Women on Wall Street Conference

October 8, 2014 this was the year of the 20th Annual Women on Wall Street Conference: Collective Wisdom hosted by Deutsche Bank.  It has truly been a conference of growth for women on Wall Street.  It was interesting to listen to Maria Bartiromo speak about women in the work force.   It was especially enlightening to listen to Shonda Rhimes (Creator and Executive Producer of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" and also Executive Producer of "How To Get Away with Murder"  One powerful talented woman who has won many awards and has been listed as one of the "50 most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune Magazine.   So where are my photos?!!!

Women on Wall Street

October 15, 2013: was invited once again to the annual event that Deutsche Bank holds honoring women: "Women on Wall Street".  this years 19th Annual conference was on Game Changers.  The conference started with Olympia Snowe, Former US Senator and I was thrilled to listen to her answer questions for forthright.   Wonder if it is because she is now out of office and promoting her new book? 

The panel included:
Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer New York State Common Retirement Fund, Sallie krawcheck, Owner, 85 Broads, Mary Schapiro, Managing Director and Chairman of the Governance and market Practice, Promontory Financial and Clara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social. 

Vicki being a woman of color talked about her being the only one woman and having a double impact on what she has done in her life.  Sallie Krawcheck spoke about when she was at Citi and they invested in bad investments.  While she talked about doing the right thing and returning money on the bad decisions the bank made she also landed on the front page of The Wall Street Journal as she was fired.  With all this she turned the bad into quite a few positive steps in her career. 

The we had Mary Schapiro who is basically a D.C. government native and shared her experiences on that side of the fence. 

Clara Shih created her own business and was startled to find out it was a hit as she kept on going.  She decided to write a text book which is now used at Harvard.  Now she is one of the youngest women to sit on a board directors (Starbucks).

One of the take-always is that: Networking is the most important tool to grown your business.  It is OK to stumble....it's how you pick yourself up and carry on that matters. 

Let's Eat Media Event

March 24, 2010 Oh my Gosh went to a "Let's Eat Media Event" and sampled so many products a quick run down:
-Eggland's Better Eggs:  less cholesterol 175 mg vs 213www.eggland.com
-Loved the tervis tumbler....excellent way to keep your cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot without burning yourself.
-daelia's biscuits...the almond with raisins that are specially made for cheese....let me tell you I didn't eat these I inhaled them with some farm fresh cheese!
-Then we had a silver of one of the "Prosperity Cades" oh my gosh...did I have a sugar high at 11:00 a.m....good, but eat an egg first for something.  www.fullcircleflavors.com  A company owned by three sisters.
-Keeping snacks healthy were the "Gudernoobs" with only 60 calories, 5g of sugar with an assortment of main ingredients.  Made by Woohoo.com
-Due to our visit with Circulon we have a wonderful recipe "Salmon with Mango Salsa" for the grill for everyone to try.
-Then I tried "Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie" and shared this with the women in the office...they wanted more.  www.brownbuttercookies.com  two sisters own this.
-WannaHavaCookie?  So good they look like mallowmars...but the taste is completely different.  Another woman company www.wannahavacookie.com
-Then we had some new decadent chocolates, delectable fruit jellies and mouth-watering fruit marvels that my taste palette kept screaming for more!  The New WONKA Scrumdiddlyumptious Chocolate Bar is made with bits of scrumptious toffee pieces, crispy cookies and crunchy peanuts wrapped in milk chocolate. The New WONKA Chocolate Waterfall Bar tempts the taste buds with a combination of creamy white chocolate swirled in milk chocolate. And finally, the New WONKA Domed Dark Chocolate Bar is made of rich, velvety dark chocolate topped with smooth milk chocolate drops.  You get the picture....a choco-alcoholics dream.  And they have a contest....sad to say it wasn't my time to win yet!
-Then Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her son had severe food allergies, she got down to serious business—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy’s gluten-free, allergy-friendly cookies are a delicious alternative for people with or without special dietary considerations
-Then the time savor of all time came from Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice...along with some new products.  Check it out for a quick meal for us busy women.

