The Blog

For Goodness’ Sakes

Celebrating 50th on the 50 and promoting organ donor awareness

There are many ways to describe fifty-year-old Doobie Kurus. Pre-school teacher. Husband and father of three girls. Athlete and former Gopher football player. A chef who has raised over $250,000 for local charities. And a selfless kidney donor. It’s the last of this list, kidney donor, that has heightened his appreciation for the former. Humble…

A Vacation to Serena & Lily Land

Screen Shot 2022-10-24 at 7.07.09 PM

Do you dream of a vacation where you leave the to-do list behind? Me too. But it’s not always possible. So when I need a mini-escape, I just flip open a Serena & Lily catalog. Breezy California-style, here I come. It’s more than crisp photos of furniture, bedding, and accessories—it’s a quick trip to Fantasy…

Marking Time and Moving Forward

marking time

What an honor and joy to interview Bernadeia Johnson, the former superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. Her leadership and resolve inspire me in so many ways, as she works relentlessly for change. You can read the piece I wrote about her here! Happy Tuesday, every one!

The Joy of “Normal”

Joy of Normal

When I interviewed Mary Roethler about her remarkable claim to fame—a kidney transplant recipient celebrating 42 healthy years compliments of her sister, Ruth—her zest for life burst through our phone connection. All the normalcy she’d enjoyed since the age of fifteen (when she received her sister’s life-saving gift), seemed a miracle. Freedom from a dialysis…

A Family Chain that Keeps on Giving

Family Chain

I first met Jeremiah Bartel through the National Kidney Foundation. After writing about him for an NKF Newsletter, my fondness for his entire family continued. So I pitched their remarkable solidarity to Gail Rosenblum at the Star Tribune. Well, she loves their story too (no surprise) and hired me to write it up for the…

Progress Starts with a Story

Progress Starts with a Story

In the next twelve months, I’ll be tackling publisher-assigned tasks for my forthcoming memoir. Still a long way off, but each step adds another tiny drop into a big bucket. My advocacy work requires a different type of patience—you put in lots of effort without ever holding pages in your hand. Here’s a confession; with…

All in the Family


What an honor to write stories about remarkable people for The National Kidney Foundation Newsletter. I’ve just finished a feature on a cheerful, generous man named Jeremiah Bartel. His story (his whole family’s story) is inspiring. Talk about solidarity. Talk about good karma in action. And who could have guessed that after our second interview……

Spinning Wheels

Spinning Wheels

“Did you bring the rope?” I ask Jane as I grab my skateboard. My friend loops the twine behind her bike seat and tosses it to me. She jumps on her bike while I hop on my board and grab the rope. Skateboard-surfing behind Jane is my favorite activity. I roll free as my ponytail…

One Word to Dramatically Reduce Stress and Improve Happiness

Reduce Stress

You’d enjoy more life balance and productivity in 2022, right? But, as always, you juggle a lot of balls. And people ask (often) if they can toss more into your mix. Of course, you want to say yes. You’re a nice person. A people pleaser. So, you catch another ball. And another. Now you resent…

Sharing a Mission and Shining a Light

Sharing A Mission

As part of my work with the National Kidney Foundation, I have the privilege of interviewing and writing about people connected to this cause. And I say privilege, because I meet some darn impressive people. Case in point, two go-getter medical students, Saumith and Pavan (20 and 19 years old respectively). This dynamic duo is…

Where there are Helpers, There is Hope

Where there are Helpers

How lucky is this? The National Kidney Foundation MN Blog has asked me to interview amazing people and write their stories. And this story? It’s incredibly heart warming. Especially now, when we are all ready to chuck 2020—the connection between Taylor Pikkarainen and sweet Bodie Hall is an uplifting reminder that good things happen in…

Law and Odor: Special Refrigerator Unit

Law and Odor

Last Wednesday I took a Humor Writing class from Wendi Aarons. Over the weekend I worked on this piece. Today, I’m happy to say Erma Bombeck Writer’s Blog published it. Note that the editor softened the two spicy words at the end with asterisks. Gotta say, it’s a ‘lil bit exciting to log my first…