Dear Children of Mine (aka Mother’s Day 2019)

This post has been kind of falling together for a few days. How fitting that it's ready to hit the interwebs on Mother's Day... Anne Lamott wrote this letter to her Grandson Jax at 4 months old: "Dear Jax: Yesterday was your first Thanksgiving, and it is time for me to impart to you the secret... Continue Reading →

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Book Review: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

All these years--there have been so many--I've been writing book reviews in Goodreads, and then copying and pasting things over here to m'blog, and maybe adding in a little bit more flavor as a sort of prelude. Apparently I think the followers of the blog are in it for something different than the Good People... Continue Reading →

On the Eve of the End

This is it, folks. The third annual WWF Retreat is coming to an end tomorrow. Sad Face. 😦 To avoid confusion and possible excommunication, I'll just lay things bare: WWF in this version of reality means Writing With Friendsand Writing With Friends only. To commemorate the end of the world as we know it, I'd... Continue Reading →

Welcome! Tucked happily into the gorgeous hills and woods of Wisconsin, I write about life, faith, and the humor that both require. I spend most of my time homeschooling my kiddos, reading and writing in the space between. Pull up a cup of cocoa and stay a while!

Retreating with Nabby

Nabs, in her favorite spot. In 2010, we took our first trip into the Boundary Waters with kids in tow. Two years prior, we ventured in for our honeymoon, and resolved to somehow figure a way to get all the kids into the wilderness with us. Spoiler Alert: Careful readers will note that the Annual... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Bean Trees

Man, do I love a good book. I haven't been hitting the fiction very hard lately--I always wonder at the ebb and flow and general chaos of my reading tendencies--but I feel myself headed back down some excellent fiction roads. Thank God. Every now and again, fiction is the quickest way to my heart. I... Continue Reading →

Grief

This just in: Death, that wicked foe, hath overtaken him. My laptop is dead in the water. It would be generous to my character to say that I am saddened. I am, in terms more fitting of reality, getting grumpy. Pissy, even. Because while a hard drive and other miscellaneous parts are indeed on their... Continue Reading →

Book Review: And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie My rating: 5 of 5 starsAccording to Goodreads, Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. Yeah. I can believe that.This was my first exposure to The AC, and well, I wasn't disappointed. Riveting. Funnily enough, it reminds me of Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game, that... Continue Reading →

Now that THAT’S done…

I love Christmastime. I do. But there are certain aspects of this glorious wintertime holiday that I pay for every year. #1: Shopping. I don't shop. I loathe shopping. I have seven children and one grandson, and someone has to shop for them. Argue with me all you want about the merits or horrors of gift-giving... Continue Reading →

November underway

Sherm has come for a visit. With the exception of one hideous experiment in the rescuing of motherless (and untrainable) kittens, we have not had cats in the house since we've been married. I've always had cats. I love cats. Scott is allergic to cats. Sherman is here because my folks are on their way... Continue Reading →

Book Review: All the Crooked Saints

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater My rating: 5 of 5 stars Can I give it six stars? Eight? I need more stars. A few weeks ago I was driving across the Colorado desert with my 18yo and she suddenly drops into a reminiscent haze in the midst of the red rocks and tumbleweed.... Continue Reading →

Retreat… complete

It’s day five of my five-day writing retreat, and I am winding down my time here in this Northwoods cottage with some of my writer buds. Two hours and counting, if you should want to keep track. The place we have this year is great. Spacious, warm, clean, and cozy. I don't have a lot... Continue Reading →

Words

I have long been a devotee of J.I. Rodale’s Synonym Finder, the Colossus of the thesaurus world, a reference mutant juiced up on creative steroids. Rodale, known more for his organic living evangelism, was apparently also a lover of words and the palaces that are built on them, and for that we should all be... Continue Reading →

Merry Christmas!

The latest installment of the Ottinger Christmas Letter: Christmas Letter 2017 (Past Years: Christmas Letters from the Nexus of the Universe) Christ is Born! Glorify Him! KJ

Book Review (A Bad One!): Perfect

Perfect by Rachel Joyce My rating: 2 of 5 stars I loved Harold Fry. I loved Queenie Hennessey even more. Perfect is not Harold and it is not Queenie. This Fourth of July weekend I was asked why I only write positive book reviews. I've said it before, but I'll say it again; I'm not... Continue Reading →

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