Tales From A Hungry Life

April 23, 2020

Notes From The Pandemic

Maria Schulz

fashion woman notebook pen

Are You Taking Notes Too? (Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com)

March 4, 2020

The talk here at the office is that we may be allowed to work from home in the next week or so. There are a bunch of cases of the coronavirus in NYC and we will have to work from home in order to stay safe.

I think I’ll like working from home.

March 12, 2020

Today, I started working from home. I’m set up in the kitchen. I can look out the window here (there is no window by my desk at work) and see the birds and the trees. There is so much beauty to enjoy! I’m happy to be home and safe.

They say we will be back in the office on Monday after the offices are cleaned.


So Much Beauty To See!

March 13, 2020

Just checked email…seems we are going to be working from home for at least the next few weeks. What a relief.

Cases of COVID are exploding now and many people are dying. New York is in for a long, tough siege.

Meanwhile, Spring is just beginning. I love watching the birds and squirrels in the backyard. It’s great having a window to look out of all day long. I feel very blessed.

March 19, 2020

Working from home is so much more productive! I get a lot done and love sitting at my kitchen table. Husband and daughters are also working from home and taking online classes. It’s so great to be together every day!

I’m also reading a lot in my spare time. I’m reading classics and suspense books at a furious clip! Also writing more.

Great Stories

Yes, I still have my copy!

March 25, 2020

Husband has been complaining that his hair is getting too long. Wants one of the girls or me to cut his hair. I don’t know what I’m doing but how hard could it be? There’s no sense waiting for the barber when one of us can cut his hair for him.

shallow focus photo of barber s pole

(Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com)

March 29, 2020

Hubby couldn’t take it anymore. Took out the razor and scissors and asked me to cut his hair. I would’ve asked the girls but they were smart and hid in their rooms. I’m trying to talk myself into it. What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll do it and I can add it to the list of things I now know how to do.

March 30, 2020

Well, that was a disaster. Hubby is happy with his hair cut, but I guess it’s good he can’t see the back of his head because I gave him two bald spots. I just hope he doesn’t use the mirror in the bathroom to check it. The girls keep laughing whenever he walks by. This morning, I woke up in a panic. WHAT IF IT DOESN’T GROW BACK????

person using hair razor on man s hair

Not Actually My Husband And Therefore, Not My Fault. (Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com)

April 1, 2020

Husband got curious and used the mirror in the bathroom to look at the back of his head. He knows about the bald spots. He’s being a very good sport about it, but I suspect he is not happy. He has asked me to let him cut my hair. Um…no thank you.

April 4, 2020

Almost out of food. Older daughter has begun going to the supermarket and getting supplies. Alternately uses online shopping to get groceries. Younger daughter takes dog out for play time and long walks. Hubby and I are working hard. Having everyone home has really been a blessing.


Zucchini Noodles and Meatballs

Our cooking has become more creative as we face meat shortages and can’t find certain produce items. I think of my mom a lot because she was a master at making food stretch. She had nine people to worry about – I only have 4!

April 12, 2020

Happy Easter! Can’t do a big family get together, so we ironed the tablecloth and put out the good dishes for ourselves. We were able to find a ham, so we cooked that along with potatoes and vegetables. I even baked a cake and we decorated it.

We were done eating in 20 minutes. It’s just not the same.

Chocolate Cake.JPG

We Did Enjoy The Cake Though

April 15, 2020

My hair is a disaster. Husband has offered to dye it for me, but I fear he’ll make me look like Ozzie Osbourne by the time we’re finished. (True love or revenge? Not sure).

I did find a box of hair dye in my usual color in the bathroom. I think I’ll do it while he naps. Gonna go for it!

shallow focus photography of boy

Not me. (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com)

April 16, 2020

Luckily, the dye wasn’t so old that it made my hair fall out or turn pitch black. It’s a nice medium brown color so I don’t look like Dumbledore any more. Husband says that what I need now is a hair cut. He claims to have watched a video on how to cut a woman’s hair and once again offered to cut mine. Still, NO.

Older daughter went outside to enjoy this beautiful sunny day and she saw a hawk swoop down and pluck a baby squirrel from a tree. MOTHER NATURE IS A CRUEL BITCH. Nature is so overrated!

black hawk soaring

A Warning To Squirrels Everywhere. (Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com)

April 21, 2020

Today we had black skies AND HAIL! The winds were shrieking, the thunder was booming, and great flashes of lightning zigzagged across the sky.


Work has been crazy and stressful. I miss my coworkers!

Here at home, we are together EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s impossible to have five minutes alone!

closeup photography of green grasshopper

Hello, Locusts! (Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com)

I don’t want to cook or bake again. Not today, maybe not ever.

Older daughter is still traumatized about the hawk incident.

Younger daughter feels traumatized by being stuck with us.

Hubby should have been traumatized by my hair styling skills, but his hair has grown back and he says it’s time for another hair cut.


Oh well, I’ve got some extra time on my hands. What could possibly go wrong?


The Best Bolognese Sauce

The Best Bolognese Sauce.jpeg

So Easy and Delicious!

We needed to make a pound of ground beef stretch to feed the four of us and we didn’t want burgers, so we made this Bolognese sauce and put it over spaghetti. It was delicious! Easy to make, and the whole house smelled great. Try it!

So, Hungry Lifers, what “notes” from the pandemic would you send? What funny or crazy things have happened to you in the pandemic era? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks! Stay well and be safe.

April 15, 2020

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Maria Schulz

As a native New Yorker, sarcasm and pessimism come as naturally to me as breathing. Now, as a native New Yorker in the midst of a pandemic, it’s even harder to be optimistic some days. I worry about my family and friends, and grieve for those lost to the virus.

It’s not always easy to stay positive in the current climate, and with a nod to Eric Idle’s song in Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian,” I set out on a quest for some good news and the bright side of the current situation.

dawn sunset beach woman

Find the beauty all around us. (Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com)

Along the way,  I read an article in The Washington Post about “Positive Things”. It inspired me to search for – and actually see – the beauty that still exists in the world around us. Here are some things I’ve noticed and some things I’ve tried.

Connecting With People Is Still Possible

In the age of social distancing, being friendly is more of a challenge, but not impossible. I smile and wave (from a socially distant place) to my neighbors, yell across the street to others about how big their kids are getting, thank my mail man from the window and wave/get a big wave back from the sanitation workers while I walk my dog. A big smile and a friendly wave does the heart good. Try it!