Fran lee

February 13th, 2010 Fran lee passed away...a guest on The Woman's Connection when we first started out in the 1990's.  She had her own program on "How TO" do and fix things.  But she was best known for her 1972 activism on getting rid of Dog Waste. and became law in 1978..in New York City, we now have the Pooper Scooper Law thanks to her. As Ed Koch once said "New Yorkers can hold their heads up high".  Enjoyed my interview with her and her frankness!!


Guest blog by Fran Capo
Author of It Happened in New York City: Remarkable Events That Shaped History
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

Tuesday September 11, 2001 - D DAY

A week ago, I woke up to what I thought was going to be a glorious day. A day
 bright and sunny, the kind that one is thankful for but at the same time, takes
for granted, as we get on with our lives. I dropped my son at school in Floral
Park Queens, and kissed him goodbye, happy as I drove off. All was right with
my world. 

But that feeling was instantly shattered with a click of the radio switch. "The World Trade Center has been hit". At first I thought I was listening to some second hand rendition of War of the Worlds. But as I listened on, I realized one of the most glorious days had just turned into one of the worst days in American History, if not for the free world. The United States was under terrorist attack. 

My ears couldn't believe it, so I rushed home to a television set, as if seeing it
would make it that more real. I watched in horror, America watched in horror,
 the world watched in horror, as the second tower was hit. Reports came rushing in about planes being hijacked, the Pentagon being hit and another plane crashing outside Pennsylvania. It was too much information to process. A surreal feeling surrounded me, as if I was watching some special effects in a blockbuster movie, only this time the actors wouldn't get up and walk away. I stayed glued to the television watching the tragedy unfold. Not knowing exactly where this travesty would end. 

Then the unthinkable happened. The World Trade Centers, one by one came
tumbling down as thousands of innocent people ran scrambling for their lives. 
People who were lying at the bottom of the World Trade Center relieved they
had escaped, and those who were attending to them, were now having tons
of concrete rain down on them. People were leaping out of windows, and I
had flashes of thoughts at the horror they must have felt before deciding to
jump to their deaths instead of being burned. The image of the couple holding
hands as they leaped is forever etched in my mind. Others were being choked
by asbestos, smoke filling their lungs, some were being trampled and others
were being injured from free flying glass shrapnel and debris. It was a site
New York has never seen. 

Then in a few moments it was over. An eerie silence overtook the city as gray
soot blanketed everything, the color reflective of the mood. The two towers that
had stood and symbolized so much for New York and the world, were now gone. Demolished, and along with it, countless lives. 

An evil well planned plot, played out to fruition, by calm sick malicious minds. 
Seemed like a century passed but it was only minutes. I thought of how long
it takes to build something, or create a life and how easily it can be destroyed. 

The media replayed the buildings crashing over and over, and no matter how many times I watched them fall, I still believed I would see them in the skyline. 

Instantly, my mind raced of thoughts to my son at school. Did he know? Was he safe? Even though he was in Queens miles away from the crash, nothing felt safe anymore. Two giant anchors had been pulled from us. I called the school only to find out that the phone lines were dead. My cell phone was dead too. My
communication was cut off. I had to go to the school. Parents were pulling up in droves, feeling the need to have their child with them if the eminent was to happen. 

The principal said the kids hadn't been told yet. We weretold we could take them home if we wanted to or leave them in school till three. I choose to leave him in school, trying to feign some normalcy to what was happening. I drove home and knew life as we knew it would never be the same again.

From my home in Howard Beach, two miles from JFK airport, I could see the smoke billowing from Manhattan, the same smoke I was watching on TV coming from what was once,  the World Trade Center. As the fires continued, the story kept unfolding. Ambulances rushing everywhere, people talking, crying, sobbing over their near escapes and for those blown apart and missing. The hospitals were overwhelmed. The tunnels, bridges, and subways were closed. The U.S.- Mexican border had been sealed. Planes were being diverted to Canada. All airports were closed.

It took me three hours to get back to my son's school. Policemen stood with shotguns on the highway redirecting traffic. As I passed I saw the JFK ramps were heavily guarded. All firemen, policemen and 911 workers were called in. The National Guard was called in. Military aircraft was seen over head patrolling the skies. Finally, the attack ended. And we were left in a war torn zone, shocked, shaken and badly bruised.

