I’m Donna. What are you doing with the next 190 days? I decided to share my thoughts. Catch the latest blog posts below, or choose a category from the menu get more posts. Thanks for visiting!
Most Recent Posts
So long to some bull$h*t.
On December 31st, I said goodbye to a year best described in the words of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus’s response to Roe v. Wade’s upheaval: “This is some bullshit.”Keep reading
Alexa, and Joe: Friend or Foe?
One day I realized that if Alexa could bring me a cup of coffee, she’d be the 1960’s Mad Men-esque executive assistant I could really use but am in no position to have.Keep reading
Can you really love 100 holiday cookies?
My recent quest for five great holiday cookie recipes surfaced lists like “Our favorite 100”, “The 88 best”, “49 Christmas cookies you’ll love”. Can anyone really have 100 favorite varieties of Christmas cookies?Keep reading
An unlikely muse
So there I was waiting for some muse to inspire me to write again, when who should show up – of all people – but Neil Diamond.Keep reading
In praise of the variety pack…
I’m falling in love with the idea of the variety pack. Given five separate buying decisions…Keep reading
Now or Later?
My life changed when I started asking myself one simple question: “Am I ever going to feel like doing this more than I do right now?”Keep reading
Lasts and firsts.
It’s funny how independence feels like freedom when we don’t have it, and feels like responsibilities and obligations once obtained.Keep reading
This even makes cleaning fun.
There’s only one thing that can make cleaning more than tolerable: an upcoming visit from a best friend I haven’t seen in years. And that’s exactly what’s on my horizon.Keep reading
Not giving up the Ghost
If there’s one thing experienced authors can count on, it’s that at some point in the creative process…Keep reading
“Are there no prisons?”
OOOOk-la-homa – the stuff of Rodgers & Hammerstein musical-making – may be trading sweet waving wheatfields for more correctional facilities.Keep reading
A 45,000 person problem.
How is it that we have a country-wide Minimum Legal Drinking Age of 21, and we have a federal minimum age for sale of tobacco, but we don’t have anything analogous for purchasing guns?Keep reading
Ode to a Robinson Crabapple Tree
Oh wavy tree, your trunk meandering nigh Belies descriptions I so often read. In catalogs, desirable symmetry… Yet in my yard, Van Gogh not Klimt doth tread.Keep reading
No, I don’t want a seat at the counter.
The slog through struggles to solve relationship issues, tease out how I really feel, or plan my future often unfolds and resolves in restaurants. It’s true. Along a spectrum from fast food to fine dining establishments…Keep reading
Happy Heavenly Birthday, Tyler.
Tonight we are gathering at DC Prime, a restaurant in Ashburn, Virginia, on what would have been the 21st birthday of Tyler Joe Young. Having lost his life to a tragic fentanyl overdose at 19, Tyler could be one of the many smiling faces…Keep reading
Will the allure of theme dining ever get old?
I’ve dined at my fair share of upscale restaurants. Still, some of my favorite dining memories involve theme dining, even at home. My relationship with theme dining started in San FranciscoKeep reading
Who would you be without that thought?
Someone recently asked me if I get anxious about anything given that many of my posts are upbeat. You betcha! There were many unspoken questions in that musing.Keep reading
I’m in love with my air fryer
I’m unabashedly in love with my air fryer. If I had to choose between the dishwasher and the air fryer, I’d be buying rubber gloves, sponges, and dish soap in bulk.Keep reading
One garden always leads to another.
I was a child when I first encountered the concept of distinct garden styles at what had been the country mansion of George Jay Gould. A railway exec and first son of robber baron Jay Gould, George had the good luck of both inheriting and earning his fortune. That luck ran out after a visit…Keep reading
Wild French Camargue horses splash into their white reflections. The sun is setting, the sky and sea turn pink, coral, orange. What will it be like?Keep reading
The Great Gatsby: A Floral Interpretation in Six Parts
You read the title right. Every April, the love of gardening meets the love of books, as some garden clubs honor National Library Week with book interpretations in flowersKeep reading
When is “evidence” evidence enough?
My trust of cashiers and servers is no lower now than in 2021. This point surfaced for me after hearing Rich Roll suggest we note that our everyday interactions likely don’t reflect the level of contention seen in the media and social media. It’s an interesting observation.Keep reading
Writing fairy tales
Would more people write fiction if they could imagine characters they’d like to be around? Wouldn’t it be fun to get lost in worlds of your own making, populated with a cast of perfect characters? In theory, yes. But it’s not that easy to execute.Keep reading
I’d like a plate of inspiration without the struggle, please.
