Should You "Tattle" to Other Parents?

No one likes a tattletale, least of all the English language. Any and all synonyms for the title conjure up nasty images; snitch, whistle-blower, narc, sneak, squealer – all make you want to twist your face as if you’ve smelled something rotten. So who would willingly attach themselves to such a negative moniker? I guess I’m one of those fools....more

I'm All for "Let it Go" As Long As It Doesn't Concern One of My Kids

Do you think all the little six-year-old girls in this country would put a bounty on my head if I told Elsa to shut up? To stop screaming “Let it Go”? More importantly, do I care? Not really. I mean, it’s a great message, but if I remember correctly, Elsa didn’t have kids of her own. If she did, the song title instead might have been “Let it Go, Unless You Have Children and Then Good Luck Not Worrying”....more

Rule #1 of Baking: Always Blame Your Oven

All it took was a birthday cake to make me feel humbled. When I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday dessert, she immediately answered, “Carrot cake.” No big surprise there; that’s what she always wants for her birthday, but I thought I’d better double check just in case – teenage girls can be so fickle. A carrot cake I could handle. No need to call in the big guns for that one. (The big guns being the local supermarket bakery.) I read a few recipes, bought some carrots and some candles, and set to work. Easy enough, really....more

Who Waters Your Family Tree?

My cousin is a tree-hugger, but though he takes great pride in his annual display of summer impatiens, I don’t think he has a clue about the difference between an oak and an elm. No, Steve has embraced the science of genealogy and has devoted his retirement to researching his family tree with all of its branches and limbs. Of course, as one of those branches, I get to benefit from Steve’s hobby which is quite fortuitous since I find genealogy fascinating but am too lazy to do anything about it....more

It's Time to Come Clean

I really did some sucking up this week. Or, more accurately, my vacuum cleaner really did some sucking up this week. It sucked up a squishy ball from under my son’s desk. It sucked up a 3rd place basketball medal from the depths of the abyss under my daughter’s bed. It sucked up a long-forgotten stuffed animal- two actually – from under a dresser. It sucked up hairballs and dust bunnies and - oops - coins. You could almost see sparks flying from the machine as I wedged that thing into spots that haven’t been touched in months. Many, many months....more

This Year I Struggle To Find The Light Of The Holiday

I used to love the holidays. We’d string multi-colored lights around our family room and nestle a homemade Styrofoam gumdrop tree in and among the wisps of angel hair gracing our fireplace mantle. Wrapped gifts would rest on the hearth and trickle down onto the floor. No evergreen in sight, but it felt a little like Christmas, even as we lit the menorah all eight nights of Hanukkah. ...more
Parthenia Queen  I do believe we find the greatest joy in giving to others. I hope 2015 is an ...more

A Girl's Weekend Doesn't Have to Be Fancy to be Memorable

We had a million reasons why it wouldn’t work. Valid reasons: small children to attend to, small businesses to run, small budgets to take into consideration. And then one of us was diagnosed with breast cancer and suddenly we knew that it had to work, somehow. Even if it was just a forty-eight-hour getaway. Even if it wasn’t on a beach or to some culinary mecca. Because none of that mattered in the end. Just being together, all five of us, converging in the Midwest on a cold and dreary weekend in December – that’s what mattered....more

What's Your Definition of Late?

I'm late, I'm late for A very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...more

You Know What Goes Best with Turkey? Peanuts!

The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without Peanuts. With a capital P. You can have your honey-glazed and sweet-and-spicy varieties, I’ll take mine with a dose of Charlie Brown and the gang. From Halloween straight through Yuletide, there is a trifecta of wonderful memories: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. And though Charlie Brown with his furrowed brow and ceaseless misfortunes was the underdog in need of good cheer, Linus was the guy I sympathized with....more

Would You Send a Gift When The Invitation Reads "No Gift, Please"?

Here’s a brain teaser: A girl receives an invitation to a birthday party. The invitation specifically states “no gifts, please”. Should the girl:a) run out and buy the perfect gift for the birthday girl; she’s no Scrooge  b) show up at the party empty-handed; after all, the invitation was quite clearorc) scratch her head and wonder what the phrase “no gifts” really means ...more
Tracy Gibb  I agree it is, but by not bringing a gift, you are not doing anything wrong - just ...more