MY HOME, SWEET HOME~

 

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HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

With all the nightmare news headlines coming from all sides today, you’d think America was an island the Brits used to lock up the insane!

But today, I want to reflect on what is GOOD about the country I love, the greatest country on Earth.

America is a beautiful country, from East Coast to West, and all in between.

Mountains, lakes, forests, prairies and magnificent oceans….we have it all here, if you look.

But more beautiful than that are its people…

Say what you want about the “Ugly American”, but we are the first to respond to disaster or humanitarian crisis, anywhere on the Globe.

We have sent more of our boys to die for other’s freedom than any country on Earth…

We even send money to countries that hate us.

Our military, often maligned, are made up of the best of America…brave men and women who protect not only us everyday, but also the inhabitants of foreign soils. We are often the country others look to for help in conflict.

I, for one, am so proud of our military….it’s the strongest on earth, but also with a compassion our adversary’s could never fathom or emulate.

We have the best hospitals and colleges on the planet…come to Boston some time and see the students from around the world getting educated, then go to the hospitals and see how many people from other countries are being saved here.

We have our flaws, for sure, but we also have the freedom to speak our mind, and to vote however we choose….

Women here are free, and equal to men, and each and every nationality that comes here does well, as long as they are willing to work hard.

Hard work is rewarded here, and it’s still the surest path to the “American Dream”.

We take care of our senior citizens, and are working now to finally start taking care of our Veterans.

We are the best of the best…doctors, scientists, engineers, researchers, philanthropists, farmers, educators, innovators… I salute them all.

So next time you turn on the news, on any channel, and hear the chaos, remember that people are passionate on both sides because there is so much at stake…

The soul of the greatest country on Earth….

She is still so worth fighting for.

God Bless America, and enjoy her birthday!~

MOTHERS AND OTHERS~A REPOST.

I thought this one deserved a second “go round…”

I hope you agree.

Whatever kind of mother you are, or for whatever kind mothering you do…have a blessed day!

 

Mother’s Day…So many images come to my mind when I think of the word “mother”.

There’s the obvious mom, yours, and there are the ones not so obvious.

There’s the aunt who was like a mom, always magically appearing when you needed her most and there’s the friend who came over and gave you a heating pad when you were having bad menstrual cramps (or in later years, had a level 3 hangover,) because your own mom was busy elsewhere..your friend just knew exactly what you needed and provided it.

There was the teacher in third grade who could see that you were hurting because you were new to the school and not making friends.  She let you sit with her during indoor recess, and included the “cool girls” at her desk as well. Discussions on the merits of “Beatles” vs. “Monkees” ensued, and  by the time recess was over, you were a cool girl, too.

There’s the sister who called you the day your first-born was leaving for college, because she’d been there, and knew you couldn’t breathe from sorrow.

That’s mothering..

There are all different kinds of moms…crack addict moms, and gluten-free, free range,organic only, natural birth with a doula moms.

There are the absentee moms that say “life is a bitch, and if you don’t toughen up, you will get eaten alive,” and there are the moms that would kick down the doors of Hell for you.

What kind of mom did you have?

and what kind of mom were you?

I find there is a correlation between the two.

If your mom was a “June Cleaver”, you probably tended to be a “Murphy Brown”.

If your mom was a “Roseanne”, you were more likely to be an  “Abilene,”(the housekeeper/nanny from the movie “The Help”..)

What little girl would not want to be on her lap, hearing her coo “you is smart, you is kind, you is important” ..?

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I had a hard-working, career pediatric nurse for a mom.  I was the only girl in my class who had a professional mom in the 60’s.  I was SO proud of her.  But I missed her, and often, while she was healing the sick children in the city. She wasn’t home for us much, even when she was.

I overcompensated by being the breastfeed til they were two, stay at home, homeschooling, Boy Scouting, school board and every-sport-known-to-man volunteer mom.

The one who would kick down those Hell doors….

