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Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Despite the fact that I'm having a VERY VERY big birthday later this year, I still feel fairly young
and hip enough to use apps on my phone to name that tune in a restaurant or pay my friend for lunch without taking out my wallet.  I like people and I like interacting with people of all ages and I like to think of myself as pretty broadminded and not easily shocked.

We all see the news on television or online and everyone is commenting on the terrible things happening in the world and in our own country almost daily, as well as the political divisiveness we're all living with.  I don't need to add my voice to those issues, especially since I don't have any solutions to offer.

But lately I feel like we are reaching the bottom of the barrel culturally and I think we're gradually being exposed to TMI from so many different sources.

My husband and I enjoy watching HBO and SHOWTIME series.  We usually start with dinner trays on our bed and catch up on the latest episode of HOMELAND or JOHN OLIVER.  We watch almost every decent movie that appears in the line-up on Pay-Per-View and stream NETFLIX series like THE NIGHT OF and THE KILLING and anything else that's new and engaging.  Being a Kiefer Sutherland fan, I'm partial to DESIGNATED SURVIVOR but my husband isn't a fan.  And I really liked BIG LITTLE LIES.  If we're binge watching, we usually pause for a few minutes and George makes a tray of coffee, cut up oranges and a cookie for each of us.  It's a really relaxing way to end the day together.

I don't believe I'm a prude and other than shows that have too many bloody scenes or over the top violence, I'm good to go as long as what we're watching is entertaining and not a western.  But I do think generally, we've all become used to watching things that 15 or 20 years ago would have made us too uncomfortable to watch in mixed company.  Kind of like what I felt when the first feminine product commercials aired while I was watching TV with one of our teenage sons or the ridiculous commercials for the wet wipes that can clean your "bum" so you can go commando.  I don't know about you, but I've never hoped to go commando.

Last night I caught the season opener of BILLIONS.  I like the actors in this show and I like the story line.  BUT...and it's a BIG BUT, I really didn't need to see Maggie Siff and Paul Giamatti acting out their escalating dominatrix fantasy.  We had a little insight into their sexual games before, including her character stepping on his chest with her stilettos or putting a lit cigarette out on his chest, but this one was truly porn with clothing.  She's beating him with a paddle while he begs her to describe her sexual dalliance in detail with a younger man while they were separated.  In a couple more seasons will we see her stepping on his face and gouging his eyeballs out with her heels?

I don't believe in censorship but we've come a long long way from Desi and Lucy sleeping in separate beds and I'm not so sure we needed to head all the way down the road to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Moving on to print.  A couple of months ago I was reading PEOPLE Magazine.  On the "CHATTER" page, actress Tiffany Haddish stated that she pooped in the shoes of someone she was involved with who cheated on her.  Why in the world would anyone in their right mind do this or want anyone (let alone EVERYONE) know that she did this?  What a thing to be famous for!  I wondered at the time if the magazine printed this as a PSA to warn off anyone who was thinking of dating Ms. Haddish.

In the recent issue of PEOPLE there is a page devoted to celebrity romances called HEART MONITOR.  The magazine lets you know who's engaged, getting married or splitting up.  A couple who I never heard of, but who appear in their photo to be a man (Nico) and a woman (Bethany) tied the knot in NYC on March 9th.  The couple identify as "queer and polyamorous and wore genderblending ensembles that incorporated both dresses and pants."

The definition of polyamory is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge of all partners.  It has been described as "consensual, ethical and responsible non-monogamy".  Really??  I am forced to add a large and loud "LOL" here!  Okay, so from what the couple said, they consider themselves queer (their word choice).  She likes women and he likes men.  No problem there.  And they plan on being non-monogamous swingers right from the wedding ceremony, so why did they get married at all?  Did one of them need the other one's medical benefits?  And 'responsible non-monogamy' is an oxymoron if there ever was one!

But the bigger question is why in the world PEOPLE Magazine chose to celebrate the marriage of these two almost-celebrities?  If they were going for thought provoking, then give them a great big BINGO!  They sure got my attention.  Also the realization that despite the fairly decent book reviews offered, there is absolutely no reason to renew my subscription.

George Kimmerle, thank you for the sketch.

