I recently spoke to a friend about kindness- We wondered if everyone has the same thoughts of what kindness is and what it isn’t…

My friend said something along the lines of…Being kind is a decision a person makes and a well formed decision can’t be made without knowing all the sides of an issue…


Do you think kind people are open to all ideas and do not discriminate as to who they are kind towards?

If you are kind to Person A because you agree with them, and not kind to Person B because you don’t agree with them, can you consider yourself a kind person?

Do we as individuals make a decision to be kind?

I do not consider myself a kind person… I consider myself a respectful person. I might not treat you with pretty words or pats on the back, but I will always respect your thoughts, decisions and choices. I also consider myself to be humane- I do not like to see suffering of any sort. However, no one is ever going to present me with the Ms. Congeniality award…and I’m OK with that…

I make a decision to be respectful…

I make a decision to be humane…

I make a decision to treat someone as they treat me…

If I don’t like something you’ve done, you will probably know it…because I don’t believe in being nice to someone when they’re in front of me and speak ill of them when they’re not…I have too much respect for people to be a hypocrite…

For today’s thoughts…

How do you define kindness?

Does kindness extend to all people whether or not you agree with them?

Do we make an individual choice to be kind?

Can you be truly kind without understanding all sides of an issue?

Are kindness and respect the same or different?

Short answers or essay will be accepted…


What Inspired Me: 2/27/22

  • Sweetbriar in NOMAD (Manhattan) Billed as upscale comfort food, it hits the mark. Using “live fire” cooking to enliven the dishes. Maple Duroc ribs were a standout!
  • Menkoi Soto is a little hole in the wall ramen shop in the village. If you like your broth chicken based, totally worth a try!
  • Molly’s Cupcakes in the village is clearly my fave cupcake in the city. Peach Cobbler for the win every time.
  • Arturo Sandoval guested with Orpheus this week. I love that man! First of all: talent. Secondly, he was just so fun. He had Carnegie Hall swinging.
  • Brooklyn Coffee and Tea Festival- SO MUCH TEA. The problem with festivals like this is that I start to lose my ability to distinguish taste after the first four cups…I did get a bunch of samples and bought some gorgeous purple tea which was sourced in Africa and is supposed to have antioxidants and such. Also black tea from Nepal and ginger from India
  • Had to go car shopping with my Mom- when she asked which one I’d buy I went with the sportscar from the Ford dealer next door…I did like the doggie ramp though…
  • Pete’s Tavern is one of the oldest establishments in NYC- it had been closed for the better part of COVID, so glad it’s back to live another day
  • I know- another Jacques Louis David- and I didn’t really like this one either…
  • Museum at FIT- always does a lovely fashion exhibit, and it’s free!!!

Gratitude Saturday Plus: 2/26/22

I was at book club the other day. I said the word “Plantagenet” as I was describing a book I was reading for another book club.

Apparently, I mispronounced the word…

The look of horror and anger from a member of the book club…I’m surprised she didn’t call for twenty lashes at sundown…

I read somewhere that you shouldn’t get angry at someone who mispronounces a word because it means that they learned that word from reading…and we should never mock those who are reading things that they previously knew little about…

I am grateful that I didn’t slap the woman for trying to make me look foolish…

FYI- after five minutes of research I found that my way of pronouncing it was acceptable as well

Mindfulness prompts:


Enjoy the Ordinary

My Work is loving the world Mary Oliver

One of the wonderful things about being alive is that it’s never too late Phyllis A. Whitney