After a lot of trial and error, I turned out OK…

and while they are still works in progress, so will my boys.

Somewhere between my mom and I, there exists the perfect mom. A mom who has the succinct balance of give and take, of attention and independence, of   “let them grow up” and “don’t ever let them go”…..

My mom and I are polar opposites, but one thing we have in common…we do the best we can, and really….that’s all you can do.

Happy Mothers day to all the moms, aunties,teachers, sisters,  friends and all others who mother us well, and make our lives worth living.

Your work is the most important on Earth…

But you knew that…~

 

 

 

 

 

LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS…..

Je suis desole!  So very, very sorry.  I had to disappear for a while….

This blog was always intended to be a place of pleasure, and an outlet of creativity for me.

I’ve had such a busy year thus far, that getting the content together necessary to post a half way decent blog became another thing on my nagging “To Do” list.

I never want to feel like this blog was just another thing to check off the list of things to be done, so I shut it down.

I dearly apologize to those who have been checking in for a new post!  I value every second that someone spends here in my small little piece of the blogosphere, and I would never just throw something up that I didn’t think was worth you time.

I am back, and promise to do better…forgive me?

Lots to review, introduce and regale, so hang tight.

I won’t let you down.

More coming, but have you tried these…?

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If you are like me, you like a nice cocktail, but not the calories that come with it.  I promise you, you will love these mixers!  By a company called be Mixed, these mixes are free of sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, gluten free, and here’s the best part….ZERO CALORIES!!  How did they DO that??? With the help of Monk Fruit, citrus zests and stevia, these cocktail mixers are the freshest, most delicious thing you can get in a bottle!  I would (and do) drink them without the alcohol, they are that good.

My absolute favorite is the Ginger-lime, but the Margarita and Cucumber-Mint flavors are terrific as well!

Purchase here:
https://www.be-mixed.com/

And because it’s KENTUCKY DERBY DAY, (go Irish War Cry!!) I will be using the Cucumber-Mint in my Kentucky Derby Mint Julep…..

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Here are some tasty recipes for the julep, but try one with the be Mixed cucumber mint someday…it takes this classic drink to a whole new level, and you waistline will thank you!
Kentucky Derby: The Most Delicious & Mouth-Watering Mint Julep Recipes

So whether you are watching on TV, there, or having a bash, enjoy the tradition, and Wear Your Crowns… (or a VERY big hat!)

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Have a lovely weekend ~

ANOTHER AULD LANG SYNE~

 


Goodbye 2016!!!

What an INCREDIBLE year!

Good or bad, it was an epic year for most people I know…not a lot of gray area in 2016!

We had the election season from Hell that tore the country apart and exposed today’s politics for what it is…a blood sport, at best.

Whether  your candidate won or lost, remember that we are all a Free People, that not everyone can get a trophy in the real world, and that we will survive, because America has 240 years invested in her thus far, and she’s immune to the victories and shortcomings of her leaders.

We will be just fine.

The entertainment industry was hit hard this year, with the deaths of Prince, Bowie, George Michael, Sir George Martin, Maurice White, Glen Fry, Leonard Cohen and on.

Personally , we lost an iconic uncle, a much too young high school bestie, and the dear dad of my sister in law…stunning and sad, evidence that you need to savor each moment for those who no longer can❤️

This weeks deaths of the fabulous Carrie Fisher and Debby Reynolds highlights what an insane year it was. Dying literally a day apart, can’t you just hear Carrie saying “Seriously mom??? You couldn’t have waited a month? You had to hijack my funeral, too????”

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Strong, gutsy, flawed …totally Crown Worthy ladies, I shall miss them both❤️

So tonight, I will roast a tenderloin, steam some mussels, pop a few Veuve corks and give thanks for every minute of 2016, the good and the bad, the ugly and the brilliant.

Because it all adds up to the sacred gift of life, a gift for which I am eternally grateful🙏

Onward to 2017!

