susan’s musings

Five Minutes

In five minutes I can write a warm note to a friend letting them know that I am thinking of them. In five minutes, I can check if my bank and I have the same balance for my account. In five minutes I can recite a chapter or two of Psalms or unload the dishwasher...

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Beatrice Fairfax to the Rescue

Leaving aside human needs like oxygen and water, there are a host of other human wants as well. We crave affection and achievement; yearn for stability and companionship. I’ve noticed one more ubiquitous desire – a longing, particularly from women, for advice in our personal lives. While the boomer generation grew up reading Dear Abby and...

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Glossophobia – originally posted July 9, 2009

According to the intensive .16 second long research I just did on the web, we humans are full of phobias. Ranking relatively high – though quite below fear of spiders – is glossophobia, fear of public speaking. In general, this one passed me by. While I certainly get nervous before teaching a class or giving...

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Trial by Mouth – originally published Jan. 28, 2009

    Celebrity endorsements can mean a great deal to a company. So we thought it a tremendous coup when Illinois Governor (though probably not for long) Blagojevich give an unsolicited plug for our audio CD, Perils of Profanity: You Are What You Speak. After all, while the governor is not being impeached for his vulgar...

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It’s the Genes, Stupid – originally posted Feb. 2007

    February. An often bleak, cold and dark month. This may be the reason why, aside from the obvious commercial implications, cheerful, bright, pink and red valentines endlessly bombard us as soon as February approaches. For women’s magazines the theme of the month’s issue is pre-ordained – romance. Generally this means that even more clap trap...

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Of Fridges and Men – originally posted Feb. 26, 2009

I have spent the last few days befuddled, bewildered and basically overwhelmed while shopping for a refrigerator to replace the one in my garage that whimpered its way to warming last week. I have many reasons to be grateful. While deciding whether to call a repairman or not, an online search revealed that my old...

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More Fireflies; Fewer Computers- Originally posted Feb. 19, 2009

One Shabbat, when our five older children ranged in age from five to ten, we had the privilege of hosting a prominent business leader for Friday night dinner. As table conversation extended the meal, our children asked to be excused and promptly curled up or splayed out on living room couches with lots of reading...

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Remember the Titanic – originally posted May 28, 2009

Have you noticed that among the obituaries that newspapers publish of famous or influential people, ordinary folk also get mentioned if they were the last of their kind? So, we were informed when the last Civil War soldier’s widow passed away a few years ago as we will hear when the last survivor of the...

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