Then all at once, a force greater than our individual selves took over. Like a giant who appears to be dead, then stands up from the ruble and shakes off the debris, New Yorkers rose and were united as one Mighty mass. Time was crucial. We needed to act immediately and we did. Rescue workers searched fevorently trying to save lives. Volunteers showed up in the thousands, people lined up to donate their blood. The focus was on saving lives. Everyone wanted to do their part in anyway they could. The day seemed endless. 

That night, I hung a picture of my son and his friend with the World Trade Center in the background on my refrigerator, a reminder of something that no longer existed. I still stare in disbelief. The next day, my sister and I decided to give blood. We felt the urgency to have to do something. The streets were filled with a silent reverence...people nodding at each other knowing the magnitude and not knowing what to say. We all shared the same pain. 

Stores were empty or closed as if shopping was an unspoken disrespect to those injured. I stopped at the Post Office and was asked to show photo ID for a package I was mailing. Just a glimpse of how our freedoms will change because of these cowardly monsters. 

My sister and I went to the Red Cross to donate blood but were redirected to
Queens General Hospital. We left our names as volunteers with the Red Cross
before heading over to the hospital. 

We were told, rescue workers desperately needed socks and sweats. Gloves
were needed as the firefighters, policemen and rescue teams worked side by
side, heroically taking the debris out by hand. The soles of their boots were
burning from the hot earth, since fires were still raging below. And as they raged
below, they raged in the hearts of the American people. Fires stirring and being
held at bay while we rescued, but knowing that the ambers that were burning in
our hearts were ready to turn into a full fledged inferno as we waited for the hand
of justice to be served.

As we walked out of the Red Cross center, I noticed a sign on the window of Bank of New York. "Please be patient, we are only letting one customer in at a time." More evidence of the fear that was now a part of our society. 

We went to Queens General Hospital to donate blood. There were about a hundred people. We had to sign up and fill out forms. They were specifically looking for O negative, the universal donor, but were taking others as well. My sister, Sharon, is O negative, but because she went to Italy last year, she couldn't donate. They were worried about Mad Cow disease in Europe. We were told, "If you ever had Lyme disease, took aspirins within 72 hours or anti-histamines within a week, or were menstruating, you couldn't donate". I was O but not sure if I was negative or positive. A sad commentary, since I know the make and model of my car, but not my blood. 

The wait was long. And as I looked at the long line of donors I was inspired. Beside me were every race and creed of New Yorkers, willing to give their blood to help others. I saw the tired faces of hospital workers and volunteers working overtime to make sure the job was done. To make sure the people fighting for their lives would get the blood that could save them. 

It was then I decided to let my comedic spirit add to the cause. I remembered that laughter was the best medicine, which in this case had to be applied very carefully. Slowly I started to joke with the person next to me, and then the nurses. Soon I had the waiting room laughing. For the next five hours I entertained them. 

I told them I was a writer, and they said, "If you ever give up your writing career you should become a stand-up comic." I told them I was, and they of course thought I was making it up. We were taken into the donating room in groups of 15. I called our group the blood brothers (not original, but accurate.) When we finally went inside to give blood, there were about 40 people. I was making the guy who was taking my blood, Carlos laugh. I saw he had this pin on, and he told me he got it for being one of the top lab technicians. I told him that I was happy to hear that he was a lab technician taking my blood, and that he didn't work in the cafeteria. After my blood was taken, I was going around to all the other people and shaking their hands. 

One lady kept saying she saw me somewhere. Finally after I knew I was leaving I told them that I was the Guinness Book's Fastest Talking Female. The lady said, "I knew I saw you somewhere. I saw you on Ripley's." I smiled. My cover was blown. So of course, I did what any good fast talker would do. There in the room with 40 people, some with IV's in their arms, others waiting to give blood, doctors and nurses endlessly waiting on people,. I did the "Three Little Pigs" for everyone at warp speed. They all laughed and applauded. Then one of the nurses hugged me and said, "Thank you for making our day so easy, your making us laughed really helped." I felt like a million bucks...less one pint. 

We all have gifts, and at this time we have to use them to help in any way we can. It was a slight reprieve among the horror, and the best way I knew to give of myself. 

But humor only patches things momentarily, enough time to let you regroup. On the third day, my son went back to school…angry and confused. I had made him write his feelings on the day of the attack in a journal, so he could be in touch with them. 

