless of how deeply I was sleeping. Or..frankly..how comfortably I was lazing during the daytime. Last night, I heard a strange gulping, whiny,Read More →

It is news to no one that our homes, like our bodies, can be metaphors for our psyches. My deep need to keep and remodel my home after my divorce came from having been dis-lodged so many times  in my life. I counted my moves and I have averaged once per 16 months until I moved into my current residence, where I dwell. The Occupy Movement coincided with my divorce. At the time, I began to ponder the concept of ontological homelessness and how our country’s housing crisis has caused a literal and figurative state of homelessness which has deep implications for our cultural psyche.Read More →

Remodeling a house is a good metaphor for life. Things like counter height, the swing of the cabinet doors, the give in the drawers, and the angles of the sink all feel physically different. I yank, pull, push, and place, and I’m constantly banging into things or missing. It is all better in both looks and functionality, but it just doesn’t fit yet. Plus, it’s still not finished and I haven’t unpacked. Each time I put something on the counter, it feels different. The barest fraction of an inch has that much impact on the experience of motion in the kitchen. I’ve gone from tileRead More →