Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas to You



Merry Christmas! Enjoy my Christmas column from LA Post Examiner and Google News, and may you feel the season in your own personal way.

http://lapostexaminer.com/moment-find-christmas/2014/12/23

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christians - we will be celebrating until the end of time, make no mistake about it

With each year that passes, it seems that as Christians we have to defend our right to celebrate one of our most sacred holidays. You can take down our nativity scenes, unplug our lights, forbid your workers from wishing us well, but we are never going anywhere...period. And there are lots of us, too.

Enjoy this new column on the public expression of our faith, and the deeply private way it can affect us, if we only let it:

http://lapostexaminer.com/public-square-defeat-christians/2014/12/17

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Can Give a Glimpse into Black Hearts

Thanksgiving has been washed and put away for the year. For some, that happened last night, while their turkey was still digesting and unwashed dishes were still stacked high in the sink. These forward-thinking folk take advantage of a crazy lil' thang called Black Friday. Read on...

http://lapostexaminer.com/black-friday-dark-side/2014/11/28

Whatever your method, good luck, safe travels, and leave room for the Spirit of the season.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Enterovirus D68 Is Scary

I just wrote a column about this new virus, called Enterovirus D68, that is now affecting children in 43 U.S. states. More troubling than the severe respiratory symptoms is the now-baffling limb paralysis that some patients are experiencing.

Here's the column: http://lapostexaminer.com/enterovirus-d68-prevention-keep-sick-children-home/2014/10/09

Have children wash their hands, keep them home when having symptoms, and don't panic - hopefully it will fade by the end of November!

Monday, September 29, 2014

High School Reunion 2014 - Say What? We are 50+?

 
(Me and my best bud Nicole, 9/20/14)

Last week-end I attended my 35th high school reunion. How is this possible, I wondered, zooming down the highway towards my hometown, and home. How have we all gotten this old?

Your fifties are funny, because there is a certain sense of unreality, at least for me. Sometimes I shake my head and say, wow! I'm over fifty! Inside, of course, you are you, and I don't know if the soul or heart or whatever it is that makes you unique really has an age.

I had a wonderful, terrific time, and I laughed with old friends until the wee hours. I realized, in those precious days revisiting my youth, that age is both about trying, and acceptance. You must accept that yes, your body is aging, and so is your mind. (Where are those damned car keys?) But equally, imperatively important is that you must keep trying - every day. You must learn another thing, feel another thing, do new things. In many ways my fifties have been my most active decade - now that the kids are older, I can ride my horse, kayak, hike - whatever is fun in the moment, that day. The wisdom of my age tells me how far I can go with any activity I choose, but my eternal heart or soul - that which does not age - keeps me reaching out like a kid. I hope future decades do not change this.

Here's a column on my reunion, if you'd like to take a look: http://lapostexaminer.com/high-school-reunion-brings-laughter-memories/2014/09/29

Happy end-of-September!
Deirdre

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Air Conditioning Is Nice

Dear readers,

I am posting this column from 2009 tog et you through another hot day...enjoy! (One of my favorites)

Deirdre Reilly: The art of air conditioning – a primer

Summer weather has finally arrived, now that it is August, and with the heat and humidity comes some challenges for us all – some of us more than others. (And here I am referring to the children of America, who have to endure back-to-school ads as they are finally climbing into their bathing suits.) Below please find your handy guide to navigating the last third of summer and its warmer weather. With this guide, some patience and a few electrical outlets, you are good to go!

Today we will be tackling air conditioning. Now, if you are lucky enough, you have central air, and being comfortable in the heat is as simple as putting down your martini or highball, adjusting your ascot and rising from your leather wingback chair while singing out, “I’m going to put the AC on now, Lovey, before we adjourn to our yacht for the night!” You are one of the lucky ones. For the rest of us, using a “Fan to Window AC” strategy is what gets us by. First, we go get our fans from the attic or basement with sweaty, grasping hands. Then we bring them to our living spaces and simply plug them in. Important note: Try to clean your box, standing, or oscillating fan first with wet paper towels; otherwise when the family gathers excitedly in front of the fan, they are blown backward by the dust balls and random, unexplained dirt that has accumulated in the fan, and instead of feeling refreshed, you are coughing and gagging - which only tends to make you hotter. Another note: Children, it is fun to sing into the fan, a joy that central air people will never know. My kids have always gone with “America, the Beautiful.” Try it.

