Saturday, November 13, 2010


It's the little things. Truly, it is!

Every day is not Christmas Day or my birthday or the anniversary of something fabulous that happened in my or a loved ones life. Lately, it's about cherishing micro moments in time. The ones that burst with sweetness. Or, those that are quick or cute or funny or just uniquely beautiful.

If I pay attention, there's at least one a day. How the sun glints off the gorgeous fall foliage, even as it fades. Kids tossing the football in the street. Playing chuck-a-ball with Harvey the Wonder Dog and reveling in the unadulterated, pure joy that he takes in retrieving the ball for me. Okay, he IS a Labrador retriever, but that's beside the point!

One of the best laugh out loud moments came not too long ago. After reading aloud the book that I wrote about Harvey to my two very young great-nephews, the 4 year old asked me to read "Harvey Finds His Smile" and pointed it out on the back of the book. I told him that I had yet to write that next book. He cocked his head in a most quizzical and thoughtful way and said, "Well, can't you just write it right now while you're here this weekend?" I paused, laughed, hugged him hard and thought about what he said and just smiled. A magical moment of pure innocence.

Truly a joy. In a very small package.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It's a new level. Or maybe a new refuge, simply renamed. I am the eye of the tornado. More than merely 'inside' of the eye of the tornado. What I mean is that I AM the eye. Here inside of mine, it is rather serene with no sound louder than the quiet hum of a faraway vacuum.

But the question that begs to be asked is this: When you go here, if you do, if you are able, is it because you are really calm and away from the absolute violence and the unpredictable nature of the winds and the rain and the hail that really hurts? Or, safe from the lightning that once it strikes you, is so stunning and damaging that nothing is ever the same? You are not the same. Or, because in that calm center, the winds and rain can't lash at you and pull at you and rip you all to shreds? So, is it a temporary respite and healthy, like meditation? Or, is it avoidance, because it's just all too much at once?

It seems to help, at least temporarily. But to inure oneself from the unpleasant too often is to miss life. Or worse, accept what is not so good. So, I will take three deep breaths to decompress, let the storm close to me dissipate and allow the swift, dark and angry clouds to swirl about until their energy is spent.

While I am not sure I completely answered my original question completely, there is at least something to consider. Personally, I opt for the former. As a temporary defense mechanism, it may be a good tool and certainly not pharmaceutically addictive. Maybe the eye is an okay place to be. Once in awhile.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The World is Not Our Garbage Can....

This didn't start yesterday. The awareness, the annoyance and yes, sometimes the outright disgust while watching somebody litter for no good, or obvious reason. It was fostered by my parents, both of them. For this lesson, I am so very grateful.

Certainly, I don't recall ever seeing either of them drop something on the ground in public or around our house or on our property with the expectation that somebody else would, could, should or might be hired to pick up after them. If they dropped it or tossed it, they picked it up. We were expected to do the same and without question, we did. Not because we were perfect kids. Oh my heavens, no! But, because the logic of it all made sense. The logic that we were presented with was so simple, yet so direct. If everybody dropped just one piece of litter every day, what would the world, the ocean, the lake, the country, the state, the town, the street, the neighborhood look like? When delivered that way by them to us, without accusation, judgement, or condemnation, it was thought-provoking. And most importantly,it worked!

We were shown, by example, that we were responsible for the space around us wherever we were. That we were caretakers of wherever we were in the world. That we could effect a change just by doing the right thing. By not causing damage.

The concept is one that I embrace each and every day. It is powerful and wonderful and a task that I am proud to practice, to carry out and to pay forward.

Thanks for listening. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Remembering Mike.........

He woke up and asked for ravioli. Just opened his eyes, sat up, and asked the nurse at Stanford Hospital to bring him ravioli. He loved Italian food. This, after a surgery two days prior that did not go at all as planned by the doctors. It took seven hours instead of three, was not successful, and determined his fate as terminal. Not terminal in the sense that it was possible to physically knock off anything on a bucket list that he may have been keeping for himself. Terminal in that his family was told 24-48 hours are all that he has left.

