The 5% Girl and a Lesson in Empathy

After spending the last ten days in parental purgatory, we got a call yesterday morning. The huge tumor found in my daughter has been fully removed and after being told the odds were 95% that it would be malignant, Mayo has determined that it is benign. We were very lucky. Only 150-200 people are diagnosed with this type of tumor in the U.S. each year. Random. Like the cells that mutate for no damned reason into something that kills. I haven’t slept for more than an hour at a time for days… Read More

Fearless Friday: Learned Empathy

This morning I did my best to avoid a particular cashier lane at the grocery store. My local grocery store proactively employs people with differing abilities, whether physical, learning, or social. There is a young woman who bags and likes to have loud, occasionally inappropriate conversations with anyone, anywhere. I am a jerk in the morning. I don’t want to talk to anyone, anywhere. I tried to pass by unseen, but the cashier called out to me. “I can help you here!” I smiled weakly and turned back into the lane. She… Read More

I Voted. Now What?

Despite attempting to swear off political posts for the month, I’m still unhooking from political news and chatter. It’s hard to avoid and today is election day. I’ve just returned from voting. Unfortunately, numerous contests will be litigated for weeks or months on end. The upside of this is that I will not stay up for results, nor check my phone every two minutes throughout the night. I will sleep. Politics do not own me (and I will keep repeating that mantra until I get my sleep, dammit). I’m still reading Donna… Read More

Fearless Fridays: A New Feature at The Green Study

These days a person can wake up feeling small and anxious. I often do. This morning was a good example. I’ve been nursing a hamstring injury for over a week and the first walking hours are the worst. The sky is dark and cloudy and it is predicted that we’re getting 10-14″ of snow tomorrow. My daughter has been sick the last few days. Those are local issues. Add all the political turmoil and malevolence in the world and it’s a quick spiral to the bottom of the mood barrel. It’s my… Read More

Fired Up, Part 3: Mitigating Despair

This was not my intended post. I wrote my intended post about economics and the importance of financial literacy. It was boring and long and preachy. To sum it up in a nutshell: if you’re like me and find that when it comes to the economy of our country, you do not know enough to argue more than talking points, it’s time to learn. I wrote a second post that stretched into 3,000 words, exploring the nature of my own prejudices – how I am the product of poor, white, uneducated people… Read More

The Green Study’s “Positively Happy Nice Story” Contest: 2nd Place

2nd Prize goes to Ross at Drinking Tips for Teens for “The Secret Side-Effect of Kindness”. His essay is a gentle reminder of how we impact each other with even the simplest of acts. He was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug and an extraneous Minnesota postcard. I also made a $75 donation to the Canadian Red Cross. The Secret Side-Effect of Kindness By Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens I’m a big believer in balance: work-life balance, balanced diet, balance beams. There’s no cause without effect and no effect without… Read More

Asphodel Meadows: Where Empathy and Kindness Can Roam Free

The Green Study’s Positively Happy Nice Story Contest is a great way to win for your local American Red Cross and there’s a mug! I’m shifting the deadline to Monday,  October 3rd. See here for details. Invitations are flattering, especially if you’re sitting home in your yoga pants/pajamas wrenching words from your brain to make one of those quirky novel things and you haven’t been employed outside of your home for several years. Your college degree in Soviet and East European Studies became obsolete the year you graduated. You start telling Army… Read More

The Green Study’s Guide to Good Manners (or How Not to Get Eaten)

“My, grandma, what big teeth you have!” Seriously, Little Red Riding Hood, who taught you manners? She deserved to be eaten by the big bad wolf. Of course, if manners determined who would or would not get eaten by carnivores, the overpopulation problem would become a thing of the past. When, on this planet, did it become de rigeur to comment on people’s physical appearance in the course of daily life? I’ve been the object of as well as witness to this kind of discourse between humans. It usually earns the purveyor… Read More

Talking Myself Down from the Tree

I wanted to write something funny today, but my heart isn’t in it. I made the mistake this morning of reading the news online first and then the comments that followed. Why, oh why, do I read people’s comments? It’s never like the warm, fuzzy blanket of a blog. It’s more like an ice cold shower that screams “Wake up, the world is full of hate!” The sense of despair can be overwhelming. People seem so willing to show their ugly, unmitigated sides because commenting online is a distant thing. Even my… Read More