The Effortless House Guest

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In the next few weeks, many of us will either be guests at the homes of friends or family, or be welcoming guests into our homes.  Some of my best holiday memories involve making my family’s stay with us one of warmth and fun. Being an “effortless” house guest insures that you will always be invited back.  What do I mean by effortless?  I mean being someone who does not require that your host and the household activities revolve around you.  I am reminded of my nephew, a vegetarian, who says … [Read more...]

Love and Loss at the Holidays

Love and Loss at the Holidays

As I pass the one year anniversary of my mother’s death, I am sad that my mom will not be with us for the holidays and keenly aware of her absence. For the last 18 months, my mother – when she was alive and when she was not – was my responsibility. I was the one who saw her the most, she lived with me for the last six months of her life and then, as her executor, it was my responsibility to carry out her wishes. My brother and sister helped when they could, but I was the local child and then … [Read more...]

Celebrating Our Matriarchs This Mother’s Day

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Last week was Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, a day for remembrance and reflection, a day to listen to testimonials from survivors and heroes, a day to be grateful for the many blessings in our lives. The next day I also spoke at my aunt's funeral where I celebrated the blessing of having had Aunt Bea in my life. Like Steven Spielberg's USC Shoah Foundation, which videotapes and preserves the memories of Holocaust survivors and witnesses, we owe it to ourselves and future generations to … [Read more...]

Skip the Chocolates: Take the Relationship Quiz

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Valentine’s Day, February 14 has arrived. Are you prepared to celebrate with chocolate and flowers? Or, maybe you’re heading out for a “special” dinner and movie? Dating or married, the pressure is often on to impress. Cupid may or may not strike, but you sure work hard to please your partner on Valentine’s Day. Ironically, the holiday originated in Roman times when the Emperor forbid single men from marrying in order to make what he believed were better soldiers. Not until the 15th century … [Read more...]

A Stress-Free Holiday…the best gift you can give yourself!

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It's Christmas Day. Your teenage son is refusing to emerge from his darkened bedroom because the love of his life (relationship duration: three weeks) has broken up with him. Your favorite cousin has fallen (leapt?) off the wagon right in your living room and upended the rum into the eggnog bowl. It’s no longer "laced" with liquor - it's positively trussed. And while we're on trussing: Your turkey- that lovely, fresh 22- pounder you had to pay a proverbial arm and leg for— seems to be cooking at … [Read more...]