Quarantine coffee

Hello there, my socially distanced friends. I’m applauding you from afar as you continue to keep to yourselves. Bravo! Keep it up. It’s working. I hope you’re still stocked with your coffee of choice. Not easy to get foodstuffs nowadays. At least not if you, like me, are ordering for delivery instead of going to…

The butterfly effect

In college, a friend from a small southern Ohio town often played a country song I can’t get out of my head to this day: “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” And that song has been on my mind this week, as I cry all over the darn house. It’s all good, though, friends. Happy…

To be crystal clear

There I was, on a recent Friday night, sitting cross-legged on the second floor of a very dark, very mysterious mansion. In the lotus position, I was chanting in Sanskrit, thinking—how the hell am I going to explain this one? My friends call my recent experience woo-woo. You’ve been forewarned. A little woo-woo coming your…

Sophie’s Choice in the dermatology office

My dermatologist makes me laugh with the same question whenever I bemoan my weight and aging: “Ass or face? Make a choice, Kristine.” Allow me to explain. The sign above her desk shows two words: “ass” and “face.” When “face” has a smiley face below it, “ass” has a frowney face. And vice versa. Meaning–a…

Hand me a carrot. And by that I mean a carrot cupcake.

I just ate a small coconut ice cream cone. And now my stomach hurts. Which makes me think of a friend. That didn’t quite come out right, did it? Let’s try again. My friend is a nutritionist. She has, for as long as I’ve known her (many decades) eaten like a rabbit. A vegetarian, she…

Finding your inner Italian sports car

It began so uninspiringly, in the dentist’s chair. He had just adjusted a crown for me, as I’d been having some jaw pain. “I think we were just a millimeter or so off on your bite, but that’s enough to cause the pain,” he said. He joked that my then husband was built like a…

Get out of my freakin’ way

That means you. Yes, you. And by you, I mean me. I’m talking to myself. Not my whole self, just the whiny, mewling bit that has rigid ideas about its future. What she’s planned. What she’s worked for. What she deserves—with a capital D. I’m betting you have this alter ego also. You know, the…

Brave enough to break

The determination in her face was obvious. “I will bend, but I will not break,” she said. And with that, she burst into tears. As I hugged her, I said, “It’s ok. You can break. In fact, I think you need to.” She looked at me in disbelief. “You never broke. Look at you. You’re…

Motherhood-induced attention deficit disorder

My father used to tell me, as his sixth daughter, that nothing good happens after midnight. This was wisdom, I’m sure, my sisters taught him and his way of enforcing a curfew that allowed my parents a decent night’s sleep. I’m starting to believe his little adage. A scene from my typical still-up-at-2-a.m.-why-can’t-I-fall asleep routine: Breathe….

Failure’s alter ego

She spoke dismissively of his “failed marriage.” Ugh. Bite your tongue, I told myself. The lecture will fall on deaf ears. It’s a free country. Blah, blah, blah. I still had to count to 20 before I spoke. My problem? I take issue with the term “failed marriage.” Seems to me, any marriage that ends…

Grief is a funny thing. Except it isn’t.

You can go for days, weeks, months with no episodes. You are back to life as usual, feeling like you did the hard work to adjust to your new normal. Usually this new normal is a rearranged normal, a normal that for a time at least, is meant to cover a gaping hole in your…

Shaddup, shaddup, shaddup

We are a society of motormouths. Yes. Us. And by us, I mean us ugly Americans. There is a reason we got that unattractive nickname overseas. And we continue to display it with alarming regularity. We’re not always dissing another culture, though. Many times, we’re unwittingly dissing the person sitting right next to us. We….