Family

The True Story of the Man Who Invented the Dimmer

One of the many things we take for granted these daysโ€”our ability to dim the lights to create a romantic mood or the perfect dinner party ambianceโ€”was once a dream in the mind of my uncle. I am blessed to come from an interesting family, and my uncle Joel Spira, founder and CEO of Lutron, […]

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Simple Is Better, Or Spiderman Does Cry

by guest blogger Renee James, humorist and blogger A few months ago, I wrote about my newly adopted philosophy of life: “Nothing Is Easy.” At this point, I’d like to add a corollary: “Simple Is Better.” Given a choice between an overwrought, tortured approach to a problem, or a direct, hands-on solution, simple is better. […]

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Standing on the Frontlines: Parenthood Rx

by guest blogger Robyn Oโ€™Brien, author and former financial and food-industry analyst The last few weeks have brought about a flurry of headlines for 21st-century parents: A new food allergy study suggested that we should be feeding our babies peanuts after a prior study suggested the opposite. A Girl Scout troop in Houston, made up […]

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Skiing the Conditions of Parenthood

by guest blogger Renee James, humorist and blogger About 15 years ago, I wrote a column about my boys and the day one of our gerbils died. Like most stories I wrote about my sons, it taught me a great deal about them, even more about myself and about why most of what I often […]

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‘Amazing’ Is in the Eye of the Beholder

by guest blogger Renee James, humorist and blogger Many things sound so much better in theory than they turn out to be in reality. Unfortunately, you usually can’t tell if that’s the case until you’re in the midst of the experience. Then it begins to dawn on you that, in fact, you’re in a bleak […]

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20 Not-Stupid Questions to Ask Your Kids over the Holidays

There is nothing like a holiday to bring people together. And once you’re together, you have to converse. There is a whole list of typical questions we ask our kids at some times: What’s your favorite subject in school? How are things going? But there is a subtle art to going deeperโ€”to finding those brilliant […]

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Our Lingering Selves

by guest blogger Renee James, humorist and blogger We’re in the midst of “the travel season,” the final six weeks of the year. Although my own holiday travel won’t involve more than a drive out of state, I find myself thinking about this Helen Bevington quote: “I have learned this strange thing, too, about travel: […]

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Coming Home

In the past few weeks I’ve traveled to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Philadelphia, New York City (many times), and Maine (for college visits). While all my travels were amazing and inspiring, and I have no horror stories from the road (other than the strange fact that I constantly seemed just a few short steps […]

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