Wednesday, December 28, 2016

See ya 2016

I am having a hard time with knowing what direction to take this blog in as the year ends and a new one begins.   There is a part of me that is just so despondent on a political front, seeing the wars around the world, the general state of too many poor children who do not have basic necessities, the attack and continued rage people display at others differences.  It is hard to not want to write the blog as someplace to air these feelings - to share with others that feel the same - and maybe even to have it reach a place of dialogue with people who are on the other side of the spectrum.

I started this blog and I am still eternally grateful for the friend who started his, then stopped, who told me that there is never a reason not to try it.  It was a place for all those things that bind us, a place for shared experiences and most of all a place to add a little humor to day to day occurrences that are in many ways universal.  Motherhood, friendships, lovers, loves or just plain how the hell do you get through folding laundry fatigue - or is that just me ?

As I started to think of writing the last blog of the year I went back through the blogs I have written and with quite a bit of feather fluffing on my end (yes I made that expression up - yes you can use it even if it is in jest) I love that I have over 22, 000 reads.  I mean I never imagined that it would reach that.  Then I looked at who reads this thing anyway, besides my super awesome friends and especially a core group of loyalists that I never tire of hearing from when they tell me they liked one of them.   It is people from all over the world - I mean ALL over the world, beyond my circle of friends.  I have gotten the best notes from people who I never met who connected with something I wrote.  I have gotten a few less than loving notes too but to those I responded too and somehow we did not need to be uncivil, in fact they led to some good dialogue.

We accuse each other, rightfully so, in an age of fake news and memes as truth of also having a social media presence that is an echo chamber.   This is so true - after all how else can we feel as brilliant on some days as to see others cheer on our beliefs, because hell they believe them too.  The downfall to this is that we stop hearing from the other side,  we stop the dialogue and even stop - you know interacting except with people like ourselves.  What a miss this is - I live for learning different views, information, expanding my little corner of the world and even when I don't agree with someone I find a good, robust, heated discussion is great - the polar opposite of the advice on don't talk about politics, religion, sex, money.  Talk about all of it because if we cannot be civil with one another we are losing the opportunity to be more than we started out.

So where am I going with this blog in 2017?  I am going back to those things that unite us.  My most successful blogs, based on reads, seem to confirm that I am right to think we share so much more than we don't.  That the world has more in common than not.  That we all lose it, then breathe deep, when say a child leaves a pen in their pants and you get ink on clothes and have to wash them again.  That at that moment the idea of stabbing said child with said pen is a fleeting thought.  That you get most of it out with hairspray, dabbing (no not the kind all these kids are doing) and OxiClean.  That you tell said child he is lucky that you took the deep breath and that you wanted to stab them with said pen and boy aren't they lucky to have you for a mother who did not do that.

I am going to focus on things that may seem trivial but isn't it the day to day, more mundane things that most of us share and just want to survive?  Things like that most of us are sad at the death of celebrities that we like even though we know that well we do not really know them.  Maybe they are the soundtrack to a portion of our lives. An actress who rocked a gold bikini while chained to a lecherous blob and did not lose her sass.  We mourned the passing of a man who was a Prince then was a sign then was just simply a trouble person who happened to be a brilliant musician.  We mourned the passing a boxing legend who wasn't always a nice guy but was always willing to stand up for what he believed in, his strength in his convictions of fair play made him more a world champion than those gloved boxing hands.

We share sorrow at loses on a personal level.  Are touched by kindness from others and in the end are parents, lovers, spouses, friends, children and people who just want to laugh, scream, kiss, dance, sing and be present.

In 2017 I am going to take back my optimism and bring back the blog to being the place where a mom born in the 20th century is just trying to raise awesome kids for the 21st century.  Yeah I know I will have the occasional rant because hell it is who I am but I love the saying that you can change the world one random act of kindness at a time.  What could be more kind than welcoming 2017 with those things that bind us for the future ???

Thanks for reading and please keep doing it -- goodbye 2016 you sure have been memorable.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 23, 2016

Do they know it's Christmastime?

I see beauty in the hustle, decorations and bustle that cities have during Christmastime.  I love how places decorate, I love the lights, I look for window displays each year in the big department stores on Fifth Avenue and I even brave the Rockefeller Center shove and push to see the tree at least once. I love the season and it's total devotion to just making the ordinary look dressed up.    

I will admit that the crowds get the occasional curse words, short lived because then I look at a pretty light display and I am like dog with squirrel, distracted and slightly amused in a way that I may not otherwise be. 

I also really get so psyched to give gifts, to get gifts and to hopefully have given something that the person receiving it just totally loves.  So in that spirit here are my virtual gifts to all the amazing people who read this blog. 

In this year for those of us who may not have gotten the candidates we voted for it is easy to fall into cynicism but that's not going to change the outcome nor will it be a driver to keep going, to keep working for what we want for the future.  So my gift to all in this category is a pretty snowflake, look at it, so pretty, unique and independent yet put together with other snowflakes it is a force to be reckoned with.  

In this year that we have seen so many reign terror on innocents I give you the gift of knowing that we mourn those lost by celebrating life to the fullest.  Here is your shiny gift, wrapped in a bow, pretty paper and all full of opportunities and dreams.  These acts of terror remind us not to put off for another year those things that we want to do.  

After knowing that many live in war zones take a moment to appreciate your moments of peace. Maybe it is a warm cup of coffee or tea, maybe spiked or not, but there is no maybe about how good it is to have the ability to just stop and enjoy a moment.   So here is your mug, bow on the side go fill it and take a deep breath - peace begins with each of us. 

Here is to fun - yes fun, the kind that is not good for us because it is too much of whatever you enjoy, it is fun with kids and laughing at ourselves for having a piece of tape stuck to our hair after wrapping presents (oh is that only me?).  It is fun in letting people rip the paper that you did everything to wrap so meticulously. The joy of laughter that reaches the eyes when the gift is just as perfect as you hoped it would be. 

Here is to all that holiday music - yeah, yeah but admit it there is a smirk when it comes on, a sing along here and there.  

Christmastime - full of pagan rituals like the tree and decorations - celebrating a man whose birth came to his parents who struggled to find love and caring instead of cynicism even when things got rough.  Jesus is the reason for the season because you can be a devout Christian or an atheist and appreciate that he was a man dedicated to the possibilities we all have to be better to one another, to forgive and most of all to enjoy the moment (after all he did turn water into wine). 

