Save Your Sanity

Scary Mommy Blurb R

Scary Mommy Guide to the Holidays

Ah, the holidays! That time of year when the world comes together and falls apart, all at the same time. You know what I mean? Tables are set. Cookies baking. Gravy simmering. Drinks poured.

And all those things you really want to say to THAT relative are wrapped up inside you.

But you’re not going to say them, right? You’re not going to tell your aunt that you haven’t collected tea cups since you were twelve. You’re not going to tell your mother that you’ve already heard the story about the Hanukah of 2002, when the curtains caught on fire. Like a hundred times already.

You’re just going to smile.  And sneak off to the bar and refill your glass with what your grandchildren so lovingly call, “Grandma water.”

If you’re like me, the holidays bring on a  milkshake of emotions.

And, so, to help you get through the hazy maze of November and December, Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy has put together a fantastic book of stories and recipes. And I’m thrilled to be included!

The best part – ALL the authors’ proceeds go feed the homeless.

Just click on the link below and get your copy today!!

Scary Mommy Guide to the Holidays

Posted in Authors, Food, Holidays, homeless, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A Personal Time Bank

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-wrist-watch-image8293595

THEN: Changing the Time

Rick's Phone

 NOW : Changing the Time 

With the end of Daylight Savings, I’ve been thinking a lot about Time.  That elusive concept that always seems to pass too slowly when you’re young and way too fast once you’ve crossed the half century mark of your life

I mean, really.  One minute you’re walking down the aisle in a cap and gown and the next you’re wearing a backless gown and being wheeled down the corridor for a colonoscopy.

So, I’ve been thinking.  What if instead of simply turning the clocks back an hour in March and then gaining that hour in October, we could actually save time itself?

If all those hours of Daylight Savings were actually saved in Personal Time Bank accounts.

Every Daylight Savings we would add another hour, not be used until we turned forty or of an age when we could really appreciate time.  Our hours would accumulate and then each fall when we turn the clocks back, we could go to our time bank and withdraw whichever hour we wanted.

Think about it.  You could withdraw an hour from a day in high school when you followed your crush around, waiting for him to smile at you.  To remind yourself of how young love felt.  To help you relate to that hormonal teenage daughter sulking at you from across the kitchen table who wants only to send a text to her boyfriend and not have to listen to you bitch about her lack of respect.

You could withdraw an hour from the day your child was born and relive how it felt to cradle her in your arms.  Before she learned how to talk back.

Or maybe an hour from when you were laid up in bed with a broken bone.  An hour that would remind you to slow down, take a deep breath.  You don’t need to be there for everyone, all the time.

If you were sad over something, you could take a “happy” hour from your bank to remind you of life’s ups and downs.  Perhaps withdraw an hour to help you through a tough situation.  Or even an hour to spend with someone who is no longer with you.

You could revisit the days when we called each other to say hello instead of sending emails.  When a text usually meant a book, a virus referred to something attacking our bodies, and a window was a large opening looking out onto the world.

And let’s take it one step further.  How about being able to withdraw against these hours whenever you needed a few extra minutes to meet a deadline? Instead of rushing from the market to the soccer game to the doctor’s to the office, you could borrow from your Time Bank and make that tightly squeezed day, just a bit easier.

Or maybe even trade hours with your friend to see how it really feels to walk in someone else’s shoes.  Oh, how we could learn to stop judging and just accept each other.

Best of all, we could loan hours to someone whose life is being cut too short.

Oh, the possibilities are limitless.

If only this were possible. But, it’s not. So, I’m going to use this hour for some “me” time.

How about you?

 

 

Posted in Banks, Daylight Savings, Memories, time | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

A Story of Best Friends, Cancer & Love

Read me today on Huffington Post and learn what my husband taught me about friendship.

Cancer, Friends and Love

And love those around you, will all your heart!

 

Janie

Posted in Best Friends, Cancer, Friendship, Love | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sweet. Heat. No Wheat!

 

Small plate

What with everyone’s particular tastes, allergies and food fetishes, throwing a dinner party these days gets pretty darn complicated. Menu planning can take days.

One good friend is allergic to wheat. Another is allergic to peanuts. A third guest can’t swallow anything too smooth or too grainy. Another one is allergic to sea food. Yet another to diary products.

And me? Well, I’m allergic to cooking itself.  Which poses the biggest problem of all.

How can you have a dinner party, if you don’t cook?

