­

It’s Christmas Cookie Time

I’ll be spending much of this weekend on one of my favorite activities of the holiday season: baking Christmas cookies. The tradition goes back to one of my fondest childhood memories – being in the kitchen with my mom and sisters, rolling out the dough, then cutting, baking, frosting, and decorating the cookies. And eating them, of course. I don’t do cutout cookies anymore. I don’t have the patience for all that work, although I have no problem spending hours at a time in the [...]

By |December 15th, 2017|Columns, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

Back to school – and loving it

I’m going back to school. High school, that is, and today was my first day. One of the organizations I’ve gotten involved with here is the Georgia Writers Museum. It’s part museum, focusing mainly on three famous authors who were born in this area (Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, and Joel Chandler Harris), and part Writers Center offering classes and other programs for writers of all ages and stages. A new program just getting started is called “Growing Up Creative in a Small Town,” and it’s [...]

By |December 8th, 2017|Columns, Making a Difference, Writing|0 Comments

A new plan to banish aches and pains

For a while now, I’ve been experiencing mild aches and pains when I get up in the morning. It’s nothing serious, just annoying. And it’s making me start to feel old. I was talking about this recently with a friend, and she mentioned a yoga program she’s doing. Apparently, she’s been feeling a few aches and pains herself, and came across a 31-day yoga program online. She said that since she’s been following it, she’s felt great. So I’m following it, too. I’m not entirely [...]

By |December 1st, 2017|Accountability, Columns, Health and Well-being, Success|0 Comments

Practice gratitude every day

For all those who are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend, I hope you’ve been having a wonderful time with family and friends, and that you have taken the time to recognize and acknowledge the many things in your life for which you are thankful. Gratitude is not something to be acknowledged on just one day or weekend during the year, of course. So I hope you will also take this opportunity to begin, right now, a practice of expressing gratitude every day – to [...]

By |November 24th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

A glimpse of heaven

“This must be what heaven is like.” It was in the middle of our book club meeting that one of our members made this comment. She wasn’t actually talking about our book club – although I certainly consider it heavenly to spend an afternoon or evening in thoughtful conversation with people whose company I enjoy and whose opinions I respect. However, her comment related to an excursion with an elderly relative. At one point during our meeting, our discussion led into stories about caring for [...]

By |November 18th, 2017|Columns, Family, Values|0 Comments

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m not so sure. I’m hosting our neighborhood book club meeting next week, and the book we’re reading this month is one I wrote. It includes 30 of my columns from the Chanhassen Villager – most of them dealing with nuggets of insight and inspiration that can be found in everyday life. Our book club meetings begin with lunch at noon, followed by the book discussion. Since several of my columns mention different foods [...]

By |November 10th, 2017|Columns, Family, Values, Writing|2 Comments

Enjoying the pleasure of an unexpected trip

A friend of mine was going to a conference in New Orleans last week. Since she’d never been there, she arranged to stay a few extra days for a mini-vacation. The person who was going to join her ended up having to cancel, so she called and asked if I was available, and if I wanted to go. I was, and I did, so I booked a flight to New Orleans, and met her at her hotel as soon as the conference was over. This [...]

By |November 4th, 2017|Columns, Holidays, Travel|0 Comments

Learning to appreciate the simple life

“We don’t take a vow of poverty,” he told us. “We take a vow of simplicity.” The person speaking was a Trappist monk who was leading the retreat I attended at my church last weekend. At the start of the retreat, he shared some of his background, answered some questions, and corrected some mistakes and misconceptions about what his day-to-day life is like, adding that the beliefs many people have about monks and monasteries come more from Hollywood than they do from reality. I enjoyed [...]

By |October 27th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Values|0 Comments

Take time to notice the beautiful season

The beautiful fall colors haven’t fully made their way here to Georgia yet, but there’s no mistaking the change of seasons. I’m not really crazy about the dark of night coming earlier and earlier in the day, but the brisk, cool weather is a welcome respite after the heat and humidity of summer. These are changes we expected, of course. But there have been a few surprises for us in our new home as summer turned to fall. One is the sparkle on the water [...]

By |October 20th, 2017|Columns, Values|0 Comments

Three thousand miles led to a world of difference

I logged in almost 3,000 miles this week, starting with a two-hour drive to the Atlanta airport, then a flight to Minneapolis, and finally a scenic drive from there across the Canadian border and on to Winnipeg. There I spoke - along with two other women - for approximately 20 minutes to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. After the meeting, we got back in the car and did the trip in reverse. Not all at once, but over the course of a few days. It [...]