Damn you, Jim Cantore

 I rarely take a vacation by myself.  After a visit to a writer’s conference last spring, I experienced the benefits of a retreat. Getting away alone to read and write for a few days recharged my batteries.  It’s been a long, hot summer and I need a break.  On a whim, I planned another retreat over Labor Day while my husband works.I chose a special place, Clearwater Beach, Florida. For the first half of my life, I frequently spent time on Clearwater Beach, usually around the Palm Pavillion.  ...more

White Person of Privilege, Complicit

 July 7, 2016 -- Coming home from work,  I heard the voice of  Diamond Reynolds on the radio. Ms. Reynolds witnessed the murder of her partner, Philando Castile last night in a town near Minneapolis.  I nearly had to pull off the road as I listened to the rage and tears of Ms. Reynolds, about Castile being shot next to her in a car. Her four-year-old daughter was in the back seat. Castile was pulled over for a broken tail light....more
Thank you for being so transparent.more

Thoughts and prayers are not enough for Orlando

June 15, 2016 — I  have not been this angry and sad in a long time. The events of early Sunday morning in the Orlando nightclub Pulse stay right with me, in my heart and mind....more

Pithy Notes for the 2016 Graduate (or your Mama)

So I’ve grabbed you with my pithy headline. Not so much? Likely I’ve attracted your 50-plus mother. She’s reading with pink rhinestone readers she bought at Costco. She sat next to me — stifling hot in a black mortarboard and gown — on a humid May day in 1979.Like your mom, I’ll never give a commencement speech. So, I’m weighing in 37 years after my college graduation.Dear Graduates:...more

17 Sarcastic Hacks for the First Time European Traveler

 June 1, 2016 — With the kids grown, the dog dead, and the mortgage whittled down, midlife tourists are off to exotic locations this summer. As an unsophisticated rural dweller, I’ll shares experiences from mistakes made and lessons learned. June 1 is the official start of the Rube Travel season. Middle-aged men pack Sansabelt pants, while their wives buy ridiculous pink travel hats with a chin strap....more

3 Ways to Improve Your Child's Fundraising

This week I’ve been approached to support a children’s dance class, a high school mission trip, a college sports trip, an elementary soccer league, and a private school fundraiser....more

Silence, the Last Commodity

 From Wikicommons, public domainPerhaps the planet Mercury in retrograde is the reason today is not a good day. Or, perhaps it is the more prevalent and less cosmic force “Shit Happens.”...more

Why We Don't Leave Home

 There’s an old expression, “You need to get out more.” It’s good for us to travel and experience new things, but some of us have more trouble coping with the outside world.  Years ago, we went to a Barry Manilow concert. (I know, I am quite ashamed to admit it, but give me a break, I was a teenager in the 1970s. “Weekend in New England” was the romantic torch song of the era.) I purchased advance tickets and shoved them into my suitcase of a purse. ...more

The Legacy of Erma Bombeck

 Courtesy Erma Bombeck Archives, University of Dayton...more

I am Mrs. Olson's Love Child

 My husband is the Love of My Life. But high on the list is coffee....more
I love my morning coffe just as much, but for me it eases me into my day. The aroma awakens my ...more