Remember and Help Our Warriors


On this Memorial Day, I know we will all stop for at least a moment to remember and thank those brave soldiers who have given their lives in the defense of our country. If you’re interested, consider going one step further and check out a Kansas City-based organization called Warriors’ Ascent.

I became involved with this 501(c)3 group a couple of years ago and continue to do what I can to spread the news of the amazing work they are doing.  You’ve probably heard the stats, but approximately 20 veterans commit suicide each and every day. And many thousands of others suffer from the daily impact of post traumatic stress. Continue reading

Bicycling Built for Two

Prairie Star Bike Trail

Ever since I was a little kid riding my orange Schwinn Sting Ray with the classic banana seat, I’ve always loved getting out on a bike (I still call a bicycle a bike, even if that’s confusing to you Harley riders).  There’s nothing quite like a little speed, feeling the wind on your face, all generated by your own effort.

While I’ve been a road bike rider almost my entire life, Lailan and I have found more casual cycling is another fun and healthy thing to do together. It’s easier on the knees than running and rest stops seem to include some sort of liquid indulgence, because “we earned it!”  Right? Continue reading

Best Friend’s Life Saved by CPR

Photo with emts

One year ago, almost to the day, one of my best friends and college fraternity brother, Rick Worrel, collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest 50 yards from the finish line of a 5K race. By the grace of God, he was running alongside a doctor who immediately started performing hands-only CPR. Other bystanders worked for approximately 15 minutes to keep blood flowing throughout Rick’s body until the ambulance and other EMTs arrived.  Special thanks go to Jack Uhrig, Bryan Rice, Rob Herrik and Jeff Rohr, who without any hesitation, put their “hands-only” CPR training to use on May 14, 2016, and saved Rick’s life. Continue reading

BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End

ME and Lailan

Thank you to all who shared great comments for Think Beyond the Nest. Yes, we certainly are in a unique stage of life!   I know many of us are at the point in our lives where our parents are getting up there in years and may need some extra assistance – a natural part of life.   Phil and I have aging parents as well.

Oma Opa Golf
Phil’s step-mom and Dad. Golfing!

My dad passed away ten years ago. My 91 year-old mother is in a skilled nursing facility in Hawaii and is immobile and nonverbal after years of suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s. I feel as though I have already lost my mom. It’s been tough to experience her decline, especially long distance, but she chose this facility years ago and clearly expressed a desire to stay in Hawaii. Because she made this clear and cognitive choice and made it known to her children, I feel so good knowing that is where and how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. Continue reading

The Rules of (couples) Golf

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Golf is a silly little game I’ve been playing on and off for most of my life, but my love of the sport has gone to a new level now that Lailan has taken up the golf bag. Lailan started playing a couple of years ago and is now more obsessed about hitting the course than anyone I know. It’s something we have fun doing together and it serves as a great physical and mental challenge – both very good things in the empty nest life.  So, if you currently play or might be thinking about this as a couple’s activity, here are few thoughts and ideas we’ve picked up along the way: Continue reading

The Easter Bunny – Then and Now

Easter PhotoI hope you had a wonderful and blessed Easter. We certainly had a nest-full with our oldest bringing home three friends with him from Fort Riley (Army base) to spend the weekend and to celebrate Easter. A one-year old German shepherd was also along for the visit! One of the things we wanted to do with his friends was to take them down to our famous Country Club Plaza here in Kansas City to see the ceramic, life-sized bunnies that have displayed every Easter season back to 1922. As I was thinking about the Plaza bunnies, I remembered a photo of our boys that we had taken many years ago with “Bryan,” one of the guy bunnies. I recall that being important at the time.  Anyway, I thought how fun would it be to find that photo and have the boys recreate the exact same scene with the same bunny sixteen years later? To my delight, our boys were willing to help go along with this marvelous plan. There was no whining or complaining about it at all. And, the boys even seemed to have fun meticulously recreating the same pose. Oh the joys of adult children!:) I love that we can all have fun together – even if that means recreating silly Easter bunny photos!

St. Simon Island – A Little Slice of Heaven

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Lailan and I recently took a quick trip to St. Simon Island, GA. As much as we’d love to keep this place to ourselves, we are exploding with enthusiasm for the island and we just have to share our experience. We bid on this trip at a charity auction in KC and somehow won and now we’re really glad we did! Continue reading

Hiking in Kansas. Who Knew?

Konza Hike landscapeAfter almost thirty years of marriage to mountain and hiking lover, this beach girl has finally grown to appreciate the beauty and awesomeness of hiking. Since we don’t exactly live in typical hiking area (hello, Kansas!), Phil and I have opted to make the best of what we have by checking out hiking trails right here in our own backyard. Continue reading

Flipping Over Flapjacks

Kodiak from Nikon

I can only eat so much steel-cut oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast. I know it’s good for me and it’s certainly harder to keep the weight off these days, but I need a good stack of pancakes every once in a while.  Thanks to a tip from our super healthy friends in Honolulu, I now have permission to fire up the griddle more often.

Our friends turned us on to to Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes.  I guess the brand has been around since 1995, and was even featured on the TV show, Shark Tank, but we were not in the know.  While visiting in Hawaii, we found the product at the local Costco.  Worried it was a “Hawaii-only” phenomenon, Lailan immediately called our nearest Costco in Kansas City.  Boom! They had the product and that was our first stop when we got back to KC.

Packed with protein, 100% whole grain wheat flour, and other ingredients including no added fat, sugar or cholesterol, we feel much better about the occasional pancake splurge.  Too bad I found an old bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s Original syrup in the pantry!