“Learn how to pause, listen, reflect, respond and respectfully disagree in a conversation.”

“Learn how to hang up your cell phone, iPod or tech device and interact with the people around you.”


“Imagine if we talked about death like we talked about politics, religion, entertainment, and insurance quotes.  

Speaking about death, laughing at it, even celebrating it could end up being the fabric that weaves us together.”


“Fear and faith took turns in my psyche throughout the next two years.  I learned to be still.  

I believe God knows what we need, and when we are very very quiet and reflect,

we can see and hear the reasons for most things in life.”

“With wisdom I look back at this ever present fear and see that the moment of death was not

the scariest part, but rather the process of the declining health of my parents.”


Writing has been a hobby of mine from a child. I find that once I write about something, it becomes clearer. It is the way I process things in my world. I like to write.

Culinary Creations

From minimal professional training, being in the kitchen and creating wonderful meals from great ingredients is one of my greatest joys. I love the mental preparation, growing and shopping for great vegetables, the actual process and of course enjoying what I create with great friends.

Residential Designer

In my hiatus of teaching in Michigan and then again in Charlotte, I pursued an education in Residential Design and Architecture. I opened my business, MSZ Designs, LLC in 2008 and enjoy helping solve the “puzzle” of making a living space, functional.


Trixie’s Diner was published in 2010. It takes the reader through the journey of caring for the terminally ill at home.

99 Things a Student needs to Learn before Graduating from High School is a resource for those from middle school to college age and beyond. It fills in the gaps and offers suggestions for a well-rounded education.


Taking pictures of my designs, culinary excursions, vacations and especially my labradoodle will be flooding this site.


My culinary interests are varied. Italian cuisine is part of my heritage and therefore, takes the forefront in my culinary repertoire; however, I enjoy great recipes for everything from great soups and stews, salads and meats and poultry. I also enjoy baking artisanal and yeast breads.

Morning Inspirations

I write best in the morning. Seize the morning, seize the day! I find that I sometimes write in my head while driving and when I get to my computer, it sometimes loses some of its umph in the time travel, but I do enjoy writing and blogging and find this site a great avenue to share my thoughts.