Be good, do good and Wear Those  Crowns high👑! I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a wild ride!!!!!

Have a fabulous fantastic New Year❤️

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The Book~

For the past 25 years, I have suggested, cajoled, pleaded and threatened my guests and family to record what they are grateful for in my leather bond Thanksgiving book.

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This week,  I wrote my 25th entry….

You may not “get” all this,…but blessed I am…

“What a YEAR!!! 2016 was kind to the Richards. We transitioned from the home affectionately known as “Bedlam on the Burrell” to “Maison des Oak” with the speed and efficiency only a World Class Real Estate Agent could facilitate.😉

We had a lovely 4Th of July send off party, complete with fireworks and one last family baseball game..

Waaaay back, back, back in the field of dreams yard  knicknamed “Chex Mix Park.”⚾️

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Then we made peace with Old Lady Potter, (who would never throw back the baseballs hit into her yard), gave the Adams family  neighbors a new fence, gave neighbor Ainsley my beloved geranium pots, and off we went!

I wish I could say that I treasured our time there, but as I get older, I prefer to always look forward and not back.  Too many good things ahead to exist in the past.

And what a year Eddie Mike had! A Salem State University degree finally under his belt, a huge accomplishment!  And then to meet the Lovely Nina, and start a job that he loves..It’s ALL good!

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Kevin is content and loving his home, “Higher Ground,” and all its inhabitants..finding the peace he craves and deserves, exploring his spirituality, now that he’s free.

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Camera shy Dan has risen to the call of adulthood by showing up, doing his job, slaying the dragons  and not losing his sense of humor along the way.  Big things ahead for Dan, he just doesn’t know it yet…

Also thankful for the A-mazing job my mom is doing taking care of my dad.  It’s grueling and exhausting, but she is showing me what it means when you say “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse”. I have such respect for the example she is modeling for me..Ed will be in good hands as the years go by, because of what I am learning from her…

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and how thankful I am to still be sitting at a table with the Greatest Man Alive, Herb Delaney….

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My first love, the bar was set high with him as my dad.  Kindness, compassion, selflessness and unconditional love from him, taught me to expect that of myself, and to accept nothing less from my partner.

Which brings me to my husband, the 2nd Greatest Man I’ve ever known, and the love of my life..what I ever did to deserve a person as good as him, I’ll never know. Thank you for the love, the laughs, and the Bruno Mars tickets! May we bloom and grow in the years ahead!

This year, we gained the lovely Nina, and lost an Icon, Uncle Norman.I love them both and am grateful for them.

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Uncle Norm was so handsome, my blog could not find a worthy pic…a truly great man who’s kindness and generosity will be missed by all.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am grateful for my little muse, Jesse  Pinkman Richard, for loving me like a son loves a mother….It never gets old…even if you have four very dirty paws!

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Finally, I want to thank God…the one I believe in….who has never, ever dropped me.  I’m not worthy, but I try!

The binding on “The Book” is cracking, after 25 years of blessings…so it’s time to start a new one..

How lucky am I?

Enjoy your blessings and give thanks everyday..for the good AND the bad…it’s the individual days that make up the total life…

How are you living yours?? ~

Have a lovely weekend, and shop less, love more, but if you HAVE to shop, shop locally today in support of all the great small businesses around you❤️👍

I’M THANKFUL FOR…~

THANKSGIVING WEEK IS UPON US….the years are flying, ladies..hold on with both hands!

I’ve many things to be thankful for this year…but then again, I have many things to be thankful for every year…even the not so good ones.

I practice gratitude, a concept that dates as far back as the bible, where Paul instructs “In everything, give thanks.”  Buddhists also consider gratitude one of the most important dharmas for fruitful living in daily life.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the book “Simple Abundance”,  ignited a million woman gratitude movement in 1995, and I’ve never looked back.

Sarah reminds us, through her work, that there is beauty and bliss in the simplest of things…

A really good cup of coffee..