Good Dog

Dog Therapy with my good dog.

Playing Isn’t Just For Kids

Pre-pandemic, I often felt sorry for my young dog because I thought she might like to be with a family that had small kids who would play with her. But now that I’m around with time to spare, I am running and playing like a kid again. I suggest Dog Therapy as the perfect remedy for worried adults everywhere. Cat Therapy works too, if the cat allows it.

Productivity Is Overrated

Move over, Marie Kondo. This Maria is here to tell you that cleaning out closets and throwing away things is a drag. If that actually brings you joy, then by all means, go to it. But for me, I get no joy whatsoever in watching the sun rise and set while I clean out a drawer. I’d rather be outside playing with the dog or looking at photos of a pink Super Moon. For those of us who are productivity-challenged in that area of life, don’t worry. You’re not a monster. Now go do something that makes you happy.

Treat Yourself

Use that bath bomb you got for Christmas, bake cookies, or read a classic book. Use your kids’ arts and crafts to paint a mug or make pipe cleaner flowers. Drive to the beach and take photos of a sunrise. Figure out how to prank your brother from afar. Do whatever your creativity tells you is rewarding and fun, and don’t let your inner critic keep you from doing it. Honestly, your inner critic is a jerk. Tell him/her to shut up!

Apple blossoms

Call Someone You Love

Or FaceTime them if you prefer. I used to call my father, brothers, or friends when I was commuting to or from work. But since I’m working from home, I carve out time from lunch or before/after work and I call and chat. We laugh, share stories, and are reenergized. Give it a try.

Write a Letter to Someone Special

One of my oldest friends recently sent me a long letter and I was delighted! It’s so much fun to get a letter in the mail that doesn’t have PAYMENT DUE stamped on it. I could hear her voice in my head as I read each page. I’m busy writing her back, and I hope she enjoys my letter half as much as I enjoyed hers. Maybe surprise an old friend with a letter and make their day.

Take a Letter, Maria

Enjoy Dinner With Your Family

We are all together again, and we actually have nowhere to go afterwards. The result is that we spend less time rushing through dinner and cleaning up, and more time talking to each other and eating a leisurely meal. Win/win.

Keep Smiling MM quoteJPG

Notice the Beauty All Around You

One of the things I’m enjoying most is watching the flowers and trees bloom. It’s a hopeful sign and one that I’ve often missed in the past. The birds are singing, the squirrels are running everywhere, and the bunnies are back. It makes me want to stop and take photos each time I’m out walking the dog.


Sicilian Roasted Chicken


Sicilian Roasted Chicken

This is a really delicious chicken dish.  My family loves it, and I love it because it’s so easy. The only things I added were Italian seasoning and Onion powder to the spice mix, and after it baked for about 20 minutes and the skin started to get crispy, I took the pan out and added chicken broth so the chicken didn’t dry out. I popped it back into the oven to cook for another 40 minutes. So good!

Cherry blossoms

So, Hungry Lifers, what have you done lately to stay positive? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!

April 8, 2020

10 Entertaining Things

Maria Schulz

sakura tree

Good morning everyone!

I promised in last week’s blog post that I would try to think more about what has surprised me, delighted me, and made me happy during this dark and difficult time.

Despite grim statistics everyday, mounting death tolls, and fear lurking in every visit to the grocery store, there have been some good things too.

Yes, that’s my sunny optimistic streak talking. I’ve told my frightened inner child to shut up for a few minutes.

10 Things That Keep Me Entertained

The Best Brownies

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

  1. I am baking again. Did you know that many psychologists say that you can reduce anxiety and depression by baking? Read all about it here. I didn’t realize that when I was a kid, but back then, I baked all the time. I baked coffee cake for my grandmother and uncles, cookies for my brothers, and pretzels for my father and mother. Brownies were a big hit with my family then, and not surprisingly, with my family now. A fudgy square of goodness helps the day seem a little less scary.
  2. I am watching what I eat. Yes, literally. I was doing really well before this all started, and now that I’m home, I find myself tempted daily by the old siren song of Doritos, chocolate chip cookies, and yes, brownies. So what do I do? I count calories and let myself have a treat a couple of times a week. Otherwise, when I emerge from sheltering in place, I will look like a bear emerging from my den.

    It’s As If We’re All Together…6 Feet Apart

  3. I turn to technology for social interaction. FaceTime puts me in touch with my Dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends. It lets me share a drink with a friend I usually go out to dinner with, or lets my daughters and me play Head Bands with my bestie and her daughter. We laugh a lot and feel connected. I’m not sure we would’ve done that on a normal day, but I’m glad we did it now.
  4. My husband and I take turns cooking. There is no stressed out WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO FOR DINNER conversation, and there is no running around trying to turn hay into gold. If we don’t have EXACTLY what the recipe calls for, we improvise. Yesterday, my husband made a rice bowl with black beans, peas, basmati rice, and cut up hot dogs caramelized in barbecue sauce. We hit it with some lime juice and voila! We had a really weird looking but somehow delicious, cheap dinner. Now that was surprising.

    Can you really bend like that?

  5. Yoga is fun!I was always resistant to yoga because when I tried to do it in the past, I thought it was boring. So, I turned to my niece (a yoga instructor) for some beginner’s tips and she sent me some Youtube links to an instructor who specializes in making yoga fun and doable. And guess what? It was fun and I did it! In fact, I’ll come back for more!
  6. Walking and Playing With The Dog Is Good For Her…and Us. Before all of this, I would be stressed and rush my dog through our morning walks. But now, I get up early, run out the door, and really enjoy playing with her. Plus, later in the day, my husband and girls take turns running and playing with her, and at night, my husband and I take her out together. We’re enjoying all of the exercise….but, sometimes, I wonder if my dog is exhausted and wondering when we’ll all go back to work again.
    Happy Puppy

    Be the person your dog thinks you are

  7. Everything is blooming. When I’m rushing back and forth to work, sometimes I have to nudge myself to recognize all the signs of spring. But now that my pace has slowed down and I’m stuck mostly indoors, I can see what I might have otherwise missed. Despite everything, the trees are blossoming and the flowers are blooming. This has filled me with hope and inspired me to dream of better days ahead.
  8. My Writing Muse Is No Longer MIA. Yes, my desire to finish all of those books I started and catch up with the characters I’ve left in the lurch is strong again. I finally have the energy and desire to get back to it.
    writer's block

    Where did you go?

