Long-time community diabetes activist, diabetes policy advocate and blogger, mother and wife, Christel Marchand Aprigliano believes that to live optimally with a chronic illness, you have to have support from friends, family and peers who live with the day to day, moment to moment challenge of facing something that never goes away.

Usually I write a blog about the phenomenal women I have the privilege of interviewing.  As I was preparing for my interview with Christel, I came across a hypothetical letter she wrote to her younger self, when she was first diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at age 12.  Here it is:


September, 2013

Dear Christel,

You knew what the doctor would say when she stood in the doorway of the examining room, staring at the expedited lab work. The checklist in Time magazine you’d read in class a week earlier gave you all the clues. (And sweetie, you really should have been studying.) You’d mentally checked every box next to the symptoms that warned “you might have diabetes.”

Now it’s confirmed, but you have no idea what that really means. Mom and Dad do, however, so the crying and whispering to each other are justified. You all will never be the same.

Sorry about all that candy that you won’t be able to eat, left in the pastel Easter basket and soon to be thrown away while you’re at Joslin Clinic. It’s a big bummer to be diagnosed the day after Easter. I’ll let you in on a secret: Years from now, you will enjoy chocolate and candy in small quantities. Not that sugar-free junk that is a waste of carbohydrates and only makes your stomach sound like a garbage disposal, but the good stuff.

It’s going to be rough for a while. You and your parents are on the steepest learning curve you’ll ever experience. There’s an expression: “drinking from a fire hose.” You’ll have your lips wrapped around that hose for a good, long time. You, Mom, and Dad will sit in classes with other shell-shocked patients and parents, wondering if the universe will collapse under the weight of all that knowledge.

Eventually, you’ll get into the swing of things, and it will feel as if everything is almost back to normal, except for the shots and the testing and the measuring and weighing of every tiny morsel of food. I’m telling you now: It’s not. It’s not normal, and even 30 years from now it won’t be. But I am here to tell you that it gets better.

Here are important things to know:

  • That lady you will meet in the patient lobby at Joslin Clinic with the backpack thingy? It’s called an insulin pump. It gives you freedom: to eat when you want, sleep in, take extra insulin when you need it and less when you don’t. Pumps will get a lot smaller over the next 30 years, and you will wonder how you ever lived without one. You will wait until 1999 to get a pump, but it will be worth it.
  • People who give you that pitying look or tell you horrific stories about someone they know with diabetes? You will quickly school them, but you will be nice about it. You’ll smile when you tell them the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes (or whatever they’re called, because the names keep changing) and that you know a lot of people who are healthy with this disease. Smile even though you want to kick them in the teeth.
  • You will “diagnose” four people in the next 30 years, because they come to you asking questions about their symptoms. (Sorry, you are not a doctor. Remember that fear of needles and blood? Never goes away.) They will come to you because eventually you will not be afraid to tell the world you have diabetes. There will be a time in your teens when you want to keep it a secret. There will be a time when you lie about your blood sugars to your parents and your doctors. You will regret that later. You will also regret a lot of other things, including that one night … . Oh, never mind. You’ll find out.
  • Food will be an issue for you. You know how much you like pizza and bagels? They are not your friends. Neither is tequila. I’m warning you now, but you won’t heed most of this. Thirty years from now, you will try to keep your blood sugars in range when you eat these items, but you still won’t have it figured out. (Although you will get close. Dual wave bolus. Yeah, you have no idea what I mean, but that’s OK.)
  • Complications will happen to you, but you will consider yourself lucky that they are “fixable” ones. You will also consider yourself invincible for a while, which is perhaps why the complications will develop in the first place. You will feel guilty for what you do—and don’t do—and you will hate yourself. Love yourself. Please. You have one body and you’ll need to love it as much as possible for the rest of a long (crossing fingers) life.
  • Why? Because someday (and I’m not telling you when, because there has to be some mystery), you will meet a funny, sweet, and sexy man who thinks that you are also funny, sweet, and sexy. And he won’t care that you have a chronic illness. He will stick by you when you are sick and watch over you when you are low. I’ll give you a hint: It’s not that guy you currently have a crush on. He’ll become a loser who uses steroids. Eewww. Second hint: It’s not Michael J. Fox. He’ll still be hot, and he’ll have his own health issues one day.
  • Diabetes technology will get better, but you won’t think it happens fast enough. Lancets will hurt for a long time, needles won’t get shorter for years, and some technology will downright fail. But life will improve, and there will be great things on the horizon.
  • When someone tells you a cure is only “five to 10 years away,” just nod. You will believe this for five years. You will believe this for 10 years. You will stop believing, but you will never stop hoping. And that’s what will keep millions of us going in our darkest hours: hope.
  • You don’t know any other people with diabetes right now. You’ll meet some at Joslin, but you won’t get close to anyone. There are camps, but your parents will want you to not feel different, so they’ll send you to camps with “healthy” kids. To this day, I have no idea how you survived—and I’m talking about the bugs. You hate them. You still do.
  • But one day, you will know a lot of people with diabetes. You will meet them via computer (not the one Dad uses for work in the basement that you play Zork and Adventure on and create simple Basic programs with). You will meet them in person. They will welcome you into their homes and their lives. You will laugh with them and cry with them. You will share your deepest fears, and they will not placate you or blow you off, because they will have the same fears. They will become part of your family. Embrace that. I only wish you had found them sooner.