Friday, September 29, 2017


When I read about the Cambridgeport School librarian rejecting Melania Trump's donation of Dr. Seuss books, I was shocked.  On so many levels.

Melania Trump is following in the footsteps of other First Ladies in having a cause she feels passionate about and promoting her passion.  Mrs. Trump is new to her position and she may have other causes she will promote in the days ahead, but currently it's books and reading for school age children, an enviable cause.  First Ladies don't have to have a cause, but it's nice that the tradition lives on.  (I've listed other First Ladies and their personal causes below, starting with Mamie Eisenhower.)

Librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro not only refused the gift and publicly insulted the First Lady, but she also denigrated Dr. Seuss's books.  I find it distressing that a professional working with young children isn't mature enough to keep her personal political opinions to herself.  Rather than seeing the gift as a teaching tool, Ms. Soeiro turned it into something unpleasant and to attack Dr. Seuss's beloved books is a tragedy.  Springfield, Massachusetts is the hometown of Theodor Geisel who wrote the Dr. Seuss books.  As Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield said, "Her comments that this is racist propaganda and that Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliche and a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature is 'political correctness' at its worst."

As I've written before on this blog, The Newark Public Library in New Jersey is near and dear to my heart.  I have the highest regard for librarians, in fact my daughter-in-law worked as a librarian in NYC.  I believe that the wonderful caring librarians who worked at both the main branch of the library as well as the ones who worked at the Bergen Street branch helped me to become the avid reader and the person I am today.  They led me to the Goofy Mrs. Goose in Animaltown series written by Miriam Clark Potter which opened up a whole new world to me.  A silly world of laughter, friendships, pranks and caring for and enjoying the differences between the animals featured, all centered around lovable Goofy Mrs. Goose.

Written in the '50s and early '60, Ms. Potter's books could also be painted with the same brush as the Cambridgeport School librarian painted the Seuss books...."steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures and harmful stereotypes."  Whoa!  Back up, Mrs. Librarian!  I don't think a single child of any race or color would find the characters in these books to be racist or harmful stereotypes unless they were taught by someone to look for that, like Ms. Soeiro. 

It was a different era in our country and we hadn't yet become aware as a nation of the harmful effects of our insensitivity.  In fact, during the same time frame First Lady Mamie Eisenhower did her part to combat segregation.  She invited African American children to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll and accepted an honorary membership in the National Council of Negro Women.

I'm sorry this particular school librarian doesn't like the Dr. Seuss books.  I never liked them either because the rhyming made me insane!  But my sons loved them.  My nephew liked them so much, that his mother once made him green eggs and ham as a surprise.  However, since The Cat in the Hat was published in 1957, it is not only an international bestseller but also a classic children's book.  It is such a classic that Random House Publishers released a 50 year edition in 2007.  I doubt that too many people didn't have this book at home at some point in the last 60 years.  Mrs. Trump may have grown up with these books since she wasn't born until 1970.  She donated these classics because these were books she had read to her own son.  It's a lovely legacy.  So what's the problem?  Nothing except that a narrow minded person decided that she didn't like the person the gift was coming from and so she decided to turn this into a political debate.  Not nice and especially not nice coming from someone who has a daily influence on young children. 

Ms. Soeiro went on to say that her school district has plenty of resources and that the books should have been donated to an "underfunded and underprivileged community."  Perhaps this librarian should go to her local library and borrow a book on etiquette.  I'm sure she could find a section on how to accept a gift gracefully.      

I'm gratified to see that the school administrators in the librarian's school district do not support what she did.  She not only refused the gift and insulted the First Lady, but she also single handedly decided that certain books weren't up to her standards.  I didn't think librarians were the ones who would want to ban books.  Liz Phipps Soeiro, your elitism is showing and it's not very attractive. 

