Return from the Blogging Sabbatical


Hello faithful readers. Thank you for remaining on my list. It has been a big year for me.

I took the blogging year off to start a new business: a French bakery and bistro called Bonjour. Random, you might say, and on one level you would be right. However, I have been a Francophile nearly all my life, and it is something I had long thought about doing. It was a tremendous project for one who had never run a restaurant.

Oddly, the project is deeply intertwined with the hospital where I work. And yes, I am still working full time in medicine. Bonjour is very close to all the medical facilities, and for many adjacent offices, it is in walking distance. We serve staff, patients, and administrators, as well as local professionals on the lunch hour. We feed people who are getting chemo and radiation, and, truly, we comfort the bereaved.

We certainly celebrate. We are all about the big life cycle events.

So, I will be blogging again, despite full time work in Ob/Gyn, and the Bakery, which is fully staffed. However, my blogging will be different. It will be a bit less regimented. There will be some different topics. In particular, I will be blogging about my writing.

I have been planning to write for some time, and that time is now. I have working on clinical stories, and even some fiction. My goal is about 1000 words per day on average. Feel free to hold me to it.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Meanwhile, check out Bonjour at

@bonjourbakeryandbistro on both Facebook and Instagram.

They say that having a project is good for the health. If that is true I should be immortal.

Structure Sunday: The Structure of a Hobby

Who could have imagined that the love of horses could lead to so many good things. 

When I was a child, I was enamored of horses. I always asked my parents to let me have a pony ride at the fair. When my family moved into the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California, horses became a major part of my world. You see, all the homes were situated around a network of riding trails and riding rings that were maintained by the city. Every house had a stable, and every family a rider or two. I got some riding lessons locally and really liked it. My parents and I decided this would be my sport and that we would pursue it as a family. 

I was accepted by an established trainer and he obtained a proper quarter horse. We trained until we were ready to show. It required about an hour and half drive out of town each way, and we did it at least four days per week. I did my homework in the car. When I arrived, I would train for several hours each time. It was dusty, intense and stressful, but I liked it nonetheless. Eventually I showed with my stable, all up and down the Pacific Coast in what was then called the Pacific Coast Hunter Jumper Stock Horse Association circuit.  It required a lot of time away from school which was hard. 

Riding has a way of building you up, no matter how hard it is. You learn tolerance: tolerance for your trainer, tolerance for your parents, and tolerance for your horse. You learn tolerance for the invariably bad weather, like intractable rain making muddy arenas, or broiling dusty heat in the Indio sun. You learn to control your fear and steel yourself as you wait to enter the competitors ring. Nowadays we call this distress tolerance. 

You learn to win, and you learn to lose. You are being trained, but at the same time you are training yourself. You have a chance to meet a great goal by meeting lesser ones along the way and you learn right away the winning takes a long long time and more work than you imagined.

I truly believe everybody should have a chance to pursue something seriously. I think all children especially should be raised knowing that they will be taught many things, and that when they find one that is special to them that they will be encouraged and even expected to learn it well. When young children attend classes for hobbies like ballet, music, riding or marital arts, or when they play sports like soccer or football, they learn that success requires practice over time. 

These traits of distress tolerance, perseverance, courage, and ability to work on a goal are key for success in life. I believe hobbies right from childhood foster these priceless traits. 

When I attended the horse show at Rebecca Farm today, I thought a lot about my horse show days. I was full of pride for all the riders and all they had accomplished. I hope you will go out and attend such sporting and arts events in your community. More than that, I hope parents will introduce their children to something inspiring they can pursue. 

For more information, see rebeccafarm.org