Broken Speed Dial

River Oak Review

Originally in River Oak Review.

Ellen's Grandmother

“What’s the problem?” I ask, inspecting the over-sized numbers on the phone.

“I can’t see in my right eye,” my ninety-one year old grandmother says. “It’s just a cloud.”

“When did this happen?” I ask, placing salad bowls in front of us on her small dining table.

“A week ago maybe,” she says. “The doctor thinks he can fix it.”

I struggle to comprehend. She tells me the doctors say she may have some kind of degenerative arthritis syndrome, one that can be connected to another disease that makes you go blind.

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Foodies In The Woods

Boulder Lifestyle

Boulder Lifestyle 2/14.

Climbers on a rock

I am not a foodie. I have food poisoned myself, realized after six months in a new condo that the oven didn’t work, and over-cooked canned chowder so badly it exploded like foam out of a fire extinguisher on lifting the pot lid.

Within the first few months of dating my eventual husband, he invited me on a camp-out in the mountains with his college friends. There was just one caveat.

“There’s a food contest,” he said, eyeing me skeptically.

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Wine Tasting 101

Boulder Lifestyle

Appeared in Boulder Lifestyle Magazine 8/13.

Ellen and her sister, wine tasters

At the university I attended, there was a school of hotel management. One of the most popular courses amongst non-hotel students was “Introduction to Wines.” We liberal arts and engineering majors snickered like fifth graders taking a second-grade spelling test. Rumor had it you sat in a huge lecture hall and sampled wines all afternoon. How hard could that be?

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