Pumpkin Muffins for Birthday Treat or Anytime

I’ve been substituting olive oil for other types of oil (and even butter) in my baking and may I just say that it is an earth-shatteringly delicious discovery. Thus far, I’ve tried the olive oil substitution in chocolate cake, blueberry muffins, banana bread, and these pumpkin muffins I made for my brother’s birthday. A […]

Laugh About Math

This is a picture of me in sixth grade. I’d been sitting at the kitchen table puzzling over the pre-algebra problems in my textbook, which was very good at asking ridiculous (but supposedly relevant) questions, but wasn’t ever able to answer my question “WHY?”

WHY is a negative times a negative a positive?

WHY […]

Are we anxious? Or is there a better word?

Natalie was reading a section of my novel in-progress when she asked about the “hand towel” one of the characters had placed in the bathroom for her guests. “Might it be an embroidered linen hand towel?” asked Natalie. “That is so much better!” I exclaimed appreciatively.

Finding vivid words to describe feelings, not just […]

Dear Teachers,

Note from Pamela:

I recently found these messages Natalie wrote to her teachers at the end of sixth grade, when she was leaving the elementary school where she had been a student since kindergarten. She composed the notes in her computer and then she selected cards to handwrite her message to each teacher. I’m so […]

The Non-Toxic Couch

A recent New York Times article evaluated the pluses and minuses of buying the high quality vs. okay-quality couch. The article focused on user’s lifestyle, design, construction, and price. A high quality couch will last decades or longer and will cost a pretty penny; it might even turn into an heirloom. An okay-quality couch […]

Ask Questions!

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution,

I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask,

for once I know the proper question,

I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

Albert Einstein


The risk one […]

Choosing Our Worries

worries can spiral…

In our house we remind ourselves and each other to — “Choose Your Worries”

We ask ourselves: is whatever it is we’re worrying about worth worrying about?

And will our worry lead to a solution?

We know that it’s natural and normal for all of us to worry from time […]

Starting the Day with a Bell

Our “school” bell and dorje

At the beginning of our two-year home school adventure, Natalie and I initiated a ritual of ringing a pleasant-sounding bell to mark the beginning of our day, and chose a hand-held bronze bell from Tibet, used by Buddhists to focus the mind. Later on, we learned the meaning […]

Natalie's Immune System Comic Strip

Understanding your complex immune system in seven simple comic strip panels (inspired by the world of “Harry Potter”)


Braided Rugs & Lives


The title of The Los Angeles Times article, “Soothe psyche with a good book,” says exactly what I figured out when I was a teenager. One of the coping mechanisms I learned (thankfully) was the vital importance of always having a good book standing by next to my bed. I knew by then […]