Thirty years from now, you will sit in front of a computer, staring out into a rainy afternoon, grateful to be who you are and wishing you could have heard all this after your first insulin injection in the ER. I’m not sure it would have helped, but it couldn’t have hurt.

And the one thing I really wish you knew?

That class you will take at Joslin, where they will tell you that someday you can have a successful pregnancy?

They will be right.


All my love,


For more information about Christel go to her blog http://theperfectd.com

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_11-30 Corinne – Christal – diabetes_PROGRAMS






How did a barnacled boat touch so many lives of people from an ocean away and give hope and courage to two tsunami vulnerable cities and bring together two cultures who found out they had more in common than they thought?

This beautifully illustrated bilingual children’s book tells the true story of the small boat swept away by the March 2011 Japan tsunami that was found in April 2013 on Crescent Beach and started an exchange between high school students in Japan and Crescent City.

On April 7, 2013, a little over two years after the magnitude 9 Japan earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of northeastern Japan, a lone boat washed up on the shores of Crescent City, California. The confirmation of the boat as belonging to Takata High School in the city of Rikuzentakata was first step in an amazing story that has connected two tsunami-vulnerable cities.


Dr. Lori Dengler, an expert in tsunami science and hazard mitigation, first visited Rikuzentakata six weeks after the tsunami as part of a post-tsunami reconnaissance effort. She continued to follow recovery efforts through the Rikuzentakata Facebook page. Two years later, Dengler was one of the experts called to examine a small barnacle- encrusted boat that beached in Crescent City. Japanese characters painted on the boat linked it to Rikuzentakata and Dengler posted its picture on the city’s Facebook page.

Amya Miller managed the Rikuzentakata Facebook page at the time. Ms. Miller was born and raised in Japan. After the March 2011 earthquake, she returned to Japan to volunteer as an interpreter to provide post-disaster assistance. She became the Special Adviser to the City of Rikuzentakta, facilitating communications between the tsunami-ravaged city and international media and aid organizations. After seeing Dengler’s boat photo on the Facebook page, she was able to quickly connect the boat found in Crescent City to the one lost by Takata High School. When a group of Del Norte High students wanted to raise funds to send the boat back to Japan, Miller was able to facilitate the return and initiate exchanges between the two high schools.

When asked why write a chidren’s book, Dengler who was the recipient of HSU’s 2008 Scholar of the year award and has authored more than 70 professional papers responded, “When a story as extraordinary as Kamome comes along, one has to do whatever you can to move it forward. This tough little boat that went all the way across the ocean and came back to Japan. It is a positive story of survival and hope that everyone can relate to.”

Amy Uyeki, an Arcata artist, was the last onboard of the three collaborators. She created the illustrations and the layout for the Extraordinary Journey of Kamome. Uyeki, a mixed media artist, had produced published works of her artwork, but this was her first foray into children’s book art. She was familiar with the story, having read about the beached boat in Crescent City and its subsequent return to Japan. After reading the initial draft of the story and watching a Facebook account of the actual events, she was immediately drawn into the project.

