Category Archives: Personal

I’ll make you famous

When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in 1991, the hotel where we stayed kept showing the same movies on cable over and over. One of those movies was Young Guns II (1990), starring Emilio Estevez as New Mexico outlaw Billy the Kid. Several times in the movie, when Billy pulled a gun […]

I feel your exhaustion

President Obama being too tired to entertain British P.M. Gordon Brown was a hot topic around the blogosphere last week, but because I had something in common with Mr. Obama, I didn’t post about it. You see, I was too tired. My children are 7, 5, 3 and 8 months and, being a deranged lunatic […]

The New Mexico Independent‘s newest columnist

Today marks the debut of my column in the New Mexico Independent. My political commentary will be published every Tuesday, a lone conservative voice meant to bring some diversity of opinion to a publication whose other columnists….well, let’s just say it may be no accident that the commentary is on the left column of the […]

Today I am…

Tired after making tacos and ice cream sandwiches for lunch, chicken fajitas with rice, beans and guacamole for dinner, and lots of ziplock bags full of spaghetti sauce, chili, beans, and chicken breasts in garlic-lime marinade for the freezer. Happy that yesterday I finally made a dent in the avalanche of papers on my desk […]


I use this expression rather often and semi-ironically meaning Before Children rather than Before Christ, so instead of constantly putting (Before Children) in parentheses after I use it, I decide to give it its own post I could just link to in future and save time. Because as a mother of four and borderline OCD […]

Life intervenes

Your regularly scheduled dose of my political pontifications has been delayed. I am drowning in a sea of things that needed to be done yesterday or the day before or the week before. I’m dying to write about this Illinois state senator I saw on Hardball last week, but if I don’t get caught up […]

The end of innocence

He was a sweet, golden-haired boy, and his mother had kept him pure. Then I came along. I, with my worldly daughters. We, experienced in the ways of the flesh — the ground and re-formed, battered and deep fried avian flesh — gave a little boy his first bite ever of fast food. And not […]

Old friends and new relatives

I’m taking a break from politics to write about my trip to beautiful downtown Riverside. Riverside is actually a rather pretty place, and one I’d never been, except to drive through on the 10 freeway. It’s about 60 or 70 miles east of my usual haunts, but my uncle and aunt moved out there a […]

City life

In New Mexico, we have to drive everywhere.  We live miles from anyplace, but now we’re staying at my mother-in-law’s place on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, and we can walk everywhere:  grocery store, drugstore, bookstore, restaurants, library, park, church, anywhere we want to go.  Because we walk, I only buy the groceries we need for the day […]

Got my crack, finally

I’m online.  Oh, thank God.  Haven’t had internet access for over 24 hours and now understand how crack addicts feel when they can’t score.  Moved from one vacation stop to another, and there is no internet where I’m staying.  I have 15 minutes now, but no more until sometime tomorrow, if then.  It is really […]

Matricidal me

Killing Mother Earth I am.  Or so says Harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross as reported in the Times Online.  Gosh but they report interesting stuff.  Found the story by way of this interesting blog which I found in turn on Foxfire‘s blog (though she linked to a different story.  So anyway, here’s the scoop: Performing two […]

Our lady of the interstate

Another day, another wild ride on the freeways.  Why is it that so many drivers seek to turn a simple lane change into a psychotic game of automotive chicken?  I drove in this city for 25 years, and don’t recall ever being as nervous on the freeway as I have been this trip.  But then LA wasn’t […]

Accentuate the positive

Yesterday was FUBAR. I won’t go into details, because a) complaining doesn’t help, b) nobody wants to hear complaining, and c) when little kids are involved, [expletive deleted] happens. Since I try to focus on the positive and be the kind of person who doesn’t annoy people, I’ll focus on the things I’m grateful for: […]

Return of the native

I’ve been on the road the past few days, so haven’t been able to blog or even read until now the raging battle in the comments section of my last post.  I’m back in LA, sitting by an open window — an open window!  in January! — watching the little savages play under a lemon […]

Names from the past

A friend from high school, one of only two I’ve kept in touch with, recently joined Facebook and sent me a friends request. She’d been Googling other friends from long ago, and it suddenly occurred to me that if anyone who knew me 20 years ago or more was looking for me, they’d have a […]

