The Dishwasher

I am cursed.  No, not by a witch or a spirit.  I am cursed by extraordinarily bad luck with dishwashers.  For a family of three, who runs the dishwasher once a day, we seem to need a new dishwasher more often than normal.

Last month, right before I was sick (I believe I’m going to think of my life as BP-before pneumonia and AP- after pneumonia) our dishwasher broke.  You may remember that I burned my arm whole trying to fix it. Now of course, the warranty had ended about six days before the dishwasher washed its final dish.

The same thing happened with the last dishwasher.  Warranty ends.  Dishwasher breaks.  In twenty years, this apartment has gone through five dishwashers.  We’ve had two stoves, two refrigerators and two microwaves, and the only reason we had two was because we remodeled and upgraded.  We’ve had one mixer and one blender and one food processor and two coffee makers.  And five dishwashers.

BP, I was researching dishwashers.  Then I got sick (see how I keep reverting back to that).  So, what I’m saying is, while I was sick, there was no dishwasher.  Get out your little violins and play, because I realize this is the worst thing to befall a family- the workhorse is sick and the dishwasher is broken.

My daughter tried to get out of dishwashing by saying that we were sure to get dysentery if she washed dishes.  My husband went the passive aggressive route and just did a lousy job of washing dishes.  And me. I would wash my one plate and one bowl and one mug and one glass, dry them, and just stare at the amount of crockery and utensils my family could accumulate in a tiny sink.  It sort of became a game.

Which brings us to today.  I have not researched dishwashers.  I have not thought about replacing said dishwasher.  I am enjoying watching my family squirm.  I have enjoyed watching them wash and dry and put away dishes every night.  Enjoyed watching them get to know a sponge and a scrub brush, liquid dish soap and a dishtowel.  Everyone needs a little fun in their life.

Will I eventually get a new dishwasher?

Yes.  I like a dishwasher because I love to cook, but cooking requires getting stuff dirty, and seriously, does anyone like washing dishes by hand?

But for now, I’m enjoying teaching my family a little lesson about what it takes to make a household run.  I should have done it sooner.


One of my favorite Momism’s is “90% of success is showing up”.  I think Woody Allen said it originally, and even though I don’t really like him, I find this to be a pretty handy quote.  I often say this to my daughter, and she has taken it to heart.  She shows up.

From the time she was little I have also stressed the companion quotes, you may not win everything, but I can guarantee you will not win if you haven’t entered.  She competes in things.

Show up and join the game.

Seems so simple, right?

Yet, how often do we do it? How often do we talk ourselves out of competing, or entering or showing up?  How often do we let others talk us out of things?

My kid wants to intern in a law related field this summer.  This is a really hard proposition:  there are not many intern positions in law for high school students.  In fact, one of our friends said “Why is she bothering.  She’s not going to get anything.”

Why is she bothering?

Because if you don’t even try, you’ll never know what is out there.  So she’s applied for five internships.  She got four interviews with four different programs.  She didn’t get one of them.  She’s waiting to hear from two of them.  And she’s entered the training portion of one program (she doesn’t know if she actually had a placement, but is receiving invaluable mentoring advice in the meantime).  She’s in this position because she showed up.  She tried.  True- she may not actually get anything, but at least she was in the game- she put herself out there.

And right now, you’re thinking, what a good Mom.  Look how she motivates her kid.

Which I do.


My daughter likes to write, mostly poetry and essays, but writing is writing.  A few months ago she read about a 10 minute, 1 act play contest.  She loves the theater, has been a stage hand/tech person since sixth grade.  But writing a play?  She’s never even tried.

So she started writing a play.  And it was pretty lame.  The writing was OK, but the dialogue and story were awkward and clumsy.

So she started thinking about other ideas.

And she was coming up blank.

Then, she had an idea.


It was three days till the contest deadline.  Easter.  Our trip to DC.  There was very little time to actually write a play, no matter how short.  I told her not to bother- how was she going to do it?

She didn’t listen.  She just began writing the play.  She figured out how to add the little things that make it a play.  And ten minutes before the 12am deadline, the play was emailed.  The confirm receipt came shortly after.  The play was entered.

Will she win?  Who knows. Does winning matter?  Well, it depends on your definition of winning. Winning a prize?  Well, this particular contest will have 3 “winners” and 2 Honorable Mentions.  They get to put it on the resume.  That’s one version of winning.  The other version of winning is having the tenacity to finish something- the ability to take an idea, flesh it out, and submit it.

So, I’m giving my daughter the win.  She did what she needed/wanted to do.  The prize at the end will be icing, but she’s already got the cake.  She had a goal, figured out the steps and did it.

