On June 20, 2022

So exciting to be able to use my passport once more! I switched from studying French to working on my very basic Italian for a couple of months, and went to Sicily and Lake Como with my younger daughter and her husband for 2 weeks. Here’s me and a gelato in Ortigia, the old part of the Sicilian city of Siracusa, where we stayed before heading off to Bellagio. Wishing you all a wonderful summer!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Goodbye and good riddance, 202l.

On December 31, 2021

Best wishes for 2022. I hope you are all still safe and sane. I loved your holiday cards and the photos of you and your kids – they cheered me when I had to cancel my trip with my daughters to visit my Dad. That was a hard call, head over heart for sure. My father is 97 and immunocompromised, so we just couldn’t take the chance we’d bring Covid from our various home towns to Tulsa, OK. We’ll re-schedule as soon as it seems safe. Meantime, we keep on keeping on!


On July 14, 2021

Over 2,000 miles on the exercise bike I got when I became clear I would not be going back to the gym for a while.
Somewhat improved French, thanks to Rosetta Stone.
A completely refinished doorway and surround (33 windows = 132 corners!) and renovated foyer. (See previous blog post for “before” photo.)
A well-tended garden.

Soon after my second shot of the Moderna vaccine, my Dad fell and broke his hip. I flew down and spent a few days with him while he was still in the hospital in Tulsa, when the crowds at the airports were sparse and there were no lines at the TSA. Over Mother’s Day weekend, my daughters joined me in an Airbnb not far from Dad’s, and we all got to see how much his mobility had improved and enjoy his still-sharp wit. On that trip, there were more people flying but still few airport shops and restaurants open. To celebrate Dad’s 97th birthday recently, I made the trip once more. Great to see my father doing so well, but travel is no fun now – overcrowding and understaffing everywhere. Still, I am grateful to be able to GO again!

I hope you are all enjoying the summer, and staying healthy.

Clockwise from top: The Patriarch (my Dad); my sister Daphne; her grandson, Fox; Daphne’s daughter/Fox’s mother, Emily; my daughter Jennifer; my daughter Amy; and me.


On December 14, 2020

As this long and difficult year draws to a close, I hope you are all safe and still (relatively) sane. These are some of the activities I’ve undertaken in the last few months:

Donating blood

Volunteering with the gardening crew in Ft. Tryon Park

Chipping old paint off a door frame so I can refinish it.

Today people are receiving the first doses of the vaccine against Covid. Soon the Winter Solstice will herald the return of longer days. The darkness will begin to recede. May there be light and joy in your holiday celebrations, different though they may be in 2020.

Best wishes to all,


On April 23, 2020

My hair’s getting kinda long. Zoom happy hours have taken the place of restaurant dinners with friends. Foreign travel? I’d just like to see Union Square again!

Recently my neighbors and I broke the monotony of “one day is much like another” with a stoop shoot. It was a fun afternoon of “physical distancing” (as my daughter Amy likes to say), but social interaction (from 6 feet apart). We all got a beautiful portrait out of it, for a tax-deductible gift to the Food Bank of New York. Here’s the scoop on a stoop shoot:

You can help New Yorkers in need and get a great portrait on your front steps. To reserve a session, donate $50 to Food Bank for New York City (https://www.foodbanknyc.org) and forward the receipt to [email protected].

$50 helps provide 250 meals to needy New Yorkers. In exchange, Jeff Zorabedian of JDZ Photography.com is offering a 20 minute Stoop Shoot in front of your home. Jeff will photograph you and your family from a safe distance.

Afterwards you’ll receive a link to an online gallery. Your session will include 1 high resolution file of your choice. You’ll also have the opportunity to order additional prints or files directly through the site.

For those of you who took childbirth education classes from Ellen Chuse, this is her son-in-law!

Hope you are all staying safe and sane!


On March 27, 2020

Many, many thanks to all of you who have reached out by text and email to ask about my health and well-being. I hope you are all safe and sane. I am fine. It is easy for me to maintain physical distance from others since I live alone, but I would feel very lonely if not in touch with friends, family, and former clients electronically. Thinking of all of you and appreciate any communication, by any means! Love and best wishes,   Barbara

My 73rd birthday! Last time in a sit-down restaurant for a while, it seems. My younger daughter Jen and her husband Tim were in NYC for the occasion, so we had a lovely dinner at Crown Shy, near the old office on Maiden Lane.


On December 8, 2019

I spent Thanksgiving with my granddaughter Kendall in Charlottesville, Virginia. She’s a student at UVa but also works part-time on a farm, and I got to “labor” along side her for a few hours the day before the holiday. Our very moist and tender turkey had been raised on that farm, and it was delicious. Kendall’s parents and one of her friends shared a great meal with us – much to be thankful for!

Kendall and the bird

Kendall and me, working on the farm. Dirty labor, but at least it did not involve bodily fluids.

September Days in the South of France

On October 2, 2019

I spent some wonderful September days in the south of France with my sister Daphne, celebrating her birthday in Provence and the Côte d’Azur.

Here we are on the Pont d’Avignon (no dancing)

and me in St. Tropez.

Good weather, great food, and thank goodness for GPS or we’d still be lost in the hill towns above Nice and Cannes, where our 2nd Airbnb was located amongst the ups and downs and hairpin turns that characterize the region. Kudos to my sis who drove the stick-shift Peugeot as far as Monaco!

10 days in Oxford and Paris

On May 5, 2019

In early April, I spent a lovely 10 days with my daughter Jen and her husband Tim in Oxford and Paris. Jen, founder and CEO of Code for America, was invited back to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford (she won an award last year; this year Nancy Lublin was honored for founding Crisis Text: brava, Nancy!) While Jen was busy with Forum activities, Tim and I explored the colleges, museums, and parks of Oxford. We took a day trip to Bath, where we toured the Roman baths, the cathedral, and the famous Pump Room. On to Paris via the Eurostar train through the Chunnel (sure beats the boat!). Jen and Tim left for California early Monday morning, but I had given myself an extra day in Paris. That night I watched Notre Dame burn from my 6th floor hotel room at 1, Quai St. Michel – an experience I will never forget and wish had never happened. I joined the throngs of Parisians Tuesday morning who lined the banks of the Seine and marveled at what had survived as we mourned what had been lost. Very kind locals who were able to comprehend some of my rudimentary French helped me navigate my way to Orly for my flight home, after I discovered the St. Michel AND the Chatelet RER C stations were closed. Quite an adventure!

Barbara at the Roman baths, Bath

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