Who I Met Today

Everyone has a story – Collecting & sharing interesting info, life lessons, & fun things to see & do from the wonderful people in our world

Ardys – Attitude and Socialization

The Orchid Series

A collection of interviews featuring inspiring humans over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of person I want to be when I grow up!

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Podcast – Brooke Jones – Random Acts of Kindness

In this episode, Brooke Jones and I discuss her role at The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and the resources her organization provides to communities, workplaces, families, and children. We also talk about the science behind kindness and how it affects the human brain, whether we give, receive, or witness kind gestures. She provides examples of how we can, in our everyday lives, lift each other up—and, as a result, feel better ourselves.

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Cody Durham – High-Rise Window Cleaning

Every few months, I hear a THUMP THUMP against the side of my 13th-story window. I pull back the drape and wave to the man (I’ve yet to see a woman!) dangling from the side of my building. He cleans and swipes, pausing to wave back, smile, and pose for a photo. “High-rise window cleaners see some crazy stuff,” says Cody Durham. “And, believe me, it’s hard not to look.”

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Favorite Travel Accessories

At 6 am on December 22, I handed a large duffel bag to the airport ticket agent. As she checked my bag, stuffed with Christmas presents and ski helmets and clothing to combat the minus twenty-degree temps I headed into, I casually asked the agent, Will Denver airport employees work outside in this weather?

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Podcast – Marci Houff – Ovarian Cancer Survivor

In this interview, ovarian cancer survivor Marci Houff and I discuss her surprising ovarian cancer diagnosis at a young age, the facts surrounding this sneaky and deadly disease, the steps she took to battle this cancer, the disease’s symptoms, and the non-profit she founded to spread information and awareness.

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How to Listen to a Podcast

Recently, I began to sheepishly tell friends about the project I’d been working on for the last several months. To supplement my blog, a podcast (also Who I Met Today) launches on January 13. As I spread the word, I received a mixed bag of comments. Outstanding! Congratulations! I don’t listen to podcasts. And over and over again I heard‚ from women—I don’t know how to listen to a podcast.

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Podcast – Cindy Burnett – Book Recommendations

In this episode, Cindy Burnett and I discuss her bookish podcast, Thoughts From a Page, five outstanding first-quarter book recommendations, other novels we’ve enjoyed, and much more.

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Shana Novak – The Heirloomist

On a recent flight, I flipped through a copy of Country Living magazine and came across a column called Everyday Heirlooms. The issue featured a stunning photograph of some well-loved L.L. Bean boots that looked like they’d experienced an adventure or two. The accompanying story intrigued me. And that’s how I discovered Shana Novak, aka The Heirloomist. 

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Angie Hester Cook – Life is a Celebration

When it’s just the two of us for dinner on a weekend night—or a holiday—I often pull out pretty dishes, paper mats, and delicate stemware and set a festive table. Fun place settings elevate the specialness of an ordinary Friday or Saturday evening. “Because,” according to Angie Hester Cook, “life is a celebration.”

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Gaili Schoen—Two Favorite Book Series

From Gaili: Hello, fellow book lovers! Happy 2023! One of our greatest gifts is to find wonderful reads that are a part of a book series. I have two favorite series I want to share with you today to start your 2023 reading life with joyful literary pleasure. Enjoy!

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Stocking Stuffers They’ll Appreciate

Several years ago, my son came home from college for the holidays. “My favorite part of Christmas is my stocking,” he announced at dinner one night. He went on to say he appreciated the useful surprises he discovered in his stocking. Items that had a purpose—and wouldn’t end up discarded with the torn and crinkled wrapping paper. 

Yikes, I thought, no pressure on me at all. 

Thanks to friends, readers, and family members, here is a round-up of fun ideas. Stocking stuffers the recipients will appreciate…

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Bubbles – The Orchid Series – A Yearly Activity

The Orchid Series

A collection of interviews featuring inspiring women over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of woman I want to be when I grow up!

In January, when Connie—Bubbles to all who know her—flips her calendar to 2023, she will begin another year of learning to do a new activity. Sixteen years ago, at 60, Bubbles created this fun challenge for herself. She isn’t yet sure what 2023’s project will be, but she’s already looking forward to it.  

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Anne Elizabeth McIntosh – Luxury Concierge

Several years ago, Anne Elizabeth McIntosh and I chatted on a sunny Florida beach. Ours was the polite conversation people have when neighboring umbrellas and beach chairs are close to one another. What book are you reading? Where are you from? We ran into each other again at the airport as we boarded the same flight back to Nashville. And once more on the parking lot shuttle bus.

Since then—via Instagram—I’ve watched Anne Elizabeth’s luxury concierge business sprout, grow, and flourish. What I’ve learned—if you want to know anything about Nashville, Anne Elizabeth is the one to call.

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Gaili Schoen – Three Mystery Recommendations

Hello, fellow book lovers! On this chilly Halloween weekend, what could be better than snuggling up with a good mystery? Whether you choose an audiobook, a paperback, or the digital version, I hope you find a novel here that piques your interest. May you get lots of treats this Halloween! Love, Gaili

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Brett Swayn – Training for Homeless Men

“You can’t spend a weekend with someone seriously ill and grasp what they’re going through,” says Brett Swayn. “I never understood the depths of despair homeless men face….until I was homeless myself.”

