02 Aug 5 Strategies to Make the Most of Life Before Death

Last month, my brother in law, Mike, died after fighting a valiant fight with cancer. He was 54 years old. While Mike’s death was foreseen and we were each able to have special moments with a special man before he transitioned, it still does not take away the sadness of loss and the readjustment of “normal” life, both of which take time. My sister, her children and our entire family and friends have rallied together in a beautiful way; I am so grateful they are my tribe. While I’ve lost people in my life, including my brother at a young age,  never...

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30 Dec Words create worlds

A month ago, when I took Ryder to the dog park for the first time ever, he was at first so shy and timid. (You would be too with all those big dogs.) Then, he would get a burst of courage to sprint around the dog park before always finding his way back right between my legs, clinging on as if to be back at “home base.” As he grows, he has more and more confidence and even I have to be mindful at reframing his sometimes “stubbornness” to his being “strong-willed.” (Gotta keep positive!) One of my teachers David Cooperrider taught...

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14 Nov A Love Story with my new Puppy

[caption id="attachment_1426" align="alignleft" width="230"] Ryder in his first month with me. That bottom right pic is us in our Halloween costumes the day we met. Me as a Smurf and he as an octopus.[/caption] They say that if you’re thirty-five, which I am, and you have no kids, which I don’t, then you should get a dog, which I did -- this past weekend, seriously. Not just a dog but a 3-month-old cockapoo (that’s cocker spaniel + poodle) puppy (that’s a baby dog). He goes by “Ryder” and he’s super cute. I adopted Ryder from his first family in New York who...

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11 Nov Honoring my Uncle on Veteran’s Day

[caption id="attachment_1417" align="aligncenter" width="640"] I'd like to honor my Uncle and God Father, Charlie Pane, who served in WWII and the Korean War. He then served New York City Police and his local fire department. In retirement, he drove a yellow school bus. This guy is a Vet through and through (School busses and battle fields can leave you with PTSD).  He just turned 84 last month, suffers a bit from Alzhiemer's, but always has a smile on his face when I see him. Love you Uncle Charlie. Thank you for your many years of varied service and for being...

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04 Mar a family WIN!

[caption id="attachment_1174" align="alignleft" width="300"] These are my most beautiful parents on the night of their 50th wedding anniversary party, August 2013[/caption] I am a (maybe 'the') suitability zealot in our family. On holidays, I'm the one to take out a second pail to recycle all of the wine and water bottles we go through. I'm often given a hard time by the "powers-that-be" that it's just too much work on a day with such hustle and bustle. "But look," I'd say, "It's really not. Look how easy this is," as I'd affix a sign on the one pail that says "recycle...

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05 Nov Our families are our best learning labs

This is a series of correspondences with my family (20 aunts, uncles, and cousins who are primarily Republican), starting with a note I sent last week. It is here: "I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they're voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, "My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to...

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01 Jul My cousin’s wedding

I had the great honor of officiating at my cousin Susan and her 20+ yr BFF, Doug last night. Wedding was full of positivity and fun. Our family needed that. Towards the end, I did wonder if an Intervention crew was going to roll in and start filming, but it's all good. I come from lovely and loving people and I am grateful. Here's the ceremony I preformed - short and sweet. Few laughs, couple tears. My favorite part is that in their own nervousness perhaps, the bride and groom kept kissing -- and before I told them to! It is with...

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The following prayer was written by General Douglas MacArthur and I post it today for my father, Louis T. Alloro, who does not live in vain. I love you, dad. "Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee...

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