A Note of Encouragement: Live Life Your Way, Smile, Stand Strong, Dream Big

Just a note of encouragement today. I received a message on a social networking site recently from a person who was having a hard time pleasing those around her, while remaining happy within herself and was asking for some advice. It got me thinking that every now and again it doesn't hurt to assess your surroundings and take a look at just where exactly life is taking you. Are you living it for others or are you living it to YOUR fullest potential?Some ideas to remember:...more

The deeply personal world of social media

. Such profound change in both media and advertising ...more

My Own Christmas Newsletter: Spoiler Alert - Includes Swine Flu

December, 2009         It may be better to give than receive, but I'd rather read your newsletters and cards than try to remember the past year in enough detail to write my own. ...more


Why Do We Tell Stories?

I was word hungry. I needed something to scratch a brain cell. It took a few hours but the term narrative discourse finally arrived for exploration. That began my journey. The narrative is how you tell the story; linear, non-linear, verbal, pictorial. It also includes the grammatical construction. My understanding of discourse is the methods used to tell the construct the tale. The story is the final product. ...more

Thanks for the infomore

The Meaning of Pearls

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but for me it’s always been pearls. All gems have attributed meanings and qualities, especially when we look at birthstone definitions.Pearl’s origin and meaning:"The pearl is the oldest known gem, and for many centuries it was considered the most valuable. Unlike all gems, the pearl is organic matter derived from a living creature - oysters and mollusks....more

Pumpkin Spice Latte & Frugalista Chic

Ahh... the holidays are upon us... Images of sugar plums dancing in our heads while dreaming if Santa Claus will be providing us with treats (or a big fat lump of coal) under our Christmas trees. Who am I kidding?! That is what I want.. those images on the books I read to my son at bedtime. ...more

I love the holiday drinks. I splurge on Starbucks too. That is actually one of my favorite ...more

Writing, Gender, and Discrimination

 I've been thinking a lot lately about women and literature. The first thing that spurred this was the Publisher's Weekly list of the 10 best books of 2009 (http://womenandhollywood.com/2009/11/06/sexism-watch-publishers-weekly-top-ten-books-of-2009/) The list includes very few people of color, and no women whatsoever. Then there was the table of contents published for the Mammoth Book of Mindblowing Sci-Fi, composed of 21 stories, none by women or people of color....more

The kitchen in the center of this old house

I’m still unpacking in this new-to-me-hundred-year-old house in the redwoods.  Every now and then I climb onto a stool in the very large kitchen, stir some cream into my coffee, and count my blessings.  I’ve had galley kitchens, Pullman kitchens and whatever other glorified descriptions we use for “too small.”  One of my favorite memories is of my  first kitchen as a family lady.  It was a big, square room in a very small house.    ...more

An Object of Affection

Best camera I ever had. No adjustments, no gadgetry…just press the button, indestructible and compact…my Kodak Instamatic.It was our first summer in Virginia, and the camera was filled with priceless photos and memories from our trip back to Illinois for my father’s second wedding: my daughter as the ring bearer, my children reunited with my brothers, and dad with his siblings from CA who came to see him marry his new wife. There were still a few pictures left on the roll. ...more