The following is a list of eleven of Melania Trump's predecessors and the causes they supported when they were First Ladies: 

Mamie Eisenhower led fundraising drives for the American Heart Association, as well as supporting increased benefits for military personnel and their widows.
Jacqueline Kennedy worked to restore the White House to it's original elegance.
Lady Bird Johnson supported the war on poverty and the Headstart Program.  She's most well known for the Highway Beautifiction Act of 1965.
Patrica Nixon supported the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as publicly disclosing her pro-choice stance on abortion.  She was also the first First Lady to appear in pants in public and model them for a national magazine.
Betty Ford was serious about the subject of equal rights for women, abortion and divorce.  She's best remembered for being very outspoken in her beliefs.  Having fought her own demons, Mrs. Ford helped establish the Betty Ford Center, dedicated to helping all people, but especially women, with chemical dependencies.  Through her work with the Betty Ford Center she began to see the connection between drug addiction and HIV/AIDS and she began to voice her support for gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage.
Rosalynn Carter's causes were mental health and the welfare of senior citizens.  She is remembered for not only being very frugal in hosting White House events, but also by refusing to have hard alcohol served at those events.  She wore simple, non-designer clothing.
Nancy Reagan was the antithesis of Mrs. Carter at the White House.  She redecorated, ordered new china (all paid for from private sources and not taxpayer money) and generally turned White House events more upscale.  She created a public relations dilemma when she began accepting free designer clothing.  Mrs. Reagan is best remembered for her mantra "Just Say No to Drugs" as well as her close friendship with rapper and actor Mr. T.
Barbara Bush's cause was literacy and she worked tirelessly on the subjects of child and adult illiteracy, becoming actively involved with several organizations dealing with this subject.
Hillary Clinton dedicated her time in trying to help devise a better health care system and many critics at the time felt she was overstepping her role as a First Lady.  She was also a strong proponent of historic preservation and education as the honorary chair of the Save America's Treasures Committee.  She also worked on the conservation of the original Star Spangled Banner with the Smithsonian Institute.
Laura Bush pursued her passion for education, child development and teacher training.  She created a national initiative called Ready to Read * Ready to Learn to promote reading at an early age.
 Michele Obama focused her time on supporting military families, helping working woman balance their lives and encouraging National Service.  She is well know for her passion in fighting childhood obesity, her organic gardening initiative as well as having an organic garden and bee hives installed on the South Lawn of the White House.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Returning from her honeymoon, young attorney Lisa Macdonald has been handed her first criminal case by her boss.  Far afield from the employment law cases she usually handles, Lisa's new client Joe Thomas is serving time for killing his girlfriend by pushing her into a bath of scalding hot water.

Mr. Thomas exhibits all of the symptoms of asperger's syndrome and instead of laying out what he considers is new evidence in his case, he tests her by presenting her with cryptic numbers that she must decipher.  As she is slowly being pulled into Joe's defense, Lisa is also struggling with her new marriage to Ed, an artist.

A young Italian girl in their apartment building has become part of Lisa and Ed's lives, as well as Ed's muse.  Ed is totally enthralled with sketching and painting Carla while Lisa spends longer and later hours working on her new case along with solicitor Tony Gordon.

At the culmination of Mr. Thomas' appeal, the relationships between many of the characters are altered.  But the book doesn't stop there. Jump ahead sixteen years and the secrets and lies that each of the characters has kept hidden change the course of all of their lives, leading to an explosive finale as this tense psychological thriller unfolds.

Hard to put down, Ms. Corry has written an engaging first novel and I look forward to more from this talented author.

ISBN:  978-0-7352-2095-9
Pub. Date:  January 31, 2017
370 pages
Available in Hardcover and eBook

Thursday, December 31, 2015


I was reading the Mystic River Press calendar of events this morning and a few items caught my eye.  Along with the usual nature walks, concerts and children's library programs, there were a few interesting events listed.

The first to draw my attention was the Coloring Workshop in Charlestown, Rhode Island.  The description reads, "Enjoy a relaxing morning by exploring the trend of adult coloring."  I don't live under a rock so I do know that adult coloring books were a popular Christmas item this year, but does anyone need a workshop to relearn what they learned when they were just toddlers?  Sounds like group therapy, but  it might be fun to attend on January 2nd, just to see what kind of instruction the participants receive.  Maybe they could have a Benjamin Moore paint store employee on hand to help with colored pencil choices and a nun in her habit, banging on participants' knuckles with a ruler if they colored outside the lines.