The second part of the “Fan to Window AC” method is, of course, when the mercury continues to rise, and the family gets savvy, and realizes that the fan is simply blowing around hot air. The teens catch on to this first; since they have not secured summer jobs like they promised they would - they are underfoot and have a lot of time to examine why it is so hot in your home. They will yell out sentences like, “You do realize that fans just blow around hot air, dude” and parents, sweating in another room, clench their fists and remember that school is starting up soon. Anyhoo, it is time to locate the window air conditioning units.

This is an art in and of itself. Last year, after you inserted the units into the windows, flushed with feeling real chilled air, you made a vow to yourself. You said, “I shall vow to put these refreshing window units in a place I deem both logical, and easily accessible. A place that makes sense; a place that creates value and peace for the family.” Then, months passed and the first snow fell, and as you were outside brushing snow off the backside of the window unit, you said to yourself, “Gee, it’s February. I should yank these out of here.” You did this, and chucked them in the first available space. So now you are paying for that. They’re spread out all over the place. Simply check the following areas: under the house in the crawl space, in the garage angled crazily in the corner near the rakes and hoes, or crammed in the attic balancing precariously on your old college desk. Now you’re in business!

One challenge of the window units: they never fit, not really. You are either going to be jamming them into the window, or pushing them right through the window, where the unit will either smash to pieces on the lawn, or give a good laugh to your central AC-drunk neighbors, who are watching you out their fancy windows while chatting on their fancy golden cell phones with their brokers and polishing their diamonds. Don’t even give this a moment’s worry, though – you haven’t even reached the hard part yet. You will need an adapter to plug this beast in, and you’ll never find one. You’ll be rummaging through your drawers and closets with a personal body temperature of 150 degrees, and the window unit will be balanced in the window, just taunting you.

It’s time to take a deep breath and re-group. Send a teenager out to buy a new adapter even though you know you have at least thirty hidden in the house, while you and a trusted friend or spouse adjust the unit properly in the window, and then fill in the gaps on either side of the unit with rolled up hand towels. I myself use Christmas towels – they look festive, and may encourage you to remove the units in December, so that you can use the hand towels for the purpose Wal-Mart intended them to be used for – as hand towels. Then, take the newly procured adapter from your hot teen and plug that secured unit right on in.

I’d like you to stand back and just take a moment to look at yourself. You have done it, my friend. Your unit is secure – and, gives off both cool air and a nice holiday feel – and your teens are looking at you admiringly. Sure, this unit is 25 years old and is as loud as an 18-wheeler shifting gears, but you have done it. You have provided cool air for the family, and you will sail through the rest of the summer. Good for you! Now go sit down and enjoy a cool popsicle; you’ve earned it!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

ISIS: Less a terror group more an emerging government

Below is my latest column posted to Los Angeles Post Examiner: some facts about the organization and efficiency of ISIS. They are less a ragtag collection of desert thugs and more a sophisticated, tech-savvy emerging State, intent on erasing Syrian/Iraqi border first, and then...

ISIS: Less a terror group more an emerging government

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trip to Maine's Rocky Shores

This past week-end I and a few friends went to Bristol, Maine for Old Bristol Days, which is a much-anticipated summer celebration. It features a parade, fireworks, and lobster boat races, and is a ton of fun -- even for newbies. One of my friends was raised in Bristol, and her family treated us to an amazing cook-out in the middle of the annual small-town festivities...the desserts alone knocked us out! (Peanut butter pie? Come on!!)

The week-end started with a morning ride on my horse, Nello. (In this picture he doesn't have his bridle on yet, and thinks he can reach a bag of carrots he has spotted...comical.) We took a solitary trail ride which was amazing -- the birds were chirping, we spotted a few deer, and the mosquitos had taken a break from their hobby of driving us crazy. Nello has had something of a miracle descend upon him this summer - he is pulling a Benjamin Button, and is more fit and happier (he actually seems younger) than I've ever known him. At 23 he is not a spring chicken, and he is loaded with arthritis, but this summer has seen us gallop down the trail in defiance of all I have been told told he can never do again. I never ask him to gallop, but if he wants to (if he starts it, in other words), I'm willing. He is funny - a laid-back, good-time fellow, on the trail he shows his one competitive streak, and has to be first in line. We laugh about it; it's as if his" inner Secretariat" comes out. (My trail-riding buddy says, is it Nello that has to be first, or you, Deirdre?)