  9. I Appreciate My Husband and Daughters.Yes, we also drive each other crazy. But at a time like this, you really get to appreciate your family member’s strengths. It’s good to have time to spend together…even if we don’t always realize it.
  10. Laughter Gets Me Through. I had to stop watching the news because it’s so upsetting. Instead, my family and I watch comedians like Brian Regan, John Mullaney, and Tig Notaro. Or, we watch There’s Something About Mary, The Wedding Crashers, or Support Your Local Sheriff (and when we want drama, it’s The Great Escape every time). You didn’t think I’d get through an entire post without mentioning James Garner, did you?)
    The Scrounger

    Great movie

Here are some great stress-baking (or anytime baking) recipes for you to enjoy.

The Best Brownies!

Salted Pretzel Brownies!

Oreo Stuffed Brownies

So, Hungry Lifers…how are you keeping yourself busy and finding hope during these unprecedented times? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. Thanks!

April 1, 2020

Go Wash Your Hands

Maria Schulz

person washing hands
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Hello everybody!

Sorry I’ve gone MIA for the past couple of years. Life gets in the way sometimes, and then other times, you get stuck indoors for an indeterminate period of time  (I’m talking about a pandemic, not an incarceration) and you feel like blogging again!

Thankfully, my family and I are happy, healthy, and safe. We wash our hands A LOT and try not to touch our faces. The skin on our hands resembles catcher’s mitts. Despite all of this, I do realize we are very blessed and I am grateful for that.

Still, there’s a lot of stuff I took for granted pre-pandemic that I really miss. Here are some of the things I could really use right about now:

four person standing at top of grassy mountain
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Random Human Contact

My immediate family and I are hunkered down in our own home and we have enough to get through this uncertain time. We are social distancing and staying out of stores – and away from people outside of our little tribe – as much as possible to stay healthy.

Since I am an introvert, I never, ever thought I would miss social interaction with random strangers. I am not an extrovert by any means, although those with a more severe case of introversion would probably scoff and call me a closet extrovert.

I didn’t realize how much of my day is spent chatting with people at work (now that I work exclusively at home), making amusing chit chat with the neighbors, or having polite conversations with new people at the dog run or the local park.

man and woman running near green leaf trees photo
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Suddenly, the only humans I see are…nobody. Or they are people who will not get within 20 feet of me. I never knew I would miss that kind of contact, but this has been an enlightening time. You mean I LIKE PEOPLE? Fascinating.

Book Club

English major nerd that I am, I belong to two book clubs.

My first book club is filled with wonderful PARP (Parents Are Reading Partners) moms, or I should say, ex-PARP moms (our kids are all way past having us as reading partners). Ten years later, this book club still lives and breathes, and we have never looked back.

We started meeting at each other’s houses, then moved our get-togethers to a local Panera’s. We eat, and laugh, and share stories about each other’s kids and families….and eventually talk about the book some of us have read.

Thanks to this wonderful group of women, I have come across some of incredible reads, including Molokai (which I’ve recommended in other blogs), The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Bell Jar, The Nightingale, and The Book Thief.


These experiences have been so good that I wanted to share them with other people I love. So, my nephew and I decided to create our own family book club. We take turns meeting in each other’s houses, where we eat, laugh, and eventually discuss the books we’re reading, including Where The Crawdads Sing, The Wives, The Guest Book, Supermarket, Caught, The Woman in the Window, and The Silent Patient.

book chapter six
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Of course, both of my book clubs can’t meet now, or for the foreseeable future. I guess we could meet virtually to discuss these books in detail. Who knows? At this point, anything is possible.

Leisurely Strolls Through Big Box Stores

Yes, there was a time in the not-so-distant past that I would go for a stroll through Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Petco, shopping for clothes, food, or soap in a leisurely fashion.

Now, the only time I head out to the stores is when we’re low on food, cleaning supplies, or toilet paper. The last time I went out, I wore a scarf over my face, ran through the aisles in search of toilet paper, got a hot tip from a store associate who told me to be at the warehouse door the next morning at 9 am. I ran back out to my car empty handed but pumped and ready for my morning meet-up.

Yes, these are interesting times.

woman in mask holding toilet paper
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Dress Codes

The first few days I worked from home, I dressed like I was going into work. I wore blouses, slacks and jewelry. I put on my makeup and brushed my hair. I lived in fear of video conferences that would “out” me as a slacker.

On Day 2, I realized that I could turn off the camera, and since that time, I have been so busy that…let’s say, certain dress code rules and regulations have been relaxed.

While I don’t exactly look like I sleep outdoors or was raised by wolves, I now understand why teenagers wear pajamas and Birkenstocks all day long.

Out of Here
I’m outta here

The Barber/Hairdresser

For all you folks who think you’re low key in the upkeep department, I’m wondering: how does your hair look lately? I, for one, look like I just came out of a 20 year long sleep and go by the name of either Rip Van Winkle or Dumbledore.

I underestimated my love affair with hair dye, and for that, let me just say: I MISS YOU! YOU COMPLETE ME! COME BACK TO ME! WE BELONG TOGETHER!

My Sunny Optimistic Streak

Has anyone seen it? I could really use it right now. I promise I’ll find it in time for next Wednesday’s blog post!


50 Things to Make with Pasta Sauce

Eggs in Purgatory

If you’re running out of things to make for dinner, here are 50 recipes you can use to create something delicious from a pantry staple – a jar of tomato sauce! My favorite is Eggs in Purgatory!

So, Hungry Lifers…what do you miss most these days? What new things have you found that have delighted or surprised you? Please leave a comment below and let us all know.

Stay healthy and safe! Now go wash your hands. 🙂

July 23, 2018

Desperately Seeking Inspiration

Filed under: Family,Food,food, family, fun, laughter,Humor,nostalgia,pets,Teachers,Uncategorized,writing — talesfromahungrylife @ 7:43 am

by Maria Schulz

No, not her.

Over the past year, my regularly scheduled novel writing/memoir writing/blog post writing has been hobbled by writer’s block. Let’s just say that life’s slings and arrows knocked me off my pins. I’m starting to feel like I can write again…but first I have to combat the feeling that I’m just no good at it.

