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How to Take Your Eyes Off Your Kids — and Be OK With It



There are many bittersweet moments in parenting. One day you might wish your littles could be more independent and not rely on you for everything. Too soon, they’ll be wanting more and more freedom and need you a little less. That yearning for independence is a good thing though, and it means you’re doing your job in helping them grow.

Though it’s a natural part of your child growing up, loosening the reins is difficult for a parent. You want to protect them at all costs. How do you let them do more things on their own but still keep them safe? Luckily there are several ways you can take your eyes off your kids and be OK with it.

  1. Utilize Personal Devices

It’s easy to romanticize the ‘good old days’ when you were a kid and rode your bike all over the neighborhood. You might have even had the classic, ‘home when the street lights come on,’ line thrown at you. This old adage is even spilling over into today’s younger generation. Their shows have characters shocked by what parents were allowed to do in the ’80s and ’90s.

While that was a great time for you as a kid, you likely feel differently now as a parent. You want to know where your child is and if they are alright because the world is different. With evolving technology, your kids can still go out and explore with age-appropriate boundaries. Cell phones for older kids have tracking and location sharing apps on them.

You could even get a kids smart watch for your youngsters who aren’t old enough for a cell phone. These watches are neat because they allow for calls and texts, so you can check in when you’d like. Many also have GPS tracking on them as well as a way to set safe zones. You’ll get an alert if they wander farther than you’d like.

  1. Practice Independence

As children seek more and more independence, practice what that looks like. Maybe you start with leaving them alone inside the house while you mow the yard. That keeps them in a safe environment, and you’re right there. But they aren’t in your direct line of sight. As they prove they’re able to follow house rules even when you’re not home, you can increase the time they have by themselves. It also lets them know if they get too scared alone.

As this trust with each other builds, let them start playing outside by themselves more in your yard. You can peek out every so often. When they want to ride their bike to school, this can be another opportunity to give them some freedom. Practice the route with them several times first. Encourage them to always take the same way. Let them know they need to come straight home. You should also know how long it takes, so you will know when to expect them.

As they continue to age and get more mature, give them new freedoms and rules to go with them. As they continue to build trust and check in with you when asked, let them grow. If they break this trust, reel it in until they have earned it again. This starts with your littles staying near you in a park when they are young. And it continues as your teen gets their first car. Trust is earned through responsible choices, and irresponsibility quickly causes trust to be lost.

  1. Enact the Buddy System

Enact the buddy system when you can’t be right there or when your kids want more freedom. This needs to be age appropriate of course. Even as adults, traveling in groups is safer. More people means there are more pairs of eyes to watch out for danger. Also, if there’s an emergency, having extra people traveling together means someone can go for help.

In some cases your kids might want to go to the movies with friends or to an amusement park with classmates. You can be near them, but let them go off by themselves and meet you back at a designated spot. The younger they are, the closer you’ll stay to the group. You want to be there if they need you, but you also don’t want to be too close when they’re managing on their own.

As your kids get into upper elementary and middle school, you might turn them loose at a trampoline park. You can sit in a spot with all their things and tell them to stay in pairs with their friends. As they do well with that, let them ride their bike with friends to the park and enjoy other freedoms.

Parenting through new milestones is hard. You’re ready for them to need you less, but as soon as they do, your baby isn’t a baby anymore. Remember the goal is to raise happy, healthy, and independent kids. But it can be scary letting them have more space to roam as they grow.

By utilizing technology you can know where your kids are even if you’re not right there. Allow them to practice independence and gain trust with you. And teach them accountability and the safety of the buddy system. These tools not only keep them safer as kids and give you peace of mind, but they also transfer into adulthood.


Indigenous Climate Warriors in Times Square



(Photo by Honor the Earth)

On Tuesday September 19, 2023, the Indigenous peoples took to the frontlines of the climate crisis on Turtle Island and took over Times Square painting a giant mural with the message, “No Green Colonialism; Land Back NOW!”

This mural came the day before the UN Climate Ambition Summit, where world leaders are expected to come together and make decisions around the climate crisis.

The Indigenous communities are organizing to push back on the Biden Administration’s push toward solutions to the climate crisis that threaten the lives of Indigenous people across Turtle Island, which they call “Green Colonialism.” “For too long, Native lands and communities have borne the brunt of harm from mining and other extractive industries. As the federal government moves to support clean energy development, this cannot come at the expense of clean water or Indigenous rights. This familiar assault on Native lands and communities is another wave of colonialism, and we will not stand by and allow our lands to be sacrificed,” Krystal Two Bulls,  executive director of the national Indigenous organization Honor the Earth said in a press release.

The mining projects violate treaty rights and threaten clean water and land in places such as Thacker Pass, Oak Flat , and the Talon-Tamarak mine near the Mississippi headwaters.

We should all be fighting this fight!


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Food and Drink

White Wine for Summer Send Off




It is hard to believe that summer is officially wrapping up. But as days get shorter there is still plenty of time to toast the season in style with these favorite white wines.

Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Chardonnay 2019

This refreshing chardonnay crisp apple and crunchy peach flavors is electrifying and oh, so yummy! It brings out the feeling of velvet caressing you. This is simmply all of the best the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County has to offer.

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc


Divinely balanced wine with zesty aromas and highlights of pink grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. It refreshing and perfectly sweet. Every sip will have you singing praises to the wonderful summer you just had.

