The Presence in the House

I spent the weekend with my nephew, an up-and-coming movie producer, whose latest piece deals with the effects of a sudden death; how that person’s presence can linger. (The End of Summer) But it’s not only ghosts that leave a mark. Pettigrew has a presence. When he’s not in the house, the air feels different. … Continue reading The Presence in the House

Surveillance

Living in a suburb of Washington, DC, means that highly placed government officials, the kind that warrant a personal secret service detail, occasionally live in our neighborhood. On our early morning walks, Pettigrew and I see parked outside of homes, the distinctive, dark SUVs, motors idling on cold mornings. On warm days, they sport bike … Continue reading Surveillance

My Dog Food Collection

When I was younger, a friend decreed, to my surprise, that I collected elephants. Lo and behold, after a few birthday parties, I had amassed a respectable number of elephants and elephant accouterments. I even learned elephant lure. Did you know elephants with their trunks pointed up are good luck? Unfortunately, I already had a … Continue reading My Dog Food Collection

Signs of Spring

Wednesday was the vernal equinox, the start of spring, complete with a super worm moon, which, I learned after consulting the internet, merely means that worms are more active now and are appearing in the soil! As someone who teaches environmental education and spends plenty of time flipping rocks and logs in search of worms … Continue reading Signs of Spring

Optimization Run Amuck: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

My grandmother was the queen of optimization. The person who, after successfully getting a group to agree on where to go for dinner, would, en route, suggest numerous other restaurants. No decision was final. Good could be made better and better could be made best. Unfortunately, good often became bad as the plan fell into … Continue reading Optimization Run Amuck: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Instant Pot

My husband’s always been fascinated by kitchen gadgets. Usually, they leave me cold, and after sitting on our kitchen counter taking up valuable real estate, ultimately find their way to a shelf in the basement. But when he first bought our Instant Pot, I experimented freely. As one who does not know the night before … Continue reading Instant Pot

Support Animals

A sloth. Yes, a sloth is Pettigrew’s support animal. Surprisingly it took me a long time to realize this. First there was the recognition that he was not shredding, but cuddling with his toy sloth. Then I noticed that when he is feeling strong emotion, he tracks down his sloth and tosses him around in … Continue reading Support Animals

Just Love

“Just love,” I call out, throwing my voice ahead of me, as Pettigrew hurries us towards the woman in the neon yellow jacket standing in the middle of the street with her arms stretched wide. Sandy, the school crossing guard, keeps a pocketful of treats for the dogs that pass her intersection. A flash of … Continue reading Just Love

In My Own Voice #13: Just Kill Me Now

Can you explain what’s going on? Seriously, I don’t understand. The paw washing persists! Yes, you read that right. The white, wet stuff is gone from the ground, but the paw washing continues. Is this the new normal? I say, empathically, No. I had been somewhat reconciled when I thought washing was a necessary evil … Continue reading In My Own Voice #13: Just Kill Me Now