I totally accidentally got into mushroom foraging this summer, after I happened upon some totally gorgeous yellow mushrooms growing in the middle of a bike trail in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and decided to find out what they were.
The Curmudgeon's Quests, by Allan Wooley
When I found out Mr. Parris died, I sat on my porch and wept — the mailman didn't know what to do when he saw me there, blocking the mailbox.
What a heartbreaking loss for the whole world.
Last week, I found out that yet another teacher who shaped my high school experience had died. Though sad, I took comfort in learning that he'd published three books in his retirement.
I'm only on page 20 of Crumbs Cast Upon the Current: Some Stories, Poems, and Essays... but I already wish that all of my teachers would write a memoir before it's too late.
Chris Farley's famous "van down by the river" sketch was a hilarious staple of my childhood -- but now, as an adult, I completely, 100% understand Matt Foley's rage.
And I don't even live in a van down by the river. I've just been told I should.
Guys — I am absolutely loving my summer reading list! It started with Hillary's What Happened, which, as I wrote in Right Now is the Best, Weirdest Time to Read Hillary Clinton's 'What Happened', felt weirdly timely and relevant. I also enjoyed and recommend A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined a Nation (which also feels really relevant right now), Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (which is alarming, to say the least), A Sand County Almanac (which is more soothing than poetry), and The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West (which was educational, but definitely not my favorite).
Now, I'm finishing Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, from which I learned a really weird and unexpected fact:
Marriage counseling was pioneered as a form of eugenics.
Image: Eva Via Music
My greatest regret of this whole pandemic is that I only had my travel guitar with me when the world shut down, rather than my Guild. Nevertheless, music has been a major source of comfort and entertainment during this unprecedented time.
What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
A few weeks ago, I joked that it's rare for a song to become more timely and relevant 18 months after writing it than it was when you actually wrote it – but that's exactly what happened with my song, Jefferson, which is about countries and historical figures with complicated legacies.
Last night, like every night before it these last few weeks, was one of the most glorious of my life. It was midnight, and I was walking through the woods, alone. The trees blocked most of the moonlight and starlight, but above and below and all around me, I was surrounded by fireflies.
All at once, I felt secluded in nature, and like I was scuba diving, and like I was riding Space Mountain, and like I was on some kind of drug that just makes you love everything around more than you thought possible.
One of the most important lessons I've learned as a dog owner (other than, "Keep the Christmas truffles on the highest possible shelf," "Don't assume they won't knowingly jump off a balcony chasing a squirrel," and, "Leave the tent door unzipped or else!") is that many of the health changes we assume are natural parts of aging... are actually symptoms of something totally treatable.
They say money can't buy happiness -- but they're totally wrong. First of all, on a log scale, more money does mean more happiness:
Liberals Shouldn't Let Conservatives Own Patriotism (And The Confederate Flag Has NO Business Flying Beside Our Flag)
I've spent 11 of the last 36 months traveling. From Austria to Cambodia to Honduras, I've blogged about how travel can teach you how to be happy; how travel is like being in kindergarten, college, and adulthood, all at once; and how there's no limit to how much you can learn (and teach) while abroad. I've seen wild orangutans, herds of elephants, five different hornbill species, 900-year-old temples, blue flame volcanoes (seriously!), and so much more.
Despite all this, when people ask me to pick my favorite country, the answer is easy:
America is the best country.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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