As for me, I walked in my favorite park after dropping him at school, hoping for some solitude, in a park that normally brings me great peace. The park is 15 miles away from Manhattan, in a suburb of Queens, and I thought I could snatch a moment of mindless thought. But because of the shift in winds, the air was foggy and the smell of the burning rumble that was once a twin tower of power, filled the air. 

Amidst the beauty of the trees, the smell of destruction loomed. I cried for this was my haven. I cried many times, often unexpectedly last week as I heard both the stories of heroism, and last words of loved ones spoken on cell phones…till they were cut off. 

But through all the tragedy and pain, the spirit of New Yorkers, Americans and all those reaching out to help each other is the beam of sunlight that is keeping us hopeful, strong and ready to find justice and rebuild.

Now a week later vigils have been held, prayers have been said for those wounded and lost, words of encouragement from preachers, and strength from the mayor, governor and president have been spoken. Emails have been sent around the world, each reassuring each other of each other's safety. Cheers of appreciation for the men and women who risked their lives saving others is constantly heard throughout the city. Funds have been set up for the fallen, supplies donated in record numbers and so many people have volunteered that volunteers are no longer needed. And we still want to help. 

But now as we are licking our wounds, we want more. We want something done. We want something done to the perpetrators. To those barbaric individuals who have violated our freedom and way of life. 19 of them died, killing 5000 of us, using our planes, our knowledge and the trust of our people. 

Words of Nostradamous are flying through the Internet, as people fear the possibility of the third world war. But there is a greater fear, a fear of living in fear and terror. Our society is built on freedom and we will not sacrifice that which so many of our brave forefathers have fought for in the past. They did not die in vein.

We are still in a strange state of morning and sadness as we try to get back to our normal lives, but the anger has risen. We want justice, not revenge. We did not seek this out. Our children now know war, not from history books, but from their own backyard. And in their innocence they ask a resounding "Why"? Yes, rescue workers are still searching, Sanitation, Policemen and Firemen are still working, although complete firehouses have been wiped clean of their men. They are racing against time, before the hordes of rats come to feast on the death and whatever miracle survivors there may be. There is a mall level in the WTC. If anyone is trapped there, they have access to bottled water, food and clothing. If there are air pockets its possible, just possible they may survive. Families are still hoping.

And now, schools are re-opened, as are many of the highways. The stock market has resumed after the longest closure in stock market history. Broadway has brought up its lights in hopes at these times that entertainment can lighten our thoughts. And we have yet to still know the full devastation Of this attack. 

But, we have found the enemy and will do whatever it takes to search him out from whatever darkened crevice he may crawl in and bring him back, "Dead or alive." We need to think like these people, and search for their Achilles heel, for they do not value human life as we do. But everyone has a weakness, and that is what we will seek out. For we are down, but never out.

His attack may have downed our buildings but not our spirit. Like the Grinch that Stole Christmas learned, you can take away things, possessions, even lives of which we will morn For greatly, but you can never, never can take away the human spirit, the American spirit. The terrorists have failed greatly, for in trying to divide us, they have united us and sparked our love for this country and what we stand for more than ever. There is not a street that you can pass, without an American flag proudly being displayed. Makeshift posters of "God Bless America" are all over the streets.

Yes, we are angry, and yes we want justice...and we will have it. For we are a nation of freedom, and we will be damned if anyone or anything will change our way of life. The healing is a long process, but I hope however our resolve is swift.

I think however in times like these, people are moved to reflect upon their own lives and what is important...our friends, families and loved ones. Every morning as I do my walk through the park, I thank God for all the things I do have, and now I pray for world peace and for guidance of our leaders, and strength for our nation. It is not enough to be strong physically, we must be strong spiritually as well. 

A day doesn't pass that I don't hug Spencer and tell him I love him...for in the end that is what truly matters...love and the freedom to share it and live your life in anyway you see fit. No one has ever sat on their deathbed saying..."If only I put more time in at the office!"

Stand up for what you believe in and fear nothing. The mark of a nation, a state or a person is not how many times they fall, but how many times they get up. We are not only up, but we are standing tall, and side by side together we will wipe out injustice, and terrorism…and then stride for a peaceful world in which we all can live. 

God Bless to all, and strength to those who have had personal losses.

