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Advice for Gift Shopping

“Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” This reminds me of the traditional bride’s wedding-day advice to have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. But this one isn’t about brides or weddings, it’s about buying children’s gifts at Christmastime – or any gift-giving occasion, for that matter. I first heard this saying from my hairdresser, whose son is close in age to my grandchildren. We were talking about buying gifts for kids, and she recited the rhyme [...]

By |December 5th, 2022|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Giving Thanks from A to Z

How do you express your thanks on Thanksgiving Day? Many people say a special blessing as they sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner. Some go around the table and have everyone name one or more of the people and things they are thankful for. For others it’s more private, with meditation or prayers of gratitude on their own. I usually do some combination of this, and this year, I decided to add something new. I made a list of things I am grateful for, running [...]

By |November 23rd, 2022|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Values, Writing|0 Comments

The Smartest Age

“As we get older, we get wiser. At what age are we the smartest?” That’s the question that was asked of contestants at a Toastmasters Table Topics competition I attended recently. In a Table Topics contest, participants are given the question, and must immediately give a one- to two-minute response. The purpose of Table Topics, in competition and at regular Toastmasters meetings, is to help people learn to think on their feet, organize their thoughts quickly, and give a confident, intelligent-sounding response to spur-of-the-moment questions. [...]

By |November 15th, 2022|Columns, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on The Smartest Age

A Gift of Time

I still remember my daughter’s first day of pre-school. Her big brother was already in kindergarten, and after I dropped my daughter off at school and returned home, it hit me that for the first time in a number of years, I had a block of time, during the day, all to myself. I stopped short as I stepped through the doorway, thinking about the best way to use that time. Should I do a whirlwind housecleaning, since I could do so without any kids [...]

By |November 7th, 2022|Columns, Family, Values|Comments Off on A Gift of Time

A Week of Reunions

It was my husband’s 50th high school reunion,  but we made it a week filled with reunions, from high school classmates and college buddies to other friends and family members we haven’t seen in quite a while. The high school reunion was the main reason for our trip to Chicago. But our first visit when we got into town was with friends we’ve known for well over fifty years. In our younger days, we used to go camping together, often with little more than a [...]

By |October 17th, 2022|Columns, Family, Travel, Values|Comments Off on A Week of Reunions

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

“Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” It’s a wonderful thought, isn’t it? It’s also the name of an organization I learned about recently. I was working a volunteer shift at a Non-Profit Expo sponsored by the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. I was there with Georgia Writers Museum, one of about a dozen charities and non-profits at the Expo. In between the time we spent talking with visitors at our own tables, we had time to visit each other’s. I enjoyed meeting new people, as well as chatting with [...]

By |September 26th, 2022|Columns, Making a Difference, Values|Comments Off on A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

What this angry world needs

“What this angry world needs is a lot more hope.” That was the headline for an opinion column in our local newspaper last week. And it got me thinking. While I don’t argue with the value and importance of hope in our lives, I think there’s something else this angry world needs even more: respect. Treating others with respect is not necessarily the same as respecting them, although it would be nice to do both. But even if there are people who haven’t yet earned [...]

By |August 30th, 2022|Columns, Making a Difference, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|Comments Off on What this angry world needs

A Big Little Hit

There was much in the news last week to spark outrage, no matter which side of the political divide you’re on. And, of course, that divide got deeper and wider as time went on. Which is all the more reason an unrelated incident in the news was so welcome and heartwarming. I’m referring to the Little League Regional Championship game in which a batter got knocked down by a wild pitch that hit him in the helmet. That, of course, wasn’t the heartwarming part. It [...]

By |August 15th, 2022|Columns, Making a Difference, Respect, Values|Comments Off on A Big Little Hit

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today, I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is – or has been – important to a child… To the ones who gave birth to them and raised them – which is often, but not always, the same person. To the ones who nurtured, educated, and inspired them. To the ones who stepped in and took over when Mom needed a break, or had to go back to work. To the ones who never had kids of their own, but was [...]

By |May 8th, 2022|Columns, Family, Holidays, Making a Difference, Values|Comments Off on Happy Mother’s Day!

Together Again!

I spent the weekend in Duluth – Georgia, not Minnesota – attending a Toastmasters District Conference. It was our first live conference since Spring of 2019, and it felt wonderful to be there again, live and in person. Numerous safety measures were in place, including mask and social distancing rules and recommendations, and a requirement for proof of a negative COVID test taken 24 hours before the start of the Conference. A testing station was set up near the registration table at the hotel, for [...]

By |April 25th, 2022|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Making a Difference, Toastmasters, Values|Comments Off on Together Again!