Some background: I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up on Long Island, New York (Port Washington, to be precise.) I came to IU as a junior in 1976. Got three degrees and have been living largely in Bloomington ever since. We are out in the country -- my husband, three neurotic terriers, two crazy Maine Coon cats and me. My stepkids have graduated and are off on their own -- one in Durango, Colorado, the other in Portland, Oregon. Four grandkids!!
My husband, who also teaches political science, and I are authors of an American politics textbook: Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics. I am also the coauthor, with Matt Streb, of a critical thinking reader, Clued in to Politics.
Meanwhile, as politics got more contentious, I branched out into food writing for some gentle (and delicious) relief. I used to write a biweekly food column for the Bloomington Herald Times, and now I am the food editor for Bloom Magazine. My cookbook, Indiana Cooks! Great Restaurant Recipes for the Home Kitchen, with Scott Feickert, photos by Tom Stio, came out with Indiana University Press in the summer of 2005, and Home Grown Indiana: A Food Lover’s Guide to Good Eating in the Hoosier State, with Scott Hutcheson, came out in 2008. I am currently working on another cookbook with Dave Tallent, and I blog intermittently about great food moments.
And because you can never have too many things on your plate I make hand-crafted jewelry with natural stones and rough crystals. I have always been in love with rocks. Raw, organic gemstones speak to me in a way faceted “civilized” stones do not. The fissures and sparkles and internal structures capture my imagination; they tell tales of their years in the earth and of barely measurable time long, long past. My online shop, dcbRocks is here. I blog there too.
Retirement is within sight. We bought a home on the Apalachicola Bay in the Florida panhandle and we have started to live there part time while we write our textbook and enjoy the spectacular sunsets. Besides continuing to write the textbook, my retirement project will be making and selling jewelry and working on a project that has been near to my heart for a long time: writing a book about Apalachicola. It's the story of a small fishing village in the Florida Panhandle that is trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up amid plenty of pressure from developers, tourists, second home owners, conservationists, the fishing industry, state government, and even the people upriver in Atlanta. It's a great story about local politics, wonderful food, and fascinating people, and it's a joy to work on.
Life is good. A continual adventure.