Category Archives: Uncategorized

September 26

Pillars

In 1999 when we were setting up our business, we sought out the help of a local father and son accounting firm. On the staff of the firm was a young man named Paul who was the “tech guy” for the firm. Paul set up the Quickbooks file for our business and almost 20 years […]

June 10

True Hospitality

‚ÄúVegetarians, 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 […]

April 23

It happened

“It’s going to happen. It’s just statistics. If you foster long enough, you’re going to lose one and it won’t be your fault. And you can’t beat yourself up about it. Kittens are fragile and so tiny that we can’t see heart defects, congenital abnormalities or even viruses. Sometimes even with 24 hr/day vet care, […]

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 […]

November 26

The Growing Room

Our family spent a lot of the Thanksgiving long weekend working on our daughter’s bedroom. We moved to this house almost 6 years ago when she was in 5th grade. Her room hadn’t changed much since we moved although she has transformed into a 16 year old with a driver’s license. I feel strongly that […]

November 22

Got Calm?

If you only believe one thing I ever write, it should be to use the Calm app at least once a day. The Calm app gives you a 10-minute guided meditation that lowers your blood pressure, helps you refocus and is a basic reset button for stress. This life-changing app also offers bedtime stories for […]

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 […]

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 […]

March 02

Kip joins the family

At the end of December our foster kittens were ready for adoption and we went to pick up foster #69, a 6-year-old Pomeranian named Wave who had been surrendered at Chicago Animal Care and Control for reasons we’ll never know. Wave had a virus of some sort and was awaiting his second negative swab after […]

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 […]

January 24

Chapter One

Today is a very happy anniversary of sorts for my cousin Marie and I. Marie and I had an emotional first meeting on this day a year ago in a hotel in California while I was teaching at Road to California. Marie is one of many descendants of a long relationship between my great, great […]

January 01

Fearless in 2017

My aspirational word for 2017 is Fearless. I say aspirational because I’m really pretty scared about what this year will bring. I’m nervous for my Muslim friends, my friends who rely on government assistance through no fault of their own, my LGBT friends, my friends with chronic health conditions who may lose their health insurance […]

December 20

Memo: Regarding my birthday

I’m reposting this post from a year ago because I need to remember a few of these right now and because I’ve had requests to repost it around this time annually. To: Those who celebrate my birth on December 25 From: Jesus Some of you seem kind of stressed out over the wrong things when […]

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 […]