The Ericksons

Feedback

I love getting feedback on my projects, whether they are blog posts or books I’m writing. The first people I turn to are my family members. Countless times, their feedback has saved me public embarrassment and ridicule (primarily from them).Another valuable source of feedback is my group of beta readers. As I was writing Facing Cancer as a Parent: How to Help Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, my beta readers gave me feedback that made a big difference in the quality of the book.Trends in FeedbackThe benefit of getting feedback from several people is that you can see trends Read more…


3D Printing

I love to learn. I think that’s an inherent trait in writers. We learn and then we write to sort through that knowledge. So this was a fun exercise for me. I decided to learn a bit more about something that has always intrigued and perplexed me: 3D printing.To learn about what 3D printing is, and how it works, check out this video by Mashable Explains.3D Printing and GunsThe first time I heard about 3D printing, it was in a news report about the potential for 3D printing to be used to make parts of a gun, which could easily Read more…


Problem-Solving

History is full of innovative concepts that were the result of combining existing ideas in new and novel ways. James Dyson did exactly this when he combined a vacuum cleaner with a sawdust cyclone to invent the first bagless vacuum cleaner. You could say he cleaned up at problem-solving.Think about a problem you’re trying to solve. Grab some Post-it notes and write down one problem-solving idea on each one. Mix and match the Post-it notes together. How many new and interesting problem-solving combinations can you discover?The image of James Dyson combining a vacuum cleaner to a sawdust cyclone reminds me Read more…


Imagine the ideal scenario

Today’s prompt asks, “What’s your ideal scenario? Bring your vision to life by creating a drawing or collage of pictures.”I’m a little bit uncomfortable with things that don’t line up neatly, and a collage definitely falls into that category, so I’ve made it a practice to never put together a collage…ever. But, I can definitely get into visualization as I imagine the ideal scenario for my future.What I see and feel in my ideal scenarioIt’s 5 years from now. A treatment has been formulated to cure lung cancer and reverse the negative effects that living with and treating cancer have Read more…


Helicopter Worldview

Do you remember the OJ Simpson Bronco Chase? On June 17, 1994, most of America got to see a low-speed chase from a helicopter view. OJ Simpson, driven by his friend Al Cowlings in a white Bronco, led police, lights and sirens blazing, down the highway. Detective Tom Lange was able to contact Simpson on his cell phone to try to reason with him. Simpson had a gun and was refusing to toss the gun out the Bronco. He was obviously under distress because he knew he was about to be arrested. He was going to lose it all and Read more…


Fitness Goals

My daughter and I recently started a free 7-day trial at a nearby fitness gym. Our first visit to the gym involved a sit down with the manager/owner of the franchise. He was great at his job and asked us a series of question intended to help him learn where we were at in our fitness journeys. These questions were among those he asked. I’ll share some of my answers.What are the biggest obstacles?Pain is my number one obstacle to fitness. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Part of my treatment for over 4 years was prednisone, a steroid notorious for causing Read more…


the future

Looking into the future is extremely difficult for me—almost impossible, in fact. How do I do that when my husband has a terminal illness? Do I imagine a life without him and plan accordingly? Do I dream the dreams we’ve had for our lives, the ones that cancer threatens to steal? Although they are unlikely, they are preferable.It might seem obvious that someone whose spouse has cancer, would have trouble looking into the future. But it can be hard to imagine for people who haven’t experienced it firsthand.To have and to hold…Our lives are so intricately connected. They have been Read more…


book review

“Shadow among Sheaves” is a beautiful allegory of the story of Ruth and Boaz from the Bible. Naomi Stephens sets this tale in 1857, when there was much anti-India sentiment in England, due to a bloody rebellion in the empire’s colony. Yet, Rena fell in love with a British officer and married him. When she and her mother-in-law, both found themselves widowed and destitute, they returned to England. Yet, England didn’t welcome Rene with open arms.The historical context of this book fascinated me. The characters seemed to come to life on the (digital) page. If you don’t know the story Read more…


The joy of Knitting

I’m still stuck on the last post about disrupting the rules. These prompts are really hard for someone who doesn’t like to rock the boat and has no desire to invent anything. But, I recently was able to witness something awesome: 2 young people learning the joy of knitting.00This past DecemberMy daughter’s boyfriend, Ray came to visit for a couple of weeks. After seeing some YouTubers learn how to knit over a weekend, they decided that they would take up knitting. Ray used chopsticks and Summer used bamboo skewers. Summer warns that this is a bad way to learn knitting Read more…


Jack's Caregiver Klatch

This is definitely the toughest A to Z post I’ve written this year. I’ve written several different drafts, only to have my kids scoff at me because they didn’t disrupt the rules enough. I guess I haven’t hit my rebellious stage yet. But, I think I finally landed on an idea that works. It has to do with a group that I facilitate called the “Caregiver Klatch.”Men are Caregivers, Too.In the past 15 years, nearly twice as many men are assuming a caregiver role. While they face the same emotional and physical challenges as women caregivers, they are less likely Read more…

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