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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011

Dream destinations - spiritually speaking

I have attended two funerals and one bed-side vigil in the last week. These experiences offer time to reflect on what is important in life as well as how we nurture our own spirituality. Travel writer, Rick Steves, recently interviewed by U.S. Catholic, offers information…

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MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011

Secondhand smoke and the brain

Some of us in our 50s and beyond often comment about growing up in smoke-filled homes. Almost all the parents of my childhood smoked. My husband's father was an insomniac and smoked all night in bed, in between reading. (My mother-in-law lived into her 90s,…

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SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011

Rapture: Not-so-good to go

The end of the world, predicted by preacher Harold Camping, must be set for another day: we're still here. But we had fun with the pretend possibilities! The Baltimore Sun published a Q and A with must I return my library books or will I…

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FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011

RIP: Paper books

It will likely be many more years until all printed books are replaced by e-books. But perhaps in history "books" it will someday be noted that on May 19, 2011 Inc. announced that "after less than four years of selling electronic books, it’s now…

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THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2011

Living to 100

Many years ago, I profiled several centenarians and asked a gerontologist the secret to living to 100. He said: "Choose your parents. Wear a seatbelt." In other words, genetics and safety. This week, the CDC released figures on seat belt use in the United States…

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Preparing for the zombie apocalypse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new blog and social media campaign to help people prepare for emergencies. When I first read about it, I thought it was a spoof of some kind, but it's for real. They are telling people…

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Photo for use in EndNotes (PR News Wire)

When should you take off your rings?

Our syndicated column this week answered a question about when a widowed person should take off his or her wedding ring. Right away? When you start dating? Never? The experts weighed in, but here we'd like to ask any widowers and widows out there: How…

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TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew has died at age 74 

Update: Harmon Killebrew died this morning at age 74. Here's Catherine's post from Sunday, with childhood photo of Catherine (with glasses holding puppy), her two sisters and the Killebrews, Elaine and Harmon. Harmon is heading for home Harmon Killebrew - Baseball Hall of Famer with…

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FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2011

Water, water everywhere

Water, water everywhere! Rebecca's post reminds me of a story from our family history. In 1948 my great aunt and uncle (yes, they really were great!) lived in Vanport City, Oregon, a city quickly constructed in 1943 to house the workers at the wartime Kaiser…

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Spokane Falls for EndNotes bog taken by cell by Becky Nappi

Do it now 

Yesterday, I was at a meeting with folks who do emergency preparedness in the county and as part of the meeting, we were offered a tour of the Avista dams downtown. The last spot on the tour was an outside viewing section for the lower…

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THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

Albert Brooks and the Boomer Flu 

Comedian, author and actor Albert Brooks has a novel out about the near future. It takes place in the year 2030 and is named 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. In it, aging baby boomers are in a constant struggle with the…

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Yellow pages: RIP

One thing you'll see in this blog on occasion is the announcement, or the prediction, of technologies or ways of life that are dying off in our culture. Ideas, technology and trends have a life cycle and eventually die, too. Just like humans. In today's…

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TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011

Leaving Chastity behind

Today Sonny and Cher's daughter comes back to the world as their son. After decades of struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body, Chaz speaks about the painful struggle and what it took to align his self-understanding with his body. The book…

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How do you pray for a miracle? 

A friend of mine has a grown child who has struggled with mental illness for many years now. After the last update, not a good one, I said: "Let's ask any Catholics we know to pray for a miracle to cure your child's mental illness.…

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MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011

Evan Rachel Wood, left, and Kate Winslet are shown in a scene from the HBO miniseries, “Mildred Pierce.”

When names die, too

The HBO Depression-era series, Mildred Pierce, along with the release last week of the Social Security Administration's top 1,000 baby names of 2010 got me thinking to the way names die off, too. One of my mom's closest friends, and an important mom from my…

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SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011

She wore the dress just twice

One of my favorite spirituality writers is Ron Rolheiser and his Mother's Day column today was beautiful. He explained how his mother died too young, leaving a big brood of children that "felt too young to be on its own." Here's the graph that sticks…

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Age and illness: The great leveler

The photo of Osama bin Laden, looking old and gray, in the dingy room watching his old speeches on old tapes on a television screen reminds me of the times I've heard -- and read of -- people encountering a scary or mean person from…

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FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011

Resting her head forever

Richard Miller, who worked in our newsroom for many years and now is a communications professional at Washington State University, has become a spotter for interesting obituaries. Last week he sent me this line from an Idaho Statesman obit about a woman named Ellen: We…

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Planet Earth: 89 years left? 

Last week in his Earthweek column, syndicated writer Steve Newman quoted "two of the world's most respected scientists" saying that human civilization has only a 50 percent chance of surviving until 2100 without being done in by a nuclear threat, climate change, overpopulation -- or…

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Thank you, Mr. President

Thank you, Mr. President Thank you, Mr. President for not releasing the photos of Osama bin Laden’s body. We do not need the evidence. See story. We trust that the months of planning, the built-to-scale model of the compound, the drills, the intelligence data and…

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TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2011

You know, what's his name?

My husband I now have a rule that when we're in conversation over coffee and we can't find the right word, person, book title, movie title, we don't pause at the forgetting but move on. So instead of saying, "You know, that guy who played…

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MONDAY, MAY 2, 2011

Brad Pitt in Troy (Warner Inc. / Hmk)

Greek tragedies: the burial of bin Laden

U.S. officials said they buried bin Laden at sea, and the controversy begins. According to an Associated Press story: "Muslim clerics said today that Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea was a violation of Islamic tradition that may further provoke militant calls for revenge attacks…

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A royal legacy

The world watched as Kate Middleton wed Prince William on Friday. While the pageantry was magnificent, all I could think of was Princess Diana. How tragic not to be present at such a transcendent moment in your child's life. Will was 15-years-old when his "mum"…

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.