Thursday, November 1, 2012

PTSD in Partners of Sex Addicts

I am pleased to share this link to my first radio production, PTSD in Partners of Sex Addicts. At the site you can click to hear the story as well as read the story notes. This piece is the culmination of a six month radio production training program Community Voices at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

My piece, along with the nine other pieces produced by my Community Voices 2012 classmates, premiered at the FilmDayton Festival on August 26th at The Black Box Improv Theater. Since then it has played during the Sunday Evening Documentary Hour and during Excursions on WYSO.

Dr, Barbara Steffens, interview subject, is the nationally recognized expert on PTSD in partners of sex addicts. She has developed a new treatment model that rejects the addict centered model that labels the partner as a co-addict or co-dependent. Instead her model treats the partner for the trauma they have experienced, focusing on the partner as opposed to the addict. You can contact her and learn more about her research and treatment model at Safe Passages Counseling.

As a Community Voices graduate I now have the skills to produce additional radio programs. The Dayton area is rich in story and I am looking forward to exploring new project possibilities. I'm currently interested in foreign language speaking groups in the area. If you know of any good stories, let me know!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Making Strides

A  joyous survivor
I finished radiation treatment for breast cancer, following two surgeries, three years ago. This year I participated for the first time post-cancer in the Making Strides Against Cancer 5K walk. I walked with two friends, also cancer survivors. They took me to a table where we got bright pink ribbon sashes emblazoned with the word SURVIVOR.
This was unlike any 5K I have walked. There was a suggested start time but you could begin anytime within a four hour window. We were there in the first hour so I did not expect many people. I was wrong. We joined a steady stream of walkers. I planned to do this in a meditative manner. I wanted to think about cancer, what it meant to me, what it taught me, and how it affects me now.

I began to observe my fellow walkers and strike up conversations with them. I also stopped to take photos. As a result I passed the same man three times, learning a bit more about him each time.

He was walking in honor of his sisters, two have passed on and one is a survivor. I was impressed by his thoughtful pace and quiet dignity and his devotion to his sisters. 

It was a beautiful day, sunny after morning showers and in the mid 50's. The walk started downtown went up one side of the river, crossed a bridge, looped through a park, and then wound back down the other side of the river. The last half was mostly on the top of the dike with a stunning view of the city.

I began to pay attention to the tee shirts folks were wearing. Some were funny, some poignant. Here are some examples. A group of folks were sporting this shirt.

I started to photograph the adult in this picture when his son asked to be included. His shirt was covered by his jacket but he eagerly unzipped to show that he too was "Tough Enough to Wear Pink."

I laughed out loud at both of these.

The family groups tugged at my heart. I felt so lonely during my cancer journey as I was going through divorce at the time. 

And then there were these.

It was a good day for me. I'm grateful to be three years out and continue to make life style choices to stay healthy. I honor those who have made the journey before me and wish healing to all those currently on the path.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Turtle Time

My family and I recently visited Bald Head Island, staying at a friend's most lovely home. Bald Head is a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina on the east side of Cape Fear and has both beautiful shorelines and a maritime forest. 

Loggerhead and Green Sea turtles nest here. As all the nests were empty, we were too late to go on a night turtle watch to see the hatchlings head to the ocean. One of the volunteers at the Bald Head Island Conservancy suggested going to a nest excavation. Three or more days after the nest has emptied, they carefully sift through the sandy nest, counting the shells to determine live births, eggs that fertilized but arrested, non fertilized eggs, and check to see if there are any late bloomers. 

There were seventy nests this year, sixty-seven loggerhead and three green sea turtle. This Loggerhead nest had 91 hatched eggs and 23 unhatched eggs. Some eggs were unfertilized, some had arrested development.

Hatched and Unhatched Eggs

Occasionally, there will be one or two found alive in the nest. To my delight, this nest had six very lively hatchlings.

After allowing those  of us gathered there a close look at the little fellows, we watched them be placed on the sand and scramble their way into the Atlantic. It was a joyous experience. I felt very fortunate to be on this beautiful beach on a sunny breezy morning witnessing this miracle of life. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I was SO not last!

