Linda Steil

A trick-or-treating checklist to keep your little horrors safe
With Halloween and an evening of trick-or-treating around the cobwebbed corner, here are 14 tips to keep your children safe while having fun.     Read More

1982 Four-door Ford Escort hatchback, photo courtesy of HatchHeaven.com
  My dad agreed to buy both my brother and I our first cars. Any vehicles we owned beyond those, we were on our own. I was a lucky kid and I knew it. I wasn’t picky about the car I got. After all, I wasn’t paying for it, so how could I possibly afford to be picky? I only wanted three things: 1. Any color EXCEPT brown 2. No manual transmissions 3. Good gas mileage Then, we stumbled upon a used vehicle at the Ford dealership… Read More

Lessons I learned while visiting the Pacific Northwest
Relaxing time away – on overdrive. That’s the only way I can describe traveling with my former college roommate, Shaye, and her sister, Marrianne. Except for the destination, our trips rarely have a plan or involve much sleep. Yet we always manage to see some astoundingly beautiful parts of the country. We somehow manage to get the fantastic photos and have the most amazingly fun-filled time. And we laugh. A lot. This year’s destination – the Pacific Northwest. Here is a list of a few things I learned while visiting. Do NOT let the airline ship your bag to Fort… Read More

Chicago – My kind of town
Sweet home, Chicago. Ahhh…summers on the lakefront, deep-dish pizza, the blues and the wonderful world of Windy City sports. The only thing better than summertime in Chicago might be the fall sports season. Baseball wraps up just in time for the first hockey puck to drop in the United Center. (As a lifelong, die-hard Cubs fan, I learned long ago the realities of the post-season.) The Bears are in full swing while the Fire are winding down. And the anticipation of a promising Bulls season is on the horizon. Seriously – could it GET any better than this? Toss in… Read More

A TBT road trip to West Bend, Iowa
The phrase Throw Back Thursday (TBT) has become quite popular. People post old pictures online and “remember when.” Recently, my own version of TBT included a 13-hour road trip back in time. Little has changed in my hometown in the 25 years since I graduated from high school and moved away. Sure, they've added on to the school. Made some updates to the pool. A few new houses have been built. A few years back they even put in a stop sign with a flashing red light on Main Street (and I STILL forget to stop on occasion). But it's… Read More

Road trip: A view from the top
I love the beach. I love summertime. But there is something so breathtakingly beautiful about the mountains…I can’t describe it. (And I’m a writer!) So, when I, a Texas girl, found a quaint Colorado cabin, about halfway up Pike’s Peak, I knew THAT was my summer retreat destination. Vacation week finally arrived and off I went, tackling the 781-mile drive that was mostly Texas. Relieved I made the decision to leave early and get there before sunset, I determined there was no way I could have found the cabin in the dark. Besides, the views were SPECTACULAR. It was a… Read More

Road Trip: On a mission to West Bend, Iowa
It’s roughly 850 miles from where I live now, just south of Dallas, to where I grew up, in West Bend, IA, and where I was heading on my road trip to a family reunion. My trip is the same every time, and this one started out no differently – make extra coffee because even Starbucks isn’t open yet, find the cat and have the traditional pet carrier battle of wills, load her and the dog up in the car (luckily I loaded everything else the night before),… Read More