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Want to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Here are “10 Ways to Experience Minneapolis Like Mary Tyler Moore,” which I wrote for USA Today 10Best.

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talking about “room” with author emma donoghue

Emma Donoghue

I got to see Room the other night in New York, and say hi to author Emma Donoghue, who was doing a Q&A after the screening. The movie was excellent, thanks to powerful performances by Brie Larson and 9-year-old Jacob Tremblay, and a screenplay written by Donoghue herself.

I will be reviewing the movie next week when it opens in San Diego — and if you live here or have friends in the area, make sure you all subscribe to my newsletter because I’m sending out an invitation to see the movie ahead of time — but, meanwhile, I thought I’d re-post my interview with Donoghue from 2011 to get you in the mood.

If you haven’t read the book yet, GO READ IT NOW! [Read more…]

five hours at powell’s books


I’m re-posting this from January 2013 since I’m back in Portland and won’t be writing today. Why? Because I’m planning on spending another five hours at Powell’s … [Read more…]

what really happened to your loved ones on 9/11 by michael mark


To those of you who lost loved ones in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, here’s what happened in their final moments.

Your father was a hero.  When the building shook from the blast, he did not concern himself with fear.  He helped unblock an office door which had been barricaded by debris and furniture that had moved. He freed three people.

Your friend who was on the plane being hijacked recognized immediately how serious the matter was and reached to calm the shaking hand of the person in the next seat.

Your wife saw a man bleeding from his head and she tore a piece from her shirt and made a bandage for him.

Your aunt helped her co-workers who could not find the exit through the smoke – they all made it. Then she went back for others.

Your nephew who was the pilot on the plane had only the safety of everyone on board in focus every second. [Read more…]

my restoration hardware post made cbs this morning!

Restoration Hardware selfie

I tried to take a selfie with the Restoration Hardware catalogs but they were so heavy, this is the result.

I was so excited when a producer from CBS This Morning contacted me to see if they could use the photos from my post yesterday for a segment about Restoration Hardware’s insane 17-pound catalog drop.

“Sure,” I said. “If I can have lunch with Gayle King.” [Read more…]


You can win a copy of David Gray’s new CDGena Showalter’s bestselling series plus a Visa gift card, and Maddie Dawson’s great new novel. Be sure to enter all these great giveaways just for Midlife at the Oasis subscribers!

giveforward: raising funds and creating unexpected joy

GiveForward logo

Over the past few years, my husband and I have dramatically changed the way we make charitable contributions. We used to give money to a variety of organizations but, having been burned one too many times (yes, Susan G. Komen, I’m talking about you), we now try to give directly to people in need. [Read more…]

really, restoration hardware???

restoration hardware doormat

So this showed up at my front door the other day.

I was intrigued by the heft of it until I realized what it actually was.

17 pounds of Restoration Hardware catalogs?  [Read more…]

my baby just graduated college. what do i do now?


I never thought of myself as someone who defined herself by her children. Whose life was so closely intertwined with theirs that I would feel lost once they left home.

But apparently I am. [Read more…]

the passport protector

Passport protector

Like most people, the one thing I obsess about on every trip is my passport.

So I was horrified and inspired by Patrick Dichter’s story. You can – and should – read it here, and see how he’s turned every traveler’s nightmare into an amazing product that I can’t wait to use myself.  [Read more…]

second chances by maddie dawson

The Opposite of MaybeI loved Maddie Dawson’s first novel, The Stuff That Never Happened, about a woman who’s been theoretically happily married for almost 30 years but is still kind of in love with someone she had an affair with decades ago. It’s a fascinating, thought-provoking read, and I was sad to finish it because it was Maddie’s only book.

Until now.

Her new book, The Opposite of Maybe, is another great story about a middle-aged woman re-thinking her life. I finished it in one cross-country flight, and am now sad again because I’ll have to wait for Maddie to publish her next book.

Meanwhile, she’s generously agreed to share her own personal story of second chances, and I bet it will resonate with so many of you. The idea of finding new possibilities at any age is why I’m passionate about Life Reimagined, and why Maddie’s story is so important to read.

Maddie is also giving away copies of The Opposite of Maybe to two lucky Midlife at the Oasis subscribers. To enter, simply leave a comment below. The contest ends on June 14 at midnight Pacific time. Winner will be notified by return email. Prizes can only be sent to U.S. mailing addresses.

Here’s Maddie’s story: [Read more…]