Now that spring has officially sprung, all eyes are turning from the living room to the back yard. Daffodils are bursting through the soil. Tulips are waiting in the wings. And ambitious gardeners are browsing home improvement stores with green-eyed envy and thumbs to match. But beyond planting beautiful flowers, spring is the ideal time to start a backyard vegetable garden.
For starters, while that emerald green ball of broccoli at the supermarket may look packed full of vitamins, the truth is vegetables start losing nutrients the moment they are picked. Growing your own lets you control how long your produce waits for mealtime, how organic it is, how much damage it does to your wallet (especially when it comes to those pricey herbs and berries!), and even how good it tastes. Continue reading
The following article was published in the wonderful (and free!) InD’tale Magazine, “serving self and small published with a romantic flair.” To read more and sign up for a digital subscription (Did I mention it’s free?), visit www.indtale.com.
When you think of “clean reads,” do you immediately picture a handsome knight rescuing a gorgeous damsel, placing her gracefully atop his snowy white steed, and trotting off to their standing-room-only wedding by the sea? Do you think of fairy tales in which good conquers all, true love never dies, and beauty (even if disguised at first) is the ultimate sign of virtue?
If so, you might be in for a rude awakening (though not nearly as rude as the first Sleeping Beauty’s, as you’ll soon find out). That’s because many of the wholesome, Disneyfied fairy tales we know and love are actually hiding much darker pasts—pasts filled with sex, violence, and terrifyingly inventive ways to kill people. Put it this way: if your kids read the original tales before bedtime, you’ll be calming their screams until morning!
I stumbled upon these grisly origins while doing research for Desperately Ever After, which takes our most beloved fairy tale characters and imagines what happened to them when the wedding bells stopped ringing. From Hans Christian Andersen to the Brothers Grimm, consider these the skeletons buried deep in the back of Walt Disney’s closet.
Fair warning: you may experience loss of innocence. Continue reading
More than two years ago (that long?!), I wrote an article on my “other” blog about a poor little puppy named Angel who was born with two broken forearms. (Click here to see original post)
It was heart-wrenching, watching the videos of her swim across the floor, screaming in pain. Nothing could have made it worse – not even the fact that she was a half-sister to my own beloved dog Shadow. It was just horrible. Plain and simple.
But unlike other breeders, who might have whipped out the calculator and decided Angel just wasn’t worth saving, Janet Wilson at Blue Diamond Breeding decided to do something. Continue reading
As a writer, it’s tempting to shun the daylight, fall into a sedentary rut, and start measuring progress not by words on the page but by the indent on my rolly chair. This, believe it or not, is rarely a good idea.
To avoid this fate, I’ve made it a point to do some sort of exercise every day – whether it be an hour of P90x (lean, of course), a hike with my dog, or an episode of Friday Night Lights on the elliptical. It’s become as much a part of my daily routine as drinking coffee and brushing my teeth… but it still takes will power. Continue reading
Back in the fall, I visited the Jewish Child Care Association’s sprawling campus in Pleasantville, N.Y., to sit down with Janmarie Brown for a feature in Westchester Magazine.
Brown is director of Gateways, a residential program for girls who have experienced the horrors of domestic trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Some are as young as twelve years old, some have refused help only to come back again, and many have rewritten their lives thanks to Brown and her staff.
So many people think of trafficking as a foreign problem, something that doesn’t happen in their back yard. Continue reading
Check out the April/May issue of KIWI, a fantastic up-and-coming magazine that helps families cook, play, eat, grow, and live organically. The current issue offers recipes to please picky eaters, advice on reinventing your career after kids, and my article about bringing that spring garden to life.
Many thanks to my expert sources: Fern Marshall Bradley, author of Rodale’s Vegetable Garden Problem Solver; Barbara Pleasant, author of Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens; and Sarah Pounders, education specialist with the National Gardening Association.
This month’s Prick of the Spindle is out, and guess whose name is in the table of contents… Right next to the story called Swampfront Luxury…
Well, go find out! You can see it for free here or buy it for the Kindle here. Continue reading