Are Women’s Colleges Disappearing?

I began my post-high school education at a women's college in Virginia. That college no longer exists, however not in the way it did nearly two decades ago (ouch, am I really that old now?). In 2007, Randolph-Macon Woman's College (RMWC) became Randolph College, opening its doors to men for the first time in its 115-year history. That change was a sign of the times. Today, there are less than 50 women's college in the United States. It's a disappearing educational tradition. I have mixed feeling about this. The reason I chose to attend a women's college still holds true: it fosters a learning environment that supports and encourages women to become strong, confident leaders in their fields and in their communities -- the alumni network is a force to be reckoned with. I remember my first visit to RMWC. I was there for a Prospective's Weekend, an overnight open house for interested students to get a feel for life on campus. My host was a sophomore student. Her sister, an … [Read more...]

Daiya Cheese Quesadilla #GlutenFree #DairyFree

I've been reading The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison and all I can think about is cheese. But here's my problem: I'm trying to cut out cheese because, well, we're just not friends. Cutting out cheese, all dairy actually, is really hard when you are reading a book ALL ABOUT CHEESE. Since I started reading the book, I've been craving a grilled cheese sandwich -- one with crisp, buttery bread and cheddar cheese oozing from the sliced middle. However, I have yet to find a gluten-free bread that fits this order. So, I decided to improvise by making a gluten-free, dairy-free quesadilla. At the grocery shopping, I picked up rice tortillas and Daiya wedge-style cheese. Its supposed to cut and melt like cheese even though its a dairy-free product. When I was dairy-free, Daiya was the only dairy-free cheese I would buy. The shredded mozzarella was great for making pizza, even though the smell was less than desirable. The Daiya Cheddar wedge looks a lot like a block of Velveeta and … [Read more...]

Those We Love Most

The day I received Those We Love Most, a novel by Lee Woodruff about what happens to a family after a child dies, I devoured the first five chapters. I probably would have read more had it not been so late at night. The very next day, a two-year-old girl died after she was accidentally run over in the parking lot at a local park. The irony. In January, two young girls died in a house fire. My community is mourning. And my heartbreaks for the parents. I don't ever want to know that pain. Ever. So I'm trying to be more present in my own life, to appreciate the moment I'm in rather than looking -- and worrying -- too far ahead. It's not easy. As I write this, the light of a Wednesday evening is fading, my son is pushing his sister in her swing in the backyard, and she is giggling into the breeze. I know moments like this are fleeting; I try to soak them in whenever I can. Which moments would you seal up in a bottle if you could? This post was inspired by … [Read more...]

Remembering My Early Days In Publishing: A Post Inspired By “Gone Girl” By Gillian Flynn

I’d arrived in New York in the late ‘90s, the last gasp of the glory days, although no one knew it then. New York was packed with writers, real writers, because there were magazines, real magazines, loads of them….a time when newly graduated college kids could come to New York and get paid to write. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn This was me. Only I wasn’t writing for a magazine, although, that was the original plan. Instead, I was working as an editorial assistant at a well-known (a-hem, romance) book publisher. I sifted through the slush pile; I wrote rejection letters; I answered my boss’ phone. One day, a reporter from Entertainment Weekly called. I can’t remember why exactly. But I do remember her name. It was Gillian. I remember because her name wasn’t pronounced the way I thought it would be. Her name wasn’t Jillian. It was Gillian. With a G, not a J. Like gill, not Jill – I made sure to tell my boss how to pronounce it correctly. And I remember being a little star … [Read more...]

Baking Mac Without the Cheese

I miss cheese. It’s the one thing I haven’t quite found a substitute for. Most of the vegan cheeses at my local market contain caseins and therefore aren’t completely dairy-free for the food allergic. One product that is dairy-free and works well is Daiya; its my go-to when I can’t go without, like on pizza. Or the baked Mac and “Cheese” recipe I tried for lunch today. I was inspired by the novel Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo about a mom who makes and sells organic food for toddlers. There are several recipes sprinkled throughout the book, including one for “Mac and Cheese With Plenty of Dairy.” Its like the title challenged me to make it without dairy. Most of the substitutions were easy, with the exception of cottage cheese. I have not found a dairy-free cottage cheese. (If you know of one, please share.) So that’s where I started to improvise. It turned out pretty and tasted fine but I want to work on the recipe before I share it. I kind of threw it together with … [Read more...]