Happy birthday, National Park Service

The National Park Service marks 100 years this week. One hundred years of preserving our amazing natural resources. One hundred years of educating people on our great outdoors. One hundred years of giving joy to the millions of people from all over … [Continue reading]

The Seven Year Dress – Devastation & Resilience

Today, I introduce you to Paulette Mahurin and her new WWII-era novel, The Seven Year Dress.The Seven Year Dress covers one of the darkest times in human history from the perspective of one Jewish woman who lived to tell her story.The narrative tells … [Continue reading]

How have you chipped away at glass ceilings?

"When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit." Hillary ClintonNOTE - This is not a political post, so if Clinton's name inspires you to rant, take a breath, relax, and hang with me as I muse in other directions.The United States made history this … [Continue reading]

Unidentified flying objects inhabit prairie

The prairie is a strange and wonderful place. Each time I visit, I discover wildlife from both the plant and insect kingdoms I've never seen before.I'm not nearly as good at identifying the insects that inhabit the prairie as I am the plants, but as … [Continue reading]

After the fire – Beauty

We burned our prairie this spring, and the fire my husband lit spread rapidly through the dried residue of the previous year’s grasses and flowers. Within minutes, we were left with nothing but a bare, black expanse.The prairie was bare, but not … [Continue reading]

Language barrier? Don’t the Irish speak English?

International travel can be a challenge, especially if you don’t speak the local language or do so minimally. One of the advantages to traveling to Ireland is that they speak English, right? Yes and no. My recent visit to Ireland revealed a range of … [Continue reading]

Clocks, stoves and life & death coincidences

As a child, I grew up singing a song about a clock that counted the seconds of a man’s life. “My Grandfather’s Clock” - Are you familiar with it? The refrain goes like this:“Ninety years without slumberingtick, tock, tick, tockHis life seconds … [Continue reading]

Murals fuel & memorialize Irish conflict

Murals as a form of political, social, and cultural expression rose in importance during “The Troubles” - a 30-year conflict that began in 1968 and divided Northern Ireland. Though The Troubles more or less ended with the Belfast “Good Friday” … [Continue reading]

How important is “place” in writing?

My recent trip to Ireland has me thinking again about the importance of place to a writer. Ireland has a rich written history, including literary greats James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yates. Those names were prominent as we toured the Emerald … [Continue reading]

How important is staying plugged in?

“Is it plugged in?” That was the first question tech support always asked back when computers were new and I called to find out why the alien on my desk wouldn’t work.Dutifully, I’d untangle my feet from the writhing morass of cords under my desk and … [Continue reading]