Daily Dish

Antique Furnishings in Colonial Kitchen 2

Good Taste

Good taste. How do you define it? Is it an absolute or will you hear as many different definitions as there are people in a room? While we have many arbiters of good taste, the styles that suit us are extremely personal, wildly divergent, and evolve with experience - and, as we expose the eye to a wider range of influences. Having grown up in an old New England home surrounded by 18th century furnishings my mother picked up at antique shows, I was grounded in a certain style. We'll call it... eclectic. The reality is - our interiors … [Read More...]

Dating

Man with big smile

Looks Good On Paper (Relationships)

Choosing our dates and mates by facts and stats.

Couple Kissing

Kissing Bridge

Kissing… Our lovely land of the level playing field.

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Cultural Musings

John Himmelfarb Down By The River 2004 Acrylic on Canvas

Artful Amusement

Experiencing art… any way we can.

Happy Woman Holding Hundreds

Happy Talk: On Mirth, Money, and Meaning

Money can’t buy you love. Can it buy you health & happiness?

African American Woman Considering Her Options

Ordinary Hurts

We each experience hurt differently…

Woman with a Bright Smile

Ambition, Ambivalence, and Asking the Right Questions

Working women. Changing the conversation.

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Most Recent…

Woman Sleeping Sitting Up

Waking Up, Hazy

"Keep your eye on the ball," I tell myself. Or maybe someone is telling me. I'm not sure if it is a voice in dream, or my inner voice directing the morning activities as I climb toward consciousness. You know those hazy moments when you're still at your computer in the middle of the night, and along with thoughts of work are memories of childhood arriving in an unexpected stream, or the faces of old friends … [Read More...]

Jelly Beans in a Glass Jar

Bean Town

No, not those kind of beans. Not the pretty ones in a jar, sweet and fruit-flavored, color coordinated to the holiday of your choice. No, not Lima beans either. I can't say I ever understood the role of the lima bean in any cuisine (haute or otherwise), much less why mid-century parents used to force their kids to eat them. Baked beans? Now we're getting warmer. Baked beans of franks & beans fame … [Read More...]

5 Teen Boys

A Talk About “The Talk”

"Some of us see it," my 21-year-old son says to me at the dinner table. We're talking about Ferguson, the demonstrations, all the challenges facing this country. The inequality. So many types of inequality. He starts in on race relations, naming the dead black men and boys in the news over these past months. I am startled that this is the conversation we are having. His brother has always been vocal … [Read More...]

Christmas Gifts

The Pursuit of Abundance

On more than one occasion I have taken exception to our preoccupation with chasing after our own happiness, not to mention what I have referred to as the Happiness Industry. In part, I find it ludicrous to pursue happiness as an American "right" absent a right to health or education. All politics (of humanism) aside, perhaps the pursuit of happiness unsettles me because it appears … [Read More...]

Cute Couple

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Breaking up? 'Tis not the season! Or, as a pal of mine likes to intone: 'Tis the season for diamonds and Dewar's... and relationship-wise, no digs or downers. At this Typically Romantic Time of Year, we're excited to be a twosome, we're planning our cozy get-togethers, we're buying our last minute special gifts, and we're readying the red dress … [Read More...]

Couple Fighting over a child

Choosing Sides

Watching children on a playground can be illuminating as they team up for games in friendly fashion, or wind up choosing sides as a disagreement over turf breaks out. That disagreement may end in pushing and shoving, tears and shouting, or one group arguing with the other, and storming off the field of play. Adults are only slightly different. We are as likely to take sides over … [Read More...]

Three Attractive Young Women

The Power of Peers to Ease Depression

If friendship has been on my mind lately, so too has been the issue of my own mental well-being, and that of others during a time of year when depression may visit. Of course, this is also the busy season for many - trying to close out year-end projects and rev up for the holidays. The result is stress, and possibly, the blues. Whatever the time of year, I recognize when I slip into gloomier moods, and … [Read More...]

