The Light At The End…

Indoor wooden decorative lighthouse decorated with battery operated Christmas lightsI’ve been trying to write a sweet post about decorating with light for the past week. But the inauguration had me too sad for pretty word pictures.

I wanted to show how I used a combination of tealight candles, battery-operated candles and battery-operated Christmas lights to transform the dark end of my living room. I wrapped bright lights around the top of my decorative lighthouse and I like it so much, it will stay that way all year long. It seemed appropriate to create my own personal beacon.  Light is safety; it prevents bumps and bruises.  Light shows what things really look like; a truly lit object will show its details and flaws.  Continue reading The Light At The End…

The Rise of the Snowflakes

Snowflake pinThere is a pattern in social media political discourse: abrasive comments using “snowflake and “safe space” as pejorative terms in an attempt to weaken opponents. Continue reading The Rise of the Snowflakes

Anticipating Christmas and The End Of Renovations

Wreaths, poinsettia and building renovation suppliesChristmas is eagerly anticipated worldwide right now. In my corner of the planet, I am also looking forward to the results of renovations on my apartment building.

The modernization started about a year ago and I see beautiful new workmanship every day. Dated pink wallpaper was replaced with serene, sensible beige. Moldings were added with drops a few inches from the ceiling to hide cable wires. The elevators were replaced with taller, safer ones. Marble flooring is being installed, which actually worries me: the inevitable icy winter weather will cause wet, slick floors. And you really don’t want to slip on marble. Continue reading Anticipating Christmas and The End Of Renovations

New Horizons: Things Are Looking Up

12-12-16 Sixth Avenue NYC facing north

Midlife is a strange and exciting time to be job-eliminated.

I had a lifetime of caring for other people (I am the oldest of five so the responsibilities started early.) I can now sensibly think of shifting gears and earning a living at work that I love. But what? Continue reading New Horizons: Things Are Looking Up

Which Gift Cards Are Worth Buying?

#Sephora #giftcard signI have a love/hate relationship with gift cards. Yes, they are convenient and show the recipient some consideration.

But…

The bank or retailer is holding on to your money until the card is redeemed. Not only are you lending them your cash for free, but banks actually charge you for the privilege. Hey, at least throw in some nice packaging! So as a public service, I visited local retailers and gathered some helpful intel: Continue reading Which Gift Cards Are Worth Buying?

Union Square’s Seasonal Transformation

The calendar and political climate have caused New York’s Union Square to make dramatic changes in just the past two weeks. Politics and the holiday shopping season collide.

Many gathered at the park to speak of their discomfort with the presidential election results. It was a friendly scene; I thanked one speaker for urging protesters to select one thing to be activist about rather than be overwhelmed by the big picture. This turned into a casual conversation between two people  who were, clearly, older than most of the rest of the attendees. This is Union Square at 14th Street on November 10: Continue reading Union Square’s Seasonal Transformation

Bonding Over Thanksgiving Leftovers

cooked turkey on a platterI suspect every American knows that the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers.

The sheer amount of food on the holiday can be overwhelming, especially if you are hosting and have to figure out where to put ALL THAT FOOD. Continue reading Bonding Over Thanksgiving Leftovers

It’s No Longer Enough To Be Born In America: A Midlife Hispanic View of the American Presidential Election

cropped-manhattan-from-queens-august-20151.jpgPresident-elect Reality Show Host has shown open disdain for Hispanics, and that doesn’t bode well for me. Long ago it was preferable to “pass” for an another ethnic group rather than look Spanish. I can but have enough self-respect to answer honestly. “What is your heritage?” “What is your ethnic group?” “Are you [fill in locally acceptable nationality here.]?” Hispanic. Continue reading It’s No Longer Enough To Be Born In America: A Midlife Hispanic View of the American Presidential Election

Breaking Fashion Rules to Celebrate My Right to Vote

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

That’s the simple beauty of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It was ratified in 1920, meaning that there are women alive today who were born before they had that right.

Continue reading Breaking Fashion Rules to Celebrate My Right to Vote

Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy

four-awesome-gift-ideasThis year, my sister and niece are organizing a new way of exchanging Christmas gifts, and I couldn’t be happier.

Each family member over high school age buys one  gift valued at up to $50.00 and brings it wrapped. Each recipient will be assigned a number. Number one selects first, number two second, and so on. You get the gift associated with that number or you can “steal” a gift that has already been opened. I’m not sure if that would be funny or cause some sore feelings, but I’ll go with the flow.

Our family members in the scheme will range from college age up to, well, me. Boys and girls. We are neither fancy nor cute, mostly suburban working class. And after some retail research, here are some ideas: Continue reading Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy

The Hudson River at Dusk

10-11-16 Hudson River, Statue of Liberty and New JerseyIn Midtown Manhattan it’s so easy to forget that New York is a city of active rivers, with shipping and ferries, sightseeing boats and sights to see. This is the view at sunset near where I currently work in New York City. Continue reading The Hudson River at Dusk

Trying Not To Kill The Air Plants

old-and-new-air-plants-tilandasia-hicksI love air plants, that they don’t need pots or messy soil. In nature they grow on the sides of trees in humid environments and feed off the moisture in the air.  How hard can it be to keep them alive, right?

This summer saw the possible demise of three plants I bought at the beginning of the season. I didn’t keep them hydrated enough and they lived under a ceiling fan. They were pretty shriveled up by the time I realized that my nice breeze was their kiss of death. Continue reading Trying Not To Kill The Air Plants

How Old Is Too Old?

I study the little poofy ponytail in the mirror, the same type my hair has made since I was a little girl. The apartment is warm but I have work to do, vanity be damned.

I notice that my once-prominent cheekbones have softened my face into an oval, my dark hair now colored a lighter shade of brown to more effectively disguise the greys. Am I too old to be seen with a ponytail? Continue reading How Old Is Too Old?