Do they know it's Christmastime is from a song done many years ago to benefit a drought devastated area but really it applies to all of us - we can give more if we love, live and enjoy our own lives more. 

So with that I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that jazz

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Parenting children for the future not from our past

Image result for parenting in 21st centuryI recently watched a terrific middle school production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", this was top of my list of favorite books when I was middle school.  I think what strikes me more as a parent is that the parenting in it is pretty awful, except for Charley of course.  The parents seem to not understand that to raise children you need to teach them boundaries and accountability - luckily the Oompa Loompas do in the story.

I raise my children with a goal that they understand a few things - the world owes them nothing except a chance to prove themselves, that being kind is part of being part of this world, that we should behave as we want others to behave toward us, that you don't hit first but that at times bullies need you to strike last and stand up for what is right and to embrace who they are and who they want to be. 

I also raise my kids and struggle with understanding that they are not me at the same age.   They are growing up in a digital world and while we as parents often are befuddled by the fact that they can sit next to their friends and only communicate via a scree.  They are actually preparing for the world they will inhabit, it is different than ours.   They have their own version of social skills. They are very change agile and unafraid.  They question everything and while this is very frustrating at times as a parent it is also truly something to celebrate because they do not accept anything just because it is told to them, they want to know why and how.

It is not easy because they make us face things we are not comfortable with - we work differently, we learn differently and we see machines as less integrated than they do.  We may use social media but it is static - we view - they see it as action  - they use it.  They see the possibility of continuous evolution. I was in 6th or 7th grade when my father was very annoyed that I could use a calculator for tests.  His argument was that I should not need one and be able to do math at that level.  The teacher explained that I was going to live in a world where I would never not have access to a calculator.

Now full confession I do roll my eyes and get annoyed when a cashier cannot give me change without putting it into their register for the right amount to be calculated,  but my kids do not.  They do not see this as an issue because in their world this is the reality they have always lived with.   They are right they will not be in a situation ever where they will not have access to something that could help do these calculations and that is a skill, utilizing these devices, they need for their world much like my father had needed to know how to do this in his head for the world he inhabited.

Parenting is about adjusting to the world our children live in but the foundations of teaching kids the joys of not always having immediate satisfaction, that setting a goal and accomplishing it is really a great feeling, that you survive when you are in a bad situation if you learn from it and are lucky to have friends and family to support you and most of all that they need to treat others with kindness and respect.  The devices and their world are not the same one we were children in and while it is easier to try and make them conform to what we are comfortable in I try and remember I have to parent to make them great.

As Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate around this time of year it is ok to give them the things they like and expose them to things we may have enjoyed while teaching them to appreciate the gift of love they get.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Give the gift of confidence

If there is one thing I want to make sure my kids get from me it is the gift of confidence.  Not because I have it, actually I don't and it took a lot to even put that out there, but because I believe that giving that to them will help them not to hold back and go at life as if it is theirs for the molding.  

I believe most kids are born confident. It goes well with their curiosity, a toddler or young child knows no limits, no boundaries which can be frightening and exhausting as parents to watch but it is here that we as parents can teach caution or we can teach fear.  This parenting stuff is exhausting and totally amazing. 

My older son and I love watching a show called "This is Us" and if you have not seen it I recommend it for those of you who like intelligent dramas that are entertaining.  The acting is really good, the plot realistic enough and most of all it shows us that being part of a family is great and painful and horrible and wonderful and a work in progress.  One of the things he and I both picked up on is that of the 3 main characters, who are siblings, they have varying degrees of confidence yet they often appear to be totally kick ass confident.  The one sibling who has it the most appears to the be one that after much self-reflection and brutally honest conversations with his brother acknowledged he did get some favoritism, maybe because he is the adopted one, or maybe because he had so much in him that he learned to never fully let it go.  

Watching this show went well with a recent conversation I had about how fear has held me back so often.  For those people who know me it often garners a reaction of "You ? I think you are so confident" but from my very close friends who have threatened me with physical violence and big giant hugs and support because they understand that it is not confidence that is what most see but rather a really big, extroverted, love the world personality.  I am a person who embraces my curious and inquisitive nature and that may be some confidence in knowing that I can ask but there is a battle that rages within me to not let the "why don't you know that" or other things the negative commenter that lives in me take over. 

This lack of confidence is something that I have been working on, and as I approach 50 I am planning on kick some of the doubt's ass.  I have gotten more confident with age but it still is not where I would like to be, am on the road just not at the destination.  

It is the small things that we often can do as parents that diminish our children's confidence and it is something I actively work on not to do and to own up to if I do it with my own kids.  The small way that we never give a child a break when they are learning a new sport or hobby because we want them to be perfect and not to suffer at all when they are in public with this activity.  Maybe it is the "great job but" followed by asking for more of them.  It is when we kindly tell a child to eat better because it is not good to be overweight.  That moment when they do something so ridiculous that we shout "what is wrong with you".  If you are not guilty of any of these well then you are a lot better than almost everyone I know and I know some amazing people who excel at parenting.  

We do not do any of those things, unless there is a psychologically abusive situation, because we are bad people or even mean parents.  We do them because we have been exposed to negative reinforcement in our own lives.  For some it was even a driver - to prove that parent wrong, to throw it in their face, to get their attention.  For others it was glue, held you in place because you were going to prove them right and then some by failing or being mediocre.  

There are so many things I would have done differently in my mind but in reality I would probably not change any of them because they are all part of the fabric that makes me who I am.  I am just trying to teach my kids confidence. Confidence to know that there is no recipe for success unless they are part of writing it.  Confidence to not take a job only because of the pay but to love what they do or use the job that is just for pay to fund the life they love.  Confidence to go for it in love and ask for more and expect the world because that is what they will give to their future partners.  Confidence to not be grateful for settling for "just good enough" because you do not want to be told that is all you deserve or less.  

I do this and I fail at times and succeed at others.  The world is really good at telling us what we cannot do, how we failed, and tearing us down but that is mostly if we let it.  The world is really good at being awed by those with confidence.  This year I am looking to give my kids the gift of confidence by praising them, by making them feel safe to trust me with anything and expect that even when I do not agree with something it will be in their best interest.  I want my kids to be proud and excited and excel and that comes from celebrating their success and building on their unique talents.  
Confidence .. yeah it will be the gift that keeps on giving. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

There is always something to be thankful for

product Thankful Cards - TurkeyThis is not going to be a long blog because for those of us in the States this is Thanksgiving week.  We are busy prepping, making lists, wondering if politics will be the actual turkey at the table and getting ready to travel or host.  

