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  Preserve summer 


The market stalls are bursting with produce. It seems as though everywhere I turn there is an abundance of riotously colored vegetables and fruit. The possibilities seem endless—so much food, so little time. I am happy this time of year in the market. I feel blessed to live near so many farmers and shoppers who share enthusiasm for high quality, local produce.

But, like all good things, this too will end. The season won’t taper off slowly and gracefully. One day not too far from this moment it will just end. The vines will simply not produce any more. The weather will turn cold and the party will be over. I like to hang on to remnants of summer and look to preserving some of the bounty. It is at this time of year, I start canning and pickling.

Refrigerator pickles are quick and simple. Click here for recipe. 


 Two feet, Two legs, Two worlds, Two selves— One life  


So here we are— 11 weeks post-treatment, eight weeks post-infection, six weeks post-reconnection with the outside world. It feels great to be back, but I am not really back. So where exactly am I? And who exactly is this?

I feel as if I am living in Gumby’s over-stretched body. I have one foot planted in the life that I used to lead, that is familiar, cancer-free, routine, and safe. The other foot is planted in a new life that is unfamiliar, cancerous, exciting, and frightening.

Two legs, two feet, two worlds, two selves, that are sprinting and walking in vehemently opposed directions.


 Behind the Wheel…of the Wienermobile  


Photo credit: Michael Weschler 

 Like many women, Robin Gelfenbien experienced bullying during her younger years. But Gelfenbien found redemption in the most unconventional of places: behind the steering wheel of Oscar Meyer’s Wienermobile.

During her freshman year at Syracuse University, Gelfenbien was endlessly taunted and harassed by a group of boys. Although she eventually reported them and the bullying stopped, the rest of her college experience was permanently tarnished. Committed to her education, she stayed at school but suffered from low self-esteem and retreated into a shell of her typically outgoing self.

Along came the Wienermobile, and with it, a new beginning. Recruited during her senior year of college, Gelfenbien knew she had been meant for the job. But never could she have predicted that the experience would impact her life as profoundly as it did.

Almost twenty years later, the Jewish comedian documents her story in the critically-acclaimed one-woman comedy show, My Salvation Has a First Name: A Wienermobile Journey, coming to Chicago in September as part of the Chicago Fringe Festival.


 Around the world   


A few years ago, Lisa Lubin made a radical change. She quit her cushy TV producing job at ABC7 Chicago, sold her car and belongings, broke up with her boyfriend, and left the United States behind to travel around the world solo for 'one' year. She worked and traveled, and three years later, unpacked her bag in Chicago. Now she's building a new lifestyle and business, thanks to her travels and new perspective on life. 


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