Category: Life

Gift-Giving Tips: Image of our long-haired black and white cat Bonnie on a pile of Christmas presents.
Family

9 Gift-Giving Tips to Help You Bring Joy to Your World

Are you ready for some Christmas? Either way, you came to the right place. Today you get a bunch of gift-giving tips to make the holiday elf inside of you Happy, not Grumpy. Because grumpy holidays are not fun holidays. Trust me, I speak from experience. Don’t believe me? Click here. Oh, oh, oh, and

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Bedbugs 101: image of a business card for Chez Tarantini Bedbug and Breakfast.
Life

Bedbugs 101 (aka: My Deepest, Darkest Secret—Well, One of Them)

(This post includes affilated links.) I don’t remember who got bit first but eventually, everyone did. You could play connect-the-dots on our son’s midsection. Tony Bear’s neck and ears blossomed with thumbprint-sized welts that itched ferociously. In time, both girls also suffered with itchee-owies. I was bitten a time or two. At first we weren’t

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Scotland vs. America: Image of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland.
Life

Scotland Versus America: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

You can tell I’ve fallen in love with a city (or country) if I pick up a real estate publication for the area. If I wanted to move there, how much might a house cost? Over the years, I’ve considered Bruges in Belgium, Sanibel Island in Florida, and San Francisco. And now, Scotland. Shall I

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An image in Scotland with a rocky stream, pasture, and gorgeous sky.
Life

Scotland: A Whole New (Make that, Old) World

Last week I flew to a remote village in Scotland for a women’s “listening and hiking retreat.” The website applecross.uk.com describes the area like this: “Between the mainland mountain masses and the Island of Skye lies the Applecross Peninsula. Home to just a couple of hundred people, and accessed by only two roads, the Bealach

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An image of the Flight 93 National Memorial to consider when remembering September 11.
Life

Remembering September 11

This post has been taken down because the online journal, “Borrowed Solace,” picked it up. Yay, Sarah!! I’ll post a link when her essay goes live.   When I read this moving post earlier in the week, I immediately asked Sarah if I could run it on my blog today. She was gracious enough to

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Image of a gear shift to illustrate Cole's lesson of learning from failing.
Life

What Epic Failure Taught Me About Learning

(by Cole Smith) Recently, I learned a big life lesson about the intelligences and what it feels like to smack up against failure. After our car was totaled a few days before Christmas, I walked across the street from the body shop and asked about a car that was for sale. Literally — across the street! It

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What to do when a raccoon invades your home
Life

What to Do If a Raccoon Breaks Into Your Home–Three Times

It was the rudest of awakenings, hearing the screen of our bedroom window—our third floor bedroom window—being rattled violently in the middle of the night. I leapt out of bed and raced over, fearing one of our cats—Bonnie Agnes or Boots Louise—was nudging the screen loose and might soon be falling three stories. Sure enough,

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