The Benefits of Bubble Baths

“You’re willing to have a tiny bathroom just so you can take bubble baths?!”  When my boyfriend and I renovated our apartment recently that was a question we heard a lot.  It seems like everyone thinks you need to maximize space.  They’ve got a point, but for us, having a bathtub really was worth the sacrifice.  I could be sensible and say it’s because there are numerous health benefits of warm baths, as articles like this one point out.  But I have to confess that what motivated us was mostly bubble baths. Bubble baths are more than just a luxurious soak in sudsy water; they can really help your relationship!  For example, sometimes I’ll come in from a long day at work and see that my boyfriend has once again left his dirty socks on the floor, instead of just putting them in the laundry hamper.  With my already frazzled nerves, now would not be a good time to talk to him about this.  Instead, I head for the bathroom and take a nice, soothing bubble bath.  […]
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Halloween: New Traditions

What kid, inundated with an unlimited supply of candy can forget Halloween?  My memories of trick-or-treating in the Midwest run deep, and I’ve always wanted the same for my kids. But although I grew up with a culture of costumes and candy corn, my boys were born in South Africa, and Halloween has only just begun to catch on.  I know of only one neighborhood that opens its doors to excited kids clamoring for sweets. For the past 9 years, we’ve made do with borrowed costumes, makeshift ghosts, and costumes ordered early and sent from the States.  But as Felix is 10, I’ve realized that I’ve only got a couple of years to share the holiday as I know it with my son.So, I’ve given him free reign to choose his costume, and told him we would make it together.  After days of pondering his choices, he has come back with an idea.  “I’d like to be a Minion from Despicable Me.” Although Minions wear simple denim overalls, the trick is in the large, rounded, yellow […]
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Make a Difference… Together

I’ve got two boys, fairly close in age, so the younger one, Oscar, does tend to be saddled with the outgrown clothes of his older sibling. Oscar may know what it feels like to have clothes handed to him, but he also knows that there are children in this world who do not have many clothes at all – new or used.  He was the one to suggest going through his wardrobe, to donate his old clothes to a local AIDS orphanage. As we went through his closet, Oscar began to realize that he only had clothes to fit 6 to 7 year old boys, and he became concerned.  “What about the other kids?” he asked.  Completely unplanned, we decided to hit a local thrift store and pick up some more clothes together. Oscar took the task of shopping seriously.  Every now and again, he would pause to ask, “do you think they need clothes for winter or summer?” or “do you think they have swimming lessons?” It was not his questions that moved me; it was the time and effort he was putting […]
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A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine and Thou

Ah, the joy of eating “en plein air”, as the French say. The warm sun, a gentle breeze, a carefully packed picnic lunch, a bottle of something delicious, and of course the right company make for a perfect romantic interlude. I can think of no better way to spend a summer day then lying with my husband, away from telephones and computers, free of all the daily bothers that test our patience and fray our nerves in quiet, gentle lassitude. Nothing is more indulgent, simpler or sweeter than eating outside. It just feels so good. My husband and I have a long history of making the outdoors our dining room. When we were younger it was a stolen lunch hour in a city park on a bench under a tree. It was a chance to connect during our busy day, to talk and laugh about our work, our plans, our dreams. A short respite from deadlines and obligations had a rejuvenating effect and somehow the afternoons would be easier and less exhausting. We would kiss each other goodbye as we flew back to our […]
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A Soaring Friendship

A few weeks ago, I found out about National Friendship Day.   Huh?  I didn’t realize there was a special DAY for your BFF.  I guess I never really thought I NEEDED a special day to celebrate with my best gal pal.  Heck, we celebrate all year long anyway!  But, now that I know about it (because I GOOGLED it, of course) – I can’t NOT celebrate it.  This year, I’ve decided to plan a memorable girls’ day and bestow the gift of balloons and blue skies to my best friend. On August 4th, I’ve planned the ultimate surprise for my fabulous friend – one I know she’ll go gaga over!  But, before I talk about the surprise, let me tell you a little about my best friend.  She’s a gentle and kindhearted soul who listens intently and responds honestly.  She tells me what I need to hear whether I like it or not.  We’ve laughed and cried and shared everything imaginable over the years.  We are, indeed, two peas in the proverbial pod. One of her lifelong dreams […]
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Together is Better

I remember life before the Internet, texting, and Facebook.   Yes, I am that old.  Today, technology has helped us to communicate, globally if necessary, with friends and loved ones in an efficient and cost effective way.  However, I'm not so sure that that’s always a good thing.  Growing up, I was often banished to my bedroom  when my parents hosted dinner parties, card nights and the like.  Through my bedroom door, I heard increasingly loud talking and laughing, thumping music, and clinking glasses.   It sounded like fun.  It's not really like that anymore for my friends and I.  Now, we mostly engage with each other, like talking heads, via the video feature on our Macs.  A couple of days ago I watched a new Chinet commercial that attempts to reinstitute the get together.  The commercial, titled “Rediscover the Lost Art of Getting Together” is pretty simple.  Happy people, sharing the same space, bonding.  The commercial is getting positive feedback.  I'm […]
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Father’s Day: The Privilege Is All Mine

As we are approaching another Father’s Day, I have been asked what father’s day means to me. My opinion may differ from other fathers, but hopefully there are some who can relate to my thoughts. I am the father of two sons, 2 ½ and 7, and one step-son who is almost 15. I see little difference in the love and pride I feel for all three sons. Although I am very close with all my boys, my middle son and I do have a very special bond. I spent several years and plenty of money on adopting him. From the day we met, when he was 10 months old, we were bonded as father and son. The only thing missing was my name on his birth certificate. It is now proudly in place there, and I see it as the biggest accomplishment of my life. A few weeks before one Father’s Day, the adoption for my middle son was official. Every year on the date of the adoption, my son and I celebrate our “Adoption Day”. It may not fall on the same week as Father’s Day but we see it as an extra special date […]
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