Here's my medal from the USAF Marathon 5K on September 14th. I registered last January. I've done the 10K at this event and plenty of half marathons and even one full (one was enough!) but of late have not been walking consistently. I strained my psoas muscle over the Memorial Day Weekend which not only limited my activity but made me miss the wedding of one of my favorite people. It was summer and the pool was open so I substituted water aerobics. Then a few weeks ago when I started preparing for the 5K I started having hip pain. This is not the first difficulty I've had with my hips but in the past managed to work through it. Not this time! I was discouraged but kept looking for a solution and found one. I had an appointment with body worker Linda Vanarsdall and she determined that I had a couple of compressed vertebrae. Linda is a beautiful, kind, compassionate, woman with fantastic healing abilities but fingers of steel! The difference between when I laid down on the table and when I got up was profound. No. More. Pain. 

So it was just a few days until the 5K and I had done almost no preparation. The most I had walked was my daily mile with my Yorkie, Buddy. I did not want to miss this event. I decided to just go and walk at my own pace. The goal was to finish. It would not matter if I finished last, I just wanted to cross the finish lane. 

I remember my first 5K. I walked with two girlfriends and my then husband. I had never walked that far. Our little group was indeed last but my husband was courteous enough to allow me to cross the line before he did, thus keeping me from finishing last. The irony was that he received a trophy because although he was numerically last, he was the only male walker so he was first and got the award.  

In this race, at mile one, I felt pretty good and was walking a steady pace. I had decided if I finished before 70 minutes I'd call it a win. At the mile two water stop, the woman who handed me my cup of water looked me in the eye and said, "You're walking strong." She had no way of knowing what that meant to me; it reminded me of Lori's mantra, "I don't exercise to be skinny; I exercise to be strong."  There was a man and woman with a karaoke mic just past mile two playing LMFAO's I'm Sexy and I Know It. I think the young woman with the mic was fairly surprised that I knew all the words. It's a favorite of my son's and we sing it in the car all the time so it not only brought a smile to my face but more energy to my steps. 

A bit after this a young woman, early 20's maybe, ran by me. Then I walked past her as she had slowed down to catch her breath. She was heavy but I know heavy people can be quite fit. What concerned me more was her lack of muscle tone and the erratic way she was taking this on. I engaged her in a bit of conversation and she shared she had not trained and that her younger brother was ahead of her. As I kept my pace she lagged behind me, struggling to breathe. Yet, just a bit away from the finish line she ran past me again, heavy footed and gasping for breath. This broke my heart. I hope she finds her way to better self-acceptance and better self-care. 

My friend Lori volunteered to greet me at the finish. I cautioned her that I was out of shape and would finish late, maybe even last. But I didn't! I walked my pace, and felt stronger and faster as the race progressed. When I saw Lori I yelled, "I am SO not last!" She yelled back, "Look at your time, under 56 minutes!" I was walking strong and felt fabulous. Here's the glamour shot.

Lori is a yoga teacher extraordinaire. Post race she lead me through some stretches to baby my hips a bit. I'm in the white shoes and socks; she is rocking it in the black shoes and fabulous polka dot socks.

Race results don't get posted until September 17th but I already know I'm a winner. There were plenty of people behind me and many, many ahead of me but this wasn't about them, it was about me. It was about being happy with who I am and proud of my own tenacity. It was knowing I can set physical goals and master, even surpass, them. It was about the sensuousness of being at home in my body and at peace with myself.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Women in Radio

WYSO's Neenah Ellis and NPR's Susan Stamberg

Last November I took a Weekend Intensive on radio production at WYSO in Yellow Springs. It was an introduction to Community Voices, an innovative program with Sarah Buckingham and Neenah Ellis where participants learn to record and edit audio, conduct interviews, write for radio, and ultimately produce a feature story. I so enjoyed the intensive that I applied for the 2012 Community Voices Class. I was fortunate enough to be accepted and found the experience life expanding and enhancing.

Sarah Buckingham and Nina Ellis

On June 29th WYSO sponsored a fundraising event,  a presentation by Susan Stamberg  entitled "How Art Will Save the World" at the Dayton Art Institute. Susan Stamberg is quite something. In 1972 she became the first woman to anchor a national radio nightly news program, All Things Considered on NPR. She's often referred to as a founding mother of NPR and, in her seventies, remains a special correspondent. Her reports, usually in the arts, always touch upon something I always wanted to know more about and always leave me breathing a deep satisfied sigh along with a bit of envy. Who wouldn't love to be able to travel and meet and then report upon some of the most fascinating people in the world? The DAI talk was delightful as was the reception following in the Gothic Cloister.

