Tenting with the kids

It started with pitching a gigantic 10-person tent that I got on clearance at Target. Never mind we had only four boys (my two sons and two nephews) to accommodate. This baby had a tented-in porch and two different rooms. It was a beauty. Plus it came with only five poles and a one-page, single-sided sheet of directions. Which were misleading. The tent kept collapsing. I sweated through my clothes, and most of my four-letter vocabulary, before figuring out what I was doing wrong. (I […]


Public Speaking: Just say no

My twin sister and I were recently asked to speak to a women’s group. We are a little rusty because we’ve actively avoided being at the front of a non-GTWoman event for about a year now. It’s not that we don’t like it. It’s just that it always plays out like this: The excitement When anyone asks us to speak we immediately feel like Abraham Lincoln: a great orator who ultimately met his demise at an event. We are excited, we are nervous. We want to […]

KK-5 cutouta crop

Cookie’s secret life 7

Cookie is living a secret life. She disappears for hours at a time and has no explanation for herself. Finally, it came out. I saw her picture on Facebook. She was on a back deck that wasn’t ours, enjoying a drink with a man who wasn’t Tim, outside a house that wasn’t hers. “What is thisssss?” I asked her, showing her the photo. She said nothing. We knew she liked to visit the neighbors, but this was going too far. Now she was posing for […]


GTWoman’s Office Space

We’re often asked where our GTWoman office is. It’s hard to explain that it’s about one mile down, on the left, just before the hard right turn. Watch for the trailhead sign and park near the first trail you see. Because we don’t have a “real” office. Unless you count Lost Lake Pathway, where we have walked and talked hundreds of miles over the last 12 years; sometimes planning GTWoman, sometimes planning an escape. But always, always talking and walking. We’ve calculated we’ve walked 60–70 […]


Writer’s Digest essay: Alone

My second “5-Minute Memoir” titled “Alone” is out in the March/April 2015 issue of Writer’s Digest! Check out the issue at Horizon Books, Brilliant Books and BAM in Traverse City. My essay is about being alone. Being by myself is one thing. But after losing my mother, I was alone in a way I couldn’t comprehend, couldn’t fathom. And I overcame it by getting lost in the woods, on my bike and seeking out that space where I was truly alone for the first time in my life. Here is how […]


Jigsaw puzzles – Let’s Jig!

Jigsaw puzzles. What’s not to love? A favorite at preschools and nursing homes. And one of the few ways to gather a family of four around a card table without any battles, scoring, tears, game-piece assaults or flat-out accusations. Usually. Every year I try to pass on my love for “jigging” to the children. It is only in the depths of winter that this is possible: when the novelty of snow has run its course, when there’s a blizzard raging or when they are sick […]


TRUMP: Euchre game means business

We won a euchre tournament the other day. One we created out of thin air. My sister and I hadn’t played in years. Some 20+ years to be clear. We used to play on the 1-hour ride home from middle school every afternoon and had, in fact, been the champs of Route 131 (and queen nerds too). But this time, we didn’t let on to the guys, our worthy opponents: Tim and Jeff. We played it cool. What does this have to do with career? Plenty. […]

Kandy & Kerry, champs

Basketball skills in middle school

My son, Kendall, played his first basketball tournament last Saturday. It was thrilling, crushing, exciting and exhausting. And he’s only in 6th grade. And I’m talking about me. It’s my first year of school events where they actually keep score. And it was a tiny sweat-filled drama that stretched out the length of a Saturday. Foul! I was a fine, calm, courteous spectator at the start of each game. However, when we got down by 2 points and someone on the other team double dribbled, […]


Diet Makeover – Green Fruit Smoothies

Green Fruit Smoothies. They’re all the rage and there’s a reason why: They’re fantastic. Why have we waited so long to start drinking them and using high-powered blenders to do so? We are now consuming 2 cups of spinach, a handful of kale, 2 cups of peaches, 1 cup of pineapple and two bananas a day. It’s a bona fide diet makeover. Our bodies are happy. We are happy. The guilt is gone. They are delicious. And, bonus, there are great side effects: The checkout […]

Cliff jumping

We went to Lake Placid, N.Y., for our family vacation this summer. On the first day, we stopped into High Peaks Cyclery for the sidewalk sale but left with a plan to jump off a 20-foot cliff. “You’ll wanna hike from Copperas Pond trailhead,” the guy at the shop said. He was a lean, mean cycling machine. “Take your swimsuits. You can jump off cliffs into the lake.” The children stood wide-eyed with hope. “Absolutely!” I said, trying to be cool just long enough to […]