Writer’s block is even scarier than all of the things that I dread most: stairs that go bump in the night, turning on the TV to a station playing The Exorcist, and being stuck in a small room with an angry, yardstick-wielding nun. As a lifelong writer, I know that the best way to get through this is to keep writing, but for the first time in my life, the written word has failed me.

Where did you go?

That’s not to say that I’m not writing. I write every day for a living. My job requires me to come up with a new way to sell a book, a movie, or merchandise every single day. It’s always fun and since I don’t have the luxury of waiting for my Muse to show up, I just plow my way through and create.

Writing has been my most loyal friend ever since I turned a homework assignment about Alaska into a story about an Alaskan girl, her Siberian Huskey, and their quest for food. So, here are the things that I did to track down my loyal friend–and beat the block.

10 Ways to Find Creative Inspiration When It’s MIA

Don’t wait around for the Muse to show up before you start working. Sit yourself down in that chair and WRITE! Or if you’re an artist, PAINT. Photographer? PHOTOGRAPH. Your Muse is a sassy pain in the butt, and she probably enjoys making you sweat. You go out there and FIND HER RIGHT NOW.

Stop Living in the Past, Man. Let go of whatever trauma or heartbreak took you to the edge. Reel yourself in and get going. You can’t change the past, but you can change the present. If being creative is who you are, you’ve got no excuses not to create.

You’re living in the past, man

Give Yourself Time to Heal. If you’re dealing with an existential crisis, mental illness, debilitating grief, or physical infirmities, don’t force it. But don’t you dare embrace the idea that you’ll never do it again. Once you start to feel better, get cracking.


There’s no time like the present

Do What You Can with What You Have Where You Are Right Now. No one expects you to paint a masterpiece, write the great American novel, or complete a concerto on the first outing. Go slow. Do the best you can. But show up.

Look on the bright side

Don’t Beat Yourself Up for This. You have the right to say “I can’t do it today.” But when the day comes that you think you’re feeling up to it, dip your toes in the water. “Swim” for five minutes if that’s the best you can manage. Little by little, you’ll get there.

Life is Arbitrary and You May Never Get the Answers You Need. With that said, there’s no time like the present to create something beautiful. You might just help someone out there who is struggling.

Life is beautiful

If life seems devoid of inspiration, go find it. Everyone carries their phone in their pocket, which means you also have your camera. Take pictures. Don’t say there’s nothing worth immortalizing. The smallest things may inspire you the most. Plus, no one sees things quite the way you do. Share your vision and soon, you’ll reignite that missing creative flame.

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

Walk the dog. The great thing about having dogs is that there is never any excuse not to get outside and walk, feed, and play with them. You can’t tell your pet, “Not today.” You get up, feed them, walk them, throw sticks, run with them, and care for them. It’s a lifelong commitment. Being creative is just like that. You have to tend to your creative habits faithfully, even when you don’t feel like it. Your creativity requires care and feeding.

Walking with my bestie

Help others. When you’re down, it’s easy to turn inwards. Helping someone else takes the focus off of your broken heart and empowers you. Do something as simple as driving an elderly neighbor to the doctor or picking up groceries for a sick friend. Run a 5K for Alzheimers. Swim laps for Multiple Sclerosis. Make dinner for families at Ronald McDonald House. Do the Out of the Darkness Walk for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Kindness is a gift that everyone needs and everyone can afford.

Take care of yourself. While you’re fighting the good fight, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Exercise often. Accept offers of help from family and friends. Ignore your worst critic (you, and the voice inside of you that says you aren’t any good at writing/painting/creating anyway). Eat good food. Don’t overeat or drink too much. Stay sharp, remain persistent, and eventually, you’ll stare down your creative block.


Check out this article from Buzz Feed for some wonderful recipes and learn how to swap out some of your old go-to items with healthier things (like zucchini noodles instead of pasta).

Comfort Food the Healthy Way

Healthy pot pie


Turkey, Feta, and Zucchini Meatloaf


Zucchini Noodles and Meatballs


Healthy Loaded Potato Skins

There’s nothing quite like eating food that tastes great and doesn’t make you gain a million pounds. Fuel your creativity with food that is comforting, tastes great, and is good for you. Your body and soul will thank you.

So…have you ever found yourself stuck and unable to create? What are your best tips for breaking the dreaded writer’s block? What’s your favorite healthy comfort food recipe? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

May 13, 2018

What Motherhood Taught Me

Filed under: Family,Food,food, family, fun, laughter,Humor,pets,Teachers,Uncategorized — talesfromahungrylife @ 10:11 am

by Maria Schulz

Motherhood is a tricky business. When you first start out on this road, you are certain you will do things differently from your own mother/grandmother/best friend/mortal enemy. You think you know better! Of course you do. Your intentions are good, and you think that your judgment will never be clouded by:

Get ready…

  • Lack of sleep
  • Illness
  • Impatience
  • Boredom
  • Desperation
  • Deprivation
  • Your basic humanity

You will rise above all of that because this little person/little people are so important, nothing else matters. You will never make a mistake! You will always put their needs ahead of yours. Blah, blah, blah. Like, I said, good intentions. Just remember that old saying: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. HA! Welcome to Motherhood.

Here’s what I’ve learned about being a mother (so far, anyway). I learned these things by watching my mother, grandmothers, sisters-in-law, friends, and from personal experience. Here we go.

15 Things I Learned About Motherhood

  1. Everyday is not a Hallmark moment. Yes, you will have times when you realize how lucky you are and what a joy motherhood is. However, when you’re up to your eyeballs in dirty laundry, screaming kids, and sleepless nights, you may just dream of running away to Tahiti and never coming back. That’s okay. You are human. Grin and bear it. This too shall pass.

    Calgon, take me away!

  2. There will never be a parade held in your honor. If you are expecting small children (or big children) to: throw confetti in your path or shower you with laurel leaves following a great dinner; or for finding those ruby red slippers that your daughter needs to complete her Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume; or because you brought your son’s cleats to school so he doesn’t miss practice…forget it. You are Mom! Motherhood is the worst job you will ever love. There are no parades for doing what Moms do!

    Thanks for the sandwich, Mom!

