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The 10 best things I learned on vacation

Last month, Chad and I went on vacation. We took 10 days to drive from where we live, on the eastern tip of the San Francisco Bay area, to Anacortes, Washington, and back again. To say it was a much-needed adventure is an understatement. This past year has been surprising and wonderful, but it’s also been relentlessly frenetic and challenging. We were two human sized stress balls in need of some serious leisure time (or decidedly UN-serious leisure time, as the case may be).… Read more

Mom Love (illustrated, of course!)

Since my mom broke her hip last April, I’ve spent a lot of time with her. At first that was because she needed me while she convalesced, went to rehab, and figured out the ever-changing landscape of what she could and couldn’t do. Then it was to help get my father and her to their various appointments. Now life is more or less back to normal at my parents’ house, but I still go there almost every week, because I want to.… Read more

Because dogs

As it has for many, this week has been emotional for me. I’ve considered a whole range of topics for this post: grief, helplessness, a defense of social media, the healing power of nature, the many ways to measure a life. I even started writing a couple of those posts, but then one morning, my goofball dog Lexi made me laugh mid-cry, and I decided to instead write a list of excellent facts about dogs.… Read more

The things we’d rescue from the fire, illustrated!

In my last post, I asked you guys what things you’d rescue from a fire. I got answers here, on Facebook and Instagram, and in email. Your answers were touching, and so were the stories you shared of your brushes with disaster and your losses, big and small. I took our responses and made this big doodly collage. I loved drawing it.… Read more

In the moment of creative suckitude

The thing about looking at a finished, beautiful piece of art (or reading a published story, or watching a play, or listening to a song on the radio) is that it’s finished. And beautiful. And most of the time, we don’t see how it got that way. Artists of all ilks talk about the creative process, and while sometimes it sounds a little messy, it also always sounds (when someone else is engaged in it) cool, energized, inspired, adventurous.… Read more

Me, in chaps

This is what my last two weeks have looked like: My mom fell and broke her hip. But then, the next day, they rebuilt her, made her better than she was before: better, stronger, faster. Okay, not really, but they did put a fancy pin in her hip. This is her surgeon’s (impressively doodly) whiteboard rendition: Meanwhile, one of my best friends, who I haven’t seen in person for four years, was flying out to visit all the way from New Jersey.… Read more

Obscure word doodle #5

This week’s obscure word is old and has fallen out of use, but I think we should bring it back, if only for the sake of our dogs. Their talent, as it turns out, has a name! And, bonus! Here is the recipe for my favorite vegetarian burger, which I make all the time. It is totally grokable. ~~~~~~~~~~ In case you missed it, I designed a line of hand-lettered birthday cards featuring famous people’s words on aging.… Read more

Obscure word doodle #4

It’s time for an obscure word doodle! Who knew there was a word that means “people who never laugh”? I did not. Maybe that’s because I’ve never actually met anyone who doesn’t laugh. I think that’s a good thing. Curious how to say it? So was I. If you happen to know any agelasts, I’d love to hear about them. Have you given up trying to break them, or do you tell jokes relentlessly in their presence?… Read more

A controlled burn

Last week, I wrote about my decision to burn my journals. The conversation that emerged from that post here and on Facebook was wonderful – people on both sides of the journal-burning divide explaining their point of view… which in the end is the only point of view that matters. This week, I decided to illustrate what the burning was like for me because, well, you know how I am.… Read more

Obscure word doodle #3

My friend, Christie, shared with me today’s obscure word from the Facebook wall of Elizabeth Gilbert. The word is sitzfleisch, and I don’t know if it’s obscure so much as German, but I’d never heard it before, and I love it (and that might just be the unofficial criteria for making it into the Obscure Word Doodles project). Sitzfleish is actually the combination of two German words: sitzen (to sit) + Fleisch (flesh).… Read more

Bibliophile in the real world

I had an appointment at the doctor to go over some blood work results. I was running late, but making up for it by driving way too fast all the way there. Speed Racer that I am, I walked through the door at exactly the appointed time. The receptionist smiled, said hello, and told me they were running a little late.… Read more
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