Without Envy

And other rhapsodies on the road to happy

Intentional Uproot

In an article that appeared in the Rocky Mount Telegram one month after we opened our bakery, Alimentaire Wholesome Breads, in Tarboro NC—and another written more recently—Franca spoke of the reasons we found this to be the right community for which to uproot our lives. The downtown  had charm, it had character, purpose. It seemed to […]

Dog Days of Summer 2.0

I had never been much of a fan of the dog days of summer. It was always too hot, the weather too unpredictable, the days too long, and they always come at a time of the year when throughout human history bad things tended to happen. Wars. Droughts. Floods. Population-crippling disease. Even Homer had a problem with the abundant humidity and […]

a favorite

It’s Day 6 of Diabetes Blog Week and we’re asked to share a favorite sentence or blog post from our writing. Though there are a number I could select—specifically any of those tagged, The First Year—I settled on one from a post titled External Genetistry, published eleven months after Lia’s diagnosis. In it, you can see I am still […]

Eating, the Best Part of Our Day

I am going to cheat today, day 5 of Diabetes Blog Week, but not because I don’t find this topic engaging. If anything, in our house, food is the only subject worth discussing everyday. And we do, starting on Saturday or Sunday when we plan out our next week’s menu, which is almost always home cooked and […]

A New Utopia

Of changes we have seen plenty. My writing here documents most of them, those both good and bad, welcomed and unwelcomed, short-lived and long. But the one change I haven’t written much about is the one I hope is most evident and feel most strongly affected by and that’s empathy and effort. Okay, that’s two, […]


We have too much stuff, we know that. It exposes itself slow and daring, like a neighborhood pervert, every time we open the garage door, and when cornered, let’s say in a closet, it cowers behind nicer things, using camouflage, guilt and association to spare it from being tossed it out. We find it lurking […]

Mums the Word

In the beginning when it was 90% us and 10% Lia in charge of managing her diabetes, we would tell everyone we knew about it. Tell her teachers, of course, and her coaches and the school administrators, the people she carpooled with. Tell her friends, tell their parents. Tell the neighbors to either side of […]

Heroes and Heroines

I must admit, this caught me by surprise today. I wasn’t prepared when I learned that it was Blog Week and considered sharing on Without Envy. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I keep the site out there, other than perhaps as a written reminder of what life was like back then in those […]

Cruddy American Lesson #One

And so it begins, Z’s American High School experience. First lesson: Winning is Everything. And if you’re not good enough to win, you can always fetch water. So, she tried and failed to make the volleyball team. No big deal. She’d only arrived from Germany roughly 48 hours before the tryouts. I’m sure that had […]

Honest Open Arms

It was Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, one of my favorite books growing up, who once said: “Rarely do members of the same family grow up under the same roof.” I am thoughtful of that today as we start a new chapter in our home and also in our hearts by welcoming someone […]