Main Street Musings

June 4, 2016

“This is an unorthodox request and feel free to say no,” began my creative writing teacher, Laura, in a recent email. She went on to explain that Bridges, a non-profit organization, received a grant to create a photography project on the homeless in Newark. The program gave digital cameras to ...

Read more »

Recently, when I drove my teenage son home from tennis practice, I watched him spend the first half of the ride chugging a 32-ounce root beer and the rest of the drive drumming his palms on the dashboard with such force I feared he’d deploy the dual front airbags. The radio wasn’t even on. “Next ...

Read more »

The slowing down of the brain is inevitable. What I meant to say is, the slowing down of the brain with age is inevitable. I’ve become absentminded lately. In fact, just yesterday, while preparing a turkey sandwich for my son, I took a jar of mayonnaise out of the fridge and forgot to use ...

Read more »

Tea used to be something I only drank to complete my meal at the local Chinese restaurant. But ever since I visited an organic tea plantation in Peru last summer, I no longer limit tea time to tiny cups at Dragon Palace. After learning about the benefits of drinking tea on mind, body and spirit, ...

Read more »

Since my very first column back in 2010, I’ve been musing about life in the suburbs–the good, the bad and the ugly. Today marks my 100th column, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who have been reading, commenting and hopefully enjoying my musings. You inspire me ...

Read more »

Shopping for a new jacket can be challenging, especially if you live in a place like I do where the temperature outside can drop faster than the NASDAQ after a Washington stalemate. Where is the jacket for all seasons? I never expected my search would end with my teenage son, Henry, who ...

Read more »

My Aunt Jo used to say, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” She uttered that phrase any time we complained or didn’t seem grateful for something she did for us. She always expected respect be given for the respect she tendered. I can still remember the Thanksgiving Day when we cousins, ...

Read more »

He passed the interview with flying colors. “Why do you want to live with us? What challenges are you looking for? Where do you see yourself in five years?” We asked some tough questions and he had all the right answers, responding to each question with a confidentmeow. He was ...

Read more »

When my friend Jane invited me to try a hot yoga class, I hesitated. I thought yoga was for ‘other’ people. You know, the ‘yogi’ kind who sits with her legs crossed in full lotus, inhaling incense and exhaling ‘ommmmms.’ I often passed our local yoga studio. Students emerged sipping coconut ...

Read more »

There are certain things in our kitchens we can’t live without.  I don’t mean the obvious ones—the sink, the stove, and the double chocolate fudge ice cream in the freezer.  I’m talking about kitchen gadgets—those culinary weapons that make cooking more fun and productive. For openers, there’s ...

Read more »

  There’s an old joke . . . “Let’s eat grandpa.” “Let’s eat, grandpa.” A comma can save a person’s life. Just as a small punctuation mark can change the meaning of a sentence, a simple gesture of goodwill can bring a rhythm and order to life. For some people, performing an ...

Read more »

  Open fridge . . . nothing to eat. Open the cabinet . . .nothing to eat. Lower expectations . . .and then repeat. You know the drill. Your stomach is rumbling. You glance at your “eat healthier” New Year’s resolution that’s pinned to the fridge and consider the same old snack options: ...

Read more »

  How can I save a buck? That’s the million-dollar question. I’ve experimented with various cost-cutting measures over the years. One time I cut my own hair rather than pay exorbitant beauty salon prices. I did such a hack job that I refused to leave myself a tip and swore I’d never go ...

Read more »

I recently learned a fact that in all my years of eating packaged bread I had never known. It was news that would change my life—or at least how I buy bread. Like most families, bread is a staple in our diet, along with milk, butter and Ring Dings. We eat BET’s (Bacon and egg on toast) for ...

Read more »

They say scrapbooking is a great way to cherish your favorite memories and organize photos that are lying around your home. When I asked my friend Andrea why she scrapbooks she answered, “Because it’s cheaper than therapy.” Scrapping, she says, is a stress release. “I love starting with a ...

