books

This award-winning novel about life on the backstretch at Colonial Downs debuted in April to a great reception. Readers' comments have been wildly enthusiastic: "I couldn't put it down...I loved the characters...I felt like an insider at the track."   "The Key to...
This is the best way to buy Starbucks.
              When we went to France one time a few years ago, I spent six months preparing to speak the language. I went to a tutor, listened to tapes and weeded the garden while practicing useful phrases such as, “Ma soeur a un crayon jaune…My...
Doing his laundry is a deal-killer.
My husband, Cricket, has a whole raft of friends who enjoy teasing him about Katherine Bolling, his baby daughter. Recalling Cricket's frisky days as a bachelor, these friends predict that he will not be so indulgent of boyish behavior and rampant hormones when Katherine Bolling is 16. They...
  This 80-degree weather in early March reminds me of the winter it wasn't so warm... We have a little mud puddle that we dignify with the word “pond.” It’s fed by the runoff from a hill and about every third winter it gets enough ice to skate on. Tuesday it was 10...
We have sage brush-sized dust bunnies rolling around our house.
  It’s true that, over time, people forget about the intensity of painful events. Case in point: For the past month, we have had workmen in the house, stripping paint, repairing stuff, painting and wallpapering. All the while, we have camped out in a ten by twelve room with a small tv,...
Flash! Truck fire on Lee Road last night was NOT my vehicle!
            We used to laugh about tire fires, not because we are indifferent to environmental disasters, but because the people associated with one, when interviewed on television, invariably referred to the event as a “tar far.” But tar fars seem less...
Ideal Valentine's Day gift.
  Valentine’s Day has gotten totally out of hand. The image of St. Valentine’s Day is cherubs, hearts and flowers, a frilly, silly day of affection. In reality, Valentine’s Day, like its evil twin, New Year’s Eve, is a monster of unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled...
The theme of this year's Super Bowl is "beer"
  I often think how blessed we are as a nation to have an institution that so perfectly reflects the American psyche and our deep attachment to tradition (by which I mean beer). I’m speaking of course about the Super Bowl. On February 5, a hush will fall over the land as the American...
The Norman Rockwell Tree we don't have.
  There used to be a feature in one of the women’s magazines of the ‘60s called “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” (The publication of this feature foreshadowed the invention of divorce in the 1970s.) In each issue, the reporter described a couple who had reached an impasse...
Momma has always wanted a department-store-window tree, like this one at Strange's Florist.
  Momma has always wanted a really terrific-looking, interior-decorator, department-store-window Christmas tree. She has talked about doing a theme tree, where every ornament is a wooden soldier or a dove or a bell or something. And she has talked about a tree all in white or all in red. She...