Woman Lying on Her Bed Daydreaming

If Money Were No Object…

If money were no object at the holidays, do you know how you would spend it? What sort of holiday gifts you would give? Would you be cooking up all kinds of wild schemes and scenarios for the people you love to wow them? And would you be going for the wow "stuff" or the wow "experience?" I admit, it's difficult to imagine myself in that situation, which doesn't mean it isn't fun to … [Read More...]

Woman Reading on the Sofa

Re Reading

I had lost the habit, and it was an excellent habit I could not ever have imagined abandoning. I was rarely reading, or at least, rarely reading for recreation. I chalked this up to years of interruptions as a single parent, stress (and an inability to concentrate), and sadly, the bad habit of zoning out through visual means when I finally had a moment to myself. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. My … [Read More...]

Gift Giving

Giving Examples

Nicholas Kristof has the right idea. When you give to organizations that make a difference in the world, your gifts inspire. We are smack in the middle of the giving season, and the ways in which we celebrate our affection for others serve as examples to our loved ones. We can do more than seek a Kodak (or smartphone) moment, documenting a heap of treasure beneath a tree or … [Read More...]

Beautiful Woman over 50

Making New Friends Over 50

Considering the narrowing number of friends you have now that you're over 50, and likewise your live-in lover or spouse or companion, the issue of how to make new friends arises increasingly often; this, despite the other men and women you know in the officially middle-aged demographic and to whom you nod or wave in passing. You ask yourself if they are as frightened and as concerned … [Read More...]

Young Man Thinking

The Age of Regret

He begins to rattle off a list of regrets, his jaw set and resting in his hand, his gaze somewhere in the distance as though I weren't in the room at all, his voice only slightly more than a murmur. I am taken aback. He is a man with many accomplishments, a full and vibrant life, and he isn't one to rehash the past. These are more than disappointments. To him, these are failures. A snippet of music plays … [Read More...]

Christmas Stress

Grinchly, Or… Kicked When You’re Down

I won't belabor the point. It happened quickly, it happened unexpectedly, and it wasn't good. I'm chalking it up to Christmas stress - has it come early this year? - but the fact is, I got kicked when I was down, and now I'm feeling grinchly. And that feels lousy. Both parts. All three parts: being down, getting kicked when you're down, and having no interest whatsoever in the holiday spirit. You know … [Read More...]

The Right Way and the Wrong Way

Just Because It’s Different, Doesn’t Mean It’s Wrong

I can't remember where I read it, but the sentiment goes like this: Just because it's different, that doesn't mean it's wrong. What I recall is that I heard it again not so long ago. I believe this remark was made in the context of men and women addressing household and parenting tasks with a different approach. In other words, women frequently decry Hubby's handling of children as "wrong," when … [Read More...]

Woman Afraid to Look

Cost of Raising a Child: 2014

Care for the latest price tag on those kids you love so much? Or are you afraid to look at the cost of raising a child in 2014? Spirits may be high when we're expecting a baby, but that's before we begin to process what lies ahead - including the expense of raising a child in the US - from infancy through high school. I last considered this issue in 2012, and the figures released in August 2014 … [Read More...]

Business Woman Serious Expression

“Discordant Expectations in Marriage”

Here's one way to explain the dilemma: Men and women have "discordant expectations in marriage." Now you may assume I'm about to expound on the frequency of divorce and rationale behind it, but that isn't the case. In fact, the reference to discordant marital expectations is drawn from a New York Times column on Harvard MBAs and the gender gap. In "Even Among Harvard Graduates … [Read More...]

Morning After_With Leopard

Nicely Appointed

I've always liked the expression "nicely appointed," though it's comme ci comme ça in complimentary oomph, and vague when you consider its ubiquitous usage. How do I mean that? We have nicely appointed model homes, nicely appointed furnished suites, nicely appointed accommodations. (Have you ever heard of a cozy cottage described as nicely appointed? What about a chandelier-filled … [Read More...]