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Articles by this author:

  • The house and grounds have been “greened,” to use a catchall term for changes that have redefined the landscape and reduced the need for maintenance and overall consumption of energy.
  • Everyone loses things. Right? So why was I in such a tizzy when my purse, containing a wallet and the usual appurtenances, disappeared last week?
  • Robert Frost would, I think, find it ironic that the most often repeated line from his poem “Mending Wall” is his neighbor’s insistence that “good fences make good neighbors.” The poet, you see, doesn’t really seem to agree. He says:

    Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder    
    If I could put a notion in his head: 
    Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it 
    Where there are cows? 
    But here there are no cows.

  • What I remember most about going to see Frank Sinatra perform in New York City is the smell of lily of the valley perfume. I must have been at least 14 because if I had been younger my parents would not have let me go, joining a batch of girls who took a bus from Bayonne to Jersey City’s Journal Square and then the Hudson Tubes to the city.

  • Although we all know that language is constantly changing, that the English we use today is quite different from what it was in Shakespeare’s time, I can’t help wondering where certain words and phrases come from and how they become ubiquitous. Like others who write or edit, I keep my eyes and ears open, and I am not always happy about what I read or hear.

  • It takes courage and tremendous power of persuasion to convince the electorate, and the powers-that-be, that the general consensus on a matter of public policy is wrong. Kevin McAllister and Mike Bottini showed that courage when they filed a lawsuit last week to try to stop the construction by the Army Corps of Engineers of a 3,100-foot-long and 50-foot-wide revetment along the ocean beach at Montauk. I’m not so sure about their powers of persuasion.

  • An osprey apparently forgot that he was supposed to be headed north in time for the first day of spring, or Fish Hawk Day, as old-timers here call it. Instead he hovered over Lake Arenal — a surprise greeting on our first afternoon in Costa Rica.

  • Remember the grape boycotts of the 20th century? The dramatic slogan “It Won’t Wash” helped convince many of us to give up table grapes in support of California farm workers and their families, who were suffering serious health consequences, including birth defects and various cancers, from the pesticides being sprayed on fruit.

  • Why is sunlight on a landscape of untrammeled snow more exhilarating than bright sun on the beach or through the woods? I wonder what scientists have to say about the ways visual experiences evoke emotions. 

  • Ten years ago this June, my eldest granddaughter fell in love with a kitten at the Animal Rescue Fund’s shelter. I can’t imagine what my daughter-in-law, Lisa, was thinking when she took her there on a lark as a fourth birthday treat: Lisa is allergic, and their household has always been something of a dog menagerie to begin with, without much spare room for extra sets of paws.