In all that frantic rush it is so easy for us to start to focus on the "crap the store is out of",  member X of my guests will annoy member Y, am I really going to get all of this done ?  For me I do not really stress it. 

The first Thanksgiving I made was in an apartment I had that was 600 sq feet. Yeah the place was tiny.  It meant my friends who were coming over, as this was for them and it was the week before, were going to find a place and not have to use the bathroom once they sat down if they chose the other side of the table.  The table was actually borrowed folding card tables and pretty much with seats, also borrowed and folding, took up the entire living/dining room.  I asked for no help from my mother, yeah I was 20 so of course I knew it all, and nicely bought a frozen turkey that day.  Did you just gasp ?  I put it in the bathtub w cold water to defrost it -- at least I had a bathtub - after radiating myself by running an old fashioned microwave with the door open and half the turkey in.  I may also have over estimated and thought 2lbs per person so this thing was more of a brontosaurs sized bird than anything else.  

The turkey was made with an oven that had a tendency to go off, help of one of the guests, doused in beer (still think it was delicious) and feast was served at around 10pm.  Somehow it makes for good story and it was filled with laughter and yes people were creative in getting in and out of the room with the table.   

I did not really stress then and I do not stress now.  I am much more organized, I get organic birds at obnoxious per pound prices and of course like everyone I know who is in immigrant have my own take on what goes with Thanksgiving.  The turkey is a staple other things not so much.  

I love Thanksgiving - favorite holiday ever.  I love it because how awesome is it to have a day marked to take a look at what we are grateful for.  This year I realized how grateful I am to my mom. She really is an amazing person.  My mom is really giving and even when we do not see eye to eye through time I have come to appreciate how she gives me wide leeway to have an opinion.  That may not seem like a big deal but it is because it is her way of empowering me.  She is a radical feminist that does not admit it.   

I loved the crazy first Thanksgiving for the same reason I love the current one and future ones.  It gives me a chance to send little notes to people who make my life that much better and tell them I love them, maybe make a date to give them a big ass kiss.  It is a time where I take stock and think while there is so much that breaks me in the world there are so many people who want to make it right.   There is so much beauty, creativity and wonder in the world that I am grateful for - so many super smart people in my life or that I read about that give me hope. 

So go forth and do not wait until the day of to buy your frozen turkey but take a moment this Thanksgiving to appreciate the people you choose to be grateful for. 
HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

PS if you like the image it is from HamptonPaperdesigns.com - it is their thankful cards, helps as folks write down what they are grateful for, usually at least one good chuckle in there from one guest or my sons. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Making a list and checking it twice

I do not know about you all but I need a little break from politics - that does not mean I am not watching and keeping vigilant but it does mean that for a few days I just need to focus on the good to remind myself what is important in life - which is kindness, giving, loving.

To that end it is gift giving season. My favorite - I love finding the perfect gift for someone, the one that makes their eyes light up when they see it.  The perfect gift says I really thought about you, it is not about price but it is about priceless memories.  I used to love Oprah's gift idea show because of the sheer joy she had in finding the things, from the not in my budget but boy do I wish to the I can have that (one of my mine made her list - Hampton Paper Designs - she so wants to be me). 

Here is a list of some of my favorite, some highly frequented, places that I highly recommend and that you can thank me, you know with something from them or just by supporting small businesses, owned by amazing people, creative people who add to the world and who are based in the States.  Red or Blue state you cannot argue with supporting what is already great in America.  The bonus is that these are high quality much like the folks who read this blog. 

The cards, the wrapping paper, the pretty things around your table;

Hampton Paper Designs - Most of us watch all of those shows that have great set tables or amazing wrapping paper and wish we could have something like that too.  Maybe you watch Real Housewives or some other more elegant show and wish you could just have a little of what they have without the drama.  Well you actually can at least have a piece of it.  I mean really you cannot go wrong with anything from this business.   The woman who owns it is truly like Wonder Woman with pizzaz (and a wicked sense of style and humor).  The items range from cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, placemat.  The most popular gift I give is their calendars.  Seriously once I skipped a few people and they actually asked me to order them as soon as they realized they were not part of the gifts they had gotten.  The designs are whimsical yet classy and the quality makes you and the receiver feel all the much more special.   So after you finish buying from all the folks below wrap it up, sign the card in one of the many choices you will have a hard time choosing between. Place orders soon, glittering on calendars is done by hand, and everything is made to order. 
http://www.hamptonpaperdesigns.com/

So you think you can dance (and sing and play an instrument);

Mike Risko Music School - for those of you in an around the Hudson River towns who either have budding Beethovens or want to unleash that Rock Band Hero from beyond the TV this is a great place to go.  This is a family owned business, who has won numerous awards, and knows how to bring out the music in all of us.  They sell instruments and they give lessons in what is possible - to share an art form that though heard with the ears is felt with all of the senses and the soul.   Buy gift certificates and watch the smiles of those who receive them as they realize they can be the star that their shower may already know they are.
http://www.mikeriskomusicschool.com/

To be or not to be that is the question;


Theater O - also for those of you around the Hudson River towns.   Anyone who has children wants to leave the drama to the professionals so why not help your kids, or maybe even yourself, channel that talent they seem to have with their expressions of angst and curiosity of spirit with the gift certificate for lessons here.  The family who owns this prides themselves on their dedication to the craft and even more to their dedication to making children love the craft as much as they like to see their own names on the programs for the plays they put on.  I want honorable mention and an invite to any Oscar nominees of the future. 

http://www.theatero.org/

Knit one purl two;


Nelly Rose Designs
- knitting went from frumpy to super cool.  This is owned and run by a mom in Florida who is truly creative in multiple ways.  She will make you the traditional scarf, that you can pass off as your own if you must but that you will want to share where you got it from since there might be request for additional items.  The items range from the whimsical, think Yoda hat, to the more traditional, think nice cozy scarves.   She ships all over the US but place those orders soon as all these are handmade. 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NellyRoseDesigns

For the folks that you are friends with on Goodreads or in Book Club with;

Or for anyone who likes to read here are two that are written by full time moms, with other jobs, who just happen to be oh you know able to crank out novels that sell on Amazon. 

