Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Blame it on the Croats

Did you know that last month was National Necktie Month?  Do you care?  Well, a lot of men once did and some still do. 

According to Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the most famous dandy of his day, “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”  I know I would never have taken a young man seriously had he shown up at my door for a dinner date without one.   So who gets the credit or the blame, depending on your point of view, for the modern necktie? 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Lipstick Love

The older I get…………the older I get.  What?  You were expecting maybe something witty and wise?  Well, how about something practical instead? 

The older I get, the more I realize the importance of never leaving the house without lipstick.  In fact, I wear it even when I don’t leave the house.  It makes me feel sooo much better when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and nothing lifts my spirits better when I’m getting ready for a night out on the town than putting on that perfect shade of red lipstick. 

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” – Elizabeth Taylor

And, so, I intend to kick start the New Year in a great black dress and a “kick-ass red lipstick,” to quote Gwyneth Paltrow, who is not someone I normally associate with red lipstick, but you never really know about us women and what catches our fancy, now do you?  They’ve yet to invent a reliable algorithm for that one. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Little Boy on the Landing

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  It was just the three of us again this year – Dan and I and the Ghost of Thanksgivings Past.  The latter has become a welcome guest -- very discrete, never intrudes on the present, says little, eats nothing and serves up a feast of delicious memories.  

Every year my opera-singer brother would arrive from New York a few days before with a freshly killed turkey and a huge bag of chestnuts.  The prep for Thanksgiving dinner would begin right away.  Paul was the only person I could ever work with comfortably in my kitchen.  Somehow, we never seemed to get in each other’s way.  The smell of roasting chestnuts would fill the house as he worked on his special chestnut and sausage stuffing. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Messages in Metal Etched with Love

Periodically, I get emails from manufacturers who want me to write a post sponsoring their products.  I don’t follow up on most of them, particularly if the email looks like a mass mailing to bloggers (“Hello , I love your blog….etc…..”) or if the product is not something that interests me nor, probably, my readers. 

But not long ago, I got an adorable email from a woman named Hallie that started this way: 

“Bonjour Marie-Therese,

That is officially the first time I've used four years of French in high school...  :)

My name is Hallie Schumaker and I work for a company, Messages in Metal.”  

She then proceeded to tell me a little bit about her Company and what they do, and I was interested enough to respond. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

With a Little Help from my Friends and a Shopping Spree

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth – more like I fell into a hole.  I’ll explain.  The truth is that I was under the weather for a while.  If you have auto-immune issues as I do, you know exactly what I mean.  I think of it as walking along minding my own business on a bright sunny day, when suddenly I fall into a dark hole and have to dig my way out again.   

Those are the times when you feel like just curling up with your favorite purse and shutting out the world.  But you ride it out, do what you can, postpone or cancel what you can’t and when you start to feel like yourself again, it’s time to celebrate with a little help from your friends and a shopping spree. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

A New Season Begins with Something Old and Something New

Last time, in And a New Season Begins, I talked about starting our 2018-19 Metropolitan Opera Season with one of the most popular and most performed operas in the world – Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème.  In fact I’d hazard a guess that at any given moment, somewhere in the world,

A bunch of starving artists are huddling together against the cold in a dingy, rooftop garret in Paris preparing to sing their way into our hearts, just as they did during the very first performance at the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1896. La Bohème was a smash hit and would secure Puccini’s legacy as one of the greatest opera composers of his generation. 

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