Checking In

Hi All!  I was bust yesterday, so I didn’t start to read blog posts till late.  I was having massive WP problems- I liked things that automatically unliked.  I had trouble pulling up posts.  I had trouble commenting.  I have a writing/reading evening planned, so will hopefully catch up.  Apologies if anything thinks I liked/unliked them!!!!!!

On a decent note, wrote 1478 words yesterday.  Notice that when I don’t reach my goal I give you an exact number, not rounded…..yes…I am that crazy!!  Planning on 2000 words today.

Have a great Saturday/Sunday- aka the weekend!!!!!

Keep writing/blogging!


Mystery Blogger

I would like to thank Mischenko for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award  This site is filled with great reviews, great music and just great everything!  Am so glad I got to know this blog and this blogger!!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
The rules:
• Put the award logo/image on your blog
• List the rules
• Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
• Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
• Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
• You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
• Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
• Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
• Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me:

  1. I like to write with a freshly sharpened pencil, except when I do crossword puzzles.  Then I choose pen.
  2. I’m really organized, but I can’t find a way to organize the people I nominate for blogger awards.  I need to have a better system.
  3. My shoe size is really a 6.5, but I often buy a 7

Miscneko’s Questions:
1. What’s your ideal pet?

I Love cats, especially my cat because she is so self-sufficient and can take care of herself.  I also love cats because they dole out love at their own pace.  We have that in common.  But don’t tell my dog.
2. What’s your favorite food? 

Cheeseburgers.  Love them!
3. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

Not to let my M control me so easily.  every bad decision I ever made was in response to my Mother
4. What is your favorite music?

Classic rock.  Can’t get enough of it.
5. Who do you most admire in life?

My daughter.  She sets a goal and does everything she can to accomplish it.  If she doesn’t succeed, she gets up and gets on with life.  I would love to say her attitude is nurture based, but I think nature played a little hand.

The questions for my nominees:

  1. When were you most proud of yourself?
  2. What is your favorite drink on a hot day?
  3. If you could go anywhere on your next vacation, where would it be?
  4. What color are your eyes?
  5. Dark, milk or white chocolate?

My best post:

You all know I am really critical about my writing- and I’m not sure how to qualify “best” in this situation.  Is it most likes, most views, most comments?  Is it one that I find the best?  So- I’m going to say I love when I write about my Daughter, both the funny ones and the heartfelt ones, because they mean the most to me.  And if you disagree, please feel free to reread all my blogs and give me a hint….kidding…..!!!!

The nominees!  These are blogs I’m just getting to know, as well as some I may know better!  I apologize if I keep forgetting you, or if I’ve nominated you a million times!  It’s more stupidity than anything else!

As always- there is no penalty for not playing!  This is fun, not torture!!!


Sunday Wrap up

Another week has come and gone.  New York experienced a little bit of humidity this week- not a fan of humidity.  Also thwarted with some subway issues this week, and trust me, waiting underground in humid weather is not fun.  But here’s the run down- Ratings 0-5.  I’ve received no compensation for any of these things!


“The Little French Bistro” Nina George  The heroine is 59 years old.  I don’t think I can say much more than this- it is refreshing to see an adult women in a novel.  This is a feel good book about overcoming adversity.  While not a great book, it is a fairly easy read. 4


“Home Again”

A story about a 40 year old woman getting her life back together after she separates from her husband.  (are you sensing a theme?  Middle age women overcoming adversity- yes- and I want to see/read more of it)  Movie is light and cute, if predictable (again, a theme) 3.8


“Suits”- Season Finale.  I didn’t love the finale.  My Suits friends, please give me opinions.


New York Historical Society

“The Duchess of Carnegie Hall: Photographs by Editta Sherman”  I loved this exhibits.  Portraits of celebrities- many from the 40’s and 50’s.  Absolutely gorgeous.  What was a little dismaying was how many people were photographed smoking, but it was a different time. 4.7

“American Visionary:  John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times”  Amazing photos of JFK.  Beautifully curated exhibit.  4.2

“Eloise at the Museum”  Exhibit that explores the beloved book character Eloise.  Cute exhibit, but really much better for children.  4


Ofrenda  Delicious Mexican food in a lively (loud) cozy (ridiculously small) place.  Appetizer called Queso Fondido, which is basically a Mexican fondue.  Yummy.  Killer, and I mean that literally, Margaritas. 4.3

Island Burger and Shakes- I used to love this place- but the quality of the burgers has gone way down.  No worth going to anymore.  2.8

Levain- This bakery has about the best cookies known to man.  So big they more closely resemble muffin tops.  And I love the chocolate brioche.  Ridiculously yummy!



