Category Archives: Musings

Trading Lasagnas


I have two friends who were recently both injured at their jobs. The first one sent a lasagna to the second, just as the second was getting ready to drop off a lasagna for the first.

Trading lasagnas.

That what we do.


You drop off delicious homemade eggplant parmesan after my son is born. When you have your first little girl, I drop off a rotisserie chicken from Wegmans along with a bag of salad, Italian bread and cookies (because I don’t cook).


I find your three-year-old who has climbed over our shared fence in my kitchen looking for a snack. Years later, you come home to find a giant pair of sneakers by your front door and my son, home from college, hanging out on your couch eating a bowl of cereal.


On the way to work, I see your son who is rushing, super late for school. I pick him up and deliver him safely, and on time. When my son forgets his keys you let him stay at your house and feed him dinner when I am running late.


When I get home from summer vacation, you have replenished my fridge with milk and bread. When you get home from Thanksgiving vacation, I have turned up your heat so you’ll come home to a warm house.


When I am far away, visiting relatives, my dog who is staying with a dog sitter becomes seriously ill and his body starts to shut down. You take him to the emergency vet and pet him and tell him what a good boy he is while I sob over the phone—I still owe you for that one.


I have tissues and hugs ready for when you need a good cry. And you have the same ready for me.


Thank you friends, women, wonderful people. So glad I have you to trade lasagnas with. Couldn’t do this without you.


To Panic or Not to Panic


I have been in Texas for almost exactly one year, and I have noticed that Texans do not panic. And as a newcomer, this is quite problematic for me, because in new and unfamiliar situations, I look to those around me in order to know how quickly and to what degree I should be freaking out. Here are a few examples.

I am sitting in a nail salon watching the sky outside darken, and I hear phone alerts going off around me. Ladies are calmly checking their phones for the latest weather advisory as they continue chatting and sipping fancy lemon-water. The phone warnings keep getting louder and more urgent. I look at these women’s faces. Help me out here ladies. I’m new to tornado warnings. Are we supposed to panic? Should I be heading to the basement? Oh crap! There are no basements! I sit with my pretty red toenails under the dryer and continue to look at my fellow pedicurians for the slightest sign of worry. I don’t see it! But as the phones continue to alarm and the rain comes down harder and the wind is whipping the trees around, I decide to be my own woman and panic to the very best of my ability. To hell with my pretty, not-quite-yet-dry nails. The nice salon workers calmly check me out and tell me to have a nice afternoon.

A co-worker tells me that there was once a snake in her office. Um what? Did you say a snake? “Oh-my gosh! What did you do?” I ask horrified, thinking she must have called some special Texas dangerous reptile hotline.
“I caught it in the recycling bucket and took it outside,” she says.
Pardon me? You what?

I overhear another co-worker, a single young lady; telling about a coyote that was near her house and acting abnormally the previous evening. It was getting too close and didn’t seem at all scared of her, or her dogs. She couldn’t get it to go away. Again, I ask, “Oh my gosh! What did you do?”
“I shot it,” she says.
“You shot it?”
“Not to kill it. Just to scare it.”
Oh of course! Just to scare it.

See what I mean? Texans do not panic! I am pretty sure that even if a tornado were actually in sight, headed straight for her house, a Texan would just look calmly at her kids, tell them to climb in the bathtub for a few minutes, and to bring some snacks while they were at it.

Listen. I am from the North and I am not used to venomous creatures, tornadoes or shooting stuff. So be assured that in situations of which I am unsure, I will panic. Just to let you know, if the TV says there is a tornado warning, I will be in my closet with my bike helmet securely fastened.

And co-workers, if I miss work for a few days, you can assume that I have barricaded myself in my house because there is a rattlesnake in my yard and I am waiting for it to leave of it’s own volition.

But I’ll tell you what, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I want to be with the Texans. I’ll be running around freaking out yelling, “ZOMBIES!!!”
They’ll be like, “Yup.”
“Don’t panic.”
“Just climb in the bathtub for a few minutes.”
Then they’ll shoot the zombies and stuff ‘em in a recycling bucket.

If I ever do see a Texan panic, I’m throwing in the towel. It will mean the end of the world has truly come. No doubt about it.

My Fantasy Apartment


I spent the weekend with girlfriends at a Women’s Adventure Weekend Camp in the Adirondacks. We had a wonderful time sleeping in bunk beds, taking hikes, eating in the mess hall and sitting by the lake chatting. We have made this trip together for about 9 years and it’s always a nice time to catch up on each other’s lives and spend lots of time laughing. This year we all described our individual fantasy apartments. You know, the ones we design in our minds during an especially crazy day with grumpy kids, messy houses, burned dinner etc. It’s interesting to see what we all find the most comforting and relaxing. Here are some of our apartments.

