Missing Grampo

February 10, 2014
My sister Cyn and me with our beloved Grampo

My sister Cyn and me with our beloved Grampo


One word. A lifetime of memories. Ortonville is the small Minnesota town where my dad grew up and where our family went to visit his parents—Grammo and Grampo to my sister, Cyn, and me—for most holidays and just because, year after year after year. It was a second home to us.

I still get the Ortonville Independent in the mail, the newspaper that’s been run by the Kaercher family for three generations. Jimmy Kaercher is around my mom’s age and still writes a weekly column. His daughter, Sue, recently took over the reins of day-to-day operations.

In the January 28, 2014 issue, Sue wrote in her column, Sue’s Muse:

Another building is gone from Ortonville’s main street. The old brick building that stood on the northeast corner of Second Street and Jackson Avenue was leveled early Saturday morning. The building, which had been vacant for decades, was owned by the EDA after it went to the county in back taxes. Bricks were falling off it, windows were broken and the roof was in need of repair. It had become dangerous.

That doesn’t make it any easier to see it come down. It was a landmark to the community, part of the town’s identity. The building was referred to as the “Odd Fellows” building because it was built to house the meeting room for the Odd Fellows fraternal organization.

At this point, I had lost interest in the story because I didn’t know what building Sue was referring to. Just before I tossed the paper in the recycling, I glanced at the next paragraph and Read the rest of this entry »

Love Yourself As You Love Your Friends

February 8, 2014

Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani‘s account of her near-death experience (NDE) is one of the most profound stories I have ever encountered—not just because of her astonishing experience beyond this world but because her body healed itself of her end-stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) within days of her return to this life. Click here to watch a forty-six-minute video interview with Anita in which she shares the story of her NDE.

I just finished reading Anita’s book, Dying to Be Me. Here are two paragraphs from page 172 that, unfortunately, a lot of people can relate to. If you have not been kind to yourself, I hope you take Anita’s words to heart. Remember, you can’t cherish anyone else in a healthy way unless Read the rest of this entry »

The Beautiful Terror of Uncertainty

February 2, 2014

Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani‘s account of her near-death experience (NDE) is one of the most profound stories I have ever encountered—not just because of her astonishing experience beyond this world but because her body healed itself of her end-stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) within days of her return to this life. Click here to watch a forty-six-minute video interview with Anita in which she shares the story of her NDE.

I’m currently reading and enjoying Anita’s book, Dying to Be Me. Here are two paragraphs from page 137 that contain a whole lotta wisdom.

Since my NDE, I’ve learned that strongly held ideologies actually work against me. Needing to operate out of concrete beliefs limits my experiences because it keeps me within the realm of only what I know—and my knowledge is limited. And if I restrict myself to Read the rest of this entry »

All of it: Holy

January 27, 2014

Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown

Poet Derrick Brown‘s captivating seven-minute film, “A Finger, Two Dots Then Me,” is a rumination on love, loss, life after death and the nature of Read the rest of this entry »

George Saunders: “Err in the Direction of Kindness”

January 16, 2014

George Saunders

George Saunders

Novelist George Saunders’ stirring address at The College of Arts and Sciences’ undergraduate convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at Syracuse University, where he is a professor of English, quickly went viral, and deservedly so.

Saunders, author of The New York Times bestseller, Tenth of December, implored his audience to prioritize kindness over self-interest, delivering his message with candor, authenticity and humor.

The speech proved to be so popular that an expanded version will soon be published in book form. Without further ado, here is Saunders’ speech:


Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).

And I intend to Read the rest of this entry »

The Precarious and Precious Days of Billy Collins

January 8, 2014

Poet Billy Collins

Poet Billy Collins

Ah, how precious and fragile is each and every day. The simplicity and innate joy of this Billy Collins poem calls to mind the story that my friend, Leslye, told me about her niece. Leslye said the little girl woke up, walked to the window, looked out, and gasped, “It’s a brand new day!”

Indeed it is, ripe with beauty and sweetness that is yours for the taking.

by Billy Collins

Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Robert Fisch: Kissing the Cold, Hard Marble

January 3, 2014

Dr. Robert Fisch

Dr. Robert Fisch

I was blessed with a wonderful father and did my best to be the best father I could be as well. So I was especially moved by Holocaust survivor Dr. Robert Fisch‘s tribute to his father in his remarkable book, Fisch Stories: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Here are three excerpts that capture the quiet heroism of the father and the loving devotion of the son.

My father enjoyed everything life could offer: music, food, theater, playing dominoes, and so forth. He and my mother had a shop that sold poultry and game. He was an exceptionally good person, and he helped so many needy people, mostly children in orphanages. In 1944, when he was 53 years old, Hungarian Nazis took him to a Hungarian concentration camp near the German border. A survivor told me that on the way he gave his food away, saying “I Read the rest of this entry »

The Courage of Dr. Robert Fisch

January 2, 2014

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

I was privileged to interview Dr. Robert Fisch about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Click here to read his incredible story.

After World War II ended, and after he escaped communist Hungary in 1956, Dr. Fisch consciously chose to live with love and joy as his dearest friends instead of succumbing to hate and bitterness.

Dr. Fisch’s positive approach to life is reflected in his astonishing bravery. Here is an excerpt from his remarkable book, Fisch Stories: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

In my first years of medical school at the University of Budapest, the different political parties pressured students to join. I established the Fisch Party and edited the Fisch Journal, both designed to ridicule the Communists. One spring, at a May Day demonstration, the Communists produced a poster with a cartoon of President Truman with a snake around his neck. When they asked me to carry it, I refused.

