Highlights June 16

The Week that was….

  1. The best highlight of the week was the new Mom lunch for my daughters college. It was held at a well renowned restaurant in NYC, so the fact that I got to have a fabulous lunch was a highlight in itself, but I also got to meet the Mom’s of my daughter’s future classmates. Most of the people seem nice, though as a public school Mom I felt a little out of my league and the vast majority of the kids attended private school. There was one Mom I met briefly but really felt a connection to. Oddly, when my daughter was going through the roommate finder thing, the daughter of this woman came up as a possible match. I thought that was a sign of sorts as the young woman seems really nice.
  2. There was an opportunity to get Met tickets for free by taking a survey from the Mets- took the survey- two free field level tickets. Of course, Mets were winning 4-2 going into the top of the ninth, rain delay, we left, Cardinals tie the score, game suspended and they eventually lose. But a good night anyway….


Jackson Pollock MOMA – for Jim
Starry Night Vincent Van Gogh MOMA
Citi Field

Gratitude and Calm June 15

Hmmmm. How do I describe this week. On top of all the other things, I screwed something up badly. I thought I was handling something the right way, but it turns out I didn’t and I don’t think there’s a way to recover the situation. It’s not life threatening like I thought wouldn’t it be a great idea to adopt a tiger and bring it into my apartment, but….it sort of mentally feels like that.

And to catch up on doggate- The owner of the other dog decided to do a little research. You know that adage, don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to? Well, he asked a bunch of dog owners if his dog was ever aggressive towards their dog. They all answered yes, on multiple occasions. So yeah- the dog is going to wear a muzzle.


I was at my daughter’s school for the last time this week, once for an art history thing, and once for a final volunteer thing. I am grateful that the school has made it possible for me to partake in various events.


Pedicure. I mean really. And a really good cry. My guess is there will be a lot more of that in the near future…

And So It Goes

Today is my daughter’s last day of classes.

Which alternately means that it’s the first day of my teary journey culminating in graduation.

When I perceived the this week’s theme, I did not envision that I would write one of my most controversial blogs ever, or that the week  would become doggate. It was supposed to be about how we treat one another- which I guess it basically was.

My daughter brought home her yearbook this week, and she allowed me to read some of the things her classmates shared. As I perused this book this week, I knew how the post’s this week would end.

As I read through I noticed a lot of “hard working” and “smart”. The NHS President thanked her for being the best Secretary, and realistically, best President, ever. But along with all the expected tributes to her intelligence and work ethic, I also noticed these:

  1. Thank you for playing Mariokart with me before school sometimes. I know you get to school early to do work, but you always took time out if I looked lonely
  2. I remember walking into a class where the desks where formed into tables. I was sitting alone and instead of joining your friends, you sat with me.
  3. Thanks for making me feel welcome to the tennis team. I was so happy that you sent me a text over the summer telling me that you would meet up with me to go to the first august practice. I was scared and you helped me out.
  4. Thanks for being best law team captain. You always helped me when I would freak out.
  5. Thanks for helping me study
  6. Thanks for proofing my papers
  7. Thanks for always answering my question no matter how stupid
  8. Thanks for being a great listener
  9. Thanks for being a great friend
  10. You have a great smile and you use it

There were more, but you get the gist. Sure, my kid works really hard. She gets good grades. She is involved in many aspects of school life. But she also took the time out to be nice. She took the time out to make sure people felt included. She tried to make people feel a little less scared. Maybe she made someone’s day just a little bit better….

I have done many stupid things in my life. I have not always been the best wife, mother, daughter or friend- my imperfections abound. But somehow, even though I feel like I continually screw up or let others down, I have managed to impart the good parts of me to my daughter. And as I have very few good parts, this is almost miracle status.

Somehow I have managed to show her how to be a decent person, who has self confidence, yet is able to be empathetic and kind. Just don’t ask me how I did it, because I have no idea….. .20190614_0736306037526881733892812.jpg

Muzzle who…..

Yesterday you may have read about my issues with a dog in the building. I (and someone else) sent a formal complaint to the board about the dog’s aggressive behavior. The owner responded that his dog growls but has never actually attacked another dog. I was going to include the ridiculous email, but I don’t want to be held up to any privacy laws or whatever it is lawyers do. So i’ll present hearsay. Also, his pregnant wife cried.

So this is how the situation stands now. This guy is refusing to muzzle his dog because his dog hasn’t actually bitten another dog.

So now- your dog has to actually bite another dog?

Lunging, teeth bared, at a docile, non barking, 8 pound dog isn’t viewed as aggressive behavior?

Is it growling if your dog is about to eat mine?

What is he saying about pregnant women?

I wonder if at times people need a reality check. At what point do you look in the mirror at your own behavior?

