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Articles by this author:

  •    A story in The Star last week about recycling left me, and perhaps many readers, with an uncomfortable awareness that the state law requiring that all refuse be separated at its source is honored more in the breach than in the observance.

  •    The family photos are scattered in clusters and packs all around the bedroom: They sit on the radiator, the desk, the three dressers — littered across any available flat surface. I got into this habit back in the days when I used to move between two houses every year (renting out what was my winter one to summer people), and needed to be able to scoop up all my pictures quickly, and pack them. Trouble is, they are getting quite out-of-date, and I haven’t figured out how to get prints of newer ones, particularly of the grandchildren.

  •    Sometimes nothing goes right. We were to be 12 at dinner, 7 adults and 5 children. Turkey breast, which had been marinated in an Asian-style sauce, was in the oven, to be served with rice, broccoli rabe, and zucchini, an apparently perfect meal for all. Chris had made a big bowl of cut-up fruit for dessert, and it was at the ready, along with cake pops. (If you haven’t seen cake pops, they’re round balls of cake that has been iced and put on a lollipop stick. A favorite with the kids these days.)

  •    When Hillary Clinton, in an intense primary battle with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, said she was ready to lead the country from day one, she started an avalanche of everyday people using day one. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says the use of these words to indicate the start or the beginning of something dates back to 1971, but, in my opinion, it wasn’t really common in the popular vernacular until an estimated 2.5 million people watched the candidates debate in 2008.

  •    My 5-year-old granddaughter, Nettie, is good at wishful thinking. I doubt that an adult gave her the idea that if you told the Easter Bunny, like Santa, what you wanted, you probably would get it. I am sure the bunny left her and her 3-year-old brother, Teddy, baskets with appropriate goodies on Easter morning, but leaving the bunny a note about what she wanted for (ahem) Easter must have been her own idea. And it was a two-sided note at that.

  •    “Childrens’ Garden — No Ball Games, Cycling, Dogs” reads a sign published with a recent story in The Guardian, an English daily newspaper, informing readers that “the sometimes vexing question of where and when to add an apostrophe appears to have been solved in one corner of Devon: The local authority is planning to do away with them altogether.”

  •    “It’s not fish ye’re buying, it’s men’s lives.” This Sir Walter Scott quotation provided Peter Matthiessen with the title of his book “Men’s Lives, “on the history and decline of the South Fork’s inshore fishery — and about the men whose lives depended on it. The quote has an ominous ring, and I wasn’t surprised that it kept coming to me when I was in Nova Scotia last week.

  •    The flight from La Guardia to Halifax is a cinch: A small plane operated by Chautauqua Airlines for Delta gets you there in less than an hour and a half, and makes it hard to believe you are traveling to another country and have to bring along your passport. So it was with what you might call careless abandon that, in the air headed to Nova Scotia, I filled out a Canadian customs declaration. Too much abandon, as it turned out. Just exactly why I answered in the negative when ticking off the query that asks if you are bringing in food remains unclear even to me.

  •    The worst television commercials (IMHO) are those that hype drugs — those obnoxious, fast-talking “ask your doctor if” messages about panaceas for all kinds of ailments. They make me happy that I don’t watch much television.
        In the last two months or so, however, similar pitches (advertorials? infomercials?) have invaded my Mac’s inbox. I have clicked to request that the e-mail system filter them as junk, but so far it hasn’t worked.

  •    If you are like me and do not have many friends or family between the ages of 18 and 25, it is possible that you aren’t entirely aware of the Selective Service System, in which 20 million young men are now registered — and therefore signed up to be drafted should a draft be instated.