Obesity and me

I spent a good deal of my life overweight. It started in childhood and didn’t really end until I had bariatric surgery.  Reading the recent article in the paper about childhood and teenage obesity brought tears to my eyes. I had spent those years feeling as though I was a failure – a fat failure. Everyone and everything around me made it clear I simply had no self-control, I overate, I didn’t get enough exercise and I wasn’t really trying. By the time I got to college, I wouldn’t go to dances because I was so sure that the minute Continue reading →


Bacala and pretty clothes

I was raised Italian Catholic. If you are Italian Catholic, there are very specific foods to be cooked for very specific occasions depending on where in Italy you are from. You may serve a five, seven or twelve fish dinner on Christmas Eve depending on your tradition but it is always a seafood only night.

My nona continued the tradition of soaking bacala for days on end until all the salt was gone and then she made bacalao salad. My mother wouldn’t eat it. Neither would us kids. In fact, my mother barely wanted it on her holiday table. But Continue reading →



I went to the same school from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. I spent more time than I can calculate hiding under my desk from a nuclear attack. Of course, if that didn’t work for nuclear war protection, there was also going out to the hallway and facing the wall while holding our hands over our heads. Either way, according to Sisters Angelina, Beatrice, Gaetano and all the rest of the Salesian nuns that taught me, we were safe. And if they said we were safe, we were.

I think if I were a child today, there would not be Continue reading →


My first night

Reading about the push to turn the old ANMC land into something more useful and attractive brought to mind my first night in Alaska.

It was Oct. 1, 1972. I had cried my way from New York City to Anchorage while a very unhappy parrot was in the cargo hold. I have no idea how Adeline made it safely to Anchorage under those conditions, but she did. She was a tough old bird.

I was picked up by an IHS employee and dropped off at the front desk of visitors’ quarters. I stood there holding the cage with Adeline in Continue reading →


North Star hospital

In what now seems like a distant past, I was a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) with the Alaska Court System. My caseload was pretty much troubled teenagers from North Slope villages. Most had been in state custody on and off throughout their lives and now were old enough to truly express how those years affected them. It was not pretty. These were children who had already been damaged by their parents and, to some extent, by a state system that kept giving them back to those parents instead of working on a more permanent solution.

All of this is to Continue reading →


Eyes and teeth… why?

Here’s one of those issues that sit right in front of our faces without us even noticing that it’s worth questioning. So, I present to you my current conundrum because why should I be the only one stuck on this question.

Why are eyes and teeth excluded from health care? They are a tag on to what is considered important for your health. Being able to see or eat is apparently not considered in that category but gosh, doesn’t it seem as though they should?

If you are experiencing eye or teeth issues, those issues can quickly become overwhelming in Continue reading →


Tshibaka is a carpetbagger

I received a phone call from a gentleman who wanted me to save America from President Biden. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up. I finally asked if he could tell me who the Republicans were planning to run for president if I helped him do that. He couldn’t answer; or maybe he just didn’t want to answer.

This year’s midterms seem to be hinging on the Supreme Court’s religious ruling that a woman’s right to see her doctor in private without the government interfering is somehow illegal. No word yet on when the Supremes, Continue reading →


Sarah Palin – totally useless

So, I have for a very long time ignored the urge to write a column about Sarah Palin because 1. She didn’t need the extra publicity and 2. She seems to do enough damage to herself without me piling on. But there comes a point where I can no longer ignore the urge. I have to ask how anyone – and I do mean anyone – can possibly think this woman is a good representative of Alaska and its values.

So here I am, writing that column.

People have sent me videos of her during one of her many ramblings. Continue reading →


Pro choice is pro life

So, I’m guessing I’m not the only person receiving calls from pollsters looking for hints as to what might emerge from the crowded fields of political candidates in this year’s elections. We all knew it was coming. We’ve all been through it before. Our phones ring off the hook with people asking us who we plan to vote for, what we plan to vote for and, of course, the very popular question being asked by people seeing the signs – who’s Kelly?

I am, for the most part, retired and I have lots of time to respond to these calls. Continue reading →


The NRA and mental illness

Here’s what I am so tired of hearing. First you hear the gunshots – if not literally at least figuratively as there is yet another report of a mass shooting somewhere in America. Then come the devastated local officials to explain that they had no idea it could happen in their town. Then come the politicians to offer prayers and sympathy – a phrase which now just makes me want to gag. And then finally come the statements from NRA owned politicians about how this is not about guns but about mental health. And then comes… nothing.

Anchorage recently was Continue reading →