• Food,  Grief,  Loss

    Grief and Loss of a Pet

    My essay “I Hated Cooking and Then I Had to Cook For My Dog” is up today at The Ascent on Medium. It’s a tribute to Hana, my brat terrier, who I had to put down on May 27, 2019. It was the worst day of my life. This essay helped me work through my grief and connect with her. I felt her with me as I wrote it. I attribute my joy for cooking to her and that’s what this essay is about. How a non-chef like me was forced to learn to cook when Hana suddenly couldn’t digest commercial dog food. How my own health required a gluten-free,…

  • Nature,  Travel

    Nature Trips in Taiwan

    So you’re going to Taiwan and of course, it’s all about the food. But what if you want to relax and spend some time outdoors? Here are the best places I found during my recent visit to Taiwan: TAIPEI Chiang Kai-Shek’s Shilin Residence This was the official residence of President Chiang Kai-Shek and Soong Mei-ling, his third wife. Now it’s a historical site and museum open for tours which I highly recommend. But it’s the gardens and grounds that I spent the most time enjoying. Walk around the lily-pad covered lake and rose garden and you’ll be sure to see plenty of butterflies, birds, insects, and even turtles! Amusing topiary…

  • Anxiety,  Health and Wellness,  Medium,  Writing

    How Reiki Worked for Me But Not as I Expected

    My post is up today at P.S. I Love You! My first publication with them and I’m so thrilled! It’s about how my Reiki class brought me closer to my father. I was always a worrywart ever since I can remember. Over time, it brought on debilitating migraines, chronic inflammation, and hives. I needed to relieve my anxiety and stress but I never knew how. So I signed up for a Reiki class. What it did for me was beyond what I could imagine. Not only did I learn how to relax and bring down my anxiety, but it allowed me to be more open and vulnerable. If you want…

  • Food,  Travel

    Best Hidden Gem for Breakfast in Taichung

    I just returned from a trip to Taichung, Taiwan to visit my dad. It had been 5 years since I’d last been to the island and I had only stayed a few days then. This time I stayed for 2 weeks. I think it’s the longest time I’ve ever stayed in Taiwan! I stayed in the West District at The Splendor Hotel Taichung and it was the perfect location. It’s right in the hub of the commercial district and you don’t need to drive anywhere for amazing food, entertainment, and culture. Where is the Best Breakfast EVER? Typical Taiwanese breakfast items are congee, soy milk, pork buns, scallion pancakes with…

  • Travel,  Writing

    Writer retreats

    We talked about it for years but it finally came together last month. Our first writer retreat! It was one of the best experiences and I can’t wait to do it again. Whether you’re thinking of hosting a writer retreat or participating in one, here are 5 takeaways I learned from ours: HAVE AN AGENDA Before we met up for the retreat, we discussed what we wanted to accomplish. Did we want to write and then share our work? I belong to a writer group with two other writers and they were also going to be at the retreat so we already had an established rhythm. Our host was glad…

  • Anxiety,  Migraines

    5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

    I have always had anxiety and negative thinking ever since I can remember. I worry about what happened in the past, what will happen, and what I just did. I blame myself when a migraine strikes. What did I do? It’s my fault! For those of you who suffer from migraines or chronic pain, I’m sure you have similar stories. It’s hard not to worry about when the next migraine will strike or you chastise yourself for feeling worse than you did yesterday. If you already have anxiety, then being a chronic pain sufferer is debilitating! The summer of 2018 I was desperate. I had more migraine days than not.…

  • Migraines

    A Little Self Care

    We all need a reminder to be good to ourselves… Published on Migraine.com July 13, 2019 I always dread sending that text or email with the familiar words “I’m not going to be able to make it. I have a migraine.” I can already picture the rolling eyes. Feel their scorn or disappointment. Hear the conversation among my friends, co-workers, family, or boss. “She always has a migraine.” “That’s the third one this month.” “How bad could it be?” “Do you really think she has a migraine?” “Why doesn’t she just take her meds?” “How convenient.” Of course, I don’t know if any of this is said or not. But…