The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation

Guest blog by Doris Zames Fleischer and Frieda Zames
Authors of The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

In the "Preface" to our book, The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation, we point out that when the prejudices that have been prominent in American life are discussed, disability discrimination is rarely included. Yet "misrepresented as a health, economic, or safety issue," discrimination against people with disabilities, the largest minority in the United States (54 million and growing), continues to have devastating personal and social consequences. This failure to recognize the prejudice to which people with disabilities are exposed may stem from a collective fear, for "everyone is subject to illness, accident, the declining powers of advanced age-all forms of human vulnerability."

Most people deal with disability in their lives, first with their parents, then with themselves, and that does not take into account other family members and friends. The general public is unaware of the far greater number of people with invisible disabilities (e.g. psychiatric and learning disorders, heart disease, diabetes and cancer) than of those with visible ones (e.g. motor impairments, blindness, and deafness). What may be most surprising is that improved technology results in not fewer-but more-people with disabilities as people live longer, as well as survive and often flourish after what formerly would have been calamitous or even fatal disabilities. With medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs and computer technology, however, people with disabilities are contributing members of society whose potential is
too frequently thwarted by socially-accepted, and until recently legally sanctioned, discrimination.

Such discrimination dates back to the Thirteen Colonies where people with disabilities frequently were not only denied the right to social participation but, even in their own families, hidden, disowned, or allowed to die because they were not provided with the life-supports
they required. The story of noted early twentieth century social critic Randolph Bourne-isolated as an adolescent and unemployed as an adult-reveals this legacy of bias. Bourne, who had a very visible disability with no significant functional limitations, was described by renowned poet Amy Lowell: "His writing shows that he is a cripple. Deformed body, deformed mind." Bourne could have been refused entrance into a public setting because of what was deemed his "unsightliness," but in Chicago he could have been arrested as a result of a 1911 ordinance (repealed in 1974) referred to as the "Chicago Ugly Law": "No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated, or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city,
shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view."

Still Bourne was more fortunate than most people with disabilities in his time, for many never had the opportunity to get an education as, for example, the boy with cerebral palsy who was expelled from public school in Wisconsin in 1919. The reason was that despite his academic
ability, his teachers and classmates found him "depressing and nauseating." (Even as late as the 1960s, one in eight children with disabilities received no education whatsoever, and over half received an inappropriate education.) Eugenicists and professionals who dealt with people with disabilities proposed "segregation and sterilization of deaf people, blind people, people with developmental disabilities, even people like Bourne who had tuberculosis."

In fact, by the First World War sixteen states had adopted sterilization statutes for people with disabilities, and some eugenicists even supported mercy killing of those with epilepsy and cognitive disabilities. Fritz Lenz, a German physician-geneticist, in 1923 criticized Germany for having "nothing to match the eugenics research institutions in England and the United States." In his 1932 study of the sterilization movement in America, J.P. Landman referred to "overzealous and overardant eugenicists" who consider those with disabilities as threats to the "quality of the ensuing generations." The 1930s euthanasia movement in England and the United States "inspired execution by Nazi doctors of two-hundred thousand people judged deficient because of their physical and mental impairment."

Echoes of Nazi rhetoric were apparent in the statements of the 0well-publicized former physician Jack Kevorkian, who promoted and assisted, according to his own claim, as many as one-hundred and thirty suicides of people with disabilities. Kevorkian declared, "The voluntary self-elimination of individual mortally-diseased or crippled lives taken collectively can only enhance the preservation of public health and welfare." Fearing being perceived as costly and unproductive expendables, people with disabilities feel like the canaries in the mine in a social climate in which the "right-to-die" is becoming the duty-to-die." Even Derek Humphry and Mary Clement, prominent campaigners for the euthanasia movement, have stated that "in the final analysis, economics, not the quest for broadened civil liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted-suicide to the plateau of accepted practice." With a constant threat of scarce resources resulting in the rationing of health care services, with disability a possibility for anyone at any time, Humphry and Clement's assertion is a harbinger of a frightening dystopia.