A baby’s laugh..

A heavenly pair of cashmere socks..

A decadent TV show..(think Downton Abbey!)

So the first thing I am grateful for this season is that I have re-purchased Sarah’s books, (my originals are long-lost in two moves), and I am currently savoring my favorites..

“Moving On” helped me tremendously when I was selling my home of many years and downsizing…It reminded me, page after page, that there is beauty everywhere in the big AND small,  if you look for it…

(Here’s some quiet beauty I have found in my new little home….Sarah is right again!!)

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img_5121 “Romancing the Ordinary” is my other favorite…I love the ordinary moments where you see, smell, hear or taste something that just elevates your mood to joy….those are the best moments…

and they are all around us, everyday, if we look….

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The next thing I’m grateful for is another book I am loving..

It’s the latest from the brilliant writer, Alice Hoffman, whose work I’ve loved since “Practical Magic” in 1995.  “Faithful” is the story of the power of love, generosity and redemption when the world looks bleak and you are out of resources.

A timely book, indeed!

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Next is the new eight part series on PBS, called “Soundbreaking”…if you are a music fan, DO NOT MISS THIS

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It traces your favorite music back from it’s inception  to the studio, where the magic happened…what a treat to watch!

How did “Yesterday” become the classic beauty it is?  How did Phil Spector’s famous “wall of sound” come to be? How many studio musicians did it take to make “Pet Sounds”?  All the way up to today’s rap, this series is a stellar behind the scenes look at “how the soup was made”  in the studio, with the help of a few genius producers. Great series, three crowns up!!

The next thing I’m thankful for this week is a lovely body lotion I stumbled upon in a gift shop in Meredith, New Hampshire while on a retreat.  I left my own lotion home, and was looking to find something to use for a few days.

I bought this lotion, and will be ordering it on-line for years to come.

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By a company called Naked Bee, this Orange Blossom Honey lotion is a real treat.  It’s made from organic aloe and sunflower oil, honey and green and white tea, it applies like a blanket of softness, and smells INCREDIBLE!  Like an orange grove in the sun.  I put it on before bed, and the scent sends me off to dreamland, instantly erasing the stresses of the day.

Hard to feel bad when you smell so good!

I will be trying the Chai Tea, Grapefruit Blossom and  Lavender Beeswax lotions  in the future..and maybe even the Nag Champa one if I’m feeling adventurous.

https://www.nakedbee.bz

Next I’m forever grateful to Ina Garten, the fabulous Barefoot Contessa for bringing my humble cooking to the next level.  I’ve never made an Ina recipe that hasn’t  been perfectly delicious, and I doubt I ever will…she’s that good.

Here’s one of her recipes I’m making to bring to my mom for Thanksgiving…a sweet treat for a hardworking caregiver….

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Recipe here…

https://barefootcontessa.com/inas-world/chocolate-bark

Thank you, Ina, for all the books and shows.  I’m a grateful cook!

Finally, I’m grateful for my family, and my three sons, all wonderful works in progress….but this Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for the THE most patient man in the Free World, my best date, my husband Ed….and the Bruno Mars tickets he scored for me last week didn’t’ hurt!!

Yeeeeoooww!!!!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and treasure what’s good.  It’s all around us…~

What can YOU do…?~

Good Morning!

Have we all settled down since Tuesday?

I hope so.

I know for a fact that the sun still shines and the earth is still spinning, so it’s all good!

Last night, in honor of Veteran Day, we went to see “Hacksaw Ridge”, and I am so glad I did.

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It’s exactly what the world needs right now, but alas, the people who need it most will never see it.

Based on the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in WWII despite refusing to bear arms, it’s a story of two things sorely lacking in our country today.

The courage of conviction, and love of god and Country.

Desmond was a Seventh-day Adventist, a religion that forbids killing or the bearing of arms.  Yet Desmond also loved his country.

