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Articles Categorized Lifestyle

Thanksgiving in 18th Century Salem, Mass.

This is a blog about Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday. It is not about the First Thanksgiving, or the late 19th century Thanksgiving, or the 20th Century Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving story is about Thanksgiving in late 18th and early 19th century New England, specifically Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of my upcoming novel. At

Individuality, Ownership & the Importance of Spousal Names

“What’s in a name?” Juliet asked. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare put these words into Juliet Capulet’s mouth, to show that her love for Romeo was not restricted by his membership in the Montague family. The label of his name was immaterial to her, but, tragically, it would

Do We Want Our “Hair on Fire”?

The definitions are clear, the phrase Hair On Fire refers to a situation in which someone is impassioned, wild, crazy, filled with rage, frantic, and/or overwhelmed — but not necessarily out of control. You can probably remember one more realities in your life when you felt like your hair was on fire. You might have

Whither the Office Worker?

Long ago, before public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 sent workers home, about 50 per cent of Americans in the work force spent their days in an office, either in cramped open spaces or small cubicles spread out across a large room. During my early employment history, I worked in large desk-filled

Making Achievable New Year Resolutions

On December 31st did you, perhaps in an altered state, solemnly resolve, affirm, or swear that you would make positive changes in 2022? Last year 43 percent of Americans vowed to change in 2021; this year only 29 percent expected to take the plunge. Of those making new year’s resolutions, 80 percent will either fail

Yule Tide Festivals

Winter Solstice on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere is both the shortest day of the year, and the first day of Winter. The word solstice finds its root in the Latin words sol for sun and sistere, meaning “to stand.” The term also refers to new birth, as a new year rises from the

Pumpkin Spice & All Things Nice

There are many ways we know the season of Autumn has begun. The calendar informs us the official date is September 22. People whose school days ended sometime in the last century associate Autumn with the beginning of school. There’s the turning of the leaves, the nights drawing in, and the nip in the air.

An 18th Century Woman Gets Dressed

I write historical fiction based on the lives of actual women. This involves a great deal of research on the person being profiled and the world in which she lived, as well as information on events that occurred. Saxon Heroines, for example, focused on the lives of four royal women in 7th century Northumbria. Information

Mystery Reads

I like good historical fiction, but while in mindless escape mode as I lie on a hammock,  I want stories that engage my attention but don’t require much thought on my part. My recent reading choices lean towards mysteries that don’t dwell too much on crime details. And if there’s a dash of romance involved,

SLIP – SLOP – SLAP : Pick the Right Sunscreen to Protect Yourself & Coral Reefs

Whenever you’re in the sun, remember the mantra above: SLIP on a shirt – SLOP on sunscreen – SLAP on a hat, and – WRAP your eyes in sunglasses. After that, go have fun! Why did we ever think tanning was good? In 1923, fashion icon Coco Chanel vacationed on a yacht near Cannes. When