I was in the mood for curling up with an inspirational movie. One problem: literally every inspirational movie I found had components of hardship built in. Did I really have to watch the suffering to get to the good stuff?Keep reading
Can banning be the best advertisement?
I spent some time this weekend considering banned books, the banning of books, the burning of books, and censorship generally. Good times.Keep reading
To beach or not to beach
Since my early twenties, I’ve dreamed of the looking down at the ocean waves through walls of glass in an ocean front condo; dreamed of turning to the door and heading down for a sandy walk and a salty swim. That I’m even entertaining the idea that beach living may not be my endgame intimates…Keep reading
How comfortable can you get with a changing world order?
If you had told me 10 years ago that I’d be reading a book on “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order”, you would have heard a long and hardy laugh. And yet here I am today, listening to author Ray Dalio on Audible, hoping to gain a perspective that will make the contents…Keep reading
Is there anyone who hasn’t written a book (besides me)?
I feel like I can’t shake a stick and not hit someone who has just published a book. It begs the question, “Is there anyone out there – besides me – who hasn’t published a book?” And the obvious followup question arises: “Was it worth it?” And then the next: “Should I do it?”Keep reading
Maybe we can talk about it over dinner.
Nearly three years ago, I made a choice I hailed as my most brilliant decision ever. I became my own boss and started a consulting firm. I would advise organizations in the Ethics and Compliance after leaving a company I’d been with for 13 years. Having been a consultant before, I was excited by the…Keep reading
Getting Back to a Beatles Christmas
My teenagers don’t like the Beatles and don’t even understand their attraction. It’s hard for me to bend my mind around, because my experience of the Beatles has been their timeless and global presence. They show up gloriously in so many memories.Keep reading
The first day of the rest of my life
The morning after my last chemotherapy infusion, I woke feeling exhilarated, as if it was the first day of something big. And it was. It was the first day of the rest of my life, a life made more meaningful by the difficult terrain.Keep reading
How I learned the high price of lying.
For young children, the line between what they hope is true and what they know is true can blur. This is probably a gradual process for most, but for me it came all at once, with a painful splash.Keep reading
Following our passions is getting easier.
“Cowboys and Indians” was the earliest game I remember playing outside in my neighborhood. I always wanted to be the ingenious Indigenous, powerful and stealthy from knowing the place, strong and tan from living off the land. I didn’t understand why most kids wanted to play the boring interloper cowboy, but it worked for me.Keep reading
Let down by the promise of the pre-lit
Am I alone in feeling betrayed by the promise of pre-lit Christmas decor? I once bought what I believed to be the perfect Christmas tree. Its stems wrapped in 500 lights promised to make my life oh-so-easy each year. By year two, only some of the lights lit…Keep reading
You don’t have to go far to make a memory.
Travel advertisements seem to always promise that you’ll make memories if you simply join them on this cruise or at that resort. I have made such memories, and would never trade them. But I’ve also noticed that many of my fondest memories come from everyday experiences.Keep reading
To forget is to live without lesson.
A priest once told me that God forgives and forgets, but the human condition and its challenge is that we have to try to forgive while we may be unable to forget. I think that’s true.Keep reading
Memories behind the lenses and brush strokes.
I love taking pictures…of people taking pictures. Not just anyone. People I know. It’s exciting to capture the moment of experience, the moment when someone finds something so interesting they’d like to keep it.Keep reading
Can we stem the proliferation of misquotation?
Some quotes are so good that they inspire you to read more from the source. They beg the question of what other wisdom and pithy phrases envelope them. I experienced the wondering and the search recently with a quote attributed to Anäis Nin – supposedly one of her best quotes, in fact. Here’s how it…Keep reading
Wading into writing contest waters.
Although I love a good challenge, writing contests hadn’t interested me until recently. A friend shared her experience with NYCMidnight, a contest that launches at midnight on a specific date, and allows you only 24 hours to write and submit a newly written piece. It sounded like a fun effort…Keep reading
Judging Books by Covers
Ragdoll cats are known for their sweet, docile personality. Our vet describes our Ragdoll as “spirited”, despite her pedigree. A note for technicians on her file warns to take care, as she “will lunge at face”. She appears sweet and can be cuddly, but when miffed, she packs a punch. Conversely, our dog, despite claiming…Keep reading
Phill Singer is in my bathroom.