The French Twist series (French Twist, French Toast & French Fry) is the real-life French fairy tale written by Ossining resident Glynis Astie.  This story of how she met and married her French husband is so epic, it too her three books to tell it.   It is fun, funny and most of all you will look for (hint, hint) the next installment when you are done;
https://smile.amazon.com/French-Twist-Book-ebook/dp/B00EUF203Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1479255146&sr=8-2&keywords=glynis+astie

To Face the Fire by Nicola Noble - want to take a trip through the New York boroughs? Meet Donna Giannino , the main character,   "By day, she’s an editor at a publishing company in Manhattan. By night, she’s a Brooklynite shut in. The only variances are scheduled ahead of time and only happen if they involve her family or one of her close friends. It’s the only way she feels safe.  But is living a half-life really living? How do you make yourself whole again? How do you learn to trust again? How do you overcome the fear left behind after a brutal attack?"
https://smile.amazon.com/Face-Fire-Boroughs-Nicola-Noble/dp/0997494611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479255176&sr=8-1&keywords=nicola+noble

Dahhling you look fabulous;

Finally as you get ready to host, to attend or just to have a new look (those roots, those ends, that head massage -- ok at least one of those got to you) what better to visit, and while there get some gift certificates cause after all looking amazing is to be shared, than two fashion forward salons.  They treat you like the star (oh you are star if you followed all of the above. Now you can act, sing, have amazing personalized stationery, are well read with a fabulous custom made knitted accessory) that we all are to someone.

VaZa - they converted me from the slave to the round brush that this girl was, pulling, yanking, heating, ironing her curls (because they were not the curls you see on tv according to me) to a believer who has not blown out her hair in over 6 months, who gets stopped more than she ever has to be told how much people like those curls and who frankly has embraced her curly self.  Their color service is amazing, the chairs where you get your hair cut and the head massage may lend themselves to a nap (ok they will lend themselves to a nap).  If you are not a curly girl they will give you a cut to help you swing that great mane of hair that we all practiced since we saw a tv ad for shampoo.    Owned by 2 sisters and in the heart of Ossining it is an elegant salon that makes you feel special - so go fab up and get gift certificates for all. 
http://www.vazasalon.com/

NuMe Salon - another high end salon for those of you in the Hudson Rivertown area. Make an appointment with Kim Flood and tell her how you want to have the hair you see in some magazine, online, on a friend and she will tell you what version of it will make you the one that people take pictures of to bring to her to ask to look "just like that".   Go alone, go with a friend, buy a gift certificate and pamper yourself too.   You will love and so will those that love you. 
https://www.facebook.com/numehairsalonossining/




Making a list and checking it twice

I do not know about you all but I need a little break from politics - that does not mean I am not watching and keeping vigilant but it does mean that for a few days I just need to focus on the good to remind myself what is important in life - which is kindness, giving, loving.

To that end it is gift giving season. My favorite - I love finding the perfect gift for someone, the one that makes their eyes light up when they see it.  The perfect gift says I really thought about you, it is not about price but it is about priceless memories.  I used to love Oprah's gift idea show because of the sheer joy she had in finding the things, from the not in my budget but boy do I wish to the I can have that (one of my mine made her list - Hampton Paper Designs - she so wants to be me). 

Here is a list of some of my favorite, some highly frequented, places that I highly recommend and that you can thank me, you know with something from them or just by supporting small businesses, owned by amazing people, creative people who add to the world and who are based in the States.  Red or Blue state you cannot argue with supporting what is already great in America.  The bonus is that these are high quality much like the folks who read this blog. 

The cards, the wrapping paper, the pretty things around your table;

Hampton Paper Designs - Most of us watch all of those shows that have great set tables or amazing wrapping paper and wish we could have something like that too.  Maybe you watch Real Housewives or some other more elegant show and wish you could just have a little of what they have without the drama.  Well you actually can at least have a piece of it.  I mean really you cannot go wrong with anything from this business.   The woman who owns it is truly like Wonder Woman with pizzaz (and a wicked sense of style and humor).  The items range from cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, placemat.  The most popular gift I give is their calendars.  Seriously once I skipped a few people and they actually asked me to order them as soon as they realized they were not part of the gifts they had gotten.  The designs are whimsical yet classy and the quality makes you and the receiver feel all the much more special.   So after you finish buying from all the folks below wrap it up, sign the card in one of the many choices you will have a hard time choosing between. Place orders soon, glittering on calendars is done by hand, and everything is made to order. 
http://www.hamptonpaperdesigns.com/

So you think you can dance (and sing and play an instrument);

Mike Risko Music School - for those of you in an around the Hudson River towns who either have budding Beethovens or want to unleash that Rock Band Hero from beyond the TV this is a great place to go.  This is a family owned business, who has won numerous awards, and knows how to bring out the music in all of us.  They sell instruments and they give lessons in what is possible - to share an art form that though heard with the ears is felt with all of the senses and the soul.   Buy gift certificates and watch the smiles of those who receive them as they realize they can be the star that their shower may already know they are.
http://www.mikeriskomusicschool.com/

To be or not to be that is the question;


Theater O - also for those of you around the Hudson River towns.   Anyone who has children wants to leave the drama to the professionals so why not help your kids, or maybe even yourself, channel that talent they seem to have with their expressions of angst and curiosity of spirit with the gift certificate for lessons here.  The family who owns this prides themselves on their dedication to the craft and even more to their dedication to making children love the craft as much as they like to see their own names on the programs for the plays they put on.  I want honorable mention and an invite to any Oscar nominees of the future. 

http://www.theatero.org/

Knit one purl two;


Nelly Rose Designs
- knitting went from frumpy to super cool.  This is owned and run by a mom in Florida who is truly creative in multiple ways.  She will make you the traditional scarf, that you can pass off as your own if you must but that you will want to share where you got it from since there might be request for additional items.  The items range from the whimsical, think Yoda hat, to the more traditional, think nice cozy scarves.   She ships all over the US but place those orders soon as all these are handmade. 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NellyRoseDesigns

For the folks that you are friends with on Goodreads or in Book Club with;

Or for anyone who likes to read here are two that are written by full time moms, with other jobs, who just happen to be oh you know able to crank out novels that sell on Amazon. 