My Month in Books and Movies: February 2022

Together We Will GoJ. Michael Straczynskifiction/assisted suicide/illness1
Greenwich ParkKatherine Faulknerpsych thriller/drama2
The ArcTory Henwood Hoenrom/com sort of- more literary than a beach read, but less literary than literary fiction3
The ExilesChristina Baker Klineliterary fiction/strong female leads/perseverance4
One Night on the IslandJosie Silverrom com?5
A Deadly AffairAgatha Christieshort stories/cozy mystery6
Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead Elle Cosimanocozy mystery/#2 in a series7
Madame de TreymesEdith Whartonclassic8
The Home Edit Life: The Complete Guide to Organizing Absolutely Everything at Work, at Home and on the GoClea ShearerNon fiction/organizing/home9
  1. This is a sad book and I will preface that it is not for everyone. However, it is quietly absorbing into why some people want to take their own life. Beautiful and haunting and human.
  2. I thought this was a pretty good book of its genre. It’s not quite a page turner, but it does get you quite invested in the main character, in a good way. While some of it is pat, there are a few very satisfying moments.
  3. There were some nice moments in this book. There was also some feminist posturing that made it a drag and veered off into depressing- not sure if this was intentional on author’s part. But if you want a basically light read with minimal heft, this is a solid choice.
  4. I liked the premise of this book but the reality was different. It’s a few different stories and multiple viewpoints, but I felt the characters and storylines were both incomplete. Literary fiction light.
  5. Rom com very light on rom or com. While I kinda sorta liked the characters, this book just drags on…felt like it was fifty pages too much…Too much telling, not enough showing…too contrived…
  6. There are some real gems in this collection. There are also some paste jewels as well. I’d never read any of these stories, and I’m 50% OK with having read them.
  7. I read the first in this series, and thought it was funny and clever and I liked the characters. This book however starts to border on the ridiculous, and the characters began to get on my nerves. Don’t know if I’ll read the third.
  8. I had never heard of this Wharton when it was suggested at book club. After reading I know why I’d never heard of it…it’s average to less than. This is a novella that does not stand the test of time, and I had trouble relating to the characters and the plot. Pass unless you are studying Wharton, in which case you’ve probably read it already.
  9. I love a good organizing book. This is not a good organizing book. It focused on celebrities’ with oodles of closet space. When you have a house full of closets, you have to be an idiot not to be able to organize properly. Show me how to organize a house with three kitchen cabinets. Don’t talk to me about houses that have shelves and cabinets to devote to the tea collection- show me how to do it in a when all you can spare is one tiny little section of a cabinet…
MovieGenreWhere SeenRating
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroomforeign language/drama lite/heartfelt/2022 Oscar nomineetheater1
Hand of Godforeign language/coming of age/drama/ 2022 Oscar nomineeNetflix2
Death on the Nilecozy mysterytheater3
Marry Merom comtheater4
The Mitchells vs The Machineanimated/childrens/2022 oscar nomineeNetflix5
Ascensionforeign language/documentary/2022 Oscar nomineetheater6
I am only including first run movies- not movies that I see in festivals with revivals
  1. Quiet, understated film set in Bhutan. A lovely example of trying to figure out what is and what isn’t important. Not for people looking for action or clear endings, but I thought it was very well done.
  2. Well done coming of age story set in Naples. Strong screenplay. Slightly veers off into melodramatic, but on the whole a solid movie.
  3. I love a cozy Agatha Christie murder mystery, so though this isn’t the greatest movie in the world, I enjoyed it. Yes, it is a bit slow paced and there are quite a few red herrings, it still made for a fun evening out for me. However, if you don’t like mysteries you can probably skip this one.
  4. Light and fluffy, anchored by charming Wilson and Lopez. It is exactly what you think it’s going to be. I love rom coms- sign me up.
  5. Very cute movie about the problems with tech and how it can take over our lives. Not really for kids under 6, but those kids over 6 will appreciate it and it’s great for starting a conversation with kids about the problems with too much tech
  6. In theory, this is a doc about the three faces of China- the factory worker, the influencer and the super rich. In reality, it’s a bunch of mini clips with very little dialogue or explanation. I felt like I learned very little about what the doc was trying to show. I do wonder though, if it was a directorial choice to do a film such as this, or if this is what the censors in China would allow.
I crossed off three this month (blue). I fear I may have to actually find books that fit the remaining categories, but as I did want to go out of my comfort zone…

Common Sense

I wrote a blog a few months ago where I said that something was common sense. Of course, as everyone didn’t necessarily agree, it made me wonder about what is common sense?

