Category Archives: Life Maintenance

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 […]

September 21

National Jewish

My sewing machine is in Denver for the next week. I didn’t choose the dates for my visit to National Jewish in Denver which were booked long ago but they couldn’t be more perfect symbolically. That I am here to improve my health on the day in which Jews celebrate the New Year is not […]

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 […]

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 05


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 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 usĀ  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 […]

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 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 […]

November 22

To Each Her Climate

Every time I post on social media a picture of snow, it never fails to yield disparaging comments from people who don’t like cold weather. Many feel the need to tell me the temperature where they live as if there’s a contest and whoever lives in the warmer climate wins. “I just don’t know how […]

November 17

How to have a good day

Last week I had just finished my last teaching gig of the year and was sitting at the breakfast table wiped out. Bill was in Tennessee finishing his last teaching engagement and I had piles of laundry, stacks of contracts and dozens of emails that needed responses. The travel and deadlines had caught up with […]

October 27


Last night at 12:50am, I was standing at the luggage carousel at Midway airport in Chicago having just returned from a very tiring industry trade show in Houston. I had been up since 7am, had to go 14 hrs without eating a real meal because I was by myself and people kept coming into the […]

August 17

The Great Start

I learned a long time ago the power of the Great Start. In many offices in which I worked over the years I didn’t have Great Starts. In fact, I had Bad Starts. I’d show up and no one would have gotten a desk ready for me. It would be as if they had forgotten […]

July 29

Excused Absence

When I last posted at the end of May I had, what I thought was, a garden-variety respiratory infection. I thought I would work my way through it in a week or so and be back at the gym in 10 days. No biggie. Then the night after I published my last post, I was […]

May 26


If you REALLY want to drive me crazy, respond to a party invitation at our home with the word, “Maybe.” How do I buy food and drink for Maybe? Will Maybe be bringing her husband and 3 kids or are they also Maybes? Does Maybe need a chair to eat? Does Maybe have dietary issues […]

May 20

Party Mom

A parent at a soccer game seemed stunned that I offered to host the team party the night before we are also hosting the 8th grade graduation party. I hear this a lot. People intimidated by entertaining. So here’s my crash course in party-giving. Here’s what you need to do to host a party: You […]

May 11

YMCA Parent

Saturday I mentioned that at long last I got to chaperone a field trip with our daughter’s school. Given that our daughter is 13 I made a mental note that I should be careful not to do or say anything that might embarrass her. The trip was for the 7th and 8th grade classes to […]

May 09

Parent Rotation

Before I became a parent I had all kinds of dreams about things I wanted to do with my child. Some of them included volunteer roles I wanted to have at her school and in some of her activities. They were simple things like going on field trips, planning a class party, organizing the bake […]

May 02

One and Done

I have a list of things I’ve done once and have no desire to do ever again. I don’t plan to recreate my hike to the top of Mt Fuji for example. Work on an archeological dig in the summer in Louisiana with a boss who was a total jerk would be another example of […]