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Diana DeregnierRSS Feed of this column.

As a lifelong student of human nature, less interested in degrees than consciousness, I write about social and psychological issues relevant to our complex society. Rather than proselytize, I

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Chocolate toffee came to America from England in the 1920s with Heath, Hammond, and Jane Royce who made the treat from an old family recipe for family and friends. When her time came, Jane took the highly coveted recipe with her to her grave, and that would have been the end of the story had it not been for her daughter Betty Burns who became determined to revive the tradition and her great-granddaughter, Stephanie Rush, who decided to share the treat, though not the recipe, with the rest of us with the online and wholesale business Rushburn Toffee Company.
book coverTheodor Seuss Geisel lit up the heart of every child of any age with his pointed stories and imaginative drawings, and did you know that he wrote one for the more advanced-in-years? No, not "Oh the Places You'll Go." Dr. Seuss's gift to himself in 1986 for his 82nd birthday was  "You're Only Old Once: a Book for Obsolete Children."
More than a decade ago, Jackie Speier, Jan Yanehiro, Michealene Critini Risley and Deborah Collins Stephens forged a relationship to meet in mutual support. These women credit the friendship and network that included other women of like mind, heart and tenacity as crucial to their subsequent personal and professional stability and triumph. In 2007, the four applied their insight and skills to write "This is not the life I ordered: 50 ways to keep your head above water when life keeps dragging you down," Conari Press.

In the spirit of Halloween, it seems most appropriate to share Annette Child's encounters with the afterlife.

Margaret Borwhat co-founded the Women's Cancer Advocacy Network (WCAN) in 1997 while waging her own fight against the disease. This resolute woman was a powerhouse to the end and though she peacefully succumbed in body in 2006, her spirit took up the banner for a new dimension of the crusade. She wants us to know that this life is not all there is. And, much to his chagrin, Margaret left her skeptical husband, Don, with an undeniable "foo foo" experience that was the first of endless pranks to prove to him there is an afterlife.

Take a centuries-old system of personalities charted in a nine point diagram called the Enneagram, mix it with modern psychology and nonsectarian spiritual ideas, and you have a means for understanding ourselves and others that prompts compassionate and empathetic behavior.

The Enneagram has undergone a renewal of scholarly attention in the last decade. Helen Palmer, co-founder of Enneagram Worldwide and the Enneagram Professional Training Program considers the system crucial and promising in uniting psychological and spiritual insight and awareness.

It was a dark and stormy night in the Black Hawk condo complex of Saint Lucifer, California. Okay, it wasn't storming, it was balmy; and it wasn't Black Hawk, it was Bahia Vista in San Rafael, California, not Saint Lucifer; and it wasn't quite dark, but the sun was setting.