I looked up a few definitions this morning, and most of them were pretty similar. I happened to like the one offered up by

sound judgement not based on specialized knowledge


sound and prudent judgement based on a simple perception of the situation or facts

But, as in all things, as one brings there own perceptions to any situation, does that mean that common sense isn’t all that common?

I’m a college educated, east coast urbanite who lives in an apartment with a handyman, and relies on mass transit. What is common sense to me might be very different from someone with advanced degrees who lives in a rural area, has acres of land and drives a big truck or a high school graduate from a suburb living in a house and driving a sports car…As we are all different, is the commonality of being human enough?

Because I am beginning to wonder…

I was car shopping with my Mom the other day. She prefers a smallish car so I asked her what size her other car was. She said 80 inches. Now to me, it’s common sense that a standard sedan is longer than 80 inches…but to my high school educated Mother, not so much. She argued with me that she was positive that her car was 80 inches…Positive until I asked the sales guy and he said that absolutely no way was her 13 year old Volvo S6 80 inches long. To be fair, my double advance degreed husband stated that he might not actively realize that a standard car can’t be 80 inches. So am I confusing logic with common sense?

How do you define common sense?

Is there a difference between logic and common sense?

Do you think that everyone should just be able to understand certain concepts and act accordingly?

Or in today’s society, is there really no such thing as common sense?

How do you define common sense and give me an example. I want to see if what we think of as common sense passes the universonality test…

You may begin:


On Sunday I attended the memorial for my daughter’s former classmate.

It was brutal.

I stood on the line with my friend S, who is also the Mom of my daughter’s best friend, and K, my daughter’s other bestie and former classmate. We stood and hugged people that we haven’t seen in years, and cried and shook our heads because we just didn’t know what to say.

When I got to the Mom, a Mom I sat next to at many a school event, a Mom who is funny and smart and sweet and lovely, I couldn’t actually say anything. I just hugged her.

What do you say to a woman who just lost her son?

The event was surreal- all these parents who my only relationship with was through our children. I am bad at small talk under the best of circumstances and this was the worst of circumstances. What do you say to people? I couldn’t think of anything that merited the situation…how do we ask about one another’s children when someone has just lost their child?

Of course some of my daughter’s classmates were there, the ones who go to college close by or who are still hanging around the neighborhood. To look into their faces…to see the pain…to know that they have not quite grasped this situation…

Because really, is there a way to understood this brutal scenario? I can’t make sense of it… How is a twenty year old supposed to understand?

One of the Dad’s said to me- “I hope this is a wake up call to some of them.” and while I scoffed at the inappropriateness of whispering this in my ear, all I could think was that he was right…

Some of the kids were getting high outside the funeral home…

And I cried a little bit for the lost souls that can’t see what is right in front of them, and I am one of those souls because I just do not know what we do, how we combat the crisis of reliance on substances to get us through the day…

When will we learn?

There is a Mom and a Dad and a brother and three grandparents who only have memories…

There are kids who have stories and anecdotes and snap chat pics…

But we all lost a person to substance abuse…

And I’m afraid of how many more we will lose.

Let’s fight this together.

Let’s save our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters.

Too Much is Too Much

I can be a little obsessive about planning things, an

d in turn carrying them out. While I find it easy to turn off responsibility sometimes (it might be a day or three before I clean the toilet) when it comes to certain things I can be quite rigid. And with this rigidity comes things that are supposed to be fun…

I had spent a few days in DC with my Daughter. These days were full of fun and camaraderie and such. But as I was in DC, things didn’t get done back in NYC. So when I got home I really did have to play catch up on all things practical.

But there were all those self care rituals in place…

And vows of doing certain things every week…

And I found myself drowning in my rituals and plans and the things I was supposed to be doing for relaxation were starting to stress me out because I was doing them out of a sense of obligation instead of a sense of being kind to myself.

By trying to fit all these things in, I ended up being unkind to myself… I ended up more stressed than if I hadn’t practiced any self care…

Too much of a good thing can end up being bad… When something goes from a hobby to an obsession you can end up in trouble.

