Category: Musings

  • You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help

    You Don’t Need a Diagnosis to Need Help

    On this family vacation, we went off the beaten path, through icy waters and deep into breathtaking beauty. Photo credit: Brian Deutsch “I’ve worked with people with a variety of communication and cognitive disorders secondary to a variety of diagnoses, including head and neck cancers, head trauma, stroke, degenerative neurological disease, and brain tumors.” This […]

  • Writing that Inspired Me, End of Winter

    Writing that Inspired Me, End of Winter

    I’m thinking of words that fueled me over the winter on this creative journey called Life. In no particular order: The Sports Page: Yes, the real sports page in your newspaper. This is some of my favorite writing in our paper. I love the creativity the writers bring. The imagery, the voice, and the sheer […]

  • Buds


    First, I look at the colors ­– cream fringed with pink; deep scarlet; and then, gold, peach and salmon, like a sunset. I lean forward to breathe in the fragrance of each one. If I smell only blank air from a flower, I move on to sniff the next one. The bouquet I decide on […]

  • Walls


      Between sessions at a conference in Canada last week, a fellow attendee told me that if Donald Trump is elected president of the USA they plan to build a wall. Otherwise, I felt quite welcome on my recent trip north of the border. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, was the perfect place to go for my first […]

  • Is it Time to Rest Yet?

    Is it Time to Rest Yet?

    Maybe it’s because it was January, the month of new starts, or maybe it was a rebound effect from the excesses of the holidays. But I noticed a trend. For a full week, nearly all of my clients cited an urgent need to organize and declutter their personal space. I don’t underestimate the impact of […]

  • Breaking and Making Habits – My Summer Book Review

    Breaking and Making Habits – My Summer Book Review

    When I was a newly minted speech pathologist working at UVA Health Sciences Center, my friend, John Caine, chastised me for my habit of reading several books at once. “Oh, Melissa,” he shook his head. “You should always read just one book at a time.” I decided to try it, and I’ve been a one-book-at-a-time […]

  • Paths


    When I returned to paid work after 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, I was flabbergasted at how daunting the process of switching gears was. What was I getting myself into? What was the “right” path? I had a hard time finding practical, applicable resources to support me during this life change. Luckily, I had […]

  • The Best Gift

    The Best Gift

    “Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn. When my son, Douglas, was four, his preschool teacher dropped a nugget of gold in my lap that has had a profound impact on my parenting to this day, ten years later: “The […]

  • A Happy Habit

    A Happy Habit

         How do you respond when someone shares good news with you? Your response might predict the longevity and happiness of your relationship.      At The Habits of Happy People, a recent conference presented by Jaime Kurtz, Ph.D, I gathered armfuls of information on what makes us happy. The clinician in me craves evidence-based practices […]



    In our household, we are feeling an empty spot that was once filled by World Cup Football – soccer to us Americans. And no wonder. Coverage for the once-every-four years tournament ran from Thursday, June 12th until the finals, Sunday, July 13th. We centered one month of our lives on this sport! (And I thought […]