Anything Can Happen Friday: Cool Under Pressure

My daughter was recently in Europe with her friends. This was partially funded by us as her graduation gift.

So last week, my husband gets a text from our bank saying that they think there was a fraudulent charge on my daughter’s credit card.

My husband frantically runs over to me, shows me text and when I look at the name of the company I’m 99% positive it’s fraud, but I quickly google it and am then 100% sure it’s fraud.

My husband text N to indicate that we do not know the charge.

Immediately we get a text that they are canceling the card and sending a new one.

My husband may or not have been calm about this…

(OK- he was a blathering idiot- cursing and stamping feet and all the assorted fun things)

I tell him to call the bank.

You would think I told him to make a pact with the devil the way he reacted.

After about 30 seconds of arguing with me, he says: “You call the bank.”

So I get his credit card from him and call the bank.

I first have to do the talking because my husband is irrational at this point…

Then when he realizes that there is something that the bank can do, he starts talking…

Turns out, as my daughter uses ApplePay for the most part, the bank can fix ApplePay with an updated credit card within about ten minutes (especially if you ask them pretty please). She would most likely not need the physical card until she got home.

To hear my husband tell the story, he totally saved the day…

I know the stereotype is the hysterical woman and the rational man, but really…most women I know are far more adept at getting things taken care of calmly and rationally. When a woman loses it, it’s because she has been pushed to her limit…most often by a misogynist who hears a female voice on the phone and makes wild assumptions of their capability….

Of course I’m generalizing…

Sort of…


My daughter asked me if I wanted to be famous and I said NO.

This was another incredulous moment- she immediately responded:

“You don’t want to be famous as a writer?”

I responded that I would love for people to read my words, have an opinion on what I write, but for the most part- I would not want to be instantly recognizable in public.

Which leads us to the next point:

What exactly does FAME mean?

Does it mean that you’re a best selling author?

Does it mean that people recognize your face?

Does it mean that people know your name?

To me, if I were to write a modestly successful book that a few people read, I wouldn’t call that fame. It’s my dream…and maybe modest, but really all I want is to write things and discuss it with people. I don’t want to be on billboards or get asked for autographs or get stared at when I’m buying milk.

so my questions for the day are:

What does fame/ famous mean to you?

Would you like to be famous?


My Clothing Notebook

One of my “things” is trying to perfect a wardrobe/outfit type of system that works for me. Every year I read one or two wardrobe books and I try to take bits and pieces of what I read to cobble together a system that benefits my lifestyle.

The things I’ve learned the past few years have given me this foundation:

  1. Stick to a basic color scheme. 90% of my wardrobe is black, 6% grey, 1% each of camel, olive green, pink, and white. (any print I own is mainly black, so prints count towards the black category)
  2. I try to keep my wardrobe at about a total of 130 pieces- (excluding gym clothes) I came to this number by trial and error- this number of articles seems to be a solid basis of a four season wardrobe, as NYC has all four seasons. (if you think 130 pieces- including shoes and outerwear- sounds like a lot- count how many clothes you have- you might be surprised by the number)
  3. When I buy something new, I get rid of something that I have. For the most part, when I am buying something it is as a replacement for something that has seen better days
  4. I have one dress that I wear for weddings and fancier events. I don’t care if I wear the same dress to every wedding I go to. I don’t need to shop that often for clothes I wear no more than twice a year.
  5. My goal is to wear 85% of my clothing for at least three seasons- I have a few winter or summer only things, but keep these to a minimum
  6. I limit the amount of clothing and accessories I buy each year- Per season I will not buy more than 6 new things. This spring I bought two dresses, a scarf and a pair of shoes.(again- some might think this sounds high, but as I donated 4 things, recycled 6 things that were no longer wearable, and tossed a pair of broken shoes in March, April and May- I’m actually down seven items)
  7. I donate clothes that I no longer like. Some people have a hard time with this because they think to how much they spent. Newsflash: the money is already gone. Keeping it in your closet won’t make the money reappear. Sell the item if you want, but keeping it won’t make you feel better. It’s ok to change your mind about an article of clothing. It’s not a catastrophe.
  8. I have a wardrobe of clothes for the person I am NOW- not the person I was, not the person I want to be- just the person I am now. Your wardrobe should reflect you and how you spend your time in the present.
  9. I have a uniform. I tend to wear a monochromatic silhouette (all black dress or black top/black bottoms) and then I add a fun layer- Blazers, jackets, cardigans, scarves, funky necklaces or bracelets. If I want to add color or drama or fun, I do it with this extra piece.

