My fiery diary: 10/21-10/24

As we were online reading updates about the Ranch Fire on October 21 – of the dozen active wildfires that started in Southern California this past weekend, that’s the one closest to us – Tall Paul said, “When we retire, let’s move somewhere that doesn’t have fires.” My husband was born and raised in So-Cal, and he’s lived with fire season, flood season – which usually follows fire season, unless it’s a drought year – […]

Observing boundaries and drawing lines

It was early November, 1991, and it was my last day at my job. I was making the rounds and saying my goodbyes, and my boss asked if it was OK if he hugged me. Anita Hill’s testimony at Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings was recent news, and people we being very careful about what might – or might not – be considered sexual harassment. (For the record, I was fine with a farewell […]

“Possibly useful” link of the day

As a nation, Americans have some big decisions to make in the coming year. But we’ll make them on an individual basis, and we need good information to make them wisely. Via Informed Voters, here’s a link to Minnesota Public Radio’s “Select a Candidate Survey.“ Here’s how it works: By answering a series of questions about major issues, you can quickly learn which candidates are most closely aligned with your views. You’ll be able to […]

What choice do they have?

When my first husband was in graduate school and I had my first post-college job, we didn’t have much money. For my annual checkups and affordable, reliable birth control, I relied on the local Planned Parenthood for several years. It’s been a long time since I was a patient of theirs, but I continue to respect their work, which is why I really hate to see the flare-up over their new clinic in Aurora, Illinois. […]

Another postcard – (not) with chimpanzees…

(…but with apologies to the band Barenaked Ladies. No apologies for liking the band Barenaked Ladies, however. And just in case you didn’t know, Barenaked Ladies are men (and a band). But I digress…) Back to my topic of the week: Chimpanzees. Maybe they’re the ones behind the wheel, causing all this trouble on the road. I just like knowing I’m not the only one with traffic issues – sharing the suffering with Madame Meow […]

Postcard from the road – drive time

72 hours a year. Three entire days, or almost a full two-week vacation (based on 8-hour workdays). But this is nothing close to a vacation – according to a new study, this is the approximate amount of time that Los Angeles-area drivers spend stuck in rush-hour traffic. But according to the L.A. Times, a regional-planning group disputes this finding, based on the study’s methodology; they say it’s even worse (closer to 100 hours a year) […]

Parenting and working – in the news

There have been a couple of “media watch” items recently that I’ve been thinking about. Single moms, married moms, “single married moms” – Round 2, and the Babytalk Survey Seems to me that we’ve heard a variation on this theme before…There are some interesting tidbits in a recent survey of moms by Babytalk magazine, as reported by MSNBC. Did you know that nearly 40% of moms today are “officially” single, according to US Census data? […]

In case of emergency – the sequel

More PSA’s, via BlogHer, which is presenting a special feature on emergency preparedness this week: Once your “Ready-to-Stay” and “Ready-to-Go” kits are assembled, you need to know the appropriate circumstances under which to use them. The Department of Homeland Security offers insight on the choice between staying put and evacuating in an emergency: Whether you are at home, work or elsewhere, there may be situations when it’s simply best to stay where you are and […]

In case of emergency…

I’ve always had family in New York. Since June of this year, I’ve had family (my son) in Washington, DC. But six years ago today, I was the mother of a high-school senior in Germantown, Tennessee, and we were watching the news on TV. I’ll leave the remembrances of 9/11 to those who were touched much more directly, although none of us is really left untouched. Somehow, though, the following seems timely… This PSA comes […]

A breath of fresh air

For the first time in over a week, it was cooler outside than it was in the house this morning! You never saw anyone so glad to be able to open windows. It looks like the heat wave is winding down – our high is forecast for the mid-80’s today, which is a nice change from 100+. We were more fortunate than our friends in the San Fernando Valley, who had no air-conditioning for the […]

Weather report

This southern girl felt right at home when she stepped outside at 5:45 this morning to walk the dog. It was already 73 degrees, and the humidity was thick. When we got downstairs to the open sidewalk, we discovered it was actually drizzling – rain has been rare this year anyway, but in the summer it’s especially unusual. Unfortunately, this is one of the three things I miss least about the South. Southern Cal is […]

They probably won’t read THIS, either

I know there are bigger things to get wound up over, but my head-shaker of the day comes via Lisa at Books. Lists. Life – an AP poll finding that 1 in 4 adults didn’t read a single book last year. Not one. I know that some people aren’t readers, but I can’t grasp that concept any more than I can understand people who don’t like chocolate. Granted, this survey only concerned reading books, not […]