Sunday, June 11, 2017

Belladonna Eyes

You may remember my recent visit to my highly talkative, slightly eccentric eye doctor during which we discussed his checkered dating history and current plan to “recycle” old girlfriends (See “Love Recycled -- Can You Move Forward by Going Back?”).  We did, of course, eventually get around to talking about my eyes.  The good news is that my cataracts are no worse; the bad news is that my eyesight is.  No longer will I be able to get away with drugstore cheaters.  I need honest-to-goodness prescription glasses now, just like I did when I was a child. 

 
And Your Point Is?

Of course, I only need to wear them if I want to read, which means I don’t have to wear them all the time.......for now.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  And, of course, my distance vision is no longer what it was.  What is?  Oh well….

As I put on my sunglasses to leave, I mention how I always hate the look of those black, dilated eyes when I leave his office.  He laughs and says, “During the Renaissance, women put drops in their eyes to get that look.  It was considered beautiful.  Haven’t you ever heard of ‘Belladonna’?” 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Linda's Book Launch

If you are in the Sierra Madre area of California this Saturday, the 10th, don’t miss a very special event at the local Sierra Madre Library.




At 2:00 pm, my brilliantly talented blogger friend and writer extraordinaire, Linda LaRoche, will discuss and sign her new novel, Dust Unto Shadow. 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Love Recycled – Can You Move Forward by Going Back?


It’s Friday morning and I’m sitting in the Ophthalmologist’s examining chair as he looms over me shining a light in the right, then the left, eye.  I’ve been seeing him for many years now.  Dr. X is a teeny bit eccentric, to be honest, but I like him, and I get a real kick out of his monologues.  I don’t know how he does it, but he manages to keep up a running stream of chatter during the entire length of the exam -- about his life, his ex-wife, his children and anything that pops into his head.  I interrupt only occasionally to pose a question, but, basically, I just sit back and let him ramble on. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Last Curtain Call

The stage lights of Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera Theater have dimmed on a memorable opera season.  The American Ballet Theater (“ABT”) now takes center stage for the summer. 


Gillian Murphy in Don Quixote.
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor.

Last weekend we had the privilege of being in the opera house to say goodbye to a superb soprano.  The tearful, standing ovation went on and on, a fitting farewell to this much loved diva, who took her final curtain call in a role for which she has become celebrated the world over. 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Nothing Says Summer Like a Great Straw Bag

Spring has done her job beautifully this year, but I can tell she’s anxious to move on.  The white blossoms on my dogwood tree are almost gone.  Summer is waiting patiently in the wings for spring to take her final curtain call. 

 


And what’s that in her hand?  Why, it’s a cute little straw bag.  Nothing says summer like a great straw bag. 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Doing It More; Enjoying It More!

Every generation thinks it invented sex.  I know we “free love” lovin’ Baby Boomers certainly thought we did or, at the very least, that we perfected it.  Deep down we knew that our parents must have done it at least once (“Wait….how many brothers and sisters do I have?  Yuck!!), but apparently all of that stopped in 1962 when this man ruined America’s love live for the next 30 years. 





Don’t take my word for it.  Here’s what Sex Therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, said about its host, the inimitable Johnny Carson. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Hunt for the Perfect Special Occasion Shoe

Have I mentioned the big event coming up for us this summer?  No?  Well, this summer we will be taking an incredible journey with gods, demigods, giants, dragons, dwarves, flying horses, magic swords and water nymphs.  Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) thrusts you into a wild world of lust, anger, love and hate, adultery and incest, murder, death and destruction, and a wronged woman’s final revenge.  It’s a helluva ride. 

 
Wagner's Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Germany - Photo by Rico Neitzel 
We’ve been on this ride many times before.  Dan and I are among the hard core “Ring Nuts” who’ll go anywhere in the world for a complete “Ring Cycle.”  But this time, we will actually be seeing the “Ring Cycle” at the festspielhaus, the opera house Wagner built in Bayreuth, Germany, for his masterpiece.  For Wagner groupies this is Mecca.  Recipients of the coveted tickets are drawn from a lottery that contains hundreds of thousands of names every year.  This year our names were selected. 

