Archive for 2008

In Pursuit of ‘Junk’

Posted on December 23, 2008

I love the pursuit of ‘junk.’ Nothing excites me more than digging through a second hand store, hunting for treasures no one else has noticed. I love auctions, junk stores, vintage shops, high end or low end, and sometimes the low end ones can be more fun, and the victory even greater when you find a wonderful object at a great price. I have always loved mixing ‘important’ (ie. valuable) objects with things that cost nearly nothing. Among my treasures, I have a few beautiful old China porcelains of fruit, which I mixed in with the ceramics my kids made in grade school, and no one suspects which is which. The pieces made by my kids are much more valuable to me! » read more »

Filed Under Paris, Shopping | 7 Comments

Forms of Communication

Posted on December 11, 2008

I’ve been thinking recently about forms of communication that we’ve come to take for granted. Things are so ‘easy’ now with cell phones, text messages, email. Whatever we have on our minds, we can shoot off to someone, whether they are available, interested or not. Whenever I have something on my mind, I can send an email or text to my office or my kids, and then it’s their problem not mine. The problem is, there is no human being on the other end of that line. We don’t hear a voice, don’t have a conversation, don’t have to listen to what they think about it. It’s a strictly one way street, independent of time differences or convenient times. And similarly, they can answer me whether I’m awake, at home, or available, or not. » read more »

Filed Under Communication | 5 Comments


Posted on December 9, 2008

I recently spoke to a friend who was thinking of retiring, in his 80’s, still very much in his prime and very active, and he was visibly depressed about it. Suddenly he felt as though a big chunk of his identity (maybe even all of it) was about to vanish and fall away. Who was he going to be now? I’m not sure he has answered the question yet. Whoever he has been for the past 60 years, in his own eyes certainly, is about to change. He is about to become a man without a career or a job. That’s a dramatic loss for most men. » read more »

Filed Under Retiring | 3 Comments

Family Feuds

Posted on December 4, 2008

As the holidays approach, starting with Thanksgiving (I just don’t consider Ground Hog Day the start of the holiday season), a million tender memories come to mind:  making brownies with my children, decorating the trees, their eyes full of wonder as we went downtown to look at the store windows all decorated for Christmas.  Christmas is truly my favorite time of year, and always has been.  But I know that for many, it brings up other memories too, of family dissent, challenges, and disappointments.  No one gets off scott free in life, the bittersweet for my family at holidays now is the absence of my late son Nick.  We will always miss him and his crazy antics over the holidays, and at other times.  So we all have our tough moments amid the joy. » read more »

Filed Under Family, Holidays | 23 Comments


Posted on November 26, 2008

I hadn’t intended to write a blog about Thanksgiving, but here I am anyway. We all know what it’s about. You’re supposed to eat turkey and a lot of food, and be thankful for your blessings. Seems simple enough, right? Not always. Sometimes, in tough times, we have a hard time figuring out what to be thankful for, the people we share the holiday with can be annoying, or we wind up alone. There’s a lot about holidays that can go wrong. Family disagreements can surface over the holidays as we come together, or it may just be a tough year when gratitude is in short supply. » read more »

Filed Under Holidays | 17 Comments

Dinner Party

Posted on November 12, 2008

I went to a great dinner party the other night in Paris. It was given by a (book) editor, and what I loved about it was how mixed the guests were. There were writers, editors, journalists, people in politics, some in business, a diplomat, a movie producer, and it was a very interesting group. » read more »

Filed Under Uncategorized | 10 Comments


Posted on November 5, 2008

I want to put in a word here for something that I think is enormously important: gratitude. It makes an incredible difference in one’s life — especially when you feel the least grateful! When times are tough, and things are going wrong, if you can bring yourself to be grateful for something, a meal, a friend, a pet, a moment, your favorite pair of shoes, or your feet to put in them, it can turn everything around. I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish, and overly simple, but I have found that to be true at the hardest times. Sometimes you really have to struggle to find something to be grateful for, but if you can do it, you may find yourself looking at your problems differently and change your whole mood.

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Filed Under Uncategorized | 30 Comments


Posted on October 31, 2008

Now that we’re getting to know each other a little better, I will confess that I have an extremely silly sense of humor. (After years and years of eating with children, one of my favorite foods is peanut butter. And after the same number of years of hanging out with my kids, occasionally my sense of humor got stuck in fourth grade, possibly even third grade. My kids grew up, I didn’t). It’s probably genetic. I come from a long line of practical jokers—which I am NOT! I hate jokes that embarrass people, but I do like a good laugh. My oldest daughter has an outrageous sense of humor too. She dressed as a pumpkin for Halloween one year, painted her face orange and dyed her hair green. It was a great costume, until she discovered the next day that the orange color on her face wouldn’t come off—-for the next 3 weeks! (She works in a hospital, and they sent her home, thinking she was jaundiced.) My other children demonstrate the same inclination, and April Fool is a nightmare at our house. Every year, at least two of the unmarried ones call to tell me that they’re pregnant, and three to say they’re in jail. And I always fall for the first three calls until I realize what day it is.
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Filed Under Family, Holidays | 41 Comments

My First Blog Post

Posted on October 29, 2008

This is an important moment for me! This is the first blog I’ve ever written. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but wasn’t sure how to do it, where, when, or even if. And finally, now here I am. People say that blogs are like a diary (do I hide it under my bed, lock it with a key? Tell it all my secrets? It seems like a wonderful place to share my thoughts with you, or what I do.) It’s going to be fun sharing my thoughts with you, outside the context of a book. So here goes….

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Filed Under Uncategorized | 103 Comments