The other day I had an idea. It was the sort of idea too big to hold in my head all at once — the sort of thing that needed writing down. It wasn’t that important, as ideas go. It was just something I itched to explore, to find my way through, to see where it took me.

I told my husband about this urge.

“So do it,” he said.

I laughed. He knows me. That is not a thing I can do. What kind of maniac just sits down to write on a perfectly good Saturday morning, while there…


There was a tree across the street from me. A bur oak, with a mighty trunk wider than a steamer, and curving branches that stretched all the way across the street to shade my yard. In its crown lived a mischievous family of squirrels, and a cast of birds of every size and color. One morning, I found beneath it a perfect nest I could cup in one hand, and I liked to imagine the family of hummingbirds who’d been raised in it.

hand holding a tiny bird nest

The tree presided over the most delightful shade garden on my side of the street, with moss…


Pardon the rant.

My neighbor is a climate refugee. Derecho-ravaged home, August 2020

I’m writing a memoir/manifesto on life-and-gardening in the age of climate catastrophe. It’s about what it’s like to live in a town gut-punched by two massive natural disasters in less than 13 years, what is like to grow up in the state with the least amount of native habitat, and about what happens when an inexperienced gardener goes native.

My topic-de-jour was climate refugees — people displaced due to fire, flood, or other natural disaster. …


Gov. Kim Reynolds

Kim, honey — can we talk? Did you go and enter a worst-person-of-the-year contest and not tell me about it?

What’s up with the midnight legislation — cramming through instant laws like prohibiting schools from implementing mask policies?

Maybe you have trouble understanding the CDC guidelines. They said fully vaccinated people MAY go maskless. It was not a directive.

It’s not as if you’re not fully on board with letting schools force the pledge of allegiance. You’re fine if schools make kids wear pants or shoes. …


Hi Kim,

Can I call you Kim? I hope that’s okay.

Karen here, the Official Karen©, Spokeskaren for Generation X.

I thought we could talk here in my private corner of the internet. It’s just us, a couple of middle-aged white ladies from Iowa. I’d offer you a scotcharoo, but I’m still social distancing.

I see you in your jaunty ensembles with your uncompromising directives. You’ve been walking around with the hypno-eyes ever since your unholy cabal with Trump in May. …


Karen here, the Official Karen©, Spokeskaren for Generation X, blonde, middle-class, middle-aged white lady living in the Midwest.

Every morning, after I hang up from my daily call with the manager, I like to peruse the headlines and see what sort of foul acts are committed in my name.

You probably heard about the Central Park ‘Karen’ — dog-walker and leash-hater Amy Cooper. Amy called the cops on an African American man who happened to be birding nearby after he requested she leash her dog (pursuant New York City Health Code §161.05).

On the heels of that transgression came an…


Karen here, Generation X.

The original Karen-can-I-talk-to-the-manager haircut

The other day I was busy boosting the elevation of my bob with a can of Aqua Net when I saw this: Gen Z is Calling Gen X the Karen Generation.

Karen was mad. Let me tell you, Karen wanted to call the manager over this one. But then I realized — up to now, pretty much no one has ever listened to me. So, I’m super-stoked to be the spokesperson for my generation.

First off, that whole thing about us being a racist-homophobic-transphobic-manager-calling nihilists? No. Just, no. …

The Official Karen©

Prius-driving starry-eyed tree-hugger on a shoeless crusade to save the world. The Official Karen©: All other acts, opinions, and statements are unauthorized.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store