So what’s the point?

Just show up.  Get in the game.

That’s  how things happen.


Me and Daughter go to Washington

Last month, my daughter and I went to Washington DC to visit some schools.  We had a wonderful time.  Here you get my random thoughts of DC and the schools we saw, and just thoughts in general.

  1. DC is a great city.
  2. Our biggest problem with DC was the transit system.  I know- we know how to commute in NYC.  We figured out how to commute in France.  But DC?  Nope.  Different stations cost different amounts of money.  Two people can’t share one fair card.  The whole city is not accessible my subway.  I’m sure if we lived there we would figure it out.  But we found it frustrating.
  3. The museums are spectacular.  And free.
  4. The art museums were quieter than the other museums.  This was odd to us, because we’re used to lone lines and big crowds at the NYC art museums.  I’m guessing it’s because of the amount of tourists with young children.  Why see paintings when you can see planes.
  5. We never figured out how to get to the Jefferson Memorial.  We saw it.  Just couldn’t get there.
  6. Kennedy Center.  To be able to house a few different theaters in one location, with its perfect location on the water.  Wonderful.  And they have free music in the lobby at 6pm.
  7. Georgetown.  My kid loved this school.  Great pre-law.  The funny moment was when we got to the gates of the school.  We got out of our Uberpool, and the first thing she said was “This might be too rural for me.”  Georgetown.  In DC.  Where you can see the Washington Monument.  Too rural.  I just looked at her and she could see the WTF in my eyes.
  8. American.  She really liked this school.  Phenomenal pre-law school.  Gorgeous campus.
  9. George Washington- Foggy Bottom campus.  My kid did not think she would like this school because she was looking to top out at 10,000 undergrads and GW is larger, but she was pleasantly surprised.  Also great pre-law.
  10. When we visit museums on vacation, we do what we refer to as the highlights tour,  Before we get to a museum, we research which works we want to see.  We find it impossible to look at an entire museum, so we pick our faves and concentrate on 10-15 works.  This worked really well with the exception of National Portrait Gallery.  My daughter thinks Alice Paul is wonderful and she read that NPG had a portrait of her.  Alas, it was not on display when we got there.
  11. Dorothy’s ruby slippers were also not on display.  A little bummed, but life goes on.
  12. Disappointed in the spy museum- thought the NYC one was better.  But, as this is a really popular place, if you choose to visit, buy tickets in advance.  You’ll thank me later.
  13. DC is an awesome food city.  We did not have a bad meal.  Founding Farmers for breakfast and Ted’s Bulletin were our faves though.
  14. If you go to DC, wear good shoes.  We walked about 20 miles a day.  When we got to the hotel my whole leg area was crushed.
  15. Cherry Blossoms.  One of my bucket list items was to see the cherry blossoms over the tidal basin in DC.  A highlight of my life.  It was wonderful.

That is the brief summary of our trip.  I’m going to regale you with pictures tomorrow, assuming my internet isn’t playing the games that it’s been playing for two days.

Gratitude Saturday

This was my birthday week.  Yay.  This was a really easy week to be grateful.  I was surrounded by love, and there is really nothing better than that

  1. My Birthday
  2. grocery stores with a close proximity to my house
  3. 5$ Tuesday movies at AMC theaters
  4. Mille Crepe cake from Lady M
  5. my friends, whether they be from college, work, the neighborhood or blogging
  6. subscription boxes
  7. Teachers, and their ability to help students realize their dreams
  8. Nurses- it was nurse appreciation day- let’s remember them
  9. all those who took time out of their day to send me birthday wishes
  10. washing machines with extra large capacity
  11. surprises that are truly wonderful
  12. US Postal Service and UPS
  13. outdoor food markets
  14. birthday greetings, no matter how they are transmitted
  15. US News and World Report High School Rankings
  16. love

Post Birthday Post

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and the wonderful comments about my daughter!!  There’s nothing like the internet for making a birthday wonderful!!!

I had a wonderful birthday.

One of my friends took me to lunch at an outdoor foodspace.  I love eating outdoors, and I love the inventive and delicious food that is being created in foodtrucks and similar environments.

The highlight of my birthday was a complete surprise.  Now, I’m sort of a control freak, which roughly translates into me hating surprises, but this was different.  And it also made me feel like sort of an idiot.  See, when people asked what I was doing for my birthday, I told them I was going to my daughters school guitar concert.  But I didn’t say it like “Yay, I’m going to my daughters concert!!!”  it was more like- “”ooh.  I get to spend an evening with a bunch of kids who didn’t choose to go to a performing arts high school.”

