Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Legend of the Christmas Candy Cane

Do you know the legend of the Christmas Candy Cane?  No?

Well, legend has it that, many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy that would symbolize the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus.  So, he took a piece of white hard candy and shaped it into a “J.”  The white signified Jesus’ purity, and the red stripes he added were the blood that Jesus shed to save mankind from his sins. 

Whether true or simply part of the many myths of the Christmas season, it has become an inspirational story for Christians, and a reminder what it is we are truly celebrating – the birth of our Savior. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Risking the Wrath of the Gods and Other Treats

Well, my dear Readers, having survived my November DIY project (See “Four Men, a Guy and a Girl.”), it was time to give myself a treat.  I always recommend rewarding yourself after a job well done --- actually, even if it’s NOT so well done, but at least DONE, you still need a treat. 

And so, a day at one of my favorite places, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, was in order. 

If the steps of this gorgeous Greek revival building look vaguely familiar to you, you’re probably old enough to remember a certain Philadelphia boxer running up them.  No? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Four Men, a Guy and a Girl

I do apologize for posting only once last month, but I have a very good excuse.  After twelve loooooong years of living with cream-colored, wall-to-wall carpet in my living room and dining room, it is finally gone and I’m a very happy woman. 

That carpet was the bane of my existence from the day we moved in.  My husband liked its cushy feel, but I wanted to rip it out before we moved in.  Unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t right.  I hated it, and I could never keep it clean. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Here's to the Mothers of Invention !!

It was the day after Thanksgiving, and I was ironing.  Call me crazy, but I really don’t mind ironing.  In fact, I rather like it. 

Courtesy of The Curious Quilter

As a little girl, I used to watch Mme Mère stand at the ironing board as she gently, but firmly, smoothed away the wrinkles in my father’s shirts.  There was something so satisfying and soothing about it.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I thought, if the bumps and wrinkles in life could be smoothed away just as easily?   Clearly I was a deep thinker even as a child (Insert smiley face here.). 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Yet Another Reason to Love Red Lipstick

If you follow my blog, you know I inherited Mme Mère’s love of lipstick, particularly red lipstick. 

It makes me feel powerful and in charge.  Mme Mère believed that life does not trifle with a woman wearing red lipstick, and I believe she was right, so…..I’m not taking any chances.    

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Channel Your Inner Diva - Go Classic and Dump the Frump

October is almost behind us and November is just around the corner.  And you know what that means, Ladies!! 

The Holidays Are Coming!!!  Ready or not, they will be upon us before we can say “Fa La La La La!”  And with them come invitations to casual and formal cocktail parties. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Miss Gloria’s Golden Girl

Once upon a time, there was a little ballerina,

Who was the rising star of Miss Gloria’s ballet class.  The fact that I was the best was never seriously in dispute.  Miss Gloria knew it; I knew it; the other students knew it; their mothers knew it, and if they failed to notice, Mme Mère was there to remind them. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Interview with a Renaissance Lady – Linda LaRoche (Part 2)

Well, Dear Readers, it’s time for Part 2 of my interview with a brilliant writer, accomplished woman and very special lady, Linda LaRoche.  In Part 1, Linda talked about her personal background and some of the professional accolades that she most treasures.  In this, our final, session together, we’ll talk about her current projects, what she likes to do when not writing, and why she became a reluctant blogger. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Opening Night at the Met Opera - 2015

It’s been many years since my last Opening Night, but I do remember how exciting they were – the Opera house at her most elegant, crystal chandeliers sparkling like diamonds, the fragrance of red roses and perfume even more intoxicating than the champagne that flowed freely. 

You couldn’t move without rubbing shoulders with the glitterati -- Jackie “O,” a true patroness of the arts, and her sister, Princess Lee Radziwill, movie stars, Broadway actors, TV personalities, politicians and anyone with even the slightest connection to New York’s beau monde were there.  It was all very heady stuff. 

Then as now, Opening Night is less about opera and more about those who want to be seen and what they choose to be seen in.  Think of it as opera’s annual Red Carpet event. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Interview with a Renaissance Lady – Linda LaRoche (Part 1)

My dear Readers, you are in for a special treat, today.  I’d like to introduce you to a brilliant writer and accomplished woman.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know Linda LaRoche through her wonderful Blog Do Write.”  To read it is not only to be inspired, but to get a mini-lesson on how to put together a beautifully crafted sentence, which, in an age of the trite (Twitter anyone?) sound bite is rare indeed.    


But, as you’ll soon learn, Linda LaRoche is much more than just her words on a page.  Although Linda is a very private person, a quality which I admire, she has graciously agreed to sit down with me for a little cyberchat. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Le Look Goes from Summer to Fall

Friday morning I got my husband off on his annual fall golf trip to the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania.  

