This Year I Put the Bah in Bah Humbug

I used to love the holidays. We’d string multi-colored lights around our family room and nestle a homemade styrofoam gumdrop tree in and among the wisps of angel hair gracing our fireplace mantle. Wrapped gifts would rest on the hearth and trickle down onto the floor. No evergreen in sight, but it felt a little like Christmas, even as we lit the menorah all eight nights of Hanukkah....more

A Girl's Weekend Doesn't Have to Be Fancy to be Memorable

We had a million reasons why it wouldn’t work. Valid reasons: small children to attend to, small businesses to run, small budgets to take into consideration. And then one of us was diagnosed with breast cancer and suddenly we knew that it had to work, somehow. Even if it was just a forty-eight-hour getaway. Even if it wasn’t on a beach or to some culinary mecca. Because none of that mattered in the end. Just being together, all five of us, converging in the Midwest on a cold and dreary weekend in December – that’s what mattered....more

What's Your Definition of Late?

I'm late, I'm late for A very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...more

You Know What Goes Best with Turkey? Peanuts!

The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without Peanuts. With a capital P. You can have your honey-glazed and sweet-and-spicy varieties, I’ll take mine with a dose of Charlie Brown and the gang. From Halloween straight through Yuletide, there is a trifecta of wonderful memories: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. And though Charlie Brown with his furrowed brow and ceaseless misfortunes was the underdog in need of good cheer, Linus was the guy I sympathized with....more

Would You Send a Gift When The Invitation Reads "No Gift, Please"?

Here’s a brain teaser: A girl receives an invitation to a birthday party. The invitation specifically states “no gifts, please”. Should the girl:a) run out and buy the perfect gift for the birthday girl; she’s no Scrooge  b) show up at the party empty-handed; after all, the invitation was quite clearorc) scratch her head and wonder what the phrase “no gifts” really means ...more
Tracy Gibb  I agree it is, but by not bringing a gift, you are not doing anything wrong - just ...more

Who, What, When, Where and How the Heck Do I Know?

Every journalism student at my college was required to take News 101. Despite my lack of interest in newspaper reporting, I learned quite a bit in that class, specifically the five W’s of reporting: who, what, when, where and why (there’s an H in the mix too, FYI). The first four W’s never tripped me up – pretty basic stuff for the average reporter. But the last one – the why – that’s what differentiated an average reporter from a hard-hitting journalist. To get to the heart of the story, inside the heads of those involved, requires a special talent....more

A Hug is Worth a Thousand Words

A Eulogy: The Light of My Sister's Son Shines On

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.      - Dylan Thomas ...more
Brownie, It was so wonderful to put a face with a name - I wish it had been under better ...more

Sometimes I Feel Very Far From Home

When I went away to college, my mother nearly collapsed from grief - not because I’m all that, although I’d like to think my absence is worth a few tears - but because there had been too much loss already and my leaving felt like another loss to her. Long-distance, over a staticky phone line, my mother sang me a song while I sat in my dorm room and felt the twist of the knife slickly coated with guilt....more

Headaches Can Be a Real Pain in the Neck

I have a headache. A very bad headache. The kind of head-splitting ache that makes you want to reach into your eyeballs and pull out your brain. Throbbing, pulsing, pounding – check, check, check. The one thing it’s not is gone. For 48 hours, some form of this mind-numbing pain has rattled my being. For 48 hours, I have popped Advil, stuck my head over a pot of steaming salt water and worn cold face masks. Nothing has worked....more