This year I read the book: The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe by Anuschka Rees. Rees suggests figuring out your outfit formulas. Simply, when you are getting dressed, what are the go to pieces that you look to to put together an outfit.

This is something that I’ve unwittingly done for years, but never had a name for it- it’s the basis of my monochromatic silhouette. But I drilled down and realized that I have the following “formulas”

slim fitting dress, over sized jacket or such, knee high boots-

loose fitting pants, slim fitting top, short jacket or scarf, flat shoes

slim fitting pants, tunic style top or sweater, pareo or large shawl, flat shoes

The jewelry I tend towards are big statement necklace, slim stackable bracelets, small stud earrings

But I only realized this when I started keeping an outfit notebook…

What is an outfit notebook?

Well, you take one of those gorgeous little notebooks you couldn’t help but pick up at Paper Source, and every day you write down:

  1. What you wore- every item you put on including undies if the outfit required something specific
  2. How you felt in the outfit ( seriously- if the outfit didn’t make you feel confident or happy or whatever adjective you live your daily life by, why are you wearing it?)
  3. What was the weather that day and if it was appropriate for the weather conditions
  4. What you did that day and if it was appropriate or comfortable for what you did that day (when my daughter was about two or three my, at the time, childless sister in law met us at the children’s museum in an all white ensemble. Gorgeous outfit if you are literally anyplace other than a spot that caters to kids under five)
  5. rate the outfit- if you are giving an outfit a score of 3 out of 10, why are you wearing it? Also- I can wear joggers and a t shirt and rate it a ten because it is comfy and perfect and I feel confident in it if I am running errands. Outfits don’t have to be tricked out to be a perfect 10 for your lifestyle

What is the benefit to this outfit notebook?

  1. Once you identify how you wear clothes, it is easier to shop for them- you know what silhouettes your prefer, fabrics and such
  2. You will instantly see what clothes you wear all the time and what clothes you never touch. So much easier to donate or repurpose things
  3. When you need to get dressed quickly, you can pull up an idea and it makes getting dressed effortless

No one needs to spend a lot of time, money or effort into getting dressed.

You don’t need to buy more than a few basics a year once you realize what you like.

There is never a need for fifteen (or more) articles of clothing to be strewn across a room when you are getting dressed.

It should never take more than five minutes to pick out an outfit and get dressed- no matter what the occasion.

You should rarely say “I have nothing to wear”.

I realize that some people are fashionistas. This is awesome. If fashion on the daily is your thing, have at it. But most people are not fashionistas- they might buy a lot of things but usually say they have nothing to wear…

You don’t need to own a closet full of clothes and say you have nothing to wear.

Simple, easy, organization leads to simple, easy decisions.

The Essentials of a Good Life

One adage claims that the three essentials of a good life include “something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” I would add that you also need something to do that matters beyond you. Everyday Vitality, Samantha Boardman MD

I am a big fan of these essentials- they’ve been touted around for years now and I think that there is truth to them: We all need reasons to get up in the morning. Go to work, feed the pets, look forward to a nice vacation- for example. So is it that far off to add to that list recycle and pick up their trash?

But here I am assuming that you think that the three essentials are necessary….before we even add the fourth…

Do you think the following are necessary to a good life?

  1. Something to do
  2. Someone to love
  3. Something to hope for
  4. Something that matters beyond you

Why or why not?

What would you add or delete?