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Beatles Brunch at City Winery Where Strawberry Fields Lives Forever



I was taken to City Winery by Eli Marcus for the Beatles Brunch with Strawberry Fields.
This show plays every Sunday with an unlimited brunch buffet that includes coffee, tea and juice, starting at noon. A bottomless brunch cocktail package is also available and children get in free. Here tourists mingle with New Yorkers, eating scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, dried out French toast, spicy potatoes with onions and peppers, perfectly done chicken, salad and fresh fruit. What is so nice, is that everyone seems happy to to be here, to see and hear the Fab Four.

Eli Marcus, Suzanna Bowling

The show starts off without fan fare. The lights dim and four men enter, not quite looking like the originals. Tony Garofalo (John Lennon), Billy J. Ray (Paul McCartney), Ira Siegel (George Harrison), and Michael Bellusci (Ringo Starr) and their costumes and wigs have seen better days. Then the music starts. You can watch one of our video’s here.

From the early hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Ticket To Ride” “Eight Days A Week” and more the first act is nostalgia at it’s best. It was adorable to watch the audience, especially the young ones “Twist and Shout.”

After a break in came the Sergeant Pepper era, clothing and all. From that we got “Nowhere Man,” “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “When I’m 64,” “Penny Lane” and songs that dig into your soul. They are done well and the Beatles live again. You can see our video here.

Then the later songs like “I Am The Walrus” and “Don’t Let Me Down” end a show that is almost two hour long of music, that is classic. I have to admit I wanted to hear “Blackbird” and “Norwegian Wood,” but what you get is a  well rounded assortment of those songs that shaped several era’s.

Billy J. Ray, Ira Siegel

Ira Siegel stands out with his guitar playing that is out of this world. I really loved all the songs he sang as well.

Michael Bellusci

Michael Bellusci, gives Ringo a run for his money on the drums.

Tony Garofalo

Tony Garofalo is the founder, creator and producer playing rhythm and lead guitar and singing lead vocals along with Alan LeBoeuf from the original Beatlemania playing bass guitar. Ray looks the most like the Beatle he is playing.

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf, Ira Siegel

Alan LeBoeuf

Strawberry Fields has been covering The Beatles for over three decades. They used to have a residency at B.B. Kings, but these days their home base is City Winery and it is definitely a great way to spend a Sunday. All four are consummate musicians and obviously have a love for what they do and that rubs off on their audience.

For a souvenir up a City Winery Strawberry Fields Rose Wine and have it signed by the cast. With its is its strawberry pink color, you get a combination of kiwi, watermelon and the taste of strawberry that lingers.

City Winery is right next to Little Island, Chelsea Market, The Highline, the Meatpacking district, Chelsea, and West Village. Everything is nearby to make a perfect outing for the whole day and this is one brunch where you definitely get your money’s worth. Click HERE for tickets

Tickets are $65.45

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A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street



Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.

Eli Marcus

Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.

The producers of The Shark Must Be Broken, Eli Marcus and the general manager of Dave and Buster’s

There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Michaela Paratore of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime

Michaela Paratore

This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.

All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.


Pretzel Dogs

To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.

Margarita and I playing for Make A Wish

If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.

Double Pepperoni Flatbread


BBQ Chicken Flatbread

This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.

Fire-Grilled Atlantic Salmon

Boneless Wings

Chocolate- and caramel-filled churros with chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauces.

I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.

Margarita Parlionas and Eli Marcus

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Book Reviews

We’re Here to Help – When Guardianship Goes Wrong



This happened to Britney Spares, as well as Frances Rappaport, Libra Max  and countless other loved ones who became victimized by a system that was supposed to protect them.
Diane Dimond uses compelling stories of real people, like Frances Rappaport, Libra Max and countless others to pull back the curtain on a guardianship system shrouded in secrecy, where power, greed and influence all too often intersect with devastating consequences.
 A powerful book.

-Kent Walz, attorney & journalist

Diane Dimond’s book on the scourge of abusive adult guardianships is coming out very soon. It only took her 8 long years of investigation and countless interviews with affected people to get to the bottom of this extremely flawed part of the justice system.

People who have lived through this nightmare knows first hand what this “protective” part of the court system can do to rip apart families. But because it’s such a secretive system few Americans realize that they – or someone they love – could be guardianized without warning. It’s not just Britney Spears – up to 2 million people currently live under guardianship/court control.

All it takes is for someone (a vindictive relative, a greedy business partner, a former lover, even a landlord) to file a guardianship petition with the court saying someone is not competent to care for themselves. The judge usually agrees – often without ever seeing the targeted person – and the guardianship is established. Judges routinely appoint a total stranger as guardian to make all life decisions for the new “ward of the court.” All their civil rights are stripped away and, suddenly, the person has no say in their own life –they can’t even hire their own lawyer to fight it. There are many more horrific aspects to this “justice” system and Ms. Dimond spells it all out in the book.

We’re Here to Help – When Guardianship Goes Wrong not only reveals the predatory nature of the system (which controls a collective $50 billion in ward’s money every year!) but also tells what to look out for. It provides a guide for readers to protect themselves and those they love.

Diane Dimond is the author of four books including the upcoming, “We’re Here to Help: When Guardianship Goes Wrong, published by Brandeis University Press, released Sept. 19, 2023


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