Be Open-Minded

but, not so much that your brains fall out.


I’m passing this one along…my Mom has said this to me all of my life.  And it makes so much sense, when you stop rolling your eyes upon hearing it!

Gather information from all sides.  Don’t be stubborn about your point of view to the detriment of you learning anything new. (I’m rhyming!)

When you welcome other people’s viewpoints you are telling them that you value what they have to say, their experiences and their intelligence.  Contrary to this, by shutting people down when they are trying to present an opinion that may differ from yours, you are being disrespectful, and in essence telling the other person to “go fly a kite”, in not so nice terms.

Just be careful that you don’t end up being fickle.  Unable to stand your ground.  Bouncing around from ideology to ideology because someone keeps presenting a stronger argument that than the last one you heard.

Make sure that you aren’t so open-minded that you lose your head and your conviction to stand for what you believe.



Go-To Grilled Summer Drumstix


Everyone needs a go-to recipe for Chicken Drumsticks.  Especially one that isn’t time-consuming!

So wonderful to have these on hand in the summertime.  Grilling is what you want to do when it’s beautiful out.  Along with picnics and lunch at the beach.  Whether it’s a cold drumstick to gnaw on for your lunch, chicken salad sandwiches, or slices on a Caesar salad, this chicken is so versatile you will be thrilled with the possibilities!

Let the savory adventure begin!


Start by folding over the edges of a large freezer bag, as shown above.


Add 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped, fresh oregano,


1 teaspoon lemon zest,


2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice,


2 tablespoons of the best olive oil,


1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt,


and 2 minced garlic cloves.  Grind in about 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper.


Add about 10 chicken drumsticks to the bag, squeeze out the excess air and seal it.

Move the chicken pieces around in the bag to coat with the marinade.

Marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, turning once in a while.  Or marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Grill on medium-high heat, browning on all sides, about 30 minutes.


Sevings:  4

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!



Avoid the Missing Sock Mystery…


at long last!

No, they were not absorbed by the washing machine or sucked into the holes in the side of your dryer.  They did not vanish into thin air.  They were not ferried off to Never-Never Land by Tinkerbell or any other kind of little fairy.  Your roommate didn’t steal one of your socks (What would be the use?!)

Where are they?  Most likely one of many of your pairs of socks is at the bottom of your laundry basket.  Or on the pathway that leads from your laundry basket to your laundry room.  Perhaps behind the washer or dryer.  Perhaps between the 2 machines.  Maybe it got caught up in your husband’s load of laundry and is now lost in his sock drawer.  Under the bed.  Behind the hamper.

How do you avoid the Missing Sock Mystery from being a part of your family’s history?

Most socks get lost somewhere between the time they are taken off the person’s feet to the time they make it to the washing machine.  Between the floor, the hamper, behind the hamper, the laundry basket, the walk to the laundry room, the journey from the laundry basket to the basin of the washing machine…a lot can happen to a lone, unsuspecting sock.

But, not if it’s got it’s mate.  When you turn one sock into the other, to make a sock ball, the minute they come off your feet ,you won’t lose either one.

If you aren’t sure what I mean by this method, please watch the most adorable video of this 5 year old teaching us how…(not my little Beach Rose, but adorable none the less!)

These sock balls travel together from the floor to the hamper to the laundry room and only at the mouth of the washing machine’s basin should you separate them.

I would wager that the loss of socks in your household goes from whatever percentage it is now to barely 5%, if any are lost!

Give it a shot!

The House We Grew Up In


The House We Grew Up In, by Lisa Jewell.

Ooooo.  This is a quintessential beach read.  Or summer read.  Just a great read all around!

I do not have a single page in the book dog-eared.  Which means that I did not find any significant passages or insights.  I did not think that I should go back to a certain page and ponder its meaning or write down a quote.

But, I ate this book up.  I couldn’t wait to pick it up, didn’t want to put it down, was invested in all of the characters and was dying to know how it all broke down and what in the world was going on.  It was unpredictable, which is always fun, and clever.  I was so happy to learn that this author is prolific, because I cannot wait to get my hands on another of her books.

The book follows a family with 4 kids in England.  An eccentric mother, a milk-toast of a father, and the 4 kids in order of birth:  a realist, an eternal child, a popular boy who takes no responsibility, & his strange twin brother.  The book starts by portraying an idyllic childhood and family life.  Then a tragedy falls upon the family and nothing is ever the same.  And the family struggles to pick up the pieces, forgive betrayals and mend broken hearts.

If you’re looking for great depth and something that will make you question the meaning of life, this book is not going to deliver.


if you are looking for a marvelous read, one that will make you want to ignore your husband & kids for a few days, here it is!

