The World in a Cup of Coffee

Filed Under All Posts, Health, Parenting, Prudence Baird | 26 Comments

For Prudence, a chance encounter at the local co-op reveals a road less traveled and the journey ahead

I noticed the woman’s skirt first. Made from a stretchy black polyester from another era, the skirt brushed the tops of her shoes, which peeked out from underneath like two pointy black snouts. She stared at the gleaming push-top coffee thermoses perched just out of reach as she fidgeted with an orange paper coffee cup, turning it over and over in her hands.

“May I get you some coffee?” I asked.

“No, I can manage,” she said, and promptly dropped the cup, which rolled under her wheelchair.

Our eyes met and both crinkled at the corners.

“Well. I guess maybe you’d better.” Read more

The Waiting Game

Filed Under All Posts, Courage, Health, Prudence Baird | 15 Comments

As time tests her patience, Prudence is not amused

The waiting game. Just because this phrase rhymes with the iconic Jim Lange-hosted TV game show of my youth, I am not amused.

I object to coupling the word “waiting” with “game.”

There’s nothing joyful, fun or amusing about waiting, therefore waiting is not a game. Read more

What’s Wrong With Me? And Other Orgasmic Tales

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health | 10 Comments

Due to technical difficulties, this has been re-posted (RSS readers will be getting this twice).

Carine explores the pursuit of big business and the big O


Do you know that you are sick if you don’t have vaginal orgasms? If your libido is kind of low, you have an illness? If you are not instantly lubricated when your partner suggests lovemaking, you are diseased? And did you know that not climaxing when you engage in sexual activity means something is wrong with you?

Listen up. Your debilitating ailment has a name: Female Sexual Dysfunction, or FSD. Don’t you feel better knowing what’s wrong with you? Now you can go to reputable sites like Mayo Clinic or Web MD or AAPF (a peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians) and read all about it. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, unfortunately, not even one of those smarty-pants scientists out there has been able to come up with the Holy Grail otherwise known as female Viagra. Ain’t life a bitch sometimes? Does God hate women or what? Read more

Mining Bits of Goodness

Filed Under Health, Melissa Howden | 16 Comments

green plant grows in between crack in concrete

Melissa works at creating a personal survival guide for the tumult of the times

These are tough times. This is the one thing we all can agree on. At this juncture, I am forced to acknowledge that personally things are also rough and ragged. This could be a chicken and egg question, “Is it the state of the world that is making me sad or am I just sad which is affecting how I see the world?” Does it really matter? It’s perilous out there and its perilous in here. So what to do? The very wise ones say that it’s not what is happening that is important rather how we respond and relate to what is happening.

With this in mind I’ve begun to make some changes – they may seem superfluous and shallow but I’ve noticed immediate improvement in my outlook. I have blocked the posts of people on Facebook who persistently lambast. It depressed me. Truth be told I’m limiting my FB time and when I am there I find I am looking for inspiring stories and cute animal photographs of interspecies bonding and acceptance. These things lift me up and contribute to an overall feeling of well being. Read more

Discovering Selflessness with My Friend, Madam Menopause

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health | 13 Comments

Sacred Fire of Pele, Goddess of Hawaii Volcano, painting by Olga Shevchenko

Meet or retreat from Carine’s cast of characters in her toned down rant about “the change”

You don’t know how happy you are that I didn’t post the blog I originally wrote titled “I Hate F#*@!-ing Menopause”. I remembered just in time that I’m supposed to embrace this era of transformation, of aging with grace, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. To be 100 percent honest, I don’t love growing old but I’ve made my peace with it. I’m even doing it au naturel—never tried Botox, stopped dyeing my hair, chucked my distaste for exercise. But, menopause? Yes, that’s me in the corner over there, waving the large white flag.

My original blog was full of anger and super dirty swear words. Aren’t you glad I reconsidered? Although, to tell you the truth, I had a great time ripping Madam Menopause to shreds. I thought I was really funny, but people who love me said to keep it to myself or forever suffer pangs of regret since the Internet is the elephant that never forgets. Or, they made careful suggestions about how to tweak it. So I shelved the report on my wide-eyed midnights spent wondering whom to yell at; and of my epiphanous threat to Mr. Flash: the intention to create a brand new antiperspirant for the ENTIRE body. HA! HA! HA! No more sweating EVER AGAIN! Read more

Naked Motherhood

Filed Under All Posts, Health, Parenting, Prudence Baird | 41 Comments

As if being a mother wasn’t difficult enough; Prudence illustrates what its like to be a mother of an autistic child, navigating familial relations, good intentions and bureaucratic ignorance

The popsicle stick-thin figure in rumpled pajamas who is my 16-year-old son stands in the darkened corridor in a fighter’s stance, small white hands clenched into fists. His face, lit by a shaft of light from the laundry room, is contorted with rage at being roused from his slumber—probably by me shutting the dryer door.

Casey’s eyes dart from the lit laundry room to the clothes in my arms; then to the crack of light under his brother’s bedroom door.

This could go any direction, including ones I cannot imagine, so I float a storyline: “I’m going downstairs with these clean clothes; time to go back to bed.”

“Mom? Who are you talking to?” comes from behind my oldest son’s door.

I dart a warning glance at Casey, whose free-floating anxiety wicks towards the sound of his brother’s voice. He erupts, “Shut-up! I’m trying to sleep!”

“You shut-up. You’re the one who’s yelling,” comes big brother’s voice. Read more

10 Reasons to Smile

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Health | 23 Comments

Cathy finds inspiration for lightening up in dark times

The world seems to be in an upheaval these days. There’s so much bad news, it makes me want to burst into tears. But, I’ve decided to take a different path, to turn away from the sad and focus on the good.

From soul stirring to silly, brilliant to ballsy, here are ten things to get your face grinning.

#1) Smile! It’s Good for You

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we look at ourselves in the mirror each day and smile. “What better way to start the day than with a smile?” he writes. “Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy.“

Smiling lowers blood pressure and relieves stress, it’s contagious, and everyone looks better when they smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, try smiling and get some sunshine from deep within.

#2) Hop on the Bus Gus!

In Los Angeles, where wheels rule, the Do Good Bus gives participants an opportunity to get involved in their community. With no religious affiliation, each trip is different and assignments are kept a secret until on board. Read more

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