This is our forum for sharing news and views. We'll update this site regularly, so we hope you'll visit often. If you'd like to offer feedback, please e-mail us at With your permission, we may post some of your comments.


June 18, 2008

Blog Is Now On-Line

This is the day that I'm changing this forum to a blog. It will allow you to more easily participate in this forum. You may click here for the link.



June 16, 2008

Gluten-Free Registry

I just discovered a wonderful Web site that lists gluten-free stores and restaurants for many locations in the United States and around the world. For more information, check out our page, Tips for Gluten-Free Living.



June 7, 2008

Balancing Head Work and Hand Work

While I was walking with my friend Sue this week, we talked about how good we feel after
accomplishing something with our own hands. We can get so caught up in thinking and
generalities and "head work" that sometimes we can forget how good it feels just to do
something constructive with our hands -- like gardening, cooking, woodworking, playing a
musical instrument, or even cleaning house, which can easily be taken for granted. Over the years, I've developed a term for seeing a dirty kitchen floor look clean again after a good mopping, or watching a pile of unfolded towels turn into a folded stack ready for the cabinet shelves. I call it an "Unambiguous Sense of Accomplishment." What was dirty is now obviously clean. What was a pile of lumber is now obviously a shoe rack. What was a bag full of groceries is now a homecooked meal. What was skein of yarn is now a scarf.

May we all experience an "Unambiguous Sense of Accomplishment" today!

P.S. Please enjoy the new Surprise Link!



June 4, 2008

A New Twist on "Clothes Make the Man"

A recent news article talks about a researcher who turned light-feathered male barn
swallows into "chick magnets" after the researcher darkened their feathers with a magic marker. Not only were the marked-up swallows more attractive to female barn swallows.
The change in appearance also led to measurable changes in the birds' body chemistry. They developed higher levels of testosterone and lost weight.

So could we say now that "Feathers Make the Bird"?



June 1, 2008

Personality Test

I've developed an observation over the years. If you want to test the quality of your
relationship with people you know, don't watch what they do when you share your difficulties
or sorrows. Instead, watch what they do when you share your joys or successes.

And thanks, Cindy LaFerle, for your ongoing feedback and kind words!



May 31, 2008

"Let Me See What Spring Is Like on Jupiter and Mars..."

In honor of NASA's successful Mars landing of the Phoenix, I hope you enjoy the new
Surprise Link on the Site Map page. Just mouse-over the picture of coffee cups on the bottom left and click. (Once you're there, you may need to click refresh...but it's worth it!)



May 30, 2008

"Unsupported Personality"

Thanks to Pam B. for her comments about the Web site!

Yesterday when I tried to print an e-mail message, I found that my printer decided to print its
own message: "Unsupported Personality: PCL." Although I like to watch "Ghost Hunters," I
thought it best NOT to assume that some spirit was trying to send me an interesting
message. So I asked Ray, my main resident computer guru, what it meant. He said it was
simply a message about a computer programming language code for the printer.

So this morning, I searched on the Internet and found that the phrase "Unsupported
Personality" means that my printer "has received some data but has no clue what to do with
." I thought that was an apt insight...especially after updating the Thought for the Day on the
Home Page: "Be yourself -- but be your best self. Dare to be different and to follow your own

I think those words from S.H. Payer reflect people with a "Supported Personality" --
those whose words and actions are supported by their true thoughts and feelings...those
who are authentic and follow their own star...those who know what to do with the data they

So maybe I should thank my malfunctioning printer for giving me something to write about



May 28, 2008

More Bread-Baking Tips from Ron

Please check out the Recipes and Cooking Ideas page for another tip from Ron on
baking wonderful bread -- whether regular or gluten-free. Believe me when I tell you
that Ron knows how to bake bread! His loaves have a wonderful texture and my boys
LOVE his baked treats!



May 22, 2008

More Comments...and "Digital Water"

Thanks to my sister, Diane, as well as Sue T. and Matt and Jenny B. for their comments!

For most of this week, our family has done without Internet access. When the unplug-replug routine on the cable modem box could no longer keep us in touch with the digital world, we needed a visit from a knowledgeable cable guy. Thanks, Robert! He properly grounded the cable coming into our house. Not surprisingly, this whole experience reminds me of a
quotation: "You never miss the water 'till it's gone."

