Home & Family

  • Domestic arts,  Health & wellbeing,  Home & Family

    Everyday luxuries

    “Using fine china, updating bedclothes to something ultra-soft and cozy, framing a favorite photo, or polishing a cherished piece of silver fosters such delight. And it doesn’t have to break your back or the bank.” ~Cheryl Richardson A few years ago, I decided to start using a set of my “good dishes” every day. The set isn’t particularly fine or precious — but it includes several handy serving pieces, mixing bowls, and accessories. Most of these were stored in our basement, or otherwise out of reach, until we hosted company for dinner. To make room for the whole set in the kitchen, I sold my old everyday dishes in a…

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Home & Family,  Love and romance

    The feeling is mutual

    “We really have to understand the people we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step It’s February — and I’ll be posting lots of good thoughts about love this month. But I like to think of “love” as an all-encompassing word that wraps its meaning around so much more than romantic relationships. Today, Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that real love means honoring the humanity…

  • Christmas,  grandparenting,  Holiday traditions,  Home & Family


    “We were dreamers not so long ago. But one by one, we all had to grow up.  When it seems the magic slipped away, We find it all again on Christmas day.” ~from “Believe” by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri Everything they say about seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes is true — but I’d nearly forgotten. Now that there’s a small boy in my life again, I’ve been rereading The Polar Express (two times in one night this week) and rediscovering the magic of flying reindeer and jingling sleigh bells. Chris Van Allsberg’s award-winning picture book was published the year my son was born (1985) and was a holiday…

  • Christmas,  Health & wellbeing,  Holiday traditions,  Home & Family

    More stuff?

    “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” ~Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up We spend the month of December buying and accumulating …. more stuff. Why? Because our Christmas tradition requires that we encircle a tree with all sorts of things that ultimately end up getting stuffed in a drawer or stashed on a shelf that’s already loaded with … more stuff! Oh, the irony. Come January, when the buying spree stops and the decorations come down, everyone will complain about the dearth…

  • Christmas,  Community spirit,  Holidays,  Home & Family

    Redefining “family”

    “Family was a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn’t, family that wasn’t family but was….It was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.” ~Deb Colette, The Secret Life of Prince Charming The winter holidays traditionally shine a bright light on our family relationships. Sometimes that’s a beautiful thing, and sometimes … not so much. It’s weird, when you think about it. Relatives we don’t see as often, know as well, or like as…