The French Twist series (French Twist, French Toast & French Fry) is the real-life French fairy tale written by Ossining resident Glynis Astie.  This story of how she met and married her French husband is so epic, it too her three books to tell it.   It is fun, funny and most of all you will look for (hint, hint) the next installment when you are done;
https://smile.amazon.com/French-Twist-Book-ebook/dp/B00EUF203Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1479255146&sr=8-2&keywords=glynis+astie

To Face the Fire by Nicola Noble - want to take a trip through the New York boroughs? Meet Donna Giannino , the main character,   "By day, she’s an editor at a publishing company in Manhattan. By night, she’s a Brooklynite shut in. The only variances are scheduled ahead of time and only happen if they involve her family or one of her close friends. It’s the only way she feels safe.  But is living a half-life really living? How do you make yourself whole again? How do you learn to trust again? How do you overcome the fear left behind after a brutal attack?"
https://smile.amazon.com/Face-Fire-Boroughs-Nicola-Noble/dp/0997494611/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479255176&sr=8-1&keywords=nicola+noble

Dahhling you look fabulous;

Finally as you get ready to host, to attend or just to have a new look (those roots, those ends, that head massage -- ok at least one of those got to you) what better to visit, and while there get some gift certificates cause after all looking amazing is to be shared, than two fashion forward salons.  They treat you like the star (oh you are star if you followed all of the above. Now you can act, sing, have amazing personalized stationery, are well read with a fabulous custom made knitted accessory) that we all are to someone.

VaZa - they converted me from the slave to the round brush that this girl was, pulling, yanking, heating, ironing her curls (because they were not the curls you see on tv according to me) to a believer who has not blown out her hair in over 6 months, who gets stopped more than she ever has to be told how much people like those curls and who frankly has embraced her curly self.  Their color service is amazing, the chairs where you get your hair cut and the head massage may lend themselves to a nap (ok they will lend themselves to a nap).  If you are not a curly girl they will give you a cut to help you swing that great mane of hair that we all practiced since we saw a tv ad for shampoo.    Owned by 2 sisters and in the heart of Ossining it is an elegant salon that makes you feel special - so go fab up and get gift certificates for all. 
http://www.vazasalon.com/

NuMe Salon - another high end salon for those of you in the Hudson Rivertown area. Make an appointment with Kim Flood and tell her how you want to have the hair you see in some magazine, online, on a friend and she will tell you what version of it will make you the one that people take pictures of to bring to her to ask to look "just like that".   Go alone, go with a friend, buy a gift certificate and pamper yourself too.   You will love and so will those that love you. 
https://www.facebook.com/numehairsalonossining/

SaraNicole.com  - because we all overindulge and most of us make those promises post holiday, some call them goals and some call them resolutions, others sigh and just call them necessary.   You know what I am talking about the dreaded or maybe beloved (yeah I know those people too) exercise.  Whatever your particular sport of choice is most of us want to look good doing it, yet be comfortable and most of all we want to be worrying about increasing our reps not whether or not the quality of the clothes we are wearing will hold up.   There are so many amazing big name brands that supply this but in the spirit of this blog how about giving SaraNicole.com a try.  They have everything you need to get yourself to the gym, maybe that's a motivator you get to buy and wear new cool looking clothes.  For those days where the only exercise you have the inclination for is eye rolls at Netflix binging well they have stay at home and feel good in their pjs and sweatpants wear.  
http://saranicole.com/




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Marathon Time

Image result for marathon images       In the dictionary the word "marathon" is defined as;


            • a long-distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).
            • a long-lasting or difficult task or operation of a specified kind
This past weekend the NYC Marathon took place.   This year and in years past I had been on the sidelines cheering friends on in the marathon, I had been on the sidelines just cheering people on even when I did not know anyone running. I am always torn between a few emotions.  The first I must confess is a bit of a bewildered musing on why would anyone do this?  It is brutal, takes a lot of time, takes a lot of training and discipline and looks frankly exhausting.  That thought says nothing about the race or the racers but everything about me.  I do not like any exercise that much - I love my tennis and I love my walking but that is where this ends.  The second thought is humility in the face of these runners who do all of the above and manage to complete the race, never mind the ones that do it like the Flash, just the people for who this not a profession. I am truly am in awe of your accomplishment. The third thought is one that makes me weepy.  I love the sea of humanity that is the NYC marathon.  It is the world, the world with common goals, the world with the pains and aches it takes to achieve, the world with the smiles on the faces of the runners and the grimaces on those who suffer.  The world literally in terms of who is there.  It is the world showing that in a competitive sport people whose governments have convinced us cannot possibly inhabit the same planet are able to compete without violence alongside a 26.2 mile stretch.  It is the wave of cheers coming in different languages, different races, different everything united in their support for these runners.

In the States we have all been living the 2nd definition, training and feeling the pain, wishing at times we can give up but knowing it is still a while to the finish line in this election cycle.  Today is the finish line, you are in Central Park.  We are tired, we are looking at those blankets they give out at the end and the medals with fatigue.  If we were running the marathon though we would not stop right before that gate of balloons!!  Not unless we passed out or were physically unable.   So as tired as we may all be today is the Finish Line we have to vote, to cast our voice.

The 2 events could in some ways also not be more different - one is about the celebration of the human spirit, unity, diversity, the best that we can achieve and the other has been all about pointing out the blisters, the sweat and some frankly cheap shots and tripping.

I would like to think I have not yet succumbed to cynicism and believe that we all are more like the NYC marathon runners and cheering crowd.  People were there to encourage their fellow human beings, they were handing out water, cheers, hugs and applauding their efforts.   Runners are there to show that when you really try, even with obstacles, you can accomplish your goals.

Marathons started in the same place that gave us the budding notion of democracy.  We are all fatigued if not physically from the marathon than emotionally from the election process.  I want to see that spirit of unity that I saw in the NYC marathon happen after the election even if my candidates do not win and I do not want to see the camp that wins treat it like bullying rights over the camp that doesn't.  I am hoping that we all hand each other a virtual blanket and smile that we accomplished something great - democracy never promises to be easy, but unlike any other system especially those we see with Putin and his ilk, it does give us promise of hope and possibility.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Taking a step back

Image result for taking a breatherIn a world that appears to constantly rushing forward, where 15 min of fame has turned into 15 min to get your point across and have it appear as fact whether it is or not.  A place where technology moves at the speed of light and we more often than not find ourselves wondering why we agreed to that one more thing I think we need a Take A Breath Day.

