Writing Prompt

Lately Louise had decided to give up wearing make-up altogether, but had not yet acted upon the decision.

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Oh, Louise. I feel you.

I’ve been paying $50 a month for a YMCA membership since February that I literally have not yet acted upon once. Not once.

There is such a giant chasm between what we know we want to do — making the decision, even, to do it — and actually acting upon that decision.

A big, yawning Grand Canyon of a gap.

How do we throw a line across the two and tip-toe…


My 14-year-old is re-teaching me the fine art of showing up.

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

It’s maybe thirty degrees and raining.

I’m bundled up in one of my husband’s winter coats, because it covers me all the way to my knees and when I sit on the cold metal bleacher, it keeps my ass warm. I’m also wearing a scarf, gloves, and a ridiculous hat with furry ear flaps.

I’m sipping hot chocolate trying to warm myself from the inside while I hold an umbrella over my head with my free hand.

I was not born for Pennsylvania winters. Okay, so it’s October and winter is still six weeks away. …


Being a caretaker is hard.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Most of the time all of the chaos that comes with caring for two elderly people who have dementia is just the stuff I agreed to when I signed on to be part of a family.

Right? Family is the place where you can expect to be loved and cared for, even as you start to lose your ability to regulate your behavior and your ability to be independent.

But every now and then, there’s a day like today.

My husband is taking a day off — which he desperately needs. He’s the primary caretaker for his parents, who both…


A good plan for hard times.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Seventeen years ago today, my husband and I went on our first date — out to dinner and to a drive-in movie.

Sixteen years ago today, we were married.

Something like fifteen years ago today, then, when he moved in with me, I was officially Not Poor Anymore.

My husband’s income was nearly four times what mine was. Which wasn’t saying a whole lot, really. I was very poor. But, still. Just like that, my poverty years were over.

It took years after we were married for me to stop making a holiday out of bill-paying day.

Seriously, I’d make a special dinner. I’d make a spreadsheet. I’d put on lipstick.

Sitting down at the kitchen table with…


Writing Prompt

Write About a Coincidence in Your Life Today

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

When I think about coincidences, I think about fate or timing or luck. The right thing happening at the right time. Good things.

Running into a friend in a random place or being offered a job just when you need the money. That kind of thing.

Bad things are something else. A curse maybe. A jinx.

But I wonder how random all of those things, the good and…


No matter what the frugal-living bloggers say.

Photo by Antor Paul on Unsplash

I’m not poor anymore. I’m working on moving even further away from poverty. But I will always carry the marks with me.

I don’t have any back molars, thanks to a lifetime of not being able to afford regular dental care. I spent my twenties and thirties in near constant pain. When a tooth abscessed — when my face swelled and the infection made me vomit — I’d go to the emergency room for antibiotics and rack up a bill I couldn’t pay.

I can’t relax about food. I’ve managed to wrangle all of my other spending into line. But…


Writing Prompt

Write about your relationship with regret today.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

For some reason, this quote made me stop and stare at it for a long time.

Not having done anything? Is that the same as having done nothing?

Does most regret come from letting an opportunity pass? An opportunity to act or to intercede or to speak or to act or to . . . man, the list goes on and on.

I believe I’ve lived a remarkably regret-free life, but how often have I hemmed and hawed about something until the window for action has passed?

And…


Writing Prompt

Write about one of your eerie situations today.

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Live is full of weird situations. Episodes we just can’t wrap our heads around.

Hunter S. Thompson calls his an ‘eerie situation’ and I think that’s as good a name for them as any. …


Some thoughts on bullying and paying attention.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

A friend’s ten-year-old cousin committed suicide two days ago.

Ten. It’s hard to wrap my head around even the idea of that. Ten is a fifth grader. Ten is four-feet tall. Ten is pre-puberty and also pre-almost everything else in life.

Ten is an unthinkable age to be suicidal.

The police are investigating whether or not she was bullied at school. The school has released a statement indicating that the possibility of bullying is a rumor that hasn’t been proven.

And a ten-year-old girl was found dead by her little sister.

I don’t know if this little girl was bullied…


Generosity is love in practice. Just what the world needs now.

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

As I write this, I have the news on. And I’m struck with how overwhelmed the state of the world makes me feel. We are in troubled times, all right. Ridiculously troubled.

So many awful things are happening all at the same time — some so epic that it’s hard to imagine how we’ll even survive them — that they combine into a kind of absurdity that feels impossible to absorb, never mind try to fix.

I sometimes went to a Methodist church when we lived in Reno. The pastor ended every service the same way. She instructed her congregation…

Envy Writer

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” — Louis L’Amour

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