 





Then it was up to Bristol, about three and a half hours away. Bristol is on the easternmost tip of Maine, and is part of the legendary rocky shores of Maine -- absolutely stunning, and everything you hope for on the drive up. We rented kayaks and took them out each night to see the sunset over the bay, and also, on the second night, to have prime seating for the Bristol Days fireworks. The wide open water of the bay was almost surreal in its many-layered peacefulness -- the water lapping quietly against the kayaks in the dark, the penetrating, hazy light of the "SuperMoon" hanging up in the sky like a huge orangey golf ball, and then, at long last, the fireworks exploding from the shore, sparkling over the water we were floating in before fading, then disappearing completely.



You could probably spend a lifetime really exploring New England. I felt like I was thousands of miles away from my home right outside Boston, but I was just three and a half hours away. I am now a huge Maine fan, and hope to return soon to hike its wooded trails and explore its culinary delights (lobster omelettes! yum!) as well as more kayaking.


                                                (Lisa in her kayak waiting for fireworks)


We had to keep reminding each other to put our phones away (cameras), and be in the moment. In today's social-media-driven world, that is a challenge; we feel obligated to share snippets of our lives -- the ones where we look good, the appealing ones -- with everyone. I am here, I have value, our "shares" scream into the void. My fear? That we become a series of snippets, unable to live longer, quieter moments long enough to absorb the value they offer. (Moonlight kayaking gives a girl deep thoughts!)

 As our designated IPhone photojournalist, however, I was granted a pass, and snapped many fun, cute, beautiful, serene, and goofy pics. (There were also many duds; several of my knees in the kayak.)


 
 
 
I am so grateful for the hospitality offered by the Blank family, and for the time with my friends. I am so grateful to get away -- both with Nello, my big indulgence in life -- and on the waters of Pemasquid Bay. I encourage everyone to leave the man-made boxes that are our homes, and get outside and live. You won't just find adventure...you will find you.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Hug Your kids and buy a Taylor Swift song on Itunes

 Taylor Swift surprised a little fan at Boston Children's hospital a few days ago, ready to play and sing with him. This little boy was diagnosed with leukemia after also suffering with heart problems.



Taylor plays a Toys R Us guitar (and pretty much rocks it!) to entertain this little sweetheart. You know how you grumble about work, the yard, the mortgage or the general craziness of life? Well, imagine having a child living in the hospital and suffering through treatments, all for an uncertain outcome. That is harsh. The other stuff is peanuts -- we should be grateful for such "problems."



Great job, Taylor Swift! You sound great and Boston appreciates your efforts for sick kids.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gang activity at Arizona Border

Happy Monday!


Here is another column about trouble at the border -- this is such a sad mess for the children involved. However, we must protect Americans by developing laws and protocols for welcoming anyone to the U.S., no matter how much our heartstrings are pulled, or we will more resemble the countries these kids are fleeing than the country we now love and enjoy.

Here's the piece: http://lapostexaminer.com/gang-recruiting-flourishes-border-crisis/2014/07/28

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Central American children flood across U.S. border

Below is my latest column about the influx of Central American children across our borders. This is a hard one to write as a mother, because I would do anything for my kids, and I can see the difficult choice some parents are making when sending their kids alone to cross into America. But many more are sending their kids due to a loophole in our policies, not due to imminent danger.



So, read on, and develop your own thoughts on the topic:





Central American children flood across U.S. border

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where Is Your Happy Place?

Welcome to my happy place. This is the very large screened-in porch at the back of my house, and it is here that I work, play, think and say my prayers, many days. It is a place that has a lot of "me" in it -- with a family of men, I have "called" this room, so to speak, as my own. (they can come in to visit, of course. I'm not crazy...most days.)

This room was added to the home by the previous owners. Apparently the husband who raised a family here had roughed out a much smaller porch, and when his wife saw the plan she said, "If you are going to do it, DO IT!" I thank her every day for that foresight.

When the Marathon bombings occurred in Boston, I was sad and didn't want to watch television, so I decided to paint this porch. It took 30 hours, but it got me through that time and was transformed from dark brown wood walls to light blue and white. We bought the couch in the discounted section of Jordan's Furniture, and the tables are Target. The trunk is a Civil War trunk I bought on Ebay (my one and only purchase -- I didn't account for shipping from a Philadelphia antiques dealer for this piece -- I almost drove down to get it myself.) Lets just say that shipping was more than the trunk itself!

