Category Archives: Uncategorized

10 things to love about winter

  1. At Home Coziness

During the mois noirs, I feel no compunction to “get aside and enjoy the beautiful day.” And it’s absolutely fine when days spent indoors turn into …

  1. Early nights

I get into bed by 9 most weeknights and am perfectly OK with that. It’s dark outside and has been for hours. It’s warmer in bed and, right now, the Australian Open is played at weird Aussie hours.

  1. The Australian Open
  1. The color burgundy

And I’d throw into the sartorial pile: velvet, suede and (fake) fur.

  1. Pink mornings

Of varying hues. Just now, at 8 a.m., we are a pale pink with a little orange and cranberry along the horizon.


Greenwich Harbor, from the train window

  1. Days getting longer

This as opposed to the slow shaving off of daylight as summer slips away, darkness coming a minute earlier every evening.

  1. Fires in the fireplace

And wood smoke against a dark sky. And the smell of it in the air.

  1. A pot of chili on the stove

Go ahead, crumble in some cornbread.

  1. A bowl of oatmeal
  1. A glass of red wine

You knew that was coming. A ruby in the glass, the rasp of tannin on your tongue, followed by its slow swirling heat through your veins. You will be mine tonight, you scarlet vixen you.


Bottoms up

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The Least Wonderful Time of the Year

Dark mornings, the sun not rising until I’m on the train. Afternoons never mustering real heat or light, dimming by four, dark again by 5. Wind slicing through the streets of lower Manhattan. Snow, rain, ice. Maybe it’s because of a cold coming on; maybe it’s the cleanse and I’m actually a boring person without wine. But I’ve felt little inspiration to think, let alone write. Oh January, you’re the worst.

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New Year’s Resolutions For Me This Time 2017

It’s only fair that I share my list, now that I’ve posted my mostly annual New Year’s Resolutions For Others.

  1. Choose Kindness. Because it is always a choice.


  1. Judge less.
  2. Write more.
  3. There is beauty everywhere. Find it.
  4. Read poetry. It pretty much explains everything.
  5. Keep working on these things.
  6. Lest this start to sound like a Pinterest board waiting to happen: Stop drinking so much wine, you wino.
  7. Also: would it kill me to learn Spanish?
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To me, you are perfect


The perfect Valentine’s Day card for Miss Lil.


well now this is galling

Hillary blamed for her husband’s affairs — as a co-conspirator, an apologist or, worse, the root cause of his philandering?

I’m writing this even while at a loss for words about how wrong this is. Fortunately, Michelle Goldberg, at Slate, is more coherent: “Hillary was a betrayed woman who nevertheless fought to salvage a marriage and political project she believed in. Perhaps she shouldn’t have. But the Times editorial casts her as an icy schemer stage-managing her hapless husband’s misdeeds. It turns her from The Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick into House of Cards’ Claire Underwood, from victim to villainess,” writes Goldberg.

You have been warned: I’m going to write more on this when I can find the courage to read Trump’s take on it.

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A Mother’s Prayer

There’s a secular kind of prayer I make when I fear something in my life is about to be lost. It goes like this: Please, please, please, please.

On an everyday basis, that thing is my phone and I am asking the Maker (of Apple Products) to reveal it to me as not lost after all. Please, please, please, please, I think. And there it is: my phone, tossed heedlessly into my bag, hidden in the black recesses among sundry other black things. I feel a little spangle of relief; it’s a company-issued phone, and I simply can’t tell the tech-support guy I lost another one. On most occasions, I remember to send up a thank you to the Maker that goes something like this: “You have saved me so much inconvenience (not to mention groveling) on this day, and for that I am grateful.”

As a mother of two “children” now in their 20s, I’ve had far too many occasions to send up that prayer to another Maker …

Read all about it >

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Dear Kids

My mother gave me a stack of letters she saved from the time I was studying in France. Because any act within a family is layered with unspoken meaning or meanings this one made me think:

  • Of her mother, whom I called Grandma Howard and she called Mother. Grandma Howard was briskly unsentimental and the opposite of a hoarder. If you handed her a birthday card she would read it quickly, say “that’s nice,” and shove it into wastepaper basket.
  • At the end of her life there was very simply nothing left. Cabinets were empty, a closet was hung with her single blue synthetic quilted robe, and the possessions we thought we would divide among us amounted to a punch bowl and a couple of chenille bedspreads.
  • I think it helped her leave this earth. She was so very unencumbered.
  • Is my mother contemplating her own leaving?
  • My other grandmother was a hoarder but that’s another story. The Brothers of the Rose Cross pamphlet is from her.

Back to the letters. My tone surprised me: so confident, so logical, so bossy. Dear Kids, I would start each one, in writing cramped onto thin aerograms, then I would tell my stories and give instructions as to what I needed: money, information, favors done.

I think of myself as tentative, with overwrought thinking about matters I wish I could sail through in a manner that looks confident, logical and even bossy. But during this time in my life I’ve been thinking about how I present as opposed to how I “really” am and wondering which one is real. More overwrought still is the writing in my journal: in turns, depressive, dreamy, indecisive, self-doubting.

So, kids, which one is the real story of my life?

it’s just too hot

Why people* don’t blog in the summer


*Offered as a lame excuse as to why I haven’t blogged since May

The Girl in the Gray Flannel Suit

that's me!

that’s me!

Read all about it:

may day



Loving my horoscope for the month, which date-checks MY BIRTHDAY as my “cosmic New Year,” no less:

From Refinery 29: “Get the Champers chilling for the 17th, when the annual new moon in Taurus electrifies the skies. This is your cosmic New Year, and the most important date for setting intentions, making wishes, and getting new initiatives into motion. The seeds you plant will manifest in a major way near the full moon on October 27!