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_TTEOW 11-23 Kamome_program

Author Lori Dengler & Illustrator Amy Uyeki at a book signing

Author Lori Dengler & Illustrator Amy Uyeki at a book signing


Follow THE EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGE OF KAMOME; A TSUNAMI BOAT COMES HOME and it’s tale on their Facebook page kamomeboat

or http://www.humboldt.edu/kamome



Is preschool important? What can preschool do for your child? If you are a parent, relative or friend of a 3-5 year old, and have decided that yes, preschool is a vital stepping stone, then how do you decide what’s the best fit?

Robin Renshaw started the Mad River Montessori Preschool 30 years ago and has never looked back.  Some of her IMG_2757first students are now adults with families themselves, enrolling their own children at Mad River Montessori.

What makes Montessori schools unique? As Robin puts it, the curriculum she designed based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy emphasizes the “4 R’s – Responsibility, Respect, Resourcefulness” which are all necessary to ultimately allow a child to be “Resilient.”  Resilience is what we need to adapt and cope with the challenges and obstacles that life presents as we grow.  How are these qualities instilled? If you visit a Montessori classroom, you’ll note an ordered clutter.  All the activities look like play and to a child, they are play.  If you look more closely, all the activities are designed to enhance exploration, self-esteem, curiosity and cooperation. For a child play is work, work is play and that touches the inner drive that children have to learn.IMG_6862

After attending an orientation at Mad River Montessori, hearing Robin speak, and observing the 4 Montessori teachers, Julie, Sam, Joey and Linda nurture and guide the children in class I looked back at my toddler years and only wished that I had had this amazing opportunity to participate in such a positive first school experience.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding and that’s a resounding “yes!” to the question “Did you have a good day in school today?”

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_TTEOW 11-16 Renshaw and Corinne_program

Hendrik (2)

To Be Female Is To Fight All Kinds Of Trouble With All Kinds Of Strength

Named by the Guardian as one of our top ten writers of rural noir, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a keen observer of life and trouble in rural images-1America, and her working-class protagonists can be at once vulnerable, wise, cruel, and funny. The strong but flawed women of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters must negotiate a sexually charged atmosphere as they love, honor, and betray one another against the backdrop of all the men in their world. Such richly fraught mother-daughter relationships can be lifelines, anchors, or they can sink a woman like a stone.

Bonnie Jo Campbell’s writing has been described as like: rusted razor blades, damaged but still sharp enough to draw blood. Her stories in Mothers, Tell Your Daughters capture the way power&weakness, sadness&hilarity, love&hate meld together and ignite our lives.

Inspired by folks in her hometown of Comstock, Michigan, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is the latest book of short stories. Her other works include: Once Upon a River, Q Road ,and Women and Other Animals. Bonnie Jo was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction for her critically acclaimed short-story collection American Salvage.


Bonnie Jo Campbell teaches fiction at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon in the low-residency MFA program. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband, raises mules, practices Koburyu kobudo, and has led adventures tours in Russia and the Baltics.

For more info on Bonnie Jo visit http://www.bonniejocampbell.com


To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_TTEOW 11-9-15_feature

jillbialosky-mediumJill Bialosky is a poet, novelist and essayist.  She studied for her undergraduate degree at Ohio University and received a Master of Arts degree from the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.  Her poems and essays appear in The New Yorker, O Magazine, Paris Review, The Nation, The New Republic, Kenyon Review and American Poetry Review among others.  She has received a number of awards including the Elliot Coleman Award in Poetry.  She is currently an editor at W. W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.prize-medium

Her new novel The Prize explores the intersection of commerce and art through the personal and professional struggles of a New York art gallerist, Edward Darby.  Edward loves art and is fascinated by the process of creating art.  He also loves is wife and daughter, but his interactions with a new client and an old acquaintance have him questioning everything about his existence.  When asked whether Edward is going through a mid-life crisis, Jill candidly responded that she hates that term.  Listen in to hear what else she has to say.

To learn more about Jill Bialosky visit her website www.jillbialosky.com.

