CHRISTMAS CHARITY CRAFTING

Today my mother, sister, and I took some of our handiwork to one of my favorite charities -- The League for Animal Welfare in Batavia, Ohio.  (Recycled Doggies has to get the #1 spot in my heart, for giving us St....more

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Like many Americans, I'm not feeling too chummy toward big business right now.  As a result I was thrilled to hear about Small Business Saturday.  The idea is to fuel the economy by patronizing local, small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Given my choice I'd much rather line the pockets of an individual with half  a dozen employees than help provide some CEO with a $2 million bonus. ...more

GIVING THANKS

  THE TOP TEN THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR IN 2011: ...more

GIVING THE TREE THE TRIM

Ever since my oldest child was born, my sister has come over on Tuesday nights.  Originally it was so I could get a little rest and a break from a colic-prone Professor.  Later it became a couple hours to get something done uninterrupted or get some alone-time, whichever was most needed.  Despite the fact that my youngest is now eight (and that Chester adds as much to the chaos as she does to alleviate it), she still arrives dutifully every Tuesday evening.  And for the last 12 years, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, she's he...more

THE FIVE MOST WONDERFULLY ANNOYING CHRISTMAS SONGS OF ALL TIME

The Inmates' beloved Uncle Chester is not one to keep her feelings under wraps.  Therefore, when one of her most-despised Christmas songs comes on the radio (or on the cd I specially burned for her), her discomfort is obvious.  She usually lets out a howl, her face contorts, and she grabs the sides of her head.  This delights The Inmates no end and ensures that they will torture her with spontaneous renditions of her most-loathed tunes every few minutes for the entire month leading up to Christmas.  My sister has so many hated songs, in fact, that it was hard to narrow i...more

I HEART BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP

About five years ago, my sister gave me one of the most ridiculously awesome (or awesomely ridiculous) gifts ever.  I received a pink faux suede jacket with pink leopard trim and matching hat.  Oh, did I mention it was sized to fit a critter from Build-A-Bear Workshop?  Tucked in with the outfit was a gift certificate that would buy me any stuffed animal of my choice.  I was delighted.  I've always been fonder of stuffed animals than is normal and my mania has not diminished with age.  I was immediately drawn to a lovely little leopard doll, c...more

THE MARY-THON

At Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marath...more

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MY BELOVED

The first time I saw you I wasn't really interested.  I dismissed you as not being my type.  Somehow, though, the more I looked, the more I began to see your positive qualities and what you had to offer.  And by the end of the day, I was in love with you and have been ever since. Happy 5th Anniversary to my beloved Dooney & Bourke Melange Satchel with the key ring and matching wristlet.  You were my first, no longer my only, and definitely not my last.  Kisses, kisses...  ...more

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment....more

THE CURSE OF THE OVER-PACKER