Cats can have nine lives, Tino had ten

In the spring of 2002, at the Helping Paws Animal Shelter, a tabby kitten chose us. In a roomful of cats and kittens, she approached us purring and rubbed her body against our legs. The deal was sealed. Our new family member was adopted on the spot. Our daughter named her Satine after the Nicole... Read more »

The Story of the Little Red Bike

When our son Matt turned four, thirty-two years ago, he received his first two wheel bike for his birthday. According to his baby book, the training wheels came off almost immediately. Matt and his bike were great friends and went on adventures together exploring our neighborhood, paths in the woods and ramping like daredevils. The... Read more »

A letter to my daughter on the birth of her first baby

August 25, 2020 Dear Lena, Today you gave birth to Veda Wallace at 2:06 pm at Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. Brian was there by your side. You were a champ in the delivery room and even sang the “Lego Movie” song, “Everything is Awesome!” to the doctor and nurses. I’m certain they thought you... Read more »

In Memory of Bill

We lost our dear friend Bill on July 3rd. There were no goodbyes or farewells. He died peacefully in his sleep without warning. Unexpectedly. Shocking news all around. We all hope to go that way, just go to sleep. No illness, hospitals, pain, suffering. But it takes a toll on those left behind. He leaves... Read more »

Can't take your vacation to Italy this summer? Do the next best thing and sip a Negroni

Even if you wanted to, the European Union won’t let you travel to Italy right now. Not a problem. Stay home. Sip a Negroni and pretend you are on the Amalfi Coast without the teeming crowds. The thought of getting on an airplane right now sends me into a panic. I can barely wear a... Read more »

The Art Institute's lions are Chicago's biggest boosters

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the order to wear a face mask in public if you can’t social distance, the lions knew they must comply. Good citizens since their unveiling in 1894, they wanted to show our city that fierce lions will proudly protect the vulnerable during a global pandemic. If a lion can wear... Read more »

Time to Ramp Up Those Coping Skills as We Shelter-in-Place

Boy am I stupid, and I don’t even watch Fox News. Never saw this coming. You probably didn’t either. But now we are in this for the long haul so it’s time to get serious and crank up how we cope with this new way of living. This may go on for a long, long... Read more »

A Letter to the Brides that Planned Spring and Summer Weddings

Dear Brides-to-Be, I know it seems frivolous to think about a wedding during a global pandemic. People are dying, losing their jobs and everyone is fearful of the unknown. Unless it’s your wedding. Then it takes over your entire mindset. All day. Every day. Even during the best of circumstances, you would be absorbed with... Read more »

A Day in the Life of Shelter-in-Place

Wake up at 4:23 am. Panic hits you right away that this wasn’t a nightmare.  It’s real. Peek outside blinds to see if Earth is still spinning. She is. Try to go back to sleep. Anxiety sets in. It’s so eerie and quiet. Shower? Nah. Not going anywhere today. Get dressed? Nah. Pajama pants and... Read more »

A letter to myself on a Milestone Birthday

August 14, 2019 Hey you, You made it to sixty-five. Congratulations. Many people don’t. Or they make it, but have health issues. Mobility restrictions. Take too many pills. Suffer loneliness. Become bitter. Not you. You enjoy great health. While aches do appear, you can still take the long walks that you love and get up off the floor. You... Read more »