Not an add on to a scheduled time, or a few hours, but a whole day where we can sit back and not be caught in the frenzy.  

As a woman who works outside the home and has two rapidly growing boys I find myself more often than I like just wondering where the day, week, month, year went.   I am looking at the things I just accomplished and the things still to be scheduled and done.  I am claiming a day soon where I just focus on the here and now.

It is so easy to think 1) that everything is new 2) that we have to partake in it all 3) that we will always have the time to do all of it.

Let's look at the political news cycle -  no this is not our first, nor even just the US election history's, candidate that has spoken of the things we all shudder to hear uttered.   She is not novel in having ties and history with people who we wish would not be near our elected officials.  We have survived worse and we have thrived with better.  We will do that also this time around.  What is sad is that we forget this and allow this much power and attention to be given to people who frankly should be given none.   The attention we lavish on them is not even new it is just is happening faster.  If we took a moment to look at the candidates, to really research them and to apply a measured review we would vote for what is best not what answers our emotions. Take a breath - take a step back - then vote. 

If you look at our children people are freaking out over screen time, the way they interact, the fact that they have access to infinite information yet choose to watch YouTube videos.   If we took a step back this would not seem remotely new to any of us.   These are different technologies but exactly the same behaviors.  We had it with TV, our parents had it with phones, and so on.  Each generation changes to the evolution of the media available to them.  This does  not make any of it right or wrong it just makes it a point to think about. Take a breath - take a step back - you survived Bugs Bunny and learned opera from it, they will learn from this and be amazing for the skills they learn. 

The idea of taking a step back is so that you can propel yourself forward.  Taking a moment to look at what you read and find out if it is real is easier today than ever before.  Sending a message is easier but should not be done with less thought that it has in years past - the technology does not make bad behavior acceptable. Take a breath - read the message before you send it out loud in your voice in your head - then send it if it still accomplishes what you hope it would. 

The things that give us pleasure should not be rushed through.  Being present with your children instead of worrying, examining, planning is a gift for them and for us.  Enjoying sex, food, music, faith, exercise, reading, creativity or whatever it is that is done for pleasure, happiness should be done not as another thing to check off but given time, attention.  Take a deep breath - have more of those things - go on you can come back to this blog. 

I once was hurt tremendously by someone who "fit me" in, who thought he complimented me by saying he thought I was so accommodating by making the time we spent together convenient.  He hurt me because I realized he would never step back to make me a priority, to step back like you would with a painting and see it from a different perspective and that perspective was how the picture of me should have been seen whole to ensure that I was a priority.  I was not the tv ad you skip by, I should have been the masterpiece that he wanted to contribute to.  It took me years to learn that and I am thankful for the experience.  Took a deep breath - went to therapy - think of him fondly for helping me realize this. 

So take a step back, close your eyes, deep breathe and take some time to appreciate the now while it is still the present instead of admiring it as part of a history you just captured on social media while you were hurling to the next thing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm just a bill sitting here on a Capitol Hill

I loved Schoolhouse Rock and I am pretty sure I learned a lot of information just based on the catchy songs they used to have.

One of my all time faves is the "I'm Just a Bill" one learning about how a bill gets passed into a law.   I can picture the face on the rolled up piece of paper with the word bill on a button.  If you were not a child of the late 70s and 80s then you may want to google these, they are still spot.  Nothing much has changed and they are still relevant, graphics sure got better but there is something so comforting about these and the way they look.

I have always wanted to keep my boys informed on world and current events.  I of course filter some of it, there is too much hurt out there and some things are just not age appropriate in detail but I have never shied away from telling them when things are wrong just as much as I tell them when things are right.

It is a balance to do this and one that I try and navigate carefully.  I also have to be mindful of the fact that not all families are open to sharing the news with their children for a variety of reasons so mine cannot be the Google of the school bus on certain topics.

However, I never really thought I would have to have so many conversations about candidates who are running for office as I have this year.  We started out as talking about who is running, why people may be supportive of the different candidates.  So far so good but then this reality show pretending to be an election seemed to take over.

It is hard to teach them about democracy and how the process works when most things are reduced to Saturday Night Live skits that are so close to the real debates that it is hard to not wonder if they are not using same writers.

It is hard to teach children about integrity and dedication when one candidate is surrounded with questionable deals and has been found to be less than forthright multiple times.

There is a challenge in teaching them to respect people with disabilities, immigrants, people of color, women, veterans who were POWs, veterans who suffer from having suffered and more blatant lies that get passed off as "tells it like it is" -- no that candidate tells it like his interests require, truth and facts optional at best.

I am trying to raise children who are aware of issues, who understand the workings of the globe, who are horrified by wars and terrorists and who are also open minded and appreciative.  Kids who appreciate what democracy is and want to foster it.

These candidates and this election cycle, the media included, are making my job as mother in this respect harder.  How can I tell them our system is flawed but with great merit, that we should respect one another and that our goals for elected officials is that they put the country first even when those choices are hard?  How can they have faith when lies are spouted about rigged elections instead of understanding that rigged and bias have different definitions.

My youngest son just ran for class representative as did one of his female friends.  I think these two 10 year olds could teach our candidates for president quite a lot.  My son wrote a speech, which we worked on together and that he practiced multiple times, his intro was about why he was running, the body was why he would always represent the entire class and how he wanted it to be a great year for all and the conclusion thanked the other candidates and asked for his classmates vote but no matter the outcome he was hoping he could work with whoever won to make 5th grade a good experience. His friend made a poster telling the world that while she may be small she was a powerhouse and that she was dedicated to being the best for them.   My son lost, he was upset but I told him that he should be proud of how he ran his campaign and how he had really tried.  The girl who beat him is nice he told me but he still thinks he would have been the better choice.   They were perfect these two kids - they were cooler than the "I'm Just a Bill" video.  His friend also did not win but got alternate.  I personally think of course they both should have won but here is an example of my bias (just since it seems that is a hard concept for some out there to grasp).   I am awed by these two, and their friends and older siblings.  They are ambitious with their own merit.

These two 10 year olds got it - I mean really got it.  The idea of serving for office was clear to them, you listen to all, you take it up to whoever needs to pass the rule, you try to make it good for the class and oh yeah they are both all about the "pursuit of happiness".  They are too young for scandals but they are not too young to be childish and fight that way yet they showed more maturity than one candidate has shown pretty much since he has been in the public eye and more integrity that we had hoped for from the other.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Do people change ?

