My 10 Observations About The Golden Globes

75 ggGoing for the obvious in my blog post tonight…

  • Seth Meyers is a stable genius.
  • Hi Oprah!
  • Favorite Dress – Laura Dern
  • I really need to watch Big Little Lies & The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • Zac Efron – gorgeous (but they keep showing that Hugh Jackman guy?)
  • James Franco is so strange. Is he high again?
  • Love Sterling K. Brown…well-deserved award
  • Hollywood Foreign Press supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists (Yay writers!)
  • Glad to see so much support for women in one very powerful room.
  • Who are some of these people?

Chin Up!

nailsIt isn’t easy being a woman of a certain age. There are all sorts of body ‘”maintenance” that I expose myself to so I can continue to show my face in public. After all the haircuts, coloring and keratin to make it straight, the hair products, gel manicures, lip and eyebrow waxing, endless cosmetics and an occasional facial, I feel like I’m doing my part.

This morning, I needed to get my nails done. It has been more than 2 weeks since my last appointment and my nails were turning into claws. Typing was becoming a challenge and it is quite possible that my jigsaw puzzle is not getting done because I can no longer pick up the pieces.

I wasn’t thrilled about going out in the freezing cold weather we are currently having in my neck of the woods. I pretty much never wanted to leave my nice, warm bed this weekend. But, I showered, dressed and went to the nail salon. I made polite conversation with the woman who did my nails and it was nice to relax after a long week at work.

I was feeling pretty and productive – always a good combination.

When it came for waxing, I asked for the usual. I laid back on the table and waited for the technician to walk in. And then she said something like this:

“Eyebrows and lip? How about chin?” she asked as she proceeded to put her cold hands on my face and feel around my chin as if I had stubble.

I’ve been going to this salon for many years now and never asked for this service. It hadn’t even crossed my mind–not even once. Needless to say, I was stunned.and managed to politely, but firmly decline.

“Are you sure?” she asked. I didn’t answer. Are they running a special on chin waxing this week?   And as a side note: don’t you think that unless one asks for extra waxing, people shouldn’t offer it to you? Can that be a new rule?

It sucks getting old.

 

 

Disney Tips

I’m a pretty big fan of all things Mickey Mouse. And Mininie. And Beauty and Beast. And…well you get the idea. I was nine years old when I first went to Mickey’s House (a.k.a. Disney World). It was a magical time. While I was a little too young to fully enjoy all the rides,the trip was memorable. After being there many times now with friends, family and my own kids. I’ve picked up some helpful tips along the way.

  • Bring Lunch – Save yourself some money and pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to bring to the park. Food in the Disney Parks is expensive. Save your money for a theme dinner or a meet the characters breakfast (which I also highly recommend so that you can avoid the lines for photos). If you want to eat any meals in the park, adults are allowed to order from the kids’ menus too!
  • Splurge – Buy one of those spray water bottles with the fan for every member of your family. It is worth the money and no one fights over them when it gets unbearably hot outside.
  • Download the Disney app – Want to know how long the line is at Space Mountain? Check the app for wait times? Need a reservation at one of the restaurants? Check the app.
  • Have a plan – Figure out what your “must-do” rides are and get to them first. Everything takes longer than you think. Go to guest services for their one day itineraries to help you.
  • Pack a poncho – No matter what time of year you go to Florida, there is bound to be a pop-up shower. Bring the ponchos (buy one at a dollar store at home). They will come in handy at least one of the days you are in the parks. Also, don’t leave the park when it rains. There are plenty of places to stay dry and these showers typically don’t last that long.
  • Take in the Hall of Presidents or Carousel of Progress – Not as exciting as Splash Mountain – but it is a chance to sit down in an air-conditioned theater for 30 minutes!
  • Need a break from Disney World? – Visit the Kennedy Space Center. It is not too far away and so worth it!

Most of all, have a great trip! (And if you want a personal tour guide, I’m available!)

Late Night TV x 4

late nightIn these troubled and frankly downright scary times in our country, I need a little levity to get me through the day. Thankfully, late night TV hosts are my bae. I don’t care who the guests are on tonight’s show. I’m in it for the monologues. They are often flawless and talk about exactly what I am thinking, but afraid to say aloud. Other times, they come up with things I wish I thought of myself.