Caution! Public Restroom Guidance


Ok, this is the last of the potty talk.  I promise.  I’ve covered it all, I think.  Private bathroom etiquette, going when ‘ya gotta go’, and of course, the public bathroom – not going it alone.

This musing is about being aware of the potential “hazards” of a public bathroom.  We’ll just quickly list things to watch out for…

Creepy People –  Don’t go it alone.  Bring a buddy with you.  Between the drug dealing, drug use and not-so-nice people who want to hurt you, you don’t want to find yourself in any uncomfortable situation by yourself.

Purse Placement – Keep it slung over your shoulder.  I have read news stories where women have hung their purses up on the door in front of them and had them swiped or even left them on the floor of the stall and someone’s swiped it from the next stall.  Hold tight!

The dirty toilet seat –  They’re all dirty.  Even if they don’t appear to be. Don’t sit on them!  At least, not until you’ve built a “nest”.  If the public restroom doesn’t offer a paper toilet seat cover, build your own!  Just lay down toilet paper on both sides of the toilet seat and across the bottom of the seat.  Now when you sit down upon it, you will not be touching the seat with your flesh at all!

And there’s always the crouching method, also known as “the hover”.  This means       that you use muscles in your thighs that you haven’t used in a long time, in my case anyway, to keep yourself in line with the toilet without ever touching the toilet seat.

There is good reason to use caution when it comes to the toilet seat and catching diseases from it…

The dirty flush handle – For the same reasons as stated in the NY Times link above, bacterias & viruses living for a long period of time on hard surfaces, use your foot to flush every toilet you use that isn’t your own.

Wash Your Hands – Between the door handle you touched coming into the restroom, the latch on your stall door, and the business at hand, you need a thorough hand-washing!

The dirty faucet handle – Once you’ve washed your hands with soap, avoid turning off the faucet with your hand on the handle.  Instead, keep the water running while you grab a paper towel to dry your hand and then use that paper towel to turn the faucet off.

The dirty door handle on your way out –  The same rules apply with the yucky door handle on your way out.  Any idea how many people leave the bathrooms without washing their hands?  And then use that handle with those same hands?  Yuck.  Use that same paper towel to grab the door handle and throw it out in a trash can outside if you have to.

I don’t mean to sound paranoid, because I’m normally not, however, I’ve heard too many stories too close to home that have kind of freaked me out and certainly made me much more aware when using one of these public facilities.  And I wanted to make you more aware, as well!




Public Restroom – Don’t Go It Alone

Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  I promise that I am not sending you mixed messages.  I meant what I said – When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go.  Do not be particular about where you go to the bathroom, because it is not healthy.  Use whatever bathroom is available to you and go when you need to go.  Do not hold it.


Good rule of thumb: Do not go it alone when it comes to a public restroom.  This rule is there to help prevent yourself, a child, etc from being in a vulnerable situation and avoiding possible assault.

Public restrooms are often used as places to clean-up or shower, for homeless people.  A lot of illegal drug selling and consumption happens in public restrooms.  And robberies, assaults, and sexual assaults can also be committed in public bathrooms.  This means that you could potentially walk in on someone naked, sponge-bathing, someone sticking a needle in their arm, or someone with a gun looking to grab your purse or more.

This is not only the creepy public bathroom at the park in a major metropolitan area.  These are the bathrooms at the kids’ park in town, the ones in your local box store, the fast food joints, the family restaurants, the mall, etc.

Do yourself a favor.  Bring a buddy.  They don’t have to come into the stall with you.  But have them in the bathroom, too.  Or waiting right outside the door.  Or, at the very least, tell someone who’s listening that you are headed to the restroom and to check on you if you aren’t out in 2 minutes.

But is there are multiple stalls in a public restroom, I wouldn’t even risk this.  As creeped out as you would be to walk the street of a sketchy neighborhood at 2 in the morning is how creeped out you should be about going alone in a public bathroom.

Not to scare you, just to make you aware.  Very aware.

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go


Do NOT discriminate.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a port-a-potty, a public restroom in a skeevy gas station, a smelly, sticky, overflowing bathroom at a frat party, the woods, a hole in the ground in a corporate office building in China (Oh yes I did), etc.

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

Don’t even think about it.  Do not stop to think… about who may be around.  How it may look. What they may think. Whether or not it might smell.  Whether or not you should hold it.

Because you should never, ever hold it.

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

Everybody goes.  And you don’t like to think about everybody going.  And you don’t like to think about everybody thinking about you going.  But the truth of the matter is that everybody goes.

And although you will be faced with some extremely, shall we say,  ‘off-putting’ toilettes, do not turn up your nose at them and resist your urge to go, now.

What you are trying to avoid are 2 things.

