Viewing: family

Aug 9

August 9, 2015

Writing as Though I Had Wings

I’ve come to that cross-road in a writer’s life where she has to choose between writing what she wants and writing what earns her bread. It might even be one of those modern five-way stoplights where several roads merge and one must decide whether to turn gently to the right, to join the path ahead, or — most alarming of all — veer to the left and go against the traffic, hoping for a break in the rush to slip…

Posted in authors, Books, family, History, quotables, random, research, slavery, Travel, work, writing | By

Jun 29

June 29, 2015

Because I Haven’t Known What to Say

Because the events of the past week — the horrific shooting deaths of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church by a young white racist, and the — maybe — final straw that will bring down the Confederate battle flag, and bring the longed-for change, I am trying to say — Because when we were children, in the extremely white liberal suburbs of Marin County in the late 1960s, we used to say, “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a nigger by…

Posted in family, My World and Welcome to It, slavery, The World as We Know It | By

Jun 21

June 21, 2015

Fishing for stories

I spent Saturday digging through old newspapers to see what frolics my great-grandmother was up to as president of the Daughters of the Confederacy in Portland, Oregon, 100 years ago. Let’s just say there plenty of genteel hijinks that involved white women doing the Virginia Reel, reading nostalgic poetry in “slave dialect” and guest speakers telling “many clever darky stories.” Can you tell I died a little bit inside when I read that? I did a lot of family research…

Posted in Catching Up, family, research, slavery, The Doris Diaries, work | By

Jun 15

June 15, 2015

The Ugly Truth: Sins of the Forefathers

A few years ago I picked up a book at the library because of its intriguing cover and title. It was Edward Ball’s Slaves in the Family. I read about Ball’s exploration of his roots, delving deeply into his family’s history as slave owners, discovering the ugly truth in his own backyard, as it were. When I finished reading this devastating portrait of Ball’s own family, it took weeks before I could read anything else. My mind was full of…

Posted in appreciation, family, My World and Welcome to It, random | By

Apr 20

April 20, 2015

Seven Limes

  This is what a week’s worth of groceries for one person looks like, if you’re Gwyneth Paltrow on food stamps. She’s not on food stamps, but has attempted the one-week Food Stamp Challenge. My longtime readers know I did the June Food Stamp Challenge* in June of 2010 — 30 days of the food stamp budget for my family of 5. That ended up being about $450 for the month, and we made it — barely. The budget averaged…

Posted in Challenge Update, family, food, Food Stamps, frugal, no waste, rants | By