2020 Vision

I open our refrigerator this morning to get out the beans, the rice, the greens — required first meal of the decade — and consider throwing everything out.

In one of Gretchen Rubin’s books, she mentions a woman who completely empties her refrigerator on the first day of the year. No exceptions. Out goes last […]

2019 Intentions – Quality over Quantity

The curtain opens on 2019 with Bob and I settling into new jobs, and with enough dry and above-freezing weather to weed, mulch, and plan this year’s garden. We’ve added eight raised beds and gone over the seed catalogs. In addition to what we grew last year (potatoes, leeks, peppers, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cherry tomatoes, […]

Tunnel Vision, Cookies, and Snitch Pads

My chosen theme for self-improvement this year is “Focus”. Like a photographer narrowing their depth of field, I’m going to highlight three important things: writing, friendship, and cookies.

I got a taste of tunnel vision in the last quarter of 2017. Up against a self-imposed Christmas deadline, I was able to ignore distractions and finish […]

Taking Stock and Keeping Track – Three new habits for 2017

It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock, reflect, and strategize. Last year I set five goals for myself and did a pretty good job. I orientated myself with the woods behind my house, re-connected with my father, played with some horses, and tried new recipes; but I didn’t do so well with […]

Balanced on the Cusp of a New Year

Well here we are again, poised to launch into a fresh new year, in a perfect position to evaluate 2014 and set goals for 2015. With a glance over my shoulder, these were my high points:

I co-authored a book, Two Brauds Abroad with long time correspondent Stephanie De La Garza about our travels to […]

Social Capital and The Helper

There is nothing more exciting than turning the page of my calendar and discovering a new set of numbers. 2014, Year of the Horse! The promise of a fresh, new start beams at me from google calendar. According to the Chinese Zodiac, this will be a significant year for all those who, like me, were […]

New Beginnings – 2012 Predictions and Resolutions

Well, here we are, eleven hours into 2012 and Bob and I have already eaten a bowl of black-eyed peas to ensure prosperity throughout the coming year.

If I could twinkle my nose and make it so, 2012 would be the year when humanity wakes up and becomes more humane. The war industry would come […]


The last week of December is the week when I usually make my New Year’s Resolutions. But Bob and I are moving this week and are consumed with the endless chore of packing, cleaning, unpacking, sorting and shuffling our monstrous mountain of household goods.

Today should be our last day in Camelina and tomorrow we’ll […]


In my dreams I wake up tomorrow, to find that three years have passed and the world is changing for the better. Halfway through their first term, the Nader/Kucinich administration has already seen many milestones, among them:

All American troops have been withdrawn from Iraq The Defense Department has been replaced by a Department of […]


Okay, or Holiday Wish or whatever seems right. I find it ludicrous that people are even worrying about what word they use when they wish their friends and neighbors well this Solstice season.

So, that’s one wish – that people would feel okay about being kind to each other all year and not fret over […]