Do you swell someone’s head if you praise them? I don’t think so! Thus I stand firmly in praise of praise for others and for myself!
Writers today are advised to use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. How would William Faulkner fare with these stipulations?
After two+ years of the pandemic, introspection seems warranted as we think about possibility, abundance, strength, compassion, & faith.
As a soon-to-be 70-year old woman, I take this opportunity to see how things measure up for me at this milestone.
I am not a confident driver or parker. So, when I survived a recent parking challenge, I was grateful in thirty (30!) ways.
To trash it or not to trash it? That’s the question. This story gives five tips to help you sort through a lifetime of stuff.
When was the last time you reviewed your important estate papers? Do you need a do-over of documents? This story will help you start.
The recipe for a meaningful summer is simple: Take a walk; read a book; make a friend. The recipe for a simple cake? That’s included too.
There are lots of perks to Zoom meetings including these: You don’t have to drive anywhere, and you don’t have to put on pants.
I love to sleep in on weekends, & have to coax myself to get up the rest of the week. But one day, gratitude got me out of bed.
In the documentary, The Social Dilemma, we are asked: “Do you check your smart phone before you pee in the morning, or while you are peeing?”
Two novels about teenagers remind us of these dual facts: It’s hard to be a teenager; it’s hard to have a teenager.
You become who you hang out with, or put more humorously, “funny how much better we understand the Jell-O when we’ve seen the mold.”
Call me silly, but if my grandkids were binge watching TV, I wouldn’t be boasting about it, I’d be finding great books to suggest to them instead. I offer that same help to adults now. For anyone wanting to increase their reading time, here are five books to consider.
An abundance of choices is problematic whether we are buying jeans, or making decisions about education, career, friendships, sex, romance, parenting, religious observance, etc.
Here are some nightmares: Some parents scrape the solid material out of a soiled diaper and reuse it. Some parents take a diaper off, let it dry out, and reuse it. Some parents use plastic grocery bags in place of diapers. Some parents use newspaper and duct tape in place of diapers. Some parents leave the child in the same diaper for 2 or 3 days. All of these options can lead to diaper rash, urinary tract infections, and other severe infections. (An ER doctor states that he has seen diaper rashes equivalent to third degree burns.) Beyond physical suffering, babies with diaper need have trouble bonding …
My back’s been hurting lately, and my posture is atrocious. I’m blaming it on the fact that I am ever-bent-over my smartphone. One of the ways I am trying to alter my addiction is by giving up eBooks on my Kindle app in favor of hard copies. As I do this, I notice a lot of articles praising the choice. If you are interested in your ability to sleep, to focus, and/or to keep your memory sharp, you may want to consider ditching eBooks too.
My dad had a heart attack in his fifties. This caused him to make lifestyle changes that improved his diet and added more exercise. He had been a weekend golfer for years, but after his sojourn in the hospital, he took up walking as well. A decade into his new habit, he recommended it to me. While he had a target heart rate that he tried to maintain – carrying hand weights to do so – he told me to forget all that, to just go for a walk four or five times a week. He said I didn’t have …
When American airspace was closed after the terrorist attacks, all planes headed for the United States had to go elsewhere. Thirty-eight of them landed in Gander, Newfoundland, where they remained for almost a week. The warm welcome these 7000 “Plane People” received from the 9000 residents of Gander is an amazing tale that I will talk about next. But my question is this, would I have been a gracious receiver of the kindness of strangers or would I have been the “B-word” instead, just needing to get home, now!
I cherish family. I inherited this sentiment from my dad whose one black cloud in life was the fact that beyond his parents and siblings, he had almost no family. Everyone else died in the Holocaust. This fact gives each of us born in the next generations a special significance. We’re it. We’re the family.
A fellow writer on Twitter gave this writing advice today: “Don’t dumb it down. You don’t need to assume the reader won’t understand what you are saying. Assume they WILL understand.” I agree with him wholeheartedly but this advice doesn’t exactly apply for people writing online. My response to him was this: Anyone who uses WordPress for their website is actively dumbing down all they write all the time, or at least they are being encouraged to. In that 34% of all websites are powered by WordPress – including the likes of The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft News, and the …
This may very well be a reflection on my lack of baking skills, but I often have a helluva time getting a Bundt cake out of a Bundt pan. As much as I grease and flour the pan in advance, there seems to be no guarantee the cake will actually come out of it – in one piece – after baking. For Rosh Hashana my cake fell out of the pan with ease, sending me directly from the kitchen to my bedroom to record the joyous occurrence in my gratitude journal. I could take some credit here and report that …
It’s interesting that something so insignificant as shoes can be so significant. Thus, as I consider mine, I think I’ll just let them rest in peace in the back of my closet. I walked all over Central Europe seeking out Holocaust memorials, I won’t have to walk far to visit this one.
The 24/7/365 nature of social media is problematic. Remember when you waited for a snail mail letter? When it did not come, you could be disappointed once a day, six days a week, but never on Sunday. As we wait for people to send us email, text messages, or to “like” our social media post, the responses can roll in at any time. There are 86,400 seconds in every day. That’s a lot of opportunity for disappointment for anyone’s nervous system.