So how surprised was I when I got to the concert and opened the program and saw that my daughter and her two best friends were performing a song that they wrote themselves?

The school guitar concert is mainly groups: advanced guitar, choir, jazz band and beginning guitar are all school groups and perform one or two songs as an ensemble.  Only three acts showcasing small groups of children are chosen.  And daughter and her friends were chosen.

It was surreal watching my daughter sing and play electric guitar while her friends sat beside her playing bass and acoustic.  Just one of those moments that i will always remember and will be forever connected to my birthday.

And the rest of my birthday was pretty awesome too. We went to my favorite Thai restaurant for dinner: jungle curry with chicken.  Yum.  And we came home to my favorite cake in the world, mille crepe.  Mille crepe is not really a cake, but really about a million crepes with crème in between the layers.  I meant to take a pic for the blog but we were too busy eating it.  The best version of this cake I find to be at Lady M bakery here in the city.  This is their specialty.

I also received a physical gift.  Now, I’ve said before that I hate gifts, but I’ve sort of become obsessed with subscription boxes. Seriously.  If I ever win the lottery, the winnings would go towards subscription boxes.  So, my family got me the Introverts Retreat box.  It was perfect!  A chick lit novel, bath bomb, face mask, socks and peanut brittle.  Perfect for my spa night sundays!!

So how do I feel about getting older?

Honestly, my life is pretty good.  I have a great family.  My health is good (pneumonia is just a one off) I love where I live.  I have amazing friends.  I have made so many friends blogging and feel like we’ve become an awesome community.  I have hobbies i enjoy, and things I love to do.  Best cat and dog.

Maybe I move a little slower, and maybe it takes me a little longer to recover, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  54 is a new beginning.  Thanks for joining me on the journey.

Guest Post- My Daughter Writes my Blog

Today is my birthday!! So as part of my birthday present, my daughter has written today’s post!!

Here it is:

May 10th marks a very special day. On May 10th, Amerigo Vespucci left to discover the New World. Benjamin Franklin began his kite-flying experiment, Halley’s comet had its closest approach to earth, Winston Churchill succeeded Neville Chamberlain, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president, and, most importantly, the queen was born.

And by queen, I mean my mom.

In honor of her 16th birthday, here are sixteen things you may not know about my mom.

  1. Although I will not disclose her real age for various reasons (surprise, she isn’t 16), she would not care. She embraces her age and appreciates getting older. This confidence inspires me as I struggle to accept growing into my late teens.
  2. She is beautiful. While she may complain about her darker eyes or tired skin, there is an unmistakable glow. Every time she smiles, I am in awe.
  3. She is an amazing cook. As someone who cannot live without a recipe, my mom can scare me in the kitchen. She throws in a dash of salt, two spoons of this, two spoons of that-it’s crazy! However, it works. My favorite recipes are her classic mac and cheese and her homemade whipped cream. A must try!
  4. She always knows what to say. Whether I am sad, stressed, or excited, my mom can say the perfect thing. I don’t know how she does it.
  5. She works harder than anyone I know. She takes care of the house, the pets, and any issue that may arise. She works from six am to ten at night. Stay-at-home moms like mine are not to be taken for granted.
  6. She is the best person to care for you when you are sick. I am sorry to anyone who isn’t provided with her abundant care. She buys me the special brand of orange juice, the special brand of medicine, and sits with me for hours. When I am sick, she dedicates her whole life.
  7. Meanwhile, when my mom is sick, the entire house falls apart. We all wake up late, the house is messy, and we try to figure out how to cook: unsuccessfully. On the scary occasion when my mom is sick, I truly recognize how much she provides.
  8. She is willing to help me with anything. She helps choose my clothes to wear (including shoes and accessories) while also helping me study. She is the perfect person for me to recite my entire Law Team speech or the entire United States History curriculum.
  9. She goes out of her way to make sure I am okay. More than once has she come to my school in order to give me something I forgot at home. More than once has she went across the city to pick up an item that I needed in the next hour.
  10. She is tenacious. She gets what she wants and she won’t let anyone stop her. She taught me from an early age that extra-credit is not optional; when you work hard, prosperity will come. My determination and drive that teachers consistently note about me all derive from my mother.
  11. She taught me how to read: a skill that will last forever. For a recent AP Language assignment, I was asked to consider where reading originated in my life. The answer: my mother. Through my first book, Green Eggs and Ham, to our meaningful discussions about King Lear or Pride and Prejudice, my mom has always been my reading guide.
  12. My mom always encourages me to do my best and fulfil my potential. She supports all my achievements and continues to support me with all my failures. I persist because my mom allows me to.
  13.  She is competitive. Sometimes it is threatening, but usually it is exciting. Her competitive nature is evident on family game night or the annual corn maze. I love competing with her and against her.
  14. I sometimes think she is a magician. She always knows where to look for the shirt that’s been missing, she knows how to fix the bed so I can fall asleep, and when I was younger, she knew how to shoo the monsters away.
  15. A note to anyone who may be left- she loves her blog. Ever since she began blogging last year, I have watched her find herself and become more confident in her expression. Whoever you are, her blogging friends have made a significant impact on my mom’s life. For that, I thank you.
  16. My mom is the best. If you still don’t believe me, respond in the comments. I will defend this argument for the rest of my life. I may not always express my appreciation but I love my mom more than sixteen reasons can portray. She is my mom and she is perfect for me.

