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FAMILY

ANTIDOTE TO WORRY: POPCORN

Popcorn is one of my favorite comfort foods. It fills me up, is healthful, tastes delicious and I pretend that eating this overflowing pot of it, sprinkled with sea salt, won’t make me feel squeezed in the waist by my elastic waist pants. When my oldest daughter Eliza was a toddler, I …

NOISY SEASON RANT

Beware of asking me to rant. I am liable to start today, five days after autumn began (also National Good Neighbor Day and National Pancake Day), and never stop until Flag Day. If you really want to hear loud and wild talk, ask me about the leaf blowers whose noise …

#EARTHQUAKALYPSE

Getting ready to go with my daughter to the cobbler on our bikes on this lovely summer day. Passing under a doorway, I start shaking while the house is quaking. Dare I run to get the dog who is barking at the front door or stay here where it’s safer? …

SAVE TIME, WORRY LESS: IT’S TIP DAYiiiii

Yesterday one of my daughters told me, “Dad sounds unhappy with me.” When I asked why, she said because he had left a message on her phone three days earlier and he hadn’t heard back from her. Then she told me, “If you want to reach me, text.” She added, …

OH DEAR, MY DEER

A year ago, I woke up and peered into my backyard and saw a mother deer and what appeared to be her two newborns clustered behind my azalea bushes. The young ones were trying to stand but then they would collapse, their spindly legs unable to support them. By afternoon, …

IN SEARCH OF GRIEF

Grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. At the cemetery, my sister and brother stand teary over our mother’s coffin with their arms around each other’s backs. Dry-eyed, I step up next to them, completing our sibling trio. Yet we are two plus one, a double and a single, a duet and a solo. After …

CAN YOU HELP MY MOM EXPRESS HERSELF?

Only eight weeks ago, I was on a half-hour bike ride home, all uphill, when I called Mom for our daily shmooze. We caught up on political scandals, Sarah Palin, literature, Oprah and Mom’s latest Bingo game. While we talked, mounting the hill was effortless. Shortly after that, her doctor determined …

ANTIDOTE TO WORRY: HOBOGIES

Hobogies-add oil, vinegar, soy sauce, wrap in foil and grill Welcome to my periodic series: Antidote to Worry (oh dear, is that now a commitment?), in which I highlight food I ate over the weekend. Consider it a “Worry Break,” as in one of my Tip Day tips. Plus, much …

WHAT WAS ANTHONY WEINER THINKING?

It’s hard for me to look at guys like Anthony Weiner without feeling more embarrassed for them than I ever feel for myself. I doubt there are many men who don’t have porn stashed away under the bed or in a closet somewhere. A woman I know discovered her husband’s “Playboy” …

CHILLAXING

I don’t claim to be chill, but I become even less chill when someone tells me to chillax. When I’m really excited about something and someone says, “Chillax,” it’s even worse; it’s what my friend calls “squishing the little bird inside of you.” Take, for example, the time I was …

Death By Chotchke

I’m drowning in junk, buried in boxes, suffocating with stuff. It doesn’t surprise me that all these metaphors point to an untimely end. There would be great irony in getting snuffed out by my stuff, since one of my biggest worries happens to be that I’ll drop dead and my …

WORRIED ABOUT ENTHUSIASM!!!!!

The other day my youngest daughter sent an email to her sisters, her dad (my ex) and me to say she would be receiving a prize for her senior thesis on the day before graduation. She asked who of us would be there in time for the awards event. I wrote …

A MOTHER SURVIVES “SURVIVOR”

Unrelated Announcement, my new article: CAN SEPARATE BEDROOMS SAVE A MARRIAGE? Weigh In! It wasn’t like I had a choice when, at the breakfast table, my then-21-year-old daughter Eliza presented me with documents to sign. The whole family had to swear to confidentiality or the plan was off for her …

PASSOVER IN BEIJING

An eclectic group, this year’s seder in my daughter’s Beijing apartment included non-Jewish participants from Ireland, Argentina, England and Massachusetts as well as my Chinese-American Jewish daughter, her father (my ex, also Jewish) and me. What at home would have cost $50 for fruits and vegetables, cost less than $5 …

SPICE GIRLS & MY GIRLS

UNRELATED ANNOUNCEMENT: See my article Interfaith Seders & a Heavenly Flourless Chocolate Cake. Join the convo at the site with comments! Here’s what triggers a mighty sadness for me: Juxtapostition of happy-sad. If on a normal day in March I hear about a young boy’s bike getting stolen, I’m sad but …

Embarrassment Shmembarrassment

Riddle: Every family has them, what are they? Answer: Nicknames that are too embarrassing to expose outside the home. After coffee with friends, I return home, open my front door and call to my bassety beagle Casey, “Casemaster General, where are you?” To say he’s non-responsive overstates his activity level. …