Category Archive


6 tips from your friendly 911 dispatcher for placing an emergency phone call

If you live in the United States you know that three digit, potentially terrifying phone number. Indeed, I’m talking about the 9-1-1. We all know it, and we all hope we’ll never have to be the ones to dial it. As a 911 call-taker and dispatcher, I love my job even though it’s sometimes stressful, scary, or overwhelming.

Stash emergency cash inside your phone case

I decided to print out a picture, trim it to size, and stick it between my phone and the clear plastic. But as I was trimming the paper, I had another thought: Emergency cash!

How to furnish an apartment with just four hours at IKEA

My husband has cystic fibrosis. Long story short: they don’t do lung transplants where we live in Albuquerque, and, with one day’s notice, we were flown to Palo Alto, California. Now the fun part. The average wait time for lungs is six months, and you can’t be more than a few hours away. So I needed to find us a place to live and wait, close to the hospital, on the cheap. Did you know you could furnish an apartment at IKEA for way cheaper than renting everything?

Getting mugged made me reconsider the meaning of justice

The concept of justice is a strange one. It suggests not only that there’s a righteous order to the universe, but that it’s one we can enforce and make right if it ever goes off course. In the case of my mugger, I often wonder whether justice was really served. Not justice for me, but for him.

I was in a plane crash: here’s how I deal with flight anxiety

In August 2005, I was a passenger on Air France flight 358, a flight from Paris, France, to Toronto, Ontario. Upon arriving over Toronto, our plane flew into a sudden storm, landed too far down the runway, and slid right off the end, bursting into flame. We had to evacuate down the emergency slides, and all of our luggage burned up with the plane. But I still fly.

How to cope when someone you love is dying, and nothing makes sense

I’m experienced with a topic no one wants to talk about — the death of a loved one. Even though I’m only thirty-something, I’ve seen relatives through hospice care three times. When someone you love dies it’s like being dropped into a foreign world. Everything looks vaguely familiar but nothing makes sense. Here are some pieces of advice to help you find your way…

Why I’m never taking my dogs to the vet again

There’s no better testament to how much owners influence the behavior of their dogs than the vastly different experiences that Aaron (that guy I married) and I have taking our dog Jackson to the vet. Here’s why I’m never taking our baby boy to the vet again…

Be careful with cloves and cats this holiday season!

How many people have heard that cloves can be used as a natural pest repellant? I personally have never tried it but a lot of people I know swear by it. Or are you decorating with cloves this holiday season? Here’s a little known fact about cloves: they are harmful to cats! I found out from first-hand experience…