It's not clear whether he knew this. That he had extremely limited time or that there was a very clear and driving reason to just be there, present in the moment. To be awake and present for as long as it would take. All I know is that he woke up on a Thursday afternoon and was completely lucid. Not just any Thursday afternoon. The Thursday afternoon just hours before the tip-of the Lakers-Celtics Game 7.

If you were his friend, even casually, you know what this means. At least, I think I know what this means. Somehow, on some level, as he drifted into and out of consciousness the past week, he knew. Knew that his beloved Los Angeles Lakers were about to make some history of their own and that it was TONIGHT. So, he ate his ravioli, watched the basketball team that to him , hung the sun, the moon and the stars. Then he went back to sleep.

Nine days later, my friend Mike passed away. He lived a life that was full and fast and full of friends. So many of these friends had fur. Horse fur and dog fur of any and all type. Those friends loved him purely and completely. And so did we. The friends of Mike who wanted nothing more than his crinkly blue-eyed smile, his energy that knew no bounds, the drive that catapulted those who worked for him into sales a stratosphere that they may have only previously dreamed about.

I will miss him so very much. My good, kind and dear friend of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. He was yours, too. Let's be kind, be good and be a real friend. What a great way to honor our friend, Mike.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When your Mother is your Child...

Intrinsically, I must have always known. Always known that I was my mother's keeper. Certainly, always her emotional keeper, and not because I wanted to be. As a young child, adolescent and adult, I out of all four of her children would have to be the one to handle, deflect and absorb her immature outbursts and financial mismanagement. Never a task that I cared to shoulder and one that has kept us at odds ever since I can remember. One that I now realize figured in very prominently to my personal indecision about motherhood.

As a second-grader I was called into the principal's office. In all earnestness and with good intentions, both my teacher and the head of the school explained to me that they understood that my parents were behaving like children and that I would have to be the parent. Hey, it was 1962 and clearly, they had no idea what sort of impact something like this might have on a child. It was confusing. It was also strangely calming. At least they got it, I thought. They must have an idea about what I was going through at home. My position as peace-keeper in the family had only just begun.

Fast-forward forty-seven years later and not a lot has changed. Except for me. Or, at least the way that I have learned to cope and to shut myself down emotionally when it comes to her and to the family situations connected to her. It may sound cold,but it's for self-preservation and really important for emotional well-being and survival. It's important.

What is equally important is how distance, albeit even just emotional, creates perspective. She was/is a physically beautiful woman. A knockout, really. Even at 85 years of age people remark at her attractiveness. She is used to being complimented and a little bit vain but not in an unlikeable way. Her energy is high and her mind is whip fast. Her body is breaking down and she is pissed about it.

For the first time, I find her a little bit vulnerable. I begin to take the time to listen to what her childhood friends say about her, the stories they recall about times together when they were young and wild and free. They speak of their 'salad days' and how much fun she was back then. And, how drastically her outlook and personality changed with the sudden, tragic death of her father in her early 20's. The more I listen, the more I understand. The more I understand, the more bittersweet each exchange becomes for me. I want to be angry when she is verbally and emotionally abusive to me. It's a natural decades-old reflex. But, the specter of her mortality allows me to be softer, slower, a little bit more patient and forgiving. Ah, forgiveness. The gift you give yourself. That may be so, but it works both ways. By getting past my expectation of what I wanted our mother-daughter relationship to be, I am able to accept what is and even better, who she is. And that, is plenty good enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family, Friends and all things important....

I bought a bunch of flowers today. They weren't anything special or exotic. Just a simple bunch of pink tulips. Grocery store flowers. Pretty, but not captivating. Not a 'must-have' item. They weren't on the grocery list. They certainly were not in the budget. It felt a little bit frivolous and unnecessary and like a real waste of money. But, I bought them anyway without even really being sure why.

On the short drive home, I thought about the past two years, twelve months,twelve days, and most of all, twelve hours. A meeting with the admins at the nursing home where my very physically frail but mentally alert mother is currently living, a phone conversation about a very attractive but risky job opportunity and an email from a close childhood friend who had just heard the word one fears the most-cancer.

