Every so often, and probably not often enough, we are reminded that life is short, fragile and wildly unpredictable and it behooves us to embrace it with all the ferocity that we can muster.

I’ve discovered the secret of gardening. Don’t sweat it. Don’t be afraid to slam in plants, flowers, bushes, bark and rock and when they’re worn, tattered and torn, tear them out.

Crazy, isn’t it, to be excited about a new convenience store, but this is Bakersfield and we specialize in small, odd and offbeat. We take pleasure wherever we can, reserving it for the times between, when our senses are parched and in need of a reminder that all is not lost.

Last Thursday was steady. If you’re Israel and Chris Vasquez, the father-and-son team behind Wood-Dale Market’s new store in the Grand Island Shopping Center at Ming and Buena Vista, steady is good. Steady is doable. Steady may mean that a weekend crush is imminent.

Every Saturday at 4 p.m. for the last three years, Owen Law has driven his 2005 Saturn from his house near Old Farm Road and Olive Drive to the Wienerschnitzel on Coffee Road for dinner. The menu does not change. Law orders a chili dog, French fries and a small Pepsi.

We have been watching “The Crown.” Just when you think you’ve had your fill of English period pieces about rich English people who don’t know a pot from a pan or cannot fathom how they can live without an under butler, along comes “The Crown.” The Netflix series covers the life of Queen Eliz…

A couple weeks ago we were on the Second Avenue subway waiting for a train. A man wearing a black fedora was sitting on the pavement, his back against a wide, concrete column. He was playing the guitar and in front of him was a plastic jar stuffed with $1s, $5s and change.

I started doing yoga again. Not only have I become a better person but I feel as if I am developing an understanding of my body. I understand this: My body is stiff. If I were wood, you could build a house with me.

Three times a week, I take the dogs for a walk. A walk, if you can call it a walk. The “walk” includes leashes, collars and a sweatpants’ pocketful of plastic, newspaper bags. The only thing lacking is the brisk, walking portion of it.

Recently, it was Wool Growers for dinner. I assume most people in town have been to Wool Growers, but given that it is perched on East 19th Street, the East part may scare some off. If “East” deters, then they might be unfamiliar with the bustling hub of restaurants in east Bakersfield that …

I started January with two things: muffins and “True Grit.” They seemed related and I thought it might make sense trying to figure out why. If they weren’t, both were worth talking about anyway.

I’ll bet you didn’t know there were dental implants available for $350. I’d been quoted around $1,500 per implant, but a billboard on Interstate 5 near Downey suggested I might be overpaying should I pay that much. I didn’t know if the implants were made of Halloween wax or PVC but $350 seem…

Don’t let Joan Garibaldi fool you. Sure, you might hear about her charity work, her mothering and grandmothering skills, her hospitality and her proficiency in keeping a bunco game together for 58 years since 1959.

Last week, we took the photo for the family Christmas card. Although it sounds simple, given the digital pool of pictures from which to choose, a good family photo may be more difficult to produce than getting into vet school.