If you ask the Farmer, he would tell you that I was really really nice to him last week while he was in bed, immobile, strung out on six Percocet a day. I made him pies, and French toast, and meat at every meal because there is no amount of Percocet that would make him not want to eat meat.

I watched gunslinger movies with him when he was groggy and I made sure to talk only about innocuous topics like the state of world politics, something that we’d never fight about.

I can’t tell you everything went smoothly. I forgot to let the chickens out a few days. I lost the new bag of Cat Chow and served ground beef for two days of heaven on earth for the cats. And, there were a few times the goats got into the house. But we figured out how to handle everything.

Until the Farmer felt better: His back didn’t hurt so he wanted to work. So, he just stopped taking the Percocet. Cold turkey. And because we live in the country, the doctor gave the Farmer sixty Percocet pills with no instructions for how to go off narcotics. Read more

My garden is full of vegetables that I never would have guessed I could grow. There is so much that I am not sure what to do with it all.

Because the acorn falls close to the tree, my son decided he wanted to sell rhubarb at our local farmers market. To be clear, a farmers market looks very different in a community of farmers. It’s very unregulated, and people sell stuff off their trucks. Also, two farms sell heirloom rhubarb, ours and one owned by an Amish family. If you haven’t noticed, the Amish are very good at what they do. They know their customers, and they always have something fun to sell, no matter what’s in season.

My relationship with my customers centers on my ability to always piss off someone, no matter if it’s on my blog or in person. To make up for that, I tied ribbons around the rhubarb. I think the only thing I accomplished was a nice picture.

My son is enterprising, though. And he realized that what people really want is our eggs. (Farm eggs are way better than supermarket eggs — even organic ones.) So he sold those at the market, and we took the rhubarb home. Read more

You are probably wondering if I think about Melissa having an affair with the Farmer.

I do. I think about it all the time.

As a preventive measure I tell the farmer that if he cheats on me, I'll stay with him. Forever. I'll never leave him. He'll be stuck on the farm with me, in misery. I try to create a scene in his head like a Beckett play: Two characters isolated from the world, in a room, making each other miserable.

Melissa and the Farmer always assure me that they will never do that.

One night, in bed alone, I ask the Farmer: “Do you think about having sex with Melissa?”

He says, “Well, I notice her body. But I don't think about having sex with her.”

I say, “Of course you notice her body. She has a size 00 waist and a size C bra cup.”

“Well, okay. Then stop talking to me all the time about having sex with her and then I'll be less likely to think about it.” Read more

Ten years ago, when I was pitching my book to publishers, one publisher leaned back in his chair and said, “I don’t get it, she’s never worked in Human Resources, she’s not part of Generation Y, and we can’t even figure out what her career is. So how is she qualified to give career advice to young people?”

I got sweaty. I had pretty much run out of money, and I had spent my last dollar on getting clothes that would hide that I was pregnant. Every time I thought about this book deal falling through, I felt sick.

My agent said, “She is great at seeing trends. She sees trends before everyone else. Generation Y is going to be huge in the workplace. Alternative careers are going to be huge. She is the only person talking about it. She is a franchise. She will be writing books about trendspotting for the rest of her life.”

I could have hugged my agent. I had never thought of myself the way she described me. I mostly just thought of myself as someone who couldn’t even handle playing on the professional beach volleyball tour for more than a year.

So, with my agent’s endorsement (sort of—I think she has fired me because of my insolence when it comes to not following publishing industry conventions) I present my three favorite trends of this year:

Read more

Father’s Day is a big deal in our house because we have two dads. We have the boys’ biological dad – my Ex – and we have the Farmer. On Sundays, including Father’s Day, we all spend the day together, on the farm, in mostly harmony.

It is not perfect. A few weeks ago, my Ex left early because I’m so annoying to him. And just this morning, the Farmer and I had a fight that scared the kids so much they cried. But I think we are doing okay. And on Father’s Day I feel particularly grateful for both men, because they work really hard to make sure the kids feel like they have an integrated, stable family.

The New York Times says that women go into politics to change something, and men go into politics to be someone. I think this is true for all work, not just politics. I think women are more likely to feel important because they are home with kids, which is why more women than men leave the workforce to be with kids.

Men are changing how they parent, but not too much, because there’s still this survey from ERE that shows men prefer work to being home with kids. I do not believe we can change things completely. We are who we are. Men and women are different. The more I write about these differences in the workplace, the more I appreciate the differences at home.

We all know that if a mom is at the playground with three kids, no one notices, but if a dad is there, people say, “He’s such a great dad.” Read more

One thing I have learned from living on a farm is that you are not really experiencing diversity unless you are also experiencing repulsion.