Here are my top 4 faves in the order that I always watch them (on my DVR. I can’t stay up that late anymore).

  • Late Night With Seth Myers – After a brief monologue, his segment “a closer look” brings an in-depth commentary on one or two issues of the day. It is brilliant. Google Seth Myers A Closer Look and you will see what I mean. Plus, his writer Amber – can I just say what, what!
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – If I can’t have Jon Stewart and my moment of zen, I’ll take Stephen Colbert. I’ve always liked him – even when he played a conservative blowhard on his old show. Still lovable. And musical. And just brilliant.
  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Speaking of Jon Stewart, I had my doubts about his replacement. I still wish Samantha Bee or Jessica Williams got the top spot. However, Trevor is smart, funny and I’ll just say it – sexy.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! – I’ll admit that I was not a fan of his in the beginning. I’m not big on pranks or celebrities or celebrities that pull pranks. But Jimmy has a sensitive side and he isn’t afraid to cry on TV and share his life with the world. And I’ve become a fan.

Who do you watch on late night?

P.S. John Oliver almost made this list, but I really have to pay attention to his monologues to get what he is saying and at 11 pm at night that is a lot to ask!
Love you John! Can’t wait for you to come back in February!

 

Late Night TV x 4

late nightIn these troubled and frankly downright scary times in our country, I need a little levity to get me through the day. Thankfully, late night TV hosts are my bae. I don’t care who the guests are on tonight’s show. I’m in it for the monologues. They are often flawless and talk about exactly what I am thinking, but afraid to say aloud. Other times, they come up with things I wish I thought of myself.

Here are my top 4 faves in the order that I always watch them (on my DVR. I can’t stay up that late anymore).

  • Late Night With Seth Myers – After a brief monologue, his segment “a closer look” brings an in-depth commentary on one or two issues of the day. It is brilliant. Google Seth Myers A Closer Look and you will see what I mean. Plus, his writer Amber – can I just say what, what!
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – If I can’t have Jon Stewart and my moment of zen, I’ll take Stephen Colbert. I’ve always liked him – even when he played a conservative blowhard on his old show. Still lovable. And musical. And just brilliant.
  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Speaking of Jon Stewart, I had my doubts about his replacement. I still wish Samantha Bee or Jessica Williams got the top spot. However, Trevor is smart, funny and I’ll just say it – sexy.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! – I’ll admit that I was not a fan of his in the beginning. I’m not big on pranks or celebrities or celebrities that pull pranks. But Jimmy has a sensitive side and he isn’t afraid to cry on TV and share his life with the world. And I’ve become a fan.

Who do you watch on late night?

P.S. John Oliver almost made this list, but I really have to pay attention to his monologues to get what he is saying and at 11 pm at night that is a lot to ask!
Love you John! Can’t wait for you to come back in February!

A Work In Progress

In my writing workshop, we were given the following prompt - “I am from…”  I find myself thinking about the beginning of this sentence a lot and wondering how it ends. Not an easy question to answer, but a great window to look out at the world and figure out where I fit in.

It could have so many meanings. This is what I have so far and I hope to spend 2018 adding more verses. Just like me, it is a work in progress.

I am from that place where everybody knows my name, but they don’t really know me.
And I am from the place where someone knows everything about me and loves me anyway.

I am from that place in my heart where I like to find the good in everybody.
And the place in my head where I come back to reality and see the world as it is.

I am from that place in my core that wants to be organized and put together.
And the place where I’m constantly looking for my car keys.

I am from that place where I think I’ve got this parenting thing down pat
And that place where the kids get older and change the rules on me.

I am from that place of desperately wanting to be present in the moment.
And the place where life gets in the way and the moment is gone.

To be continued…

Jigsaw Puzzles Are Our Thing

I may not be able to get my family around the dinner table every night for a hot meal, but when there is a new jigsaw puzzle on my dining room table – the family bonding begins.

When I was little, the first snowfall meant 3 things – hot chocolate, days off from school, and jigsaw puzzles. There was always something about putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle that facilitated great conversation, teamwork, lots of laughs and great memories.

As an adult, I’m carrying on this tradition with my own kids. I started them out young with Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles and then they graduated to floor puzzles of the United States and modes of transportation. It didn’t take long for them to earn a spot at the dining room table for the main event.

While my love of jigsaw puzzles has remained steady, my kids have had varied levels of interest. Andrew took to it quickly. As a lover of the Lego, he is a natural builder with qualities like patience and determination to succeed.

Jenna, on the other hand, had a passing interest for many years. She would come and do a few pieces at a time and then become frustrated by the process and leave the table. But I always knew she would be back. 2017 is her year. She is now passionate about finding the right pieces and feels the satisfaction of linking them together in holy matrimony. And then, she keeps going – knowing another perfect match is right around the corner.

As you can see, we really get into this. There are happy dances and high fives all around. We play music and a family sing-a-long is not unheard of. And we do have some rules about jigsaw puzzles that I’d like to share with you in case I’ve convinced you to try one with your loved ones.

  • Choose your puzzle carefully – When selecting a puzzle at the store, don’t go for the 2,000-piece puzzle at first. You are just setting yourself up for failure. Go with a 500 or 1,000 pieces. Also, pick a puzzle that you would like to see come to life. This year, we have a dog park puzzle. Last year, we must have been hungry when we selected the doughnut themed one and two years ago, we were in a New York state of mind when we did two puzzles in one winter – Central Park and Times Square.
  • Anyone can participate – Puzzles are fun for all ages and abilities. You can be a novice or an expert. And we are known for our multi-generation puzzle doers. We have had 3 generations working on a puzzle at once. We also invite neighbors and anyone else who wants to help. All are welcome.
  • All methods are welcome – There are many ways to approach a jigsaw puzzle – by color, by section of the puzzle, or by the shape of the piece. Whatever floats your boat and you can change methods. No one will ever judge you.
  • No fighting, except… – The only fighting allowed is over the box cover that features the entire puzzle. Also, it is not cheating to refer to the picture for help – just don’t keep it to yourself.

And most of all—have fun!

Life with Chloe

It is pouring rain and I am standing outside in the cold with an umbrella over the dog (not me) waiting patiently and occasionally coaxing her to get on with her business.

 “Come on, Chloe. Mommy has to go to work and it’s freezing out here.” Like she cares.

What is wrong with this picture? Not a thing.

If you told me over a year ago that this is what I would be doing on a rainy Tuesday morning, I would have laughed in your face. I have never considered myself a “dog person.” For one thing, I’m allergic to dogs plus I never had a dog growing up, so I was not comfortable with the whole idea. Frankly, I thought fish were more my speed—that is until Chloe came into our lives.

And yet here I am, looking down at those big beautiful brown eyes of my little grey schnoodle (part schnauzer/part toy poodle) complimenting her (out loud) on how nice she looks in her plaid fall coat. Yes, I buy her clothes. Just a few weeks ago, I bought an Eagles jersey in which she proudly struts around the house on game day. I justified the purchase because everyone in our family wears Eagles green on Sundays and she is a part of our family.

She also has in her wardrobe a pink dress which serves as both a ballerina Halloween costume and for when she likes to dress up on Purim as Queen Esther. As I’m writing this, I remind myself to buy that Ugly Hanukkah sweater I found online for her. I think I’ll draw the line though at the doggy dreidel hat, which looks like a miniature torture device, but I may throw in the bright blue bow if the price is right.

She finally finishes what we came outside to do. We head back to the house and she turns into our driveway. I marvel at how she always knows exactly which one is ours. I’m not sure if our grass has a familiar smell or if she is keenly aware of the massive amounts of concrete divots in our driveway. She just knows.

Chloe waits patiently as I bend down to remove her leash and then runs freely towards the shelter of our front porch while I walk over to the trash can on the side of the house to throw her waste bag away.

“Who’s a good girl?” I scratch her head and say to her in a voice that only came along when we rescued her. I call it “my Chloe voice.”

Once we are back in the house, I feed her breakfast and quickly add “Buy Chloe’s treats” to my shopping list. I seriously consider switching up the flavors from the chicken and apple sausage blend we always get to the Salisbury steak flavor that Tucker from down the street recommended. Okay, so it was my best friend Jill who made the actual recommendation, but her pug, Tucker, has a good palette.

I glance at the photo on the refrigerator door taken during our summer vacation to Costa Rica. It was an amazing trip, but I distinctly remember us ready to come home, sleep in our own beds and see Chloe. Since we came home after midnight, we had to wait until the next day to pick her up from her foster family. We walked into an all-too-quiet house feeling a little sad knowing our entire family was not together and wouldn’t be until we brought her home.

Breakfast is ready, but Chloe has disappeared. There are certain rooms of the house that are still off limits, and I need to know that she isn’t in the laundry room secretly licking the wet mop. I know I’m already running late, but I won’t have any peace of mind until I find her safe and sound.

Typically, she hangs out on the living room couch where she can watch the cars go by, bark at the other dogs and their owners and generally position herself as the official neighborhood watchdog. She isn’t there. I also check the dog beds upstairs and downstairs, but no such luck.

I curse under my breath as I walk slowly into my bedroom and get down on my hands and knees to confirm what I knew all along—that she is indeed underneath my bed again. Chloe likes to hide there to chill out and get away from it all. She developed this habit when she first came to us, and we kept her in the kitchen while we were at school and work. She didn’t care for it and we don’t even do that anymore. But, to this day, she still escapes under the bed to avoid daily confinement.

Today is no different. I find her curled up next to her favorite companion—her gray flattie shark toy. Like a child and her favorite blanket, Chloe doesn’t go anywhere in the house without it. The stuffing is long gone, and it is chewed up perfectly to her liking. It smells awful and I should really throw it away, but I know that would break her heart.

Since my arms aren’t long enough to reach her, I let her hang out. Eventually, she comes out when we are gone. Nowadays, we pretty much give her the main floor of the house to roam around during the day. Before I leave, I make sure the doors to the bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room are all closed. Once, I almost closed the door to my own bedroom which would have left her stuck in there all day long with no food or water. I tend to check that door obsessively to make sure it remains open.

Now that I know she is safe, I look at the clock and see that it is time to leave. I put on Chloe’s favorite radio station—Oldies 98.1 WOGL—and adjust the multi-color blanket on the couch so she doesn’t dig into my throw pillows. I inspect the floor to make sure there are no stray items scattered about that she can swallow, remembering that I used to do this when my children were small.

“Goodbye, Chloe. Be a good girl,” I shout to her and hear the faint music of Earth, Wind & Fire in the background as I close the front door.  Walking to my car, I smile at the “I love my Schnoodle” magnet on the bumper.

Because I really do.

Challenge Accepted

During this month long blog challenge, I’m sent an email each day with a writing prompt. I haven’t been following them because I like to do my own thing, but this one caught my eye:

For today’s post, share a challenge. Have you faced a challenge recently that you made it through? Share it with your readers and show them how they can survive the same challenge.

I’ll be honest with you. Lately, my anxiety level has been flaring up for no particular reason. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause, but thankfully I didn’t have to necessarily attribute it to anything to get help for it.

In my case, common symptoms include not sleeping well, feeling overwhelmed by everything and nothing in particular, and not being able to enjoy myself with others. At first, these symptoms creep up on me and I don’t recognize them as anxiety, until all 3 come into play.

And then, there was one weekend–fairly recently–when it got to the point that I needed to do something about it.

So, this week I took some time off and saw the doctors who help me deal with this. I learned that it isn’t necessarily external factors causing my anxiety, but more likely that my serotonin levels needed adjusting. For some reason, this was a big relief to me.

I continue to accept the challenges my anxiety brings me. And thanks to the love and support of my family, I’m feeling a heck of a lot better and ready to take on the world again.

To others facing this kind of challenge, please don’t think you have to have a reason to feel the way you do. See your doctor and let them know what is going on so that you can get back to being your old self again.

My Sick Day in Haikus

Ah-choo, Ah-choo, Ah…
Blowing my nose til its red
It’s so not pretty


Kleenex are everywhere
Not thrown away, I don’t care
Excused from housework


Turn on the TV
Please bring me some orange juice
Now leave me alone


I stay home from work
Robo-calls the whole day long
Can’t go back to sleep


Where the heck is Whoopi?
Why is she not on The View?
Friday, she is off
(Sad)


Do not shake my hand
Keeping my germs to myself
Just blow me a kiss


Tired of being sick
Tea and honey are working
I’ll wake up better

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