No matter how old we are, we still want Heroes

We still want heroes in our lives, no matter how old we are. Perhaps that’s why TV programs like Law and Order, Forensic Files, or Blue Bloods are so popular; they are all based on the hero solving the problem and protecting the innocent. These TV programs replace the comic book hero characters of our childhood. Captain Marvel, Superman, and Plastic Man, all of whom protected the innocent and caught the evildoers. What satisfied our need for justice as children still resonates with us as adults. We all want someone in our lives who cares. Despite everything, we still cry...

Helping or Controlling?

Many years ago, when I was a lot younger than I am now, I would do things for people that I thought were “helpful,” Today, as I am faced with people who are trying to be helpful to me, I wonder whether, in the past, I was being helpful or just plain controlling. I used to offer to do things for my brother Bill. He had an enviable collection of die-cast cars which he had on display all over his house. They were on tabletops, chairs, stools, and the fireplace mantle. They were all dust-covered. One day when I was...

My brother Bill

Everyone Needs a Big Brother

I had a big brother. His name was Bill. He is gone now, but when he was alive, he was a great big brother. As a little girl and as a grown woman, I always knew he was there for me. Everyone needs a protectorEveryone needs someone who is there for them, no matter what.Someone who thinks you are okay, just as you are.Someone who will defend you against attackersSomeone you can rely on when you are in trouble When I needed a loan to get a second mortgage on my first home, it was my big brother Bill who...

A Brief Political History of Broccoli: A Guest Post by Barbara Sheerin

Broccoli originally was cultivated in Italy and Asia Minor in Roman times. It is a family member that includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to mention broccoli in his early gardening efforts in a letter in the late 18th century. Despite its early presidential support, broccoli took a long time to take off in the US. It was not grown commercially until 1923, when the D’Arrigo Brothers Company planted a trail crop of Italian seeds in San Jose, CA, shipping a few crates to the East Coast to feed the growing Italian...

Women! I want to hear your voices

Women! I want to hear your voices

I am writing my memoir about living in a Nigerian village for nine months. They pulled my support system out from under me while I was there. I also met a young British graduate student living in the home of a traditional carver, who also had her support system stopped while she was in the field. How did she cope? She never told me. But I would still like to know. I want to read memoirs of women who have lived hazardously. Women who have gone out by themselves to live with a people completely foreign to them. People who...

All New Immigrants Need a Sponsor

I should know, I have been a new immigrant three times in my life. Even if the immigrant knows the language and has a job waiting, there are many living activities that are unfamiliar. Living arrangements, transportation, banking, mail are all different from one country to another.My first experience with being an immigrant was in 1945. I was eleven years old. My family and I were returning Americans after being imprisoned by the Japanese for three years in the Philippines. (Please see my memoir: ). We would not have been able to survive without the help of my mother’s mother...

The Difference between Natural Selection and Selective Breeding in Dogs

The Difference between Natural Selection and Selective Breeding in Dogs

Selective breeding is used by dog breeders, as well as breeders of horses, cows and other livestock. As its name implies, breeders who are looking for a particular characteristic in an animal will select only those animals with that characteristic for breeding. Racehorses and Greyhounds are selectively bred for speed. An American male horse that wins the Kentucky Derby, or even better the Triple Crown, is assured of a lifetime of enormous stud fees as hopeful race competitors bring their fastest Dams to them for breeding. The development of certain dog breeds through selective breeding follows the same pattern. Today’s...

Conquering My Addiction to Food

Conquering My Addiction to Food

Since I was a child, I have been addicted to carbohydrates- the higher the glycemic index, the better. Corn on the cob was a favorite. If they served it as part of a meal, that was all I ate. I ignored the rest of the meal they served. Potatoes, fried rice, breads of all kinds made from corn or wheat were all consumed in quantity. Anything sweet, whether fruits, candies, cakes, or cookies, were all eaten in preference to other foods. And I always wanted more. I never seemed to ‘get enough.’ All my life I have been told I...

Confessions of an Uninspired Cook

I am an indifferent cook; and as a result, I prepare indifferent meals. Although I can remember the smell of fresh baked Parker House rolls straight out of the oven, and my mouth waters as I recall how they tasted slathered all over with butter, I cannot replicate that memory in real life. My mother was a gifted cook who seemed able to whip up supper from scratch after she got home from teaching school all day. My oldest brother was interested in cooking, and he convinced the cooking teacher at high school that boys needed to learn to cook...