15 Empowering Things to Tell Your Kids (and Yourself)

AWR say I love u a lotIn the summer of 2012, I was cracking up (not in a good way). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. Often. And intensely.

I had been caring for my then 83-year-old mother with insufficient support for about eight months, and I was about to lose the plot, cash in my chips, throw in the towel, give up the ghost.

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6 Powerful Ways to Make Your Life More Beautiful

AWR Make YOU first loveThis little gift from me to you is based on a message from my Mom, originally published here with great love, and renewed, reviewed and re-energized today for all of us. Enjoy!

1) Make YOU your first love

I know, I know, this can be a tough one, especially since we are all imperfect, and we are often taught that we should strive to be flawless. The fact is, perfection, like fitting in, is vastly overrated.

Remember the story of the cracked pot? Love yourself because of your imperfections, not despite them. Make peace with who you are and where you are today, don’t wait for who you will be once you “fix” yourself.

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10 things i’m grateful for today 14 09 08


#SheQuotes I am gratefulYesterday just after sunset the horizon was mix of black and blue, silhouetted trees, fading light and the promise of tomorrow.

Last night the moon shone through my window and kept me awake with its big fat fullness.

This morning the air was biting fresh and crisp as a chilled cucumber.

Now I see an azure sky dotted with a handful of puffy cumulus clouds.

It’s one of those days that makes you feel happy to be alive.

Today, I’m especially grateful for: Read More…

48 pictures of the wall between Israel and Palestine

Israel wall mapI visited Ramallah in Occupied Palestine’s West Bank in spring 2011 to attend a TEDx conference.

Getting there overland was onerous and I spent six hours at the border crossing where I had my passport taken, was interrogated and humiliated by Israeli immigration officials, had items stolen from luggage, and witnessed the humiliation of others.

While in Occupied Palestine, I felt the terror and oppression the Palestinian people are subjected to every day at checkpoints.

I ate with Palestinians. I saw the poverty. I felt the despair. I heard the stories of people who had been robbed of everything but their will to fight.

I saw the wall. I walked in its shadow. I touched it. I read the graffiti. I took pictures.

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Let’s talk about Israel and Palestine. Or not.



We can’t even talk about the Middle East amongst friends:



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once upon a bad hair day at the vatican


purple hair purple hair

me & my “i-don’t-think-I-could-date-a-woman-with-purple-hair” hair & she-devil blue-green eyes bwahahahaha

Colin Lively, one of my crazy online friends  shared this story on FB:

A woman was at her hairdresser’s getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:

“Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It’s crowded and dirty. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”

“We’re taking Continental,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”

“Continental?” exclaimed the hairdresser. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they’re always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?”

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7 leap before you look lessons from Mandarin ducklings


DucklingsHatching a new venture?

Or reinventing yourself?

In my experience, there are lessons to be learned everywhere all the time – especially in nature and the animal kingdom.

The video below of the ducklings came to me randomly from the captain of my ladies golf league.

It was too good not to share :)

I hope you enjoy the natural wisdom of these Mandarin ducklings as much as I do!

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14 Spring Flower Bouquets to Bring You Joy

Flowers 6I cared for my Mom who has Alzheimer’s disease in her rural home for a year. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

One way I kept us both engaged and myself sane was to find activities that infused joy and happiness into our days.

In the spring, we gathered flowers from the backyard and nearby fields and created beautiful arrangements.

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I was feeling a little sorry for myself today. Then somebody sent me this.



Reality check.


No Arms. No Legs. No Worries.

No Arms & Amazing

A Tribute to Stacey McInroe Conner

Barbara Guerra (Born with no arms)


Besides going a little crazy in a good way, Susan Macaulay created and curates Amazing Women RockSheQuotes and My Alzheimer’s Story. She also helps people with public speaking, confidence building, writing and editing.



Holding on and letting go

Patti sleep spring 2014


June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month


Here’s my latest blog post:

a short visit before lunch


I invite you to follow me there :)


Besides going a little crazy in a good way, Susan Macaulay created and curates Amazing Women RockSheQuotes and My Alzheimer’s Story. She also helps people with public speaking, confidence building, writing and editing.

I Found the Future in a Brown Paper Bag

Paper bagOf these four, which one doesn’t fit: rug, egg, drum, sex?

I remember the question. I remember the answer. But I’ll be damned if I remember the rest of the quiz.

(Memory is a strange thing. I don’t beat myself up over the loss of it.)

No matter. The question surfaces as I contemplate the brown paper lunch bag in front of me.

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8 Good Reasons to Go Crazy

Gone Crazy back soonAs you can see (if you’ve been following me), I’ve done something slightly mad: renamed this blog for the umpteenth time. (If you’re new here, welcome.)

This blog’s former name (Cracker Jacks) doesn’t have anything to do with anything (as my good friend Elaine is fond of saying when conversations take detours), other than it makes me think of popcorn and excellence, both of which I adore.

It may have been crazy to rename the blog, but it was even crazier to fire it up in the first place, given all the other stuff I already do (see below).

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