Susan has close personal connections here. In Neenah Ellis's introduction of Susan she told a charming story about being a new employee at NPR and having Stamberg sail in and ask, "Who are you and can you cut tape?" This was the beginning of a relationship between these two women that continues today. When Stamberg finished her talk her final remark in her thanks was, "She's Neenah Ellis and she can cut tape!" This story was especially meaningful to the Community Voice members as one of the first things Neenah and Sarah taught us was how to "cut tape" as it is still called even though it is done digitally now. Neenah's husband Noah Adams was co-anchor with Susan for many years on All Things Considered.

The Community Voices group was privileged to have Susan share her wit and wisdom with us for several hours on the following Saturday. She brought tape from several of her pieces and then gave us the back story on taping and production.

She described her experience interviewing the legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson at age 94, almost thirty years after he decided to take no more photographs. He was difficult to interview and she had to rely on tape from other people in the room, his wife and his friend John Morris, onetime Life magazine photo editor. She played the tape for us and knowing the context of the interview we were privy to what a masterful production job it was. The story itself is seamless and engaging throughout. You can hear the 2003 story at NPR.

There's a womanly trail here. Susan is at the trail head where she tucked Neenah under her wing and they became colleagues. Neenah continued the path with Sarah Buckingham, encouraging her dream and desire to create Community Voices and lending her experience and wisdom to the task. Now, I am privileged to have Sarah, at the youthful age of twenty six mentoring me. Women in radio, it's a lovely thing.

If you are curious about Neenah's journey from NPR and independent production to station manager, visit  The Transom Review.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Czech Mates

Helena and Matej
A few years ago, when my friend, colleague and author Jed Diamond invited me to a party in Willits, California to celebrate completion of his Ph.D. I met his and Carlin's son Aaron. Aaron composed a song in Jed's honor that was such a generous act of love that I asked to hear it again later. At the time, Aaron was engaged to marry a woman from the Czech Republic. Jed emailed Aaron about my trip and I received a lovely email from Aaron full of suggestions and tips for my stay in Prague. Aaron's now married and living in the CR. His wife, Helena is a school teacher and volunteered to play tour guide and take me outside the city on the day her school was closed for a holiday.

Helena is warm and witty and generous with her time. Seven-year-old Matej practiced his English with me. Czech schools begin English instruction in the second grade. Our first stop was a brewery tour to the Staropramen Brewery. I was so impressed with the interactive videos, as good as any I've seen at Disney World.

Multimedia Presentation

We drove out of the city to the former site of the village Lidice. I say site because it looks like this.

Where Lidice once stood

In 1942 the village was mistakenly identified as having an association with one of the men who committed the assassination of Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich.  As a collective punishment for the assassination, the village men were lined up and shot. The women were separated from their children and sent to a concentration camp. The children, except for a small number of young children selected to be raised by German families, were kept for several weeks before being transported to a different camp and gassed. The village was set on fire and then destroyed, literally leveled to the ground. The museum on the grounds had photos of everything as it was all documented by the Nazis. Most heart rending were the letters from the children begging relatives to send them food, clothing and essentials. The children were told they were at camp. There was video of a few of the women who survived the camp and children who had been raised in German homes. If their mothers survived the camp, they could not communicate with their children because the children now spoke only German while the mothers spoke Czech. Can you imagine not being able to talk with your own child? The empty fields are haunting. The sculptures of the eighty-two children gassed will tug at my heart for years to come. A new village of Lidice was constructed nearby after the war, but this memorial will forever bear witness to what happened here.

Bronze sculptures of the eighty-two children
To counteract the sadness of Lidice, Helena took me to see two castles. Years earlier, Helena was a tour guide at the first in the village of Nela Hozeves, birthplace of composer Antonin Dvorak. His talent  was first nurtured here.

Nela Hozeves
Antonin Dvorak Statue
The second castle, from the 1800's, was a hunting lodge. The photo of Helena and Matej was taken in the wooded area leading up to the castle.