As boy after boy enlisted in WWII, he struggled with how to reconcile the two.  He couldn’t turn his back on his religion, and wouldn’t turn his back on his country.

So he became a medic and enlisted in he army as a conscientious objector, one of the nations first.

He was ostracized at best, beaten and almost court marshaled at worse, but BECAUSE he was a man with the courage of his convictions, and a religious man who valued life, he went on to single handedly save over 75 soldiers in the battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot!

Such a powerful story on two fronts.

He stayed true to who he was, because he answered only to the god he served, and he had a tremendous sense of patriotism with a desire to do the right thing.

When I look around today, I see protests that go nowhere and achieve nothing, and a large portion of our population  who want to take from our country, but never give back.

And it breaks my heart.

There was one powerful scene that caused me to weep..(thank you, Mel Gibson for ALWAYS making me cry at the movies you produce..”Passion of the Christ” and “Braveheart” come to mind.)

The scene is desperate one, as the bullets are flying and Desmond’s fellow soldiers are being slaughtered all around him. He is at a loss as to what to do, as he serves a God who does not want him to pick up a gun….he looks around at the carnage piling up and cries, “I don’t understand..What is it you want me to do??”

How many of us, who worship a god, have been there in our lives…Sometimes the challenges  we are faced with are so hard, we are ill equipped to know the way…and we look up and say “WHAT ON EARTH IS IT YOU WANT FROM ME??”

I have found many times that the answer may not come instantly, but it does come if you wait.

Desmond’s answer to his question was that he was called to use his courage and resourcefulness to rescue  the wounded but not dead soldiers left on the battle field, still under attack.

Most of those men, who would have been left for dead if not for Desmond, went on to get married, have families and live full lives.

THAT, my friends, is a great story.

Whether or not you are religious in any way, if you are a citizen of the Unites States, especially today, you need to see this film and ask yourself the question John Kennedy asked you several decades ago…

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”

The answer to everything that ails our country today lies in that question, if you have the courage to answer it.

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In honor of Veterans Day, just for today, can you give that some thought?  And maybe find a small way to give back  to the Greatest Generation for all their sacrifice, and to the Greatest Country on Earth, for all our blessings?? Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with the country, let’s reflect on what’s right, and act accordingly!

God Bless America, thank you , and have an amazing weekend ~

IF I HAD A DAUGHTER…~

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We are going to veer a bit off topic today….but when you reach a certain age, you get to say whatever the heck you want…and this, today , is what I want to say….

In the current political climate, we are inundated with stories of men behaving badly.

Stories that start with “he grabbed me,” “he made me feel uncomfortable”, and “he said things that hurt me,” etc., have flooded the media.

(By the way, let me know when we can start discussing the major issues facing the country…, but I digress..)

Today’s narrative, when it comes to being a woman, seems to be that of “victim”, and this woman, for one, is tired of it.

I was raised surrounded by brothers, cousins, and lots of male friends.

I met and married a man who was the youngest of four boys, and I went on to have three sons of my own.

I’ve  lived in a house full of males, including the dogs, for over 30 years.

In the fields I work in, I’m surrounded by men..

and here’s what I would tell my daughter, if I had one….

You won’t be disrespected if you command respect.

That’s right.  They can’t disrespect you if you don’t let them…It’s that simple.

Now I’m not talking about rape here…that’s a crime that, by the way, can happen to anyone.

I’m talking about big things…

Like lewd jokes, being touched inappropriately, being harassed, etc. and the smaller things, like being talked down to because you have breasts, not being taken seriously because you’re a woman, being  disrespected because you are the non-male in the household, or being taken advantage of at work.

I’ve dealt with most of it in my life, and here’s what I did.

When I was in high school, and a boy yelled something very offensive about me when I was walking down the hall, I called my boyfriend.  The next day, the entire football team of  my boyfriends school came to my school to meet the offending boy…..  The day after that, he was opening the doors for me in the hall. Problem solved….

