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Lifestyle
For Mother's Day – Spreading the Art of Laughter
I handed my debit card to the owner of a barbecue restaurant. He saw my name on the card."Is your mother's name Elizabeth?" he asked.When I nodded, he burst out laughing. And then proceeded to confess to a prank, motivated by my mother, that he’d pulled on my family 30 years ago.My mother, you see, is a little bit "out there." People would refer to her as "eccentric" if she were as wealthy financially as she is wealthy otherwise.Her…
Raging Moderate - Earth Attacks!
Got to admit, didn't find the Icelandic volcano spewing its guts over the last couple of weeks very upsetting. Of course, if you were one of the thousands forced to get up close and personal with airport terminal linoleum for days on end, I heartily apologize, but encourage you to consider it a small price to pay for our species’ conceit. The belching of Eyjafjallajokull was a cautionary notice to not take humankind too seriously. We may think we…
Martha's Big Adventure - Let Me Complete You
There was a long stretch of time, say, about forty-seven years, when I knew I was right about everything. I was sure that without my careful attention people wouldn’t be happy.I never said the sentiment out loud because I had enough self-awareness to know it wouldn’t be received well. That’s as far as my ability to be honest with myself went, though.My success rate at helping others for a long time was even pretty good.I believed I was in…
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Martha's Big Adventure – Nothing's Wrong
Western medicine loves to change their mind from day to day about what’s good for us and what’s not like health was a spring fashion line. However, there’s one item that has always consistently gotten the thumbs down. Stress has always been seen as something that will do in our quantity and quality of life.I get that now.There was an infamous visit to a holistic doctor a few years back that involved a test of my adrenal glands and…
Enough Chirping
I hate birds when they chirp. It's the government's fault.I am sitting by an open door, with a nice spring breeze, the sun shining, the birds chirping. But I cannot enjoy this beautiful day.I am surrounded by a sea of receipts, you see -- receipts of every kind. I keep every receipt for every transaction that I make all year long because my government says I must. I have spent the last few days organizing the massive pile of paper.…
Martha's Big Adventure – And in the Role of Mother
As we get older we change roles from child to adult and maybe to parent, and from student to person-stuck-in-cubicle-working-long-hours.However, most of us regard our parents as frozen in some kind of alternate universe where they never change and still feel the same way about everything. To us, they are in the last role of their lives except for maybe some day getting to add on the tag of grandparent.Whatever our parents said when we were twelve still goes…
Martha's Big Adventure – Cooking Lite
My culinary skills have always left a little something to be desired. I lack that instinctive element that tells a good cook to add a little more salt or just a little rosemary or even just how long to cook a chicken breast.My son, Louie, who at least survived enough to get to adulthood, still loves to tell his friends about the fried chicken breast that was neatly charred on the outside and raw on the inside. He poked…
Dear Margo® by Margo Howard - This Was
Dear Margo: I honestly don't know where to turn. I can't share this information with family or friends, and my husband is so ashamed, he doesn't want me to tell anyone.     Now 52, he has been an alcoholic since he was 14. When he decided to quit drinking, he wanted to go out "with a bang." I was so proud of him for his decision that I told him whatever reward he wanted he could have. He is also…
2010 Precap
OK, many of my predictions for 2009 published here a year ago failed to materialize. It seems only Barack Obama fared worse in wishful thinking. But rather than recap the frustrating year gone by, here is a precap of things certain to transpire in 2010:Jan. 1 - The First Family ushers in the New Year with a White House gala. Uninvited guests in attendance include Kate Gosselin; Richard and Mayumi Heene and their son, Balloon Boy; Scottish singer Susan…
For Kids, All Work Won't Work
If the worst thing that all work and no play does is make Jack a dull boy, then Jack is luckier than most. For many American youngsters too much school work is making them overweight, out of shape, and dangerously sleep-deprived.With over 55 million students enrolled in grades K to 12, it’s fair to say that some American schools are succeeding in finding a balance between scholastics and health. But the trend lines are troubling.What if an adult business…
Fools Aplenty: Lindsay, Jesse and Tiger - The Awful Truth About April's Foolishness
By Tony Panaccio The truth has a masterful way of rooting out the fools. If only it were the other way around. The thing that impresses me most with this year’s crop of April Fools is that even after they’ve been revealed as fools, they keep coming back for more. These are resilient fools, like weeds that refuse to be killed or a TV show that comes back after being cancelled (Donald Trump, are you listening?). Lindsay Lohan -- It’s not enough…
Tan & Tax
My family and I are taking the new tax personally.One of the many items tucked into the government overhaul of America's health care system is a 10 percent sales tax on tanning salons.According to The Wall Street Journal, the tan tax was added so that the Botox tax could be removed.As it went, our politicians, looking for ways to make it appear their massive bill would be "paid for," had to come up with all kinds of gimmicks --…
Happy Easter
There are two major holidays in the Christian faith. In no particular order, the first is Christmas and the second is Easter. If they were to be ranked according to the amount of media attention or holiday decorating Christmas would be the winner in a runaway.The amount of glitz attached to Christmas often confuses both the celebrants of Christmas and those just observing a holiday so big the stores start pushing it somewhere in early November. It’s the only…
Martha's Big Adventure – My Way, Over and Over Again
Okay, month one of getting into shape with fitness guru, Brad King is behind me and I actually stuck with the program. As a result, there’s a little less of me to go around, particularly in the middle. It made it easier that the new gym in my neighborhood in Chicago, Ravenswood Fitness Center, finally opened. It lowered the resistance bar a bit to be able to walk two blocks, get on a machine and just do it. Of…
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