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Extra protection

Many years ago, I had surgery for breast cancer, followed by a year of monthly chemotherapy treatments. After each one, I went home and spent the rest of the day in bed, nauseous and exhausted. I was tired and a bit queasy for most of the week, then I’d have three weeks off until it was time to do it all again. One of the things I remember about that time is how eagerly I kept counting down the number of treatments I had left. [...]

By |March 28th, 2021|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters, Uganda|0 Comments

Holidays Around the World

There are many words we could use to describe the year 2020, and “surreal” is probably one of the kindest. The same can be said for how we’ll be celebrating Christmas this year. Like many people, my husband and I will be staying home for the holidays, rather than going home for the holidays to celebrate with family members who live in other parts of the country. It’s not our preference, of course, but we keep reminding ourselves that by staying safe at home this [...]

Celebrating Around the World

North and South America. Asia, Africa, and Australia. Europe. The Middle East. The Caribbean. No, I’m not studying for a geography test, or memorizing different areas of the world in case I ever become a contestant on “Jeopardy!” and that’s one of the categories. I’m just thinking of some of the people I spent a few hours with this week, and marveling at all the different places they’re from. A number of them are people I’ve met as I “traveled the world” from home via [...]

By |December 4th, 2020|Columns, Holidays, Toastmasters|0 Comments

An Organized Mind?

There are people who consider me to be a very organized person. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. Actually, it’s not that I don’t consider myself to be organized. In some ways I am. If you mention something I wrote about in a long-ago column or blog, I can usually go back through my files and find a copy of it within a matter of minutes. Or if you ask me for the recipe for something I brought to a picnic or party – back [...]

By |October 24th, 2020|Columns, Organizing, Toastmasters|0 Comments

If you could go back….

If you could go back in time and change one event in history, what would it be? That question – or something similar – is the basis for countless movies, television shows, philosophical discussions, and theories about the space-time continuum. It was also the question at an online Table Topics contest I recently attended. In a Toastmasters Table Topics competition, contestants are asked a question – generally an open-ended, there’s-no-wrong-answer question. They have to respond immediately, and speak for one to two minutes on the [...]

By |September 26th, 2020|Accountability, Columns, Toastmasters, Values|2 Comments

A Front Row Seat

This is the week of the Toastmasters Annual International Convention. It was originally supposed to be in Paris, France, but instead it’s taking place in my home office. And in kitchens, living rooms, lofts, studies, and wherever people around the world have their computers set up. For the first time ever, the Convention and all its activities – including the competition to determine the World Champion of Public Speaking – are taking place online. I’ve been to a number of International Conventions, in locations from [...]

By |August 28th, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel|0 Comments

Lessons Learned

I visited a club in Barbados last night, after meeting a woman from Barbados a few weeks ago in North Carolina. I was in North Carolina at the invitation of someone I met in Saskatchewan the week before that. He and I were the only ones who showed up at the meeting – apparently the Saskatchewans knew something we didn’t – so we chatted for half an hour and exchanged contact information before calling it a night. These meetings were all virtual, of course. I [...]

By |August 21st, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel, Values|0 Comments

An Unusual Way to End the Day

“We’ll be starting the meeting with a brief yoga session.” These are not words I expected to hear prior to a meeting I recently attended via Zoom. Especially since the meeting had nothing to do with exercise, meditation, or health and well-being. Still, I was game, so I put my exercise mat in front of the computer, put on a pair of stretchy, comfortable pants – not yoga pants, officially, but they would do – and got ready for the session. The meeting was a [...]

By |August 2nd, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters|0 Comments

Old and New Views

“How do you come up with things to write about week after week? Where do you go to find your ideas?” Those are questions people often asked when I was writing my newspaper column, and my answer was always the same. It still is, even after the newspaper column morphed into a weekly blog: I never go looking for ideas. I just keep my radar turned on at all times, so I stay open to things I see and hear in the world around me. [...]

By |July 18th, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel, Writing|0 Comments

Zooming Around the World

I know my blog usually comes out on Friday, but it was a long day – starting with an early-morning meeting in Minnesota, followed by a late-morning meeting in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and an evening meeting in Lima, Peru, my first-ever visit to South America. That meeting lasted until about 10:30, and by that time I was ready for bed. I felt like I had a good case of jet lag, although I never once set foot outside of my house. Not even [...]

By |July 12th, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel|0 Comments