Category: women

Collar Up Girls!

Maybe Ginsburg’s death happened at the best of time, when we need a powerful reminder that social progress and Constitutional rights are fragile and need all our gumption to ensure they survive

Sleepy Apple Pie

I discovered the medicinal benefits of apple pie while writing a book. It’s in the way the softened apples melt into a buttery crust and forms a kind of batting around the mind and a stilling weight to the body that almost always quiets any lingering residue of wattage that disturbs my rest.

Sort of Ms. Johanna’s Carrot Cake

You can ask as many times as you want and use all the interviewing tricks you know but she won’t give you the recipe. “They’d go ahead and screw it up and then it’d be ‘oh, Ms. Johanna’s cake isn’t good at all,’ all over around here.”

Mothers and Orphans

Ms. Johanna planted many of her herbs from what she read in stories about medieval kingdoms, some historical but mostly fantasy, preferably with dragons and complicated battles and skulduggery among the ruling class.

Potential Hazard Ahead

I’m the half of the marriage that fixes things around the house and so long as I stay out of the way of the coffee pot, he won’t notice the kitchen mess.

Ms. Johanna’s Hats

Ms. Johanna’s been telling me that the old straw hat I wear is too heavy to do any good when we work in the garden (it does just fine). She said she needed to teach me how to make a real hat but we had to have some newspaper, specifically The New York Times.

Mrs. McLoughin’s Shrimp Salad

Mom adored and respected Mrs. McLoughlin but all her preparations belied a lingering insecurity from growing up poor, afraid of being considered shabby.

Advice from the Ladies

I finally remembered to bring my phone this morning and, once back home, decided to look for more inspirational words. There were a lot from famous men but I chose women because I’m damn tired of hearing men yapper on about this world. Most of them aren’t helping, anyway.

Bubble Bursting

Me texting my sister: “So the evening news is freaking me out. I’m staying here… I hate this. I really want to get out of Brooklyn.”
Sue: “You will be fine. I promise.”
Faith in my big sister: “I’ll come down to your house.”

Talking Berries with Ms. J

Ms. Johanna came upon the vacant lot on one of her walkabouts after she retired. Bamboo and trashed choked, it seemed a perfect place to park her considerable energy. She brought a machete the next time she came around. By summer’s end, the soil had been replenished and mulched Four raised beds overflowed with herbs, some beans, corn and berry bushes. That was twenty-two years ago. Now 82, she’s still working this portion of earth pretty much by herself.