I have narrowed down my WordPress issues.  On the app, my reader does not always work correctly.  I sometimes miss certain hours of the day, so for example, if someone posts between 11 and 2 pm, I will miss all of the posts- I am not receiving the “Load More Posts” prompt.  Let’s see how long it takes to fix it now that I’ve isolated the issue

Thanks again for all the amazing commentary this week- your feedback is amazingly valuable as always!


One Lovely Blog

I would like to thank Roda and Embery for nominating me for One Lovely Blog.  Both of these bloggers exude warmth, kindness and positivity with all of their words.  Please check out both of my friends blogs!

The Rules

• Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
• They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
• Must add 7 facts about themselves.
• Nominate up to 15 people for the award!

7 Facts About Me

This is tough, because I think I reveal a lot about myself in my posts, but here goes!

  1. I buy myself flowers every Monday because they signal to me that each week is a new beginning and flowers just make me happy
  2. I can’t drink a vodka drink and then follow it up with a Margarita.  I tried this last night and the after effects were less than spectacular
  3. My favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor is Samoas.  Just delicious.
  4. I love when I see celebrities doing what I call normal activities, like shopping or going to the Post Office.  For some reason, this reminds me that they are “people” too
  5. I love wearing a watch, but I never set them because I always look at my phone for the time
  6. I don’t like taking the dog out for the last walk of the night.  I have no problem with walking her any other time, including 6 in the morning, but that 10 pm walk crushes me
  7. I love sit coms above all other types of TV shows and I am totally looking forward to Will and Grace

I nominate the following blogs:


As always, there is no pressure to participate! This is supposed to be fun!







Unique Blogger Award

I have been nominated for the Unique Blogger Award by  She is a wonderful blogger who writes with heart and humor and grace.  Her music knowledge is pretty impressive too, and the soundtrack that accompanies my life is often spurred on by her!

The Rules:
Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
Answer the questions.
In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
Ask them 3 question

The Unique Questions I’m supposed to answer:

What’s something unique about you?

When I get really stressed out, I rub the inside corner of my left eyebrow.  It is instinctual- I just do it, and I don’t even realize I’m doing it, and I have done this all my life.
What’s a favorite book, movie, or song you enjoyed this month?

Of course, we’re early into September, But I recently reread “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie.  This is a gem of a book- classic Poirot.
What’s your favorite thing to do in your free-time and what do you love about it?

I love when I get a chance to read novels during the day.  I usually set aside reading time as pre-bed ritual because it helps me relax and wind down- but I love when I can take my book to the park, buy a tea, and read on a bench for an hour or so

My questions for the nominees:

  1. What is the most unique experience you’ve ever had?
  2. When you get stressed out, what do you do to regain balance and calm yourself?
  3. What is your favorite flower?

I nominate the following:  (I have a few more awards, so I’m only picking a few people today-)

As always- this is supposed to be fun!  No pressure if you don’t want to participate!!!

Blogging PSA- Follow-up

It’s a vicious cycle.  I write a blog.  You comment.  I think of something to say based on comments.  So the following is all your fault.

First off, I learned a lot about trolls.  I am floored by the comments that others have made to bloggers.  To be fair, the majority of our little community is good, and seeks to inspire, not to criticize.  But you know, one bad apple….Someone was criticized for being too happy…..can you imagine?  “I’m sorry, happiness isn’t allowed here- it might give people the idea that happiness and positivity is an option- wouldn’t want that to happen.”  I don’t know about you, but, even though I don’t always get there, happiness is pretty high on my to do list…..

We know that I love a good spirited debate.  I have no problem with people who disagree with me, and vice versa, as long as it’s done logically and with respect, and no one tells the other, “Nah nah, I’m right and you’re wrong…”   I once had a conversation with a guy- we had opposite opinions of a subject.  I laid out my reasonable, rational argument, countering his points with my own.  After about 10 minutes, he began to see the rationale of my point of view, and actually changed his mind to my way of thinking.  Now, we were in bed at the time, but I really don’t think that influenced his decision at all……

But what do we think about when people give you instructions on how to do things?

I’ve given parenting advice.  My intention is not to shame anyone, or say “I’m right and you’re wrong” (though, who are we kidding, I’m always right), but it is to share the knowledge that I have learned in the past 50 years.  Some of it I have learned the hard way.  Some of it I have learned by doing almost the exact opposite of what my Mother had done.  I’m just sharing pieces of my life, in hope that you can see how I screwed up, so maybe you won’t have to feel the pain I did.

But what about the people that give advice, or make comments that are really just thinly disguised criticism?

