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A swimmer surfaces after plunginginto the Tsunami Swirl pool at Kenwood Cove, Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Salina, Kan. The bright spot in the water was created by sun light shining through the funnel-like slide. (AP Photo/Salina Journal, Tom Dorsey)
 (AP photo)

Deeper dive...paradigm shift

In the decades that I have worked in healthcare, there has been a hit parade of buzz words and phrases: “paradigm shift,” “at-the-end-of-the-day,” “thrown under the bus,”“low-hanging fruit” and…”are we complete?” That last one was from a consultant who brought his own hanger to meetings...

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MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011

Directing the last good-bye: education is here

Lake Washington Technical College offers a unique program for people looking for work outside the box: funeral service education. This program is the first one of its kind in Washington state. Seven people graduated last week with nine more scheduled to finish their program in...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011

Policing ~ with care 

Mental illness plagues many of our homeless neighbors. Their behavior is often interpreted as threatening or at least confusing and bothersome. The Seattle Police Department now has a mental health expert who rides with them, often as the initial contact for a person deemed experiencing...

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SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011

A week to remember - dad

This week we look forward to Father's Day - next Sunday. The commercials are filled with images of gleeful children scurrying towards dad with Hallmark cards in hand. Many people do not have the dad of television commercials; some people may not even know their...

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This is cursive, signing off 

As a left-hander, I was often scolded by my elementary school teachers to hold my hand so that my cursive letters would slant correctly. Each report card came home with "N" for my handwriting grade (N= Needs Improvement). For many of today's elementary school students,...

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FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011

Shhhh...a secret?

“He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured.” ~ Ethiopian Proverb I love this proverb; we conceal our illness, our weakness and often suffer in silence. However, when we make ourselves vulnerable, often answers, healing and support may show up – and offer...

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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011

Three funerals, two weddings, one month

I have attended three funerals in two weeks: a 20-something, a 30-something – both died unexpectedly – and a 60-something who had a year to live with a cancer diagnosis. And while the 60-something had time to plan, she did not include some important details....

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MONDAY, MAY 30, 2011

A poem, a poppy

Did you ever wonder what the connection is between poppies and Memorial Day? Read on... In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the...

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SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2011

Travel adventures: healing journeys? 

When her marriage ended, writer Laura Fraser went to Italy and met an older Frenchman, whom she writes about in her memoir, "An Italian Affair." He is married, she is seeking. They make love, dine sumptuously, and explore new places as well as each other....

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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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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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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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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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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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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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FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2011

Good Friday Poetry

Gethsemane The grass never sleeps. Or the roses. Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning. Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept. The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet, and it sings, have you noticed, with...

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Photo for EndNotes blog.

Breaking bread, transcending death

Today, Holy Thursday, we observe the Last Supper, the meal Jesus shared with his friends. He broke the bread and shared it. Scripture reminds us that we will "find Him in the breaking of the bread." My most profound experience of the risen Christ in...

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To hell - or not?

To hell - or not? The spiritual anxiety that Rebecca discusses is often present for a person who is dying. The question is an object lesson for all people to think about our world view now and how we understand God, forgiveness among ourselves and...

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114 year old Walter Breuning, world's oldest man (Michael Albans / Fr35247 Ap)

Work, help others = long life

The world's oldest man died last week. At 114-years-old, Walter Breuning left this world, but offers a legacy of wisdom: embrace change - "all change is good," eat only two meals each day because "that's all you need," Breuning claimed. He told people to "work...

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SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011

Gone to the dogs 

I took our dog to the dog wash today, a place where master and canine get soaking wet. My 95-pound German Shepherd, Bella, protested wildly through the whole watery struggle. She is 8-years-old and was abandoned in the woods. We met her at the animal...

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A grief released

My young friend, Laura, tells me of her burden of grief in the after years of her mom's death. Working through the pain, Laura was encouraged to write a message to her mom - on a balloon. She did - and released it into the...

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Spring passion

The spring wind blows wildly today sending seeds and dreams in all directions. The yard angels - not their real business name - came to estimate what spring cleaning needs to be done among the dead branches and winter debris. "You must cut away at...

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MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011

Prisoners of peace

The Plowshares Five were sentenced today in federal court. While 250 supporters kept vigil outside, U.S. DIstrict Court Judge Benjamin Settle handed down their sentences - effective immediately. (About the photo: Demonstrators outside the federal courthouse in Tacoma pray before a sentencing hearing for the...

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SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2011

From plowshares to prison

On Monday, March 28 five peace activists will be sentenced in Tacoma, Washington for crimes committed on November 2, 2009. Each defendant faces possible sentences of up to 10 years in prison. The five were found guilty of trespass, felony damage to federal property, felony...

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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.