  3. The other mothers in your neighborhood may or may not be your lifelong friends. Made for TV movies show Moms immediately hitting it off and their children becoming best friends forever. If you are lucky enough to experience this, congratulations! You are truly blessed. The rest of us…not so much. Finding a compatible mother to befriend is a lot like dating. You have to kiss a lot of toads and most of the time, you get nothing.

    Is this the one?

  4. When you do find a mother you like, don’t expect your kids to love her kids. This is like finding a bag of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe you’ve seen leprechauns and know where to find them as they hide their gold, but the rest of us need to just chill. You can be friends with mom, but try not to force your kids into being friends with a kid they can’t stand. Better to grieve now than later.

    The only leprechaun I know

  5. Your momma was right…with some caveats. My mother-in-law once told me not to wish my kids’ lives away. Yes, those early days can be endless, but try to enjoy infancy (sleep when they sleep is the golden rule. Laundry can wait). Don’t lose your patience during the toddler years (you will laugh about this, believe me). Even the teen years have their high points. Enjoy the K-12 school years. You may think that those years will last forever…but they don’t.


  6. Your body is different now. You will sometimes look at yourself in the mirror and think: OH MY GOD WHY WHY WHY DO I LOOK JUST LIKE MY MOTHER/GRANDMOTHER? It’s because you’ve got kids. You don’t sleep, you are constantly on the run, and you share genes with your mother and grandmother. Be proud of how you look. Kids are a miracle, and you are a miracle maker. Plus your mother and grandmother were no slouches, either.

    Miracle maker

  7. Don’t fight with kids over vegetables, clothing, or imaginary play. Why are you getting into power struggles over that? So they hate broccoli. Do you love every vegetable? Keep offering it but don’t go mental if they continue to decline it. He wants to wear polka dots with stripes and he is determined to do it. Well then…go to it, fella. She wants to pretend she’s Superman but you’d rather she want to be Wonder Woman? Tomorrow she may want to be Scooby Doo. Will you insist she be Lassie? Just let them make the easy choices for themselves. Kids love that.
  8. Don’t forget your partner. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner, remember to make time for him/her too. My kids always loved being with their Dad, and they loved seeing us happy together. That’s a gift that they always enjoy getting (and it’s cheap). They will smile every time they see you two being affectionate until they become teenagers and decide that having parents who care about each other IS SO GROSS.


  9. Being a Class Mom or Committee Chairperson for the PTA does not make you God. Oh those heady, power-fueled years. You can take all of your friends on trips with you! You can say who gets to come to in-party classes! You get to tell Sally that she has to bring in those impossible to find gluten-free/nut-free/taste-free cookies that no one but your kid likes! Eh…get over yourself. Pull names from a hat and make sure every parent in the class gets a shot at those trips and special events (their kids want to see them, too). Pick up those cookies yourself. Don’t forget there are kids in the class other than your own and you will get through those years with your sense of humor and self-respect intact.

    Parents who never get to come to in-class events

  10. Your child is not only listening…he/she is watching you. If you want your children to be kind and help others…be kind and help others. If you don’t want your kids to curse, don’t curse. Yes, we all make mistakes and slip, but still. Walk the walk and talk the talk, Mom. Don’t be the “do as I say not as I do” creature that you promised yourself you would never become.

    Be the person your dog thinks you are

  11. When you do find other moms whose company you enjoy, get together with them. It’s easy to say “I don’t have time,” because none of us do. But when you make your own happiness a priority, you stop cancelling the things you enjoy. Start a book club with likeminded moms. Go to Zumba class. Walk around the neighborhood. Me time is not a sin. It shows your kids that you deserve a break and that you value your sanity. Let them miss you!

    Get moving

  12. Be a passionate advocate. Yes, I’ll admit it: the thought of someone mistreating my child makes me want to become Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo. However, I’ve reigned in most of that outrage and turned it into passionate advocacy. I will always talk to the teachers, guidance counselors, and principal if necessary so that my child’s needs are addressed. And when all else fails, I imagine Godzilla being my advocate.

    So I see you’ve met my child

  13. Embrace your child’s personality. Is your child funny? Talented? Smart? Naive? Clueless? Innocent? Mischievous? Will you always like their character traits? Will life always be a romp through the flower fields with your kids? Nah. But if you accept your child as they are–and don’t try to bend them into what you’d wished they would be–you may be surprised at just how awesome they really are. Plus, they may treat you with equal respect (maybe, someday. Perhaps).

    All unique. All awesome

  14. Laugh…a lot (but mostly to yourself). Kids are hilarious. Talk to them. Listen to their music. Watch their shows. Engage their friends in conversations. When you drive them and their friends places, listen to their conversations. It’s like being an undercover agent. The kids forget they have a parent in the car and you discover lots of intriguing, funny, sometimes disturbing, but always important things about them.

    Sure, I’ll drive you and your friends. Forget I’m even there

  15. Enjoy the ride. Do you hate roller coasters? Well, then parenting may make you nauseous. However, you will learn to throw your hands up in the air and “ride the wave” eventually. Just strap yourself in and smile. There will be highs and lows but life will always be interesting. Don’t fight it. Scream if you must. But always be ready for the adventure!

    Makes everything better

10 Easy Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day

You had me at Nutella! Find recipes for crepes, huevos rancheros, mimosas, and more. So, hungry lifers…what have you learned about motherhood–either from personal experience or by watching the moms in your life? What’s your favorite brunch recipe? Please post a comment below and let us all know. Thanks, and Happy Mother’s Day!

October 19, 2017

The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me

by Maria Schulz

Someday we’ll find it. The winning lottery ticket…

Have you ever participated in a work place lottery? It’s an interesting social experiment. The personalities that are revealed and the conversations that come up with co-workers are always kind of amusing, enlightening, and sometimes disturbing.

I like to classify them in terms of tribes that run the spectrum from “High Hopes to Shattered Dreams.” Here are the 5 tribes of coworkers you will meet when there is $50,000,000.00 on the line. Ready? Let’s go.

Get ready…

The Puppy Dogs (usually young. Possibly hipsters): Should this person win, he/she will open up a chain of awesome youth hostels and explore the world! Will definitely come back here and add cool work features like a ping pong table and Friday beer pong, bicycles for group lunch outings, “thinking rooms” with couches, TVs, and X-Boxes, the best snacks ever found, and an all-you-can-drink soda bar. Will allow half days for massage therapy and in-house tarot card readings. Vows to return, because he or she would miss you all too much!

