Inventory

At some point every January for the last ten years, I’ve taken an inventory of my books — the books I’ve written — for tax purposes. This is a little random, as I have boxes of my first poetry book in my shed from when the publisher closed its imprint, and I never count those. […]

Adventures: San Francisco Bay Birthday

Sometimes I envy my sister Sarah’s vacations, but this year when I discovered she was going to Fiji for Christmas, I did not: I was only delighted. I wanted to borrow her apartment. You can see this wonderful place in a previous blog post here. My friend Susanna was having a birthday, and both of […]

Gardening: Plum Season

I didn’t know that fruit grows in cycles until I moved to this house 19 years ago and started a long-term relationship with fruit trees. Some years are stone fruit years (plums, in my case, but elsewhere peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries) and some are not. Here, it’s an every-other-year pattern, and this year is an […]

Adventures: Little Local Museums, Part 1

I’ve always had a theory that a town or city’s resident doesn’t frequent the tourist attractions of that town or city unless guests come for a visit. This was proved once again when my friend of 40 years, Ellen K., came to see me over Labor Day Weekend and mentioned that she loved little, out-of-the-way […]

nevada city coffee shop

Community: A Reincarnated Coffee House

As many people know, I’m of the “café society” ilk of writers: I work quite well when seated in a bustling coffee house. I say that this comes from being the eldest of four kids, where family action took place in a big kitchen and I learned to do my homework surrounded by lots of […]

nicasio school

Travel: Small Town, Christmas Day

As a person with no immediate family, my Christmas traditions vary widely. Sometimes I snuggle up to other people’s children, grandchildren, pets, and turkey dinners — sometimes I wander around by myself, or stay home in front of the fire and read a good book. Usually I have figured out what I’ll be doing by […]

canyon de chelly

Part II: On the Road Again

I can’t leave you on the road to Chinle for too long, you’ll get overheated! Sandy and I drove into Thunderbird Lodge in the late afternoon (this gorgeous Navajo-run lodge is inside the grounds of the national monument), and took everyone’s advice to go look at Canyon de Chelly at sunset from the south rim. […]

gas station prices

On the Road Again

It’s been a long long long long long long time since I took a real vacation. One of those go-somewhere-else jaunts that isn’t to see family (that’s called a visit, not a vacation), lasts more than three days, and you have to save up the money beforehand. Well, not have to, but it’s great if […]

house living room

Salutation: Bidding Farewell to A House

I’ve been asked, over the years, where my sense of design comes from. Although I’m a writer now, I was a sweater designer for 15 years and have made a lot of clothing, curtains, rag dolls, and painted quite a few houses inside and out. I’ve been envious of other writers, but nowhere near as […]

wall bookcases

Design: One of the Artists in the Family

Earlier this month, I went back to New England for my Aunt Mary’s funeral. This was sad, beautiful, heart-warming, and difficult. The best part, besides seeing so many people I’m related to and don’t get to spend enough time with, was staying with my cousin Michael for two days in his house full of art. […]