Journaling as a means of talking out a problem: When I tell a friend my problem, I give a piece of it away. The same thing happens when I tell myself the problem by writing it down in a journal. I once had a “friend” state that the problem with me is that I have to talk about every problem twice. This is not true! I actually have to do it three, four, or five times! While I would never dare to burden friends with the same problem repeatedly (I hope), I can go on and on about it in …
With this blog I am using Lin-Manuel Miranda’s take on history. As I tell you what he has to say about Alexander Hamilton, I am going to bring Bill Clinton into the picture. How do their stories coincide? Both men had extra-marital affairs that impacted their careers. The question I ask is this: Is honesty the best policy when it comes to fessing up – or not – about such a dalliance?
The May 27th issue of People features an essay written exclusively for the magazine by former first lady, Michelle Obama. It’s called, “What My Mother Taught Me.” Without even reading the story, I was equal parts intrigued and hurt. Sure, I wanted to know what life lessons these famous people had to offer; but I also ached for my mom – and all moms – who were/are equally wise, in spite of the fact they do not have a national magazine singing their praises.
My house is built on a man-made lake. Every window on the back has a view of the water. While beautiful in itself, the most stunning thing about the lake is that the morning sun bounces off it, sending ripples of light through my mini blinds and onto my ceiling. I like to think of this as God dancing there.
“If your heart stops, do you want us to resuscitate you?” Being asked this question at 2:30 AM as nurses got me settled into my newly acquired hospital room was one of the most disconcerting things that happened to me last weekend. Even four-and-a-half hours in the emergency room with symptoms that were suggestive of stroke or heart attack did not rattle me as much as that question.
My granddaughter had difficulty going off to school at the start of kindergarten. To make stepping onto the big yellow bus more palatable, my daughter created a basket of gifts. If Cookie left without a fuss in the morning, she could reward herself with one item when she returned home. I loved the concept and wanted to put it to work in my own life to help with tasks that were challenging for me, like sending my writing to publishers or promoting my new book to reviewers.
Most people do not think of it this way, but we are all experts at reinventing ourselves because we have done it countless times in life: When we graduated from high school – When we graduated from college – Or perhaps after getting that advanced degree – After we got our first job – After we lost that job – After we moved to a new city – When we got married – Or maybe divorced – When we became parents – And then empty nesters – After we reached a milestone birthday – Or maybe we retired – After the …
Here is a life lesson I learned at the gym: When you go to a birthday party, be sure to eat the cake. I am certain this is not what you were expecting to hear, but then you don’t know my personal trainer, Rob Anderson. Yes, he’s taught me how to properly do squats, crunches, presses, and the like, but he has taught me much more than that.
PLEASE DON’T RUN when I tell you that today’s column is about how to design a quilt. Instead, be assured that whether I am writing this column, making a quilt, or just sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, I am always hunting for life lessons to share. In the quilt design process, I promise to tell you a few. Here’s one now: When life gives you scraps, make a quilt. Sew far, sew good? Then come on along!
This blog is a parking lot. I am parking everything here that I am worried about as I prepare to travel to Israel with my twelve-year-old granddaughter, Tillie. All the little things that would ordinarily have me nervous when I travel are exacerbated by the fact that my daughter wants me to swallow my fears and project an image of female strength and courage to Tillie. As I prepare to move into Helen Reddy mode – I am woman, hear me roar! – I will try to give away my fear as I write about it here.
I love books and find that reading them provides me with three benefits. Books give me conversational currency – stuff to talk about – with friends. Novels take me away from what’s happening inside of my head, giving me the protagonist’s problems to worry about instead of my own. And like a bedtime story for kids, books at night are a sleeping aid, signaling my brain it’s time to rest.
The War of Art is a book that is ostensibly for artists, however it really holds lessons for anyone who is struggling with the art of life. The author, Steven Pressfield, lists these strugglers: anyone in the creative arts, anyone launching an entrepreneurial venture, anyone starting a diet or exercise program, anyone trying to overcome an addiction, anyone pursuing education of any sort, anyone pursuing spiritual advancement…In short, anyone pursuing a long-term goal.
Thou shalt not “should” upon thyself. These are wise words that I would love to live by, but gosh, there are just so many “shoulds” in life. One area that is fraught with them is travel. I always feel like I should see all the major sights wherever it is that I am traveling.
I started to see a psychologist when my oldest child was 14. I saw that psychologist, Pam, for 21 years. I would have seen her longer except that she retired six years ago.
My daughters are unhappy about my single status and are often after me to find a new boyfriend. I tell them it’s a very rare moment that I think I need one, but I will confess that on Sunday, April 29th, at 1 o’clock in the morning, I was at that very rare moment. I needed help!
My friend, Marilynn Asch, is known for the funny things she posts on Facebook. A recent post showed an obviously older couple, holding hands, as they jump from a dock into a lake. Adding to the humor is the fact that they are naked and their saggy tushies are in full view.
A little bit plus a little bit adds up to a whole lot. I learned this life lesson 25 years ago when I needed a portrait for the jacket of my first book. I visited a local photographer & was enthralled with his studio.
My financial adviser is a smart guy. He believes that we need to set up rules for my investments and stick to them. This keeps me from getting greedy when the market is up and from getting scared when it is down. The main thing about this strategy is that it is a strategy. We don’t just behave in a willy-nilly fashion, we have a plan.