I think that for many of us in this computer age, we don't realize how much of our daily lives depends on unfettered access to the "digital water" we drink in through the Internet. While waiting several days for our appointment with the cable guy, I ventured to the Adult Computer lab at the Royal Oak Public Library so I could catch up with some of sites I usually visit.

I'm glad I could still use an unfiltered library computer. It's unfortunate that, a few months ago, someone accessed inappropriate material on one of those computers. Our library staff responded by requiring an information trail for those using the computers and actively monitoring the area. Since then, there have been no other incidents of inappropriate use. But a majority of our city commissioners decided that the city now should filter all but one of those adult-area computers -- despite overwhelming citizen opposition at public meetings and on the library Web site. In my opinion, it's a sad day when we needlessly slow the flow of digital water.



May 14, 2008

Taking the "Next Step"

I like paying attention to coincidences. So, yesterday, when I saw the words "next step" in two unrelated articles, I thought I should pay attention.

One article was written by organizational expert David Allen, who urges procrastinators not
to worry too much about the big picture but simply to figure out "the very next action step"
needed to move a project forward. Procrastinators don't need to have a project totally figured
out before acting on it, Allen says. He advises simply to be specific about that next step: If
you need to meet, for example, decide if you'll organize the meeting by phone or by e-mail.

The second article was in "Discover" magazine. It talked about human-like robotics and how best to program them. Robotics researchers are finding that they can accomplish more with robots by emulating how the human body works. In the past, the article remarks, scientists followed the prevailing theory of "the brain as the center of thought." But now scientists are finding that decisions flow from the interaction of the environment with the physical material of our bodies. This works for all living things, from humans to insects. The article cites the example of a cockroach that doesn't appeal to its brain to tell it how to handle walking on an irregular surface. "Instead, its musculoskeletal system is designed so that local impacts drive its legs to the right position to take the next step." The same logic applies to humans. This "bottom up" theory of intelligence, the article notes, is also called "The Wisdom of the Body."

I believe that the message of both articles is this: Don't worry too much about the big
picture. You can trust that you'll find your way if you just keep taking the next step.



May 12, 2008

New Tip for Gluten-Free Living

Thanks to Ron Teper for offering us his secret for baking a loaf of gluten-free bread that is delicious -- and soft! Please see Tips for Gluten-Free Living.



May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

This Sunday will mark the first Mother's Day since my mother passed away...and I'm filled
with memories of how our family has celebrated this holiday over the years. I know Mother's
Day has evolved as a cultural phenomenon. But for me, it also has evolved as a personal
event. So I'd like to thank all those who have mothered me in the past and those who carry
on that tradition by mothering me today in so many little ways.



May 8, 2008

More Comments...and Thoughts about Life's Journey

Thanks to Mary Ann H. and Judy M. for their feedback!

Yesterday, my friend Cindy La Ferle ( sent me a column written by Anna Quindlen. Although the column is about Mother's Day, I feel it has valuable insights for everyone. Thinking about her life as a young mom, Anna writes that she now wishes she
had lived more in the moment: "I wishI had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting
it done a little less."

May we all renew our appreciation for our journey and our fellow travelers.



May 5, 2008

Your Comments...and My Tweaking.

Thanks to all who have commented about the launch of our Web site so far, including Ray, Mike and Sean, Ellen and Rob, Sue V., Diane S., Lisa F., Cindy L., Mark M., Anne and Alexandra P., and Tena D.

I spent an interesting day trying to discover why some tweaks I made in the morning worked fine on my computer but didn't upload properly. Bottom line: I wound up re-uploading the Web site because, as you know, when pages are linked together, the changes on one page often affect others. So if you were trying to find the Web site earlier today and you weren't successful, now you know why. To paraphrase 20th Century television announcers: "It was not the fault of your receiver."

By the way, I know some of you already have found the Surprise Link. For those who haven't yet discovered it, look on the Site Map page. I plan to change that link regularly, along with the quotations and the Brew page.



May 2, 2008


I hope you enjoy this Web site. Putting it together has reminded me that the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know! We might change this forum to a blog at some point. But right now, I'm happy to share my thoughts with you this way. We look forward to your participation.