Category Archives: Food for Thought

June 10

True Hospitality

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to […]

May 02

The Reboot

After 15 years, countless doctors and hospitalizations as well as major surgery, last September doctors at National Jewish in Denver finally figured out why I was having persistent respiratory infections. New diagnoses, protocols and medications and doing every single thing the doctors tell me to do have given me nine solid months of stable health […]

January 27

Celine

Last fall at National Jewish, doctors discovered that the raspiness and occasional breaks in my voice that had developed over the past few years as a result of stomach problems were treatable. So they sent me to speech pathologist named Steve who specializes in voice disorders. From the moment I walked in the office I […]

December 03

Old Year’s Resolutions

I’m not gonna lie to you. This has been a really tough year for our country and for me personally. Although it’s been a great year for our business, and for that I’m very grateful, I had a lot of illness including two hospitalizations and three friends of mine died this year. A few years […]

September 14

The Gift of Slamming Doors

I began having shoulder pains out of the blue in March. I went to a nationally ranked orthopedics group in Chicago for medical advice. I failed physical therapy and was sent to a surgeon who is a team surgeon for several of Chicago’s professional athletic teams. The surgeon administered cortisone injections and said I needed […]

March 22

On the job

I often walk Kip (and our prior foster dogs) through a large park in our village where a handful of homeless people gather outside the public library when it’s warm. We’re training him so I always carry treats and a clicker on walks. Yesterday I saw a couple of people (whom I guessed to be […]

February 12

The Cookie Box

A group of friends has been very busy this weekend preparing for the arrival of a refugee family. There have been countless Facebook posts within our group. There’s been a group who have spent all weekend cleaning an apartment that the landlord did not prepare sufficiently. Bill and I made quilts for the children in […]

February 05

I was wrong

Dear America, I was wrong and I will never make this mistake again. I grew up in the Civil Rights Era. I saw America change for the better. I watched my Virginia grade school classroom become desegregated. I saw women enter the work force. I saw Title IX. Our laws changed. I became the first […]

December 17

Refugees 101

Like many people I have felt helpless watching the mass migrations of refugees from Syria into Turkey and throughout US and Europe. While it’s gotten less attention in the media, similar streams of refugees from Congo,  Myanmar (Burma) and other countries have been quietly making their way to the US as well. When I found […]

December 05

“Troublemaker”

Those who knew me as a child and teen often called me a “troublemaker.” I spoke up about things I thought were unfair at school and even challenged older family members who made bigoted comments. When you’re a child it’s a bad thing to speak up, at least that’s what I was told. I’ll be […]

October 12

I like that.

In the interest of my own mental health in the weeks leading up to the election, I’m starting a daily series of photos on my personal Instagram account (weeksringle) about things that make me happy. I won’t be reposting the images on Facebook so head on over to that account if you’re interested. The first […]

October 05

Exercise, comedy and kittens

Repeat after me: Exercise, comedy and kittens. These are the three things that will prevent you from losing your freaking mind in the next five weeks until Election Day. Let’s break it down: Exercise is a must. Not only because all of us  will inevitably be nervously eating leftover Halloween candy on Election Night but […]

September 23

staying on it

About 15 years ago I was having a series of respiratory infections that were leaving me sick 50% of every month. I went to 5 different teaching hospitals in Chicago and all told me it was within the realm of asthma. I pushed on knowing that it was something else. Finally a doctor agreed in […]

August 26

Bring on the Dreamers

I turned 55 today. One of the gifts of middle age is being able, if you’re lucky, to sort through the signals that society sends you about what’s important. Society tells me that I’m supposed to care a lot about material goods, fame, my appearance and how much is in my bank account. The older […]

August 19

Wagon Wheel vs Freebird

As one who has spent a fair amount of time listening to kids sing at summer camps and in large groups over the past few years I’ve been surprised how frequently I hear the Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor song Rock Me Mama. Among teens it’s known as Wagon Wheel, made popular by Darius Rucker […]

August 11

First Seven Jobs

#firstsevenjobs  and what I learned from each cashier at Hardee’s – customer service (I’m talking to you guy in summer of 1976 who came to my register every day in the middle of the lunch rush and requested the special-order fish sandwich with no tartar sauce and skim milk) and working quickly but accurately with […]

July 13

Emotional Safety

A week or so we dropped our almost-15-year-old daughter off at camp to begin a two-week hiking, camping and kayaking odyssey with 19 other kids in Alaska. She’s attended this sleepaway camp based in Michigan for several years. Every four years they make the trek to Alaska. She heard about it last year and has […]

January 04

Seeing Abundance

I had a beautiful moment this evening that hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve always thought that happiness isn’t found in winning the lottery or having great achievements as much as it is contentment with how you’ve spent your time and energies. It’s that Sheryl Crow line “It’s not getting what you want. […]

January 01

A New Perspective

I love everything about New Year’s Day. I love the idea of a clean slate. I love the promise of a new year. I love the opportunity to pivot and approach life differently. While we have lots of plans that we will share with you soon, here are a couple of themes that I’ll be […]

December 09

If everyone knew one

I had a conversation many years ago with a mixed race friend about discrimination. She had a brilliant theory that all it takes to change someone’s heart that is hardened against one group is to know and care about one person in that group. This, she suggested was how we overcome bigotry. She said that […]