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Category: People

Logan’s Heart

The best part about my journalist work is the people I come in contact with.  Last month I (virtually) met Logan Vallee and his family.  Logan’s been waiting all of his life for a new heart.  He was born with “half a heart.”    And that’s not even considering the hearts and souls of all the people who love and admire him. Read all about Logan in the Marengo Union Times. Here’s one of the photos Logan’s mom shared with me.

Impressed by a 10-year-old

You know what 10-year-old Ethan Laudick does for fun?  He creates  snacks.  His favorite cooking show is Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen.  Ethan’s Mom throws down challenges to Ethan and his friends by giving them 3-5 ingredients from her pantry and invites them to get creative.   Last year Ethan took second place at the future Chefs competition.  This year he took first place with this recipe? I had a lot of fun interviewing Ethan.  What an impressive boy!  (I’m impressed by his parents, too.). Read more and see photos here, where my story about him first appeared.

The perks of a freelance writer

I get a lot of perks as a freelance photo-journalist.  She started writing between nap time and laundry, as a new mother.  It took her 5 years to finish her first novel. Okay, yes, it took me longer than that to finish A Ship of Pearl.  The good news is that Mary churned out four more books in less than four years following her first novel. Please visit The McHenry Chronicle to get the skinny of Mary’s visit to the local library. Another Mary, Mary Robinson arranged the author meet-up with Mary Kubica.  Mary Robinson is the Adult Services director at the…

Heads up! It’s the President’s Address

Tonight President Trump addresses the Joint Session of Congress.  To find out how to watch it, click here. ( I classify myself, if I must be classified, as a Progressive Catholic. I vote both sides of the aisle, following my conscience and paying close attention to what the candidate and their party plans to accomplish. Much of what President Trump says and does saddens me, but tonight is not really about him.  It’s about the plan.  So today, I recap what’s on the agenda for Republicans, who hold sway over two of our branches of government. During the Presidential campaign, I…

Recycled 55-gallon drums make music

I’m blessed with a wonderful photo-journalist job.  It’s a small paper.  It’s a local paper. It’s a free paper. The best part about it is I get to meet the most interesting people. Plus, I learn a lot. Last week I Matt Potts and Anthony Houston. Matt makes steelpans out of used 55-gallon drums.  Oh my goodness!  I never heard of these instruments before.  He starts with a sledge-hammer, using smaller and smaller hammers, until the harmonics are just right. Hop on over to McHenry Chronicle to read more by clicking here. Here’s a video of the Matt and Anthony…

Coping with Difficult People

These days, I’m rarely around difficult people.  Why?  Because I work from home.


There was a time when my day was filled with difficult people. And, in the interest of honesty, I may, just may, have been a difficult person. Maybe. Let’s just say that my career in the pharmaceutical industry involved a lot of conflict and a lot of strong people with strong opinions.

Lately, a certainTweeter in the news keeps reminding me of a valuable set of tapes I listened to and share:  “Coping with Difficult People,” by Robert M. Bramson PhD.  Although Bramson describes several personality traits that may become difficult, the ones I have the most trouble with are the Sherman Tanks, Exploders, and Snipers, all aggressive types of behaviors.

  • Sherman Tanks are people who run roughshod, bluster, and bully.
  • Exploders, well, they explode in an angry tirade;
  • Snipers hit with sarcasm and humor from behind cover.

Twitter is a great place for Sherman Tanks.  The most common response is to try to fight fire with fire.  Bramson point out the error of this response.  He says that even if you win, it turns a Sherman Tank into a Sniper, also happy Twitter users.

Gratitude Monday: Football means marching bands

Here it is Monday again.  I had a full and relaxing weekend, almost unplugged from electronics. Last week, I felt like I walked around in a fog.  Allergies and a late night at a Village Board meeting, left my face itchy and my brain irritated.  I’m not sure which caused which, but all week I felt like I needed a nap, and as soon as I laid my head on a pillow, my brain began to race.  Plus, Saturday was my first “Meet local Indy Authors,” I woke from a nightmare that my novel filled with errors, including red-lining.  Holy…

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