Happy birthday Mom. I don’t know where I would be if Amerigo Vespucci hadn’t left for the New World and I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have you. Thank you for everything you do.

Here’s to another year of screaming, hugging, and passionate debates about British works of literature. Drink tea, have cake, and enjoy. You deserve it.


The Daughter


Some of my blog friends have questioned why they blog.  So let’s think about that for a moment?  Why do you blog?

Of course, as this is my blog, and I’m selfish, I’m going to lead off and tell you why I blog.  I blog in the morning, usually when everyone is out the door.  Much like a pitcher in the bullpen, blogging is my warm up.  Before I start working on my book, I need a way to wake up my brain.  I need an exercise to get my fingers moving.  I need the excuse to actually boot up the computer.  These are the very practical reasons for blogging.

I also blog because I find it fun.  It gives me the opportunity to write about things that are on my mind, almost like someone doing morning pages.  I throw out some sort of idea or thought bottled up in my brain, and I see what happens with it. I also get to play with words and phrasing, think about new ways to present ideas. and try to be witty and clever.

Why blog instead of journal?  Because having a blogging community makes me feel like I am responsible for writing with a certain routine and consistency.  Habits can be good, especially for someone with my temperament.  And of course, when you blog you get feedback.  Do you know how many blog ideas have been generated by posts?  I have two possible ideas from yesterdays post- ideas and thought expand when you throw them out to the universe.

But that’s just me.  Why do others blog?  Now there are all sorts of reasons, but let’s talk about: money.  Some people blog because they want to make money.

Can you make money blogging?

I think you can make money doing just about anything.   Look at mood rings, chia pets, and pet rocks as examples.  But what does making money blogging actually entail?

Many people have a blogger/vlogger that they sight as an example how “easy” it is to make money doing this.  Spoiler alert:  it’s not that easy.

First off, you have to write the sort of blog that will generate followers.  To really obtain a large following, you must have a broad yet specific theme to what you are doing- just broad enough to generate large groups of readers, yet specific enough to be different from everyone else.  You must also pander to your audience: you have to try to offend as few people as possible.  Advertisers/sponsors do not like it if you offend people.  And let’s face it, that’s how you make money: sponsors.   You need a big company with a big message.

Secondly, blogging in this capacity is really hard work.  I read a lifestyle blog put out by Shannon Ables.  Her blog appears in my inbox on Friday mornings, and it’s really more like a newsletter.  She has at least 5 different sections with new and well thought out content.  She has brand names and links all over the place.  A blog of this capacity is not thrown together in 20 minutes before she has her coffee:  it is cultivated carefully and crafted precisely.  I can not imagine how many hours go into this endeavor.  She has also branched out into lifestyle books and has a podcast. I am assuming she has endless meetings with sponsors and advertisers and publishers and agents and about a thousand other professionals.  It is a full time job. (though it is actually her side hustle, as she’s a teacher)

How many hours a week do you want to put into your blog?  Seriously.  Because if the answer is less than 20, you are probably not going to make a tremendous amount of money blogging.  But then you can argue, how much money is a lot.

Can you make money blogging? Sure.

It is easy to make money blogging? Nope.

So as you work on your blog today, or tomorrow or whenever, I want you to ask yourself why you blog, and what it means to you.  And then create the blog that represents you and what you want to accomplish.

Happy blogging!


What Does Friend Really Mean?

Let’s start out with a disclaimer.  I get an idea for a blog, I pen it into my planner, and then I write about it.  My thoughts have been fruitful of late, so I’ve been about 2 1/2 weeks ahead in the thought process.  Now, since I took a hiatus, the idea for today’s blog came over a month ago, from a blog my friend Eilene wrote.  Here’s the problem- i don’t remember enough about her post to give it any kind of real reference as to what motivated me to write this.  But anyway…

What are the qualities you want in a friend.  Think about it.  I’ll wait…

Say, you want a friend to be honest.  Honesty is a good trait.  We want to deal with people in our daily lives who speak the truth and don’t lie.