“His soldiers liberated me,” I told them. They put the poster on Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Robert Fisch—Freedom, Day One

January 1, 2014

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

On this day 57 years ago—New Year’s Day, 1957—Holocaust survivor Dr. Robert Fisch sailed into New York Harbor. He had been persecuted in his homeland of Communist Hungary and likely would have been executed for his role in the 1956 Revolution there. Thirty-seven years later, in 1993, he received a medal of honor from the president of Hungary for his heroic actions in the liberation of Hungary.

January 1, 1957, was a joyous and auspicious day for Dr. Fisch, but it was only day one of a long and difficult process that finally led to true freedom. He explains why in the poignant and moving Introduction in his book, The Metamorphosis to Freedom.

You are most likely one of the fortunate people who were born in freedom. Only a fraction of people throughout history have been that lucky. I was not one of them.

When I was a young man in Hungary, the Nazis imprisoned, deported and killed Jewish people—including my father and many other members of my family—simply because they were Jews. Then the Communists took over my country and told me where and ow I could practice medicine, for by then I had become a doctor.

I rebelled against the Communists, escaped from Hungary and eventually came to the United States.

I waited a long time for freedom, but it did not come when Read the rest of this entry »

So That Is What’s Possible

December 26, 2013

In the 12/27/13 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King ends his review of the book, The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, with this:

The Interestings addresses one of fiction’s great themes: how we make peace with our own shortcomings and make the best of ordinary lives.

It’s a great theme in real life as well: How do people rearrange and rebuild their lives when dreams die hard?

Like most people, I’ve seen countless friends and acquaintances aim for careers and stardom in creative fields like acting, singing, painting and writing, only to end up frustrated and disillusioned. The cold, hard truth is that most of Read the rest of this entry »

Namaste on Christmas Day

December 25, 2013


Whatever your faith, whatever your beliefs, may the spirit of Namaste guide you to see every individual as a beloved child of God and all the Great Read the rest of this entry »

Walking on Holy Ground

December 24, 2013


If you’re looking for a way to transform the world by transforming lives, here’s a profound and powerful way to do just that:

In every interaction you have with another human being, do your best to genuinely and authentically convey that they are valued, cared for and appreciated.

How to do that? It can be as simple as listening with affection and excitement. Or it can take the form of a warm, sincere smile and an honest compliment. Today, instead of giving a friend of mine a quick hug goodbye, I felt that something more was called for because she was in despair. So I Read the rest of this entry »

Tuned to the Right Frequency

December 23, 2013

Carl Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain evidence of the sacred in everyday life. Case in point: this story from Caroline Updyke of Short Hills, New Jersey, which appeared in the January 2014 issue of Guideposts.


life-after-life-radioIt was a station their radio wasn’t programmed to receive, but the connection was made, loud and clear

There’s a reason my husband, Eric, and I got satellite radio. It’s reliable. We live in a woodsy, hilly area, and just driving around town I used to lose my favorite station. Or the signal would get crossed with one from another station.

That never happens with satellite radio. We have it set to an oldies channel. The signal is locked in, the sound crystal clear.

That day I was especially glad to Read the rest of this entry »

Barbara Roberts—The Work You Were Born to Do

December 21, 2013

Click here to order Barbara’s book, which comes in PDF, iPad or paperback

What’s in a face? Plenty, according to Face Reading expert Barbara Roberts. In this video interview with Barbara, she explains how to interpret your facial features to identify the career you are destined for.

Click here to schedule your own Face Reading session with Barbara.

Click here to order Barbara’s books.

Click here to listen to “11 Lessons on How to Read the rest of this entry »

Jean-Claude, Don’t Mess With Chuck Norris!

December 19, 2013


Jean-Claude Van Damme’s video for Volvo collected more than 61 million views in its first 37 days. That’s impressive! But not nearly as impressive as Chuck Norris’ video response.

You’re good, Jean-Claude, but Chuck Read the rest of this entry »

Astrological Predictions for 2014 for Each Zodiac Sign

December 17, 2013
Laurie Baum

Laurie Baum

These astrological predictions for each zodiac sign for 2014 were written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California. As you can see from her article, Laurie integrates the wisdom of natural patterns in the heavens with spirituality and psychological insights.

Click here for Laurie’s comprehensive astrological forecast for 2014.

You, too, can benefit from Laurie’s wisdom. She writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”

Laurie is a former newspaper and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America. She is the author of five books:

A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your Name

Everything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign

Whispers from the Cosmos

Sacred Mysteries of Egypt

Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium

Laurie also offers counseling appointments by phone. She will answer your questions about major life decisions and talk with you about the reasons you have incarnated, the lessons you are here to learn, where you are on the wheel of karma, and the psychological developmental cycles you have been through and are going through. She will look at current influences on your health, finances, relationships, career, and any relocation plans that may be necessary. She also will look ahead with you at the next seven years of your life. A reading with Laurie can help you take the next step in your life. Sessions, which are available via landline phone or Skype (audio or video), are digitally recorded.

To make an appointment with Laurie, click here to e-mail Laurie or call her at (760) 753-7676. Click here to visit Laurie’s website for more information.


Illustrations by Kagaya, a Japanese digital fine artist.
Click here to visit Kagaya’s website.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
You will go through more than the usual number of changes in 2014. Some of the changes will come as a surprise without your prior awareness. Other changes will evolve slowly. For the most beneficial results, think about how to integrate the wisdom you gain from both the sudden changes and the slowly evolving transformations. A new life direction will naturally emerge as you take some quiet time, slow down and listen to messages from your soul. Your most active periods in 2014 will occur under the influence of two Full Moon Total Eclipses, one on April 15 and the other on October 8. Your power to initiate ambitious action will be at a zenith on April 15. Your diplomacy will prevail on October 8. Positive changes that support your growth will occur on February 26 and April 20. Introspect about how you would like to express your Read the rest of this entry »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 353 other followers