My suggestion is that we sit in the lobby with our dogs. We videotape it.

Then we can have an open up a dialogue and discuss word definitions.

What kind of mood do you think I’m in today?

Muzzle It

Most of you have heard me speak of my dog Sally. Sally is an eight pound yorkie (we think) who is so docile squirrels and birds do not move out of her way when she walks down the street: they just sit there and continue eating whatever treat they found on the ground.

Topically, there was an issue this week. I’ve mentioned (in passing comments) that there is a dog in my building who really doesn’t like my dog. Dog A is about twenty five pounds and obviously twice the size. When I say doesn’t like I mean dog barks ferociously and makes movements towards my dog, as well as other dogs in the building. When this dog is in this mode my Sally literally just sits and looks at it- not even a bark.

This dog has exhibited this behavior as long as the dog has lived in the building. As I like dogs and understand that they are animals, I have never said anything about the behavior.


On Monday I was outside the elevator bank (ok-it’s two elevators- I don’t know if you call that a bank) I was talking to a neighbor and we were to the right of the right elevator because we saw that the left elevator was going to be the first one down- because you move out of the way because people are going to exit.


Dog A was in the elevator. When the door opened Dog A lunged at my dog and came so close to biting her that I needed to check Sally’s face. I yelled at the owner that she needed to muzzle the dog because this was the third time this week that the dog made an aggressive move towards my dog.


Ten minutes after this incident and my yelling at the owner, the owner was taking the dog A up the stairwell to her apartment. She let this dog off the leash, and of course my neighbor was coming down the stairs with his leashed Maltese, who is quite possibly smaller and more gentle than my dog.  Dog A was off his leash, racing and barking towards the Maltese. Luckily my neighbor was able to quickly scoop up his dog .

Ten minutes after her dog lunged at my dog and I yelled, she had her dog off the leash in a common area of the building.

So yesterday my neighbor and I put in formal complaints with the board and the management agent. The building and agent agreed that the dog needed to be muzzled in common areas of the building, and a letter was sent to them yesterday afternoon.


Except now the Husband of the women is claiming that we are unfairly attacking his pregnant wife. That we’ve upset her. There is nothing wrong with his dog. Yada yada yada.

So for today’s discussion:

What is the responsibility of the dog owner if the dog exhibits aggressive behavior towards other dogs and there is common space between your apartment and the outside?

Should I have yelled at someone who is pregnant, or is yelling at someone pregnant just bad form?

Should the onus be on Dog A’s owner to properly control the dog when in common building space?


Should the onus be on the other dog owners in the building to be hyper aware of their surroundings because Dog A might be around?

Side note: These people were not singled out. We have other dogs in the building that are/have been muzzled because of their aggressive behavior. This is protocol in the building.


Can You Not Sit There?

I was recently at the botanic garden (pictures of roses and peonies to appear on my insta soon) When I visit the New York Botanic Garden, I take the MetroNorth commuter train out of Grand Central because it is quicker and more convenient than the subway. They are currently doing repairs at the Botanic Garden station, so the train was only loading on four cars. Which means the car you enter is super crowded and you need to walk through to the back of the train. Fine. After walking through the train we started to see empty seats, but none together so our band of four needed to split up. Fine. I sat down. Fine. The women next to me said

“I have allergies to strong perfume. Heh cough heh cough  heh cough.”

Not fine.

I looked at her incredulously. Basically,  because I have an extremely light hand with scent, especially during the day and I just do a dab on my wrists. And we’re on a train car. In New York City. Which is a place known for big crowds and tight spaces. And we were heading towards Manhattan…I mean…did she think that no one in Manhattan smells?

I looked and saw another seat, so I began to get up. I may or may not have said what could be considered a snide comment, and I may or may not have made a really ugly facial gesture.

I am also going to admit that if I hadn’t seen another seat I would have said to the woman “Would you like to get past me?”


When you have an allergy or a sensitivity to something, do you move, or do you expect the “aggravator” to move?

What is the allergy protocol when you are in a crowded place?

I know the peanut issue is a big deal. And I get that: I truly do. If my kid had a peanut allergy I would not want her to be around someone with peanuts. A few of my daughters close friends have peanut allergies and I am hyper aware of what things are in the house when they come over, or if my daughter is having a birthday party at a  restaurant I tell the place about a million times that there are allergies at the table. I make my daughter send ingredient lists from packaged foods to her friends before they come so I know whether or not I should serve a particular thing. My daughter is well schooled in the protocol of what to do if her friends appear to be having an attack. So I am sensitive to the issue. I am down with not bringing peanut laden food to a school event.


If I’m on an airplane, should I move because I brought nuts as a snack and my seatmate is allergic? Or should the onus be on the one with the allergy?

Should the women on the train be the one to get up and move if my Jo Malone is offending her?