The second item that caught my eye and gave me a chuckle was Irish Language Lessons, commencing on January 7th at the Tower Street Community Center in Westerly, Rhode Island.  I've met a lot of Irish people over the years and we also vacationed in Ireland a number of years ago.  To my recollection, most speak the King's English.  I know about Gaelic, but that's not what the event proclaims to be teaching.  The only thing I could think of was the relatives from Ireland I met who would come over to visit our neighbors, the Ward family, in Morristown, NJ.  I loved hearing their lovely accents and sharing a cup of tea.  Somehow I don't think the Irish language lessons being offered in the events calendar would include such typical Irish sayings as, "You fekking idjit!"  Too bad really because that would be a fun class to take if they did!

There were lots of notices for stargazing and lectures, but the one I would avoid at all costs now that my sons are grown is Music Together, also at the Westerly Community Center.  The description reads, "Family music classes for children ages birth to kindergarten.  Sing, play, drum, dance and create musical memories with your little one."  That one definitely sounds headache producing....a room full of infants and preschoolers singing, banging on drums and dancing around like little whirling dervishes.  I hope they provide a nice glass of wine for the mommies!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Maureen O'Hara passed away yesterday at the age of 95.  Instantly my thoughts went to my maternal grandfather, Elmer Jacob Poorman.  Elmer, in later life known as Jack, was a huge fan of and more than a little in love with Maureen O'Hara.

I've been thinking about my grandfather a lot lately because I was contacted by a professor in England, a musicologist who is working on creating a database and website about the World War I items held at the University of Illinois and the Newberry libraries.  According to this gentleman, William Brooks, my grandfather’s song has one of the most complicated and interesting histories and I've been trying to help him fill in some of the details.  To my delight, Professor Brooks has been an invaluable resource for me in discovering more information about my grandfather.

Elmer is the fifth from the right in the top row
Elmer was born on May 18, 1890 in Fayette, New York, a small farming town in Upstate New York.  One of fifteen children (although we always believed it was eighteen), Grandpa left home in his late teens or early twenties for the big city.  After arriving in New York, he worked as a machinist while marrying and starting a family in Newark, New Jersey.  He invented a number of items and had them patented but he spent most of his spare time pursuing his true dream of writing songs.

During World War I, Elmer, a pacifist, penned the lyrics to a song entitled, "AFTER THE WAR IS OVER WILL THERE BE ANY HOME SWEET HOME", music by Joseph Woodruff.  The sheet music I have was published by the Joe Morris Music Company in New York City in 1917.  While I had numerous copies of other songs Grandpa had written, I had never seen a copy of "After the War..." until I discovered it on eBay, along with a player piano roll version.  Family lore has it that the sheet music of this song sold a quarter of a million copies before the government banned it for being unpatriotic.

Elmer tried toning the song down, retitling it to both "AFTER THE WAR IS OVER" and "AFTER THE WAR IS OVER THERE WILL BE A HOME SWEET HOME", collaborating with gentlemen named Andrew B. Sterling and Harry Andrieu,  but these versions never had the same level of success.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a young girl in the 1950s.  On his days off from work, Grandpa would sit in a tiny room at the back of their fourth floor walk-up apartment at 619 Hunterdon Street in Newark, NJ.  There he had a tiny tabletop electric organ and a beige tweed suitcase shaped record player.  These items were totally off limits to his grandchildren.

I remember hanging my arms around Elmer's neck and peeking over his shoulder at his opened record player.  Inside the lid he had affixed his prized possessions; three large black and white autographed studio photographs of Maureen O'Hara that he apparently had requested from her movie studio.  I even have sheet music copies of a song he wrote for her, "MAUREEN", and the first line begins with "Maureen, my sweet Maureen...".  My red-haired Irish grandmother, Margaret Mary Kenney, was totally jealous of his affinity for Ms. O'Hara, but Grandpa followed her career until his death in April of 1973.

If Grandpa were still alive I'm sure he would be drinking a boilermaker (a shot and beer) in Ms. O'Hara's honor today.  

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Dear Stephen King,

First and foremost, I'd like to say how very much I enjoyed your new book, FINDERS KEEPERS.  In this latest thriller, Bellamy is the perfect creepy fan of  John Rothstein, while Pete Saubers is portrayed as a nicely obsessive one.  Black and white hats and who will win?   Certainly not Rothstein.

What can I say about your books overall that you haven't already heard, except that I've loved almost all of them.  You were the first (and only) author I ever wrote to and that was way back in the early '80s;  just to compliment you and ask you to write faster.  I never heard back from you but I didn't expect to.   I love books and I love reading and your books are always at the top of my list.

