A New Kind of Quiet

  One of my challenges over the last few years has been getting used to a new kind of quiet.   Interesting how quiet can be so loud.   You all know I complained about Nikki sometimes.     All his jumping and barking every time I came in the door about drove my crazy.   One minute of separation or two weeks, it all felt like eons apart to him.   Sometimes I wanted less exuberance, fewer scratches on my legs and runs in my … [Read more...]

Learning from Lance Armstrong

I'm still not over Lance Armstrong. I know his dispassionate confession to Oprah is almost history now, but something else keeps needling me. It wasn't his admissions to lying and cheating that bothered me so much. It was a casual reference he made that indicated he forgot what he learned from having cancer. After receiving my cancer diagnosis, a friend gave me a copy of his book, "It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life." She said the book inspired her through her breast … [Read more...]

Goodbye Nikki

Nearly 13 years ago, we gave into Annie's pleas for a dog.   For all those years, he seemed invincible, immune from aging with all his energy and good health. But, all that changed about six months ago as he started to puzzle us with new behaviors.  We didn't view any of his symptoms as particularly serious until the past month when we noticed a steady pattern of changes and physical deterioration. When we took him to the beach a few weeks ago, he seemed like a troubled, … [Read more...]

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me start by confessing that I am not the most romantic woman in the world. When Sara was a little girl, she called me “pathetic” because I couldn’t think of anything romantic to give Doug for Valentines. I guess she thought my red toolbox didn't cut it. I am a practical gift giver. I try to be a frivolous giver but it’s just not in my personality. Sometimes I say, “Let’s not give each other Valentines this year. We know we love each other.” I say that to save me the … [Read more...]

How to Motivate Kids

A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked me to write a blog about how to motivate kids to get good grades. She asked me how I motivated my kids. I had to think about it for a minute to remember, then I squirmed a little. "Money," I said. I honestly don't know whether our offers of cash motivated them, but we tried it. Our plan was to push them a little harder to get As. So we paid a premium for As, less for Bs and Zippo for grades below a B. I'm afraid our system turned out … [Read more...]