I sleep on the porch some summer nights -- it is a lifesaving antidote to hot flashes and sleeplessness. And rainstorms? From my porch I have seen lightening storms, heard strong winds buffet its exterior, and have fallen away from consciousness to the sounds of steady rain on the roof. In the morning the birds in the backyard wake me up, and breezes blow the gauze floor-length curtains from their rods and they curl over the couch and recede, like waves. I have hosted girlfriends here (Holla, Longfellow Ladies!!) and we have had guests gather here during cook-outs and birthday parties.

Is there a television out here? Yes. I love watching TV out here, and the sounds of the Red Sox (come on, fellas! What is UP with this season??) drift into the yard from our porch. We watch movies out here, and I watch "The Bachelorette" here alone every Monday night, with my husband and son drifting in and out asking, "So who is left?"

Everyone needs a place to call their own. Even if it is your car, your attic, your bathroom or your patio, everyone deserves a place to "be." A place that asks nothing (except maybe a weekly cleaning!), and is as dependable as the moon and stars. Well, my porch isn't that dependable -- it can be torn off the house in a tornado, and will someday, like most things, be gone -- but the feeling it gives me I can take with me. You know when you are nervous and you remind yourself to "go to your happy place?"

I go to the porch.


P.S. Baby, our "little old lady" rescue poodle, snuck into this pic -- I am her "porch" -- she follows me everywhere!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Important Medical Alert

Hello,

Read on if your memory is failing you when it comes to remembering names. It could be more serious than you realize...

Click link below:

http://lapostexaminer.com/important-medical-alert/2014/06/23

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Developing marketable skills? Try being more adaptable...the benefits are endless

Hi everybody,

I have been asked by an innovative internet company called Webucator (www.webucator.com ) to participate in their current project by responding to this question: what in my opinion is the most marketable skill for a college graduate or young professional entering the workforce? I have thought about it (having raised three young men helps!) and my answer is below:

I believe that your most marketable skill is really a characteristic, but it will take you far and serve you well: adaptability. Adaptability will make you a happier employee or entrepreneur, will certainly make your employer happy, and will keep you open to exciting new directions in your career, and in your life.

For example: you were hired by a local dinner theater to be a marketing assistant, creating buzz about upcoming shows and developing a network of potential show sponsors from within the community. Instead, you seem to be sent out a lot on of never-ending coffee runs! You are dispatched two or three time a day, waiting in long lines and trying to memorize a jumble of lattes, macchiatos, and decaf orders. Well, you can either 1) protest right away to your manager, 2) not mention it, and be miserable, or 3) let this go for a set time period -- say a month or two.

In that month, you can practice adapting to this seeming disappointment, instead of fuming over it. You will see, and maybe have already seen that life rarely goes as planned. Knowing what I know now as a professional, I would get to know the coffee shop owner or manager -- I am bringing a lot of business her way! I would, in fact, do my job -- develop that connection. Might this coffee shop owner underwrite some or all of an upcoming show? Is there a potential long-lasting relationship brewing here? Believe me, if you come back from coffee run with a sponsor, you will not be ordering coffees for long.

Another possibility lies within your adaptability -- you may one day own that coffee shop, or one like it. Like I said, life is strange. In this secondary role within your primary job, you may discover another professional avenue calling your name -- because you adapt, and jeep your eyes and mind open. Maybe it turns out that the smell of coffee, the chitchat with loyal customers and the sound of a debit card going through is what puts wind in your sails!

Today's professional landscape calls for a person who can roll with the punches, think outside the box about their own future, and add value to every employer or business partner they connect with.

Oh, and an added bonus? If you are adaptable in business, just see how it deepens and improves  friendships, marriage and parenting, along with so many other defining relationships. That's why it is a skill and a characteristic -- and one worth developing personally and professionally.

Good luck, graduates of the class of 2014! And please check out www.webucator.com -- they are there with customized instructor-led training services to round out and/or deepen any professional's skill portfolio. Now, a free Microsoft course is being offered! Check it out!
http://www.webucator.com/microsoft/index.cfm

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Dad

This is a picture of my dad, Jim Purcell, with my oldest son Fred, shortly before Fred moved to Nashville, Tennessee. They are sporting their western shirts and their shared sense of fun...these two have always had a special bond.

