My Mom Is a Liar

My Mom Is a Liar
  My mother lied to me. She lied about a bunch of stuff, which apparently was for my own good because her lies kept me safe, healthy, and most of all, they kept me alive. Face it, except for Mother Teresa, most mothers lie. I imagine my Mom burning the midnight oil and memorizing facts... Read more »

Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger!

Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger!
I’m not a native Chicagoan. I am a transplant from the great state of Ohio. A Buckeye who is proud to have lived a few blocks from The Ohio State University (emphasis on “the,” please), and who bleeds scarlet and gray. And I am a die-hard Cincinnati Reds fan. But for the sake of self-preservation,... Read more »

A Quiet Beach Vacation…During Shark Week

A Quiet Beach Vacation…During Shark Week
If I could be anywhere in the world it would be on an all-expenses-paid spa vacation with unlimited massages, manis, and margaritas. But in favor of a more realistic location (that I can afford on my meager writer’s income), I’d head to the beach. There’s just one catch when it comes to beaches. SHARKS! So... Read more »
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Bombs Bursting in Air

Bombs Bursting in Air
I grew up in a small town in southeastern Ohio—the part of the political swing state where there are rolling hills and gentle valleys. Where we not only didn’t lock our doors, no one was sure where the keys to the house were. The 4thof July was a family friendly big deal with a small... Read more »

I Love You, Dad, But About Those Cooked Carrots

I Love You, Dad, But About Those Cooked Carrots
It must be an unwritten law that Fathers Day cards start showing up on shelves after 5:01 p.m. on Mother’s Day. They are on display everywhere—even at the gas station. (They’re on the counter right next to the jerky and energy shots.) But I no longer pay much attention because I no longer buy the... Read more »

Decades after D-Day: Standing with the Enemy

Decades after D-Day: Standing with the Enemy
It’s 60 miles of breathtaking beachfront property. The nearest island is 200 miles away, but on a clear day, you can almost make out the shoreline. It would be the perfect site for a medieval castle or a sprawling French chateau or two. Yet it’s unspoiled land. Grassy cliffs overlooking sandy beaches and the sparkling... Read more »
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Make Doughnuts Not War

Make Doughnuts Not War
When America joined the war in Europe in 1917, the Salvation Army sent troops to the front lines—most of them volunteers. Some of them were women, nicknamed Sallies because they were from the SALvation Army. Sallies helped the soldiers write letters to loved ones back on the home front, mended clothes, played games, and engaged... Read more »

Who Will Eat Baked Beans on My Gravesite?

Who Will Eat Baked Beans on My Gravesite?
On Memorial Day, my family always knew exactly what we’d be doing. Mom packed up traditional picnic fare—fried chicken, baked beans, chips, potato salad (with hard-boiled eggs), and brownies. and we went on a picnic. Fried chicken, baked beans, chips, potato salad (with hard-boiled eggs), and, of course rich, chewy brownies. The mandatory foods for... Read more »

From the People Who Brought Us Blood Pudding…

From the People Who Brought Us Blood Pudding…
The British aren’t known for five-star dining. First, there’s blood pudding. At some point I imagine a chef asking, “Hmmm. What would make this pudding of suet and groats more delicious? I know. A generous portion of pig’s blood.” Voila! Blood pudding became a staple on menus in Great Britain. One of the best-known cuisines from... Read more »
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Always Wear Clean Underwear and Other Advice from Mom that Shaped My Life

Always Wear Clean Underwear and Other Advice from Mom that Shaped My Life
Somewhere in the world is a stealth educational system more powerful and more secretive than the CIA or MI6 or Mossad where mothers go to learn how to keep their children in line. No one talks about it, no one can give you directions, and the mothers who graduate aren’t talking. But when they leave... Read more »