10 Things My Dog Taught Me

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Humor | 11 Comments


Carine’s dog Tulip, photo by Pascal Giacomini

Carine observes that some of life’s best lessons come from our four-footed friends

1. When you have an itch, scratch it. If something is nagging at you, insisting a certain person or circumstance just doesn’t feel right, go with it sooner than later. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Plus, your wallet may still be where you left it when you go to pay for your session with that shrink.

2. If you need to fart, just do it. If you are feeling bloated with the gaseous fumes of critical words that need to be said or important ideas which need to be expressed, let them out; you’ll feel a lot better. When you’re sick, do you try to repress your cough with syrup? Stop it! Cough up the mucus, baby. Blocking a bodily function has never been a good idea.

3. Show love with enthusiasm. If there is someone in your life who you just adore—be it a spouse, friend or special family member—show them you can’t live without them (you know, get all excited when they walk in the door, jump all over them, ask if you can sit on their lap, etc.). They’ll think you’re nuts but they’ll be thrilled, and you will have them eating out of your hand. Read more

Long Live the Mademoiselle Makeover!

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Prudence Baird, Style | 18 Comments

She waves her ink-filled wand and…poof! From frumpy to fabulous! Marvel at Prudence’s dedication to the magic of the makeover.

Like an annoying jingle that—with the right prompt—goes viral in a neural nanosecond, there’s a bit of pop culture ephemera skulking near the surface of my gray matter, ready to be triggered any time a certain visual cue crosses my line of sight.

And what, you might ask, is that cue? I’ll give you a hint: Drab to fab.

Yes, I’m talking about the legendary “Mademoiselle Makeover,” a regular installment of the now defunct Mademoiselle magazine, that glossy monthly that competed with Glamour and Seventeen magazines for smart young ladies’ attention for 66 years before it finally folded in 2001.

Maybe you can relate if you, like me, were a devotee of the column that featured normal-looking (okay, somewhat dowdy) young women, who, with the help of the Mademoiselle fashion and beauty editors (and products from the magazine’s advertisers) morphed into beauties from their former beastly selves. This monthly step-by-step narrative implied that behind every lumpy Plain Jane lurked a paint-by-numbers Anne Hathaway-like princess yearning to emerge from her cocoon and fly off to a new-and-improved life on gossamer wings.

The message: Magic can happen; all you need is the right makeover! Read more

Dream the Night, Seize the Day

Filed Under All Posts, Christie Healey, spirit | 9 Comments


Dreamtime Sisters by Colleen Wallace Nungari

After being jolted awake, thousands of miles from the epicenter, Christie remains alert and open to dreams of all kinds

It is very hard to write this post. We are all profoundly disturbed by what is happening in the world and I feel puny in my attempts to sort emotions and thoughts coherently. Perhaps I should just simply tell you what happened to me in the last few days.

At around 1:00 a.m. Thursday night, I jolted awake, heart pounding and feeling a sense of complete dread. I was not having a nightmare I was in the middle of a lovely dream visit with my Dad. I could not imagine why I had received an urgent message to wake up. I reached over and turned on my radio and heard the first reports from Japan. Immediately I thought of Freddy in Hawaii and the threat of a tsunami. The next thing I grabbed was the phone. Freddy was in no immediate danger; it would take hours for the tsunami to reach Hawaii, but in that moment I needed to connect with him and know he would be prepared. Read more

Things I’m Sick Of

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Humor, Rants | 30 Comments

What’s got Connie so worked up? So many reasons to be ticked off — but in a good way.

The Oscars sucked this year. I do not like being disappointed with my Oscars. Whichever producer made the misguided judgment that Anne Hathaway and James Franco had the chops to host the Oscars really blew it and I hope he got sent to some Cyber-Siberia to think long and hard about pandering to a youth market.

It got me thinking about things I’m sick of:

• Appealing to a Younger Demographic (re: The Oscars)
When did we quit valuing sophistication, grace under fire, wisdom, class, confidence and wit? The young should be aspiring to be us, not the other way around. To paraphrase my pal Frank, we are the “A-dults” they are the “B-dults”. Get some real experience then we can talk about you being the Master of Ceremonies for something beyond Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards.

• My “Coexist” bumper sticker — I’ve just taken the stupid thing off the back of my car — so use a turnout and get out of my way!

• Bristol Palin and her autobiography — What is she? 19? If she can write a book about getting knocked up as a teenager, then so can all my cousins on my father’s side. Read more

Pondering the Nature of Duo

Filed Under All Posts, Melissa Howden, Relationships | 20 Comments


Positive Negative, painting by Jesse Rinyu

In an effort to understand her mother, Melissa peels back layers of her own heart

In the summer of 1963, my mother left my father. I was just six and my brother turned three a few short weeks later. Thirty-six years, several boyfriends and one more divorce later, my mother admitted to me that the love of her life had been my father.

My mother’s admission about the love of her life was stunning and surprising. I asked her why; given that my father was the love of her life she left him? She replied, “He was young and stupid and always had something to prove.” I wondered what 20-something (man or woman) is not young and stupid with things to prove?

A year after this conversation my mother died. I discovered then the only things in her safe deposit box were the letters my father had written to her asking, and then pleading with her to come back. I cried then for my mother, not for her death but for the fact of her pride — the pride, which kept her from the love of her life for most of her life, which by all measures was not a particularly happy one. Read more