In the November 3, 2004 issue of the Washington Post, Marjorie Williams, a writer wrote a column called “The Halloween of My Dreams” which described a day helping her daughter with a Halloween costume – glitter and all – and watching her 8-year old run out the door to go trick or treating. The story touched my heart and I have never forgotten it. For any mother who realizes those seemingly normal moments with our children are really gifts that pass by in a blink of an eye, it’s a must read.
In 2011, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists rightly named it one of the top 15 newspaper columns in American History.
In the summer of 1972 or 1973 when I was 11 or 12 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a gang of boys, which included my five brothers, cousins, and a boy unrelated to me. I was with my family (my parents, five brothers, aunt, uncle, and cousins) in Maine, staying at a rustic vacation retreat owned by friends of my parents. Actually, the owners weren’t exactly friends of my parents. My father worked with a man named Kearney at Paine Webber whose wife’s family owned the vacation property in Maine. The Kearney’s had several children including a son named Dave who were roughly the same age as us so vacationing together seemed like a good idea. Read more
Over the past week, the people of our nation have been mesmerized by the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, particularly those by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 years old and Kavanaugh was 17.
The Republicans claim the Democrats are using Ford as a political tool to prevent a conservative federal judge from being appointed to the nation’s highest court while the Democrats claim the Republicans – primarily white, middle-aged or old men – are not giving enough consideration to a woman’s allegations of sexual assault, which brings us not to a discussion of who – Ford or Kavanaugh – is more believable (by most accounts both individuals were believable) but to a perverse idea that many people – and particularly Republicans supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination – don’t verbalize: Ford’s allegations – although believable – should not prevent a white, middle-aged man who represents their ideals from being appointed to a prominent lifelong post on the nation’s Supreme Court. So the question becomes why? The reason appears to be related to the extent of the assault. Read more
A few years ago (2016) right after Hillary Clinton won the democratic primaries, I was at a cocktail party where the host was Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York. She was there supporting several democratic candidates running for office in New York but opened up a question and answer session where we could presumably ask whatever we wanted. Read more
Switching from a Standard American Diet (SAD) and/or a diet high in animal products – where milk, butter, cheese, meat, chicken, poultry, pork, fish, processed drinks and foods high in added fats and sugar are center stage – to a plant-based diet is difficult because if you’re not used to eating a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, then the food won’t seem satisfying or tasty at first (but within a few weeks, your taste buds adjust). So, the best way to make a successful transition is to make small changes that include the following tips: Read more
The most I can do for my friend is simply be her friend.
My friend, Denise passed away a few days ago from cancer. I was going to write “after a long battle with cancer” but that wouldn’t tell the full story – words rarely do.
34 years ago, after struggling with fertility issues Denise was pregnant with her daughter, Candice when she found out she had cancer. Against the advice of doctors, Denise decided to wait a few weeks for the baby’s lungs to develop before having a c-section followed by a complete hysterectomy. Years later when I was in the last weeks of pregnancy, Denise told me how lucky I was to carry my daughter to term; she felt she missed out on the whole 40 week pregnancy experience but also came to realize she was very fortunate in other ways. In the early years, Denise didn’t know if she would see her children grow up and then proceeded to tell me how incredibly lucky she was to have raised her kids. In that moment, Denise showed me that life is lived with both losses and wins, fear and joy, grief and gratitude. Read more
Several years ago at a party, a friend of the family was sitting by the fireplace enjoying an ice-cold beer when he started talking about a married man who used to help our family take care of a summer house. Seems this married gentleman was carrying on with a woman in town and using our place as a love shack, unbeknownst to us. When the seductress forgot to turn off the silent alarm one autumn afternoon, the police and fire department were alerted, along with the married gentleman’s wife (who had a police radio at home) – all of whom raced to the house where there is only one road in and one road out. Read more
When my husband travels, I used to feel like a fish out of water unsure of what to do without my best friend around but gradually through the years, I’ve learned to embrace this time and do a few things differently.
Let’s start with baking. I only bake vegan desserts (which my husband gobbles up) but there are some desserts – namely, brownies – where nuts are an issue. Brownie lovers are usually divided into two lots: the purist (my husband) who likes his brownies with nothing added, and the adventurer (me) who loves walnuts or pecans and a few extra dark chocolate chips sprinkled throughout (just to make sure the brownies are gooey enough). So, when he’s not home, making a pan of walnut studded brownies (instead of half plain, half nuts) is on my to-do list. Read more
It’s not that I want the bees to die. I just don’t want to share my house with them.
There is a beehive growing on the second floor porch of my house, three feet from my favorite white rocking chair that happens to be my de facto hiding-from-the-world space. For days, I watch the bees work on their hive which gives me a full understanding of how the phrase “busy as a bee” came to be.
My mind wanders and it occurs to me that the housing industry would be completely different if we humans could figure out how to build homes as quickly as bees build hives. They all work together and don’t seem to worry about sub contractors not showing up; and the CEO is a female – a queen bee, to be exact. The bees actually work in beautiful harmony, which makes me feel guilty because I don’t want to share my porch with a beehive that is doubling in size every few days. Read more
Where are my glasses?
People of a certain age (over 40) know that reading glasses are a necessity of day-to-day living because the eyes are definitely not what they used to be. If you’ve ever been in a dark restaurant and been given a menu with more than 3 items on it and not had reading glasses handy, then you know the sense of frustration at not being able to read the font that seems to grow smaller every year. Put the menu up to a candle and risk a bonfire and the ire of the server not to mention the fire department. Read more