In my case, making sure I got to the Met and did an at home facial three times a week wasn’t going to break me…but are there things in your life that start out as good but lead you down a very bad road? Are there things that begin to overwhelm you and lead you to start to spiral?

Know yourself. Know when you have to scale back. To riff on Coco Chanel, before you leave the house, take one thing off your plate. Sometimes less is more.

We Don’t…

When I went to DC to visit my daughter, we happened upon this quote:

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

As to the attribution, I wrote down in my planner Anais Nin. I even remember this quote being on the wall of the museum we were at, and I remember seeing Anais Nin up there on the wall as I argued about it with my daughter. But, when I googled it to make sure I had the quote right, it turns out that the quote originally was said by Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani. BTW, also can be attributed to an elocution professor at Harvard, a 1914 newspaper article, H.M. Tomlinson, and Steven Covey ( You can attribute the quote to whomever you wish…

So there’s your history lesson for the morning…

My daughter thinks this quote is “oppressive”. That this gives the person the fact to explain away their actions regarding any situation and gives them license to do whatever they want because they think it’s justified.

I think the quote is “accurate“. I think people bring their own baggage to every situation they encounter, and they can’t help but see the world as they do because it’s what they know.

I even argued with my daughter that my interpretation bares merit because we are both bringing ourselves into meaning of the quote…(FYI- when you have a pedantic argument about semantics with your daughter there should be a winner to the debate…)

What words would you use to describe this quote? What do you think about when you read it?

Why do you think the Renwick Gallery in DC would choose to attribute the quote to Nin as opposed to one of the other sources? Is this their own way of saying that they see the quote as they are?

Discuss any aspect of this that you choose:

What Inspired Me: 2/20/22

  • I know I call myself a fan of film, but I’d never seen Rashomon. Finally got to see it as part of a Mifune retrospective. What a film! Talk about he said she said…
  • MOMA is presenting a film series- “Dames, Janes, Dolls and Canaries Women Stars of the Pre-Code Era”. I caught “Bad Girl” which was sort of a romantic comedy from 1931- Woman assumes she knows what man is thinking, man assumes he knows what woman is thinking- blah blah blah. I always like seeing the progressions that film has taken from its early days…
  • I saw off Broadway play Sandblasted– very well written, beautiful monologues, but somehow I didn’t feel the play quite came together. But, an enjoyable afternoon…
  • For my Gilded Age fans- a picture of the Henry Sinclair House, now home to the Ukranian Society, at Fifth Ave and 79th St. The building was build between 1897 and 1899, so it is an example of that time period.
  • OK- I’ve never been in Gallery 170 at the Met because it’s up its own staircase, but if I’d known there was a chariot there I would have gone ages ago!! So many treasures in galleries 169 and 170!! I began touring the galleries which will be closed later in the year- some beautiful things and I look forward to what they will do with this space. Also saw special exhibit on Year of the Tiger. Very small but interesting pieces!!
  • We’ve been watching “Reacher” on Prime- my husband and I like it. Not too deep, but fun and much chemistry amongst main cast.

Gratitude Saturday- 2/19/22

I was emailed recently by a newby blogger who was looking for some tips on blogging. First I told her that I have no idea what I’m doing every day- I’m just winging it and figuring it out as I go along…but I told her why I started blogging and how I go about my day to day but I reminded her that I have little to no computer skills, I don’t really use social media and I don’t edit…

All in all it was a nice conversation!

I am grateful that people actually think that I know what I am doing each day…because really, I don’t have a clue what is going to come out once I open my laptop…

This blogger also mentioned that some writers are very reluctant to share, to give advice etc….

I’m grateful that she considers what I do “writing” because some days I’m not quite sure what I’m doing….

I’m also grateful that I have been lucky enough to have met a lot of really nice writers along my journey, willing to give advice and help out and all that sort of stuff. 99% of my blogging journey has been wonderful- we’ll just skip over that other 1% for now…



Focus: Straight back, Soft belly

“Why Not?” is a slogan for an interesting life.” Mason Cooley