We each have lots of assumptions about what is right and wrong, how the world works, how people should act in a civilized community. When faced with true diversity – that is, diversity of experience — we have to allow our assumptions to be challenged. It’s hard to not feel some repulsion for the person who challenges our core assumptions.

But it’s clear to me that diversity in the workplace is difficult to achieve because we must ask so much of ourselves in order to achieve it. We must allow ourselves to experience repulsion and keep an open mind while doing that.

And now, I will write about cats; specifically, the 150 comments people left on my last post about why I killed my cat. Last week I thought I was not really writing about cats because I was writing about dead cats. And anyway, really I was writing about the moral problem of paid links. But in fact, I still have the problem that I now find myself doing the very worst, low level, terrible job on the internet: writing content about cats.

In the business world, cats are the topic-non-grata. If I go into an investor meeting to discuss business models for online content, it takes only about five minutes before I hear, “I just don't want to see posts about cats.”

But I think we can all be better at thinking in diverse ways, in diverse environments, if I indulge in one more post about cats. So here I go. Read more

Our cat has been peeing on everything. He especially likes the our bed sheets and my younger son's shirts.

Finally we took the cat to the vet and it turns out he had crystals in his bladder. I'm not going into the chemistry lesson of acid and base and crystals. Mostly because I couldn't follow the vet's explanation, but the bottom line was that we had to do medicine for three days and then special food.

For a while, the cat was well enough to follow Melissa around the house and cuddle in between the curl of her legs whenever she lay down.

The problem is we feed twenty barn cats. And two house cats. Three house cats if you count the outside cat that we can't keep outside. And four if you count the dog, who wont' stop eating the cat food. Read more

I am not a big believer in the dream job. For one thing, I don’t think people know their dream job. Because it’s a job description that has to cover eight hours a day of work. It’s hard to imagine something you’d love to do eight hours a day, much less fit into in a nice, neat job description.

And then there’s the be-careful-what-you-wish-for syndrome. Because it’s hard to know what you’d like to do for eight hours a day til you try it.

I used to think I wanted to be a sex writer. My master’s thesis from graduate school was about my sex life. But when I tried to support myself writing about sex, when I started pitching stories to Cosmo, I found that no one wanted to hire me; magazines hire people to write about officially important sex research. I wanted to write about me.

So I looked for that magic intersection of things I’m good at and things I like to do and things people will pay me for. And I ended up being a career writer. Fortunately, though, I was able to be a career writer writing about me.

Which is probably what I wanted to do all along. So this is a great argument for the advice I give all the time which is to shut up about not having your dream job and just take any job so you can learn about what people will pay you to do that you might like to do.

Still, I am very excited to tell you that finally, someone offered to pay me to write about my sex life. I had a great time, but surprise, I discovered that I couldn’t resist slipping in some career advice anyway. So I guess I have my dream job, right here. If there were such thing as a dream job.

Anyway, here’s the piece I wrote, for The Daily Beast.

Melissa is driving through Darlington trying to avoid the police. If they see me they'll arrest me, and we know they know my car. I put the front seat back all the way so I'm out of view. I keep my seatbelt on because in case they see us, I don't want to be breaking any extra laws.

I have to start this story when I was getting a divorce. People told me the cleanest, easiest divorces are when there are two good lawyers. So I asked around for the two best lawyers in Madison. They knew each other, of course. And negotiations went smoothly, except for my lawyer quitting first when I started blogging about the divorce and then when I agreed to talk about the divorce with the New York Times.

The police are not actually chasing us. But we feel like we're on the run. I told my lawyer — not my divorce lawyer but my new lawyer, who deals with about-to-be-arrested types — that the police have been to my house three times to arrest me. The Farmer is so stressed he's not even coming back from the hayfield for lunch. The lawyer says, “You'll have to stay away from the house til I can get the papers signed by a judge.”

I was thinking of staying at Jeanenne's house for a few days but I feel bad asking her to harbor a fugitive. So Melissa and I are on our way to Madison.

As we pass the turnoff for our house I worry that we don't have our computers. Read more

Today is the first hay baling day of the summer. The farmer is used to making huge, round bales, with big, loud machines. This time, though, he did smaller, square bales, and he found a way to include our son. And the dog.

I spend part of each day counseling people who don’t know how to find work that is satisfying. It’s one of the hardest things to learn to do. Here is how to do it well, at any age:

1. Get yourself accustomed to trying new things.
To find work you love, you have to try working at lots of different jobs, maybe 50, maybe 100. You are limited only by the ideas you have for what to try.

To instill this spirit for experimentation in my son, I have helped him do things like sell rhubarb at a farmer’s market, decorate containers to market eggs, and raise animals to sell. Read more