Honesty is good, right?

We want our friends to be honest, right?

I binge watched “Grace and Frankie” (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen it but plans on it) Before Frankie married, someone told her the man she was about to marry was gay.  Truthful, right?  Frankie didn’t speak to that person for 40 years.

Now, the person was honest, right?  But look at the outcome.  How honest do we want our friends to be?  How many people in our lives to we want to be completely honest with us?

Honesty often hurts.  When confronted with the cold, hard facts, we often crumble.  We get defensive.  My daughter recently asked me to review something she had written for her AP Lang assignment.  I told her it wasn’t very good, that she kind of skirted the question, and the voice was very passive when clearly the tone of the piece was supposed to evoke emotion.  My daughter stormed off.  She told me I was horrible.


Isn’t honesty good?

Don’t we want people to be honest with us?

Let’s think about how we define honesty.  Honesty is when we tell the truth.  Honesty is when we don’t lie. Lying is bad.

But are there things that are OK to lie about?  Are there times when a lie is justified?  Are there times when honesty is probably not the right course?

Let’s try this.  To be deceitful is definitely bad.  To tell a woman that you are single, when you are in fact married, is a bad thing.  Does anyone think this is an acceptable lie?

So, lying to be deceitful and not let someone have the whole story is bad.

Now I’m going to give you another TV reference.  Big Bang Theory spoiler alert.  On a recent episode, Amy picked out a wedding dress.  Penny and Bernadette thought the dress was hideous.  When Amy asked, Penny told her the truth.  Amy’s feelings were hurt.  Did Amy want the truth, or did she want agreement?

Which brings us to: if a friend asks an opinion question, is it OK to lie?  Would it really be a lie if Penny said the dress was beautiful?

In TV world, Penny ended up telling Amy that the dress was Amy’s choice, and it didn’t matter who liked it.  I thought this was the right approach to the situation, but does this choice make anyone feel better?

Opinion honesty is a tough call, because opinions are just that: opinions.  Opinions are based on a particular individuals thoughts, and might not necessarily be based on fact.  In my writing group, we share work.  Now as you know, writing work is very personal.  No one wants to be told that there is a flaw in their writing, or an inconsistency.  So I was in a quandary yesterday.  I told one of my writing friends (who is an absolutely amazing writer BTW) that I thought she had an issue with character development with one of her characters.  But it was based on my opinion.  True, i gave her examples of why I thought the character needed to be fleshed out a little more, but I don’t know if I’m right.  (mark this date down: I admitted that I might not be right about everything)  But I felt I needed to tell her how I felt, and why.

Should we give friends out true opinions of things, even when they are going to go against someone’s thought/beliefs/feelings?

So what are your thought on honesty as to how it pertains to friendship?  What is your definition of honesty?  Are you always honest with your friends about everything?  How about family?  Are you always honest with your family?



One Year Anniversary

Can you believe it?

I’ve been blogging for a year!

Here’s some random thoughts about my experience, in no particular order:

  1. I still hate writing titles.  How can you accurately title a blog about daily life?
  2. I began blogging because I was having a severe case of writer’s block.  I had an idea for a novel, yet I couldn’t get the words on the page.  One year later I an halfway through the second draft.  Yay.
  3. I am still amazed at the amount of wonderful people I have met through blogging.  That’s the greatest benefit to the internet- the ability to bond with like minded people all over the world.
  4. I don’t care about grammar.  I know there are people who will not read my blog because I apply my own rules to how sentences should be punctuated and worded, and all I can say is, life to too short to read things that are displeasing to one’s ear, so please feel free to not read me, but please don’t comment on my lack of grammar etiquette.  I’m sure this sentence is completely wrong, but that’s how I roll.  This is my biggest act of rebellion…I write as I speak….Of course, the people who this applies to are not reading this, so……
  5. I can’t believe that I come up with enough ideas to write a personal experience blog 5 days a week (in health- not so much in sickness)
  6. I still don’t know what a widget is.
  7. I still don’t care about knowing what a widget it.
  8. Lists.  Lists.  More lists.
  9. My new focus is on how the little things in life really reflect who we are.  Expect more posts where I will pose the question “What does this say about me?”
  10. I love the amount of positive energy that I see on blogs.  People really are cheerleaders for one another.  But there are still trolls- so please don’t be a troll.  If your hobby is being mean to others on the internet, please find another hobby.  I can send you a list of alternate things to do.

And of course, I need to say THANK YOU to all my friends!!  Thank you for all the love and support over the past year!!