Well Being…or…Being Well

So much of our well-being and mental health is thought to rest on these three areas of focus:

  1. On the past (eg, what has happened), rather than on the future
  2. On the individual, rather than on how a person exists in relation to others
  3. On thinking, rather than on action

Everyday Vitality Samantha Boardman MD

What do we think about what Boardman says?

Does our mental/emotional well being really rest on these foundations?

Here are my thoughts:

  1. I think that people who build a home in the past and move in are ripe for trouble. When one constantly rehashes what has already happened, they don’t give themselves the room to get on with life because they are too busy ruminating. Unless you are HG Wells, you can’t go back and fix past mistakes- To mentally live in another time and place is draining on one’s life- how can you ever be content if you can’t get past the past? It also gives one the ability to BLAME. When you keep focusing on past events, you start to play the if only game: if only X had given me that job, if only Y hadn’t dumped me, etc. When we try to blame things on outside sources, we are acting like we were an innocent bystander in our life instead of directing the course. People who look to the past more than the future are never going to be satisfied with the present.
  2. When you are constantly going Woe is me, you can’t have a proper relationship with anyone- this is sort of a narcissistic approach to life. When you constantly focused on yourself you can’t be a good partner, parent, relation or friend. And when you make yourself the sun, how are you supposed to be emotionally healthy? If you think the world works to serve you first, you are always going to be discontented with life because you are always going to think you are getting the short stick. Life has to be a balance of the individual and how the individual interacts with those around them. If you are constantly fighting with X, you are never going to be mentally/emotionally stable.
  3. Overthinking is the single greatest threat to well being. If you are always imagining worst case scenarios how can you ever rest easy? If you can’t make a decision, how are you ever going to rest easy? I know things have to be given rational consideration- I am a HUGE proponent of thinking things our- but at some point you need to ACT. My friend spent three years (THREE YEARS) deciding on which computer to buy. THREE YEARS. When you stumble through these seemingly light decisions, how are you supposed to handle the big stuff? Think- don’t overthink.

Those are my thoughts. Now it’s your turn:


I Muddled Through- 6/4/23

Met Galleries 908, 909 and 910- 910 was just too beautiful so I stopped there

If you read my blog daily, you will know that I had a horrific head cold this week. I barely made it out of my house, but feeling a little spurt of energy I trekked down to Brooklyn and then to the upper east side. But my main companion was the TV as I watched reruns…

Ten Things: 6/3/23

Every evening I write down ten things that defined my day. I try to capture the good and the bad, things that I am grateful for, things that I am looking forward to, and what I do that day just for me, I really just write the little details that made that day different from others. I enjoy it and it works for me. Here’s some things pulled from various days over the past week:

  1. I have had a horrific sinus infection for the better part of the week
  2. I haven’t read anyone’s blogs since my cold started- I’ve been eeking out my own because I have this weird fixation to push through, but my posts this week have been mainly written through a phlegm filled haze.
  3. My daughter had her interviews for her school placement and was fortunate to be placed in her first choice school!! I have little more than that because she is presently in Italy and I just got a highlights what’s app…
  4. I did rewatch season three of Ted Lasso, and I don’t like all the critique of the show this season- I agree with Tater that the critics were looking to the show as to being something different than it actually was
  5. So sad that Ted Lasso is over, though I’m staying positive because Apple never said this was a series finale- the way they left off the show means it could spin into something new
  6. I logged on to my 7am writers group- I must have looked so bad that one of my friends said to just go back to sleep…perhaps me coughing for a full minute added to that…
  7. My husband broke one of his Teva sandals (they were old and he wears them a lot). He went to the store and bought a new pair. Alas, when he tossed the old pair, he threw out one of the new ones. Upside- he has one of each foot and managed to throw out the broken one. You can only tell they’re different if you really look…
  8. My Father in Law is settling into his skilled nursing facility better than we expected, so that’s a plus
  9. There’s other family drama going on in the extended family that is difficult to deal with
  10. My husband will sometimes wonder why things are a certain way- The other day he said something and I just looked at him like really- and you wonder why things are a certain way? Sometimes we need to think about what we are saying vs what we think we are saying…

The reward of our work is not what we get, but what we become. Paulo Coelho

Anything Can Happen Friday: In Sickness

My daughter missed two days of school for sickness in Kindergarten, one day in first, three in second and one in third. Then she never had another sick day for the rest of her academic career.