You’ve seen them. The type that leaps to my mind are the Mommy Shamers.   They post pictures of perfect homemade treats, while they are wearing pressed white linen, their toddlers sitting quietly reading the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  They say things like, “Oh- we’re so glad you had the time to run to the store to bring in that bag of Oreos for the bake sale.  We always forget about the children who don’t have advanced palates.”

There are also the lip pursers.  When you are discussing your wedding plans, the friend across from you looks like they are sucking on a lemon.  They say things like, “Sure, you could wear an off white dress, and carry flowers. I know you’re not really the creative type.  You need to play to your strengths, which is bland.”

And these are often people we call our friends.

So what do we do?

Yes- I’m about to give advice…..

  1. Not everyone has to be a close friend.
  2. Be selective about what you share.  Not everyone needs to know everything
  3. Be thankful if you have 1 close friend-  a true close friend is a rare and beautiful thing
  4. It’s ok to have activity specific friends.  I have a movie buddy.  The only thing we do together is see movies.  It works.
  5. Limit the amount of time you spend with people that only bring negativity, or make you feel bad about yourself (this includes family)- feel free to unfriend them
  6. Don’t take the shamers seriously, or pay them heed- they don’t deserve your time or consideration
  7. My advice is the only advice worth listening to- I am perfect……



Blogging PSA

My blogs are usually inspired by events in my life.  Last week I wrote a blog exposing both my shyness and fear of commenting- two things I continually work at overcoming.  It was something I wanted to share, and I felt spurred on by two things, my pact with another blogger to make more meaningful commentary that wasn’t self serving at least once a month, and the other is the story I am about to reveal.

I read a lot of blogs.  These blogs cover many topics- personal narrative, flash fiction, poetry, photography, organizing, food, reviews, and a whole lot more.  I do not care about the actual personal details of a persons life.  What do I mean?  I follow people regardless of religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, socio economic status, political leanings or anything else that may separate people into groups or factions.

So how do I choose the bloggers that I will follow/read/like? I choose the bloggers who are excellent at telling their story.  These bloggers are honest and passionate.  These bloggers inspire me to be a better person.  They share their opinions in a thoughtful and thought provoking manner.  They make me think about things in a way I never thought of before.  They help me grow, and expand my knowledge base.  If I follow/read/like your blogs, these are the reasons.

Now- for the record- I do not always agree with the opinions that are presented.  I may not follow the same life path.  But these things do not matter to me.  I would be a pretty shallow person if I only read things that I am, or already believe in.  In my “About” section, I state that I am a “work in progress”.  My goal in the second half of my life is to keep growing and learning.

So here’s the story.

I follow a blog that is written by a devout Christian.  I commented on the blog last week, sharing my opinion.  The blogger responded back with a perfectly reasonable comment.  But then, a third party entered the picture, “respectfully” attacking me verbally about a life style choice I made,  basically saying that this choice made me insignificant.  The interloper also made a statement to me….”I hate when evangelical westerners….”  So I responded, as nicely as I could, especially as it wasn’t my blog, “Please don’t attack the lifestyle I choose to live as it doesn’t hinder on your life.  And what in my statement makes you think I’m an evangelical?”  Blogger responded back “I assumed…..”  Well yeah, it’s pretty obvious I’m from a Western as opposed to Eastern based – but where do you get Evangelical?  (and there is nothing wrong with any religion, but don’t assume what I am or an not, especially as I’m not Evangelical, nor have I ever been)  And the blogger didn’t respond back.

Now I’m not Sherlock, but I could see that this blogger went into my archives and read my “about” and my last ten posts.  Big surprise.  I talk about everything, and share my opinions about a lot of things, but I’m guessing she could find no clue as to my religion, unless she found the one comment I make with another blogger about Catholic guilt (OK- the Catholic is out of the bag)

So being the mature person I am, I decided to look at this person’s blog- you know- tit for tat.  Guess what?  No blog.  Nothing but a user name.

So is there a point?

  1. Don’t comment on a blog because you have an agenda.  If you hate a group, don’t seek out their blogs and personally attack them, and their commenters.  If that’s really going to make you feel better, I’m going to suggest trying a bowl of chicken soup, or a massage, or just some quiet meditation.
  2. Don’t assume anything about anyone (Does anyone remember “The Odd Couple”  ass u me?)  Accept what the blogger writes, and work with that.  Anything else is conjecture.  You can’t build a something if the base doesn’t exist.
  3. Don’t criticize anyone’s lifestyle- how they choose to live their life is their business (assuming it is not harmful or hurtful to anyone- you know I mean within acceptable guidelines)

And that’s my PSA for the day.  I’m off to do shallow things and not think about anyone other than myself……..

