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A Multi-Faceted Definition of Love

Love. What is love?

The four letter word that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us dance with happiness and joy. What is love? The feeling that overwhelms us and causes harsh reactions when faced with adversity. What is love? The overpowering wave of emotion which ignites a smile as warm as the rising of the summer sun. What is love?  The painful feeling of being left behind without ample notice. What is love? The fresh smell of flowers that illuminates our senses and opens our hearts to give freely. What is love? A thunderstorm of tears that cascade down our cheekbones when the end is near. What is love? It wakes us up in the morning with the strength and endurance to live another day. What is love?  The sweet caress of raindrops on our lips which entices us for more. What is love? The hope and probability we will love again. What is love? The pounding of drums within our hearts that creates a melodic rhythm. What is love? The trembling force of a volcano ready to explode. What is love? Love is giving without expectation of receiving in return. What is love?

Discovering Celiac Disease: My Gluten-Free Way

Choosing a gluten-free diet is popular right now, even among people who do not have an allergy to gluten and consequently, Celiac disease. Gwyneth Paltrow admits that she is not allergic to gluten, but has stated that she feels better eating gluten-free.  “Cupcake Wars” contestants have included owners of gluten-free bakeries, suggesting that eating gluten-free is bigger and bigger business. Even more convincing is that product labels now carry the words “gluten free” prominently, making it easier for consumers to choose wisely.

If You’re Apart From Your Children, Give Them Palm Kisses for Everyday, Especially Valentine’s Day

I once believed that I invented Palm Kisses one early morning in the late 1980s when my daughter was in need. I now doubt that the idea is original with me, especially after reading and buying a copy of The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak (Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, 1993). No matter who first imagined them, Palm Kisses are a wonderful gift to give your child when she or he must spend hours away from you.

A Hand-Written Letter Will Always Outlast Your Smartphone

In a twist of irony, I got my first smartphone this week – and it’s ironic for many reasons. I mean, I write code to run on smartphones and didn’t even own one until now. And, my husband works for a manufacturer of smartphones. But, most of all, because I just spent 3 days sorting, arranging and otherwise archiving my pre-digital life of letters and photos – things that the smartphone and other technologies are pushing to obsolescence.

My New Year’s Resolutions for 2012: Be a Better Human Being

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert staged a Restore Sanity rally in Washington, D. C., 2010. Since then, pundits, bloggers, and editorial writers have appealed to the nation, asking one and all to restore civility, to start conversations on serious subjects instead of hurling epithets, insults, and ad hominem left, right and center. I join them and offer the following list of resolutions for the new year, 2012, as a way to nurture and grow civility.

I hereby resolve:

  • Never to accept a second invitation for dinner or lunch at the behest of a person who demeans and/or ignores the wait staff, especially if the diner is also a miserly tipper.

This Morning Over Breakfast, My Daughter Taught Me to Prioritize

All month I have been brainstorming a post about New Year’s resolutions.  It seemed fitting with the upcoming New Year.  In a single moment this morning my post changed.

My daughter, who is 2, and I sat down for breakfast this morning.  I situated our bowls and cups at the table.  As I went to grab my spoon, a little hand extended across the table to me.  Puzzled, I thought maybe she was playing a game.  I reached my hand out to hers.  When she saw we had joined hands, she bowed her head.  I was still puzzled.  Then she began to say a prayer.  Instantly my heart melted, and I bowed my head.  She went on in her 2 year old gibber jabber for about 30 seconds, ending with a very clear “Amen.”  You may or may not believe in God, but there is something we can all learn from a child.  

I Am a Witness to Courage: Breast Cancer Touches the Young and the Old

Recently, the wife of a man my husband knew more than 40 years ago, before he ever met me, was a guest in my home. The two men have a love of horses and horsemanship in common. They both have law enforcement backgrounds and support the Second Amendment. The wife and I do not have as much common ground. Still, my husband’s friend and his wife welcomed me into their lives warmly. Their hugs are full and strong, not the half-hearted, quick pats so popular today. Their good wishes seem to come from deep within.

Ways to Give Back and Help Others During the Holidays

The holidays are absolutely my most favorite time of the year!

I get to spend time with my family, friends, and we just simply enjoy one another.We engage in the exchanging of gifts, visit each others homes and spent time being thankful and grateful for what we have, as well as, what we don’t have.

But I can’t help to think of those who are less fortunate and struggle with life’s most simple pleasures, that so many of us take for granted; such as a warm home to go to, a hot meal to eat, or clothing to protect their flesh from the winter cold. Being grateful is more than just saying that you are, it’s about proving that you are!

How to Raise a Family on a Single Income

Other than our first 3 months of marriage, I have not worked.  I did substitute teaching a couple months while pregnant, to earn extra cash, but not enough to count as 2 incomes.  While my husband’s salary has increased with promotions in his naval career, we have always been a single income household on a modest budget.  So how do we do it?  Well it’s taken some perfection and planning over time.

Dear Teenager: You Don’t Know Everything

There is an old saying you may have heard: you can’t unring a bell. The initial analogy is clear; that you can’t undo an act. But did you ever think about the deeper consequence after the ring itself: the echo?

Long after the human ear ceases to hear the sound created by the bell, the echo travels, gradually spirals into the sky, the universe, and to places only Stephen Hawking understands. Perhaps it travels forever. I don’t know.

‘So what?’ you may ask with typical teen insouciance. ‘What does this have to do with me? And why should i care?’


Jessica Chan
Jessica Chan
enableher. Editor
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