Tending the Home Fires

This is where we talk about what it means to care for our homes and ourselves and any other humans (and/or animals) lucky enough to share those spaces with us.

viva las vegas

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not my favorite place. I don’t gamble and I’m not much of a drinker and the less said about the way I dance the better. Why do people love Las Vegas? I think if I gambled I might understand. Or if I was a better dancer. I would say that maybe I am too old for Las Vegas, but the first time I went I was in my 20’s and I didn’t like it at all.

The second time I went, I spent most of my time looking at art. The ARIA Fine Art Collection has an outstanding array of public art. It is open 24 hours a day, there is no charge to see it and no reservations are required. Check out the brochure. I think that the fact I like to spend hours of my time in Vegas looking at art sort of lets you into my idea of Viva Las Vegas. Read more

The Index Card

Emotional Financial Planning

What is emotional financial planning? When I do not have a handle on my emotional life, my financial life suffers. My mother died two years ago and my financial life turned into a disaster. I had some expenses tied to travel that were difficult to cover but that isn’t why my financial life suffered. It suffered because my emotions were all I could deal with. Paying bills and keeping track of a budget were impossible tasks I pushed down the to-do list over and over until it got so bad I had to do something. And what I had to do was pay a lot of late fees and make phone calls asking for extensions and feel generally miserable about my inability to handle being an adult. Read more

Our march experience

Our March Experience

Our March Experience began years before the actual event. It began with the many mistakes we made. As privileged white ladies, we never really needed to be truly engaged with politics. We read about issues, voted in every election and patted ourselves on the back accordingly.

Like many Americans, we were shocked and dismayed by the entire 2016 Presidential election cycle. We were appalled by the hateful and misogynistic rhetoric coming from certain quarters of the right. But, like so many with privilege, we were sure that our own version of good would prevail.  Not only were we dangerously naive, we were super wrong. Read more

Keep your friends close

Keep Your Friends Close

“Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”  As far as advice from movies, that quote from Godfather II  is pretty famous. It’s right up there with, “Do or do not, there is no try” and my favorite, “It could be worse, it could be raining.”

I was not born into a crime family, nor am I a Jedi, so I’ve generally ignored those first two pieces of advice.  That third one is just funny. This week we’re talking about friendship and that quote from Godfather II popped into my head.  It makes me wonder if that’s how some people live their lives, focused more on their enemies than their friends? Well, if they do, they probably have good reason. Happy Hour must be a drag. Read more

The Notebooks

The Notebooks

I’ve never read the Nicholas Sparks’ novel, or seen the movie, so I’ll have to apologize now to fans of the book, who think this blog is about an epic romance.  On the other hand, it is a love story of a different kind.  It’s a love story about women who love lists and office supplies. The Notebooks.

When Aileen and I first decided to start a business, I wanted to do something to commemorate the beginning.  “We’ll need to write stuff down!” I said.  “We obviously need matching notebooks!  Get me to a stationary store, stat!!!” Read more

Always have food in your fridge to make a bean burrito

Always Have Stuff in Your Fridge to Make a Bean Burrito

If you opened my fridge at any time over the past 20 years, you would have found the makings of a quesadilla.  You might not have been able to make anything else and there might not have been any fresh fruit or veg, but I feel confident that you would have been able to walk away with a crispy, cheesy quesadilla.  And there was probably a bottle of Tapatio hot sauce to douse it with.

I learned this trick, always have stuff in your fridge to make a quick meal everyone in the house would eat, from my best friend’s mom.  When we were teenagers, my best friend and I ate constantly.  If we were awake, we were eating.  I’m going to pause here for a few moments to remember the joy of a life spent constantly consuming salty snacks.  Delightful. Read more

We weren’t in each other’s weddings and other epic mistakes

We weren’t in each other’s weddings and other epic mistakes

When I was young, I was very concerned with being practical. Now that I am well over forty, I realize that ‘being practical’ was just me being afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of asking for what I wanted, even if it made trouble for others. And guess what, my best friend used to have the same problem. 

And we got married within weeks of each other.

So we decided, in the name of being practical, that we wouldn’t be in each other’s weddings.

Eminently practical. And very, very wrong. Read more

women's unpaid household labor

The Guarantor of Toilet Paper

When I was a kid, my mom made sure our house was stocked with toilet paper. She was, as it were, the guarantor of toilet paper. My father knew we needed toilet paper, he used his fair share. He owned a car, had access to money…why wasn’t it his job to make sure there was enough toilet paper in the house at all times? My dad worked full time and so did my mom. As you might guess, women’s unpaid household labor was a huge issue in our house.

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Art class

It All Began in Art Class

The scene: Mr. Corbett’s 7th grade art class, Neil Hafley Elementary, Manteca, California

The year: 1985 (was it really that long ago? sheesh)

The players: Felicia, Aileen and a bully (who is no longer a bully but a very nice man with a very nice family so we won’t use his name here)
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Tending the Home Fires

Tending the Home Fires

What does it mean when we talk about tending the home fires? When my older son was 5, he got sick while at school. The office called our house (at the time very few people had cell phones, so the school called our landline and luckily, I was home) and I went and picked him up, brought him home, babied him for a few days then sent him back to school.

No one but me had to reorganize their schedule. At the time, my son had a mom, a dad, a stepmom and a stepdad. So out of four adults, only one person had to reorganize their schedule, and that was for a kid to be out of school for three days. That’s because I was, and still am, the primary parent.

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