Previous month:
June 2018
Next month:
August 2018

July 2018

I Already Bought One

Download-1Maybe this already exists but if not, someone needs to invent it: the "Already Purchased" click.

It happens to everyone who shops online. You're browsing for a pair of shoes, comparing prices and then you make your choice. In the days and weeks to come, every time you Google something, dozens of pairs of the very shoes you already purchased parade across the screen, following you from site to site. Images

For me this week it's the parade of washing machines. I bought one a few days ago - actually at my local appliance store which gave me the best deal. Nonetheless, options for top loaders, front loaders, commercial and apartment-size washers and continue to show up.  Download-1

I know, I know - it's an advertising algorithm, "cookies" and more. 
Download-1
Download-1But wouldn't it make more sense for everyone if you could click on something to say "I Already Bought One." The companies are wasting their advertising dollars and the consumers are getting annoyed.

On the other hand, it's creepy enough how much the Internet tracks everything about us. Maybe they don't need to know this too.

So, just a personal heads-up to Whirlpool, Sears, Maytag, Kitchen Aid, Best Buy, and the rest of you: I no longer need a new washer. I already bought one.

 

 

 

 


Forest Bathing

Alderbrook

I've been reading about "forest bathing" for awhile. The term refers to a Japanese practice of experiencing the forest through the senses. You're in the woods to to smell, listen, and breath, but not to hike, jog or otherwise exercise. 

Forest bathing is meant to be healing. In fact, a recent NYT article looked at the practice medically, measuring blood pressure, cortisol levels, mood, and more. The conclusion: not enough evidence-based science to prove the benefits.

Oh come on. Everyone knows that being in nature is both calming and rejuvenating. And it doesn't need to be the woods. Sitting by a lake, atop a mountain, in a meadow, watching waves roll in -all have the same effect. 

I love being outdoors. In fact,  I'm up in the Adirondack forest pictured above as I write this.   I don't need a blood pressure cuff to tell me how soothing it is.

Now "Forest Bathing" has become a "thing," with spas offering forest bathing for a fee. Seriously. Trained guides will take you through it. 

Here - this is free: go to a beautiful outdoor place. Sit down. Breath deeply. Breath slowly. Listen to the sounds. Take in the smells. Notice the changing light. Rinse and repeat, until you don't have to even think about these steps and do it naturally. 

 

 


Signs


ImagesDoes the Universe speak to us, or are we just always looking for meaning?

Yesterday: I heard from my dear friend Missy's daughter. Missy died earlier this year. Her daughter, "K" often visits the spot where the family scattered Missy's ashes - a specific point on the beach at Jacob Riis Park in Queens. At K's last visit, a pink heart balloon washed up from the shore, deflated and battered but at the exact spot. Also, someone had constructed a beach sculpture of rocks, shells and twigs in the same place. Missy was an artist, and K was speculating that she's changed her style. But she saw it as a message.

Then last night, when I turned off my bedside lamp, I spied a lone firefly outside my Fireflybedroom window. He danced and danced just outside the window for the longest time. Drowsy and happy, I felt my late Dad had come by for a visit - to let me know he was watching me and that he loved me. It was so beautiful - the yellow/greenish light against the dark sky.


Finally, this morning, my husband texted a short video of a brown rabbit hopping across the path. He and I are heading to Long Island this weekend. When we were dating - oh so long ago - he had a share in a summer Rabbithouse in Long Island. We used to go for walks at dusk and count the bunnies. I smiled when I thought of this. Then I looked up  from my laptop and there was a fat brown rabbit on my patio. We've lived in this house 30 years, and I've never seen a bunny here.

Signs, signs, signs. Except last night, when my husband stirred in his sleep, I jostled him to point out the firefly. "It's amazing!" I told him. "He just stays at the window." Mike gazed at the sight, and then said, "I think he may be stuck in the pull of the window fan." Sigh. We turned off the fan and the firefly remained. A sign! But then Mike pulled out the fan, and it turned out that the firefly was stuck behind it. Somehow, it had gotten in the house, and now he darted desperately around the bedroom, looking like an errant Tinkerbell. 

Last I saw the firefly, it had landed somewhere next to my nightstand. I worried it would die there, and I've already lost my Dad once. Well twice, if you count the dementia that proceeded his actual death. I'm dreading finding the firefly's dead shell this morning. If I do, I won't interpret it as a sign of anything. 

 

 

 

 


Family Book Group

Books-bookstore-book-reading-159711We're starting a family book group! 

My son proposed the idea on a group text. "Remember when we saw 'the Reading Family?'" he wrote.

Of course we did. We were on a trip back in the 1990s, and the Reading Family was staying at the same resort.  The mother, father, little boy and little girl each brought their own books to breakfast, lunch and dinner. They ate in silence, immersed in their reading. We thought it was so weird. They didn't talk to each other at all.  (Of course flash forward, replace the books with cel phones, and it couldn't be a more common sight.)

Anyway, my son continued, "Remember when we  mocked them mercilessly? Remember when, for the past 20 years, we all harbored a deep, secret affinity for their life choices?" 

Hah! It's true our family has a major nerdy streak.  And I'd like to take at least partial credit for the book love. When the children were growing up (they're now adults)  my favorite time of day was when we were cuddled up in bed and I read to them. First picture books, then kids books, then chapter books. Now when we're together we do look a bit like the Reading Family - parallel reading with paper books, Kindles, phones - though never at the table! And we do talk to each other. 

We still have a lot of details to work out - the book selection process, not to mention the actual meetings. My husband and I live in New York, our daughter in Seattle and our son in Washington, DC. Conference call? FaceTime? Can you even do a group FaceTime?

 

 

 

 


Times Marches On...

Old driver's liscenseToday I did something I've been avoiding for about a quarter of a century.  I updated the photo on my driver's license.

My old photo was taken when I was my daughter's age, about 33 years ago. Since then, I've renewed it by mail every eight years. New York State went along with this for decades.

Maybe I got tired of going through security at the airport, having them look at the photo, then peer up at my face, and then look back down at the photo. My reply to their raised eyebrows was always, "Well, I used to look like that."

In two years, we will all be required to have enhanced drivers licenses for ID to board domestic flights. And after all, how much longer could I have pushed this?

Still, I'll miss seeing that hopeful, smiling face in my wallet - a young mother and writer with so much time and possibility still ahead of her.