The back-to-school rituals

I’ve been thinking about routines lately, especially as summer is winding down and I’m anticipating my daughters returning to high school. My oldest will be a senior! (little Emma will graduate soon!) The routines have changed a lot since they were little. Thankfully there are no more diapers but I often spend most of my…

How do we remember?

I’ve been thinking about memory a lot lately. Like, why do we remember some things and not others? I can recite how one of my customers took his coffee twenty years ago but fail to recall that we are out of dog food as I’m driving by the store. And why do the painful occasions…

A return to Topeka

I don’t remember who first noticed the nests – two of them, huge and a couple of stories above our heads. These were no nests that you sometimes see on the sidewalk fallen from the trees of my east Lawrence neighborhood; these reminded me of the ones I’ve seen from a distance on my paddle…

Self Care

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide took my breath away. Restaurant work consumed my life for almost twenty years and when I read Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, I was blown away. And then his television life – it all seemed almost unbelievable. Look, someone got out of the kitchen as a writer! And such a damn…

Spring Cleaning

My house has a lot windows. I mean, a ridiculous amount of them, but they help create the modern look that Dan Rockhill designed as an addition to contrast our old stone house. The effect is striking – I love it. Cleaning these windows is no joke. But with a beautiful weekend of weather and…

How to Prepare for Your Book Reading

  Start a list. Write ‘choose pages to read’ at the top. Remind yourself they are to be read out loud, not in your head. Shave your legs. Glance at your list but decide you should choose your outfit instead. Create an online vote for which dress to wear. (White is in the lead!) Start…

Intro to Blogging

I loved a workshop I taught recently called┬áSo You Want to Blog. I wanted to share what I’ve learned about blogging since I started sharing here, originally as The Chef’s Wife. What a journey it’s been! I’ve published three books since I first tested the waters sharing my words with you all. Thank you for…

Thank you readers

I am preparing to teach a workshop on blogging at the Lawrence Arts Center. I love the freedom I have as an instructor there to develop ideas for classes. I wanted to lead this class because creating a blog was instrumental in helping me find my voice as a writer. And I have you, dear…

Be that face!

I wanted to share some of the faces that have looked back at me when I asked if I could take their picture. They are a ┬áreminder to me to show up and be engaged in the lives of others. I mean, look at these seventh graders I spoke to about writing memoir – don’t…

Getting Better

I’ve been sick with what I suppose is the flu. The kind of sick where I haven’t felt like drinking coffee, even first thing in the morning. The kind of sick where the weight of the knife in my hand to cut my chicken seems too heavy. I’ve lost a couple a couple of days…