Skip to content

Archive for


Facing Consequences

Several months ago I received an e-mail from my daughter’s school alerting me to contact the school should a pair of crutches turn up. Seems someone stole an injured student’s crutches from the gym.  At first I thought this was a prank but then I realized the crutches had to have been missing for a while for the school to send out a community-wide e-mail. Who on earth would steal a pair of crutches from an injured student who couldn’t walk without assistance? Read more »


“Immortal Bird”

Immortal Bird – A Family Memoir” by Doron Weber is the story of Weber’s firstborn son, Damon, who was born without a second ventricle on the right side of his heart which means there was no passageway to pump oxygen rich blood back into his lungs. A blue baby whose organs and tissues could not get enough oxygen, Damon underwent two open heart surgeries, the later called a “Fontan” which alleviated his problem by bypassing his right side altogether and pumping oxygen rich blood directly to his lungs. Read more »


The Viennese Crescent Cookie

The Viennese Crescent is a cookie of near perfection with a bit of crumble, a hint of nutty flavor, and a buttery taste that makes cookie lovers swoon. According to legend, these cookies originated in Austria – and Vienna in particular – but there is debate as others claim Viennese Crescents were first created in Hungary and Germany.  A cookie of few ingredients – butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds or hazelnuts, and salt – the Viennese Crescent has moved overseas and now commands well deserved space on bakery shelves in America. Read more »


The King Arthur Flour Company: The 4 in 1 Baker’s Resource

There are an abundance of schools, supply stores, bakeries/cafes, and on-line resources dedicated to baking throughout the United States but there is only one place that combines all four:  The King Arthur Flour Company. Located in Norwich, Vermont, a small town in central-eastern Vermont close to the New Hampshire border – the King Arthur store, bakery, cafe, and education center are easily accessible by car from the following major cities/towns: Read more »


Jeffrey Zaslow on Daughters

A few months ago, I bought tickets for my daughter and I to attend an author forum featuring Jeffrey Zaslow, who I knew of from his column in the Wall Street Journal and as co-author of “The Last Lecture:”  a life lesson story of a Carnegie Mellon professor named Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and wanted to leave a lasting message to his young children. Read more »


Exploring Madison County, Iowa

Several years ago, Robert James Waller wrote a book called “The Bridges of Madison County” about an Iowa farm housewife who falls in love with a National Geographic photographer visiting Madison County, Iowa to photograph the beautiful covered bridges. The fictional story that seemed so possible put Iowa on the national map for something other than the Iowa Caucus and the Iowa State Fair (not that those events aren’t fun and entertaining, too). Read more »

Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

The quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie has ended.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I sent myself a gift box of cookies (this happens after 22 years of marriage) from Levain Bakery. Four monsterous 6-ounce cookies: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, and Oatmeal Raisin – wrapped in a beautiful white box with a blue bow were delivered to my door on one of my two favorite holidays (the other being Halloween). Read more »


“A Visit From The Goon Squad”

A Visit From The Good Squad was written by Jennifer Egan and awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  The 340-page book has won numerous other awards and endorsements but has also been criticized for its unconventional format. At first the book appears to be about a group of characters in the music industry but music serves as a backdrop for the characters across the generations. Read more »


Fun and Useful Products

Useful and innovative products – both American and European – are readily available in the United States although these products are not in every mall in America because their distribution network is not extensive. Serving a specific purpose or market, these products usually have a specialized use and as such, are unique, innovative, and essential.

Consider the Lifehammer, a tool for the car that can both crack glass and cut a seatbelt to aid in emergency escape. Or, the 100% cotton glove that fits the hand but doesn’t fall apart after one washing, or the padded Thorlo sock that truly cushions the foot; or the Native Union Pop Handset when you want the comfort of a hand-held full size phone with the use of a cell phone. Each of these products serves a specialized purpose  and can be purchased through the internet. Read more »


The Chocolate Source

There is no big mystery to chocolate except how luscious it tastes in every form.  As with most creations, the quality of the ingredients – cocoa beans, butter, cream, sugar, and the endless selection of nuts, fruits, and products mixed with the chocolate – matter;  the higher the quality, the better the flavor. Some chocolatiers go so far as to grow and roast their own beans, while others purchase high quality chocolates and blend them. We all have our preferences: milk, dark, and even white chocolate although some connoisseurs do not consider white chocolate to be “real” chocolate.  In any form, most of those that indulge agree that chocolate is simply delicious. Read more »