Confession is good for the soul

I always used to finish books even when they weren’t hitting the mark. In the last few years, however, I’ve felt freer to abandon a book, or lay it aside for another time. The first chapter or two may not grab me. I may develop a knee-jerk distaste for the characters or quality of the prose. Every reader has […]

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‘Le weekend’

By the time we get to Friday, even those of us who are #HashTagRetired are ready for the promise of relief that the weekend affords. “Weekend” is a word so emblematic that the French, who used to be very zealous about protecting their language from outside influence, gave it a gender and added it to their franglais vocabulary. Le […]

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Welcome…

When I began writing this blog, I expected it to be about the need to create some structure in retired life. Over time, however, blogging about the stage of my life and career —I am “demi” retired—became less interesting than writing about the pleasures and occasional frustrations of everyday life in general. Another way of putting […]

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Take your time

See that photo? It’s a confused mess. If you try to do everything at once after you retire, your life will feel like one, too. Read on… When you first find yourself #HashTagRetired, it’s easy to romanticize about all of the time you finally have to do all of the things you’ve been waiting all […]

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February bliss

Irrespective of scientific concerns, and the fact that this warm spell could turn out to be a cruel tease, there aren’t enough happy adjectives to describe the joy of opening all the windows, walking Miss Pup without being wrapped up like Nanook of the North*, or sitting in our den without my Vermont Flannel blankie. In […]

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Venezia, just because…

It’s Carnavale time in Venice, but today I thought you might enjoy an uncommon glimpse of La Serenissima. Three ways to enjoy magical Venice if you can’t actually be there: Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti novels. The wonderful German TV series based on Leon’s books, available with accurate, readable subtitles on the subscription series MHZ Choice.  MHZ Choice offers amazing Euro-TV […]

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On broadening your circle of friends

Valentine’s Day—and I wish you a happy one—over the years has been “stretched” conceptually to celebrate not just lovers, but relationships of all sorts as well. For little ones, Valentines are all about friendship. And that is the connection with today’s post. Fair warning—it may give you a bit of a knot in your gut at first. Life, […]

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Update: Jasper Goes to Maine

The book without words is complete and packaged as a Valentine’s Day gift to our grands. I thought you might like to see the cover and a finished page. I cheated just a bit by using photos from a few past trips. On the left, that’s Jasper hanging out at the Vermont Country Store and […]

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Sea of serenity

Not on the moon, but Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre. One of the best reasons for travel is that it stays with you, a priceless trove of lovely memories from which you can draw any time you want to, even on a snowy winter day. Enjoy.

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A pie that can’t grease itself…

Note: Two posts today because this is a companion piece to “Spys [sic] for pies.” My mother made marvelous pies. Apple and peach, in season, were her favorites; but there was also an errant banana or coconut cream, or lemon meringue, to please my father. Although I had a solid cookie and cake repertoire by […]

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