  On the drive back to the city, Matej began to tell his mother jokes. He would tell one, she would translate, and we would all roar with laughter. It has been a while since I had the pleasure of second grade humor and it was a treat to watch this mother and son interact. I am so grateful to Helena and Matej for their kindness in sharing their beautiful country with me, and to Aaron for sharing his family. The best way to learn to love a country is through its people.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prague Alchemy



The beautiful old city of Prague is rich in art, literature, music, architecture, and history. A few months before I arrived, a new museum, Speculum Alchemiae, opened. This museum is in an old building in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) where, after some recent flooding, they discovered a lower level with a series of artifact-rich workrooms and two tunnels. One led to the Old Square (Staromestske Namesti) , the other to Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad). They provided a way for the alchemists who occupied the building to travel unseen to these two locations.

The entrance room to the museum is bright and airy.  You enter the museum proper through a doorway with a thick door, that when closed behind you leaves you feeling a very different energy. This room has been restored to the time of the alchemists with mostly reproductions and a few original pieces. There is a chandelier that has three masks that bring to mind the devil because they have horns. My guide told me they represent Abraham and the horns represent power. This chandelier is placed over the spot the alchemists believed was a vortex.

Chandelier Over Vortex

Close up of Abraham Representation

This bookcase has a small dragon carving on a lower shelf that when turned opens the bookcase revealing stairs that lead to a series of rooms with ovens and work tables and old glass beakers used by the alchemists. They found some bottles that still held an elixir. They had the elixir analyzed and have reproduced and sell in the front shop area as Elixir of Life. It has all the original ingredients except one, poppies. 

Bookcase that opens to a secret passage

One of the hidden workrooms in the lower level secret chambers

My guide was giving her first tour in English so she was testing her explanations on me. She did an excellent job, sometimes giving me clues to help her find the right English word. For example, the small carving that turned to open the case was a bit hard to see. She said it flies, it is from China, enough clues for me to provide her with the word "dragon" and for me to make out what the carving was.

The beautiful art at the beginning of the post was on the four corners of the wall in the main room. They represent the four classical elements. It brought to mind a favorite song of mine from Libana's A Circle is Cast album. If you are unfamiliar with Libana they are a women's group that often performs a cappella. The song is "The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water" that you can click here to enjoy.

This kind gentleman shared his Yorkie with me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meeting Prague

My first Czech beer, Krusovice

Do you have a list of places you long to visit? My wish list is lengthy and constantly growing. I love to travel and have made it a priority for my sixties. Prague was near the top of my list and this month the dream became reality.

I am quite comfortable traveling alone. The journey itself is company enough. In the past I have struggled with jet lag on my first day or two after flying east. I discovered a wonderful remedy for it in the Isabella Catalog,  Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic. So I arrived in Prague feeling alert and refreshed. After checking into my hotel in Mala Strana (Lesser Town) I walked down to Stare Mesto (Old Town), about a thirty minute walk. The square is probably the most heavily tourist laden place in Prague. I chose an outdoor table and settled in for some journaling, people watching and traditional Czech food and beer. The Czech Republic is well known for their beer and I was not disappointed with this one. I remained there through the gloaming, just beautiful. The square is surrounded by old churches and their lighted towers were dramatic against the night sky.

The public transportation system is excellent in Prague. I traveled by tram as opposed to subway so I could see as much of the city as possible. Most people in Prague speak some English so it was easy to find help as needed. Czech children begin English instruction in second grade and French in fourth.

On my first full day I visited Petrin Tower, a smaller size replica of the Eiffel Tower. I climbed the 299 steps for a 360 degree view of the city. 

Petrin Tower

It was a beautiful clear day. I could see the Vltava River, Prague Castle, and in the distance the mountains in Germany.

Prague Castle, Vltava River, Mala Strana, Petrin Park

After one day I was enchanted with Prague. The city was just beginning to reveal her secrets and I was pleased that I had another week to explore and experience her. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating Time

I've recently discovered ArtellaLand, an online community for creators of all kinds. The site owner, Marney Makridakis, has a new book Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life. How could I not be intrigued by a title like that?

At first, I could not figure this girl out. She seems to want to tweak all important words to suit her purpose. For example, Artella is created from art and telling. She gives ARTsignments, talks about calendures, and projects her theory of wellativity! My spell check is going crazy here!

But after reading, digesting might be a better term or maybe processing, her book, I can tell you what she is about. She is about fun and gratitude and living life to the fullest with those you love. She is about creating art and stories to see within and share without.

