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My good friend gave me five peacock feathers and I have them in a vase in my office.  I'm always stunned when I look at them because the color and the design of each is distinctive.  I picture a peacock strutting around, tail open wide for all the world to see.  I've always felt these… Read more »

I have a photograph of a baby duck that my daughter took a few years ago.  I was with Jean at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden when she caught the magic moment of a duckling swimming past lily pads, leaving a ripple in the water behind her (I've decided the duck is a girl).  And this… Read more »

I had one of those moments the other day when past and present morph together.  We live in a house built in 1875, and the man who owned it before we did and restored it himself, was driving down our street.  I didn't recognize him at first. He looked at me and I looked at… Read more »

Years ago my daughter had a rock polishing set. We put the rocks in a canister, plugged it in, and it would turn them over and over, endlessly and loudly. The worst part was that the process took two weeks (not mentioned in the ad campaign) — two weeks of incessant grinding.  After a few… Read more »

There's a bakery I pass occasionally with a sign in the window that reads: YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE. As marketing approaches go, it's brilliant because, of course, I do want one — actually, I want two or three. And the recognition of this makes me want one even more. So I stand across the street and have… Read more »

It was the last day of a three day writing conference. I had time for one last, quick question. A shy boy in the back raised his hand: "Mrs. Bauer, looking back over your entire life, do you have any regrets?" Whoa! How do I answer that out of the hundreds, thousands of regrets I'd piled… Read more »

When I was in school, I wrote all the time — short stories, essays, poetry, songs, greeting cards. I had a few poems published in my high school literary journal. I was on fire with the love of writing. Over the years, sometimes that fire has gone out. It's usually when I'm too busy or… Read more »

My daughter Jean called the other day and said, "Mom, I have a metaphor for you." Instantly, my writer's heart was stirred because Jean doesn't mess around when it comes to a metaphor. She and her husband had just been to an exhibition of Japanese ceramics in D.C. where she learned of the "golden seams,"… Read more »

A few birds are singing in my yard and I'm thinking, easy for you to chirp away — have you seen the headlines? My yard is covered with snow from our big storm. I've got work to do to get ready for spring and I don't much feel like it. I had big dreams for… Read more »

Max my dog is licking my hand like it's a popsicle, particularly interested in my engagement ring — it belonged to my husband's grandmother. I had to take the ring off when I had neurosurgery over twenty years ago after a man in a Volvo station wagon rammed into my car, injuring my neck and… Read more »

I have a complicated relationship with Valentine's Day (see my novel, Thwonk). But it's time to celebrate chocolate without boundaries, to run to the store at the last minute and realize that only the bad cards are left, the ones that read, To my husband and forever friend/I pledge my love to never end/but grow… Read more »

We all want good MPG (miles per gallon) for our cars; increased RAM (random access memory) for our computers; we want to lower our LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise our HDL (good cholesterol). We know it's good to achieve MHR (maximum heart rate) when exercising, but not for too long and so we look to… Read more »

There are things I need to stop in 2009. Management consultant, Peter Drucker, always asked top CEOs this disarming question:  What have you stopped doing?  He said when we figure out what no longer works, it opens the door to new opportunities.  One of the first things I need to stop doing is ignoring the… Read more »

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I, like so many, was affixed to the TV watching the horrific terrorism unfold in Mumbai. There were anxious emails going back and forth to see if a friend of my in-laws traveling in India was all right. He was, thankfully. But too many weren't all right, and the interviews and… Read more »

The other day I ate a cookie — one cookie. Not two, or ten, but one. That might not sound like a big deal, but when I look back over the years and remember how many cookies I always felt compelled to eat at one sitting or standing, I can see that a huge multi-headed… Read more »

Years ago, I read an article in Fortune Magazine where a successful businessman talked about the best lesson he'd ever learned. He was in India, I believe, walking by a large elephant tied to a small stake. He asked the elephant trainer why the elephant didn't pull the stake out since the animal had more… Read more »

I have a small elephant toy from India that always reminds me of what it's like to have a balanced life. The bigger elephant (the mother) is on a pedestal and two smaller elephants (the children) are attached to each side of her with sticks. Because the balance is perfect, I can twirl them around… Read more »

I found this quote on a greeting card that I'd thrown in an old box: "Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." — Goethe I have several things I need to begin. I have thought around them, but not begun them. I used… Read more »

There's something about hearing the right word at the right time. I have friends who are awfully good at sensing how I'm doing and speaking something to me that always encourages and lifts my spirits. Being an encourager is so important and it's something that everyone, young and old, can do. I think people are… Read more »