Laments About Midlife Romance

The Prince Wore Plaid

Handsome Hubby, Not Harry

The Prince Wore Plaid

Several months back, I vowed to follow a strict diet. I wasn’t cutting carbs or calories, but celebrities. More specifically, I vowed to stop my late-night consumption of empty sugary fluff and stuff articles about celebs. Then, amid all the unrelenting and divisive bad news, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged. I broke my celebrity diet and happily devoured stories about the happy couple.

But when the non-stop deluge of coverage continued unabated, I got bored. I tried to regain literary control. Admittedly it was near impossible to do amid the 24/7 onslaught of photos, fashion tips, gossip, and wedding planning updates. Still, I tried to focus on the important news of the day. And to some degree, I was successful. I know this, because just last week, Read more

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If Mother Nature Calls, I’m Out

You Take the High Road, I'll Take a Taxi

If Mother Nature Calls, I'm Out

Some people like the outdoors. Some people like roughing it. Some people I ain’t. If Mother Nature calls, I’m out.

Born in New York City, my idea of roughing it is taking the subway instead of a cab. Brought up in Las Vegas, my idea of the outdoors is the time it takes to move from the air-conditioned house to the air-conditioned car. Yes, as the joke goes, roughing it means staying at a Holiday Inn.

Now Handsome Hubby (HH), a rugged, outdoorsy type, accepts these facts (some might say limitations) about me. Early in our dating days, I had told him the harrowing tale of my one and only sojourn with Mom Nature. It was really more a word-to-the-wise there’s-a-moral-to this-tale than anything else.

Happily, HH was a good listener. He has never suggested we go camping in 30-plus years of marriage. Although when we married, he planned our honeymoon for Yosemite National Park.

“You’re taking our sister camping?” my brothers asked aghast. Read more

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Death and Taxes … and Snoring

Confessions from the Guest Room

Death and Taxes ... and Snoring

Nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes. True, but in my mind the list is incomplete. Snoring and sleep problems, the handmaidens of the middle-aged and elderly, are also life’s certainties.

And if you agree, then it is time for true confessions. Fess up, ladies. How many of you have fled the marital bed and sleep in separate rooms from your husband or significant other? Read more

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Hunger Games, Restaurant Edition

It's My Dinner Out and I'll Cry If Want To

Hunger Games, Restaurant version

Eating out used to be special. It used to be fun. Now it’s noisy, crowded, pricy, and pretentious. It’s more hunger games, the restaurant edition, than fun and games.

Where to begin my list of dine out don’t likes? I know … at the front door. Read more

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The Joy of Laundry

Robots, Step Away from My Machine!

The Joy of Laundry

Some women find bliss doing downward dog. Some get their Zen from deep breathing. Me? I get my life affirmations doing laundry. Yes, doing laundry, a task most consider drudgery and toil. I know it’s odd, but before I explain why, I must register my alarm. There’s a technological “advance” on the horizon that threatens my laundry delight.

First, about my love of laundry: It began, as most things do, with my parents. Read more

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Valentine’s Day: The Prettiest Girl in the Room …

He Used to Say So All the Time .. Used to.

Happy Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day fraught with all sorts of emotion, memories, and expectations. I personally have always loved the day. It follows by three days my parents’ anniversary and the birth of my first child. My father, who was quite the romantic, made a big deal of Valentine’s Day and so, it was very special around our house when I was growing up. As a dating young miss and Ms., I received flowers, cards, candies, and other delights with the best of them. It was all fun.

And as a special bonus, 34 years ago on Valentine’s Day, I was anointed one of the “10 Most Eligible Women in the World” by United Press International (UPI), the international news agency whose newswires, photos, films, and audio services provided news to thousands of newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.

I know. It’s hard to believe looking at chubby, middle-aged me today, but in 1984 the news service named me to that “Most Eligible” list along with blonde bombshell Loni Anderson; Christie Hefner, Hugh’s daughter; Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones,  niece of Queen Elizabeth, and Patti Davis, daughter of President and Nancy Reagan.

“Why me?” you rightly ask. Read more

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You Can Own a Smart House, but You Cannot Make a Homeowner Smart

And That Smarts

Smart House, but Not a Smart Homeowner

You can own a smart house, but you cannot make a homeowner smart. I know from first-hand experience. You see, I live in a smart house. “Live” is perhaps an inaccurate description. “Trapped” is a better word.

You see, I have a techno-wise son and an enabling husband, who enthusiastically says “yes” to every new electronic device “The Kid” wants to install and program into our house.

My friends think I’m lucky to have The Kid on-call 24/7 to solve my computer needs, but I know the ugly truth: He and my husband are engaging in a modern form of gaslighting, ostensibly working to modernize the house in ways I don’t—and will never—understand. It’s driving me crazy and that’s their real goal. Read more

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Instant Pot Madness

Big Boys and Their Kitchen Toys

Instant Pot Madness

Christmas has come and gone, but Instant Pot madness lingers at our house.

Handsome Hubby (HH), a modest fellow of few wants and needs, had expressed a gift wish for an Instant Pot, a wish I failed to heed until it was too late. I should have realized he was serious when he started reading New York Times Instant Pot articles to me with the solemnity he usually reserves for stories about the environment and the Golden State Warriors.

What is it about men and their desire for gadgets? Read more

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Carson City Courtship – What Were the Odds?

Falling in Love with Handsome Hubby

Carson City Courtship

CARSON CITY, NV — Who would have thought they would stay together? The odds of them lasting much beyond that first fast attraction were small.

He was a small-town boy, who lived most of his childhood in one tiny house in Reno, Nevada, one tiny town. She was a Big City girl. The smallest “town” she had ever lived in was Las Vegas.

His life plan was to practice law in Gardnerville, Nevada (population 3,414) and take lots of time off to cross-country ski. She had big city dreams, wanted a brownstone facing Central Park and to win the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War.

For her birthday, he gave her four books. The first three were cookbooks including one titled “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.”  To put it kindly, she was less than enchanted.

“Why cookbooks?” she asked with more than a hint of outrage. Read more

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8 Tips for Personal Holiday Fulfillment

Sure-fired Ways to Get the Gifts You Want

8 tips for personal holiday fulfillment

Halloween has come and gone. I’d better get started with my holiday gift list or I’ll be in big trouble. I’m not talking about my holiday gift-giving list. I’m talking about my gift-getting list. Oh, let’s be honest. It’s my “Really, Really Want, Gotta Have, Pretty Please, Will You Get Me This” list.

All year I’m on the hunt for perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday and “just because” gifts for family, friends, and colleagues. I even buy “unbirthday” gifts for attendees at birthday parties, because I love shopping for others. I am such a dedicated gift shopper, that when my children were growing up, we celebrated the “birthdays” of their stuffed animals. Any excuse for cake, ice cream, new book purchases and gift bags!

But come the holidays, my “give unto others” spirit makes a U-turn. I lust for carefully curated payback from loved ones in the form of “just right” gifts for me.

And who better to pick what’s “just right” than me?

If you’re honest, deep in your heart, you’re a tiny bit like me. Admit it. You’ve endured a few too many years of ill-gift-gotten-gain in the form of toaster ovens, fuzzy slippers, and hand-held vacuum cleaners.

So, in the spirit of female solidarity, I offer these eight tips to make your holidays (plus Mother’s Day and birthdays) brighter and your gifts better. Read more

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