Experiencing life as a woman for over six decades can make a person bold, wise and impatient. While I’ve shed that sense of limitless possibilities and invincibility that inspired my younger self to resist all attempts to pigeonhole me, the lessons I learned by surviving the consequences of that independence, both economic and emotional, are now mine to share. And that lends worth to my existence.

Slowed by the side effects of beating cancer and growing older, there is an urgency to this sharing; I no longer assume there is always tomorrow. Here I offer what I have learned about living a life that is honest and relevant; prioritizing what is truly important, and contributing to the greater good of all sentient beings.

I hope you will return often to read the insights of this grandmother who embraces each person who shares this planet with me and all who will come after me, as my own bloodline. I pass along the old skills and new innovations (survival hacks) for living simply and exuberantly while thriving in a world gone mad – the lost practical arts of homemaking, gardening, cooking, sewing, and making the best of what you have. In addition to these how-to guides, some days what I write will be more profound or (knowing me) passionately opinionated, and other days, I might simply wander in streams of consciousness.

Considering the current state of affairs in which we find ourselves, my goal is to balance honest observations with humor and positive solutions. This is not a diatribe; it is a conversation. Your respectful exchanges are welcome!

The Great Adventure

You cannot really plan for what tricksters will do, or a change in weather, or whatever washes up on the way, to trash our timelines, spreadsheets, and gratifying checkoff lists.

Room with a view of a cement wall

Moving to New Hampshire

Did we really have to travel this far, to have no alternative but to finally get some rest. to talk all night… like we never talked before. And laugh. like we never laughed before because it’s all so damn hysterical how nothing, NOTHING! went according to plan.

We need a Brilliant Backfire!

There is only one way to respond to extortion. BACKFIRE! Have you heard the latest? The bully-in-chief is trying to […]

Meyer Bros, Paterson NJ

The Store-Bought Dress

I’m certain it was Meyer Brothers, so there may have been a little fibbing involved in that extravagant purchase of the most wonderful dress in the entire world. I can still see it, different shades of purple patches, with big puffy sleeves. It had a ruffled shirtwaist and a zipper on the side.

Persie delivers finished masks

Imagining a Post-COVID Economy

Yeah! It’s September and the San Diego heatwave has broken for a few days. The extreme heat might have put […]

My nook workshop

Everything you need to know about facemasks

Buying a facemask is not like buying a new shirt – your life and the lives of those you love, […]

Pasta con Sarde

Pasta con Sarde e Finocchietto

I always used to make this meal when my kids were little. During this COVID 19 isolation, many of us […]

The Chrysalis Mask Just Keeps Getting Better!

The enthusiastic response to the Chrysalis facemask I’m selling on ByJeeni.com is so exciting! What’s more, most people are paying […]

A Sense of Sourdough

This began as a recipe for my blog, then became a poem. Is it a recipe? Is it a poem? […]

And then, sometimes everything goes as planned.

All of these "turns for the better" after days of frustration, can be attributed to two things: persistence and privilege.

The Chrysalis Facemask Cover

I have improved the design and instructions for the Chrysalis facemask that can be used to protect an N95 or […]

Day 14 – Emergence and Transformation

Day 14: No word yet on the COVID 19 test – I should hear from them today. I started feeling […]

COVID 19 Self-Treatment Suggestions

So, if you are feeling sick, first seek your doctor’s advice. But if that’s not available or they are too pressed to get into the self-care details, this might save you a trip to urgent care where, if you don’t have COVID 19, you might just pick it up like the goody bag from hell to take home to your family. If you are having trouble breathing, ask your doctor over the phone if you can get a prescription for an albuterol inhaler. If you’ve been sick for a week, ask about antibiotics. COVID 19 will weaken your defenses and leave you open to opportunistic bacterial infections that go in for the kill.

Two books that ruined my life – or so it seemed.

When you are the eldest of ten, and a bit of a misfit, you spend an inappropriate amount of time […]

Prickly Pears – Refreshing and Delicious

Prickly Pears are refreshing and delicious once you know how to harvest and prepare them.

Is that a googootz in your pocket?

Back when I lived in New Jersey and Long Island, we were surrounded by lottsa fellow Italian-Americans. I don’t know […]

Isn’t It Good, Norwegian Wood? Good Bye to San Diego Free Press

I didn’t think much of the novel, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami while I was reading it. But just like the Beatles […]

One Voter’s Vision

What if we could be voting for a real vision, instead of just trying to curb the daily assaults on justice […]

Homelessness and Capitalism: Some Untold Truths

by Jeeni CriscenzoPublished in San Diego Free Press May 30, 2018 According to the survey in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count […]

Homeless families defined out of existence and assistance.

In his commentary in the UT 1 last Sunday, John Wilkens offered a creative analogy to the annual homeless Point-in-Time Count […]

A Sense of Sourdough
This began as a recipe for my blog, then became a poem. Is it a recipe? Is it a poem? …

The Amazing COVID 19 Magic Show
The Amazing COVID 19 Magic Show by Jeeni Criscenzo, March 4, 2020 Quicker than the eye, you fling your cape …

Breakfast in Bed
Opening my eyes to exit the stage of an instantly forgotten dream, I find myself at the edge of the …

It’s Okay to Feel this Way
In a recent visit to my doctor, I thought about telling her how extremely sad I am and that I …

So Began the Last Chance Decade
Ten years, that’s a conservative estimate, a window where we can still impact the fate of planet earth. A window …

Sixteen Remember feeling invincible. Indestructible. The cautions of elders slid off your ears, unheard. Carlos Hernandez, of the indigenous Guatemalan …

A Nice White Principal without Principles
Twenty years you’ve dedicated your career to them, the kids in Southeast. What a hero you are, being there for …
Hawk's Tree in Tecolote canyon

Nobody’s Right, If Everybody’s Wrong
A murder of crows caw out of key (or so it seems to me) from their perches on the Jacaranda …

The Little Girl in the Lime-Green Jumper
A little girl, in a bright, lime-green jumper, stole the show tonight. Her mama was playing the jarana and singing …

Just Three Doors Down
We live just three doors down from the sea of inhumanity, always close to the possibility that we are sixty …

The Hearing
I watched him,  like an elk exposed on the plains,  spotting a lion in the grass,  hair standing at attention …

The Stroke of His Pen
I’m too bone weary to keep doing this work over and over again, when it’s so easily undone by a …
The tents in texas desert with immigrant children who have been torn from their parents are being held.

Sea of Beige
by Jeeni Criscenzo June 2018 When his red t-shirt fades, in the desert sun, to blend into this sea of …

Fault Line Park
Sitting here talking philosophically, about the fin of humanity, in the throes of a heat wave, shaded by the Pinnacles of Fault Line Park. One has to ask, does …

Spinning her web, a wisp, a hair, a thread, flings from her matted head and I watch helplessly as her …

Coming Together – Falling Apart
Is it all coming together, or all falling apart? I can’t tell anymore. I came with love, but can’t find …

The Miracle
The Miracle By Jeeni Criscenzo, Jan. 20, 2017 The face in the mirror was astonishing! Visibly aged from the face …

Ice Walking
We learned to walk on ice. To see it when it seemed not there. To put one foot carefully down, …

I have not actually slept since that long night when astonished reporters went off script, as we watched one incomprehensible …

Convergence at the Border
Performed 10/24/18 at World Stage Performance Ctr. Los Angeles as the kick-off for the publication of Extreme, where this poem …

Sore Loser
Sore losers! you sneer, because they question the way the game was played? Cheaters! they cry, because it just doesn’t …


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