Laments About My Life

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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The Exercise Pill: One Swallow, Then Svelte

At Last, Something for Nothing

The Exercise Pill: one swallow away from svelte

It’s a chubby middle-aged woman’s dream come true—an exercise pill. Soon – well, one day – maybe, we’ll all be one swallow away from svelte!

It’s true. Well, sort of. What’s true is that scientists are working on drugs that provide the benefits of exercise without the need to actually move a muscle, get off the couch … or, horrors, sweat.

Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the delight. 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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Possession Obsession Salvation

Storage Options for the Downsized Challenged

Possession Obsession Solutions

I’ve separated and sorted, trashed and stashed, and donated with the best of them. I’ve consolidated, re-arranged and shelved. But I’ve still got Possession Obsession and I need help. I need storage solutions. Yes, that’s it. I need stuff for my stuff. Salvation! Read more

Possession Obsession

Clutter or Keepsake?

Possession Obsession

I have a confession to make: Like many women of a certain age, I suffer from possession obsession. I have too much “stuff” and don’t know what to do about it. You know what I mean – I have an  overabundance of material objects that I don’t want or need, but somehow cannot bear to shed. Read more

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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Cats Make Me Scratch

Cat Lovers Are Unconvinced

cat scratch makes woman allergic

I wanted this blog to be positive, free of fiery and fierce political rhetoric. I did not want to make it a forum for hate speech or rigid doctrinaire policy statements.

In the interests of free speech, I even let a friend post a “Go Cleveland” comment in response to my “Go Golden State Warriors” essay. That’s how fair-minded I am!

But the time has come for me to take a stand. I need to state for the record – clearly and loudly: Please believe me. Please accept that I really am allergic to cats. Do not think ill of me. They just make me ill.  Read more

Nora’s Neck, My Thin Lips

Self-image Bites

Nora's neck, My Thin Lips

The amazing screenwriter, journalist, and author Nora Ephron hated her sagging neck.

I hate my lips.

Nora lamented the pitfalls of maturing – aka aging –in her best-selling book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. As the title suggests, she especially bemoaned her saggy, baggy neckline and her middle-aged need to camouflage the offending body part with scarves.

Well, my nemesis is my lips. However, unlike Nora, my problem isn’t solely the result of aging. It’s a lifelong curse. And unlike Nora’s scarf solution, I cannot cloak my offending feature. For decades, I have suffered in silence, but no more. Today I share my shame. Read more

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Apples are OK. Compliments are Better

A Compliment a Day Keeps the Old Age Blues at Bay

apples and compliments make for good health

My recipe for good health and vitality is not fresh fruit, but vanity. Yes, apples are nice, but compliments are so much better.

Yesterday I had several errands to run and a few appointments to keep. It was a busy day. So, I made an effort, did a bit more than just throw on some jeans. Truth be told, I did a lot more. I, as they used to say, gussied myself up. It paid off. I got four compliments from four different people.

One woman, a make-up artist at Bloomingdale’s no less, told me how much she liked my lipstick.

A passerby on the street complimented me on my cool jacket.

My lunch companion admired my green-lacquer necklace, and the waitress praised my shiny fire-engine-red nail polish.

I rode the BART home feeling pretty good about myself. I met my husband for dinner. He was tired and not feeling great. He offered no compliments or even much by way of conversation. It was a quick dinner, and home we went to a quiet evening of TV and sleep.

I thought about the compliments I had received that day. They were great. I sincerely appreciated them. Truth be told, I needed them the way someone in the Sahara Desert welcomes a sip of water. But they made me think. They were different than the compliments I used to get in “the old days.” Funny how we say “the old days” when what we actually mean is the days when we were young. Read more

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Second Hand Dope

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lungs ...

Second hand dope

A recent Saturday night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Ca. Handsome Hubby and I went to the famed venue for the first time to see Beck, a musician I have long admired and long wanted to see.

The concert was sold out, but a friend gave us her VIP tickets. What a generous treat. Cool, right? Totally cool.

Well, apparently Handsome Hubby (HH) and I are not cool, at least we’re not Berkeley cool.

Second Hand Smoke

It was a rock concert. So, yes, we should have known. It’s Berkeley. So, yes, we really should have known. But we just weren’t prepared for the magnitude of it all. It was overwhelming. Read more

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