When the older man in the hospital I worked in put his hand on my butt, I looked him straight in the eye, in the middle of the office and said, (in my Irish  Whisper),  “if you touch me like that ever again, not only will I get you fired, I will rain fresh hell down on you like you’ve never seen.”  I was 22 at the time, and new to my job. He never touched me again.

I’ve work many years with men who tell lewd jokes…I laugh at their stupidity, and feel bad for their wives…I would never go home to a man like that.

I raised my boys with the understanding that they didn’t have to like me, but they were most certainly going to respect me…even if I was the only hormonal one in the house.

And they did.

I raised them to respect women and treat them like equals. I would tell them “if  your girlfriend is not deserving of respect, why are you with her in the first place??”

And they did and do.

I was raised by a woman who was a hard-working medical professional, and not your classic mom by any stretch..

But she had a husband who adored her. Even in the 60’s when it was almost unheard of, he picked up her slack and did most of the heavy lifting, raising their five kids.

More important, he loved me so dearly, and made me feel so valued, that commanding respect for myself as I grew just came naturally.  If I was a special as my dad thought I was, no man would ever make me feel less than that…

and no one ever did.

But I would also tell my daughter that respect is a two-way street.   If you want to be respected by men, you have to earn it by being the best version of yourself you can be.

If you grow up to be a woman of courage, empathy, kindness and compassion, with a lot of class and dignity, the good men will respect you in spades…

The others will too…they will just never show it.

and THAT, ladies, is what it means to be truly CROWN WORTHY!

 

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Have the most amazing weekend, love your beautiful selves, and wear those crowns high! ~ and a special shout out this week to one of the the most amazing “Glam mamas”  you could ever know..the Gold Standard of Hot Mammas, married to an amazing man, Colleen Delaney…YOU are the Gold Standard!

 

Beauty, the Books and Blood Orange Bliss~

New England in Autumn is a little slice of Heaven.

The foliage, the Indian Summer weather (warm sunny days, crisp, cool nights,) and OH, the food.  I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin. You could sprinkle pumpkin spice on a pile of dirt, and I swear I’d eat it!

Cold weather clothes are terrific as well .  It’s almost as if they KNEW we would be eating too much, and made oversized knit sweaters, bulky jackets and belly hiding sweater scarfs the fashionable thing.

On to beauty….

I make a point to walk every day in the woods near my home. I just don’t want to miss a minute of the glory!

Check this out from my walk yesterday…

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It’s a breathtaking  time of year, and hard to feel anything but invigorated and alive when I’m out in nature, and that’s why I will always be a New England girl!

This week, lots of great reads were released.

So many books, so little time!

This first one I am enjoying is “Capture Your Style” by Aimee Song.

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Because the political season is in full on ugly mode, I am trying to stay away from social media sites that just bring me down… I’ve traded more Instagram for less Facebook and Twitter in the precious little time I have in my day to browse.

I find Instagram uplifting and love seeing everyone’s day through pics. This book, written by a woman with one of the largest Instagram accounts on the planet, gives some great advice about photo shooting, editing, text, content, how to capture your own style, and tell your own story in an appealing way.  She’s made a five figure income off of her Instagram account, and travels the world snapping pics, so she knows her stuff. Her advice about editing apps alone is worth the cost of the book, if you care about the quality of your photos.

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The second book, “The Bitch Is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier..by Cathi Hanauer is a FABULOUS read for we “femme d’un certain age.”  Chronicling some of the best women writers in their forties, fifties and sixties, these “bitches”, all bestselling authors and some of my favorites, offer unique views of modern womanhood today, but from an older and wiser perspective. Topics ranging from marriage and/or divorce, cancer, dealing with elderly parents or adult children, workplace age and sexism, highlight that we older women have a lot on our plates. Here, it’s examined with guts and gusto, and I yell  “Brava!” after each essay read.

