Reclaiming Shame

Massacio, Expulsion from Eden, 1427, fresco.preview

Around second or third grade, I wore one of my mother’s tweed blazers to school: leather buttons, suede patches on the elbows. It was a perfect Annie Hall blazer, though I didn’t realize it at the time. All I knew is that when I arrived after school at my friend Marcy’s house, her mother said, “That’s a spiffy jacket you’ve got on.” She said the word “spiffy” in that I’m a Midwesterner speaking to children accent—a tiny bit of a lisp, a very short emphasis on the “-y.”Marcy’s mom was a depart … [Read more...]

Perhaps she’d have preferred the lager?


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Overcoming Insecurity in Marriage


A reader asks: You wrote in chapter 4 of the book Style Sex and Substance: "I hung my life on my husband's fidelity, but I knew he would go to work and see prettier, more outgoing women than I."  This is exactly my case!  I stay at home with my two young children while my husband travels for work.On top of that, my husband told me he is attracted to a woman he works with.  I was very glad that he felt he could share that with me.  But at the same time, it made my fear take hold of me, and I … [Read more...]

Don’t miss:

An interview with novelist, Ron Hanson, at Dappled Things … [Read more...]

Five Favorites


Join Hallie for more of this week's:1.I noticed Hallie's posting on essential oils. A friend of mine sells doTERRA essential oils, and this "InTune" blend is supposed to help improve focus. Because one of my kids has received an ADD diagnosis, I thought I would see if this did anything for him.It didn't. And his classmates said it made him smell funny.Not surprising. It contains Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, etc. Lots of pretty smells that a scho … [Read more...]

The Soul of Good Manners

At times, it feels like it's the only conversation the world wants to have with a mother: You have how many children? And are you done? It's what your doctor wants to know, and your dental hygienist, and your hairdresser, and your check-out person.On my post from last week titled The Repulsive Truth, Maureen commented: "I’ve also been blessed with four and have responded with a bland, “You never know,” when asked the dreaded question by a stranger or acquaintance. I’d really love it if w … [Read more...]

Writing Lessons with Tolstoy


Lucky for me, I never finished reading War and Peace when I was in high school, which means, I have something good to read now. I've been searching for months for a decent book, and it never once occurred to me to pick up War and Peace because I remember some very pleasant drawing room scenes that abruptly cut off to very boring battlefield scenes that I would put down and never pick up again.My husband downloaded the book on Audible to listen to when he's driving, and at night sometimes … [Read more...]