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High School Reunions

Chatter from, a message on Facebook or a phone call from a long-lost friend lets you know your high school reunion is coming up and volunteers are needed to organize this nostalgic event.  Organizing a high school reunion is definitely on the top ten list of “The most unselfish things you will ever do”  – along with “having a child” but there is a big difference….the rewards of parenthood increase significantly with the effort put forth – not so with organizing a high school reunion. Read more »


Getting to Know Berlin, Germany

Berlin is the capital of Germany and the largest city in the country with nearly 3.5 million residents. Located in northeastern Germany, Berlin is truly unique and not just another city among cities.  Nearly destroyed by bombing during World War II and then divided by the Cold War until the Berlin Wall came down twenty-two years ago, Berlin appears to be a series of parts that make a whole but not like New York City where there are seamless changes from one neighborhood to the next.  No, Berlin is a city that seems to have been broken apart and put back together again and that is part of its charm. Read more »

Vegetable Soup – Homemade

Soup is one of those great comfort foods that tastes especially delicious on an Autumn or Winter day and vegetable soup is surprisingly simple to make.  The only time-consuming part is the cutting of the vegetables which can be chopped ahead of time and stored in a bowl of water in the refrigerator until ready to use. Years ago, I started making my own soups and continue to make variations several times a month. Virtually any vegetable can be used: carrots, celery, onions, corn, potatoes, zucchini, squash, leeks, cauliflower, green beans and more. Read more »


The Judicial Circus Surrounding the Petit Family

On July 23, 2007, Steven Hayes, 44 and Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26 broke into the Cheshire, Connecticut home of the Petit family:  Dr. William Petit, Jr., 50, his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and their two daughters: Hayley, 17, and Micaela, 11.  After beating Dr. Petit and tying him up in the basement, the two intruders tied the two daughters to their beds. Read more »


Paradores of Spain

Spain is a the third largest country in Europe with approximately 45 million residents that live in 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities (in northern Africa and on the coast of Morocco). The residents of these communities are as different from each other as the residents of the American states are from each other which makes traveling the country so interesting. There are also tremendous climate differences in Spain with the north well-known for rains that make the countryside green and the south splashed with warmth and sunshine on mediterranean beaches. In between, there are as many variations as there are weather reports..and within all of these regions are the Paradores of Spain. Read more »


The Honey Crisp Apple

When I was growing up, our neighborhood was adjacent to an apple orchard and the local kids would sneak into the fields when the pickers weren’t in sight, climb a tree and pick an apple off the branches to eat as an afternoon snack. The apples were not always beautiful but they were delicious and because they were so readily available, we took them for granted. Decades passed and the orchard was sold to real estate developers. Farms were consolidated and apples were mass-produced, imported and became readily available in grocery stores. Apples became more beautiful and shinier but they didn’t taste like those orchard apples. Read more »

We All Pay For Public Schools

Public education is universally available in our country and approximately 85% of students enter the country’s public schools, largely because they are tax-subsidized, while 10% attend private schools, nearly 2% are home schooled and the remainder are in other programs or don’t attend. Read more »

Top Ten List For Gstaad, Switzerland

Gstaad, Switzerland is located approximately 90 miles (150 kilometers) from Geneva or 110 miles (180 kilometers) from Zürich in southwest Switzerland. Easily accessible by auto or train, Gstaad conjures up thoughts of a “scene” and the town can be quite the happening place, but it’s also possible to go to Gstaad and have a low-key stay. There are choices galore to fill your day and the best place to start is at or go to the Gstaad Information office, located in the center of the village at Promenade 41.   The Gstaad Information office is a one-stop information resource – either on-line or in person. Read more »


Fleeing Hartford, Connecticut

Last year the Wall Street Journal ran an article about dying cities in the United States and Hartford, Connecticut was one of the cities included on the list.  Once known as the “insurance capital of the world,” Hartford had fallen victim to flight:  loss of industries and the vital population that keeps a city thriving. Read more »

A Day in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia  one of 17 autonomous regions (similar to states in the US) – located in the northwest corner of Spain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Santiago de Compostela (below in red) is most famous for being the destination of “pilgrims” that complete El Camino de Santiago which means The Way of St. James or simply The Way.  In addition, the town is famous for a cathedral called “Catedral de Santiago de Compostela.Read more »