Life is great! Let’s play

The Lovers: (sort of young, but can’t remember their college schedule like they used to. Thinks retirement is for old people): Loves their co-workers. Enjoys putting bringing in candy, cookies, and cheesecakes for them. Thinks putting money away for children’s college and pensions is fun. Will never retire. Loves nothing more than scoring coupons and getting a deal. If this person wins the lottery, he or she will keep his/her job and live off the interest from the winnings. Plans to continue working here and might even spring for 2-for-1 bagels if they win millions.

blah blah blah

The Optimists: (been around for awhile. Slightly beaten down but still manages to look on the bright side of life, just like Eric Idle as he hangs on the cross in The Life of Brian). Looks at retirement like an oasis: beautiful but a mirage all the same. Always sees the good in people, even those he or she would rather shoot with a 10,000 gallon fireman’s hose every time they open their mouths. No matter how bad things get, he or she will always think people are essentially good to their core. Will most certainly pay their mortgage and get new siding and a patio if they win tens of millions of dollars. Give up their jobs? Never.

Look on the bright side

The Pessimists: (has had their last ounce of human kindness drained by corporate life). Was possibly once an artist. Now rails against anything and everything. Thinks the deep state is out to get him for sins committed at Woodstock. Yearns to lie on a beach for days and not leave until they are a toasty brown color. Can see the darkness that lurks in every co-worker’s soul. Sends out vile emails about how stupid the boss is and cc’s them. Sole reason for living may be stirring the pot of office intrigue and sowing discontent. Wants nothing more than to be fired but has no back up plan. Would dream of staging a hostile takeover if he or she had any imagination, which of course he or she does not. When asked what he or she will do with the many millions, he/she replies: “Doesn’t matter. We’ll never win anyway.”

Always looks as sad as Charlie Brown did in “Snoopy, Come Home”

The Burnouts: (started work at the age of 3 in a coal mine. Hates people, especially co-workers. Was once a Puppy Dog): Usually named “Steve” or thinks they are a Stevie Nicks look-alike. Used to be a go-getter/bright-eyed youth, then a starry-eyed dreamer, then an avid optimist, then someone who sent vile emails to the boss. Now a total burnout who thinks life is better when he or she is anywhere but his or her desk. Would rather work at the North Pole under a tyrant named Santa than here. When asked if he or she will buy the company and liquidate it if they win the lottery, The Burnout looks up, smiles for the first time in years, and says: “Yes. Now take a good look at me, because if we win, you will never see me here again.”

I’m outta here

Where do you fall on this worker spectrum? Are you in the “high hopes” camp or the “shattered dreamers” camp? Take this quick test and discover which group is your “tribe.”

I can’t wait to get there

When you get up in the morning, the first thought you have about work is:

a) I love work! I can’t wait to get there

b) Work is all right. It’s better than living under an overpass

c) I wonder what’s going on in Iceland right now?

d) Gotta get into work and undermine…well, everyone.

e) Why isn’t Warren Buffet my father?

Will anyone notice?

About 11 am, you suddenly think:

a) I am so energized by meetings! I love having one-on-one time with my colleagues

b) If I have one more meeting today, I will run screaming from this f!@#king building

c) I wonder if I can binge watch Game of Thrones without anyone noticing?

d) People are essentially good…right? Of course I’m right!

e) I wonder if I could die at my desk without anyone noticing

Let’s eat

It’s lunch time! You take this opportunity to:

a) Go outside and walk briskly so you’re energized for the afternoon work shift

b) Sit at a small, sad table in your windowless cafeteria and wonder how everything went so wrong

c) Stuff your face full of burritos at Chipotle

d) Carefully unpack the nutritious lunch you brought from home because saving every penny is the way to nirvana

e) Plot your escape

Healthy and Delicious

It’s 3pm and you’re at your desk. You:

a) Scrounge up change to raid the vending machine

b) Wonder how on earth you will ever make it to 5 pm

c) Wish you could have siestas here

d) Refuel with granola and Jolt

e) Eat the economical snack you brought from home

One last task to finish

It’s 5 pm. You:

a) Linger at your desk, getting everything straightened out before heading home

b) Write a 6 page memo about the lottery and ask co-workers to light a candle/pray for a bashert/call-out to Vishnu/put your religious ritual here so that we can all win and split that $50 mil seven ways to Sunday

c) Have disappeared, possibly hours ago. No one noticed.

d) Wake up and run as fast as humanly possible to your car

e) Send one last vile email to your boss, because you enjoy tempting fate


  1. Your Predominant Answer is: A

    You are a Puppy Dog. Congratulations! You are overeager and self-assured. Your endless striving and enthusiasm is relentless and irritating, even though everyone admits puppies are cute.

    Your Predominant Answer is: B

    You are either a Pessimist or a Burnout. But never fear! You still have the smallest ounce of optimism in you (hence the prayers for lottery winnings)

    Your Predominant Answer is: C

    You are either a Lover or an Optimist with strong Pessimistic tendencies. But overall, you are not a soulless shell. Congrats!

    Your Predominant Answer is: D

    You are a Puppy Dog that will soon be a Lover. Don’t cry. It happens to the best of us.

    Your Predominant Answer is: E

    You are without a doubt the most Pessimistic Burnout on the planet. You enjoy dreaming about stealing all of the winnings from your co-workers and running away with every last dime. You are a soulless corporate drone who will never get fired or win the lottery. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

If you have a weird mix of answers, congratulations! You’re human. Robots need not apply.



Great Lunch Ideas…When I’m not scarfing down Chipotle (because I really am a Puppy Dog at heart)

So good

These Cheap, Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work from Eating Well look great. I like the BLATS (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato sandwiches), the Mediterranean sandwich, and even the vegan Buddha bowl. They are perfect for anyone who wants to pack healthier options…and it appeals to the Lovers inside of us all.