We older women are AWESOME, aren’t we?? I want to send a Virtual  Crown to each of the contributors….it’s a terrific read.

Finally, last night in Boston, I had the best martini I’ve ever had.  And people who know me know that I make a mean martini.  It was a blood orange martini, but like no other.  One sip, and I was transported to Sicily, to the sun drenched blood orange groves.  HEAVEN!

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I have made blood orange martinis before, but nothing tasted this good.  I asked the bartender, who kindly told me the secret.  They make it with a few tablespoons of this blood orange purée, imported from Napa Valley.

You can buy it online here. https://www.perfectpuree.com/product/blood-orange-concentrate/

along  with several other flavors like Meyer Lemon and Caramelized Pineapple, (have MERCY!) which I am eager to try next.

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Whatever you view, read, savor or drink, do something nice for a stranger, and have a lovely week ahead~

POLITICS AND PUMPKINS, POLISH AND POUTS ~

Are you ready to toss your TV out the window?

Rip your phone off wall and throw it out? (If you’re ancient, and still HAVE a landline…)

If you answered “yup,” chances are it’s election season, and never has their been one as polarizing and difficult as this one!

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People who know me know I am passionate about politics.  I do not discuss politics on this site, however, as it’s suppose to be a fun and uplifting place to come.  Politics, at least today’s version, has become a blood sport, pitting family members against each other, as well as friends and co-workers.

So, with help from fellow blogger Shannon Abels, I’ve devised what I think are some solid guidelines to get you through the next few months without losing your mind..

1. Seek out the truth

Often the important issues can’t be summarized in a tweet or news clip.  It takes time and patience and more than just skimming the headlines for you to learn the truth.  Especially with today’s media being, shall we say, agenda’d on both sides.  Be sure you are seeking out reputable sources, and just shut off CNN and FOX New altogether.

2. Converse to gain understanding.

The other day, I had a long political conversation with a Starbucks manager, in her mid-forties.  She was Black, Gay and adopted.  Listening to her, I was able to ascertain why she is voting the way she is, and, even though she and I are not in agreement about a lot of things, I now understand at least where her fears lie, and why she is voting the way she is.  We each have or own things that are really important to us, and no one candidate solves them all. Having civil conversation allows us to at least gain a better understanding of each other.

3. Determine if you have a willing audience for discussion

Nothing appalls me more, from either side, than a  person ASSUMING that everyone thinks like they do. They are the ones who will say at a dinner party “can you imagine the idiots voting for —- and how stupid can you be?” Facebook is different, because you know your audience and can control the privacy settings. But out in public, well, you’ve heard the saying “never assume…It makes an ASS out of U and ME!”  And just because a person lives in a heavily red or heavily blue state, does not mean they don’t think for themselves and follow the majority.

4. Seek depth, not soundbites

Soundbites lack context, but time is valuable: therefore, that is often all we hear or see. Please  be aware that there is always more to the story.

5. Watch or listen to debates

Sometimes, even the greatest pundits can’t cover up the lack of knowledge of a subject, or the extreme ideas or opinions of a candidate.  Truth speaks as candidates debate.

6. Seek out quality information, but less of it.

Read a paper or two, and limit yourself to about 15 minutes a night of political news from as unbiased a source as you can find…hard, I know.  After that, take a deep breath, and shift your focus.

It’s going to be a loooooong season.  Pace yourself, become an EDUCATED voter, then do your civic duty and VOTE!

Pumpkin is up next!

I found what looks to be a delightful recipe for pumpkin brioche in this months edition of  one of my favorite magazines, Victoria..

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This will be a perfect accompaniment to my Bouef Carbonadde recipe ….

