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!

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 […]

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 […]

Mommy (and God) Loves Me Food

I grew up in a little town outside Paterson, New Jersey where most of the residents were second or third […]

My wheelchair view of my garden from my back porch.

In Control by Letting Go

If the current dose of daily news isn’t enough to convince you that there’s not much about our lives that […]

I savor a gourmet blend of Kona & Columbian in my morning grind. Peaches & cream… wine & cheese… peanut …

Fire Ants
We were coming down to the wire in the ’04 election campaign. The thought of Bush being president for another …

On the Shores of San Onofre
Oh Medusa, you beguiled so many, basking with only your breasts exposed on the shores of San Onofre. Your hideous …

Oh, PLEASE don’t take my breakfast! I packed it so carefully this morning in my recycled jar… yogurt, with strawberries …

When the Purple Arrives
It’s here so briefly… Those precious days when San Diego springs up purple! When the morning mist coats the coast …

Tanja’s Women
I was leaving that bittersweet gathering, thinking it odd to celebrate your parting, not willing to consider this could be …

Colony Collapse
Three weeks to moving day I asked each plant, “Do you want to come with me?” The artichokes, with laced …

We Are the Women Who Occupy
We are the ones who saw through the lies,  scoffed at the fear mongering,  sang out, “It’s about time!” when …

I Am War!
Don’t you know me? For eons you have glorified me. Thrust you sons and daughters at my feet. Your cemeteries …

Her Name Matters
Her name matters as much as she does. She asks me: “How does a homeless person get money? Where do …

Just Plant Me
When I’m finished here you don’t have to save anything. Not those boxes of memorabilia and books of photos. Surely …

The Crushed Velvet Swatch
It wasn’t cut to any specific geometrical shape, just sewn into the quilt like a prized trophy pulled from a …

More or Less
Give me more. I want more! Fill it up, and then some. I can’t afford it, nor can you, but …

Death in Chiapas
She prayed with the other women in the church, in this makeshift place that is not home, this place that …


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