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

Superhero

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 […]

September 26

Thank You Stephen Colbert

I saw something on TV this week that I’ve never seen before that made me very happy. I’ve been battling a respiratory infection and have been pumped up on Prednisone, which makes it very hard to sleep or read. Wide-awake at 3am I often watch recent episodes of late night comedy shows on demand on […]

September 16

In a Blink

I loved Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking about the power of gut reactions to situations that can’t always be explained but are often correct. Gladwell writes about the biology behind these instincts and how important they were to survival as we have developed as a species. He also chronicles the […]

September 13

Blessed are the Wounded

I learned today that Charlie Petersen died suddenly and unexpectedly this weekend. I met Charlie online when she was part of an online mystery quilt event we did with American Quilters Society and later in person when we were teaching on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Our first encounter was amid a number of people in a […]

August 29

The Real Family Tree

My head has been full this week of information I learned about my family tree. Both sides of my family arrived in the US prior to the Revolutionary War. Both sides of my family lived in the South. I learned that my very well-documented family tree on one side has been missing a branch. The […]

August 26

Why I’m in a Hurry

I turned 54 today. Truth be told, as a child I didn’t know how long I’d live. There were three separate times before the age of 30 when I thought I was going to die because of complications with my asthma. That leaves a pretty big impression on you when you’re, say, 7 years old. […]

August 25

The Confident Friend

It’s been about 5 weeks since we began fostering Caddy, the 7-year-old Schipapom (Schipperke x Pomeranian mix) on the left. She was very ill with Canine Influenza (CIV) and at one point had to return to the shelter for emergency care. Her prolonged battle with CIV mirrored the struggle PAWS Chicago was having containing this […]

August 21

Dear Snake Oil Salesperson,

I notice that you seem to send me a lot of emails. I have a few questions for you: I’m interested in the grammar of this ad: when you say that “People are noticing your fat,” I’m curious. Which fat are they noticing? The fat on my legs, the fat on my stomach or 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 […]

August 13

10 Hours for 10 Minutes

The following conversation happened today between two friends in our booth at a quilt show. Seriously. You can’t make this up. “I want it all! I want every one of these!” “Me too! (picking up a kit and sighing) The problem is that my husband likes sex and I like to quilt.” “Yeah. He needs […]

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 31

Grown-Up Love

Dear Revlon, We won’t even get into the irony of choosing Halle Berry to represent “true love stories [that] never have endings” because that’s pretty insulting to the two guys she divorced and the guy she had a child with before she married her current husband, but I digress. If you’re going to put up […]

May 30

13

Our family turns 13 today. On May 30, 2002, Bill and I stood in a hotel hallway in Nanchang in Jiangxi province nervously awaiting the first time we would meet out daughter. As I saw the parade of 10 foster mothers carrying 10 orphans into the hotel I worried that I wouldn’t be enough and […]

May 29

Will You Remember?

When I’m trying to decide whether something is really worth getting upset about I play a game called, “Will I Remember?” It goes like this: is this issue serious enough that I will remember it a year from now? Because if it’s not really worth remembering, it probably isn’t worth my time. Conversely I try […]

May 28

Real Support

So I’m guessing that when you see someone on Facebook sharing a “Support Our Troops!” meme, you’re thinking, “Yeah. I support our troops.” Maybe when you meet someone in uniform you might thanks them for their service. There are many ways to support our troops and I’m hoping that if you’ve spent time in the […]

May 27

Girlfriends

I realized 24 hrs before we were to host the first of two parties for our daughter’s friends this week that I had a massive respiratory infection and was having a hard time breathing. I began taking steroids and antibiotics per my doctor’s email (my doctor trusts my judgement about my asthma so much that […]

May 26

Maybe

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 25

Heroes

In 2010 our family visited the beaches of Normandy and saw the following quote at the entry to the cemetery there. You can manufacture weapons and you can purchase ammunition but you can’t buy valor and you can’t pull heroes off an assembly line. – Sgt. John B. Ellery of the US 1st Infantry Division

May 24

No Timetable

I’ve learned through my many medical crises that even the best of friends seem to have a mental timetable for which you’re supposed to get over things. Break-ups, deaths, the loss of a loved one, cancer, a health crises; it doesn’t matter. “Hope you feel better soon!” “Speedy recovery!” These expressions are intended to convey […]