This book is gorgeous, colorful, art filled, activity rich, and thought provoking.

Here's how she explains Creating Time:

...there is an amazing power held by each of us to imagine, create, and completely reshape the way we experience time. For too long we have been servants of time when in fact, time can and should serve us. We can drop all the archaic views and limitations of time that have held us back from fully embracing the wild beautiful truth: time is not a defined line; it is instead a vibrant, completely moldable, layered, multi-faceted work of art that is in your hands to create and design, each and every day.

I engaged deeply with the chapter Kronos and Kairos, Greek words for two ways of experiencing time. Kronos is linear time, chronology, the time of clocks and calendars. Kairos is numinous, spiritual, circular time. When I am deep into my writing or deep into joy, I am in Kairos. Meditation and being with people I love is Kairos. Creating is Kairos. And in those moments, time is very elastic. Sometimes an hour seems like a moment, sometimes a moment an hour. When I am in Kronos, I am very aware of time, schedules must be kept, obligations met, productivity documented. I prefer Kairos but know Kronos has a place.

As a writer, I do not often create visual art. I love to zentangle, to collage, to work with fiber but these were side activities, squeezed in at odd moments. The beauty of this book is that it has provided a bridge to creating visual art as part of my Kairos time, spiraling me more deeply into my creativity.  And that is a huge gift. Thank you Marney!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rethinking Depression by Eric Maisel

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  PTSD can be the result of one dramatic trauma episode or a prolonged period of trauma. In my case, during the prolonged stress I really, really struggled. During that time we talked about depression in two ways, Depression with a Big D and depression with a little d. The Big D version evidenced during the acute trauma period by my considering a day a success if I could put both feet on the floor and eventually get out of bed, at least for a few minutes. To survive that I needed the big three: medication, talk therapy, and body work. Think critical care, emergency treatment, stabilize the patient!

PTSD is the gift that keeps on giving. Even after doing lots and lots of gut wrenching work and believing I am okay, something can happen that will trigger the PTSD. This results in what I used to call depression with a little d. I feel really, really unhappy, really sad. The good news is that it is more manageable because I have learned how to cope.  In Eric Maisel's latest book, Rethinking Depression, he dismisses depression as a mental disorder and instead identifies it as a meaning crisis and gives the tools needed to cope. Here's some context to understand what he is proposing.

Eric is well known as America's foremost creativity coach. He is also a died-in-the-wool existentialist. I asked Eric to define existentialism and here is his response. "Existentialism is the first philosophy to demand that the individual take personal responsibility for his or her thoughts, actions, and life and further demands that we look the facts of existence squarely in the eye and deal with existence-as-it-is and not how, through wishful thinking, we had hoped it would be." What I think of as little d depression might just be the meaning crisis state Eric refers to in this book. And taking an existentialist position and employing the techniques and strategies he proposes offers a solution.

Rethinking Depression is a lovely play on words. Eric is asking us to rethink what depression is or isn't. He is also suggesting that re-thinking, that is taking an existentialist viewpoint and thinking differently about sadness when struggling, is the way to living well. He is NOT promising every moment will be happy, happy, happy. He is saying that unhappiness is part of the human condition and making meaning is the way to cope with the unhappy times. He is saying we are happier when we are making meaning. He is also suggesting we pay attention to the happy or at least neutral times as well, looking existence squarely in the eye.

Yes, but how do we do that? How do we make meaning? Rethinking Depression is the complete meaning making tool box. Eric takes us from deciding how and what matters, to creating a Life-Purpose Vision, to negotiating meaning daily, to how to handle meaning crises. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on existential, cognitive, and behavioral self-care. This is fun, engaging reading because Eric has a droll way of explaining and a knack for providing a large variety of examples to reach almost every reader.

He boils it down to three questions to orient your life.

1. What matters to me?
2. Are my thoughts aligned to what matters to me?
3. Are my actions aligned to what matters to me?

That's a pretty good check list for living!

I recommend Eric's book to anyone who wants a meaning-full life.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whitney Houston - Saint or Sinner?

We’re a funny people. We tend to see things in extremes. Whitney Houston’s death is a prime example.

The first rush was to canonize her as one of the greatest voices of our time, perfection. And this is true. So she’s a saint.

Then came a second round of judgment, vilifying her for her addiction, resulting in the loss of her fabulous vocal range and, perhaps, of her life. So now she’s a sinner.

