May 24

No Timetable

I’ve learned through my many medical crises that even the best of friends seem to have a mental timetable for which you’re supposed to get over things. Break-ups, deaths, the loss of a loved one, cancer, a health crises; it doesn’t matter. “Hope you feel better soon!” “Speedy recovery!” These expressions are intended to convey […]

May 23

One year ago

Dear Mies, It was one year ago that we said goodbye to you sitting on my lap in the backyard where you loved it most. So many ailments had caught up to you and we listened as you told us it was time to end your suffering. We think about you so often and have […]

May 22

No

I’ve got a proposal: how about we all get comfortable with saying the word “no.” How about we stop stalling or avoiding people because we don’t want to have to say “no”? Unless someone is waiting for an organ transplant, no is usually not as big a deal as the person who has to say […]

May 21

Up with Dave

Prior to December 12, 1981, I watched David Letterman for entertainment. He was funny. At 4am on the morning of December 12, 1981 my affection for David Letterman took on new importance. So it marked a special farewell to me when he retired last night. In 1981 as a college student in Washington DC I […]

May 20

Party Mom

A parent at a soccer game seemed stunned that I offered to host the team party the night before we are also hosting the 8th grade graduation party. I hear this a lot. People intimidated by entertaining. So here’s my crash course in party-giving. Here’s what you need to do to host a party: You […]

May 19

This Summer

Fill in the blank: this summer will be the Summer of ________________.

May 18

Parental Gravitas

At church yesterday morning I was reminded that scripture when read aloud sounds so authoritative. I have no problem being firm when faced with a sullen or bratty kid but sometimes you need to call in the A-Team. There should be an app that allows us to “sample” scripture substituting in pertinent circumstances. I tried […]

Never

I was in Starbucks earlier today and heard someone ordering their coffee using, what is to me, the ridiculous names Starbucks has assigned to small, medium and large cups as though we all need to speak in some coffee house code to be allowed to remain in the clubhouse. It got me thinking. I’m generally […]

May 16

We are 16

Today is the 16th anniversary of the day Bill and I started our business. It was started at the Javits Center in New York with the ink on our business cards barely dry. We had gotten through the screening at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and were showing our very different-looking modern quilts to buyers […]

May 15

The Old Dog

This is Godzilla, our current foster dog. He’s a 5 lb, 10-year-old Chihuahua mix with bad teeth and impaired vision from a persistent fluid that covers his iris making him appear to have blue eyes instead of black. PAWS Chicago has done what they can with his eyes and he gets around with no problem. […]

May 14

Interval Training for Life

A few years ago in my strength-training class the instructor told us we were going to do high-intensity intervals using weights. We started with the heaviest weight we could manage for a given time and then dropping down to a lower weight and then repeating the cycle until your muscles are exhausted. It’s a way […]

May 13

Free Advice!

When I was a kid I always read Dear Abby in the newspaper and harbored a secret fantasy about being an advice columnist so today is the day I’m answering your questions! Ask me for advice on ANY topic and I’ll give you my 2 cents! My advice is worth what you’ll be paying for […]

May 12

Sending Out the Food

Last week I went with the 7th and 8th graders at our daugther’s school on a field trip to Feed My Starving Children to pack food for distribution to food aid charities in 70 countries. We were specifically packing food for the hungry in Nicaragua. FMSC has a wonderfully organized system that allows anyone from […]

May 11

YMCA Parent

Saturday I mentioned that at long last I got to chaperone a field trip with our daughter’s school. Given that our daughter is 13 I made a mental note that I should be careful not to do or say anything that might embarrass her. The trip was for the 7th and 8th grade classes to […]

May 10

The Complicated Mother’s Day

This week many of us have been barraged by memes on Facebook of how wonderful mothers are and how wonderful it is to be a mother. The reality for some of us is that the word “mother” has a whole lotta baggage. Not everyone in my mother’s generation became a mother by choice. While I […]

May 09

Parent Rotation

Before I became a parent I had all kinds of dreams about things I wanted to do with my child. Some of them included volunteer roles I wanted to have at her school and in some of her activities. They were simple things like going on field trips, planning a class party, organizing the bake […]

May 06

Diary of a Kitten

Having fostered 18 kittens in the past 11 months, we’ve noticed that many tend to follow a certain schedule. Here’s a sample of the schedule our last two followed. 5:03 am: wake up and pounce on foster parents’ toes under the sheets, biting toes to practice killing prey. 5:04am: chase each other steeplechase-style over the […]

May 05

Children’s Day Miracle

In November 1990, shortly before I was to move back to the US after nearly eight years of living in Japan, I went to Kyoto for what I knew would be the last time for a long time. Although I generally avoid collecting things, especially things that one of my friends refers to as a […]

May 04

Olfactory Bucket List

Most bucket lists are about going somewhere or seeing something. But is was the fragrance of the new blossoms on our Viburnum carlesii (commonly called Koreanspice Viburnum) this morning that made me think that there should be a bucket list of great smells. Here are a few other wonderful fragrances that bring me joy. Add […]

May 03

Designing a Pregnancy

This morning there’s an outreach activity at our church where we’ll be packing up baby supplies for new mothers who can’t afford or don’t have access to diapers, onesies and such. When I walked into the store with my list of things I needed to get, it all came flooding back to me. I’m sharing […]