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GARDENING

Unsplash photo of autumn fallen leaves in reds, yellows, greens, and browns.
Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Big, fuzzy bumble bees are an iconic insect from childhood. Large and unaggressive, male drone bees do not even have stingers. There are 49 species of bumble bees in the United States. Like the honey bee (brought from Europe in the 1600s), our bumble bees are efficient pollinators and social…


GARDENING

Unsplash photo featuring a bumble bee on a purple thistle-like flower.
Photo by Eduardo Goody on Unsplash

When we think about supporting pollinators like butterflies, moths, and bees, we imagine planting lots of flowers is the most crucial aspect. But food in the form of nectar and pollen is not the only necessity for pollinators. …


UX DESIGN

Child hitting a unicorn pinata with a baseball bat.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I was so excited about my latest job interview for a startup that runs a management tool for non-profits. The job description stated they wanted a UX/UI Designer for user testing, prototyping, and design. Perfect. Their organization’s socially conscience mission was in alignment with my beliefs. Perfect. But once I…


HEALTH

Unsplash stock photo showing a person’s hand holding a spray bottle filled with blue cleaning liquid.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Even before my Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) diagnosis, I began experiencing adverse reactions to various chemicals and additives. If I was able to find chemical-free products, I bought them. When I did receive my diagnosis and discovered I had a mast cell disorder, too, I realized I had to cut…


GARDENING

A white cabbage butterfly sipping nectar from a purple aster.
Photo by Christina Brinza on Unsplash

Autumn is here and winter will soon follow in the U.S. Does this mean it’s too late to start planting native flowers in your pollinator garden? Nope, there’s still time. Quite a few native plant nurseries in the Northeast have fall sales to clear out stock before the cold temperatures…


HEALTH

The word ‘info’ in large letters.
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

If you or anyone you love has hEDS or HSD, you know it’s hard to find information about the genetic disorder. Most books on the illness are unavailable through libraries and if they are in some dusty corner, they contain outdated information or give a very broad overview. Online I…


WRITING & EDITING

Laptop open to stock photo website, Unsplash.
Photo by Dele Oke on Unsplash

I was negligent. I admit it. I didn’t add alt text to my photo. Major crime against UX and accessibility, yes. In addition, a publication reached out to invite me to post one of my stories, but they require alt text. Easy edit, right? No.

Before you publish a piece…


TECH

Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

As a UX Designer most of my work is completed on platforms like InVision or shared with teams through Adobe XD so perhaps the choice between Mac or PC is not as relevant today. Even when it comes to the native Mac app Sketch, one could use the web-based platform…


HEALTH

Photo by Yasin Hoşgör on Unsplash

Western culture adopted mindfulness readily. The cynical part of me believes it’s because the Buddhist concept can be manipulated into a catch-all cure for a variety of emotional and health problems. But, regardless of its commercial appeal, the basic tenets and practice have made a difference in my life.

I…


GARDENING

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

I’ve been planting various native flowers and some annuals specifically to see which attract the most hummingbirds. Obedient plant and cardinal flower have been native flower hits with the birds. For annuals, red sages have proven very attractive. Be careful, though, if you buy red sage from a garden store…

V. Bray

Fiction writer, essayist, and poet. Author of the historical fiction book Babchi: A Love Story. www.authorvbray.com

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