My dad was always the very best dad in the world. Recent revelations have shown me just how busy my dad was during my childhood, in his role as a deputy Secretary of State for Refugees (he is the father of modern American humanitarian response as it pertains to refugees around the world), the Director of  the Refugee Program in the State Department, and a trusted civil service professional in Washington, DC. in policy creation and budget management, among so many other roles. He has worked relentlessly on behalf of his country for its good.

I never was affected by all that affected him professionally, because when he was home, father was the role he relished. His advice was always thoughtful and succinct: when I liked a boy in fourth grade, dad advised, "Ask him about what he likes, and start a conversation."( I believe I asked that boy about his drums.) He also taught me to ride a bike, throw a softball, build a fire and treat others kindly.

In high school, he took me out to breakfast to talk to me about the dangers of smoking. (Don't do it.) When I came home from college particularly dispirited and rudderless, my dad took me outside in the backyard for a talk. I thought he would chastise me for my late nights out with friends, or unleash disapproval for my current lifestyle of drinks, parties, and meaningless freedom. Instead, he sat me down and told me all the good things he saw in me -- all the promise, all the human potential. He asked me questions about my current interests, and helped me develop a plan for my life.

That conversation led to a lot of thought, which led to my first serious job in insurance and a dedication to writing. It also, I believe, led to a new openness in my heart for a serious relationship, because my dad was suggesting that I take my own life seriously. He had worked hard his whole life, and knew that the secret to happiness - or one of them - is simple: work. Dedicate yourself to making something better. It is you that is important in the equation, not necessarily the job you undertake -- whatever you do, do it well.

Soon after I met my husband, and I was ready to begin a more responsible, focused life, thanks to all that my dad had given to me. Dad had sowed the seeds and I had worked the field of my potential, giving up partying, dedicating myself to work, reading, walking and thinking. Now, in marriage, I was reaping the harvest of true adventure, children, family, and life, in its fullness.

Dad, you have always believed in me. Did you know that I have always believed in you? Well I have, and that has never wavered. How blessed I am to have that constant in my life. I love you, and my respect and awe of you will never fade.You were the first man I ever loved....and I always will.

 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Babe Ruth Over...Sigh.

On a lighter note, we began celebrating the Memorial Day week-end with baseball...my 15 year old son James graduated from Babe Ruth today by participating in a Home Run Derby. His dad is a coach, and I worked the crowd selling raffle tickets (I talked more than I sold.) The sun was out, the hot dogs were on the grill, and friends greeted each other after an impossible long winter.

My son James is second from left. Congrats you old-timers now graduating Babe Ruth...great job and thanks for the memories. Thanks also to the coaches for donating their time and energy to this terrific team!

U.S, Marine is Jailed in Mexico on Gun Charges



Today's column is about another case of imprisonment. This time it is an American Marine suffering from PTSD who is jailed in Mexico after mistakenly crossing border with three legally licensed guns and ammunition. It is a complicated case that includes weapons, mental illness, foreign law, a jail break, and a worried mother who just wants her ailing son back safe and sound from detention in Mexico.

As we celebrate Memorial Day week-end, we need to immediately bring this young man home, and then sort out the factors that led to his arrest.

He sacrificed his mental health for his country...can't we get him back on American soil?

Here is the link to my column:  http://lapostexaminer.com/andrew-tahmooressi-lands-mexican-jail/2014/05/24

Thank you to each and every member of the armed forces for all that you do. We have no words that adequately express our gratitude, but we can support you in times of trouble, by offering adequate and timely medical care, and speaking up on your behalf when you need us. It's time for us to have your back, in more meaningful and concrete ways.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Christian Sentenced to Lashing and Death in the Sudan




My latest column is about a woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to be given 100 lashes and later killed for the "crime" of being a Christian. She has refused to renounce her faith. Inspiring and tragic at the same time... As long as there is life, there is hope. Please add your prayers to those around the world for her as she faces this trial alone...except for God, and the baby she is carrying. Also, in one of the comments under the article there is a link to sign a petition in support of this brave woman.

http://lapostexaminer.com/meriam-yehya-ibrahim-ishag-persecuted-beliefs/2014/05/19

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

I wanted to post my Mother' Day column, in honor of my mother (who is my best friend.) She has always been there for my sister and I, and although she could have been anything in the world, she chose to give her life to the people in her life. She is rewarded for her life-long love to all of us with a loving husband, adoring daughters, friends she has had for over fifty years, new friends who turn to her in good times and bad, and an extended family who loves her and needs her presence, sense of humor (THE best!) and wisdom.

