Monday, June 8, 2015


Dear Readers,

Since it is summer and the the living is easy (easier), I will take a break* from these regularly scheduled blog posts until further notice.

All the best,

*Break:  interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). "The blog broke the pattern of weekly postings." synonyms:  interrupt, disturb, interfere with

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer foods

 It's June! What's on your summer eating list?
Fruit?  Pie?

Heirloom tomatoes?

Lemonade?  Brats?


Corn on the cob?

 Cotton candy?


Or a French Rosé?

All I can say is, "Yes, please."  What about you?  Have I missed your favorite?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Memorial Day, rightly, makes us pause in gratitude and respect as we think about those who have given their lives for our country.  In fact, the day makes us think about war and the system of warfare in general.  Warfare has become the “normal” state of existence, which, to me, is one of the greatest tragedies of our civilized world.  Perhaps we could use this moment of consciousness to shift attention to the idea that without war, we’d have no need for national mourning let alone for a day set aside for such a sad purpose.  Crazy thoughts, indeed!  How would we ensure safety and security in a violent world without war – or at least without the threat of it?

Enter a new paradigm – peace.  Informed peace.  Peace meant to replace the militaristic systems that encourage war and ravage populations across time and geography.  Peace fostered and led by a new sort of international leader – women.  The Institute for Inclusive Security lays out a women-centered philosophy for peace-building, one that is gaining momentum across continents as more and more women refuse to stand by and watch their communities and families destroyed by senseless warfare.  Take a peek at their ideas here and see what you think about their stated mission to "change the international security paradigm [because] sustainable peace is possible only when those who shape policy include women and other affected groups in the prevention and transformation of violent conflict."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Flower Fun

Spring makes flower freaks out of the stodgiest of us.  Who doesn't love getting out and seeing these friendly dears pushing their ways out of the ground to cheer us?  But, can you name your posies?  Take a look at the virtual garden I've planted for you and name the azaleas, bleeding hearts, bluebells, crocuses, daffodils, forget-me-nots, hyacinths, irises, lilacs, lilies of the valley, peonies, and tulips.  Too bad these aren't scratch-and-sniff images!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stairways to Heaven

In pursuit of quality titles for my summer reading list, I stumbled upon image after image of book staircases.  Imagine!  Given that the average staircase has 12 steps, as of today, my imaginary staircase would sport these titles (in alphabetical order):  Beloved, Jane Eyre, Lolita, The Age of Innocence, The Awakening, The Bell Jar, The Color Purple, The Great Gatsby, The Handmaid's Tale, The Joy Luck Club, The Scarlet Letter, and The Sound and the Fury.  

If you really want to decorate your staircase thusly, here is a site that promises to help you duplicate any book spine for just $12 a riser.

Which 12 books would you choose for your own stairway to heaven?

Monday, May 4, 2015


Some of us are celebrating spring, others are celebrating new jobs, new babies, new loves, or new homes.  Here, for your reading pleasure, are ten quotes about the art of celebration.  Which is your favorite today?

1. "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can."  – Danny Kaye 
2. "The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."  – Richard Bach
3. "There is no security in this life. There is only opportunity."  – Douglas MacAurthur
4. "Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.” – Joanne Harris
5. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
6.  "All of life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." – Ralph Waldo Emerson"
7. “Life is far too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde
8. “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Gerard Way
9. “Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied and joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.” – Paul Hawken
10. "Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." – Plautus


Monday, April 27, 2015

Gender Benders

What is gender, anyway? In the past few days alone, I stumbled upon some public and private evidence of people pondering this phenomenon. Of course there was the Bruce Jenner interview where he explained to Diane Sawyer that he "is a woman." I also noticed a book featured in the New York Times Book Review, "The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell," by William Klaber, which chronicles the real story of Miss Lobdell's mid-19th-century accounts of dressing like a man (much like Fanny Fern did in the same era). On a more private front, a dear friend of mine gleefully told me about a gender-bender camping trip he went on where males and females switched clothing for the weekend and then discussed why and how this affected them. Lastly, I heard from a childhood friend who was horrified that her son's elementary school was strongly attached to hosting father/daughter "princess" dances and mother/daughter bowling outings -- despite outcries of sexism and heterosexism. (My friend suggested that the dance be a princess/prince dance, but her suggestion was shut down due to "tradition.")

Seems like it's getting to be time to deeply discuss this socially-constructed category meant to define us . . . and limit us. Are times a'changing, my friends? Is it just me, or are there more instances calling for gender bending tolerance and revision both in the larger arena of the public media, and in the smaller arenas of our personal discussions?