So…where do you fall on the Hopes and Dreams scale? Which tribe do you belong to? Which healthy/cheap lunch idea is your favorite? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

May 9, 2017

The Seven Year Itch Blog Post

by Maria Schulz

It’s been a while. As usual, life has gotten in the way and I haven’t been writing as much as I would like—or at all. I wanted to write a blog post but inspiration just didn’t come a’callin. My blog is a lot like a romantic relationship: it requires care and feeding, but I just wasn’t in the mood. However, I knew I needed it and it needed me, so I logged on. This message was waiting for me:



Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I was torn between being really touched, and being kind of horrified. I FORGOT MY BLOG’S ANNIVERSARY!!! Anyone who has ever walked through the door on anniversary night without flowers, candy, or diamonds knows what I’m feeling right now. I neglected my blog! I couldn’t even remember our stinkin’ anniversary! What kind of monster am I?

Yes, 7 years ago I started this blog relationship, not expecting to have anyone read anything I wrote. That made me sad and kind of glad too. Yes, I wanted people to read my writing, but no…I didn’t want anyone to ever read my writing.

It’s scary out there

Writing in this public way is exhilarating and terrifying. It’s a thrill to have people read and comment on something that I’ve created. But it’s also like standing in Macy’s window during the holidays wearing nothing but tinsel. You can’t help but feel exposed.

Forgetting my blogging anniversary made me feel sad. There was a time when I couldn’t get enough of posting and sharing. Everything was new and exciting. I had a forum for my family stories! I was getting laughs when I told stories about my relatives! I could give Valentine’s tips or make fun of the Twilight movies—often at the SAME TIME! Blogging was something I couldn’t wait to do.

Are you a vampire?

But then…the years rolled by. My blog got kind of flabby. He wasn’t the same as he was seven years ago. I could hear Bloggy giving me pep talks, saying things like: “Did you blog today?” “The key to writing is to just show up!” and “You’re letting your readers down!” He always wanted me to do my best and honestly, he was something of a nag. He was starting to get on my nerves. Sometimes being with him was immensely gratifying. Other times, the responsibility of keeping him fed and happy drove me crazy. Plus, deep down I was always afraid that I would bomb on the blogging stage.

I searched “people who bombed on stage” and this is the image that came up

I still enjoy writing blog posts and sharing stories, but the blog has become like that old, reliable love interest that you know will still be there when you feel like showing up. I even started this blog post a month ago and then put it aside. Bloggy could wait. I had other challenges to attend to.

What a nag

While he was sitting waiting patiently for my return, I started to think about how glad I am that I started this blog in 2010. It helped me grow in confidence and vision. Here are all the things that blogging has helped me achieve over the past 7 years:

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for

  • Telling my family stories helped me finally complete my first book, Tales From A Hungry Life: A Memoir With Recipes. I got congrats from folks as far away as Ireland who said they enjoyed my book. I even got fan mail!
  • My readers liked the first book so much that they asked for a second. So, I’m currently writing Hungry Lifer: More Tales. More Stories. More Fun. I’m hopeful that I’ll have a cover to share soon, and that I’ll have the entire book published in time for a reading in August.
  • I have written 206 posts on everything and anything: my family, my friends, Catholic school, teachers, books, pets, dead celebrities, an author book reading, the cast for the movie/broadway show/television sitcom for Tales From A Hungry Life, and lots more

I could’ve just gone on social media and started writing 140 word posts and gotten a ton of likes for stories distilled into fragments. But it wouldn’t have been the same.Here’s the thing: I miss my blog. Sure, Bloggy isn’t the new and exciting love that he was in 2010. But like anyone in a long-term relationship can tell you, there are perks to riding out the tough times and hanging in there.

I love writing, and my blog gave me a safe place to do just that. It taught me how to stand up and tell my stories with confidence. It proved to me that writing was my gift, and I should share it with the world.

Keep up the pep talks, Bloggy

One of my old high school English teachers once said to me, “Who do you think you are? Emily Dickinson? Stop putting your work under the bed to gather dust. Show it to the world!”

Okay, so it took me about 3 decades to follow his advice. At times, I’m more like Angie Dickinson than Emily. My blog gave me the courage to talk about my writing, and for that I will forever be grateful. My blog gave me an avenue for expression that I never had before. So here I am again, recommitted (and possibly in need of being committed).

Buckle up, readers. This may be a bumpy ride.

Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas


This recipe is from Chef Katie Workman and the good people at City Meals on Wheels. I remember City Meals on Wheels fondly because they kept my grandmother nourished and cared for in her old age. Plus, Chef Workman says this is a dish that makes people happy, so sign me up.

So, Hungry Lifers: what makes you happy? Do you have any blog post ideas for me? Which recipe is your go-to comfort choice? Please leave a response and let us know.

Thanks for 7 really wonderful years. Bloggy and I will keep plugging away, for better or worse.

March 27, 2017

Take 10 Steps Towards Happiness

by Maria Schulz

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately that tell me how to be happier, increase my productivity, and achieve nirvana. I haven’t gotten there yet, and I’m no yogi on the mountain, but here are some of the things I’ve learned so far.

#10: Don’t expect to find everything you need to be happy in the pages of your self-help books. Yeah, I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for these kinds of books. I love the titles and I fall for the promises on the back every time. But here’s my advice: you know what you need to make you happy. Self-help books offer lots of great tips, but one of the first things you must do is: trust yourself.

Look! I’m happy

#9: Turn off the TV and go outside. There’s a great big world out there just waiting for you to participate in it. Go breathe some fresh air and meet some real people. Don’t expect the world to come to you. Go find it!

#8: Thank someone selfless that you know…and while you’re at it, thank someone selfless that serves the greater good. Kiss your mother/father. If you’re lucky enough to still have them, you should know to do this. Now get to it. In the same vein, thank a teacher, nurse, doctor, fireman, policeman (you get the idea) for their hard work and devotion.

Are all you kids on dope?


#7: Let go of petty grudges. I’m not talking about the horrible, unforgivable stuff. I mean this kind of thing: So-and-so told everyone I was a loser in the 10th grade and I’ll never forgive her. Little Johnny called me fat when I was 12 and I’ll hate him forever. Pardon me, but so what? That was then. Chances are that So-and-So and Little Johnny don’t remember this transgression and if they do, they probably realize they were idiots. Besides, doesn’t carrying around all that petty baggage weigh you down? Let it go, and lose 30 pounds of psychic fat.

#6: Get a dog. You will experience love and devotion unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Or, if you’re not ready for that level of intimacy, get a cat. (NOTE TO ALL OUTRAGED READERS: THAT WAS A JOKE! Lighten up people. I like cats).