Well, I do have a secret weapon. My husband. Not only does he love to cook, he loves to plan and prep and put on dinner parties extraordinaire, taking everyone’s allergies into consideration. (even mine)

Here is a sampling of some of the hors d’eouvres from our last dinner.

IMG_0603

Sweet with Heat and no Wheat (for our gluten free guests)

This one so simply beautiful. Stab a red pepper. Add a mango. A purple onion. And a jalapeño pepper. Remember to cut them all about the same size. A treat for your taste buds.

IMG_0602

Liverwurst (don’t make that face. I wasn’t sure about this either, until I tasted it) spread on an organic cracker. Add a dollop of horseradish. Top with a sprig of chives.

IMG_0605

Homemade pesto (made with walnuts, not pine) spread on whole wheat cracker. Add a very thin slice of proscuitto.  Add a deliciously juicy apricot.

IMG_0604

Thrill of Dill: Dill mustard sauce spread on the cracker of your choice.  Place a slice of yummy lox.  Add a little more dill sauce. Top with fresh dill.

IMG_0606

Compliment the meal with the cocktail of your choice.

As you can see, there was something for everyone.

And whether vegan or carnivore. Carb or calorie counter. Lover of wine, water, soda or vodka…

No one is allergic to a view this this!

IMG_0616

 

Stay tuned for the main course….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in allergies, Cooking, dinner party, Holidays | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

LONG & SHORT REVIEWS ANNIVERSARY BASH

Enter now to win! Books, gift certificates & more!

Click below to read my blog about Balancing Acts and to enter the contest.

LASR ANNIVERSARY BASH!

LASR Badge

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The ABCs of Back to School

OMG! Yes, it’s that time of year already:  BACK TO SCHOOL!

If you’re like me, you leave most thing to the last minute.  You are not alone!

 

 

Posted in Children | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Then: Big Brother Now: Big Brother

Little brother

THEN: BIG BROTHER

Big Brother in camera

NOW: BIG BROTHER

It almost seems impossible over fourteen years have passed since the Y2K frenzy.  Remember that?  When the world was going to fall apart at midnight?  Everything connected to a computer, from air traffic controls to sensory operated toilet flushers was going to crash.

The world was going to come to a standstill.

Well, that moment passed with no more than a few glitches.  And here we are in the second decade of the 21st Century.

It’s obvious that we are in the midst of a digitalrevolution.

Why, fourteen years ago, a cell phone was really just a phone.  Now making calls is one of the phone’s most archaic functions.

Old fashioned movies are being replaced by those in 3D.  Holographic movies are in the making.  Someday, our favorite actors will be performing in the middle of our living rooms.

Robots are being developed that will take over household chores such as dusting and sweeping.  Maybe even cooking.  And hopefully, they can take our place on those nights when we feel a “headache” coming on.

E-readers are becoming more and more popular.  It’s inevitable that books will one day go the path of the vinyl record album.  The bookstore where you can browse through the aisles with a cup of coffee and an idea of what you may want to purchase will be a thing of the past.  Books will be sold in antique shops and of course, on eBay or some other futuristic site.  It will be up to the older generation to explain to their grandchildren how readers used to turn the page instead of tapping the screen with their finger.

But what scares me the most about the future is how we will be watched.  Because Big Brother has already arrived.

When I search online for information on “spiders,” the next day I’m bombarded with dozens of pop ups, offering miracle products guaranteed to rid my legs of “spider” veins, asking for money to save the endangered Spruce-fir moss “spider,” and information on the entire cast of the Spiderman movies.  For days on end, my inbox is crammed with everything and anything to do with insects.

It can only get worse from here.

Someone, somewhere, out there in cyberspace is recording every one of our keystrokes.  And that someone has a database from which to pull information that can be used for any number of things.  Advertising is just one of them.  Perhaps the least harmful.  We can ignore them if we want.

What if someday we’re prohibited from going to certain schools or holding a certain job because we prefer roasted chicken over baked?  Or because of our blood type?  Or because we like to do it doggie-style rather than in the missionary position?

It’s a scary thought.  Something I have no control over.

But I do  have control over how I act. And if someone, something, somewhere is watching my every move, I better make my life something interesting to watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Big Brother, Computers, Futuristic | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Top 10 Things I learned at BlogHer

Blogher Award

I am unable to attend this year. But here is my Top Ten List of things I learned at the last conference.  I hope everyone going has a great time!

