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The Back-to-School Conversation We Should Be Having … But Aren’t

Nine out of 10. That’s how many kids in American elementary schools say they’re bullied in school every year. Sixty-four percent. That’s how many kids admit they’re bullied but never report it – be it out of fear or a feeling of helplessness. Startled yet? How about this statistic? In one survey of moms, 43 […]


‘Project MC Squared’ Is the Show Smart Young Girls Have Desperately Needed

“Yes, it’s true. Women do run the world,” so says the head of a super secret spy organization that employs teen girls to protect royalty on Project MC². It’s the latest in a string of Netflix original series for kids and perhaps the greatest offering to come out for tween girls in recent years. The […]


What I Learned When I Bought a Homeless Couple Dinner

“Excuse me,” he started. “I don’t want to bother you in any way.” At first I thought he might be trying to sell us something. Or convert us. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d been accosted out in public by a religious zealot convinced they could save my soul. Just last week I was […]

Inside Out


How You Become an Embarrassing Mom Overnight

It happens suddenly. One morning you wake up. You brush your teeth. You suck down something caffeinated. You put your pants on, one leg at a time, as one does. Your hair is even acting like it likes you this morning. You’re feeling, not quite normal because normal is boring, but regular … for you […]

Kids in field

Should I Buy a House in Sullivan County, New York?

Any time someone begins a question with “be honest,” you know you’re in for it. For a real estate agent, maybe this would have been an easy one. “Be honest, should I buy a house in Sullivan County?” is a no-brainer if you have properties to move. But I’m just a website editor. It wasn’t […]

American Flag

The Confederate Flag Is a Heritage We’re Trying to Escape

As the debate over the confederate flag and its removal from the South Carolina Capitol building has raged in recent weeks, I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet. Not silent, but not especially vocal. In part it’s because racial issues are a difficult topic, and yes, I recognize the white privilege inherent in saying that. As a white […]

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If I Don’t Take Risks, How Will My Kid Learn to Love Adventure?

Do something every day that scares you. Isn’t that how the saying goes? We all know it’s easier said than done. But as a mother, scaring myself has somehow become my obsession of late. I’m not a horror movie junkie or a thrill seeker by nature. I am, however, a mother in a society where […]


Why This Photographer Would Rather Take Photos of Your Kids Than Her Own

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it … well, you know how the saying goes. “Your daughter must just love having her photo taken!” or “Oh, your daughter must be so much better at having her photo taken than [insert self-deprecating comment about comment maker’s own children].” Considering she’s had a lens stuck thisclose […]


Ten Things I Want My Daughter to Know Before She Turns 10

Ten is bearing down on our house like a tractor trailer running down a steep hill. There’s no stopping it, so we might as well pull in behind it and draft along. I’m embarrassed to admit it took me longer to realize I could ride 10’s coattails than it probably should have. Even 10 years […]

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Brittney & Josh: An Engagement Session

  A lot of photographers have a lot of props in their arsenal. I confess I have a few favorites myself. But when I’m going out on a shoot, I always want to focus on the subject … and that means looking to their lives for the “props” that will really reflect their story. In […]

a photographer taking photos

Why That Photographer Is Lying on the Ground

A photo appeared on Facebook this week of me. I’m sitting in the middle of the road, one leg thrown out to the side, the foot up and rooted to the ground. The other leg was bent and positioned beneath me in such a manner that it was holding me steady as I leaned forward, […]

Jeanne Sager family

If I Can’t Stand in Front of a Camera … What Does That Say to My Daughter?

The selfie may have taken over the world – and the Oxford Dictionary – but there are few on my phone and even fewer on my various social media accounts. If that makes me an anomaly, there’s reason for it. I’ve never been exactly comfortable standing in front of a camera. A lifetime battle with […]

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‘Paddington’ Movie Brings the Best of the Children’s Books to Screens

If there’s one thing book lovers can agree on, it’s that the book is almost always better than the movie. But sometimes it isn’t about being better. Sometimes, it’s about being different. And that’s where the folks behind the new film Paddington got it right. When the Weinstein Company decided to turn Michael Bond’s book […]


Giveaway: ‘Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Never Beast’ Blu-Ray & DVD Pack

Before I gave birth to a daughter, I’d never heard of the Bechdel test. It’s a measure of how often two female characters talk to each other in films and books about subjects other than men. More than half of all contemporary films fail the test, and — sadly — that includes most children’s movies. […]


Giveaway: ‘Big Hero 6′ Blu-Ray & DVD

By now we all know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a movie by its title? Big Hero 6 (which hits shelves on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 24) sounds like a movie about a team of superheroes. Technically, it is. Based on a lesser known Marvel […]

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Country Life

Tractor parade

You Don’t ‘Get’ Our Tractor Parade? Oh Well

“Tractors? You stood around and watched 100 tractors drive down the street? I don’t get it.” How many times have I heard this, or something like it, when I bring up the Callicoon Tractor Parade? I’ve lost count. And my response is always the same. Technically I didn’t stand. I ran. I walked. I scooted […]

Playing OUtside

Nosy Neighbors Are Killing Childhood As We Once Knew It

They thought their kids were walking to the park the day the cop car pulled up to their suburban home. But Danielle and Alexander Meitiv’s 10- and 6-year-old children weren’t park-bound anymore. They were in the back of the police car. The kids were fine. Their parents were about to be very un-fine. In the […]

Fall Leaves in the Catskills

Sorry, New York Times, But We Built the Catskills

Well,  it seems congratulations are in order. According to the New York Times, the Catskills is one of the 52 places to go in 2015. Yes, we’ve made it. So who gets the pats on the back? The Sullivan County Visitors’ Association, perhaps, for all their hard work in reminding people that the Borscht Belt […]

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