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Marty Pavelich – Hockey Player

The Orchid Series

A collection of conversations featuring inspiring humans over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of person I want to be when I grow up!  

How did I know, when I said hello to Marty Pavelich at a Colorado workout center, this almost 95-year-old dynamo would turn out to be one of my favorite people stories? With his wisdom, crinkly smile, and gift for storytelling, Marty makes anything in life seem possible. Whenever I plop my coffee or water bottle into my car’s cup holder, I’ll think of Marty…

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Raymond Roy – Newport Mansions

I’m hooked on HBO’s The Gilded Age. I adore peeking into the late 1800s and the opulent lives of America’s shipping, railroad, and coal mining magnates. I love the history, fashion, architecture, and those over-the-top homes.

Many of the industrial tycoons and their families lived in New York City. But for the summer season—all six weeks of it—they packed up their trunks and gowns and escaped to their “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Lynda Loigman – The Matchmaker’s Gift

During the pandemic, Lynda Loigman’s daughter and her Harvard roommate came home to upstate New York. “Like everyone else, we all worked during the days, had dinner together, and congregated around the television at night,” says Lynda. One evening, after they’d watched Indian Matchmaking, the roommate mentioned her grandmother had been a Jewish matchmaker in New York.

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Kelley Teckman – Food Stylist

A few years ago, I had lunch with an author who was in Nashville to promote her new cookbook. I wondered, after a late night flight, how she’d organized and prepared the dishes she’d cooked on an early morning television program. “Oh no, the food stylists do all that,” the author said. And I wanted to learn more.

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Tavia Gilbert – Audiobook Narrator

Not long ago, I began reading a book by one of my favorite authors. But, because of characters with names I couldn’t pronounce and descriptions that rambled on and on, I couldn’t get into the story. As much as the subject matter intrigued me, I gave up. 

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Rachel Marks – Ketubah Designer

In 2009, when Rachel Marks and her husband married, the young Jewish couple struggled to find the perfect ready-made ketubah. “There weren’t many options back then, and the artwork was more traditional than we wanted,” says Rachel. So, the trained landscape painter designed a ketubah as a keepsake of their special day. 

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Five Fun Things in Newport, Rhode Island

Recently, my husband and I slipped away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Our first getaway in a long while with no traveling partners, business calls, or grandchildren. Just us.

We began in Boston (although Providence is a good starting point also) and meandered our way down to Newport—a 1 ½- to 2-hour drive through quaint towns and seaside villages. Newport makes for the perfect couples’ or girls’ trip, and it’s easy to explore on your own too. Another bonus? In summer, the hydrangeas are in full bloom.

For lovers of history, architecture, good food, and beautiful scenery, Newport offers something for all…

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Hassan Sharaff – Hydroponic Farming

Hassan Sharaff had “no gardening experience whatsoever” when he and his dad built a greenhouse in their suburban New York backyard. While he experimented—on a small scale—with growing crops in water, he researched hydroponic farming and developed his business plan. 

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Gaili Schoen and Two Summer Reads

Gaili here, and I’m excited to tell you about a couple of summer reads I’ve enjoyed! I love the phrase summer reads; the light-reading books to read as you sip a cold drink or listen to on a morning walk.

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Hunter Gibbes – The Maze Man of Sunset Beach

Years ago, sandcastle-building kids in Sunset Beach, North Carolina nicknamed Hunter Gibbes. His moniker? The Maze Man. A celebrity in this part of the world, Hunter is a big part of the Brunswick Islands’—a chain of five barrier islands—charm.

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Jamie Pope – Nutrition Expert

Years ago, it seemed easier to shed an extra pound or two when the bathroom scale numbers crept up, or the jeans grew harder to zip. I’d cut back on snacks and sweets, and the weight would fall off. Ha! Not any more. When those excess pounds latch on, they do not want to leave—no matter how hard I try.

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Katy McAvoy and Two Summer Mocktails

I’m always excited when restaurants include signature mocktails on their menus. Although I enjoy a good drink with alcohol, sometimes I’d rather skip the spirits. Yes, I can order sparkling water or soda, but a colorful drink in a pretty glass seems more festive.

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Five Fun Things in Boston

I love Boston. The city is small-ish, walkable, clean, and loaded with interesting sights, great food, and history. Recently, I tagged along with my husband on a work trip. It was a perfect time of the year to visit—sunny spring weather, blooming tulips, flowering trees. I cannot wait to go back! Here are a few fun things I discovered…

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Gaili Schoen and Two Book Reviews

Meet Gaili Schoen, a new contributor to Who I Met Today!

A native Southern Californian and UCLA alum, Gaili spent two dreamy years songwriting, exploring Europe, and playing piano in a London rock band. When she returned home to LA, she composed music for film, commercials, and documentaries (like “Life: Through A Lens” featuring Annie Leibovitz) in her home studio, complete with soundproof chambers.

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Betty – Is Curiosity the Secret?

The Orchid Series

A collection of interviews featuring inspiring women over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of woman I want to be when I grow up!  

Assuming decent health and a side of good luck, what can we do to enhance our older years? How do we stay sharp so we can continue doing what we love to do? I’ve talked with some remarkable women, and their common denominator—their secret sauce—is curiosity. In their 70s, 80s, and 90s, these women maintain a zest for life and all that surrounds them.

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