Thank you Mom, for an example of a life well-lived. I treasure the years to come, too!

Love, Deirdre

P.S. The picture of the guy kissing my mom is NOT my dad; it is her friend Larry. It makes sense when you read it.

http://lapostexaminer.com/mother-lens-view-world/2014/05/11

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

 



Hello Blog Readers,

I recently had the chance to take a trip to Palm Springs, California, and all I can say is...sign me up! (I was looking for a Palm Springs house to buy online at the airport.) The weather was balmy, the people calm (who wouldn't be?) the steaks cooked to perfection, the martinis, sublime. Of course, anywhere you are not working can be a vacation; if a waiter brought me a steak and heavy silverware on a tray in my family room I would then be ON VACATION, for however long it lasted.

It was the preparation involved with going to Palm Springs that had me stuck. Read on -- as always, at your own risk. And a special thanks to the humans or robots at Google News for opting to run my work...thank you! (Or, "bleep-bleep" if you are fully automated!)

Column:  http://lapostexaminer.com/palm-springs-nailed/2014/05/07

Monday, April 14, 2014

BOSTON STRONG is for everyone, no matter where you live...

Hello dear readers,


Here in the Boston area, we are getting ready for the Marathon. You will see national coverage for the next week about what happened at the Marathon a year ago, and in a way, I'm glad -- we should never forget, just like with 9/11. Never forget. Never be too busy, too harried, or God forbid, too immune to feel it again. When we keep feeling it, we're winning. The trick is not to feel what terror wants us to feel, and what we felt on those terrible days: anxiety, depression, fear -- but instead to feel grateful for every minute, appreciative of those whom we love, and more prepared than ever, should something horrific be tried again. And we honor those who were lost by always remembering.

BOSTON STRONG. Read more here: http://lapostexaminer.com/boston-strong-will-celebrate-patriots-day-marathon-red-sox-baseball/2014/04/14

P.S. I am happy to share that Google News picked up this column, so that more people can read about the Boston Strong attitude; the LA Post Examiner will be contributing content to Google News as of 3/2014.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Technology...arrgh!!! (Hand me my iphone, I think someone texted me)

Hello,

I have been ruminating on technology and social media lately - we can spend the rest of our precious lives connecting with strangers and "Liking" everything, if we aren't careful. How do you know you are addicted? When was the last time you put your phone down for a whole day? (Losing your charger doesn't count.) I am as guilty as anyone -- my iPhone is my connection, my calendar, my...friend?

Read on here: my latest ruminations on technology and me: 

http://lapostexaminer.com/hashtag/2014/04/01

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hi and Happy Everlasting Winter:

Arggh! When is winter going to end? I've had to look indoors for things to do, and that doesn't always end well. On the positive: frames have been loaded with current pictures, so my sons look like young men instead of toddlers learning to walk on two feet, my kitchen cabinets have been organized alphabetically (the rice can go next to the raisins! And they look nice together. Hey, was that a ray of sunshine outside?...) and our pets have all been washed and blow-dried. (Even Gary, the tortoise.)

Even that wasn't enough for me. So, one morning, while watching HGTV...
http://lapostexaminer.com/hgtv-spells-trouble/2014/03/20

Check it out. Bathroom still isn't finished.

Wishing you rainbows, peace, and temps above 45 degrees!
Deirdre

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No More Woof? Inventions that Could be a Problem at the Reillys....

Hello everybody,

I am just trying to get through until Spring at this point -- I'm sure those of you who have been pounded with snow are, too.

So sit back, relax, and read my latest column, all about talking dogs. Yep...it has been snowing too much lately.

Click here:  http://lapostexaminer.com/woof-means-way-trouble/2014/03/06

Monday, February 24, 2014

I took the Spaceship over to Planet Fitness last Week...