What does this have to do with shoes?  Well, everything.  A girl can’t attend a special, perhaps once in a lifetime, event without a very special pair of new shoes, n’est-ce pas?  And, so, the hunt for the perfect pair of special occasion shoes was on! 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seeing Patterns

Those of you who read my Blog regularly know that Mme Mère’s genius with a needle and thread was rivaled only by my own ineptitude with same. 


Vintage Sewing Patterns

It never failed to amaze me how she could take all those wispy pieces of yellowed paper and turn them into everything from a frilly apron to a fancy cocktail dress.  Somehow those bits and pieces came together in her mind first and she could see the finished product before she even pinned the first piece of paper to the material.  In other words, she could see the pattern as a whole and how all the parts would work together to create that whole. 

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this and if you want to follow along.  Well, I promise it will all come together in the end. 


Friday, March 10, 2017

Beauty Rules – Things Change

It’s time to take on some beauty rules, and may the best (wo)man win. 

 

Beauty Rules from Good Housekeeping Magazine 1958


FOUNDATIONS

Let’s start by talking about foundations.  Sounds pretty straightforward, but the subject is actually a bit controversial for those of us of a certain age.  


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Going Gray the Right Way

Do you remember the days of the well-dressed Church Ladies?  I do.  You’d see them every Sunday morning dressed in their finest in honor of the Man Upstairs. 

 

Courtesy of Loralie Designs

By and large I suppose we humans have been more of a disappointment than a joy to Him over the centuries, but I can’t help thinking that the Church Ladies always brought a smile to his face.  And who knows?  At those moments when He was just so fed up with us that He thought about pulling the plug, maybe, just maybe, He said to Himself, “Hmm, Miss Agnes just bought herself a new Sunday hat.  Maybe I’ll wait to see how she looks in it.” 

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It’s Always Good to Start with Presents

January may have 31 days, but it always seems to me to be the shortest month of the year, and this from someone born in February.  I wonder why -- I’ll give that some thought and get back to you. 

While I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (see Another Year, Another List), I do have a longstanding tradition of getting together with two of my dearest friends, Linda and Earline, in January for a postmortem lunch. 





We clink our champagne glasses, celebrate surviving the holidays and give each other presents – the kind of presents women give each other who know each other – you know, the kind of things we really want – lotions, potions, goodies.  Starting off the New Year with presents is always a good thing. 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to Reinvent Yourself After a Divorce – Part 2

In Part 1 of my chat with a very special lady, Deborah Bine of the Barefoot Blogger, we learned about Deborah’s early life, her fabulous Aunt Rose and how a chance trip to a Saturday market in Uzès, a little town in southern France, changed her life. 



Market in Uzès - Photo by Peter Curbishley


In our final segment together, Part 2, Deborah talks about why she started blogging, the challenges of learning a new language later in life and gives us some tantalizing tidbits on upcoming travel adventures. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to Reinvent Yourself After a Divorce – Part 1

She was a successful career woman, wife and mother suddenly faced with the disintegration of her four-decade marriage.  So, what did she do? 




Well, she picked herself up, dusted herself off and moved from the American South to the south of France and into an apartment 55 steps up in the tower of a 12th Century building. 

Let me introduce you to one very gutsy gal who threw caution to the winds and set sail for the most exciting adventure of her life.  Yes, Virginia, there is life after divorce, and it can be amazing. 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Uncommon Goods from an Uncommon Company

The American consumer is spoiled by the abundance of cheap, convenient, mass-produced goods available to them, and they aren’t alone.  While the French consumer of my generation still prefers to pay a little more for local, artisanal products from baguettes to Birkins, their grandchildren are snapping up mass-produced jeans with American labels as fast as they roll off the assembly line. 





And so, when Uncommon Goods, an American Company that specializes in artisanal goods, asked me to feature them in a post, my French heart positively warmed to the idea.  I checked out their web site and was delighted by what I found. 


Friday, January 13, 2017

Another Year, Another List

No sooner has that big Waterford crystal ball dropped and the last glass of champagne been drunk, than the urge to take stock of our lives becomes overwhelming.  We start to make lists. 




Even if, like me, you don’t feel compelled to plan your life out for the next year, because you know how unpredictable life can be, everyone else seems to feel that urge.  Newspapers, magazines and blogs are full of lists of resolutions from the great, the near-great and the “who is that?” – “This year I’m going to do this, and I’m NOT going to do that.” 

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