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  • I’m Dreaming of a … House Guest with Manners

    An invitation to stay with someone is a great honor. Your host wants you to be happy, to be comfortable and to feel welcome. If you’ll be a house-guest during the holidays here are eight easy tips to ensure you’re host will be dreaming you’ll be back again next year! 1. Arrive with a gift. [...]

    What Now, Redding?

    A funny thing happened on the way to the voting booth this year; Redding voters elected the most progressive city council in memory. While already pretty stunning when you consider the conservative tilt of our community, this took place within the context of an almost overwhelming conservative landslide nationally. There are many possible reasons for [...]

    Or So it Seems … National Fruitcake Month – A Mayan Warning

    Every December, my wife and I clash on the most serious question of our time. Is fruitcake food or something far more sinister? My wife belongs to a not-so-secret society that LIKES fruitcake. I find this troubling. To me, the stone-like substance masquerading as dessert is an evil recipe-gone-wrong. How is it possible to take [...]

    Free Therapy # 51: The Deep Meaning of Christmas (According to me, Jim and Jesus) And you?

    I must have been about ten when I thought my mother was dead. I had no evidence. None. There was no reason for the fear. It was just a thought that popped into my brain. I was home alone on a school day, pretending to be sick. My brother and sister were at school and [...]

    Hogmanay and First Footing

    I’m writing to you from a cozy room decorated with streamers, snowflakes and ornaments. We are coming into the festive season and winter is nipping at the windows and doors with icy teeth – another gale! Christmas is a big deal for children but traditionally it wasn’t the biggest celebration here in the Highlands. It’s [...]

    Once Upon A Brew Pub – Krogh’s Restaurant and Brew Pub

    Ever since I was young I have always enjoyed rustic lakeside restaurants. My family and I used to travel to Minnesota for summer vacation, and ever since, these older places have had a special appeal to me. Krogh’s was built in the late 1930s on the shores of Lake Mohawk in New Jersey. The dark [...]

    Design Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

    I went to a local department store to buy my great nephew a birthday gift. I passed the “pink toy” aisle when I heard a little girl’s voice say, “Get over here, Dad!” She reminded me of bratty Violet in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (the old one, with Gene Wilder). There’s Dad, rushing over, taking [...]

    Mistress of the Mix: Its My Party I Can DJ If I Want To

    It’s not easy being a Sagittarius, lemme tell ya. Being born anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas can pretty much guarantee that you get one gift that covers both holidays. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “Happybirthdaymerrychristmas!” I’d probably have enough saved up to get new double pane windows for my house. [...]

    Just Sayin’: A New Day for Christmas Letters

    Yup, I just finished writing my “Christmas Letter.” Maybe it would be better to call it my quasi-annual check-in , because I make a point of not sending this letter regularly , and especially not at Christmas. I think the last one was about five years ago . As you may have ascertained, I don’t [...]


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