I slowly unpacked, put away the groceries and arranged the flowers in a vase. One by one, I assigned a blessing or a prayer to each of the twelve (!) flowers in the arrangement. Some were sad, some bittersweet but all tinged with love. A moment in time that I would not have enjoyed had I not 'splurged' on the purchase.

Just one small bunch of flowers and a head and heart full of thoughts, hopes and prayers. Not a bad bargain for $5.99 plus tax.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's official!!  The Book Stall on Chestnut in Winnetka finally announced this Saturday's reading and signing for "Harvey the Hungry Dog". Round up  every wide-eyed or even sleepy-eyed child and bring 'em on over cause the fun starts at 11 a.m.  Here's how the schedule is supposed to work:

1. Reading of " The Adventures of Harvey the Wonder Dog: Harvey the Hungry Dog" at 11 a.m. 
2. Read it again, cause that's what the kids have often demanded!! 
3. Answer their questions and sign books and have fun the rest of the day! Pretty terrific, huh? 

One of Harvey's very special friends will be outside of The Book Stall with Harvey the Wonder Dog himself in tow. Harvey has asked that you lavish as many belly scratches, pets, hugs and cookies on him that he can stand. From personal experience as his mommy, it can be quite excessive and completely rewarding!

So, two more evenings of news fill-in on WLS-AM, THE BIG 89 for me this week and then The Book Stall on Saturday morning to meet you!  

The Book Stall, 811 Elm St. Winnetka, Il. 60093. 847-446-8880.   See you then!!
Paws up, Lise and Harvey the Wonder Dog
811 Elm St.
Winnetka IL 60093
Ph: 847-446-8880811 Elm St.
Winnetka IL 60093
Ph: 847-446-8880811 Elm St.
Winnetka IL 60093
Ph: 847-446-8880

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Growing Pains

Growing Pains
A whirlwind week of adjustments. To a new age in life ( I am very okay with that), to a new on-air fill-in job schedule and the reality that for now, I may not get even remotely close to keeping all of those around me as happy as they would like me to because for me it is,  CRUNCH TIME! 
Ever had a year of such growth that you actually literally felt the pains-good and bad? My experiences the past 24 months have felt much like the aches in my legs and arms that I recall as a child that were diagnosed as growing pains. They probably were! They felt kind of scary, but good. Just like now!
Saturday, March 13, 2010  

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Burnout blues....

Like a cannonball streaking through the air, the ride feels wild and cool and like it's never going to end. But it does. And when it ends, most often with a crash into something significantly solid and cold, it hurts.  You may even wonder why you signed up to get on the list to take this crazy ride in the first place.

And so it goes with learning the ropes of marketing a book by yourself. Some days it flows and doors open and calls are returned and meetings and signings and appearances are set. Ahhh, the feeling of what is supposed to happen lulls one into delicious complacency. Then there are the 'other' days. Calls and deadlines missed, rejections received, and money woes aplenty swirl around like Pigpen's dust storm.

But then, something wonderful and unexpected happens that makes it all worthwhile. A child says one simple thing and it all makes sense.  I had just finished reading my book aloud at our local library to a group of around 10 children  and asked them if they liked it. Immediately, one of the little boys in the group blurts out, " Read it again!"  It was all that I needed to hear and so I did. And they all stayed and we read it again.

That moment of that day taught me a little bit more about how to truly measure success. Thanks, kids.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Carpe Diem

Such a difference since last year at this time. The great thing is, I have achieved nearly all of the goals that I set for myself back then, both personally and professionally. Financially, well....not exactly, but I want to focus on the positive for today.

I wanted my book, "Harvey the Hungry Dog" to be completed and to be published and so it was in December 2009. A lot of radio broadcast fill-in on-air work also came my way and I rediscovered how work can be fun when you are doing what you love to do! Just as importantly, I put to rest and put behind me the personal demons from a recent romantic relationship and felt oh-so-free!

Also, I bought a mac and learned how to build a website for the ' Harvey' book and took charge and refreshed my personal website. Two very good ( and brilliant!) friends had put my professional website together for me in 2008 and it was time for me to take the responsibility for updating and maintenance.

All of this leads me to the inspiration for my post for today: Live what you love, love what you do and you simply cannot go wrong!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So, a blogging we will go! This is new...and should be fun.!