"Luther" is a show that I discovered on Netflix and that I liked for the intelligent writing, great plots, clever character development and oh yeah Idris Elba - handsome, smart and kick ass accent, impossible not to swoon.

In one episode two of his co-workers are talking about how shocking it is that his marriage unravelled.  After all they are two smart people in the show who are written as having had a solid relationship with loads of passion in it.  Yet that is the outside view.  No one knows what a marriage looks like, not in films and not in real life.  There is the public view and then there is the reality of the day to day.  No one knows what the reality is and each person in the marriage sees it truthfully from their point of view, which means that somewhere in the middle lies the reality of the events that transpire in that marriage. 

The other great line that was in the show was "Men and women get divorced because men marry a woman and hope she never changes and women marry a man and look to change themselves and him along with it".   I know it is a generalization but it seems so spot on.  I have had the pleasure of having both male and female friends and I feel slightly voyeuristic, and the psych major too, listening to them describe relationships.  Aren't we all though as friends - front row seats to hearing about it. We don't listen out of malice but rather out of a need to be there, to be helpful.  

In these years I have seen this happen a lot.  My male friends are smart, funny, good looking and over all good guys but most of them have been pretty much that guy all of their lives.  Nothing wrong with that, I wouldn't have been friends with them if they were jerks.   My female friends are smart, funny, good looking and over the years have changed in so many ways.  Those attributes a constant but their expectations, their wants, their needs vastly different from the times we were younger. 

I know this to be true for me.  I have needed different things throughout my life and as I get closer, and really close, to being 50 I look back and know that the girl I was in my twenties, the young woman I was in 30s, the woman I am in my 40s and the middle aged woman I am going to be in my 50s are very different with a foundation that is the same.  

In a marriage we look for partners who have similar dreams and ideologies to ours.  We hope to have the same goals and see the same road that we are heading down.  

Yet if women so often decide they want to take a different road, explore a different avenue and men become more comfortable finally not having to ask for directions because they know where they are headed is it any wonder that so many relationships do not last ? 

Maybe we are not meant for the long term, the monogamous.  Maybe we are meant to find partners for the stages of our lives.  Then again maybe not.  Maybe for some people growth is a joint venture or they learn to live together but grow in different ways.  

People only change if they want to.   It is not fair to ask them to for ourselves because they may be perfectly content with who they are and we should respect that.  

Marriages are not easy and they are a journey but unless both members agree on how to navigate then they are bound to hit the rocks instead of the shore.  

I think as we have populations that stay alive longer this long term marriage becomes that much more of an equation to be worked on.  There is not much in this world that we really need but to find yourself in a relationship that does not make you more lonely than being alone, being happy, being passionate and being supported in growth is something worth working on and striving for. Otherwise, let's stop the judgement and go back to just being there for our friends as they make choices that are right for them. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It's only words.. but words can mean so much


Image result for no means no This is a hard blog for me to write yet silence is not option anymore, it implies consent apparently and it is important to add my voice to the discourse going on. 


This past weekend I too was horrified by the words used by a certain candidate, not because I have an issue w the word pussy or the idea of men talking about women they would like to have sex with (sorry gents but women talk in detail at times about the things they like and don't in this area).  I was horrified at the way it was bandied about that he took, he groped, he grabbed, he was on someone like a dog in heat (bitch).  All that imagery is about taking, invasive, not sex it is about power as it usually is and demeaning the recipient because their most intimate thing to give is not up to them to do so. 

I have also watched a few Netflix documentaries that dealt with women in peril  Women who like sex and get vilified for it, women who are survivors of sexual assault who are vilified for it, women who partake in this vilification and how men, too many not all, just don't get it.  Do not get that this is not their for the taking, that we are not property (and hell if you think seeing a watch at Tiffany's is wrong to grab and go because it is stealing how do you not see it as the same to grab something on my body?).   

I was a volunteer crisis counselor for 10 years in NYC for rape and domestic violence survivors.   Here are things I learned during that time and seem to not have changed much since; 

1) NO - means no but it is not heard as such it is heard as no..no.. maybe,  the silence and fear in the eyes taken as consent but NO MEANS NO
2) Passed out or incapacitated does not equal consent
3) False sexual assault reporting is on par w false reports of robbery about 2-8% according to FBI statistics -- however, the number of women who do not report sexual assault is significantly higher than 2-8%.  They seek medical help but they do not want to report it 
4) Most of us have been subjected to some level of this behavior in our lifetimes, us means women I know of various ethnicity, races, religions, sexual orientation 
5) It is insulting and a cop out for those who commit the attacks to use the "boys will be boys" excuse - boys and men will be boys and men with good behavior.  Abusers will be abusers not due to their gender but due to their lack of compassion, empathy.  

I think back upon my own life and think of the times I have excused this behavior, or laughed it off and pushed back and while I was never raped I have been in public spaces where men have touched me on my ass, my breasts and it was horrible. I have had men feel that buying me dinner meant getting something out of it and being downright nasty when this was not the case.   A family friend asked me if I wanted him to teach me how to kiss when I was 12, he was in his late 30s, I feigned stomach ailments and locked myself in the bathroom avoiding him until my parents came home.  I did not tell people always about this or if I did it was in a joking I am over it way, because it was shameful - what had I done to encourage this?  I now know I did nothing but exist and that seemed to be enough. 

I watched Donald hover behind Hillary in the last debate, or walk toward her as she sat down and I cringed because this is what happens too frequently to women.   We now take it as a given too often and yet as a mother of boys I have to raise them to understand this is not so.   Our personal space is not ours but there for the taking from hovering to worse. 

Our male friends and partners have all seen us look away uncomfortably at parties,  laugh at jokes but our eyes were not laughing but instead looking around for an escape.  They have seen us get headaches, leave jobs, blame ourselves, suddenly no longer love that short skirt we so liked a few minutes before because it is not a fashion statement but a vulnerable spot.  They have helped us deal with this.  So boys will be boys and boys who are truly great humans understand all of this.  Do not let the others taint you with their words men. 

The movies I watched were the Amanda Knox story and Audrey & Daisy.  

