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Poultry Power

When I say the word “chicken,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe you envision an actual rooster or hen. Or perhaps it’s a plate of chicken nuggets or Kentucky Fried. You might think of a childhood bully’s taunt, daring you to try something stupid or dangerous, and then calling you a chicken when you don’t oblige. Right now, the word “chicken” takes me back to Uganda, where I spent two weeks recently, visiting commercial and family poultry farms, a hatchery, a [...]

Three Kinds of People

Some people are dreamers. They envision endless and enormous options and opportunities, and believe the word “impossible” doesn’t mean something can’t be done, just that it hasn’t been done – yet. They can make a difference in the lives of others, as well as in their own. Some people are practical. They see the possibilities, but also the problems in their projects and activities. They recognize obstacles – real and potential – and they understand what needs to be done to overcome them.  They can [...]

A Mile in My Shoes

“I thought I knew every Elvis song there was,” my sister wrote the other day. But she had heard one that was new to her, although it was the choir at her church that was singing it. The song was “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” and the chorus goes, “Walk a mile in my shoes. Walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.” This isn’t a new idea, and it wasn’t a new idea [...]

By |September 28th, 2019|Columns, Music/Singing, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|0 Comments

After the Storm

I received a number of responses to last week’s blog, which focused on the people who lost everything in Hurricane Dorian, and on the way the storm put things in perspective for those of us who often get frustrated and annoyed by minor inconveniences. One of my friends, who lives in Florida, said he recently starting working on a way to deal with those minor inconveniences. Whenever he encounters an issue or problem that causes him stress, pain, or discomfort, he tries to remember there [...]

By |September 14th, 2019|Columns, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

A New Perspective

Due to a minor plumbing problem, we were without water in our house for two days last week. It was inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially since we didn’t foresee the need to fill containers or our sink with water ahead of time for drinking or washing. Still, it was indeed a minor issue, and the timing of it kept things very much in perspective. By “timing,” of course, I’m talking about this happening the same week as the catastrophic hurricane that decimated the Bahamas before turning [...]

By |September 8th, 2019|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

Sweet Dreams

The night after her funeral, I dreamed about my mother-in-law. She was sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard of the house where I lived till I was ten years old, and she was protecting us from pythons. I have no idea how pythons got into my dream. They’re not normally found in the Chicago area, where we had been for the last two weeks. And I hadn’t seen any movies or news reports lately about python invasions, although I did watch – [...]

By |September 1st, 2019|Columns, Family, Values|0 Comments

In the Middle of the Night

One of my favorite annual events was this week – the Perseid Meteor Shower, which shows up every August. And, as always, I set my alarm for the wee hours of the morning in order to watch for the shooting stars it always brings. A bright, full moon made it difficult to see much of anything earlier in the evening, so prime viewing time was much later – closer to the next morning than the night before. For two nights in a row, I got [...]

By |August 16th, 2019|Columns, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

The Puzzle of Life

I was digging through my files the other day, looking for something I wrote a long time ago. Before I found it, I came across something else from long ago that I thought I’d share with you today, since it seems even more relevant and appropriate now than when I first wrote it. It was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on December 2, 2004, and reprinted in 2016 in my book, Find Your Buried Treasure—Nuggets Mined from Everyday Life. I hope it gives you [...]

By |August 2nd, 2019|Columns, Values|0 Comments

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Evening

It was a perfect night for stargazing. The heat and humidity of the day had dissipated, and the sky was clear and bright. We weren’t scheduled for one of the major astronomical events that occur regularly, like the Perseid or Leonid meteor showers, or for a once-in-a-lifetime event like a super-blood-red-total-lunar-eclipse-moon. But when our neighbors invited a group of us over to enjoy the night sky and each other’s company, we were all in. “Bring your binoculars,” they said. It was still light out when [...]

By |July 26th, 2019|Columns, Health and Well-being, Music/Singing, Values|0 Comments

More Alice Walker

A week after the all-day event celebrating her 75th birthday, I still have Alice Walker Fever. I’m sure one of the reasons is that our local newspaper this week was filled with stories and photos from the day, giving me a chance to relive it and to read about some of the activities I missed. Also, after writing about Alice and the celebration in my last blog post, a number of people have been emailing me to say they were at the event and that [...]

By |July 20th, 2019|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Values, Writing|0 Comments