Split Rock Lodge Golf Course

The house seems so quiet as I pad around in my slippers, while Cecilia and Allegra tip toe about on dainty cat paws.  It’ll be just us dainty, little girls, at least for a few more days. 

Leaves are already beginning to gather on my patio – bright gold and russet.   I have a feeling this will be a colorful fall. 

It’s time to get serious and get back to work. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Last of the Fruits of Summer

This was the last weekend in August.  Next weekend, Labor Day weekend, is the official end of summer and the official start of fall.

New Jersey is known as The Garden State.  Beginning in May, red-checkered, road-side stands with their colorful array of local fruits and produce dot road-sides large and small from here to the sea shore.  And every visitor to the Jersey Shore returns home with armloads of beef steak tomatoes and Silver Queen corn. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hanging On To Happiness

Today would have been Mme Mère’s 99th birthday. 

It’s been two years since this Force of Nature left us, ever so quietly, in the early hours of an otherwise ordinary Monday morning.  A most uncharacteristic way for an opera singer, who knew the value of a great exit, to take her leave, but, then, maybe that’s why she chose it.  Always leave them guessing. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

No Country for the Formerly Cute

The actor, John Larroquette, four-time emmy winner, who rose to fame in the TV sitcom Night Court (1984-1992), once said that there were four stages in an actor’s career. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

When Bad Boys Go Good!

It was the 60’s, and I was in high school. 

My high school was huge.  It drew from two large junior high schools (called middle schools today) that were at opposite ends of the County logistically and in every other way.  One was strictly upper middle to upper class kids and the other a mix of lower and middle class kids.  This socio-economic soup produced two distinct groups, who never intermingled. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Where Have You Gone, Shirley Valentine?

The other day I had one of those Peggy Lee “Is that all there is?” moments.  (M-T Note:  If you’re too young to remember Peggy Lee, you’re probably too young to have a Peggy Lee moment.)  

It was just a fleeting feeling.  I don’t even remember what I was doing when it came over me, but there it was and there it went and it made me think of Shirley Valentine.  

Shirley Valentine was a 42-year-old housewife from a working-class Liverpool neighborhood with a pretty serious, mid-life identity crisis. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Your Friend, Mother Nature – Don’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned!

I am seldom in a good mood in the morning.  No, let me rephrase that.  I am always in a bad mood in the morning. 
No, let me be more precise, I am a barely ambulatory bad mood in the morning looking for a reason to justify its existence……..

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Faves Top to Toe

Summer is my down time – no opera, no theater, no travelling, if I can avoid it (too hot, too crowded). 

Have the Pool Boy Bring my Cocktail in 10 Minutes When I’ve Finished my Nap.

As the temperature rises and my energy level drops, I prefer not to make any unnecessary moves.  Unlike the more energetic “me” the rest of the year, who enjoys life at full boil, the summer “me” likes to keep life simple and on slow simmer. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

All Aboard the Fashion Express!!

We’re about to take a quick trip through 100 years of fashion… under three minutes, to be exact, courtesy of the Lifestyle Blog  Are you ready? 

Glam / YouTube

All aboard the Fashion Express!! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Miss Marple's Undies

Despite being a forward-thinking Aquarian, I love the classics -- classic clothes, classical music and classic murder mysteries.  Agatha Christie's are among my favorites.

Julia McKenzie as the Delightful Miss Marple

I can’t think of anything more delightful than sharing a pot of tea in my garden with her lavender and tweed sleuth, Miss Marple, even though I run the inevitable risk of someone in my neighborhood being murdered.  She does seem to attract them, doesn’t she?  Murders, that is. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

I wrote the following Post for Memorial Day 2012, but I don't think I can say it any better this year.  And so, with apologies to those who may have read it once, I hope you will enjoy it once more. 

Photo Credit: 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment
Pvt. Aaron Johnson 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), places a small American Flag in front of a grave at Arlington National Cemetery. During an approximately three-hour period, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery's columbarium.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday, and remember to keep in your hearts and prayers all those who serve and protect the least among us. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Southern Style for Spring, Y’all

Last time (“Mixing It Up for Spring”) I talked about mixing colors and patterns for spring.  

For Details on this Collection, See “MySpring Wish List” on Polyvore
Spring is, after all, THE perfect season to burst into color and pattern, and nobody does it better than our lovely cousins south of the Mason-Dixon Line. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mixing it Up for Spring

Mother Nature definitely gave us the cold shoulder this winter. 

But, suddenly, you can feel the warmth of her smile as spring bursts forth all around us.  Of course, she still has that wicked sense of humor.  Instead of my car being buried under a foot of snow, it’s now covered with an inch of pollen – nice one, Mother Nature.  Achoo to you, too!!  Please pass the Zyrtec!