The struggle for civil rights by people with disabilities beginning in the 1970s "took place with less visibility than, but in the same venues as, the battles fought by African-Americans-the streets and the courts." The symbolic significance of buses for both African Americans and people with disabilities should be noted. The requirement in the late 1950s that Rosa Parks sit in the back of the bus was emblematic of her second-class legal status. The inability of many people with disabilities to even board buses until the late 1970s and 1980s (when they demanded lift-equipped buses) was representative of their de facto segregation. The 1977 signing of the regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the first Federal civil rights law for people with disabilities) and the success of disability activists in many confrontations emboldened them to work toward full participation of the disability population in society. These victories, realizing the promise of the Section 504 regulations, were expressions of the emerging disability rights activism that would result in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States and the irrepressible demand for justice and inclusion by people with disabilities throughout the world.

Reprinted with permission from The Harvard Independent (February 14, 2002)

Daring or Desperate? Why Women Cheat

Guest blog by Frances Cohen Praver, PhD
Author of Daring Wives: Insight into Women's Desires for Extramarital Affairs

Women's choice to cheat is both daring and desperate. A desperate plea for help and a daring catalyst for change in their marriage or their own selves, the affair is serious stuff. Not just fun. Let's take a peak at a few wives with whom I have worked

Not that she doesn't have a handsome, successful husband. Not that she doesn't have two adorable children. Not that she doesn't have a beautiful home with two acres of land. Debra, a stay-at- home mom, seems to have it all. But does she? Actually home sweet home is not so sweet. Humdrum days - food shopping, cooking, cleaning and carting her kids around - go on and on. She feels trapped, bored, powerless, and lonely. To top it off Debra's husband doesn't get it. He's too busy trying to get ahead to get into her. Along comes an attentive, sexy admirer and bingo!

A devoted loving mother and wife, Sarah has also carved out a successful career. In a perfect world, she would have the best of both worlds - work and motherhood. In our less than perfect world, she does not. She lets me know "I'm stressed out and ready to explode." Her guilt about leaving her children propels her into overdrive at home. To top it off, our effective firecracker at work can't get a charge out of her husband. He does not help nor does he understand her desires or needs. At work, Larry does.

Scrappy, sexy generation X, Mary is determined not to follow in her mother's footsteps. Her martyr mom settled for a secure, dependent, and devoted dull husband, but Mary won't. Mary desires committed love in marriage, security, children and comfort, all that good stuff. A little like her mom? Not exactly. Mary desires more from her marriage. Along with love, she longs for lust, romance, excitement, and passionate hot sex in her marriage. Sociopolitical history, pop culture, and family history entwine and strangle her strivings. Unshackling from her corseted past, Mary breathes freely. Air borne of desire carries the wings of surprise. To her surprise, she sees clearly that her husband is not doing it for her. So what's a restless young wife to do? She finds a sensitive, sexy lover who promises all. 

As you can see from the above vignettes women have affairs primarily because they're not getting their needs and desires met in their marriages. Try as they may, wives are often unable to reach their husbands. 

Rather than remaining stuck in dead or frictional marriages and existing in quiet desperation, discord and anguish, these daring wives choose to live more fully. Despite temporary pain, the affair is often a far better option than a life not lived. An awaking, an urgent cry for change, the affair has multiple meanings. Above all, it's a desperate move towards a fuller richer life with love.

Feeling stifled, unfulfilled, frustrated, and helpless in their marriages, they step outside of their marriages. Taking the step is in itself empowering. The affair is a daring active choice, not a more-of- the-same passive response. It screams out loudly "Enough! Something's got to give, either the marriage or me." That's only the first step to autonomy and power. It takes a daring wife to have an affair but an even more daring wife to go into therapy to repair her self and/or the marriage. 

What about the children? People often stay in unsatisfactory marriages for the sake of the children. That's a fallacy. Parents in miserable marriages only make for miserable children. The legacies for these children are blighted models of marital relationships, and unfulfilled, powerless mothers. The affair, while not necessarily the most prudent choice, is nevertheless an act of empowerment. Instead of a weak, dependent or embittered mother, the children now have a stronger, more independent, and fulfilled female role model. 

A common myth is that the affair is about sex. It is not. For the most part, sex was better at home before romance eroded. Screaming fights or silent simmering hostility erodes romance and distinguishes the flames of passion. Chances are that problems in your sex life are not about the quality, but the quantity. Fighting to the death or suffering in silence kills sexual desire for most wives. And there's less and less sex in the marriage. 

