Good Nature People


Yesterday, I came across a story about a woman, Flora Blathwayt, who collects bits of plastic trash from the banks of the River Thames and various beaches in England. She cleans the trash thoroughly and then adds it in creative ways to greeting cards that she’s designed. On the back of each card she creates, she lists the location where the plastic was found.

Ms. Blathwayt’s hobby has turned into a business, Washed Up Cards. Her business has sustained her, emotionally and financially, during a furlough from her job.

She’s not just using her skills and imagination to make money, however. She’s also bringing awareness to the issue of plastic waste in rivers and oceans. She’s supporting the sustainability movement and it, in turn, is supporting her.

To learn more about Washed Up Cards, you can visit her Etsy site at .

Here’s to those, like Flora Blathwayt, who use their creative talents to turn trash into treasure. They help to make the world a better place, one small bit at a time.

Life People


It’s Anne Lamott’s birthday.

I don’t always agree with everything she’s written or said. More often than not, however, I find myself nodding in affirmation, feeling connected to her words.

Like this, for example:

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said, ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”

Happy birthday to a woman who’s brave enough to embrace her humanness and forgive imperfections, even as she strives to do better. Her generous words are in my toolbox, helping me on this ongoing journey of doing the best I can.

Good People


Anytime I think of great leaders – business or otherwise – Herb Kelleher is one of the first names that comes to mind.

In honor of his birthday today, here’s my interpretation of some of his most meaningful lessons.

Treat others as more important than yourself.

Tell the truth and trust that doing so will inspire the right kinds of action.

Trying something new can help you find solutions. It can also be a lot of fun.

A job title can tell you what a person gets paid to do. It shouldn’t be confused with who they are.

Business is full of serious decisions and hard work. Leave some room for laughter.

Herb passed away in 2019, but his legacy lives on. Here’s to a leader who showed us what “walking the walk” is all about.

Good People


There’s an organization that makes and distributes coats to people experiencing homelessness. It’s called Empowerment Plan.

The coats were designed as part of a school project by a college student named Veronika Scott. When designing the coats, Veronika sought input from people who were homeless. The result is a weather-resistant garment made from upcycled material. Importantly, the coat can be easily converted into a sleeping bag. It can also be converted to a bag that can be carried over the shoulder.

Empowerment Plan doesn’t only provide warm and useful coats, however. Veronika realized that there was a need for more. And so, the Empowerment Plan program was developed to assist people in escaping homelessness.

Empowerment Plan coats are made by parents from homeless shelters in the Detroit, Michigan area. Approximately 60% of a program participant’s time is spent in paid coat production work, with the remaining 40% dedicated to educational, therapeutic, and other services addressing each participant’s individual circumstances. The goals are to assist participants in achieving financial stability and to prepare them for other employment opportunities once they complete the plan. According to Empowerment Plan, none of the participants have fallen back into homelessness after completing the program.

If you’re interested in learning more, the Empowerment Plan website is

Here’s to warmth made possible through empathy, innovation, and human connection.

Life People


When I close my eyes and think of the word February, I see the word love. I see the colors of warmth and affection, red and pink.

Unfortunately, when I think specifically of February 2021, I also see grey.

First came Covid-19 symptoms, which led to a positive Covid-19 test, which then led to several weeks of quarantining and restless discomfort. My husband and sons didn’t get sick, however, and I’ve recovered. We are lucky, and I am grateful.

Next came snow and ice and electricity failures. Days and nights of freezing temperatures with no power, no heat. We fared better than most, and again, I’m grateful. For some, the situation was extremely bad. For some, far too many, the situation was deadly.

Then, without electricity and heat, the water stopped flowing. Later, in the thaw, the water raced through once-frozen pipes, finding the weak spots, punching holes in the metal. It poured into homes and buildings, through ceilings, out of walls, up through floors, finding all possible exits and creating new ones where none existed.

Again, my family and I escaped the worst – not all of it, but our experience was mild in comparison with the experiences of many others. We were fortunate. But lots of other people weren’t.

Still, in the midst of the frozen heartbreak, there were moments of warmth. Neighbors looked after each other. Emergency personnel never stopped providing care and protection. Employees at grocery stores and restaurants did what they could to get food and supplies to the those who needed them. People stepped up to get it done – “it” being whatever was most needed in the moment, even if that was simply a few sticks of firewood or a bottle of water.

Now that the snow has melted, that empathy, resilience, and compassion hasn’t ended. Instead, it’s bloomed. Lots of organizations are marshaling their people and resources to support those who’ve lost so much, those who must recover and rebuild. If you’re in a position to assist, your help is greatly appreciated. I’ve listed a few of them below, and a quick internet search will find additional options that would welcome whatever you can give.

Yes, when I close my eyes and think of February 2021, I see grey. But, I also see yellow and orange, the colors of hope and generosity, courage and kindness. And the red and the pink are also there, front and center.