10. For several days following the conference you will amble around BlogHerized. Definition: The mindboggling state of sorting through the Who, Where, Why & When of What you experienced at the conference.

9. Some bloggers will look exactly like their online photos. Others will look like older versions of themselves. Some may even resemble the foods, flowers or fetishes they blog about.

8. The words “free” and “food” do not always go well together in a sentence or in one’s digestive system.

7. Speaking of free – all that SWAG could cost almost $100.00 to take home.  Note: I hope that nice TSA gentleman with the friendly smile got lucky with his wife for bringing her a bottle of Windex and some Trojan lubricant.

July 2013 149

6. During keynote speaker presentations some people will snicker under their breath, while others will find themselves crying. Which only goes to demonstrate the subjectivity of the entire business of blogging. You can’t to appeal to everyone.

5. It’s dangerous to carry a Voices of The Year poster through the hall, up the elevator, and across the lobby. This behavior can only be performed with “real live”  friends. Beware- a lasting bound will most definitely be formed.

Blogher Friends

 

4. “What’s your Twitter handle?” is to bloggers as “What’s your sign” is to strangers meeting in a bar.  Sometimes neither of them make much sense.

3.Sharing a bathroom with an online friend will turn them into someone you hope you get to see again soon.

2. 99.5% of bloggers want to write a book. My advice: Do it. But grow a thick skin. And nurture your patient side. There is no such thing as Instant Gratification in the world of publishing.

And the number one thing I learned is: 

You are not your blog. You are not your ranking. Or your SEO. But one woman writing. Writing something you want the world to hear. And if you can give someone an “aha” moment, get them to realize they are not alone, or make them laugh, then you’ve done your job as a blogger.

Have fun!

 

Posted in Blogging, BlogHer, Friendship, writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Then: Home Economics Now: Home Page

HomeEconomics_preview

THEN: HOME ECONOMICS

Home page

NOW: HOME PAGE

HOME used to mean a place to eat, sleep & party.  Now it means so much more!

 

Posted in Computers, Cooking, Home, Home Economics, Sewing, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Falling From the Sky on The 4th of July

Plane crash

Hamburgers. Hot dogs. Fireworks. Parades.

To all of us here in the US, these things symbolize the 4th of July. The day when we adopted The Declaration of Independence and broke away from our mother – cheery old England.

Not that Mom was so bad, but it was time to go out on our own. Start our own customs and laws.

And one of those customs includes shooting off fire crackers and lighting the sky with explosions of color.

I have fond memories of my dad along with the other fathers on our block, lighting ground snakes that sizzled into nothingness, fountains that sprayed higher than our houses and of course, the ever popular sparkler, used to terrorize your sibling and write your name in the air.

But although those celebrations stand out in my mind, nothing can compare to the 4th of July I experienced a few decades ago.

We lived across the street from a college which put on a fireworks show every year.  Now, because we did live right across the street, we would gather on the railroad tracks which ran behind our house. From there we could see the fireworks.

Of course, we couldn’t hear the patriotic music or hear any of the freedom speeches. But it was free and we were free to drink the beverage of our choice – an ice cold beer, a glass of wine or in my case, an ice cold martini.

So there we were – kids oohing and ahhing at the exploding sky, dogs cowering in fear under our seats, parents talking and sipping their drinks when suddenly the air seemed to stand still.

Of to my right, I saw something huge. Something that didn’t belong that low in the sky.

My mind jumped to that popular expression: It’s a bird.  It’s a plane.  It’s Superman.

Well, in this case, it WAS a plane!

At first I thought it was a huge 747 coming toward us. As it got closer, I realized is was only a small two-seater.  But still- a plane? Using our neighborhood congregation as a landing zone.

Utter chaos ensued.  I grabbed my daughter, the dog, my drink, my husband (in that order) and amidst shouts and screams ran for cover along with everyone else.

Miraculously, the pilot managed to land safely in the middle of the street.

While the rest of us, were left shaking in our boots, he climbed out, shouting. “Long live the Queen.” Moments later, he was handcuffed and hauled off.

I silently wished he could have been taken to the castle dungeon.

Looney as he was, the pilot left us all unscathed and free to go about our lives, free to watch many more 4th of July fireworks shows.

Most of them have paled in comparison to that evening.

How about you?  Any exciting stories to share?

Posted in 4th of July, Fireworks, Memories, Planes | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments