A beautiful word or thought that is not accompanied by corresponding acts is like a bright flower that bears no fruit. It would not produce any effect. ~The Buddha

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Valentine's Day, A Couple of Years Later, and a Couple of Weeks Late......

Pretty pathetic that I haven't written in well over a year. As someone, whose opinion I value, said recently, I have something to say, interesting things. He's right. I do have a lot to say, and on many different topics, and so, I'm going say them, or at the very least, write them. I was rereading my post from Valentine's Day back in 2011, and I have to say, for the most part, I still own my feelings on the whole subject. If you were not reading back then, I believe we do things for each other all year that show our love for each other, and hopefully we don't save the "I love you's" for one day a year.  Everyday is special, and hearing, "I love you" and "you are important to me" really uplifts the spirit even on the craziest of days. Likely the reason that married people live longer than single people. It really is the little things in a relationship that add up. That being said, it was an unexpected surprise, and especially nice, to receive a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from a very special Valentine, and once again my faith in the Happy Heart Holiday was restored.


For a long time, and some would argue, too long, I've resisted dating, never mind a relationship. Afraid of getting hurt, yes, busy being a full-time mom, and working outside of the home, absolutely, but there's time, if you make yourself a priority. Over the summer I was convinced, by that same someone whose opinion I value, that modeling a 'good, healthy relationship" would benefit our children, and needless to say, we would benefit from such a relationship too. I believed in the truth of those of words which motivated me to say yes to our first date six months ago. Of course, I should mention he asked me out once, about 7 years ago, but that didn't go anywhere. Entirely. My. Fault. Another blog, for another day, but for now I will say that I needed time to heal from a previous relationship.

When I was reading my blog entry from two years ago, I was reminded of my favorite line from the movie, "Nights in Rodanthe," when Diane Lane's character is talking to her daughter, and says, "there's another kind of love, Amanda. One that gives you the courage to be better than you are, not less than you are. One that makes you feel that anything is possible. I want you to know that you could have that. I want you to hold out for it." Hopefully, for most, it happens well before the age of 48. I plan on sharing these words when it's time for me to give advice to the young women in my life. Not that they will listen initially, but hopefully, along the way, they too will learn to hold out for that really special Valentine. I don't doubt that there will be times when they feel ambivalent about Valentines Day, but like me, I hope their faith is restored by someone very special. Cheers!   

P.S. This is the second blog I'm publishing today...I'm on a roll or have waited too long to get back to writing!


Not long ago, I attended a Suicide Prevention forum in town hosted by our local youth services bureau. A young man from town had taken his own life in November of 2011, and the event was, in part, sponsored by his family. I've known this young man's mom for a long time, and had attempted to go to the calling hours. The line went around the funeral home for hours, and I never did get in to express my condolences. Standing in line that night it was evident that this turn of events had left a big hole in the hearts of all that knew him. A wound, that for his family, will never truly heal. 

Fourteen months later, his father spoke at the event and urged people to talk about suicide. "This can't be something that is pushed away or ignored," he said. I couldn't think of a better way to share, than to turn this into a topic for my blog.    
The forum featured a variety of experts in addition to local residents who were willing to come forward and tell their story about how a friend or family members suicide forever changed their lives.
John Holt, a sports writer and local news anchor at WFSB, Channel 3, in Hartford, CT, talked about losing his brother to suicide in 1999. He urged those of us in attendance at the forum to "let people know you are there for them." 
Another guest speaker, Nena Lake, a licensed social worker, shared some startling statistics. More boys than girls commit suicide and boys tend to use more violent methods like guns or hanging.  The greatest number of suicides tend to happen between 3pm and midnight when parents may be at work. She stressed that, "suicide affects all ages, races and socioeconomic levels," she said. "It doesn't discriminate."   
The resounding message of the evening was that we should talk about suicide and listen to each others needs. Talk. talk. talk and listen. listen. listen. Pay attention to that "gut" feeling that something maybe amiss. Check in with your kids, ask them if they feel safe, secure, and make sure to tell them often that they can talk to you about anything...even if it hurts.  Remove the stigma of suicide by talking about it and being honest and frank with questions.


Friday, March 2, 2012


Not long ago there were national "nurse-in" demonstrations at Target stores nationwide to assert a woman's right to nurse her child in public.  This reminded me that I thought about writing on this subject awhile back (a long while back) and never did.  

At that time it was because Gisele Bundchen (Mrs. Tom Brady of Patriots fame), was making waves with her commentary on breastfeeding.  She declared that all mothers should be required to breastfeed their babies for six months.  Nonsense.  Interestingly enough, she has been mum on her great parenting skills ever since, and her broad stroke criticism for those who do not parent as amazing as she does, has ceased, or at least it's not 'news' anymore.  Although we did learn recently that she doesn't know much about football, even though she's married to one of the best quarterback's in the NFL.  

But back to the subject of nursing.  I was an 'older' mother when I had my first child at 37, and as it turned out my only child.  I did nurse, not only for the baby but for myself too.  Breastfeeding does have health benefits for the baby, and I even read that it would help broaden the child's pallet for food and make them a better eater.  Considering the children in my family have never been very adventurous when it came to meal time, I was sold.  Oddly, in my case, this proved to be a myth.  My daughter still prefers chicken and fries, macaroni and cheese, and pizza.  Sigh.  Anyway, I took a course offered at the hospital, and learned the mechanics of nursing, and more importantly, how to complete the task discreetly without having to sequester myself to a coat closet in public or excuse myself for every meal.  

My first day home from the hospital, I did excuse myself to a bedroom because I wasn't sure my dad who was visiting would be comfortable.  He assured me he was fine, and excusing myself wasn't necessary, and at 65, I decided if he could handle it so could I.  I mastered lifting my shirt just so, and never did have to leave a venue.  Just once, when I was at a Starbucks in Mystic (CT), did a fellow patron make me feel uncomfortable.  It was clear that she and her husband or partner could tell what I was doing, and they were 'disgusted.'  I looked them straight in the eye, daring them to say something to me directly, and they didn't.  That was probably for the best.  

Nursing came to an end for me at 16 months which I thought was respectable, and close to 10 years ago now. Recently, my sister-in-law and I had a heated discussion about breastfeeding in public.  Obviously, I was fine with it, and she was on the opposing side as I had always suspected.  She had 4 children and they were formula fed which I never took objection to or judged because it's a personal choice, and everyone is entitled to make their own decision for what works for them.  She made it clear that she objected to a woman nursing her child in public, and went as far as to say, that she felt at a restaurant a mother could breastfeed in a bathroom or on a bench outside.  I suggested that a person having a problem with nursing in public excuse themselves!  My feeling is that a child being nursed has just as much rights at the table as a child being bottle fed. 

It really is a beautiful thing to feed and nurture a child so completely, and further, the woman's body was designed for birthing and feeding her offspring.  What strikes me as odd, is that it's women who primarily object to their fellow woman breastfeeding her child.  Is it body image issues?  Are these the same women who hold a towel in front of their daughters in the locker room when they are getting dressed in the locker room after swimming?  I tell my daughter, we are all girls and everyone's bodies are different, and there is no need for a towel.  If you're in the women's locker room, that's privacy enough.  I'm no stranger to weight issues, and went through years of unhealthy eating habits, and starvation before learning how to eat right and exercise, and fortunately, that was all before I brought a girl into the world.  I took off the baby weight slowly which was fine because as I learned at some point, extra milk is stored around the waistline.  A "dairy queen" of sorts, but the weight does come off, and producing milk, is quite the calorie burner.  As I mentioned earlier, nursing is also good for the mother.       

Whether you nurse or you don't, it's choice, and a very personal one, and no matter the choice, I think we women need to stick together.  If nothing else, it's good for our daughters. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


It's about time I get back to my writing my blog.  I apologize for my absence, I've missed writing, and I'm not entirely sure why I stopped.  I know I got busy last spring with warmer weather activities, and the end of the school year.  Then it was summer.  Does that speak for itself?  I've considered the reasons for my absence, and I think at first, it was writer's block.  Then it may have been a little shutting down, a delayed reaction after a friend from high school died, and lastly, after you write a few months of fluff, you are kind of inclined to write on subjects that maybe somewhat more controversial, and was I strong enough to handle commentary, pro or con?  I've reflected and I've decided that I am, but first I'll follow-up on some of my earlier posts to close out 2011 and start over.

While some things change, others remain the same.  To begin with, yes, I'm still obsessed with lounge-wear, and not long ago found the perfect pair of lounge pants at The Gap.  I remain on the fence about anti-aging products, and my search for what's perfect for me, continues.  By the end of last summer, I read every book in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, and loved the series.  Currently, I'm reading, Queen Bees and Wanna Bees, and if I may digress for a moment, this is a must-read for mom's with girls.  I did get the New Balance woman's 860 stability running shoe, and I've put many miles on them already so I can say with certainty that I highly recommend them.  My chiropractor would likely agree.  I replaced my Dell computer with another Dell, and my carbon footprint remains about the same.  Except that I am using these handy reusable snack bags made by a young mom who lives in my town (a shout-out to Green to Go on Facebook).

Lastly, I still refrain from using the word, 'should,' and I watch my words.  I am officially back to writing, stay tuned! 

Friday, May 13, 2011


I never intended to have a theme for this week, but life happens, and the theme is "words."

First, let me lay the ground work.  I get my coffee 99.9% of the time at Starbucks.  During the week, I stop on my way to work, and on weekends I drop by when the opportunity presents itself.  I frequent one of two locations.  The people who work there don't know me by name, but they do know my beverage of choice, whether it's the latte in the winter or the iced americano when the nice weather arrives. 

The other morning I placed my order and while I was waiting for my coffee, the Barista who had taken my order said, "you look so pretty lately, are you doing something different?"  Was that a compliment?  I'm not sure because what did I look like before?  Now I realize when I stop in on the weekend after a power walk I may not look my personal best, but during the work week I consistently put some effort into my appearance.  She further queried me as to narrow down what "change" was contributing to the difference.  After a quick review of haircut, color and clothes, neither one of us could come up with anything.  If only she could have left out the word, "lately."

It stayed with my all day, and not in a good way.  I couldn't help but ponder what was different lately?  After careful consideration, I've decided it boils down to a new found confidence, and a little more eyeshadow.  I believe people 'wear' their confidence, and lately I've been feeling pretty good.  The extra eyeshadow is an attempt to give my eyes an extra 'pop' in pictures.  Eye cream only goes so far. 

Did you ever receive a compliment that didn't really feel like one?  I'm listening...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I would say about five years ago I dropped the word "should" from my vocabulary, and while I might still use it occasionally, I make a conscious effort to work around it in a sentence.  Why?  Because when you think about it, "should' is a very negative word.  How many times do you "should" on yourself or someone else?  For example, I should have written a blog last week.  Turn it around, leave out "should" and instead, I will try harder to blog this week.  Much better.  It isn't an easy exercise at first, but it does get better.

That being said, I'm very sensitive to the overuse of the word.  In my world, my mother is the biggest offender.  I love her, she's my mom, but she wastes an enormous amount of time pondering what other people "should" or "should not" do.  Maybe that's what you do when you're retired, but I sure hope not.  I have an endless supply of examples, but I won't bore you.  I know it  drives her pretty crazy when I won't engage, and in as much as I've explained that "should" is a negative word and I do my best not to "should" on others, it falls on deaf ears.  Sometimes, I find myself concentrating on how many times she's uses the word in one conversation, instead of hearing what she's said. Since I pride myself on being a good listener, I'm trying to break myself of this habit.  Two wrongs do not make a right.  

The next time you're having a conversation with either yourself or someone else,be mindful of how many times you "should" on yourself or someone else?  Turn your 'should' statements into positive statements, and let me know if it makes a difference! 


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding

When it comes to the royal wedding tomorrow, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground.  You're either watching or you're not.  I will admit that I will be watching.  It's a tradition started by my dad back in 1973.  I was 9, and he woke me up to watch Princess Anne marry Mark Phillips.  I believe in England they would say I was gobsmacked by the pomp and circumstance, and was glued to the coverage for what I remember being a very long time.  It was a Wednesday so I assume at some point I got ready for school, but the wedding left an impression.  

When Prince Charles married Diana I was still in school, but fortunately, they were married in the summer.  Again, it was my dad who woke me up, but that was my idea.  I had followed the rather short courtship of Charles and Diana, and for the life of me I couldn't imagine wanting to be a Princess badly enough to marry Charles.  At 32, he seemed like an 'old' man, and she was so young, and pretty, and full of life.  I thought the energy she brought to her role was terrific, and admired her courage and strength and devotion to her charitable work.  I followed her trials and tribulations with the press, and the royal family, and caught glimpses of her life as a mother which from all outward appearances, brought her a lot of joy.  I watched as she really came into her own style and then wasn't at all surprised when her marriage to a man who clearly never loved her, fell apart.  Her death was sad, and I was awake of my own accord to watch the funeral. 

I didn't follow Fergie and Andrew so enthusiastically, but I did watch their wedding, and she has always seemed to give the royals a run for their money which I have found amusing.  That she found success as an author and spokesperson for Weight Watcher's was brilliant.  Of course, it clearly crossed a line when she recently tried to sell access to Prince Andrew.  

And so here we are on the day before the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and no, I will not be up all night, but I will be awake early to tune into the coverage.  I think she, Kate, has a lot going for her, being older than Diana was when she married.  Plus, she is a college grad, and she's had a lot of time to get used to the idea of marrying royalty and living in a fish bowl.  She seems to handle it all in stride which I'm sure comes with maturity.  It doesn't hurt that she and William have spent a long time together and they clearly seem to love each other.  Call me a dreamer, or a hopeless romantic, but just once, it would be nice to get the fairytale ending...