A basket full of vegetables and pumpkins on a wooden table.


I have so very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I am healthy, safe and warm in a beautiful environment, surrounded by people who love and care for me. There is absolutely nothing I need in my life right now. But there are times when it’s hard to be grateful – when someone I love is hurting, when the world seems to be on fire or I just don’t feel good, – when for whatever reason the future looks bleak. Gratitude is not the first emotion that springs to mind.

A friend told me about a simple acronym that helps to shake these moods. Maybe you already know about it. My friend heard it from her friend – who heard it…etc. I passed it on to my friends and it just keeps spreading. Friends tell me they keep a note on their desk or bathroom mirror. Others use it at bedtime to help them get to sleep. I find it comforting to remember anytime life blindsides me. It reminds me to be

G. L. A. D.

L: Something I LEARNED Nothing mesmerizes me like learning something new. I lose track of time, miss appointments, forget to feed the dog.. Learning gives me hope! It reminds me that there is something I have yet to try, something new to understand and share. To quote Taylor Caldwell, ” Learning should be a joy and full of excitement. It is life’s greatest adventure….” I agree.

A: Something I ACCOMPLISHED – William F. Buckley*, said “The enemy of melancholy is industry. ” While taken to extreme this could be a way to avoid my problems rather than solving them, it is certainly true that I feel better when I stop fretting and just get busy. I don’t have to run a marathon, prepare a gourmet meal or plant a palm tree. I just have to get busy; paying bills, washing dishes, cleaning closets – it doesn’t have to be a big thing.

D: Something that DELIGHTED me. This is magic for me. There are so many times in any day, no matter what’s happening, that are just simply delightful. You know the feeling – your heart skips a beat and no matter how bad you feel, you can’t hold back a smile. You have to be alert; It’s fleeting – a baby grins at you over her mother’s shoulder, a puppy cocks a floppy ear, a rainbow appears after a storm. Sometimes just an Amazon package! I just need to LOOK for those things instead of obsessing about my problems.

Unfortunately, life sometimes throws such a curve ball that all you can do is hurt. But in my experience, it’s not the big problems that get me down. It’s the little gnats of life, the clogged sink on Friday night, the package lost in the mail, the fender-bender. That’s when I need to remember to be G.L.A.D!

*For those of you both after 1980, William F. Buckley was a well known writer and TV personality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._Buckley_Jr.

The cover of a book with a blue background.

CoVid-19: It’s not what you think


If there is one thing we can all agree on about this virus, this may be it.  We just don’t understand  CoVid-19.

Even with my  background as a biochemist, I have trouble knowing what to believe about CoVid-19.  In spite of all the hard work and the progress our scientific community has made,  there are still more questions than answers. This virus is not like any we’ve seen before.   CoVid 19 just doesn’t play by the rules; in fact, we don’t know what the rules are.

We tend to think of infectious disease as following a linear, or deterministic pattern.  In other words, if I have the virus and I infect three people, then those three people infect three more, etc.  But there have been instances in which many more people contracted the disease than the model would predict. The  most well known example is that of the  61 member choir practice in Mt. Vernon, Washington on March 10 in which 53 contracted the virus and two died. Conversely, other gatherings of similar numbers, venues,  climates, and age groups did not produce this high rate of infection.   https://bit.ly/3cQcwgJ   

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.It now appears that the virus can  spread in clusters, some think by “super-spreaders” who are especially efficient at  spreading the virus.  But there is no way to know what makes someone a  “super spreader.”  There may be some as-yet undetermined characteristic that makes an individual especially infectious.  Or, it could be that there are not “super spreader individuals”, but “super-spreader events”  where  people are singing, coughing, exercising, etc, especially in close, poorly ventilated spaces.   https://bit.ly/33BnnYF 

Think of the virus as second hand smoke.A person sitting on the ground in front of water. The  closer you are, the more you inhale. So there’s no guarantee that you won’t inhale the smoke if you are  6 feet away, especially if you are in a poorly ventilated space and/or the smoker is coughing, talking loudly, etc. Similarly,  even if you are outside, fresh air won’t protect you from the spray of virus from the shouting fan next to you in the bleachers.  We can easily distance ourselves from the offending smoker.  However, unlike the smoker, the infected person may be asymptomatic, have tested negative a week ago and is now positive, or be in the first few days of the incubation period.   The CoVid positive person can look and feel perfectly healthy. 

It is true that the death rate is low and some groups are more likely that others to have a serious infection.  But recovered patients are experiencing long-term damage to heart, liver and lung as well as damage to hearing and cognitive function. Some of it appears to be non-reversible.   https://mayocl.in/3nqPTUL

And there are so many unanswered questions.  Can you get the virus more than once? Are there in utero effects?  When will a vaccine be available and how effective will it be? What will be the effect of seasonal flu on the virus?   

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.No one knows.  But  I do know what to do. Sadly, just as there’s no magic diet, my  only way forward is the one I know so well; masks, social distancing and hand washing.

 I am SO tired of this whole CoVid scene; the masks, the social distancing, the confinement.  But the virus is not interested in my opinion.  This is not a well-behaved virus.  


It breaks my heart to think about the holidays this year. But like the Fauci’s we’ll be joining our family on Zoom.  https://bit.ly/3nGPEVP

A person sitting on the ground in front of water.