If insufficient sex is the result of unsatisfactory marriages and affairs the result of unhappy marriages, what are the causes? What do wives want? It isn't only that they desire emotional engagement. It isn't only that they desire sexual passion. It isn't only that they desire safety and protection along with autonomy and independence. I have found that wives want mutuality, equal power relationships, and recognition from their husbands. Devotion, love, and commitment without passionate sex, fun, and excitement is the steak without the sizzle. For wives to feel sexy they need the sizzle. 

While the affair may be a last resort, engaging in therapy can be the beginning of a fresh new start. Coming to terms with our demons may be difficult, but we can do it. As women we've suffered and overcome the pains of childbirth, oppression, and the double standard. Over the years we've suffered and only grown stronger.

Our childhoods and marriages in the foreground are inextricably bound with socio politics, pop culture, and feminism in the background. Examining the strands of our interior and exterior forces can be daunting. Above all it can be a fascinating life enhancing experience. 

Vegetables and Fruits: Never a Fad

Guest blog by Felicia Drury Kliment
Author of Eat Right for Your Metabolism: The Individualized Diet Plan to Balance Body Chemistry, Lose Weight, and Prevent Disease

When choosing vegetables and fruits, select a rainbow of colors to ensure you gain the entire range of benefits they offer. The various pigments in plants confer particular health benefits.

Red and purple plants -- grapes, blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers, plums, and red apples -- contain antioxidants that prevent the formation of blood clots. 
Yellow and green plants -- spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado, and honeydew -- include the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which help heal cataracts and macular degeneration and also reduce the risk of developing these eye problems. 

Orange plants -- carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and mangoes -- have alpha carotene, a cancer fighter, and beta carotene, which helps repair damaged DNA. Oranges, peaches, papaya, and nectarines support the transmission of nerve impulses between cells and strengthen the cardiovascular system. 

Green vegetables -- broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy -- have anticancer properties. 

Vegetables also help raise mineral levels in the body -- provided there are enough fat-soluble vitamins A and D in the diet to assimilate the minerals. Because individuals who have excessive levels of some minerals are usually deficient in others, they need to eat more of the vegetables that will normalize their deficient mineral levels and less of those that contain large amounts of the minerals in which they are oversupplied. Because it is in the pigment of plants that many of the minerals and other nutrients in plants are stored, the choice of vegetables depends to some extent upon color. For example, anyone with a potassium deficiency needs green, leafy plants because the dark green pigment in these leafy plants contains high levels of potassium; on the other hand, eating white, orange, yellow, and light green plants increases calcium levels in the body. When we lack a particular nutrient, we also lack one of the pigments that store this nutrient.

Renaissance Garden

Guest recipe by Francine Segan
Author of Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook

In Shakespeare's time salad was served tossed with dried fruit and nuts, making it especially sweet and healthful. The garnishes back then were interesting. Tall rosemary branches decorated with fresh cherry pairs were anchored in half lemons. It makes an ordinary salad very festive and makes any meal a special occasion. This salad is definitely one way to get your kids to eat their greens. Serves 6

1/4 cup fruit vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
6 cups assorted fresh herbs and baby lettuces (such as parsley, mint, endive, spinach, mesclun mix, tarragon, or marjoram)
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
1/4 cup currants
8 dates, quartered lengthwise
6 dried figs, thinly sliced
4 long, sturdy fresh rosemary branches, optional
2 large lemons, halved, optional
12 fresh or candied whole cherries, optional
2 large lemons, thinly sliced, optional
1/4 cup candied fruit peels, optional

Whisk together the verjus, oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Combine the herbs and lettuces, capers, raisins, almonds, currants, dates, and figs in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss until well coated.
If you are recreating the original salad presentation, press one rosemary branch into the rounded end of each lemon half. Using the stem, a wire, or ribbon, attach 3 cherries to each rosemary branch.
Invert a small bowl, dinner-roll or handful of croutons in the center of a very large serving platter for additional height. Arrange the salad mix over and around the bowl. Place the rosemary branches on the four sides of the platter and arrange the lemon slices and Candied Citrus Peel around the platter. 
For an even more elaborate traditional Elizabethan garnish, alternate lemon slices topped with capers with quartered hard-boiled eggs, candied orange peel, and egg "porcupines" made by inserting almond and date slivers into hard-boiled egg halves.

