The abominable shopping season strikes again

Despite my best efforts and intentions, the budget-killing blizzard of twinkle lights, eye-catching displays, irresistible sales, fuzzy slippers, cheese log samples, ingenious gadgets, two-for-one deals and unsolicited perfume spritzes during holiday trips to the mall turn me from a savvy customer into a misfit shopper every December.

Hide-a-beds, septic tanks and other holiday traditions

Ever since moving out of your childhood home, you’ve enjoyed basic human entitlements such as public drinking and wastewater systems. But a holiday visit to Mom and Dad’s is a reminder of all you’ve moved on from.

Monstrous holiday expectations: a mother’s cautionary tale

When our family was young, I naively believed that being a good mom meant that I had to work hard to give my family magical holiday experiences. What a fool I was!

Would you be your own best friend?

I’d always been my own worst critic, cutting myself no slack, unable to accept compliments, doubting myself constantly. I’d never really thought, “What would I think of a separate and distinct me?”

Encouraging kids is always in tune

Being there for your kids’ activities, even the painful ones, demonstrates love and support in ways they will likely always remember.

Winning isn’t everything, but it sure is nice

There’s only so much character-building that can be done before a lack of success just makes perennial losers bitter.

The haunted house that made me a scaredy-cat

All I knew about the creepy abandoned building was that it was our town’s jail back in the olden days.

Don’t ‘just do it.’ Do it right now.

Don’t put aside your hopes and dreams. Find ways to accomplish them while you’re young and physically able.

Why are we still falling back into darkness?

I’d rather never have to say goodbye to daylight saving time. Let’s all agree that it’s best to follow the sun.