Merri Jill Rhodes Merri Jill Rhodes is a journalist, author, and columnist with more than 30 years of experience covering lifestyle, social, and political features. Originally from Alabama, she started off her professional path as a columnist for the Huntsville Times. She is the author of "National Security Law: Fifty Years of Transformation." After a career as an advisor, TV, and radio host, Merri now focuses on being a writer and columnist for national publications, like Better Homes & Gardens. Merri Jill Rhodes attended the University of Alabama. About Better Homes & Gardens Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.