To listen to and/or download Kathleen’s conversation with Jill just click the following link:     11-2-2015 Kathleen_Jill Bialosky

IMG_635920001_TTEOW Emma & Mary GelinasMost of us have people we can consult as we make our way along our career path. Sometimes we have formal mentors, sometimes we are lucky enough to have a few wise friends and colleagues with the time and will to offer guidance. But who mentors the boss? Is a leader supposed to know everything and need no further education? Nah. The Cascadia Center for Leadership offers small, intensive programs to help leaders grow their skills and become better community contributors, better collaborators, and better networkers. Does this spell the end of unproductive workplace meetings, ambiguous goals and vague feedback? You bet it does! Cascadia Co-Director and independent CCL 2015consultant Mary Gelinas gives us a glimpse inside this renowned program and explains that you, yes you, still have time to apply to participate.  For more information, you may wish to visit http://www.cascadialeadership.org and http://www.humboldt.edu/locc.
What Gelinas does not mention in this episode is that next summer you will be able to buy and read her new book, How We Talk Matters: Saving the World Through Brain Science, Mindful Presence and Effective Process.  Gelinas says, “Our need to talk better together has never been geinas heaadshotgreater. We no longer have time for unproductive and damaging discussions that lead to stalemate, destructive compromises, or downright bad decisions. The future need not be a place we march
towards blindly; instead it can be a place we create together through our interactions.”
Learn more about Mary Gelinas, management philosphy, and the consulting firm she runs with her husband, at www.gelinasjames.com.
To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link:


Graduating from  Eureka High School in Humboldt County, Shanti Sattler made the globe her itinerary.  While majoring in  international relations and peace and justice at Tufts University, Shanti  found her passion for national and international social and economic justice. During the summer of 2005, she worked with renowned author, psychologist, and former commissioner on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Dr. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, in Cape Town, South Africa, assisting with her research on perpetrator remorse and reintegration into post-apartheid society. In 2006, she served on the international student planning committee of the second Women as Global Leaders conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Shanti joined the International Center for Conciliation in January of 2006, where she worked for two years in Phnom Penh developing and implementing historical conciliation projects with rural Khmer Rough 10474206_712472522121910_3168486995383335204_nsurvivors around the country.   She writes “I gained profound inspiration and perspective from all of the incredible people I met in Cambodia.”

After Cambodia she lived in Central Mexico working with an organization that is developing agriculture related social and environmental projects.  Somewhere between then and now and in between she has traveled to Malawi, Burundi, Northern Uganda, Southern Thailand, East Timor always working on and participating in projects to promote social and economic development, cultivating participatory dialogue between historically antagonistic parties and honoring individual and group identities.

Shanti is a 2011 graduate of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. Her Master’s dissertation focused on the development of international criminal law based on the work of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). The United Nations War Crimes Commission was a little-known United Nations agency which was created in 1943 to classify and identify Axis war crimes and to assist in the prosecution of war criminals.

For some unknown reason, the United Nations War Crimes Commission’s records documenting the birth of modern international criminal law have been neglected for nearly 70 years.  Shanti and her advisor, Dr. Dan Plesch uncovered many of these documents and the information that they have disseminated is most relevant to the current discussion of torture. The documents show that the United States’ definition of torture in World War II, when it was used by Germany and Japan,  was very different than the one the Central Intelligence Agency has been using since 9/11. Shanti and her advisor found that the UNWCC archive had multiple examples of the United States charging Japanese soldiers and prison guards with war crimes for waterboarding prisoners “Today, nearly 70 years later, the concept of torture has become a debate in the United States,” says Sattler. “The United States must recognize the principles of international humanitarian law that we as a nation helped to develop.” Shanti is the assistant director of the War Crimes project.  For more information you can go to http://www.unwcc.org.

Here’s what Shanti lists as her areas of expertise: Agriculture, conflict resolution, development, dialogue, diplomacy, human rights, organizational development, peacebuilding, social entreprenuership.

I never did get to ask her what she packed when she traveled and how she avoided traveler’s fatigue.

For all that Shanti has done, she claims that “I’ve received more than I’ve given.”

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: 20001_TTEOW 10-19 Shanti Sattler_feature

When her daughter graduated high school, Becky Blades collected all those last minute nuggets of motherly wisdom that occur to a parent when their kid has one foot out the door, and sent them to her daughter as a long email. Not long after, with the encouragement of her kids and family, Blades expanded her email into an illustrated book of life advice for young adults called “Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone.”