Pears in Broth

Guest recipe by Francine Segan
Author of Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook

It isn't only kids who love to play with their food. Back in Shakespeare's time chefs loved to sculpt meat, marzipan, and dough into various shapes. The meatballs for this soup are formed into the shape of a pear (or if you artistically challenged, just a simple round apple). They are fun to make and have an extra surprise. There is a grape in the center, which gives the savory meatball a wonderful sweet and tangy taste. This delicious soup is easy enough for a mid-week family meal, but impressive enough for company. Serves 6

8 ounces ground beef, turkey, veal or pork
1/4 cup dried whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
12 small seedless grapes
12 sage or parsley leaves, with stems
1 1/2 quarts ready-made stock, simmered with dried fruits

Combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, thyme, parsley, salt and cloves in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Wrap each portion of meat around a grape and form a pear shape. 
Preheat the broiler. Place the pears upright on a well-greased pan, and broil 4 to 5 inches from the flame for 4 minutes, or until done. Using a toothpick, gently insert a sage leaf into the top of each pear.
Carefully place 2 pears in each serving bowl and ladle the warm stock around the pears.

Speaking Funny Ten Tips on Using Humor Effectively in Your Presentations©

Guest post by Fran Capo
Author of It Happened in New York City: Remarkable Events That Shaped History
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

My 20 year career as a stand-up comedian has taught me first hand, how to succeed with any kind of audience. When I moved into professional speaking, I quickly discovered the great advantage of professional speaking over comedy. In speaking you don't have to be funny! But if you are, you are considered a sensation. Knowledge and humor is a powerful mixture, and in speaking its a win-win situation.

Unlike a comedian, there is very little risk involved if a speaker bombs with a joke. If you "bomb" as a comedian you risk never getting booked again. If your humor fails as a professional speaker, simply continue with the presentation. No one however likes to hear a round of silence instead of one oflaughter. Here are some tried and true methods to give your humor the best chance to succeed on the platform.

#1 - You don't have to be a comedian to be funny. Anyone can tell a joke. Find your comic persona. What type of humor are you most comfortable with? Some speakers are better at one liners, some at observational humor, others excel at story telling. Timing is essential. The closer you stick to your natural timing, the more success you will have.

#2 - Know your audience! Are they blue or white collar? Liberal or conservative? What do they have in common? Are there regional sensibilities? The nature of your audience determines the type of humor. A colleague of mine jokingly yelled out "Last call at the bar!" Only to discover most of his audience were Alcoholics Anonymous members!

#3- Localize and personalize your materials. Audiences love to be included. Tailor your humorous anecdote. Make it seem as if it just happened. They will think you are incredibly talented. Mark Twain said, "The best improvisation is rehearsed for 48 hours." It is better to say "On my way here from Newark Airport" than "A month ago when I was in Dallas. " Personalize humor from a joke book or speaker's file. The audience wants to relate to you, and you want to relate to them.

#4 - Be prepared with a few "What IF" lines. IF the mike malfunctions, IF the lights go out, IF a fire alarm sounds, IF, IF, IF. Have stock joke answers that you will use in these situations.

#5 - There are many ways to speak funny. Make enlargements of relevant funny cartoons. Use props. Have silly pledges or awards. You are only limited by your imagination.

#6 - Humor is important because it keeps your audience interested. Your job is to impart information. Humor keeps a audience tuned into your message. The more attentive they are, the more they will retain.

#7 - Space out the humor. The beginning, middle and end of a speech are the strategic places for a joke. You want to start with a laugh to warm them up, throw some humor in the middle to keep them interested, and end with a laugh so they will have a nice, warm feeling.

#8 - Practice telling the joke on unsuspecting friends. Just like with your speech, practice your jokes and delivery. Don't tell someone you are going to tell them a joke, just work it into a conversation and watch their reaction. If they laugh, you know you have a winner on your hands and you've mastered the joke.

#9- Do not telegraph the end of the joke - surprise them. Suspense is the key in any good joke. If someone feels they know the punch line, the joke is a let down. The listener should be waiting to find out what the punch line is. 

#10 - Be yourself and have a good time. If the audience sees you are really enjoying being on stage, your enthusiasm will be contagious. If you are having a good time, then your audience will too. 

Follow these simple steps, and remember to always leave them laughing!