Sunday, September 1, 2019 - 15:00

Certificate Program in Copy Editing

After a concert, classical guitarist, Andrés Segovia was asked why he had played a particular piece so fast. The interviewer, perhaps expecting an aesthetic response, lost his words when Segovia responded with a glint in his eye: “Because I can.”

That became my answer, years ago, in my wild and misspent youth, when people asked why I had become a paramedic. It seemed so simple: not everyone could stay calm in an emergency or could stand the sight of blood.  I could.

Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 15:00

After the Rain

The year 2015 was one that I would gladly take back. And I would not ask for a refund. It was a year aged in grief and sadness and longing for what will never again be. It was the year I lived in a tiny box with a large red ball of grief. Everywhere I turned, I bumped into that ball; I was constantly brushing up against its sharp-edged, salty, tear-stained hide. You can still see the marks it left. But . . . it’s 2019 now, and with time, the room has grown. The room is much larger now. The ball of grief is still here, and I still run into it, just not all the time.

Thursday, July 4, 2019 - 15:00

The Slow Walk Downhill

I met Nol ten years before I helped him die. He was 70 then, an active, cat-loving, retired professor of philosophy and religion. I had briefly dated his son.  When Nol (a nickname for Oliver) asked for an in-person get together, I was puzzled. But, he was an interesting man and I liked him, so I agreed.  He came to my home, and we shared stories about cats, African Grey parrots, travels, adventures, cabbages, kings … and then he asked if I was familiar with the Compassion & Choices organization.

Saturday, June 1, 2019 - 15:00

Six Mistakes That Prevent Us From Being Understood

This article draws from many wells, but the deepest draw is from the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen.

Mistake 1. Believing the problem is the other person.

You end up frustrated because the other person is being unreasonable and you feel powerless to do anything about it. These feelings are based on an assumption that underlies too many conversations: I am right, you are wrong

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 15:00

My father recently asked me to write about why someone would have problems making themselves understood.  When I said I would need more information, he became frustrated. He raised his volume and lowered his pitch.

“You do not need more information,” he said, “you need to slow down and listen to what other people are saying.” Helpfully proving his point, I interrupted his last word with, “—I disagree.”

Monday, September 10, 2018 - 14:56

Prize Wheel for Wisdom Party

Here's the prize wheel in motion. Spinning wheel, got to go round.

Spinning wheel, got to go round.

Stationary prize wheel below.

Front of prize wheel.

Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 10:00

Cellano Box

Here's a birthday present for a music lover who especially likes violin and piano.  

The finished box is about 8 inches tall.

Maple box in the shape of a cello and piano mix.

Materials: top and bottom are 1/4 inch curly maple. Sides are 1/4 inch plywood.

Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 16:00

When Seniors Photobomb (Photo Frame)

Friend Frankie Joe goes to the Pyrotechnics Guild International Convention.

In 2018 it was held in Mason City, Iowa, and the theme was Thunder and Fire.

There's an art show at the convention, and Frank commissioned two pieces to enter.

He asked for a fireworks themed photo frame to surround some photos of him, his brother, his sister, and his sister-in-law.

We called the piece, "When Seniors Photobomb."  The frame received a first-place ribbon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - 18:15

Here There Be Dragons (Room Divider)

Found a photo style room divider at a yard sale.  

Removed the photos and glass and replaced them with acrylic engraved with dragons.

Dragons engraved on acrylic for room divider.

The acrylic is 1/8 inch thick.

Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 16:00

Baby Blanket for Erasmus

Erasmus means "beloved." His parents will most likely call him Raz.

Understanding the impermanence of all things, the Dad-to-be requested a skull on a black background for the baby blanket.

Or, maybe, as Grandma suggested, Mom and Dad are just really into Halloween. (I don't think so.)

Anyway, the blanket is 3 feet across by 4 feet tall. The black fabric is soft and fleecy.