Sometimes an author writes something that just zings to my heart and forces me to share the thought with friends.  FINDERS KEEPERS had that special paragraph that felt like it was written just for me.  To wit, "

"For readers, one of life's most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers--not just capable of doing it, but in love with it.  Hopelessly.  Head over heels.  The first book that does that is never forgotten, and each page seems to bring a fresh revelation, one that burns and exalts:  Yes!  That's how it is!  Yes!  I saw that, too!  And, of course, That's what I think!  That's what I FEEL!"  

ZING!  And I immediately knew what the book was that made me fall in love!  GOOFY MRS. GOOSE by Miriam Clark Potter.  It's also the reason I make yearly donations to the Newark Public Library.

My family never had any money, so there weren't going to be any summer camps or outings in our future.  On the first day of summer vacation from school, my brother and I took a friend's little red wagon to the branch library on Bergen Street in Newark, New Jersey.  I was about seven years' old and Bob was probably nine.  The very kind librarian told us we could each take ten books for the summer.  HA!  What did she know??!!  One of the books I borrowed was GOOFY MRS. GOOSE.  That was it!  I was hooked!  These weren't nicely colored Golden Books.  These were black and white with illustrations by the author, with more words than drawings, but Ms. Potter unlocked a whole new life for me!  One that used my imagination!  I raced through all ten books in a week, as did my brother, and off we headed to return our allotment and borrow more.

The librarian was fairly shocked that we returned so quickly, but I just had to get more of Mrs. Goose and her friends.  Three-Ducks, Mrs. Squirrel, Black Cat and Old Lady Owl, just to name a few.  Oh my, I felt like I had just discovered my new family!  A beautiful family who always helped Goofy Mrs. Goose out of her latest quandary with kindness and humor.  I could escape my own family's poverty, arguments and unhappiness and spend my time in Animaltown that summer.  And so, I was hooked on Mrs. Goose, but even more hooked on reading, and I have spent the better part of the last sixty years doing just that!

I'm now the proud owner of ten of the MRS. GOOSE series written by Ms. Potter.  They're in fair to miserable condition being library castoffs for the most part. But to me they are my prized possessions!

So, thank you, Mr. King, for reaching my heart and reminding me why I started this blog in the first place.  It's been my great pleasure to spend time with your books over the years.

Very truly yours, A Constant Reader

ISBN:  978-1501100079  
Pub. Date - June 2, 2015
448 pages
Hardcover and eBook       

Saturday, June 14, 2014

THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt

THE GOLDFINCH was great until it wasn't.

I have mixed feelings about The Goldfinch.  On one hand I loved this can't-put-it-down novel.  As with the other works by Ms. Tartt, it's  wonderfully written and a compelling read, despite a few too many madcap and drug-induced escapades by the protagonist and his Russian sidekick.  On the other, after investing my time in this 700 plus page novel, it was more than a little disappointing when the story line fell off a cliff.

When it morphed into a lecture on art history, I stopped recommending it to my friends.  Too bad, because Ms. Tartt is a fine writer, but in this case it seems like she just didn't know where or how to stop.

ISBN:  978-0316055437
Pub. Date:  October 2013
775 pages
Available in Hardcover, Paperback and eBook

Sunday, November 17, 2013


When did manufacturers and retailers come up with "classic" versus "modern" sizes for women's clothing?  And who dreamed this up anyway?  

I just opened a current Neiman Marcus catalog and the first item is a very expensive woman's sweater. The sizes are listed as MODERN sizes ranging from XS which is a 2 up to XXL which is a 12. When did XXL become a 12 ??? Further in the catalog is a dress with CLASSIC sizes, ranging from XS or size 2-4 up to XL which is listed as being size 14-16. 

Fast forward in the catalog to an Eileen Fisher cardigan. We all know that Eileen Fisher's clothing runs large, but they must just invent their own sizing because their XL is a size 18 even though it would probably fit you if you normally wear a size 20, but their women's plus size 1X is size 14-16???? Crazy enough for you or are their invented sizes used to make people who don't fit into their XL feel better about themselves by dropping the numerical size down in their next size up?  Well, hell, if I can fit into their XL or 18, I guess I should just move up to a plus size 1X so I'm technically wearing a smaller size at 14 - 16!

