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

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

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

An “oops” or two won’t spoil the fun

I accidentally bought a box of brownie mix, instead of chocolate cake mix, for a dessert I was planning to make. We got half-decaf – instead of full-strength coffee – by mistake, and didn’t realize it till we were making the first pot of coffee in a house filled with can’t-wake-up-without-it coffee drinkers. And just for good measure, it rained all afternoon and evening on Friday – starting just minutes after we got on the boat, planning to spend a few hours exploring the lake. [...]

By |July 7th, 2017|Columns, Family, Holidays, Success, Values|0 Comments

The best gift ever

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to make you cry.” “No, no, no,” I told him. “It’s a good cry. These are happy tears.” It was the morning of Christmas Eve, and my husband, nephew and I had just finished breakfast at the restaurant my dad used to go to every morning. He always sat with a group of friends he’s known forever, and whenever we were in town, we’d usually join them for breakfast. “We still miss your dad,” the owner of the [...]

By |January 6th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

Twenty minutes a day can make a big difference

I’m pouring my heart and soul into my New Year’s Resolutions this year. Actually, it’s the other way around, and I expect my resolutions to make a noticeable difference in my life – my heart, my soul, my attitude and my concentration. All in just 20 minutes a day. While trying to decide what my New Year’s Resolutions would be this year, I thought about all the advice I hear regularly about things we should do first thing in the morning. Exercising, for instance, to [...]

By |December 30th, 2016|Accountability, Columns, Faith, Health and Well-being, Holidays|0 Comments

An old holiday tradition gets a new, sweet twist

Baking Christmas cookies is one of my favorite holiday traditions. It takes me back to when I was small, baking Christmas cookies with my mom and my sisters, and it brings warm memories of the many Christmases since then in which I’ve continued the tradition. I usually spread my baking out over several days, but this year my sister and I decided to make cookies together, so we spent a full day in her kitchen last weekend, sifting, sorting, measuring, and mixing. By the end [...]

By |December 16th, 2016|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Make your plans, and celebrate your life

In addition to all the holiday plans and preparations everyone is busy with at this time of year, many people take some time to look back at what they’ve accomplished and experienced in the past year, and to look forward as they plan for the future and all that they’d like to accomplish and experience in the coming year. I’ve never been able to sit down and plan out my short-term and long-term goals in terms of six-month, one-year, and five-year projections.  Whenever I’m asked [...]

Enjoying a new “Independence Day”

I still remember when the first Independence Day movie came out 20 years ago. We were living in Virginia at the time, and one of the things I remember most – even before seeing the movie – was reading a commentary someone had written about it in a small, local publication. She insisted we should see the movie as a wake-up call, and should be taking steps to prepare ourselves in case of an alien attack, because it was absolutely realistic and possible that we [...]

By |July 1st, 2016|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Watch out for April snow and April fools

“Guess what? It’s snowing outside!” When I was young, that’s the greeting my sisters and I woke up to every year on April 1st. Mom would come into our bedrooms with the exciting news, but before we could jump out of bed and race to the window to see for ourselves, she’d add, “April Fool!” By then we were awake enough to realize for ourselves that we were now in the month of April. And it never snowed in April. April 1st came and went [...]

By |April 8th, 2016|Columns, Faith, Family, Holidays|0 Comments