The Sparse Apartment

All white with very little furniture. One book, one plate, one cup, one fork, one spoon and knife. Nothing at all that needs any care or nurturing. No plants or pets. A space for a yoga mat next to a little fountain. No clutter.

The Jungle Apartment

Full of plants and pets. No kitchen. Lots of books.

The Hobbit Hole Apartment

Full of bright colors and cozy furniture. A fireplace and lots of soft blankets. Stacks of books. Dogs to curl up with on the couch. A coffee pot.

What does your fantasy apartment look like?



I just read “Surviving Whole Foods” at by Kelly MacLean and it’s very funny. The author describes entering the sliding doors of Whole Foods and being smacked in the face by moist air smelling of strawberries and orchids. When I get up get up enough courage to enter a Whole Foods store, I just smell the stench of my own fear. And I know the hemp-clad people inside can smell me for exactly what I am, a poser. That’s right a granola, sprouts, and quinoa poser! And, knowing me, I have probably forgotten my reusable, eco-friendly bags.

The author continues on her shopping trip, noticing a wall of kombucha, which she describes as rotten tea, which seems to have offended some of her Whole Foods readers. I guess I can’t offend anyone, because I have never even heard of kombucha. How can I shop somewhere where I can’t identify about 85% of the items?

Someone should invent a Whole Foods for Dummies store. It would have descriptions and easy recipes for each item. And when I say easy recipes I mean EASY. As soon as I see the words rinse, soak, sort or germinate, I’m out. In the Whole Foods for Dummies, every item would be ranked for ease of use by lentil ratings. A brown lentil rating would mean the food is okay for all Whole Food virgins. A green lentil rating would signal the moderately experienced shopper. A red lentil rating…well, let’s face it, I’ll never need to worry about the red lentil level of Whole Foods.

Dear Crabby: Unappreciated


Check me out as a guest writer in The Grimm Report!

The Grimm Report

Dear Crabby created by Trista Wilson and Christie Hall.

Dear Crabby,

I am living with a bunch of roommates, 7 to be exact, who don’t carry their weight. Everyday it’s all “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go.” I’m the one stuck home cleaning, cooking, shopping and fending off creepy, fruit saleswomen. I can’t deal! I’m expected to shop for one roommate’s allergy medicine, keep dinner warm for one who is always falling asleep, and be all sweet and singsongy even when one’s super grumpy ALL THE TIME! I don’t know what to do. Please help me Crabby.

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The Gift of a Dog


I sit on this beautiful beach but instead of enjoying the incredible view of lake, mountains and clouds, and the sound of wind and waves, I am thinking:


My husband has been laid off today.


A black, wet dog nose touches my arm and the eyes express the hopeful message, “Hey, could you please throw my ball? Huh, could you?”


I’ve just started my own business. What if I have to give it up?


Wet furry dog shakes on me, soaking my notebook. “Did you just see me go swimming after that ball? That was so amazing!”


What if we have to move someplace I hate?


Cold dog nose again, “Is this the best day ever or what?”


What if my kids have to change schools?


Black furry chin on my knee and eyes gazing at mine, “Do you know I adore you?”


What about health insurance?


Wet dog shake all over everything once again. “Feel free to throw the ball some more. Joy. Joy. Joy.”


I’m scared.


Wet dog lies next to me on warm rocks. “I’m so happy to be with you today.”


I’m so happy to be with you today too my sweet, furry, wet, stinky girl.


More dog shakes. I laugh and throw her ball. Then I join her, swimming and jumping in the waves.







Take one breath. Then another…


How Old Are You on the Inside?


I have just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and am thinking about a conversation between the two young main characters.

“Grown-ups and monsters aren’t scared of things.”

“Oh, monsters are scared,” said Lettie. “That’s why they’re monsters. And as for grown-ups…” She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, “I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

This is so true. Even though I have 2 teenage boys, a husband, a house, pets and bills, on the inside I feel about 14 years old. I am in a bright yellow one-piece bathing suit visiting the Thousand Islands with my best friend. I feel the hot sun on my skin as we “lay-out” on the cement dock, listening to “Blister in the Sun” and having an animated conversation, hoping that the cute boys are noticing us. Even better, I am hoping one of them will come and throw me off the dock into the water as I have seen them do to some of the other girls, picking me up and spinning me around effortlessly as I scream in protest, secretly enjoying the attention.