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Chapter 1. Coronavirus Cooking. The End.

May 7, 2020
beef taco with picante cream

Last night was my fiftieth dinner in Dallas—a record I hope I never break. After seven long weeks in almost complete isolation, I am ready to get home. I have cleaned out the refrigerator and organized my papers, including a fat file full of new recipes and menus. What have I accomplished? What have I learned? I said at the beginning that we each need …

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Coronavirus Cooking—Winners and Losers

April 18, 2020
sausage with red cabbage

Home Alone in the Kitchen Friday was Day 30 of making do with what I have to cook three meals a day. A few meals have been memorable, a few have been miserable failures and most are simply nothing worth mentioning. Nutrition, flavor and easy cleanup all matter. My favorite meal is the easiest: Italian sausage with Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato fries, success guaranteed, …

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Thank you, God

April 9, 2020
Sunlight breaks through

Thank you, God, for the gift of senses, for the joy we feel from what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch. But as always you give us free will. We can choose beauty or we can choose ugliness. At this time, oh God, may we choose the good and the beautiful, individually, as your people, and as a nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen. My memoir, …

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Searching for a Sanctuary

April 5, 2020
home office as sanctuary

Today I needed a sanctuary, a place to withdraw from the clutter on every available surface in my living room and kitchen, from the unmade bed and the pile of dirty towels. When I had to move without notice from a water-damaged condo to a rented apartment February year ago, I turned the wee-tiny third bedroom into office space that I have seldom used. I …

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Making Do With Leftovers

April 1, 2020
Preparing barbecue brisket

I cooked up a storm in Week 1 of sheltering in place in Dallas. Most of the time I was waking up every day deciding what to cook. When it was time to restock a week later, stay-at-home rules were in place and it was obvious things were going to get worse before they got better. I took inventory of food on hand, went through …

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Powerless and Needing Power

March 29, 2020
Dr. George Mason

Are you as confused as I am about the day and the date? It’s all a blur and there is nothing to mark the passage of time except by the increasing daily numbers of coronavirus cases. People don’t go to work or school on weekdays; we don’t go out on Saturday night. Whether your Sunday included worship or brunch or pro sports on TV, there …

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One Last Time: The Amalfi Coast

October 24, 2019
from Villa Rufolo

After four cruise stops and two lengthier stays along the Amalfi coast, you would think I had seen enough of southern Italy. But how can one grow tired of the most beautiful place on earth? I jumped at the opportunity to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip with friends. Recently retired, they wanted to travel; and I knew that I had at least one more trip on …

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Beauty Leads to Serenity, Peace and Joy

May 9, 2019
living room view

I have always loved beautiful things—who doesn’t?—but beauty was not essential to my happiness until I was widowed. Perhaps because of the drudgery involved in settling the estate and learning Lev’s business after his death, I desperately needed to be in light-filled, tranquil, soothing space to fill the emptiness and mitigate my pain. I describe those early months of grief in Reclaiming Joy: There was …

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Men: Don’t Do This to Your Wives

May 2, 2019
Ella in file room

Everyone—all the banks, all the media—seems to have waked up at the same time to the fact that women outlive men and almost all will have to be responsible for their own financial affairs at some point in their lives. There’s not a week when I don’t see another story about it. It’s not just the Wall Street Journal or Brown Brothers Harriman’s Women and …

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Have Books, Will Travel

October 20, 2018
Have Books Will Travel

My fingers are itching to return to writing about various themes of widowhood—grief, relationships, faith, learning to live life as a single, aging and reclaiming joy day by day. Ironically, though, the demands of publishing and marketing Reclaiming Joy require more time than I have hours in my day. I have more to write about than ever because of the feedback from those who read …

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