From the Left



What Captures My Attention Versus the Decision To Train My Focus

Walking home from day camp with my son, I was on a mission. I wanted to hurry home and get dinner started. But when we took the shortcut through the grassy area near the dead-end street, my son stopped cold. "Mom, look!" He pointed to a small blue butterfly, noticing the dots under its folded wings. It sat on a clover flower and looked to be ...Read more

Setting Boundaries and Loving My People With the 'Let Them' Theory

Podcaster Mel Robbins has ignited the "Let Them" theory for the masses. The theory is simply this: When you feel yourself trying to control a person, outcome, situation or circumstance, stop and instead just "let them" go ahead and do whatever it is they are doing.

Does someone want to assign ill intent and misunderstand you? Let them. Your ...Read more

How My Son Encouraged Me to Experience More New Things

My 8-year-old son likes rocks. He wants to know how different stones form, how they get their color, where they're found and the folklore surrounding their properties. I, too, love stones. My jewelry collection spans the decades and is filled with gems such as turquoise, smokey quartz, carnelian and picture jasper. My son flipped through my ...Read more

Graduates Need To Know That Life Is Bigger Than Your GPA

"Your success in high school does not determine your success in life." My high school English teacher Chuck Keller told me this, and it was exactly what teenage me needed to hear. Chuck was right, and I'm here to pass on this little nugget to young adults today.

It's graduation season, and society has a way of making kids think that their ...Read more

It Takes Courage To Write in the Digital Age

Erma Bombeck was right when she said, "It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else." I thought of this quote when my friend Gina Barreca recently asked on social media, "Writers: Why is it hard to hit 'send' even after all these years?"

Barreca has written or edited about 20 books, has written countless columns and she's Board...Read more

Ultraprocessed Food Manufacturers Should Not Be Permitted To Market to Children

My son brought home a bookmark from school promoting the school's spring book fair -- and it doubled as a coupon to a fast-food restaurant. This isn't the first "free kid's meal" coupon my son has gotten. It's a pretty common thing, and after the book I just read, it annoys me.

"Ultra-Processed People: The Science Behind Food That Isn't Food" ...Read more

Ultraprocessed Foods Are Everywhere, and the Corporate Manufacturers Do Not Care About Your Health

In my quest to eat healthier as an adult, I've encountered a lot of meat and dairy alternatives along with low-fat and sugar-free treat options that claim to be better choices. Many of these products are also marketed as organic. Like the almond milk I buy. I choose not to eat mass-produced animal products because of the unethical and inhumane ...Read more

Happiness Is a Home To Tinker With

My husband and I have never bought a home we didn't tinker with. And by "tinker," I don't mean a coat of fresh paint and new shelving. I mean the knock out a wall, rip up the flooring and till the backyard for a new garden kind of tinkering. Real do-it-yourselfers. This is why when the kitchen cabinet recently fell off the wall -- literally ...Read more

We All Deserve Space To Pursue Our Dreams

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop saved me from making a huge mistake last week. I emailed my editor before I left and told her that I didn't think I'd have time to continue writing this weekly column. I told her I was too busy. I have a full-time job for our local newspaper, where I write and edit columns for the Kentucky community.

I ...Read more

We Must Show Up and Do Better for Our Communities

A big part of my job is community engagement. The opinion section of any newspaper cannot happen without the people of the community. In order to lift up the voices of our neighbors, I must reach out and be willing to talk to people, not just sit at the computer and wait for my inbox to fill up. Email is still a digital space, and it lacks the ...Read more

My Garden Is Still a Mess, and Yours Should Be Too

I still have dry flower stalks and leaf litter across my yard. The weather is warming with the start of spring and it has me itching to get out in the garden. I've watched as some of my neighbors raked and bagged leftover leaves, but I'm resisting. I might be ready, but the Earth is not.

If I started cleaning up now, I'd disturb the ecosystem ...Read more



Mike Peters Joel Pett Dave Granlund Mike Beckom Pedro X. Molina Randy Enos