Read more »

I used to consider myself an organized person. Every morning I showered, toweled, and moisturized. I kept toiletries— liquid hand soap, deodorant and lotion—stored together in a single basket close at hand near my bathroom sink for easy reach.  Then one morning after I showered, toweled, and ...

Read more »

  When my daughter first sent me this Buzzfeed link about a dual Thanksgiving and Hanukkah celebration, I thought it was a joke. Thanksgivukkah? I envisioned Adam Sandler dressed up like a turkey and singing a sequel to his Hanukkah song on Saturday Night Live. Curious, I clicked on the ...

Read more »

“You didn’t make the cut, but thanks for trying.” It was the story of my life, fruitlessly chasing my ambitions with Wile E. Coyote abandon. Somehow, I always fell short of capturing my prize. I was outwitted by the competition and left hanging in mid-air before falling into a chasm, howling ...

Read more »

  My husband Chris and I have been married over twenty years and each evening after saying goodnight to our three children we sprint upstairs to the bedroom for our nightly “ritual.”   I know what you’re thinking.  “Wow, are they lucky!  Even after so many years they can still run up those ...

Read more »

Chances are no matter how organized you are things accumulate on your kitchen counters and grow into piles, and those piles beget piles.  It’s like the Duggar family with 19 kids and counting—you take care of one and minutes later two more spring up. All sorts of things pile up: paper, mail, ...

Read more »

  Marriage is a package deal. You open the package—you deal with the in-laws.  No exchange policy, no returns, no satisfaction guarantee, and if you’re lucky, no Marie Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond.” You know, the stereotypically judgmental, overbearing, and meddling mother-in-law who ...

Read more »

An anniversary is a day of remembrance—when we remember how good we used to look when we first got married. It’s also inspiration for a couple’s facial.  “We can celebrate and exfoliate!” I told my husband Chris, who grudgingly went along with my cosmetic whim for our ...

Read more »

I was wary when my friend Patty invited me to a trunk show called CAbi that she was hosting.   In New Jersey a trunk show generally means a body bound and gagged in the back of an Oldsmobile.  In this case, however, it meant a wine-infused suburban moms shopping spree in a friend’s Country ...

Read more »

When my husband Chris told me he wanted to take a family vacation during our children’s winter break, I resisted. I told him I didn’t need to spend oodles of money traveling to some faraway place just to retreat from society, lounge in sweat pants and gorge on fattening food. I do that every ...

Read more »

In deference to the heartbreaking tragedy last Friday, I have departed from my weekly Musings to send thoughts and prayers to the community of Newtown, Connecticut.   May 2013 bring healing and hope.   I am taking a three-week hiatus and will return in January. Wishing ...

Read more »

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It’s an occasion my husband and I mark by throwing an annual Hanukkah party, a fun and festive celebration where we eat, drink, light candles and invariably do something wrong. Here are some of my favorite ...

Read more »

I have an affinity for animal skins.  Not only do I drive a car with leather car seats and carry an alligator pocketbook, I order Peking duck just for the skin. But what I really love is animal skin rugs, particularly cowhides, which are a growing trend.  For years I’ve admired cowhide rugs ...

Read more »

They say you can tell a lot about someone by looking at her garbage, but you can also tell a lot about someone from looking at her catalogs. Consumer buying guides reflect our gender, age, interests, and observing from my neighbor Jerry’s recycling bin, weird fetishes for Japanese adult ...

Read more »

  Some of us grew up under constant correction from parents and teachers about our back posture: “sit up straight,” “shoulders back,” “stand tall;” But not me. I was corrected for bad tongue posture.  I don’t mean cursing. Tongue posture has to do with where your tongue is positioned ...

Read more »

Home delivery used to mean a mustached man named Raul driving an oxidized Ford Pinto and tossing the morning newspaper into our neighbor’s bushes. That was until my impatient baby made a quick exit onto my living room floor and redefined the term. It was 12:15 a.m. when I was jolted from my ...

Read more »