• Lifestyle

“Will you be called Grandma, Granny, Grandpa, Gramps, Granddad, Papa or Nana?”

For all of you who remember your grandparents fondly, are grandparents yourself, or look forward to being a grandparent in the future, this guest post is to celebrate Grandparents Day (September 13) and Grandparents Month (September). Guest blogger, Jane Hanser, author of Dogs Don’t Look Both Ways {Abbreviated from the original with the author’s permission] It’s an exciting time when the first grandchild appears in this world and the family negotiates which grandparent will carry which name. With divorce and remarriage there can be three or more sets of grandparents! And that makes the...

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Split-Screens—Contemporary Dualism

Social networks, the structure of some of today’s blockbuster novels, and experiments in original content for television and movies have given us a world that is a split-screen reality. Plot has merged with multiple points-of-view (POV) more than ever. Pushing further, there is no one reality but a gradient of realities, in flux, and based upon the beholder. A split-screen reality.  No black and white, but seemingly infinite shades of gray. Our individual reality, in truth, is a fiction emotionally true and relevant but not absolute. TV series like the award-winning “The Affair” or Netflix’s...

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Step into Nature—Patrice Vecchione

  Recently I attended Patrice Vecchione’s Monterey book launch for Step into Nature, a personal journal of solitary walks in and their influence on her art (as a collage artist and painter) and on her poetry. Step into Nature invites the reader to join her on a quiet and unassuming spiritual journey, a discovery of the symbiosis we share with plants and animals as thinking, feeling creatures. Her book soothes the imagination and brings a Zen-like equilibrium to the reader. The book launch was jointly sponsored by the Carmel Art Association and Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore and Secret Garden....

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SideTour–When You Don’t Want to Feel Like a Tourist

On a recent vacation in New York City, we thought we would try out SideTour (www.sidetour.com), an online marketplace for unusual, offbeat experiences and activities.  Originally designed not for tourists but for locals who want to discover secret treasures in their own neighborhood, the company has now begun to expand to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego,  San Francisco, and Seattle. Acquired by Groupon in mid-2013,  SideTour continues to gain momentum and expand its repertoire while continuing to keep group size between 5-12 participants on average and costs within the $25-85 price...

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Facebook and the Internet–Let’s Face It

A lot of online social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter in particular, rest on the human need for connection. For letting people into your life, no matter how insignificant the post may be.  Still,   regardless of how inane the post may be, it’s still not the same as being there.  There is no intimacy or sensory experience involved.  Only reading.  There is FaceTime,  a more intimate connection than the  phone time. And why is that? FaceTime provides hearing and visual pleasure at the same time. It is because, since we were babes in arms, the face and the  sensory experiences of...

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“Babymoons and Doulas, Push Presents and Placenta Pills”–A New Riff on the Cycle of Life

  We baby boomers may not know all the latest ways to celebrate one of the most miraculous stages of the cycle of life–the birth of a baby. Over the course of the past year, I have enjoyed learning about the 21st century style of celebration of birth.  Babymoons, doulas, push presents and placenta pills are now part of my vocabulary. Take the term “babymoon”.  At first I thought maybe this referred to the new moon, a baby’s bottom, or a children’s book, like “Goodnight Moon”.  Wrong.  A babymoon is like a honeymoon, a vacation taken by the expecting...

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