Allergies aside, I do love the fragrant bouquet of colors and patterns that is spring.  It’s time to pack away your dark, winter neutrals and experiment with mixing colors and patterns in new and exciting ways. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

More Thoughts on My Petit Séjour à Paris

Last time (Just When You Think You Know Her….) I talked about how Paris can still surprise you, even when you think you know her. 

And, yet, the things you look forward to sharing with her, the things that keep you running back again and again, never really change.  It’s like the intimacy shared by two old lovers who still can’t get enough of each other. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Just When You Think You Know Her…….

Just when you think you know her…………..

Paris surprises you.  Yes, I said “her,” even though I know that in French the word “Paris” is masculine, as in le tout Paris, n’est-ce pas?  But, for me, Paris is a woman. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I Just Woke Up Looking Like This

Friday, March 20th, was officially the first day of spring, although you couldn’t prove it by me.  When I looked out my window that day I did NOT see “the flowers that bloom in the spring Tra La.”  I saw snow – about eight inches of it before the day was over. 

Spring is finally here, and I know it not just because March snows have turned to April showers,

But because my In Box is full of e-mails from make-up and skin care companies touting “The New Look” for spring and how to achieve it with their products. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Youth Fades – Must We? (Part 3)

Fading into the background of our own lives when youth fades is NOT inevitable.  The modern woman d’un certain âge has choices her mother and grandmother only dared dream of.  In Part 2, I talked about some of those less than ideal choices that pop culture encourages us to make in order to stay visible. 

In Part 3, the last post in this collaborative series between Jennifer Connolly (“A Well Styled Life”) and myself (“The French Touch”), I offer what I think are much better choices.  I hope you will agree. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Youth Fades -- Must We? (Part 2)

As I said in Part 1, there comes a time in every woman’s life when we can no longer chase youth and we can’t run away from age – nobody can run that fast, especially in high heels. 

Courtesy of Jane Heller Confessions of a She-Fan

Increasingly, we may feel we are fading into the background of our own lives.   Is it inevitable or is it a choice? 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Youth Fades -- Must We? (Part 1)

One of the great joys of blogging is the friendships you form with other bloggers.  Jennifer Connolly, creator of the fabulous Blog “A Well Styled Life,” and I are kindred spirits on so many levels it’s almost scary.  Our regular, bi-coastal (she on the west; I on the east) conversations on everything from style and fashion to the challenges of aging gracefully are always a bright spot in my day.  So, when she asked if I would be interested in collaborating on the topic of the invisibility factor in the lives of women over 50, I jumped at the chance to work with one of the best bloggers in the business. 

Here is my take on the topic. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Misunderstood Parisian Waiter

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal had me smiling and nodding my head in agreement.  The subject was that most intriguing, intimidating, misunderstood and enigmatic of Parisian symbols – le serveur parisien – the Parisian waiter. 

Illustration Vincent Mahé

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shut Up and Text!

There’s no getting around it – we women love to complain.  It’s in our genes.  But, when I started blogging, I decided that I would do my best to avoid it, or, at least, serve it up with a dash of humor and/or a reasonable solution.   

So, here goes.  I’m about to complain and perhaps do a bit of a rant.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Best Winter Basics in My Makeup Bag

Brrrrrr.  It’s COLD out there.  It’s time for me to wrap my cold paws around a warm cup of hot chocolate.  Ahhh!  That’s better.  Winter can really be tough on our delicate skin, particularly as we age.  But, there’s no need to go all high-end to battle its effects-- sometimes simple works best. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Living Off the Grid – Well….Sort of

It’s been “one of those days” for several months now.  I think the universe is trying to tell me something, and I finally got the message loud and clear.  This morning, I checked my horoscope on French Yahoo, and it said,

« …vous avez parfois l'impression d'être dans un jeu vidéo, manipulé par un adolescent qui n'aurait aucun scrupule à vous faire dévorer par un monstre..... » 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Black by Popular Demand

How beautiful it is outside today.  My bedroom window makes a pale blue frame around a winter wonderland -- a light dusting on the trees, a white coating on the lake.  Everything sparkles in the noonday sun.  It’s been snowing for two days; the first snowfall of winter is always the prettiest of the season.  It’s the perfect time to wish all of you, my dear readers, a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015. 
The Christmas holidays came and went in a blur of activity.  The gift list gets smaller and smaller every year, which is a blessing and a sorrow.  The children in my life are no longer children; gift certificates have replaced snow globes with dancing ballerinas.   Loved ones lost to me are remembered with sweet sadness.  It gets harder and harder to find interesting and clever gifts for friends and family, but I still do my best and so do they.  In fact, I got a terrific gift (i.e., clever, interesting and practical) from my sister-in-law, Sandy.