One of the really disturbing points about this new sizing is for the younger woman and her self-image.  For decades, if not centuries, women have squeezed themselves into clothing and shoes based on size.   We've all seen those shoe cartoons where the very large woman is trying to cram herself into a shoe that wouldn't fit a seven year old child!  

No one wants to wear a larger size at forty than they did at 20, even though life gets in the way, like having children.  Under the new sizing formula, someone who has traditionally worn a size 12 and a medium or large for example, will suddenly find themself just one step away from the plus size or the fat lady department (which is how I jokingly refer to it as I ride the escalator down to the basement of Bloomingdale's to shop)!  

I stopped shopping at Coldwater Creek a few years ago.  Be it a sweater or blouse or jeans, every single item they sell only fits me if I go up a size.  Excuse me, but what is up with that??  So keep your clothing, Coldwater Creek.  You're not going to make me feel worse about buying that cute little cardigan of yours!.  I'll go back to Talbot's where my size is usually still my size. 

It used to be that I could order a white shirt from Ralph Lauren or Talbot's and it would fit exactly like the one I bought last year.  Not anymore!  Although last year's shirts still fit great, with the new ones, the sleeves may be too short or the neck opening too wide.  Lauren changed their sleeve width a couple of years ago which drove me crazy!

Do the manufacturers and retailers have any real understanding of just how hard it is to know your size in their clothing???  I've reach the point where if I want to buy a sweater from J. Jill for example, I'll order the same sweater in two different sizes, fully planning to return the one that doesn't fit.  And in some case, neither fits and I have to order a size smaller!  Have to admit, that feels good for a change.

Following the new modern sizing, I'd have to wear an XXXXXL.  Pretty insulting if you ask me.  Forget the fact that women should have standardized sizes like men's clothing which is a whole nother bailiwick.  I guess the next stop for me is to order my granny panties from Omar the Tent Maker!

Friday, November 1, 2013


My husband and I had dinner with our son Robert and his wife Stacey last night.  We invited them out to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.  Congratulations to the happy couple!

During dessert, I dripped a spot of chocolate on the front of my shirt.  My white shirt, of course.  Which I had just changed into to wear to dinner.

As I was trying to blot the spot with my napkin, my son turned to me and asked, "How many white shirts do you own?"  Thinking quickly, I responded, "Thirty?"  As the three of them laughed, I found myself explaining what white shirts mean to me.  And the more I thought about it, the more eccentric I guess I am, or have become, or always was.  Or is it just a clothing rut?

When I was a young teenager my mother taught me the importance of wearing ironed clothes.  To this day, I really can't wear a shirt right out of the dryer without at least touching it up with an iron.  Even if the shirt is one hundred percent cotton and will turn into a map of wrinkles within minutes of putting it on, I have to start out with a freshly ironed shirt.  This is one of the reasons that I tidy up in the morning in my pajamas; who wants to put on a freshly ironed shirt to wash dishes???

As a teenager, I was really skinny.  In fact, I was underweight at 5' 7" tall and 108 pounds.  I could wear almost anything, and did.  But my favorite go-to outfit was a freshly ironed white oxford shirt with capris and flats.

And here I am now, fifty years later.  Not so skinny, less tall at 5'6" (sorry, not giving you the poundage!) and what's my go-to attire?  You got it....a freshly ironed white oxford shirt with capris and flats.

But let me explain!  I have those hang-around-the-house white shirts.  You know the ones; they've been
kicked around and aren't new enough to really wear to go out.  Then I have the over sized, all cotton oxfords with the button down collars and long tails, better known as boyfriend shirts.  These shirts are perfect with jeans and sneakers for a quick run to the mall or food store, or for curling up with a good book.  Add to the mix the more fitted cotton with spandex shirts.  These are great under sweaters or vests, or any time you want to "up" your style a little bit.

With the advent of wrinkle-resistant cotton, I now own shirts that you can wear all day and they don't wrinkle.  These are great to wear with your dressier slacks and a blazer, sweater or your favorite shawl.  You could go from the mall to a client dinner in one of these and pull it off.  But don't kid yourself, you still need to iron these shirts.  And they do have one problem.  The fabric is woven differently so they don't really breathe and you wouldn't want to wear one of these on a hot day even though they're one hundred percent cotton.  I also own a couple of white on white prints for a dressier look.  Paired with dress slacks they are perfect!