I’m sensitive to the fact that people have real issues with these certain allergens. But is this a case where the individual is greater than the collective?

Should there be special accommodations for people with sensitivities and allergies? Should there be a train car for people with allergies? Separate lunch tables? Separate sections of a plane?

Or should we just ban everything that someone might have an allergy to?

Which leads me to my next point:

What if people use this as an excuse to not sit with someone?

What if the woman on the train just didn’t want to sit next to me? What if she wanted that seat to herself?

What if you don’t like that a heavy person sat next to you on an airplane? Do you pull an allergy out of the hat so that their seat is switched?

I have no known allergies to opinions, so what say you all?



Nothing but the Truth

A few weeks ago, our friends and neighbors lost their dog. They got their little guy not long after we got ours, so I watched him grow up alongside my Sally. You all know how I feel about pets….my dog and cat are clearly my favorites…(if you don’t have the heart to read about pets who have died, you might not want to read further)

A few days after my Husband and I ran into the couple in the lobby. I hugged my friend M and we cried a little. Her Husband E (let me state that this is the most blunt man in the universe- he’s a lawyer for local government so bureaucrat is his middle name. E posed the question:

“Do you stay in the room with your dog when it’s time?”

Oddly, my daughter had recently read something in her psychology class about this very topic, so it had been a discussion I had just had recently. According to what my daughter said, apparently dogs look for their owner…

So I said to my neighbor- “If you’d asked me a few months ago I’d have said- not in the room. Now….I’m not sure.”

And the conversation went on a little longer and came to an organic conclusion.

When we got upstairs my Husband said that I should have asked a question to see what side of the aisle E was on before I answered- that I should have tailored my answer to his. Knowing how direct E is about literally everything, I felt honesty was the answer he was looking for.

I know I’ve asked this before, but I’m trying it again: How honest do people want us to be? How honest should we be? Do we let people think we agree so that we ease their minds? Or do we just flat out give an opinion?

When people ask an opinion question, how honest do they want us to be?

Was it rude of me to give my actual, honest opinion?

What’s the line between rude and honest?


Highlights 6/9

Very busy in my house- and my mind is whizzing and…you know….

But- we had out summer tea event with my tea club which was incredible! 20190608_1625064050819773677481924.jpg

The Lowell Hotel in Manhattan has a charming room, The Pembroke, and they do a lovely tea. This event was championed by Pret a Portea, the tea society I belong to. What can be better than spending a few hours drinking tea and eating scones!!!!

Gratitude and Calm June 8

The jackhammering in my building continues in earnest…I went to Target yesterday and forgot to buy the milk that I went there to buy (and I had a list….) Federer lost… I got three calls from, I believe, Azerbaijan in the middle of the night therefore screwing up any chance of a good sleep…

But on the bright side:


I am eternally grateful to my Daughter’s friends and her high school classmates. In NYC there is a tradition called “bedding”. Your friends come over to your house and put snacks the color of your college (my daughters college is blue and grey so she got oreos, graham crackers, pretzel m&m’s, and I don’t remember what other blue wrapping) and they make a cake or cupcakes with the school colors, and put all your merch out, and balloons….it’s really cute. And to see them hiding in her room waiting for her  to come home from her babysitting job….yelling surprise….and to hear nine girls laughing and giggling….I will miss these groups of kids hanging out in my house.

She also got her yearbook yesterday and kids started to sign. Last night we read through, and I couldn’t help buy tear up a little reading all the sweet things these kids had to say about her, seeing her through there eyes….grateful that she had a relatively charmed high school experience…


I had something on my mind for awhile. I wrote it out. I feel better. Sometimes it’s that simple.

The Books Of Summer

Many bloggers are posting their summer TRB- so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. Here’s what I PLAN (doesn’t mean it will happen) on reading over the next few months- side note: I don’t really think summer begins till July 4, but my reading habits will become summerlike as of today!

  1. “An Unexpected Turn” by TJ Fox- TJ is one of my blogging buddies and I would love to do a book discussion with her book. Please join me in reading this novel so we can all discuss together!
  2. “Mrs. Everything” Jennifer Weiner
  3. “The Friends we Keep” Jane Green
  4. “The Plus One” by Sarah Archer
  5. “Evvie Drake Starts Over” Linda Holmes
  6. “How Not to Die Alone” Richard Roper
  7. “The Stone Circle” Ruth Galloway
  8. “How Could She” Lauren Mechling
  9. “The Most Fun We Ever Had” Claire Lombardo
  10. “Sunset Beach” Mary Kay Andrews
  11. “The Printed Letter Bookshop” Katherine Reay
  12. Jay Cudney- Academic Curveball Series

I know I will also have some book club selections in the mix, but I won’t know them till they announce them!

What are your summer reading plans?