My obsession with the 10-day forecast and the advantages of not knowing the weather

I gave up paying any attention to the news several years ago, and that decision has vastly improved my quality of life. When at a social gathering someone says to me, “Did you hear what they’re saying about Obama?” I smile and answer, “No, I didn’t.” … [Read more...]

Six Signs of Spring: Daffodils and Dandelions

Daffodils laugh in the face of snow. Really.  If you lean over closely, you can hear them.  It's hard to think about spring when you wake up to snow on the ground.  But it won't be around for long. Blooming things = spring, weed or not.  Sign of … [Read more...]

Six Signs of Spring: Weeping Willows

Shorts, swollen streams and weeping willows. I’m listing Six Signs of Spring because I cannot resist a good alliteration. Because with a forecast high in the 30s for tomorrow, it’s hard to quite believe that spring is really here. And because I am a … [Read more...]

Six Signs of Spring: Swollen Streams

Sitting in my office this afternoon, I’m surrounded by the sound of water. Water dripping and water flowing and water running like a huge faucet that’s been turned to full blast. Along the river this morning, a coal barge hugged the banks in the high … [Read more...]

Six Signs of Spring: Students in shorts (and tank tops and flip flops)

You’d think coming back to classes from break would make for an energized and upbeat week full of a renewed enthusiasm for learning. That’s what’d you think. It’s not exactly the case. I think last week may have been the week that broke our … [Read more...]

Week of Winter Walking: Day Three

The river at sunrise or early morning – nearly every morning. It’s never the same walk by the same river even though I pass the same trees. I will often chant while walking to keep my mind quiet so I can actually enjoy the walk rather than rushing … [Read more...]

Sky scarf for the new year

“When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the … [Read more...]

Using the whole bird: a vegetarian’s Thanksgiving

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, my second year now of feasting on a scrumptious local turkey raised by my friends down the road at Cave Springs Farm.  The weight of turkeys that live free and uncontrolled lives doing turkeyish things like moving … [Read more...]

Living in the Fall

As of Monday afternoon in Madison, the only sign of the apocalyptic approach of Hurricane Sandy was a delightful leaf swirling that was happening along the streets and roads.  In downtown Madison, residents can rake their leaf piles right on the … [Read more...]

The joy and burden of vegetables

Yesterday we celebrated my step-daughter’s birthday, which included a visit from my parents bearing vegetables–tomatoes, mostly.  Just before their arrival I’d gone up to tend to the garden of a friend who’s been away on vacation.  “Tend” here … [Read more...]