Last but not least, I own three-quarter sleeve white cotton shirts for summer wear as shown on the left.

Am I in a rut?  I don't know.  I do know that I own shirts in lots of other colors,including solids, plaids and stripes.  I'm even wearing a blue striped shirt in my current profile picture.

Back in 2010, I blogged about Yuka, a young hairdresser who works at Vidal Sassoon in Manhattan.  I was really delighted with her outfit.  It was cheery and fun and colorful and upbeat.  She looked young and hip and made me smile when I looked at her.  But would I dress like that?  Not a chance!  I'd feel like I was ready to work in the circus!

Look at photos of stars like Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Diane Keaton and even Taylor Swift on Google.  You'll find photo after photo of celebrities wearing the tried and true white cotton shirt.    Call it my uniform, but they're simply timeless and they work and I love them!

I lamented over one of my favorite white cotton shirts last night that had to be retired a couple of years ago. I owned a Ralph Lauren shirt that was made from the softest cotton imaginable.  After owning it for about ten years, I literally wore it to death, because one of the sleeves simply shredded when I bent my arm while wearing it.

I counted my white shirts this morning and my guesstimate was pretty close.  I do own a wealth of white cotton shirts, twenty-nine to be exact!  But they're as different as the colors of the rainbow to my eyes, despite the fact that some would simply refer to each as a white cotton shirt!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I intended to sit down at my computer and start reviewing books again this morning, following a two month hiatus.  April was a very difficult month for our family.  There were many trips to Maryland to visit my husband's sister who was severely ill.  There were also numerous trips to Connecticut to get ready for a friend's wedding.  In mid-April, my sister-in-law passed away, a sad time for everyone, and consequently I wasn't in a blogging mood.

So here I am, finally settled back in New Jersey and ready to work!  Still dressed in my nightgown with my first cup of coffee of the morning, I had just turned on my computer when my friend who works for the Mendham Township Police Department called to ask if my husband's car had been parked in the driveway overnight and if yes, had it been broken into!!??  Luckily, George hadn't left for work yet and when he checked, sure enough, his car had been ransacked.  How did they even know that?

Well, apparently we weren't the only ones hit last night.  A number of cars had been broken into and one had been stolen.  The reason that the police called us was that the detective remembered that we had installed a video security system after our home was broken into last August.  Still in my nightgown, policemen started showing up to check the backup monitoring system for our cameras.  I couldn't figure out how to even reverse the recording on the system's monitor but remembered I could access it on my cell phone.

Scrolling from midnight to this morning, up popped the culprits at approximately 4:22:23 a.m.  Two of them walking down our driveway, one going to the side of the car to open the driver's side door and one going right to the trunk to hunt for who knows what.  Pretty creepy!

This photo shows the men rifling through my husband's car.  (You can read the article on the

We soon found ourselves surrounded by three local officers, two county sheriff's officers and another sheriff's officer who is familiar with home surveillance systems.  Totally embarrassing since I had intended to also clean my office today because unfortunately it looked like IT had been ransacked.  No matter, they were soon able to download the footage of the perpetrators onto a thumb drive, and after complimenting us on the really good cameras we installed (apparently the high number of pixels will make it possible to enlarge the size of the stills when they print them, making the trespassers more easily visible), they were soon piling into their official cars and heading back to pursue their leads.

I guess I should thank the person or persons who broke into our home last year.  We would never have installed the cameras if that hadn't happened.  And if we hadn't installed the cameras, the police wouldn't have been able to know the time frame that the cars were broken into, as well as actually being able to see the people who did it.

Bravo to Mendham Township Detective Taquinto for remembering about our camera system.  And bravo to the police and sheriff's department officers who responded so quickly.  To my neighbors and friends, we live in a difficult time and there have been so many burglaries locally.  Please be aware that we don't live in Mayberry anymore.  You need to lock your doors and your car doors and do your best to keep your families safe.  Get an alarm, install outside lighting, get a dog or do whatever makes you comfortable, but please pay attention to strangers in your neighborhood and don't hesitate to call the police if something doesn't feel right.