Columns

It’s soup season

No one cooked and baked from scratch like my mother-except Granny, who assigned her first child to the wood stove when she was eleven. There, Mom mastered biscuits, cornbread, pies, roasts, gravies, stringed beans in pork fat, fried chicken and pork chops, and oxtail...

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Learning Vietnamese

A couple of months ago, I finally broke down and hired a Vietnamese tutor. This had come after nearly two-and-a-half years of trying to self-study the language, with some success. In that time I was able to cinch much of the alphabet and pronunciation, which, to say...

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Be Batman, not the Joker

Pseudobulbar Affect is a thing. A real thing. A fascinating fictional example of it is found in Joaquin Phoenix’s blissfully uncomfortable portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis, Joker, in the October 2019 movie by the same name. Director Todd Phillips briefly captured...

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How to connect as a parent

I’m not sure, but I think I’ve lost the ‘Mother of the Year’ award again this year. I said that this weekend as a lot of us parents sat on the sidelines watching our daughters play in a soccer tournament. We all laughed and some agreed they felt the same. My thoughts...

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The life of farm and letters

My heart sank when trucks from American Tree lined up before our house at 8:30 a.m. It wasn’t easy letting go my last two lavender fields, about 500 shrubs in a lovely flurry of mid-October bloom. “The landscapers are here!” I informed my coffee hound in the kitchen....

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Learning to face your fears

Once we hit a certain age, I think we all start to examine our lives and realize we might be at the top of the hill and there’s nowhere but down from here. I’m hoping to take a leisurely, smooth roll down from this point. At the same time, I find myself wanting to...

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Sunday morning musings

My husband slipped under the covers. “I hope the rain doesn’t wash away the seed I’ve planted.” Immersed in All Creatures Great and Small by the late James Herriot, I managed “me too,” and turned the page. An hour later, full of Herriot’s humor and the vet’s passion...

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A tribute to Gino and Marlene Mallia

Last January, I talked with Gino Mallia, husband of Marlene Mallia, President of the Lakeville Cemetery Auxiliary Society. “I don’t know if you can afford the dues,” he said. “How much are they?” “Two dollars.” I would’ve paid a higher price just to enter Milmine...

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A bitter pill to swallow

Did I or didn’t I? This was one of the questions I asked myself a few times a couple weeks ago sitting at my desk. Did I take my pills? I did, didn’t I? Or was that yesterday I am thinking of? Oh my gosh! Am I getting old or what? Or am I just so distracted that I...

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To love an onion

I was unaware Robert Farrar Capon, the late Episcopal priest and author, published The Supper of the Lamb in 1967. Furthermore, I knew nothing of Capon’s “culinary reflection” when I began housekeeping in 1970 with The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I built my...

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