Moths and houseplants: an update

I am typing this in early June and I am contemplating going into my sweaters; it’s way too cold for June. Just last week I was dying of heat prostration (is that a thing?), wandering around New York City and the waves of smelly heat coming up off the sidewalk. May 1 is my traditional … Read more

Shoe tree

I remember reading an article about toxoplasmosis. This is parasitic disease that can be very dangerous to pregnant women, can cause flu-like symptoms in all who are exposed, and is often associated with cat boxes. This is why I was required to handle cat box duties while my children were gestating within their mother. Everyone, … Read more

Wash day

Our linen supply is very simple: everything is white. That’s great when it’s new, towels and sheets glow with an almost internal light. The problem is they don’t stay white. Some background: I never cared much about these things until I went to nursing school and ended up wearing white scrubs. I had my own … Read more

Lazy bones

I am the laziest person in the world. It takes me a lot of effort to switch off the television, get off the couch, and do what has to be done. As I sit here clicking away, there is a Pyrex pan in the sink that needs attention. I will get to that as soon … Read more

February thaw

  I am writing this last month. I don’t know if it’s me, but it has been really cold this winter. I, who never wear gloves — but have a large collection of single non-matching pairs — actually took to wearing them. I found myself preparing to exit the grocery store, car keys in my … Read more

The semiannual houseplant column

  Alas, it is that time of year again. I have about eight houseplants that I moved out onto the porch as soon as the threat of frost had lifted last spring. Spring took a long time to actually spring this year. The winter was hard on the crop, I lost two interesting specimens that … Read more

Vroom!

I bought a truck in 2010. It was the first new car I had purchased since 1984. Unlike how I treated that car two decades earlier, I have been a diligent owner — oil changes, checkups, all those things that are recommended by the manufacturer. For almost 100,000 miles this truck has been a team … Read more

Cutting edge

I learned at my first restaurant job the value of a good, sharp knife. My job was to carve slabs of prime rib off a colossal roast. I had to aim for a certain size slab, which I weighed each time, all of which took place in a window where I wore an engineer’s outfit. … Read more

Corny

I read Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” when everyone else did, and I recommend it highly. He talks about corn so much that there are pages within upon which the word seems to be printed a hundred times. It turns out that the corn we know, or at least the ancestor of the corn we … Read more

Helpless

The sound of a cardboard box bounces off the porch. Sometimes it is in the form of an impossible to open plastic envelope. Depending on my level of obsession it can be a daily occurrence. The packages pour in from eBay, maybe occasionally Amazon, maybe, if I am feeling in my chips, Zappos. The diesel … Read more

Making good fences

I am lolling about in bed, wasting the day, mentally preparing, at around 2 in the afternoon, to get ready for work. My faithful phone, now an extension of my body, goes “ding,” indicating a text has been received. “I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” the upstairs neighbor thumbs, “but the … Read more

Here’s Johnny!

Those of us who read Stephen King’s novel “The Shining” may recall the main reason Jack Torrance and his family was holed up in the big, haunted hotel, was to make sure that someone checked the boiler with regularity. The reason being that if the boiler is not freed of steam pressure build-up, the hotel … Read more

Forsythia saga

I write these little screeds roughly a month ahead. While you undoubtedly are having to stave off the heat by fanning yourself with this copy of “Home,” I am still actively rotating through sweaters. By now, for you, spring has completely sprung. The flowering trees have cast their petals, the irony of their snow-like presentation … Read more

Sound judgment

I listen to a lot of books. History is a favorite. Very often the narrative is as follows: “Captain Henderson built a stately mansion on the hillside overlooking the harbor. It cost him $17,000 — which is the equivalent to $22 million in today’s money.” Things are always changing, improving and costing more. Even “I … Read more

Flaky

By the time you read this, you might be stretched out on a hammock in your back yard. As I type this, the region is recovering from the second snowstorm in a week. The last time anything of this magnitude fell out of the sky, the local public works department dropped the snowball. I was … Read more

Pay the piper

It always starts innocently. You are standing in the shower and suddenly nothing goes down the drain. The water is rising halfway up your shin and does not appear to be planning to respond to gravity. Since you are a Homemoaner and somewhat versed in these matters, you go to the tool bin with wet … Read more

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