Once a Hippie … Always a Hippie

A funny thing happened on the way to the Climate March. I was busted. Four lanky teenagers, 2 boys and 2 girls, watched me approach the check-in table at one of the many Youth Convening events. I mean, I knew I couldn’t meet the “youth” criteria, but hey – I can identify Kendrick Lamar in a lineup, can’t I? I was rockin’ my #RiseUp t-shirt; I’d left my Birkenstocks at the hotel; and my backpack was suitably ripped and dirty. Maybe my youth is long gone, but surely I could fake it enough to hang…

The Oceans Are Rising … and So Are We!

Among the estimated 200,000 people who participated in the People’s Climate March on Saturday, April 29 in Washington, D.C. were thousands of teens and young adults. They came by train, by car and by the busload from every state; their voices were loud and their message was clear in their chant: The Oceans are Rising … and So are We! Young people convened the day before the march to talk about the role of youth in the climate movement, to build art installations and banners, to hear from inspiring speakers and to build relationships with other youth from…

In Our Own Backyard

Check out my new column in the Times Weekly! In Our Own Backyard is a new weekly column in The Times Weekly that will cover environmental justice and climate change, and how these issues impact our families every day. If you think oil spills, contaminated soil and toxic water pipes don’t really affect you – we want you to think again. It’s happening right here, right now, in our own backyard…

Love is Love is Love

Just got back from Boston, where they party like it’s 1776! Had an amazing time at the New England RWA Writers’ Conference, where I got inspiration and instruction — and margaritas — from best-selling authors, including Zoe York and Damon Suede.  Zoe York’s keynote luncheon address brought me to tears; she spoke lovingly and longingly of her late mom, the writer, creator and founder of The Compleat Mother magazine, which advocated for breastfeeding, attachment parenting and natural childbirth. This magazine — and Zoe’s mom —  heavily influenced my decision to nurse my…

Go Ahead. Try the Haggis.

This post appears in 18 Health Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make by Nicole Akers. Click here to get your free copy.   I was six days into a muddy, solo trek in the Scottish Highlands, when I encountered an American couple starting their first long-distance hike. Delighted to have found each other, we slogged on to a tiny pub for dinner, toasted each other with local whiskey, and traded stories of our adventures. Then it was time to order the meal. “I really want to try Scottish food,” she said. “Haggis and black pudding,” he said…

Hiking Argentina? Don’t Forget the Wine

  About 650 miles from the pulsing city of Buenos Aires lies Mendoza, where urban rhythm gives way to natural opulence, and where wine is more than a business, it’s a spiritual pilgrimage. Mendoza hugs the Chilean border, giving easy access to the mighty Andes mountains and the South Pacific Ocean. After a week in BA with traffic and crowds (and some awesome meals), I was more than ready for some quiet time in the snowy peaks. It was late June — winter in South America — and I’d left the U.S. without giving the…

Escape from Georgia (O’Keeffe)

    “The artist passed away in 1986,” the museum guide said, backing away from me slowly. The famous photo of O’Keeffe hung just to her right, and she gave it a glance as she worked her way around me. “You know, it’s not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed by her art. It can be quite emotional.” She’d reached her desk now, and put it between us. “Can I get you a glass of water?” Or a Xanax, perhaps? I smiled, trying to appear if not sane…

Enjoy Your Scots Responsibly

Sharing a wee dram at the Highlander Fling at the Regal Community Theatre in Bathgate, Scotland with Outlander actors Scott Kyle and Stephen Walters, and Grammy-nominated Susan Boyle.    I read all eight of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books in 10 days. After the first one, I called in sick to work and crawled into my bed with a case of diet Coke and 6 packs of peanut butter cookies. At the end of number 8, when I realized that 1) there weren’t any more and 2) I’d have to shower soon, I posted…

Battle of the Bourbons

And, no, I don’t mean the French kings from two centuries ago. I mean the decadent bourbon choices I have this holiday season. Thanksgiving always reminds me of the long, agonizing night I spent in Kentucky with some backcountry hunters, hell-bent on shooting turkeys. I survived solely because of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon and one strutting gobbler, hell-bent on escape. (Don’t ever stalk a turkey. EVER. Go buy one at Piggly-Wiggly and we’ll all sleep easier.) But the Bulleit Straight Frontier Bourbon is a mixologist’s dream, and does…

Sex and the (Mature) Single Girl

  I’m not ashamed to admit it: I still read Cosmo. I am, however, ashamed to buy it in the grocery store. (They cancelled my subscription recently. Apparently my name came up on some AARP Wikileak.) So I send my daughter to buy it. Or I steal it from the manicurist’s waiting room. In the 1980’s, when I was a young woman just entering the world of adult dating, Cosmo was my secret goldmine of information. Sure, it was shallow and slick and a little too enthusiastic about casual sex. But where else was…