Maybe it’s difficult to be the vessel for a voice like that. Maybe it’s a burden as well as a blessing. Maybe she did not always make the best choices. Maybe she’s a saint and a sinner. Maybe she was just doing the best she could.

During an interview with Oprah where Oprah was pushing Whitney pretty hard about her drug use, Whitney said about her husband Bobby Brown, “He was my drug.” She shared how she asked God to give her just one day of strength and she would leave what the whole world witnessed in their reality show Being Bobby Brown as a toxic relationship. That one day came and she left. Here’s where we get into that extreme thinking again. She was out of the toxic situation so she should be fine now, right?

Well, no. See, the thing with addiction is that walking away, breaking free is only the first step. After that the real work begins. At that point, free from him and trying to free herself from drugs, she may have experienced painful clarity about how deep in the mire she was. She might have been looking back in disbelief, wondering how and why she allowed what she did. There’s a lot of shame and a lot of pain. Shame and pain are emotions that are tough to bear when you’re feeling strong but when you are vulnerable? It’s easy to understand why the numbing effect of drugs would be a temptation.

Relapse is the norm, not the exception.

So maybe Whitney Houston was neither a saint nor a sinner.  Maybe she was just an immensely talented woman trying to find her way. Maybe we can remember her for her glorious voice and her love for her daughter and family. And we can choose to believe that she did the very best she could and hope that she is finally at peace.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Love

Every other commercial right now is about Valentine's Day and romance. What a limited view of love! I'm in love right now in so many different ways it makes my head spin. I'm celebrating love of the unconditional kind; love I give freely and receive in abundance.

A dear friend gave me this fused glass heart. I am wearing it every day in February as a symbol of the love I have in my life. My watch word for 2012 is allow and I am consciously choosing to allow in more love. Part of this is simply naming what is all around me, recognizing what I already have.

I am blessed with a generous and loving son. He recently got a gift card for Red Robin, his favorite restaurant, and after a celebratory dance his next impulse was to invite me as his guest for dinner. What a love.

I'm currently taking a class in Qigong, an ancient practice of mindful movement synchronized with the breath combined with intention and meditation. The instructor, Sharon Otto Trekel from the Inner Well Institute,  offers just the right mix of lecture and practice to make a beginner feel both capable and inspired. The energy in the room is palpable. I love the way this makes me feel... free, strong, centered, peaceful. This new form of exercise and the new friends I've made from the group are a joy.

I have another class called Creating A Forgiving Heart. Amazing! The people in this class are full of courage and willingness to forgive. While you might suspect this to be energy depleting work, it is just the opposite! The emphasis is on letting go of past hurts, practicing compassion, and moving gently into forgiveness. It is not about forgetting, it is about remembering, allowing (There's that word again!) and moving into joy. What's not to love about that?

I have the best friends! Just yesterday one shared a slide show that captured the unfolding progress of her needlework picture of a bicycle with its basket full of blooms. She then showed me the finished product with "Il s'agit de voyage" added. It was a gift for me! She googled the intended English phrase "It's about the journey" and instead embroidered the translation in recognition of my study of French. How can one not feel loved by such a thoughtful gift?

First slide from the slide show

Finished product, ready to be framed

My son and I got this Valentine from another friend. It is handmade and features a Yorkie. We have two Yorkies, CJ and Buddy. Adding to the charm was the fact that the Valentine was made by the participants of a sewing circle at a local sheltered workshop. Love is flowing all around me.

Here's a little Valentine gift for you all, my mother's short bread cookie recipe. These cookies are melt in your mouth good. If you want to be especially festive, you can put a drop of red food coloring in and make them pink. These burn easily so check them at ten minutes. Enjoy!

Short Bread Cookies

325 degree oven

5 T corn starch
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups flour
1 pound butter

Sift dry ingredients together.
Combine with butter.
Shape into roll and refrigerate till firm.
Slice into cookies.
Bake 10-12 minutes.

I'm planning to bake a batch and simply give a few to everyone I encounter on February 14th. So spread a little love of your own. Smile at a stranger. Give a sincere compliment. Donate some money. Do a kind deed. Pay it forward. Forgive someone. Ask for forgiveness. Thank the people who have helped you become who you are. And most of all... appreciate the love in your life.