• How To

    Tradition: Commemorating 9/11 in a Meaningful Way

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. Edward J. Rall was a firefighter who began his FDNY career at Engine 232/Ladder 176. Thereā€š and also at Rescue 2 where his career prematurely…

  • Childhood Memories,  My Mom Has Mad Skillz

    My Earliest Political Memory Was That Time I Got In Trouble.

    Just look at that eight year old up there. She looks like she means business, doesn’t she? She was me. Well, she is me. I thought it would be fun to tell the (very) short and sweet story of the very first memory I have that involves politics. Back in 1976 when I was obviously trying to be some kind of supermodel, there was more talk than usual about America and politics. Jimmy Carter and incumbent Gerald Ford were running their presidential race, and we were also celebrating the Bicentennial—the 200th anniversary of the First Continental Congress, which led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A year-long wave…

  • Family Fun,  Friends,  Motivation,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    New Pandemic Hobbies Keep Us Busy!

    I have a lot of friends who are, overall, very happy right now. (And I’m not just talking about the introverts!) They’re thankful for the serenity and forced slow-down this pandemic has brought upon them. Naturally they are sad for all of the losses that have resulted from it as well; that has to be stated, but that’s a different topic for another day. I can’t say that I’m always thankful but I definitely do have moments and days when I am. Maybe we all do, at different levels: there are good days and bad ones, good weeks and bad ones. These days, months into the pandemic, many people are…

  • Raspberry Macarons
    Food,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and Neither Were Good Macarons.

    I’ve been slacking on my journey towards mastering the art of making French macarons, but I finally made my latest attempt. Raspberry seemed like the perfect flavor for summer and the color is so pretty, so I made plans to give it a go…a month ago. I’d throw my hands in the air and say that “It’s just the stress of everything having to do with the pandemic!” that caused me to put off what is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, but if I’m being completely honest with myself (and you), I felt like my last attempt, lemon, was such a failure (not really that bad though, shrug) that…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    11 Best Practices for the 2020 Election Season

    Hey. Let’s have a chat. The upcoming election in November is the most important one of our lifetime, and I want to put some information and reminders out there in hopes that we stay focused and don’t allow everything to go off the rails. This combination of the internet, the 24-hour news cycle, our current president, the deep, multi-category divisions running through the country, and the pandemic (just to name a few) is a huge dumpster fire that we need to PUT OUT rather than douse with more lighter fluid. Here are some thoughts to get us all through this without causing more damage: 1) Use extreme caution AND educate…

  • Something That Could Change Your Life

    What Will We Carry Away From Spring 2020? (Strength, For One Thing.)

    Believe it or not, summer begins this weekend. It’s a welcome change after a spring that seemed about a decade long, am I right? We’re still dealing with a lot, unfortunately, but I like to think that with a new season comes new hope. There has been so much learning going on, on so many levels. While I haven’t enjoyed Spring 2020, I’m certainly better off for it and I hope that better days are ahead (eventually, I know I know!) for all of us. Have you taken some time to think about lessons you’ve learned in the first part of 2020, what you’ll carry with you forever? Here’s my…

  • Travels,  UGH.

    Almost Like Flying to Paris and Back, Just For Dinner.

    Unless you’re new here, you know very well that I’m a traveler. I travel so much that I receive comments on social media along the lines of “Aren’t you ever home??” Road trips are second nature for me, and I love going so far away that a plane is necessary. I traveled to Columbus for work and to Nashville, Tybee Island, and lots of other places for long weekends. Chicago? At least twice a year. New Jersey? Twice a year. When Jim and I used to buy concert tickets, they didn’t even have to be local. P!nk in Charlotte, North Carolina? No problem! The B52s in Atlanta? Yes, please! Foo…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    A (Partial) List of Anti-Racism Resources

    Before I begin, I need to mention that the mural pictured above is in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it was painted by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, and Greta McLain, along with help from Niko Alexander and Pablo Hernandez. Our country is figuratively and literally on fire this week, following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, by four police officers—one directly, by keeping his knee on George’s neck (impairing his ability to breathe), and three indirectly: by their lack of action. The events over the last six days are altogether horrible, tragic, unjust, and not surprising; nothing has changed for Black Americans as we’ve seen time and time…

  • Blessings,  Writing

    It Just Seems Write.

    Let me take a second to congratulate myself on a clever title for a post about writing notes to friends. See what I did there? Go, Melisa! When all of the self-isolating (or social distancing, physical distancing, quarantining, or whatever we’re calling it these days) started a couple of months ago, the vast majority of us resorted to doing whatever made us feel better. That is to say, in a time when we’ve had (and continue to have) to do something that is for the most part extremely uncomfortable—staying home most or all of the time—it seems only natural that we would choose to spend our time doing the things…

  • Confessions,  Motivation

    I’m Like a Bird

    I have three hand-blown glass birds that I purchased on three different trips to one of my favorite places on earth, Cape May, New Jersey. These birds hang in the windows of three rooms in my house and they make me incredibly happy whenever I look at them. Usually. Although it always sways a little bit because we keep the ceiling fan on, the green and yellow bird that hangs in our living room window normally looks to the left as its default position. This was double-checked about six weeks ago after Jim put a longer string on it: before he climbed back down the ladder he waited for the…