Sunday Wrap Up

So, even though summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, this weekend makes it fall for me.  Daughter will finally reenter the school building on Thursday.  The next two months will see me run to the Bronx, and far reaches of Manhattan to attempt to see her play tennis (there aren’t many tennis courts in Manhattan- and no public high school boasts a bunch of tennis courts, so it’s sort of guerilla tennis- one school uses a court that sits aside the West Side Highway.  Imagine playing with constant traffic to your left, and random New Yorkers filing by on your right)  And so the pattern of my free time will change slightly.   As my daughter has an awesome reading list for school, I will probably be rereading a lot of books, cause they will be in the house, and I enjoy discussing literature with her- and she’s going to read Gatsby for the first time- YAY.  But here’s what happened on my “last week” of summer.  Reviews 0-5.  NYC unless otherwise indicated.  My money- no freebies.


“Reading Lolita in Tehran”   Azar Nafisi   I first read this book 15 years ago, and I enjoyed it more then.  It’s a memoir about an Iranian University professor attempting to teach literature during the early Ayatollah years. She ends up having a female book club which discusses books that are banned in Iran. While interesting, it’s a bit self-serving.  3.8

“Murder on the Orient Express”  Agatha Christie.  Reread- first read about 45 years ago.  I love Christie.  I love Poirot (her detective) I love this story.  I reread this because my daughter bought it as a fun read and it was on our Nook account, and because there is a new movie version coming out soon.  I want a fresh comparison of all the film versions to the book.  4.8


“Leap”  Animated.  This is an average kids movie.  But- it has a strong female heroine, who is resilient.  I think this is important for kids to see, because frankly, I don’t think there are enough strong, female heroines.  But, OK to wait for DVD or cable or streaming, or however else you get movies at home. 4, but entirely because of message.

“Wind River”  This is a thriller based on a Wyoming reservation (But it is not one of those supernatural thrillers that seem to be taking over the box office- don’t get me started on that genre, which is one of very few movie genres I hate)  I thought this was a well made movie.  Great visuals, great acting, great script, great directing.  Every thing about this movie is understated, and it works.  But- it is not an easy movie to recommend, because even though there are many things that are done well, there is something stopping me from saying- “Go see this film”, and I can’t tell you why that is.  FYI, my movie buddy said the exact same thing.  So, if you are still interested, read a review that may contain actual spoilers, and then think about it.  I still give it a 4.4.


Sorry- I pretty much watched the US Open as much as possible, and that was about it.


Alidoro This is a little sandwich stand in the Bowery.  (there are two other locations, but I don’t know how they are physically situated)  They only have 1 or 2 outdoor tables, so this is really a place to grab a sandwich and go to a park to eat.  But you really should grab a sandwich here, because they are that good.  They only do Italian sandwiches here, but mortadella or not, these are some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.  No lie.  You get a choice of about 6 different rolls (go with the soft roll- I think it’s called Trapezino) because it just makes the sandwich a bit easier to eat, but seriously, all the  bread is perfection.  And then the fillings- they slice the deli meats fresh when you order.  And sandwiches have exact right filling to bread ratio.  Seriously, if they were open now I would go.  4.9

Counter by Chef’s Club- This is a fast casual place in Soho.  It’s unique because about 8 or 9 famous chefs have each contributed the recipe for a dish- so the burgers, sandwiches, whatever are slightly elevated, and slightly awesome.  My daughter and I split what I can only refer to as hash brown tater tots, served with sour cream.  It’s like a tater tot on steroids- salty, crisp and yummy.  Warning- we went early on a Friday, and it was not crowded.  I can imagine on a weekend this place will be mobbed. 4.5

Oddfellows- Soft serve ice cream.  There are only about 5 flavors, and a few toppings, but this is really good ice cream.  I’m not a soft serve girl, but it was really good and creamy.  And it is conveniently located next door to Counter…. 4.3


You have all become friends to me, to the point where I talk about you all.  My daughter will say, “Did you come up with a good recommendation for Tater?” or “How’s Ryder?  Did he get his doghouse yet?”.  But this week, my daughter asked “Have you heard from Mojo today?” because my blogging buddy Joanna lives in Houston.  So to everyone in Harvey ravaged areas, my thoughts, prayers, and a little bit of my money are with you.  Stay strong.  You got this!

Thanks to all of you and your comments this week!  I truly appreciate every one of you!  I love keeping the conversations going.  I’m learning that so many people share the same feeling and struggles that I often feel.  Thanks for the honestly and the stories!