February is still the month of love.

North Texas Food Bank –

Tarrant Area Food Bank –

Central Texas Food Bank –

American Red Cross –

Meals on Wheels –

Good Life People


Every year on this date, I think about teachers.

There are countless examples of jobs that provide value to society – doctors and designers, lawyers and librarians, bakers and builders – just to name a few. Some are well-known and well-paid. Others, not so much. All contribute in some way to the intricate, delicately-balanced web that holds us all together in this world.

The foundational profession, however, is teaching.

The people who teach are the ones who help us do more than we did before. They help us be more than we used to be and build more than exists now. They help us imagine and evaluate and understand and create so that then everything else is possible.

So, here’s to the teachers. Thank you for seeing our potential, believing in us, and guiding us forward on the journey to tomorrow.

“I touch the future. I teach.” – Christa McAuliffe

Fun People


Of all the things that technology makes possible, one of my favorites is that people who are miles apart – sometimes, even countries apart – are still able to sing together.

There are lots of virtual choirs out there delivering professionally-produced performances, everything from show tunes to traditional hymns. Nothing can truly replace a live choir experience, but the virtual versions are a good substitute.

A fun new trend, an informal approach to this remote communal singing action, involves sea shanties. Not long ago, a person in Scotland, Nathan Evans, posted his a capella version of The Wellerman on TikTok. Soon after, people all over the world were adding their voices, creating several variations on the first version. Since then, Mr. Evans has added more shanties, and more variations have been created, and now there’s a whole new awareness of and appreciation for the music.

I, too, want to sing and dance when I hear these shanties; they’re a good way to get the day started. Part of the fun is knowing that, somewhere out there, other people are also humming along and living the experience. I’ll never meet them, but we are each part of a larger virtual community.

Here’s to technology and the gift of being able to sing together, regardless of the distance between us.

Good People

Dolly 2.0

There’s a lot happening these days, deep, heavy, serious things, some good, some not. Things that are worthy of attention and consideration; things that carry long-term implications and demand careful focus.

In the midst of it all, today is Dolly Parton’s birthday.

I’ve written of my admiration of her before. Since then, I’ve learned that she’s done even more Good, even more Wow, by donating one million dollars to the research that ultimately led to the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

She did it on purpose, but she didn’t do it to get noticed or to be in charge. As she put it, “I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world.”

So, here’s to Dolly Parton. Happy Birthday to a real Wonder Woman.

“Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

Life People


Yesterday, I read a story about an experiment with an evening online kindergarten class at a New Jersey elementary school.

Educators noticed a high number of absences in the daytime online classroom. They surmised that the challenges faced by working parents, coping with job and other changes brought about by the pandemic, made it difficult for some children to attend online learning during the day. When they did attend, they were frequently distracted.

So, the educators offered an option: a 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. class. Eleven students signed up.

The results have been excellent, according to the educators and the parents. Attendance improved, as did student engagement in the lessons. In some cases, the parents have been able to shadow their children, supporting them during the lessons and reinforcing the information. That would not have been possible in a daytime class.

This switch to nighttime education is not a solution that will work for everybody. But it has been successful in this case. Perhaps it could be a positive option elsewhere.

There will come a day when the pandemic won’t be a part of our lives anymore. We’ll go back to living without having to take the extra steps that keep us safe right now. When that day comes, it will be worth celebrating – a return to “normal.”

At the same time, it’s unlikely that we’ll think of things in exactly the same way as we did before. There will have been a shift in how we perceive the world around us, our options and expectations. A shift in how we define “normal.”

It will be interesting to see which of the experiments, which of the ideas and innovations created during these challenging days, will leave a lasting influence.



There have been a few silver linings in this year of ugh.

For example, without a daily work commute, I have some free time during the day. I’ve used some of this free time to deliver meals to senior citizens through Meals on Wheels.

I’ll admit that I was initially nervous about volunteering right now, but the people with the MoW organization work hard to ensure that volunteers are well-prepared to safely complete delivery routes. They understand how important it is to protect their elderly clients and the volunteers in this pandemic environment.

They also know that, without these deliveries, their clients might not have the nutritious food they need. Many clients live alone or with another elderly family member. Some are physically unable to prepare their own food; others don’t have access to transportation or financial resources. The pandemic has exacerbated these difficult circumstances. Volunteer delivery drivers are always appreciated, but especially now more than ever.

Delivering a MoW route only takes a few hours. Volunteers can assist with as few – or as many – routes as they want. Training is done virtually, and there’s a neat little app that keeps track of route info. The first route can be a bit of an adventure, getting used to the process and following the driving directions, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of things.

MoW can always use more volunteers. If delivering meals isn’t your thing, there are other ways to contribute, such as their pet care program and various holiday programs throughout the year. Financial support is always welcome, as well.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit their website:

Here’s to the Meals on Wheels organization and to their meaningful mission of service.