Explore Jack’s Smack

One Way I Do NOT Recommend Finding Out If Your Teen Is Participating In Illicit Activities

donating platelets with my son

For the last couple of years, my now-18-year-old son has been donating platelets at the nearby hospital. He began at 16 with his father who is a regular donor. His dad created a wonderful father/son, help-save-a-life, outing and Aidan really took to it.  Even after a medical mistake, which left him with a debilitating bruise […]

The First of Many

first female VP - the first of many

I understand there is a great deal of controversy and divisiveness in our country — and in our world — today. “the rapid pace of technology shines an all-too-bright light on our differences” Personally, I can’t recall a period in my lifetime where the delta between viewpoints was greater. Not since the turbulence of the […]

The KUEL Connections Game: Making Joy For Myself And My People

A Game Everybody Wins

Earlier this week, Kay Newton, our Connections Expert, shared a game with us. She took a word — in her case, CONNECTIONS — and identified an individual for each letter. It was a way for her to pause and be grateful for the people in her life. Some of them current friends, some old, some […]

After 14 Years Of Tricks, I Finally Can See The Treat

the treat discovered this year

Right about the time my son was three I began hosting Halloween. Recently, separated from my son’s Dad, I felt a strong desire to normalize Aidan’s life. Or, that’s what I thought at the time. The benefit of hindsight and some paid couch time revealed that I was over-compensating.  On the surface, who cares that […]

How I Stopped The Manspreader With The Aircraft Safety Card

stop manspreader with aircraft safety card

A few years ago I was flying cross country. I had a middle seat and a fairly sizable man to my left and another to my right. I hate the middle seat. But, what I hate more is paying extra for the privilege of not having one. Airline pricing models are a pet peeve of […]

What I Learned About Myself While Held At Gunpoint

lesson learned at gunpoint

Nothing crystalizes our senses like a heightened dangerous situation. While traveling around the world in the late nineties, I was held at gunpoint, by two armed men, on a moving bus, in South America. If you’re wondering about the accuracy of any of the adages people throw around about dire situations; I am here to […]

Why I’ve Decided To Change My Name To Ruth

change my name to Ruth

Sometimes it takes losing something to thoroughly comprehend its full weight and importance. Ruth Bader Ginsberg has ‘always been there’ in my adult life. She, single-handedly made the world a much better place for women. And, men. Championing equal protection under the law for EVERYONE.  “She ‘Worked the System’.” RBG Legacy: Ok, she sneakily used […]

The ‘Under My Roof’ Nest Renovation

under this roof

It’s fall and many of us are experiencing the first-time empty nest, or the return to school/return home from the pandemic, symptoms.  My nest occupancy has not changed. I still have my son, part-time. From the outside, our nest structure is the same as it was 16 years ago when his Dad and I separated.  […]