A personal farewell to Shep Nuland, the man who taught us “How We Die”

Image by Sean McCabe in AARPPapers across the world this morning are announcing the death of 83-year-old surgeon Sherwin B. Nuland, perhaps most well-known for his National Book Award-winning “How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter.”...more

Don't Believe a Word I Say

Fourteen years ago, just weeks after becoming a new mother, I wandered into a “Meditation 101” class at a Buddhist center in New York City.I was a wreck.  My body was buzzing from sleep deprivation, and my mind was headed straight into an existential crisis over what was becoming of my life as I had known (and loved) it....more

City 2.0: reflections from our family road trip

Yesterday's news of the death of Paolo Soleri -- the visionary architect, builder, artist, writer and theorist -- put me in mind of our family visit last month to Arcosanti, Soleri's urban experiment in the desert of Arizona.Sixty five miles north of Phoenix, Arcosanti was described by NEWSWEEK magazine as “…the most important urban experiment undertaken in our lifetimes.”Before our trip to Arizona, we had shown this TED talk about Arcosanti to our teen, who has more than a passing interest in architecture and design. The video opened his eyes to the importance of "arcology" (architecture and ecology - two key parts to a single, whole structure)....more

The Benefits of Talking to Strangers

“You did not talk to her,” my 9-year-old said incredulously. “Not only did I talk to her,” I retorted, “I asked if I could videotape her.” ...more

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day (but what would the Amish say?)

 Maybe this has happened to you:  adorable children in your neighborhood knock on your door with a zip lock bag full of a yellowish, gloppy substance.  They tell you it’s a starter for Amish Friendship Bread, and it works like a chain — they are baking their bread today from a starter someone gave to them ten days before.  And in ten days time, you will bake your own bread, setting aside some of your starter to give to others.  And so on.I’d never tried this before, but it somehow reminded me of the “pretty panties” chain letter I did when I was too young to have heard of a pyramid scheme.   I sent a...more

Mid-Life, Spas and Getting Unstuck

After college, my friend Lisa and I packed two enormous duffel-bags full of our belongings and moved to Japan.We lived in a small city near Osaka, in an apartment with tatami mat floors and sliding shōji doors.  In the winter, we would sit on the straw floor with our legs tucked under a kotatsu – a low table covered by a thick blanket, with a heating element underneath.  We ate okonomiyaki (savory pancakes made with shredded cabbage, eggs, flour and – my personal favorite – octopus) at a local food stall, sang at karaoke bars, and tried our best to learn Japanese and its three alphabets.One of my favorite attempts to absorb Japanese culture was bathing at the local onsen — a public bath complete with hot, medium and freezing tubs of water.  There was even a pool with currents of electricity running through it.  Before you entered these tubs, you had to take a seated shower, planting yourself on a low plastic stool & using a hand-held shower head to make yourself squeaky clean.  A row of women would be doing the same in the large, open shower room, and their children would look openly at Lisa’s and my naked bodies and giggle about our ghostly white skin.This week, so many memories came flooding back when I visited the Korean Spa Castle in College Point, NY.  I had been heard about the Asian-inspired pools when the facility opened in 2007, but it wasn’t until my little experiment in trying something new every week (more on that in an upcoming post)  kicked in that I got it together to go.  So, on my birthday, my husband, the boys and I went out to Queens to give it a whirl....more
Dear Barbara! What a glorious outlook and pro-active stance at enjoying life to the fullest. I ...more

Aung San Suu Kyi: Advice for the Next Generation

"We are in the presence of greatness," announced an ebullient Congressman Joseph Crowley to a roomful of dignitaries, celebrities and activists who had gathered to hear Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her first visit to the U.S. after nearly two decades of enforced isolation in Rangoon.  ...more

How BlogHer '12 Helped A Homeless Man

Hello there, Barbara! Great story. Love being reminded about what big change can be brought ...more

Little League's First Girl

An unsung American hero played on a bittersweet field where the personal intersected sharply with the political. Thanks to her, there are now over 300,000 girls playing Little League.  ...more

Tips for Raising Globally Aware Kids

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 @victorias_view Thanks for turning me onto Cyber School Bus!   Looks like a place to spend at ...more