The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

It is officially Fall and while I don’t support the Pumpkin Spice craze, I can definitely get behind a Spiced Pumpkin bread! Especially when it includes chocolate chips! I got this recipe from my friend Amy (the creator of this yummy ice cream treat) and added my own twist to it. The recipe makes two […]

You Go Girl!

My 15-year old daughter never ceases to surprise me. Recently she’s brought up a number of cultural inconsistencies that are driving her batty. In fact, they would no doubt make many of us bat-shit crazy too if we only bother to open our eyes and apprehend them. Observation One: Boys don’t get wardrobe infractions.  The question […]

Hashtag This!

From time to time we are made aware of things our oldest does on the internet. For example, the Father’s Day tribute she paid to her Grandfather and Uncle, calling them the men who raised her. Ouch. That was not a flesh wound. Or this… #MyTendencyToCallMyselfADadisRootedInADeepLackofFatherlyAcceptance #Freud #Heck What to make of this, I thought. My […]

Fairy Tales of the Mind

Sometimes I wonder what (or who) lives deep inside the mind. More importantly I wonder when they moved in and claimed their space. Worse still, like recently graduated millennials, once these notions move in they tend to reside rent free. Who can we blame for these fairy tale notions that distract us from living our lives? […]

Microscopic Aggression is an Oxymoron

So have you heard the latest bullshit about microaggressions? In a recent post about trigger warnings, a reader posted a comment asking this question. As a matter of fact I have heard about this latest bullshit called microaggressions. As a matter of fact, I responded, I was considering a post on that very topic. Here […]

Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

These cupcakes are delicious, and almost muffin-like. Full of yummy chocolate chunks I love to eat them as is, without frosting. Recently we were going to a cookout and I wanted to make them, but decided they needed to be dressed up a bit. A light vanilla bean buttercream frosting was the answer! I hope […]

Trigger this!

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Actually, no part of your classroom education should be intellectually “safe”. This is how I began my semester last week, by reminding a new crew of Freshman that if you’re practicing “safety” in the classroom, then you are not stretching your intellectual boundaries. Let me explain… Over the past several years or so colleges, universities and […]

Let them Be

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According to a recent study out of MIT, your friends don’t like you. You’ve probably already suspected as much. Your family probably doesn’t like you all that much either, they just tolerate you because of the shared DNA and the money you owe them. This MIT study suggests that, at least in terms of friendship, […]

Did you sign the waiver?

At the beach the other day, I saw something familiar play out . A mother was trying to coax her daughter into the rough surf at the Charlestown Breachway Beach. “Look,” the mom said, “your father and sister are out there, and I’m going because it’s too hot to sit here. So, let’s go!” The little girl, about […]

Hammer Time

Maggie hated shopping with her four kids but she especially hated going down three specific aisles: snacks, cookies and cereal. Inevitably, fights broke out over who picked what last time and who always gets his or her way and that the criteria for choosing stuff should be: age, or height, or the ability to actually read […]

Traveling Mom-isms

We spent a recent weekend with family friends in New York City. My family has been numerous times but this was the first that I actually “listened” to what the moms were saying to our kids — and not just the two moms we travelled with. Mother’s and wives from all over — Germany, England, […]

Pests

Across the Adirondacks, sweeping down from Michigan, the emerald ash borer has rapidly devoured 50 million trees reducing forest bark to pulp. Swaths of eastern forest dead and yet the cause for concern is that Rawlings may not be able to make baseball bats for the major leagues when ash trees cease to grow. Gypsy moth caterpillars […]

Beware the Millennial Apocalypse

Not so long ago I had to face the fact that I fathered a narcissist with a capital “N”. I am not alone. It would seem that many of us responsible for bringing children into the world over the past twenty years have raised, well, assholes. We didn’t do this on purpose. We had the […]

Chops

Mrs. Mianelli’s middle son just hauled away the white five gallon bucket containing the innards and head of the calf my grandfather was butchering; the man exchanged some words in Italian with my grandfather but the only ones I recognized were “Grazie” and “Prego”. After pushing the heavy steel delivery door with his hip my […]

The Pain of Shortcuts

For months we’ve been taking yoga classes on Sunday mornings with a specific instructor. Recently she left the studio to pursue a cross country odyssey with her husband to downward-dog it across the country to California. I had grown to enjoy her classes and the way she opened me up to the principles of yoga, […]

Elevate You

I have always loved live music. I remember exactly when the idea of the vitality of live performance penetrated my brain — I was probably 4 or 5 years old. We didn’t have much extra money growing up, so my parents entertained us with coloring books at the kitchen table, going to the pet store […]

Epic

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He hunkered down behind the shrubs and tried to conceal himself from enemy troops as best he could among the dead leaves and undergrowth; despite his shady position he was drenched in sweat thanks to the summer heat. A soft low voice spoke, “Where’d he go?” Others mumbled with uncertainty, confusion, and another said and his […]

Nerve Endings

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My daughter is at the kitchen table a bundle of nerves. Finals week. Soccer tryouts. There doesn’t seem to be enough time. The phrases, “I’m not” and “I can’t” are tossed about. At some point the tears start. We reply with the old standards: “You have to” and “You will” and “It will be fine”. […]

Legend has it…

A legend exists but the origins of its antique lore remain unclear to me — probably ancient India or somewhere in the Near East —  most likely the stories genesis lay buried deep below layers of ancient Sanskrit which few of us knows and fewer recall from their previous lives. It goes like this: eternal beings responsible for the […]

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