Newest Blog Entries


Margaret’s Imaginary Internet Dating Tale

June 23, 2017 Margaret Crane

My guy friend and I have parted ways. As I now sit home many Saturday nights,  I ponder whether I want to date someone new. I imagine a little cloud-like speech balloon that’s often seen in cartoons containing the text of thoughts inside my brain as I conduct an active dialogue with myself and a potential fictitious Internet date.  ME: Do I want to date someone new? Hmmm, maybe, then again, I’m not sure. Okay. Yes. YES, I think more enthusiastically. I’m tired of sitting home alone on weekends. Like reheated pizza, anyone might be good enough at this point. ...


I Was Hacked. Don't Let it Happen to You

June 16, 2017 Margaret Crane

It was a Friday afternoon, and I had just returned from interviewing someone for an article. While the information was fresh in my mind, I started to write the piece. I stopped briefly to look up something on Google, clicked on a website, and in a flash, my computer was hacked and taken over by some insidious cyber criminal.  And in that surreal nanosecond, all the LifeLock commercials I had seen on TV flashed before my eyes. Initially, I was seized with inertia because I couldn’t believe what was happening.  There are many things in life you think you really...


Break a Bone (or Two) & Find the Silver Lining

June 09, 2017 Barbara Ballinger

Most accidents happen at home. Now, I can put a personal check mark next to that adage. On a cold, snowy day in December, I slipped on ice on my driveway. I learned, later, I had two broken bones in my dominant right hand and arm. I’d never broken anything, but now, in a crisis, I had to work through intense pain to make decisions that could make or break my recovery to regain full use of my hand.   After undergoing surgery, starting therapy, enduring physical and psychic pain--with more to come plus another surgery, I found a silver lining...


What’s With All the Anger? Innocent ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ Comment Fuels a FB Brouhaha

June 02, 2017 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Barbara saw this comment on Facebook: “‘Happy Mother’s Day,’ a fellow on my bus yelled today.” This innocent comment said in good faith triggered a deluge of mixed responses in this semi-public forum. One person wrote: “The guy on the bus is oblivious to the fact that it could be painful to those who lost mothers, wanted to be mothers but couldn't, have estrangements from parent or progeny etc. Be aware, people. This holiday is not happy for everyone.”  Once the FB faucet is turned on, the responses start to gush. Another person wrote, "Wow, I think you're 100% wrong....


Strangers on a Train Part II: Riding Amtrak to Chicago for Book Signing Expands My World

May 26, 2017 Margaret Crane

“Joe”  A tall slim boyish-looking 20-something-year-old wearing a Cubs baseball cap and thin navy blue jacket faced us across the aisle. He was slumped down in his chair while listening intently to my conversation with "Andy," the 30-year-old who had just been released from prison and wanted to go to California. He couldn't leave the state and was forced to wear a monitor.  Joe and I made eye contact.  “Are you going to Chicago?” I asked him.  “Yes.”  “What do you do there?”  “I’m a third year law student at Northwestern.”  Andy’s ears perked up. “Can you represent me?” he...