  1. Public restroom anxiety – Being particular about using any bathroom besides yours.  Not a very practical idea.  You will spend a large part of your life away from home, working, traveling, running errands, visiting, etc. And you cannot dictate when ya gotta go.  Because, if you ignore the call of duty, then this will lead into the 2nd thing you want to avoid…
  2. Lifelong problems going to the bathroom.  You run the risk of developing a dysfunction in the muscles used.  Causing constipation.  Not a laughing matter.  Not fun.  Not easy to deal with.  When you ignore your body’s tell-tale signs that ya gotta go, you are in essence playing with its internal clock and pushing it back.  You can only do that so many times before your body gets ‘backed up’ and doesn’t just release on demand.  This can be very painful, very uncomfortable, very distressing, and can lead to further issues with your digestive system.  And there have actually been deaths related to heart attacks from the strain of trying, and the buildup of toxins and waste, etc.

Don’t stifle the urge.  Listen to that call of nature!

Beware the Elastic Waistband!


Nothing comfier than lounging around in your pjs, right?  Or spending those hot summer days in your garden, in your home, etc in your workout clothes.  Ie, your sports bra, your athletic top and a great pair of Nike, Pony, Avia, etc running shorts.  You know the ones I mean.  The super-comfy ones with the elastic waistband?

Yeah, well, take it from me…AUCHTUNG!  (U2’s rendition of the word “Caution”…sounds so much cooler as “auk-toong”!)

You see, all those days in your flip-flops and all that comfort has left you with a little surprise; and not a good surprise, either.  No, because what nobody thinks about as they spend day after day in elastic waist pants, looking so chill and relaxed, is that their waistline is slowly expanding.

Now, were you to be wearing your jeans everyday, believe you me you’d notice if there was the slightest thickening happening.  There are only so many times you can tell yourself that your pants must have shrunk in the wash before you are forced to confront the reality of the situation, which is that you are slowly “expanding”!    Aaaaugh!


I’m all for the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach to weight gain.  I, too, would rather ignore the fact that it’s happening!

But rather than be blindsided by the jump in numbers on your scale because you’ve chosen a strictly elastic waistband wardrobe, head it all off at the pass and wear pants, shorts, skirts, etc in your size, with a button or zipper,  so that you can keep an eye on yourself…

Somebody’s got to!

The Buddha in the Attic


The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka.

Definitely a book worth reading.

First of all, because it is only 129 pages long(!) and so the investment of time is not an issue, and thus you do not have the time to get tired of it.

Secondly, because you’ve never read a book written like this!  At least, I’m pretty sure of it.

The book is narrated by a chorus of voices.  The author’s chosen to write in this unique manner, not outlining any one character, but using the stories of hundreds of Japanese women immigrants who came to America in the early 1900s.  It is a work of fiction but she did draw her stories, in large part, from many historical sources.

It is a fascinating collection of “memoirs”, providing a window into the hearts and minds of the young women who took that boat ride from Japan to California in hopes of uniting with a husband who’d painted a rosy picture of the lives they’d lead, to their 1st nights as a wife, to the harsh realities of their situations, to the back-breaking work they were forced to do to survive, to motherhood, to isolation because of the war.

All of that packed into a book that can be read in one sitting!   And I am a sucker for cultural studies and this one keeps your interest peaked.

Stop & Smell the Flowers


I just went on the most precious walk with my little Beach Rose.  She’s 4 and she is just so excited about life and its wonders.

We must have been out “walking” for about an hour and in that time, we maybe went 5 houses down from ours!

She just had to stop to admire everything.  And I mean everything!  “Look, Mama!  Look at the ants.  Wow!  What a beautiful garden!  Isn’t that rock pretty?  Did you see the wood door, Mama?  Isn’t it beautiful?! Let’s pick some wildflowers, Mama.  Can you hold them? Can we pick those blue flowers?  No?  Why not? What is property?”

I am so used to running out the door.  Literally.  When I spend time on the streets of my neighborhood it is me jogging past the houses and flowers and pretty rocks and myriads of insects.  I don’t stop to smell the wildflowers.  Or pick them.  Or, I should say that I didn’t used to.

The pace of life that having my little girl has forced me to slow down to is so incredibly enjoyable and satisfying and simple and wonderful.  I am reminded, daily, of the little things in life and how miraculous they are, through her little mind which is blown away by the beauty surrounding her that I have taken for granted for so long.

Try to embrace slowing down with your little one.  It’s hard.  I know that you have a million things to do and it would be impossible to function daily at that pace.  But do yourself, and them, the favor of savoring the moment, walking with a stoop to find “treasures”, collecting a bunch of wildflowers and taking the time to smell them!