The dire title seems quite reasonable when Blades explains it, that if we walk around town  in our second best clothes while our favorites lie neglected and smelly in a hamper, we may not have the confidence we need to capture that dream date, dream job, dream situation, when those opportunities present themselves.

Blades’ advice to newly minted grownups quickly extends outside the home and into the world of practical finances, dating, driving, grammar, etiquette and psychology (“#36: A Bad Attitude Makes Your Butt Look Big”) all accompanied by her own mixed media collage art and nary an eyeroll nor a sigh of “kids today.”

Blades talks to Through The Eyes Of Women about the evolving definition of adulthood and the nature of giving and receiving advice, and whether the kids really are all right.

Is your favorite outfit clean right now?

To learn more about Becky Blades go to her website www.beckybladesart.com.

To listen to and/or download Emma’s conversation with Becky Blades click the following link:     6-2-2104 Emma Becky Blades




We are who we are, or are we?  We’re learning that there are about 100 trillion microbes in and on our bodies, outnumbering human cells 10 to 1. But as Laura Cox tells us, we don’t need to worry cause as many microbes as inhabit our shell, they only make up about 3-4 pounds of our body weight as adults. It appears that they exert an influence on our health as great and possibly even greater than the genes we inherit from our parents. By far, the largest contingent of these microbial beings live in our gut.

AS-277712338997256@1443223189295_lLaura Cox has spent a large part of her life studying microbes. Working in a lab at the Langone Medical Center at New York University,  she found that a brief, low dose of antibiotics shortly after birth can have long-lasting consequences on the gut microbes in mice and lead to obesity later in life.  Although this study was limited to mice the results agree with multiple other studies pointing toward significant effects on children exposed to antibiotics early in life. At this time, the average child in the United States receives 10 courses of the drugs by the age of 10.  It appears that the nature of our gut microbiome is contributing to the current obesity epidemic.  Does this mean that we capitulate to the trillions of bacteria living in our gut while we grab a donut or add a second scoop of ice cream to that sundae?

The composition of our microbiome evolves throughout our entire life, from birth to old age, and is the result of many different environmental influences – the foods we eat, the drugs we take, how and where we work and play, whether we were breastfed or formula fed, whether we were born vaginally or via a caesarian, where we live and who we live with.  And the composition of our microbiome influences our body habitus, our behavior, our immune system, our health. There was a time not so long ago that we didn’t even know that invisible microbes existed, to a more recent belief that it was us against them, to the beginnings of an understanding that these microbes govern and define who we are. Laura’s work contributes to the growing body of knowledge about the ecology of our microbiome and ways in which we can improve our own health.

So who’s writing this blog-me or my microbiome?   gutbugs310

To listen to and or download this segment click the following link.

Amy_Stewart_Delightful_Eye_Photography_3800_Cropped_WebEureka, CA author Amy Stewart is known around the world as the author of non-fiction books; funny explorations of plants and gardening such as The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential.  Her first published novel (she has others, un-published, stashed away in various places) was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on September 1, 2015. Girl Waits With Gun is a work of historical fiction based on the real-life Kopp sisters of New Jersey.  Amy accidently ran across an article about the eldest Kopp sister, Miss Constance, while researching her last book, The Drunken Botanist.



The title Girl Waits With Gun, is ripped straight from an actual 1915 newspaper headline.  Amy describes her new book as a fun romp, filling out the story of the Kopp sisters and their head-on collision with a drunken and corrupt silk-mill owner in 1914.  Constance, the main character of the book, stands up for herself and her family in remarkable ways for a lady of that era.

And Amy plans to keep the Kopp sisters in the public eye with more adventures on the way.

Her Eureka, CA book event, the 21st in a 26 event tour, will take place at the Eureka Theater on Saturday October 3, 2015 at 5:00 PM.  Amy has invented a cocktail true to the New Jersey setting of Girl Waits With Gun.  The New Jersey Automobile made with New Jersey applejack, jam for, as Amy says, “a little sweetness and color,” topped off with champagne will be available at the event, along with a slide show and book signing.

To listen to and/or download Kathleen’s conversation with Amy click the following link:       9-28-2015 Kathleen_Amy Stewart 




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