I was not convinced about Amanda Knox before seeing it, she was odd, she reacted oddly, I judged her on that.  Watching the documentary though what struck me, more than the sheer incompetence of the police on the case, was that in order to make a case against her they had to make her a sexual woman, a woman who may have engaged in sex with more than one partner (not at the same time or maybe at the same time, consensual of course) so deviant, a woman whose sexual freedom was equated with lack of knowing wrong from right in terms of murder.  To do this they also had to make the victim saintly, the exact opposite.  The whole virgin Madonna syndrome at play.  How does this happen in the 21st century?  How is it that women should not like sex, should not have multiple partners, should not experiment because the message is if they do then whatever happens to them and other women is justified?! It actually goes hand in hand with "locker room" talk, the way they talked though I assume the locker room is behind bars in a sexual violent criminal section.  The idea that women need you to take it, to grab, to grope and that they are not really saying no but falling in line with the notion of virtue is defined by sexual conduct. 

The other documentary is "Audrey & Daisy" and it is going to be a must see now for my own sons. The stories about the assaults are truly chilling, the backlash against these girls even more so.   There is a sense that girls and women put themselves in vulnerable positions and that boys well they just can't help themselves.  But they can - if they can help themselves to wait for someone to be unconscious before they assault them - if they can help themselves to make a video of the assault - if they can stop and remember every detail of how drunk/incoherent she was but not if she was willing - if they are human beings who see women as human beings not tits, pussy, ass and conquest - well then I have full faith then they are just smart enough to know what they are doing is wrong.   Social media can be the advocate for these survivors of the assaults but they are much too often the mob with pitchforks looking to pin the scarlet letter on the woman.  I cried and then was humbled by the young women in this film, I was disgusted by the sheriff and frankly I was scared by the people of their age who would not stand up for them or worse tore them down.  They survived - how do we not recognize that - when the boys in these cases did not even deny their actions. 

I know why women do it - I remember years ago when the Central Park jogger was brutally raped.  I, along with the city and the world, was horrified at the viciousness of the attack.  Yet my first thought was "why did she go running through the park in the dark ?".  Because I would never do that .. ergo this would never happen to me.  That is why it happens - if we banish the victims with they were at fault, they put themselves in that situation, the what did you expects we are safe because we would not do those things and we are safe.  Yet we are not - this happens in our homes, this happens with people we trust as friends and we cannot banish the monsters by just not looking under the bed. 

It is not just words, it is locker room talk a place where it is still ok to have a range from "she's hot I would fuck her" to" I would grab and climb and take that".  It is permissions given to one another in those settings to not be accountable but to dominate.  It is about power and taking.  

Words hurt for as long if not longer than physical scars - they are embedded in our psyche and impact so much of our actions.   Too many religions have also decided that woman is not an equal that we cannot be trusted to make decisions about our bodies, how we cover or not, our sexuality.  Women' s sexuality  - it scares the weak minded among men so they use it against us to take away our power to make decisions about it through laws, doctrine, physical assault. 

I love a good flirt as much as anyone and I admire a good looking man as often as I can.  This is not about flirting or about who we have consensual relations with.  This is about power.  I cannot say it enough - power that is exerted over someone. 

It's not only words it is scars. 

If you still cannot tell the difference here is how I try and teach it to my boys;

You my son are at a party - you drink too much, you should not because it can lead to really bad choices or harm you from alcohol poisoning, but you do it anyway cause hey what does mom know and after all EVERYONE is doing it.  You drink too much and you pass out and a group of your friends/acquaintances/strangers come in and take your cell phone, they take your watch, they undress you and take pictures and post them on line and they make fun of you and you are not quite sure what else they did.  You drank too  much, you had flirted, you may have even lent them your watch in the past.  Feels wrong doesn't it? It should  - they are awful - they took from you -- you did not matter just taking did.  They are awful people.  Why would sexual assault be any different - it is much easier after all to replace the watch but the trauma that would cause would be long lasting - imagine if they stole parts of your body, your self?






Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wanderlust

 I am a woman who embraces her wanderlust and it conflicts with my love of being a mom and providing consistency for my sons which then is topped by a whopping dose of guilt about this. 

I have never lived any in one place for as long as I have lived in my current home, 12 years to be exact.   My sons on the other hand think of the idea of moving as totally unappealing.  For me being in one place really clashes with my sense of enjoying change, moving to a new place, starting fresh in a new location and no I do not like packing and unpacking, that would just be odd.  

It goes in line with my enjoyment in new things, new theories, different cultures and traveling.  It helps me cleanse things when I have moved and though I have done a great job decluttering (and am ready for round two of it soon) new spaces, new places jazz me.  
I miss spontaneity too - something you give up, willingly in my case, when you have kids. There are schedules to make, follow, implement.   Kids depend on us to get them from baby music together classes to drop offs at friends houses,  especially so in areas like mine where they cannot easily get to a friend's house without parental chauffeuring.   I like it but it is consuming, juggling with my career, with my taking care of most things that the family needs or does, squeezing in some personal things like tennis or writing/painting.  It is the focus of my days and when I do get some down time I am often found multi-tasking.  

It is maybe because I am only child, or because I did not marry young so was used to the independence of relying on myself and being to just go to a concert or a trip on the spur of the moment.  It is maybe because while I am good at scheduling and organizing I am also a person who likes to just go with the flow and try something because it suddenly became available.  I love to travel and one of my favorite things to do when traveling is have nothing scheduled - just walk around a place, take in a sight or not, sit and watch the people.  Probably why I love visiting cities so much - I do not consider hiking or trekking through a forest on the list. 

It is hard for those of us who are moms to reconcile this easily with the need and want we have to be with our kids, we know the time with them is fleeting before their own wanderlust kicks in.  We do not have to do anything except be the best moms we can be for them but we also should remember that we are in need of being the best person we can be for ourselves.  

They are not mutually exclusive, though the whole I decided to take off for a day thing probably will not work for most of us with our families - but the whole I decided to take some time for myself with advance notice should.  Prepare schedule though for the person left behind - trust me it will be to your advantage. 

I find it amazing as women how much we are expected to give and while men have different pressures I do not live them so I look at this from my perspective and that of the other women I talk to.  I miss spontinaiety and yet I do not resent not having it, it is there on the cusp and waiting for me along with all else that as I approach 50 am putting forth as aspirations for my life.  

Until then I will look and appreciate the pictures that my friends who are travelling post, take scheduled vacations and make sure the schedule I manage includes time for down time for the boys and I to just enjoy each others company.    Wanderlust not diminished just on hold.