Crowd your plate with vegetables

The Dallas Morning News considered the latest food trends and fads and concluded, in a headline, that we all need to “see past the hype.” In its Sunday, October 4, 2015, issue, the newspaper advised: “The best way to eat for most people isn’t found in fad diets or even stringent ones. Crowding your plate […]

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Better than heroin

I’ve never tried heroin. So, I’ll have to believe that Mary Karr knows what she’s talking about. “Reading is socially accepted disassociation. You flip a switch and you’re not there anymore,” Karr says. “It’s better than heroin.” I do know that reading has given me great pleasure and comfort. We found Karr’s quote in The […]

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Friends are like quilts

My good friend Mary, who was my roommate in college, sent me this wonderful quote. “Good friends are like quilts. They age with you, and yet, they never lose their warmth. Take good care of them.” –Joy

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Augusta Chiwy, a Resolute Woman

I had never heard of Augusta Chiwy, a Belgian nurse, until I read her obituary in the August 29, 2015, issue of The Dallas Morning News. This Resolute Woman was 23 when an American doctor knocked on the door of her father’s house during the Battle of the Bulge. When Dr. John Prior told Chiwy […]

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Avoid the duck syndrome

Too many teenagers are pressured to be high-achieving in school and sports and music and community activities, says Gillian Barth in a column in the August 29, 2015, issue of The Dallas Morning News. They suffer, Barth says, from the duck syndrome—“appearing to glide calmly across the water while paddling frantically beneath.” I sometimes, too, […]

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Barrel through life with audacity

Lily Tomlin, the comedian and actress, has some advice that she would have given her younger self if she could. In an interview with Studio 360, a public radio program, Tomlin said: “Just barrel through life with all the audacity you can and be confident. “Where you can learn something, learn it, and where you […]

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What is Grit?

Grit is the secret to success, conclude Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval in their new book Grit to Great. They say grit has four essential components. Guts—the courage to take on a tough challenge Resilience—the ability to stay focused and motivated Initiative—the quality of that leads you to be a self-starter Tenacity—the relentless ability […]

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Grit to Great

“Passion and perseverance, it turns out, matter more than talent or intelligence when it comes to being successful,” argue Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval in their new book Grit to Great. “Grit has been equated more with methodical stick-to-it-iveness and survival than any secret ingredient to success….Grit is the result of a hard-fought struggle, […]

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What a world

Abby, one of the characters in Anne Tyler’s book A Spool of Blue Thread, remembers that the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz,” said, “I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world, what a world.” Abby is the mother of four, the collector of “orphans.” Her orphans, who frequently show up at holiday dinners, are […]

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A family that could be any of ours

“Well, this is just great,” Jeannie told Denny, her brother. She stripped off her oven mitts and slammed them down next to her plate. “You waltz on out whenever you like; everything stops for Lord Denny. Everyone’s just thankful you stayed as long as you did; everyone’s falling all over themselves because it’s such a […]

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