• Best Thing Ever,  Food,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    Another Brilliant Idea That Definitely Won’t Happen

    You may remember my ranting about my elaborate plan to renovate the music system at our neighborhood pool back in June. My fantasy blueprint included a jukebox, volume control, a seniority system for music-playing prioritization, underwater speakers, and more. It was one of the most imaginatively complex ideas I’ve ever had that will definitely never see the light of day. Well, I have another one. Try this on for size: a national chain of grocery stores that caters to single people and couples from all walks of life, including people who live in small apartments in Manhattan. I’m not only talking about the people who don’t shop at huge warehouse…

  • Am Reading

    My Year of GoodReads

    I used to be a voracious reader when I was much (much!) younger. It wasn’t unusual for me to have five or six books going at the same time. I’m a fast reader, too; always have been. Somewhere along the way–I think it was when I finished college–I stopped reading books almost entirely. Instead I favored by-hand creative pursuits like cross stitch, sewing, and other miscellaneous craft projects. I had time to read; it’s just that I didn’t choose to do it. When my kids came along I got into scrapbooking, and I wrote. And even later I worked, a lot. In any given year I read only one book,…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Motivation

    That’s Life.

    Last week I was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to be wheeled down the hall for a colonoscopy (one of the fringe benefits of turning fifty, woo hoo!). I “busied myself,” if you can call it that, by visually absorbing my immediate environment. I noted the pastel plaid curtain around my little area, the machines with wires behind my head, the labels on the cabinets, and finally, the ceiling. Looking at ceilings in doctors’ offices and hospitals is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl and had to see my pediatrician for any reason, I used to look at the…

  • Jew Stuff

    Tradition Indicates That I Write About This Tradition

    If you celebrate Christmas, right about now you might be preparing for a special dinner with family, finishing up some last-minute shopping, wrapping, or assembling, baking those cookies to leave along with milk for Santa, or having fun doing some other festive activity. Here is my traditional wish that your holiday is everything you hoped it would be, and that you get to spend it with exactly whom you want. As for Jim and me, you already know what we’re doing tonight and tomorrow: Enjoy the holiday, whatever that means to you!

  • Fun in Knoxville,  Random Thoughts

    Awkwardly Pleasant and Pleasantly Awkward

    In the week or two ahead of Christmas I do my best to cut back on errands that require me to go out in public so as to avoid the chaos. It’s bad enough dealing with the occasional distracted driver or the one who drives across parking lots like a bat out of hell or the people who bump into others without apologizing on a normal day in the spring; the second half of December is the worst. Years like this one when Hanukkah arrived and ended a little early are my favorite because it helps the cause, the cause being my sanity. Unfortunately, Jim and I do need to…

  • Confessions,  Favorite Things

    A Taste of Home.

    Jim and I recently attended the holiday party given by our Homeowner’s Association at the clubhouse just up the street. Dinner was catered, but everyone was asked to bring a dessert to share. As we made the rounds greeting neighbors we already know and meeting a few others for the first time, I glanced at the kitchen counter where all of the desserts had been placed. My heart skipped a beat when I saw something very familiar. It was a tin of individually wrapped candies, but not just any old candies: they were Frango Mints, the signature truffle sold by Marshall Field’s in Chicago. Yes, I’m aware it’s called Macy’s…

  • Amazing People,  Childhood Memories,  Music

    Live.

    Today we finally saw “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the film about Freddie Mercury and the origin and subsequent climb of the band Queen. The part I was most looking forward to in the movie was the end, because the filmmakers recreated Queen’s iconic performance at Live Aid, the epic 1985 concert that was held at both Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia to raise money for the relief of Ethiopian famine. I thought it would be cool to see it “again.” In fact, it was incredible and I cried from the time Freddie (played by Rami Malek) took the stage at Wembley until the very end of the movie.…

  • Writing

    #NaBloPoMo 2018: Check!

    Today is the last day of November, and that means National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, is drawing to a close. I have attempted to blog every day in November for the last decade. I think I only “failed” once, though I don’t really count it as a fail since I tried my best and I was my only judge and jury. I thought this month was going to be really tough since I was traveling for 14 days out of 30, but I was wrong. I pre-scheduled 3 or 4 posts ahead of our Maui trip because I didn’t know what to expect as far as writing time, and…

  • Family Fun,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Kid Has Mad Skillz

    We’re Exactly Like The Incredibles, But Different

    When he was a teenager, I used to give Dylan a really hard time because he hardly ever wore sunglasses. I’d sit in the passenger seat of the car as he drove us around and say, “Don’t you want your sunglasses? It’s so bright out today!” He always replied with some B.S. to the effect of, “Sunglasses? I don’t need sunglasses. My eyes have a sun-resistant coating.” Commence eyeroll. I have not let him live this down a decade later, making comments about his sun-resistant eyes whenever I find myself near him on a sunny day. That’s why I have to laugh at myself on these chilly winter evenings when…

  • Travels

    The Spirit of Aloha

    Today Vikki and I are tag-teaming the 28th day of NaBloPoMo. Both of us turned fifty recently and both of us took incredible trips of a lifetime to celebrate that milestone. She traveled all the way across the Atlantic to the frozen tundra of Iceland and I went in the other direction entirely, both literally and figuratively, across the Pacific to Hawaii. We decided to pick one of our favorite scenery pictures from our trip and do a little show and tell. The picture I chose (above) was taken on Ka’anapali Beach, on the west side of Maui. Ka’anapali was the first planned resort area in Hawaii and has three…