 
 
 
 
 
 

Submitted for your approval, dear reader, is my latest column about joining Planet Fitness last week. So glad I did, although re-entry is hard!  Have a great day, and remember to add some physical activity to it!


here's the link: http://lapostexaminer.com/planet-fitness-get-intergalactic-visitor/2014/02/24

If you enjoy it, share it! :-)

Monday, February 17, 2014


Hello, and happy Monday!

I first would like to thank those long-lost buddies from ENMU who took the time to drop me a note after reading my last column, about the death of an old college friend. Those who contacted me knew our lost friend Jeff well - one who got in touch to share memories was Jeff's wife - and it meant so much to get those loving emails. Thank you to new friends, and old friends I re-connected with through the memories of Jeff - I guess he is still working for good in my life. :-)

Now here is a new column on the Olympics - read it and laugh...or weep. Both burn calories.

http://lapostexaminer.com/olympics-family-mom-especially/2014/02/18

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Goodbye, Friend

I hope everyone is having a great start to February!
 
I recently got news that rattled me - an old friend I hadn't see in years actually passed away about 14 years ago. I wrote a column about it, which you can read here, if you'd like:  http://lapostexaminer.com/requiem-friend/2014/02/09
 
Remember that our greatest commodity, asset, treasure, gift and resource lies right in our own heart: the love we have for each other. And part of that does go on forever.
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, January 6, 2014

Elderly Nuns and Birthcare? Banish the Thought...

Hello everyone,

Please check out my latest column, the link is below. I am concerned that Obamacare does not truly offer exemptions (or accomodations) for religious groups, and if this is true, then where does it leave us? What do you call it when you have to do a certain thing that is spiritually or morally offensive or pay a fine? It is called a government we've not ever known before.

Here's the link:  http://lapostexaminer.com/judge-sotomayor-grants-reprieve-obamacare-contraception-mandate/2014/01/06


(Cartoon from ScottHong.wordpress)

Please comment and share - conservative writing needs support in shark-infested water!

Have a great week,
Deirdre

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Goin' to Los Angeles...online!


Happy 2014! It has been almost seven months since I've blogged anything, and I'll tell you why...plain and simple, I took a break from writing almost anything. I have been writing for a long time, and I began to catch myself framing every experience - visual, auditory, even spiritual - like this: what would I write about that? How would I set that up on the page? Could I get others to feel what I felt/am feeling?  That is not an interesting or valuable way to go through life all the time, 100% of the time, without breaks. It becomes very self-centered, and the experience itself becomes peripheral to the dissection and what begins to feel like the marketing of the experience.

I also have another job in sales, so times is valuable. My new thing is balance in life, which for some of us is hard - we are full-tilt, sometimes crazy sons of guns. But now, after years of effort, I have learned to relax, enjoy, breathe deep, and only be crazy 75% of the time.

I wanted to rev up the blog because I am ready to write about my experiences again, which falls in line with a new column I am writing for the Los Angeles Post Examiner. They are a brand new online news site, begun after the great success of the Baltimore Post Examiner, the first online enterprise for this group of talented newspaper professionals with backgrounds at The Washington Post and the Washington Times. From my thorough review, this seems like a cool, slightly different online paper, and I am happy to be a part of it. Plus they have advertisers, which is always a good sign.

Now, I am not from L.A. I wouldn't know a Canyon Drive from a hard drive, and the only surfing I do is with this laptop I'm typing on. This is the beauty of an online job - you can be from anywhere and participate. Note: I have tried to add more "dudes" and "right on's" when emailing the editors -and  I think they are digging the vibe I am throwing down.

So, I hope you join me online and follow the column. I will do one or two political columns per week, and one humor column on the week-ends. Please share the column through Facebook or Twitter - nothing survives without support these days. If you like something, let the powers that be know, because it is a consumer-driven world, and what you value will go away of you don't lend your voice to it. Even if you disagree, share it - opposing views respectfully rendered are so important if we are ever going to get anywhere in these fragile, crazy-fast times that we live in. I will always be respectful in my work, and I will share this: I took a writing job with a very conservative online site a few months ago, and promptly quit (giving up some very nice dollars) because they were just too cutting and slanderous with their headlines: the President was slammed at every opportunity. I am not an Obama fan, but getting personal? No. Not this little lady.

So, check the column out, out and share it. The first one is here. Have a wonderful, peaceful and productive 2014, and thank you for reading the blog after a huge hiatus by yours truly!

Deirdre