“It’s just a house! Do something with it!!”

  Last year, Paul and I bought the family beach house and these words from my mother's painting class keep me going. She charged her painting students with this and other pithy sayings when they were blocked. Today, the words seem prophetic. On the 15th anniversary of my mother’s death, my dear husband and I became sole owners of the Cape May house she adored. It’s a house that has served generations of our family and friends as a respite, a place of celebration, a center for art … [Read more...]

First Father’s Day Without My Father

Wicker Love

My father got things done. He applauded us when we got things done. So last week, when I arrived in Cape May, I vowed to restore two wicker chairs my father had cared for years ago. I thought it would be quick work, as the paint was peeling. I’d just shake them off, maybe use a wire brush, then coat them with the oil-based Cover Stain primer our friend Marc Shenfield (a certified wicker nut) recommended. Marc likes to get things done, and he had lovingly restored the rocker in the painting … [Read more...]

Can You Keep a Woman’s Secret?

Self-Preservation in a Time of Misogyny: While International Women's Day honors the known as well as the unknown stories of those who have long kept a woman's secret, I believe we honor ourselves when we honor our mothers and grandmothers, ancestors, and women of all races, creeds, and eras. Therefore, I'm not content to confine this activity to one day, or one month: it is a daily practice of awareness. You may recall that the academic study of Women's History began in the 1970s, during a … [Read more...]

Board the Kind Ship Now

It's time to pay attention . . . Last December, as I created exercises for the Mother-Daughter Way focus on kinship, a typo got my attention. I kept misspelling “kinship” by adding the letter "d" and creating a new word – kindship. It happened so frequently, I had to pay attention. Why? Because, at the risk of sounding woo woo, I believe certain so-called errors arise from a deeper level of consciousness. Like the word, which spawned the idea, of a Kind Ship. That's why I write every day. I … [Read more...]

3 Ways to Play Your Edge in 2017

If you pay attention to patterns, you know that clinging to that which fails to love you back is toxic;  you must play your edge if you want to love your life. When Carrie Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge, she was playing her edge for all to see. Fisher shared a difficult mother-daughter journey that illuminated the path for others. She died suddenly on Tuesday, and the following day her mother died of heartbreak. Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher gave an object lesson in how to play … [Read more...]

Does Generosity Cost You?

If generosity is a good trait, why does it get tangled up in angst and confusion at this time of year? How can you maintain inner peace in a season of relentless advertising, competitive shopping and expensive gift-giving? I have been mulling over this question since we focused on the week six theme of generosity with my Mother-Daughter Way ONE goddesses last month. It was easier to manage week 6 during the pilot group last January when I tagged the focus as a week of … [Read more...]

Open Heart, Open Hand: My Prayer for You

Although I strive for an open heart, I've been quiet lately. Let's be open with each other. There are reasons for my silence. Yes, I lost my father recently. And yes, I am in the midst of running Mother-Daughter Way ONE, which is fabulous and bountiful and exciting. But my quietness puzzles me: I love to write. I write daily, so why have I been reluctant to post? Perhaps I've muted myself because the airwaves were overcrowded with incredibly loud and angry, even hateful speech. The … [Read more...]

Woman Energy: Let’s Plug it In!

Download Mother Daughter Way Program Overview and Registration Form Last Monday, a group of women gathered in the Merchantville Community Center for Woman at Play: Goddess Restoration Project (click to see the trailer). My goal was to create a magical space for women to share the electricity generated over the course of the first Mother-Daughter Way journey, and to open the gates for the next one (click this link for info). My pilot group included women from as far as Reno, Nevada and as … [Read more...]

Saying Farewell to My Father

My father died last week. Yesterday afternoon I had that familiar impulse to call him, followed by the recognition he would not answer. I had seen him twice during the week before his death, and both times I peppered him with questions. At the end of the first visit, my dear husband and I helped my father into bed, and then Paul left us alone. I kneeled to look into my father's eyes and said, "I just want to make sure you're OK, Dad." He gave me a strong, searching look, and … [Read more...]

Defying My Mother, Again

                    Today marks fifteen years since my mother's death. As I awoke this morning, I remembered her last words to me. And I will defy them. I'll tell you about that soon, but first I need to set up the event of losing my mother so you understand how tangled this mother-daughter way can become. For the last two decades of her life, I considered my mother to be my best friend. She was a passionate artist. … [Read more...]