Since the New Year, I have become actively involved in a project for Uganda.  Our current goal is to secure permanent land for the children of RUHU (Rising Up Hope, Uganda) orphanage so they are never evicted from another home again.When my friend, Jamie Macari, told me his story about living in Uganda for 9 months where he met Patrick, a local Ugandan who had been rescuing kids from the slums of Kampala since he was 20, I was compelled to become a part of their cause....more

HEALTH IS WEALTH SERIES: Contagious energy

I once had the pleasure of seeing Anthony Robbins speak.  I say "seeing (him) speak" intentionally, as he placed as much emphasis on his enthusiasm and body language, as he did on his words and tone of voice.  He was the first, and only speaker that day, who energized the crowd of thousands to their feet in outstanding applause at the BEGINNING of his presentation!...more


I'm addicted to support groups.  In fact, I've become a support group junkie.It all started with Toastmasters, a speech club, where every talk I ever gave was wrapped up by an encouraging drum roll of applause.  Whether good or bad they gave accalaids just for trying.  I learned through Toastmasters that positive environments lent themselves towards my overall development and self-esteem.  They made me feel confident, capable, and excited to tackle a next new challenge....more
 @GoodGriefGuru You are very welcome. Shawma. It is my pleasure.more

HEALTH IS WEALTH SERIES: "Blessed are the flexible, for they will never be bent out of shape."

My first yoga class at the YMCA was surprising.  I don't know exactly what I was expecting.  Perhaps for it to be more like the Wii Fit yoga I had experimented with years ago.  But the YMCA's yoga had moves I'd never tried before, and a live instructor to show me how they're supposed to be done, and a group o...more
Beautiful! It's a life lesson we should all remember to be ready "to bend, but not be broken."more

God Connections in Playing Music

There is a song I grew up hearing throughout my childhood.  If someone was to ask my family what ballad stood out the most to them, what melody was most frequently played, it would be this song.The sheet music of the composer has traveled with me from place to place.  It is so ratty and tattered.  I love how worn it has become.  It shows how well used it has been throughout all these years. The book of music holds the notes to renditions I had heard my whole life.  They are the songs I knew best from an artist I thought I knew well....more
Thanks for reading everyone. You can find more of my writing on www.GoodGriefGuru.com I ...more

New Labels: Widow, Single Parent

When a spouse dies and you have children two things happen at once. You become a widow(er), and a single parent. Simultaneously.Overnight I adopted new labels. One moment I was married. The next I was not only widowed, but the sole care provider for our daughter.What do these new labels mean? Do they mean anything at all? I would say it depends on the day. If I am missing my husband, my friend, I feel quite widowed. Other days I accept that he is gone and I embrace that I am single. Single-with-experience....more
I hate the word widow.  That one word makes me feel so powerless.  I hate the single status too ...more

Happy 3rd birthday Alexis!

At 6:52pm on a cold grey day in March 2009, my beautiful baby girl, Alexis, shone a light onto the world as she was released from my kangaroo pouch, and I heard her cry the most beautiful song I've ever heard....more
Thanks Victoria! more

Happy thought #39: Chicken soup for the cat lover's soul CAT FOOD!

I had to see it to believe it.  "Chicken soup for the soul" has their own line up of cat food!  Oh my life.  What's next?   Shawna...more

Happy thought #38: How to be a grouch

Just try not to laugh.  I triple-grouch dare you....more

Happy thought #37: A light in the blackout (Turtle pond toys)

After the past 24 hours I've had (to be shared at a later time) I was pretty anxious when the power went out in my house today.  I didn't know if it was just my house, or all of Waterloo.  Perhaps it extended beyond that.  What I did know was my house had no light, my head was dark, my computer was down to 4%, and this was not the night to be without power....more