Find a grave

Just found this website, thanks to my husband’s investigation of his family tree. This is the grave of his great-grandfather, who was apparently quite the pillar of the community in Ida Grove, Iowa. This is the grave of my great-great-grandparents in Cotopaxi, Colorado, which unfortunately doesn’t include the obituary information that appears on most of […]

Happy birthday, Grandma

My grandmother, Betty Lou Heintz, nee Brown, would have been 87 years old today. She died nearly 18 years ago, when she was only 69. I realize that in the larger scheme of human history, 69 has more often than not been an impressive age to which to live. I, at 44, would in many […]

Today I am…

Bookmarking stupid New York Times and Santa Fe New Mexican editorials that make me scream and want to write blog posts about, then not having the time to do it. Trying to organize my desk and all my homeschooling papers. Organization shall set you free – except when you are a truly sick OCD sufferer […]

A mother’s love

Before I had children, I had no concept of the power of a mother’s love. Truly, it can overcome almost anything. The example I am about to give is mundane, and many of you will laugh at me, but I’ll risk your ridicule and relate it anyway. I am not afraid of snakes, or mice, […]


In both senses, literal and figurative. Literally, I’ve been down with a brutal stomach flu, hence no posts in the last few days. As luck would have it, my husband was out of town, so I was on my own with the kids, and pretty much let the three eldest run wild and trash the […]

Finding the time

I almost quit blogging last week. So often I feel pressed for time, unable to find the time to write the kind of thoughtful posts I’d like to write, and unwilling to write too many of the sort of stream-of-consciousness quickie posts I can dash off between diaper changes and dinner prep. Other times, when […]

Can’t sleep

When I told people that Portia was sleeping through the night, I had a feeling I might jinx it. Sure enough, she woke up hungry at 3:30 this morning. If that had been the only nocturnal disturbance, it would have been okay, since she’s only three months old, and infants are expected to wake their […]

Bifocal blues

I’ve finally gotten used to my progressive bifocals. At first I felt as though I’m walking in a pit, and they threw my depth perception off. I’m still careful backing out of parking spaces, but I don’t feel as disoriented as I did. Switching back and forth between the regular glasses and the prescription sunglasses […]


Thanks to all who have checked the site looking in vain for new posts.  This is the longest I’ve gone without posting since beginning.  Multi-tasking is something I’m usually good at, but this week, not so much.  Portia is sleeping through the night, God bless her, but I’m still unaccountably tired.  It’s been a difficult […]

Will work for money…or not

Naturally the man I hired to come do yardwork today didn’t show up. This happens quite often around here. I call a handyman or road grader or some other tradesman who placed an ad or put up a flyer and arrange to have him come do some work, then the guy doesn’t show. I ran […]

Doing the right thing

One reason I haven’t posted (besides the four ever-present reasons to whom I’ve given birth) is because I’m trying to fathom exactly what’s going on economically in our country. This crisis is huge, complicated and difficult to understand. It is so easy to manipulate statistics to paint one party or the other as culpable, and […]

Post-partum politics and more

Not one post for over a week, then I finally resurface for a catty two-paragraph fluff piece about a sex scandal. Where is the substantive piece I wanted to write? Maybe something about the always entertaining Jerome Block, whose opponent Rick Lass I met last week. Lass seems like a nice fellow, and though Republicans […]

To boldly go…

As I was reading Maureen Dowd’s cleverly titled column “Ich Bin Ein Jet-Setter” about Barack Obama’s world tour, the phrase “he will have to successfully complete a number of tasks” jumped out at me: yet another split infinitive appearing in what is arguably our nation’s most illustrious newspaper, The New York Times, written by one […]

C-section moms to the back of the bus

For years I’ve been reading about how there are too many cesarean deliveries performed in this country, that vain celebrity moms choose c-sections to have smaller babies and preserve their figures or suit the convenience of their schedules or avoid some of the potential after-effects of vaginal birth. We hear repeatedly from natural childbirth advocates […]

Portia Louise, home at last

Portia Louise Russell and her exhausted but deliriously happy mother came home from the hospital on Sunday, and it’s taken this long for me to get around to writing about it. First, the name. Portia is the name we had in mind when I wrote my earlier post about baby names, but I was keeping […]

Off to the hospital

I’m off to the hospital (the one without the nursery) for my c-section in the morning, so there won’t be any posts for at least two days. Hopefully day three will find Baby Sis and me back home again, and if I feel up to it, back at the computer. Please say a prayer for […]

