Newest Blog Entries


Conversational Disagreements: In the Heat of the Moment, Try to Cool Down before You Explode!

April 09, 2021 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Typically, when Barbara and her beau drive in the car together, the conversation is sanguine and pleasant. Until one day recently.  As they drove to the University at Albany, SUNY, campus, in a snowstorm for one of them to get the coronavirus vaccine (the other had already done so), another storm began to brew in their car.  With her beau at the wheel, Barbara grew concerned about road conditions as she noticed that the two-lane highway merged into one lane and few snowplow trucks were working.  It was at this point that the conversation took a nasty turn. It happened...


Taking Our Seats at the Table in our Families, Jobs & Communities

April 02, 2021 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We talked in our last blog about the importance of gathering around the family dinner table. This blog will take a metaphorical look at “taking our seats at the table” whether siblings in our families, or as citizens in our communities and in the world. We spend a great deal of time discussing people we admire-- writers, medical professionals, scientists, architects, chefs, designers, performers, educators, politicians and so on. Some are notable because they took their seat at the table to produce works, ideas, a movement, invention, something heroic or political at just the right moment in our culture and...


The Dinner Table: Resetting Our Traditions

March 26, 2021 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

The Dinner Table: Resetting Our Traditions Among the activities we’ve come to miss most during the year of the pandemic has been gathering around the dinner table with friends and family. If we have a spouse or partner, which Barbara does, she has someone with whom she can converse, share the meal and make eye contact. She certainly doesn’t take this for granted. But early on during the pandemic, meal after meal became so routine that they broke their long-standing habit of not eating in front of the TV. They became adept at juggling plates on their laps while watching...


Is It Time to Separate from our Zoom Groups? Some of the best ways to call it a day.

March 19, 2021 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Breaking up is hard to do, as the Neil Sedaka song says. We’ve all been through this whether breaking up with a romantic or business partner, a spouse, friend or family member. That’s why it’s so tough to admit that we’re thinking of splitting up with some of our Zoom groups—or at least taking a break or not meeting as often. Our Zoom gatherings provide regularity and purpose to our lives during the pandemic when everything else seems to have come apart. For almost a year, we haven’t been able to go to our favorite gyms and spas; see our dearest...


Pandemic Peccadilloes: Our New Bad Habits

March 12, 2021 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

e  This is for all of us who now feel shut out from the vast tent that is the rest of the world. As we have isolated ourselves to remain safe from contracting the coronavirus, we’ve had the opportunity to develop some unsavory, unhealthy habits. Some give us comfort sorely needed in this horribly unsettled time, which isn’t over, even if glimmers of hope are the increased number of vaccines now being given. We lack structure so we create projects to fill our time, sometimes doing so excessively such as lots of baking, cleaning and organizing. However, most days to...