Please, Continue

My dear sweet sister Mary died on December 10th. After our mother died in 2001, Mary was the closest thing I had to a mother. I am the youngest of nine children, and, although I still have several living siblings, this loss - especially so close to the holidays - has been very hard to bear. I remember Mary as a fiercely independent woman who loved to truly experience life, travel, have adventures, and had a marvelously demented sense of humor. Her decline and death has left a hole in my heart, and it will take a long time for that to heal. ...more


The dawn of a new year is usually the time when we think about how we would like for things to be in our lives, make resolutions for change, and then make plans for the future.  In some respects, it might be compared to spring cleaning in January - get rid of what you don't want in order to make room for what you do want. Step One:  Love Yourself ...more

From Dr. Pat: Making Christmas Anew


Difficulty Coping With Family During The Holidays? JOIN THE CLUB

My most memorable family-related Christmas disaster came courtesy of my mother-in-law, the very first year that my husband and I were married. She flew across the country to spend the holidays with us, and then proceeded to spend the entirety of her stay reminding me that I was in no way caring for my husband adequately. The nadir of whole experience came Christmas Day, after I had spent the day slaving over a turkey dinner. I had set the table, put out the food, poured champagne into everyone’s glasses and invited my mother-in-law to toast the meal. Which she did. ...more

Oh, mothers in law! Did I mention that I live 1000 feet from mine. Kinda wish I lived in ...more

Oy Vey . . . It's Christmas

Oy Vey It’s Christmas By Julie Stankowski ...more

Thanks!  At least I know someone got a little laugh.  Went to your blog and enjoyed your ...more

How the Grinch Stole My Blog


Wanna get a tree?

This said at about 3:30 pm friday night as the temp was dropping and snow clouds were threatening. Okay, fine. We usually do this with dad, but fine. We are woman. So off we go, and it takes us 3x to get up the driveway into Pfaff's x-mas tree farm in KEnt. We're not even sure if they are still open at this hour. ...more

Re-Gifting For The Holidays Do's and Don'ts

We've all done it, I'm sure, at some phase of the Holiday gift giving scenerio-partaken in the art of re-gifting. A couple of years ago, I received a wonderful antique silver compact from a coworker. Because I'm an admitted amateur collector of sorts, I thanked the giver in the spirit in which it was given...although I've since lost track of the piece, I'm sure it would have made a wonderful addition to some elder's keepsake. ...more

Holiday gifts for journalists

If you are a journalist, or love someone who is, you know that most of us could use a little extra love this holiday season. As Elana recently noted we ink-stained wretches are high up on the growing list of industries that have had a rough year. So, here are a few suggestions for gifts that might bring a smile to your favorite (current, former, or aspiring) member of the Fourth Estate. For the backpack journalists ...more

Thanks so much. I had a great time putting it together.

It's really nice to have to ...more