Some years ago at the Reston Art festival I found myself in front of two pieces I couldn’t leave without: Phill Singer’s Anger Management and Tiger by the Tale. Luckily they fit perfectly in my home office where I saw them daily, and they were frequently seen on conference calls and webinars for several years.…Keep reading
Holding on to hugs and little hands.
I love seeing parents holding small children, guiding them across a parking lot with a hand on a shoulder or back, or holding a soft, tiny hand. My “boys”, while still teenagers, now look less like boys than men. As many moms warned, the years went quickly.Keep reading
Half-way Day is Here!
I began this blog because the words and thoughts spinning in my head wanted to come out. Life had become more precious after my brush with cancer. I relished realizations, cherished memories, and felt closer to family and friends than I had in years. I didn’t know who would read or care about my stories,…Keep reading
Some lessons never leave you.
Creative Writing is not usually a high point in one’s high school experience, and unsurprisingly it was not in mine. In fact, I believed I barely had a memory of it until I decided to wind up 2020 with a reading of my past journals…about 40 years worth. Though the teacher – Mrs. Campbell -…Keep reading
Kicking irrationality to the curb
The journey of 1000 miles starts with one thought: “What if I stumble, fall, and can’t get up?” Threats to mortality invite that sort of anxiety. That’s what happened the morning I came to believe that I should take precautions not to fall INTO my cat’s litter box.Keep reading
I’m a sucker for the sparkles.
This is the story of how I ended up buying a flashy beach cover-up that has no business being seen at my neighborhood pool, let alone on me, and that I am unlikely to wear. Ever.Keep reading
Jeff Bezos: Dud or Demigod?
Earlier this year, I stood in front of the Whole Foods bakery section contemplating which of several yummy whole grain seeded rolls to get. A man who was striking even with his pandemic mask had walked in behind me a few minutes before as I entered the store. I realized he was again behind me…Keep reading
You never know where you’ll find some heart and soul.
When I was five, my family walked across the street to our neighbor’s house for a party. The homeowners were a young couple. The man’s name was Neil. I only vaguely remember what he looked like, and less about his wife on that day. I don’t recall going back afterwards, although we may have, children’s…Keep reading
I want to support choice, but I love too much.
Our first phase of COVID most heavily impacted categories of people who would be eligible to exercise their choice about the vaccine. Delta is hitting younger people without co-morbidities, many of whom that don’t have the choice to vaccinate. Can we support one’s choice when it can so dramatically impact another without the same choice?Keep reading
A beautiful mess.
Some days when I’m leveling off flour in a measuring cup or pouring sugar crystals, I’m visited by memories of bakings past. For a while in my youth I spent Saturday mornings at a 4-H program where Miss May taught us how to bake all sorts of yummies. I’d never met anyone like Miss May…Keep reading
Pool Jewelry: You can take the girl out of Jersey…
When I was a teenager, it never occurred to me to take my jewelry off before going to the beach or pool. You weren’t dressed without plenty of jewelry and dark black waterproof mascara. Jersey. What can I say? I carried that tradition well into adulthood. I wore irreplaceable jewelry to beaches and pools everywhere…Keep reading
A drop of water in an endless sea is okay by me.
I’m a sucker for traditionally classical instruments in rock songs. Metallica’s “No Leaf Clover” played with a full symphony is probably my favorite example, but it’s not alone. This week I was transported by one of those songs, back to days long before I could put words to such preference. A song can do that.…Keep reading
We hear when we’re ready.
One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that I no longer heard my sons dropping their middle-school and high-school backpacks likes sacks of rocks onto foyer tiles.Keep reading
I could be in Avalon…you never know.
The past few days of 90+ degree weather drove me indoors into air conditioning. Walking man’s best friend this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find more reasonable temperatures, a slight breeze, and much-reduced humidity. My response: coffee on the deck, listening to birds, gazing at flowers, and planning a day with some outside activity.…Keep reading
Anything looks good in this frame.
When you arrive at the Farmers Market and they’re still setting up, you know you’re too early. I hadn’t visited in over a year, and hadn’t bothered to check the time. How could I literally have beat the farmers? Well, according to the sign, I was 40 minutes early today, with nothing to do. I…Keep reading
A touch of emphysema, a brush with cancer
We’ve all got our own version of unwanted guests. How we think about them can make a big difference.Keep reading