Rants & Reflections

The Blog Irony

Something a bit controversial happened this week with regard to my blog, and I was asked not to blog about it. Yet it’s precisely the kind of conundrum that begs for some commentary and discussion. Not exploring this issue within my own space compromises my personal integrity as a trained writer, published author and former student of mass communication. So in an anonymous way, I am going to try to use my craft to get to the bottom of things.

I was asked indirectly this week by a particular business organization I’ve mentioned within my blog before to refrain from writing about it in the future. (Don’t bother trying to cajole the name out of me . . . I’ve…

The Power of a Smile

I’ve had three different topics in my head that I’ve wanted to write about for a while, and today I realized they are basically interconnected in some way. They are “the power of a smile,” “showing gratitude,” and “savoring joy.” I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, but at the risk of writing ineloquently and unamusingly (and possibly sounding like Oprah, whom I stopped watching well before my youngest was out of diapers, although she had been literally the very first person I told when I unsuspectingly aced the pregnancy test with my twins . . . or would that have been “deuced” the test? ) I’d like to examine and expound.

When I am feeling philosophical,…

Hats-Or Shoes-Off to Zappos

I just hung up the phone with Zappo’s, and they simply continue to awe me with their unrivaled customer service. I placed an order yesterday at noon EDT, and their policy is to ship (free) overnight. I didn’t need the shoes for any particular event this weekend, but I’ve got the major uglies these days, and it sometimes helps to buy a new lipstick and some new shoes. Lipstick and shoes tend to fit more reliably these days than, say, belts. Or anything else with a waist for that matter.

But I digress. I went on a spree and ordered a few pair of shoes so I could try them all on and decide on a pair or…

Ahhh…October. Pumpkins, mums, dramatic foliage and hopefully a very long and successful post-season for the Red Sox. But most importantly, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

You all know my story by now. You know how deeply grateful I am for early detection and prevention. And so in this first October without my own breasts, I step up on my soapbox once again and urge all my incredible, adored girlfriends to make sure you do everything you can to monitor the health of your breasts. If you are due (or overdue) for a mammogram, please call today to schedule it. If you’ve never been before and are scared to go, or if you continually put off appointments because…

How to Be an Angel

I had the great privilege recently of reading a life-changing book and meeting its inspiring author. When we attended Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Israel here in Westport a couple of weeks ago, each of the 1,000 member families was given a copy of a book by Dr. Ron Wolfson called God’s To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God’s Work on Earth. The book was a gift from the family of a wonderful local woman who had been a Temple board member and a very active and generous volunteer in the community, and had passed away earlier this year. In their loving inscription on the bookplate, her family referred to her as their “angel.” To…

The Houseguest Manifesto

Over the past few years we’ve been lucky to have wonderful houseguests, making lots of fun memories and deepening and enriching friendships.

I have two rules for houseguests:

1. Make yourself at home.

2. Have fun!

Rule #1: Making yourself at home involves feeling empowered to open the fridge to help yourself to a drink or open the cabinet to grab a snack, rather than waiting for me to serve you. It includes the courtesy of helping to set or clear the table once in a while, loading up the car for the beach, and at least attempting to restrict your mess to your room, rather than in the public areas. Years back, we had guests who apparently thought we were running an…


Icky-a. Otherwise known as Ikea, the inexpensive DIY home products retailer. I took my first – and presumably last – trip to the utilitarian furniture mecca yesterday, and oh, how I wish I could get those two hours back.

I should have heeded the subtle warning of caution in my sister’s voice on the phone yesterday morning when I merrily mentioned the plan for my maiden voyage to the store. She seemed a little surprised that I’d trek to Ikea, and wished me well, all the while I ignored the underlying “yeahhh, good luck with THAT!” tone.

I went equipped with a list of odds and ends that we needed to finish off the boys’ rooms…a desk, some desk chairs, a…