I love my public library, and I’m not alone

I grew up going to the library every week. My mom would load my sister and me into the car, drive us into town, and we would read and search there to our delight. I’ve no memory of what my mother did while we were there – whether she came in with us and went off hunting for her own selection of borrowed treasure, or (probably more likely) took the opportunity of an hour or so without any kids to do shopping or other errands that would be easier without the pair of us than with us.

cardcatalog1But for me, there was an hour or so of exploration and quiet discovery, and I’d leave with a stack of books, and then I’d be back again for more the next week. Continue reading

Pecan pie – and a lesson in making pie crust

pecan-pieThis post is for my friend Al, who asked me months ago for my pecan pie recipe and has waited ever so patiently even though it’s now less than a week before Thanksgiving. Not only have you earned the pie recipe; you’ve also earned the pie crust recipe and secret. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, this also is for all my friends who think pie crust is hard to make and are amazed that I make mine from scratch.

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Surprised by Fall color: What makes me thankful

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I traveled to Cleveland from my home near Chicago this weekend and had my eyes opened and my spirit lifted. Cleveland is a city that I like a lot, and my trip was planned around a reunion that was guaranteed to make me happy. But somehow – perhaps because I was so looking forward to the reunion – it didn’t occur to me in advance that we might be traveling at the peak of the Fall color season. Continue reading

Eliminate these 2 words to improve your writing

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. -Mark Twain

ReadWriteI just stumbled upon a web page (truly stumbled upon, as in “Thanks, Stumble Upon, the social media network I almost never use but might start glancing at occasionally after this!”) with a Mark Twain quote so priceless that it inspired this post:

It’s not just the quote, though. The article on the Writers Write website, “45 Ways to avoid using the word ‘very,’” goes to the heart of one of my pet peeves. There are two words that I think writers should excise from their vocabulary, and one of them is in fact “very.” The other? “Thing.” Continue reading

Google Analytics: It’s not just for websites

Did you know that you can use Google Analytics to track more than just your website traffic.

It’s true. In addition to being an enterprise-quality, free website analytics platform, Google Analytics also can be used to track activity on mobile apps and even offline devices, such as point-of-sale systems. You also can connect it up to your other Google accounts – AdWords, AdSense and Webmaster Tools – so it really can give you a very good all-around picture of how your digital programs are working.

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