Cup o’ Job

For many years I’ve given regular thanks to God for creating coffee. I’ve loved coffee since I was a teenager. I drank it black and doing so may well have saved me from obesity. I love food, and the battle between my appetite and my vanity would have been a pretty evenly matched one, had […]

Look who’s reading

When you blog, you never know who’s reading, unless they comment, and most don’t, since the number of comments on my site is a microscopic fraction of the number of hits I get each day. A friend from an e-mail list mentioned today that she knew how I felt about car DVD players since she’d […]

Fourth of July miscellany

We’ve driven past the Glorieta, NM, battlefield memorial scores (if not hundreds) of times, but today we finally stopped. It’s a makeshift memorial, on private property and maintained by the owner, who has been kind enough to put in nice, flat trails and even to make little makeshift concrete seats and benches under some of […]

Men behaving badly – and the women who blog about it

One of my husband’s friends gave him a hard time because I “slammed” him in my blog the other day. I was dumbfounded, since the post in question didn’t mention my husband, and my comment was a general one about how mothers tend to feel guilty for frittering away time on the internet instead of […]

The worst mother in the world

Is there a mother who doesn’t feel like this is her once in a while? When we yell at the kids over something stupid and feel like a complete jackass afterward. When we sit like a zombie surfing the internet instead of reading to our children like we promised ourselves (or God forbid them) we […]

Daddy’s girl

Sometimes I think my husband loves this little beast more than he does me or any of our daughters. Why? Because she loves him with a selfless devotion that would be sickening in a human being, and obeys him instantly and without fail. The dog is indifferent to me, and obeys me about as well […]

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Age has been on my mind more than usual lately, probably because I’m 43 and about to have a baby. Because I had children relatively late in life, I’m in the position of being in a playgroup where I’m old enough to be the mother of some of the other moms. They like different music. They […]

Shoe blogs, Slovenian gold-diggers, and saving the males

Okay, first off, I do not read fashion blogs, and until just now, I had no idea that something called “shoe blogs” even existed. I was reading this article at National Review Online and a link on page 2 (why I clicked, I don’t know; probably just to avoid folding the laundry another five minutes) […]

How does this affect me, Al Franken?

Remember that bit from SNL back when the show was still funny instead of filthy and Franken was still a comedian instead of the Democratic nominee for a U.S. Senate seat? Well, it reminds me of parenthood, because children are every bit as narcissistic – or more, if possible – than Franken’s character in that […]

But they will never take our FREEDOM!


Contemplating the maternal urge to nest the other day, I started thinking about what feminist theorists derisively term essentialism, the idea that there are essential differences between men and women. I heard this term for the first time my first semester in grad school, when the USC History Department’s mandatory seminar for first year students […]

Nesting and listing

Every mother knows what “nesting” is. Other people probably think I’m talking about birds. It’s the instinct that drives an expectant mother to get her house (“nest”) in order before the baby comes. Hence no blog post yesterday. Too many home repairs and improvements to arrange, too many baby clothes to sort and wash, too […]

No more nurseries?

What do you mean you don’t HAVE a nursery????? This was my dumbfounded response when I toured the maternity ward (the only one in Santa Fe) where I’ll be delivering next month. The hospital where I had my other three children had one, and since all my deliveries were c-section and I wasn’t quite up […]

Wherefore art thou Ethelbald?

If Romeo and Juliet had been called Ethelbald and Hildegarde, would their names be synonymous with romance? Names have been on my mind lately, since we have to choose one for our fourth daughter next month. Our first and third daughters have traditional, mainstream names, Elizabeth and Theresa, and we didn’t catch any flak about […]

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Saw this first on Melissa’s blog, and followed the link to The Simple Woman, a blog I’d never seen before, to find that 82 other bloggers have put it on their blogs, so I thought since I was up and sleepless I’d jump on the bandwagon. FOR TODAY, June 4, 2008… Outside My Window…it is […]

Work in progress

This is a new blog, and very much a work in progress. I am still getting to know WordPress and trying to figure out the quirks in the theme I’m using. My “About” and “Contact” links, which were on the sidebar yesterday, have disappeared today. Until I figure out how to get them back, my […]

Does the world really need another new blog?

I’ve asked myself that question for several years now, hesitant to join the countless multitudes already offering their unsolicited opinions on everything under the sun. Probably not, but I wanted to start one anyway. After all, what makes my unsolicited opinions any more superfluous than anyone else’s? So why didn’t I? For one thing, I […]