Ok- this week I plan on writing about family (spent Saturday with my parents and we will spend today with my Father in law and Sister in law- I’m guessing there will be anxiety and blog posts stemming from both these things) There might be an non- family rant or two.   I can’t imagine not mentioning pumpkin spice……. But who knows- I never blog about what I think I’m going to blog about!!

Happy September.

Blogger Recognition Award

Thanks to Valerie for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award!  Valerie is an amazing book reviewed and generally great person!  Please check out her blog!

The Rules

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their Blog
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

How I Started Blogging

I was about to turn 53, and struggling at trying to write a novel.  I thought that having a blog would inspire me.  It has- in so many ways!!

Advice to new bloggers:

Write as often as possible.  The goal is to find your unique voice- this will only come through practice.  Basically, we all have the same stories to tell- it’s how we each choose to tell them that makes the difference.

Comment on other blogs, and read the other comments.  I have been so inspired by conversations I’ve had with other bloggers in the comments section.  And it’s a great way to begin blogging friendships.  The relationships you form- that’s the best part of blogging.


As always, there is no pressure to participate!  I want this to be fun, not torture!  I only did 5 nominations, because I have a few more of these to do, and I don’t want to inundate anyone!


Two Truths, No Lie

When you blog, people get to see one side of you, the side you present to them.  You may open up, share both painful and positive stories, but people make assumptions.  They intuit things about your personality- let’s just say we’re all a bit like Columbo.  And some of these things are dead on accurate- every word someone writes, every picture clearly show the definition of who you are.  But, sometimes, it’s harder to see the truth in someone’s personality- sometimes the person sends opposite messages.

For example.  I am a very shy person.  I know I’m opinionated, and never fail to make my opinion known.  I know I will argue until I have not a point left to utter.  I know I have a certain level of self-confidence.  But I am still shy.

So what does shy mean to me?  I don’t like parties.  I am not the type of person who will introduce themselves to everyone.  When at a party, I’m the one in the corner, making snide comments with the one person I know.  I’m not dancing on the tables (though I have a college friend, SF, who might argue this point, but he never comments, so I’m safe…..)  As much as I talk, and yes- I have a big and loud mouth- I am really more of an observer.  I watch the way people interact- I see the body language of a couple clearly headed for a break-up, or the hunched shoulders of a woman who clearly has way too much on her mind. I eavesdrop on conversations -sorry- you shouldn’t talk about how you don’t remember which brother you had sex with (last night) because you thought they were both cute when you are on a subway or talk about the way you are going to lie to your wife (that night) while you are walking down the street- I will judge you.

I also have trouble commenting on other peoples blogs.  Seriously.  I didn’t comment on anyone the first month I blogged.  I was terrified that people would dismiss my opinion, not care what I had to say.  This is where the bad part of shyness comes in, the fear of doing something because you are scared to interact.

I needed to overcome this.  Every time I comment on a blog it is hard for me.  I still don’t know if I have anything to add to the table.  I worry that my contribution will be paltry compared to what others say.  I know it doesn’t seem like that- but it’s true.  One truth.

Second truth.  When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher told me, and my mother, that I was not a good writer.  This crushed me, because 7th grade me wanted to be a writer.  It was my dream.  Now my Mother, not always the most sensitive person, blamed me- because I should be a good writer, because I clearly had the aptitude (damn IQ test).  She hired a tutor, and on Monday nights I sat with this tutor.  My tutor didn’t understand why she was spending Monday nights with me, because she said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my writing.  I had the basics of grammar and punctuation.  I understood how to open and close a composition.  I knew how to back up my points.  She told my Mother that there must be a personality issue between the teacher and me.

My Mother did not like the version that the tutor presented.  My Mother decided I wasn’t working hard enough.  And we once again enter the world of parental expectations……

But it wasn’t only my Mother that crushed me this time- it was also a teacher.  And even though every other teacher I ever had in school was actually pretty wonderful, this one teacher crushed my spirit.  It was then I decided that I would not be a writer.

So the truth is- I don’t think I’m a good writer.  This is not a humble brag.  I am shocked and amazed whenever someone tells me that I am a good writer, or that they like my posts.  Truly.

You have no idea how hard it is for me to push the publish button.  I second guess every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every post.  Yesterday was the first time I ever post-edited a piece (except for glaring spelling errors, and forgetting to put a title)  I try not to edit after I publish because I will always find something wrong with my words- I will always think of a better way to say something, or a point that I missed.  There is a chance that I would only have one post on this blog because I would be constantly reworking it.  I don’t think my words on the page are good.  But I keep trying.

No lie.