With The Reflective Writer Blog in Transition, I Take a Step Toward Change

April 30, 2014
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This post is neither an end nor a beginning. It is somewhere in between. For a few months I have noticed changes in my energy and focus. I have been aware that my vision for myself and my creative work is shifting. Perhaps you have noticed a change here at The Reflective Writer blog — […]

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When the Polar Vortex Meets Passover, and A Fish Becomes a Bird

April 16, 2014
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Passover is a time of tradition, and passing the traditions down is written into the celebration. The Seder is full of symbols and rituals — from Seder plate to Afikomen hunt, from Hagaddah choice to songs — and the rhythm and tone of the holiday are shaped by family preference and lore. Food is essential! […]

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A Tree is Preserved, and Grief Averted

April 1, 2014
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We have a large, beautiful Douglas Fir that anchors our house on its southwest corner. The tree provides shade to our living area with its long branches, and we can see the tree from many different windows in our home. I connect with its emotional strength and grounding. So I reacted with true grief when […]

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Reentry is Still the Most Important Lesson at the End of a Trip

March 19, 2014
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Back home after presenting at the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention. Thanks OSLHA for having me! I have been home 72 hours from my trip and am beginning to feel back in my body. My mind, on the other hand, is still flying. Reentry after a trip is always a challenge for me. I put a […]

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When You Need to Skip the Topic and Just Write

March 6, 2014
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I’ve got myself in a bit of a jam. I’ve written fewer blogs in recent weeks — combination of being ultra busy and choosing to put energy into some other projects — and now I feel disconnected. I don’t know what to write about. That doesn’t mean I don’t have ideas. Ideas come to me […]

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How I Got My Work Done But Almost Missed the Snow

February 12, 2014
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The world’s been quiet. That’s what snow does. Actually, the streets are now clear and only remnants remain, but on Saturday night and Sunday morning we had the embrace of a sudden February snowfall. I knew there had been some talk of snow, maybe 1/2 an inch, but I hadn’t paid much attention. I didn’t […]

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How Academic Citations Trigger Me Then Teach Me

January 27, 2014
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My blog has been quiet this week, but I’ve been in a writing mode nonetheless. I’m working on revisions for an article, which means editing and adjusting in response to reviewer feedback. I felt a bit fussy about some small edits, but the real challenge for me were the requests for more citations. Citations stress […]

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Enjoying Tumbleweed Mind, and Others Thoughts From Housecleaning

January 16, 2014

I spent the morning cleaning house. What I was doing was really clearing, not cleaning. I was preparing the house for professional cleaners, which means putting everything away and making surfaces as free for cleaning as possible. I move a lot of things around so the dirt is accessible. I’m a terrible housekeeper. I have […]

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Choosing Something Simple for 2014

January 5, 2014
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I have decided to opt for the simple in 2014. The classic New Year’s resolution is reinvention and transformation. Big goals. Dramatic improvement. Visions of a new life. I could be tempted, of course (who doesn’t have the occasional fantasy of a grand rewrite of one’s life?) but I’m drawn in a different direction this […]

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How to Do a New Year’s Review and Get the Most Out of Year’s End

December 23, 2013
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This is a week full of time markers: Winter Solstice, Christmas, and the countdown to New Year’s. We are at the heart of winter darkness but about to turn the corner towards the light that emerges in a new year. No matter how bare the trees today, they are already working deep inside to bring […]

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From Private Chaos to Shared Balance: The Brisket Bonus

December 9, 2013
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Twenty-four hours ago I felt close to a nervous breakdown. After slicing and dicing what seemed like endless parsnips, carrots, and turnips, I was cutting into a large brisket that demanded strength and fortitude and a better knife that I had. Still before me were several laborious steps before the ingredients would pile into a […]

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Celebrate Thanksgivvukah, Because You Can’t Afford to Wait Until Next Time

November 27, 2013
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By now you’ve probably heard: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are overlapping in an occurrence so rare it won’t happen again for over 77,000 years. That’s a lot of time to fill between turkey latkes. People seem to be having endless fun with this holiday mixture, and the Internet is full of songs, recipes, arguments for, arguments […]

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How Kennedy’s Death was a Childhood Lesson in Grief

November 19, 2013
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In my family, grief was always hidden, private if felt at all. When my mother’s father died, I knew only that my parents went to a funeral. The house was empty of emotion or discussion. When my father’s father died, I noticed with curiosity that my aunt looked like she’d been crying. That was a […]

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What Might You Clear Away With A November Windstorm?

November 5, 2013
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As if aware of the calendar page turning, the winds started blowing in November. Our beautiful trees — full of deep color — were blasted by what some call “nature’s pruning.” Trees swayed and bowed under the wind, and leaves billowed upward in cloud-like caravans. Afterwards, once-full branches stood bare. The world looked more gray, […]

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Quiet Before Chaos, Mindfulness Before Mayhem

October 25, 2013

  My head feels noisy. I wake up in the night with songs playing uncontrollably in my mind. The Zumba classes feel extra loud all of a sudden. The world shoots sound from every corner. My clock radio blares, and the day begins with a noise shock. All around me, there is sound intruding on […]

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What Words Do You Use? Thinking About How Labels Affect Us

October 16, 2013

When I was a young student in speech-language pathology, we routinely talked about disorders rather than people: “I have an artic disorder at 2 p.m.”; “I can’t wait to see the Wernicke’s coming in”; “My head trauma was a problem today.” (No, I didn’t have a head trauma! The patient did.) Though we were kind […]

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Exploring Your Inner China Cabinet: Finding Your Whole Self

October 7, 2013

I had the pleasure of being a guest blogger this week on Writing into Wellness on the Writing Trail with Kathy Gabriel Gill. You’ll find my post there as well as Kathy’s many posts and images. Visit, explore, and say hello! (Be sure to check out her fabulous image quilt.) *             *               * What does […]

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Embracing the Mood and Memory of Fall on the Autumnal Equinox

September 22, 2013

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. Fall begins. Outside, the world acknowledges this fact with heavy rain, gray skies, and cool temperatures. My husband turned the furnace on for the first time. I used headlights when driving at noon. I am wearing long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I am ready to nest. The seasons change […]

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Earning ASHA CEUs the Hard Way, and Still Staying Grounded

September 18, 2013

I passed the test! Big news? Maybe – after, all, I failed three times first. Let me explain: I periodically read journal articles to earn continuing ed credits (CEUs) for ASHA, my national organization in speech-language pathology. The multiple-choice questions are available ahead of time, and the tests are open book (the on-line version). Not […]

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Bringing Together September 11 and Yom Kippur as Times of Remembrance

September 11, 2013
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Yesterday my husband asked me if I knew what date this coming Thursday was. I did, indeed: September 12, the 21st anniversary of our meeting. We talked about what the weather was like that day (comfortable and pleasant, by our memory of our clothing), and how our first conversation went. We tried to make sense […]

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