Don’t you want to walk me?

#5: Find your passion. By this, I don’t mean rob a bank or have an affair. I mean get a hobby! Cook, paint, write, ski, bike ride, WHATEVER. Have fun doing something that makes you feel as gleeful as you did when you were 10 years old.

#4: Volunteer. Find a charity or cause that you feel strongly about and work for them. Raise money, help at events, and spread the word. National charities like the Multiple Sclerosis Society, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, The Alzheimer’s Association and charities like The Lexiebean Foundation (I volunteer for this pediatric cancer foundation that helps children with cancer and their families) make it super easy for you to participate. The MS Society even has a program that lets you raise money by swimming laps–in your own pool! You could help others and lose weight. Win/win. This is the kind of program that you can follow to find creative ways to help lots of worthy charities. It’s always good to put your focus outside of yourself. Too much navel-gazing is never a good thing.

Let’s read. And talk. And eat.

#3: Read a book. You know what? Read a thousand books! If you don’t like the first one, move on. Ask for suggestions. Everyone has a favorite book and will be happy to give you lots of options. Open your mind, explore different opinions, and do your research. Ignorance is not something to be celebrated.

Plus you can read whatever you want

#2: Verify your sources. In this polarized world we live in, it’s easy to get sucked into an information bubble where we only read news that supports our narrow belief system. Don’t get caught in that trap. Talk to other people and get their opinions. You may never agree with them, but you will also never understand them if you don’t do this. Learn to respect other people’s views. You will probably learn that you have more ideals, hopes, and dreams in common than you have differences.

Let’s have fun

#1: Be present. Don’t spend your precious time hoping to one day be happy. Make today someday. Find the thing that makes you happy and welcome it into your life as often as possible. Put down that phone, tablet, remote control (or whatever distraction you’re currently focused on) and really look into your spouse’s/child’s/parents’/family member’s/friend’s/pet’s eyes and appreciate them, warts and all. Live in this moment. You’ll be happy you did.


Chocolate and nuts make me happy

Here’s one more tip: include foods that make you happy every day! Here’s a fun article that lists 10 foods that will help boost your mood–including dark chocolate, oysters, clams, apricots, and more.

So, Hungry Lifers: what’s your favorite “happy” food? What tip would you give someone looking for happiness? What’s your favorite book? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks, and have a great day.

February 7, 2017

7 Things You Must Learn From Your Old Dog

by Maria Schulz

There are few things in life as wonderful as bringing a brand new puppy into your home. Puppies are adorable, funny, and curious. Even when they screw up royally by eating the kitchen cabinets or chewing a hole in your couch, you can’t stay mad at them forever.

All of that is true, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: puppies are great, but old dogs are fantastic too. It’s easy to understand why: they’ve gotten most of their bad habits out of their systems (let’s be honest: are all of your bad habits out of your system?) and over the years, you will have developed a mutual affection and understanding.

Where's the cheese?

Where’s the cheese?

As my dog has moved into her “golden years,” she has reminded me of all the ways she has been a blessing in my life. Here are some of the life lessons I’ve gleaned from watching her get through her days.

  1. When You Don’t Feel Good, Lie Down

This seems like a no brainer, but silly humans keep going sometimes instead of listening to their bodies. I am one of those humans. My dog, however, will curl up in a ball on her bed and stay there until she feels better. Who’s the smart one?

  1. When the Sun Shines and the Temperatures are Mild, Let’s Walk

Extremes are not for the old dog. High temperatures or brutal cold bother my dog, so it’s in and out in a flash. But a beautiful day demands participation. We walk for a while, taking in the sunrise or staring at the stars. It’s the best medicine in the world.

Hot, hot, hot

Hot, hot, hot

  1. Medicine goes down better when there’s cheese

Remember Mary Poppins? A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. Or in my dog’s case, cheese does the trick. Don’t skip out on the very thing that will make you feel better. Find a way to tolerate it and even look forward to it.

  1. Express Joy When Your “Peeps” Come Through the Door

Maybe you can’t jump up and greet them, but you can always let them know how delighted you are to have them around. My dog wags her tail just because we’re sitting close by and watching TV. She’s never shy about letting us know that she’s happy.

You're here!

You’re here!

  1. Some Days Will Be Better Than Others

Every day won’t be a party. Arthritis, stomachaches, headaches, bad hips, or bad knees will sometimes make today a non-participatory day. But tomorrow may find that old dog bringing you her favorite hedgehog toy and playing hide and seek. Live in the moment. Be patient and understanding…just like your dog will be when your bad back leaves you stranded on the couch.

Let's play

Let’s play

  1. Greet Old Friends and Make New Ones

My dog is blessed with a bit of Marilyn Monroe beauty even now. People will stop us to say hello, pet her, and ask how she’s doing. My dog happily accepts all adoration and is delighted when there’s another dog on the other end of this admiration society. Thanks to her, I have met more people than I ever would have if I were walking alone. Sure, puppies bring scores of people to your side…but old dogs are also magnets for the very best people: those who are kind, compassionate, and want to give you and your dog a little support as you walk slowly towards home.

Let's walk

Let’s walk

  1. Every Day is The. Best. Day. Ever.

My old girl doesn’t spend her days worrying about what tomorrow may bring. She wakes up everyday and is ready to eat, walk, and head out on an adventure. She doesn’t dread the numerous vet visits; instead, she charges gleefully through the door. She is the only dog I have ever had that gets excited when I say, “want to go see Dr. D?” She still barks ferociously and protects the people and home that she loves. Every vet visit, car ride, sunrise or starry night is waiting for her, and it’s going to be AWESOME.

I’ve heard it said that people wish they could be half the person that their dog thinks they are. Well, I wish I could be half as optimistic as my old Lab. In the meantime, I’ll follow her lead and enjoy our life together right now.

Recipe: Grilled Cheese

Tomato soup and grilled cheese. A perfect marriage

Tomato soup and grilled cheese. A perfect marriage

50 of the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Nothing makes my dog shimmy and shake quite as much as the sight, smells, and sound of a grilled cheese. These recipes all look delicious and include 50 versions of this time-honored favorite, including the classic grilled cheese, bacon and tomato, pesto, Mediterranean, Gruyere with Sauerkraut, and more.

So: what have you learned from your old dog? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Thanks! I hope that today brings you your own great adventure.

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