After third grade she was never sick during school sessions.

But the minute there was a vacation? BOOM. Sore throat, runny nose, whatever. At least one vacation period of my daughter’s life was dominated by some sort of cold. It was as if she willed her body into subservience just to get to through the school days, and as soon as there was time off on the horizon, she let herself go…

I think I took a page from my daughter’s playbook…

I have been mentally and emotionally drained the past eight months or so…

So after my daughter’s graduation, after certain issues with my parents and my in laws…

Last weekend I bloomed into a horrific (non covid) sinus infection.

I’m assuming you don’t want all the highlights of my illness…

But suffice to say I’m not a pretty picture to look at or deal with…

It’s as if I sighed relief at some things, but then my body gave out…

So I sit here on day 5 of my cold, which seems to have no chance of leaving…and open another box of tissues and make another cup of tea, and hope that tomorrow will indeed be a better day…

I’ve been doing very little on this little rest stop- I think my body was telling me to SLOW DOWN…

But hoping that I will be back on my feet soon!!!

Whose Shoes Are Those?

I’m guessing you all know that famous quote about walking in someone else’s shoes that is probably the hallmark quote of To Kill A Mockingbird….

But I ask…

Can we ever really walk in someone else’s shoes?

I know we think we can… we toss around words like empathy and understanding…we make glib statements about how we would feel given those same parameters…

But- does anyone know what someone else goes through on a given day, or do we make assumptions based on how we think they feel?

One thing I have noticed on my blog is that there is a big divide between parents and non-parents. I know my favorite quote is that someone is the greatest parent in the world until they have children…

I know that I can imagine a childless life- I did not have a child until I was 37, so I know how I felt about certain things…and then boom the world explodes and I become a Mother and nothing is ever the same…

Philosophical answers that I had come up with prior to parenthood became very distant memories the day I held my daughter in my arms…

So I admit I twinge just a little when a non parent tells me how they would handle a situation…






I don’t think it is possible for a non-parent to understand the wave of love and emotion that overcomes a parent when dealing with their child…

I don’t think it’s possible to parent without emotion coming into every decision that a parent makes, no matter what the spectrum of emotion is.

But I will also add:

Even parents don’t know how to jump into the sneakers of other parents…

Someone recently asked me how I navigated social media when my daughter was ten, and I honestly said that even though my daughter is 21, the world of social media has changed about a billion percent in the past 11 years (my daughter’s first phone was a flip phone because- guess what- this was the only kind of phone available) and I don’t know what I would do if my child were ten years old in 2023 regarding social media…


Instead of telling people what you would do, ask someone how they came to this decision…

If they say they did something out of love, accept that loving something so fiercely can make you somewhat irrational (though I draw the line on stalking- stalking is not love but a whole other emotion that you are totally entitled to call the police about)

So instead of walking in someone else’s shoes, try to talk to someone in their own shoes. Listen to them. Ask them the who, what, when and why’s…and empathize that they are just doing the best that they can given the situation…

Support. Don’t Judge. Don’t tell them what you would do because it’s not the same thing.


The moon is made of green cheese.

If I make that statement, what do you say in response?

Do you question me?

Do you make me prove it?

If someone makes what could be considered a provocative statement, how do you respond?

If someone makes a provocative statement in a conversation (argument or debate) what are the guidelines as to what you should do?

If you don’t respond, are you implying that the provocative statement is indeed not so provocative and downright correct?

If you challenge it, does the person have the right to NOT explain their rationale towards the statement?

The moon is made of green cheese.

How do you respond?