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Beef-Beer-Stew

It appears to take most of the day to make, but since I am having  guests tonite, I will attempt to make the effort and report back next time!  You can see the above photo, and my “finished product” side by side, and decide for yourself!  The recipe can be found on Victoriamagazine.com

Polish time!  You ladies know about my obsession with nail polish by now, and particularly about Smith and Cult nail polish.  Great wear, easy application with a super flat brush, and THE.BEST.COLORS…

These are the three I love this season…The first is called  “1976” (because it reminded the color chemist of her moms rose gold lame dress from the disco days…I was there in ’76, and Yup! They got it right! )

My other two seasonal favorites are called “Darjeeling Darling”, a gorgeous Autumn green, and “Dark Like Me,” and lovely burgundy.

Buy them at Newman Marcus or here ….http://www.smithandcult.com/nailed-lacquer.html

 

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Pouts!!…Have you seen the new seasonal trend in lip color?  Dark as the night, matted and in your face…(or at least on your lips!)

The new shades are gorgeous…deep plums, blues, violets..colors we’ve never seen on lips..

The problem is, they look AMAZING on young girls, but not so much on “we of the older and wiser generation”..

So I did a little research and found just the one.  By Urban Decay, this line blew me away with color…

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But putting them on my lips was waaaay tooo Bella Lugosi-esque!  Barnabus Collins would dig it, but my family would have been horrified.

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So I settled for one from the Urban Decay line called “Seismic”, that had all the pigment and color of the deep, lovely violet, but with none of the matte, and it was delightfully moisterizer  to boot!

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So now you can talk politics without getting tarred and feathered, bake a delicious pumpkin brioche, have beautifully colored nails AND wear the dark lip trend without being embalmed first!

And you thought you were just reading some little blog post…

 

Have a fantastic Columbus Day Weekend, and Wear Your Crowns! ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes (Turn and face the strange..) ~

Heloo, October!  I can’t BELIEVE how fast September went.

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As some of you know, I went through a big life event last week. I closed up my big ol’ 9 room country club colonial, sold it to a lovely, starry-eyed couple (good luck, kids!) and moved into a 1300 square foot elegantly appointed apartment.  With about 1,000 neighbors and dogs!

I was really nervous at first, as I have never, in almost 58 years, lived in anything but a house.  Small as they were,  I always had my own space and my own land.

I entered into the next phase, however, with more excitement than trepidation.

You see, the best times of my life, in retrospect , have been the times of biggest change.  The bigger the change, the bigger my growth as a person, and the bigger the lessons learned.

I had been STAGNANT for so many years.  Something about being chained to taking care of a big house while working two jobs, and having so many empty rooms as most of my boys are gone, just left me feeling old.  The house had become a museum to the past, and I am all about the future.

I handed over the keys, thanked God for the memories, bad and good, and onward we went.

To date, I have meet such a melting pot of fine people in my new complex!  I’ve met hard-working, polite 20 somethings, Indian high tech professionals, a large Asian population with the MOST gorgeous babies and toddlers.  (Interesting about that culture…mom and dad bring the grandparents with them, wherever they reside, and have built-in baby sitters.  In the day, you see the grandparents in the playground or pool with the little ones, and at night, as they rest, the parents appear.  It’s a testament to that culture that family is everything.)

And then I met “Giselle”…..

Not her real name, but a dead ringer for the real Giselle, I noticed this lovely young Brazilian mom by the pool everyday with her  beautiful, blond, curly haired toddler.While everyone else poolside was gawking at her “Girl from Ipanema” beauty, I noticed something else….how utterly attentive and captivated she was by her little boy.  Unlike a lot of moms today, she did not have her face in a phone constantly.  In fact, she didn’t even carry one.  She was SO enchanted by her little guy.  I could tell she was a great mother. She looked however, a bit lonely.  I think, because she was so gorgeous, the other residents were a bit intimidated to even stand next to her bikini clad body, much less talk to her.

Luckily for both of us, I don’t intimidate easily, and I approached her to tell her what an awesome job I thought she was doing as a mom.  She broke down in tears and thanked me heartily.  We started talking, and she confessed that her baby boy, Franco, is the love of her life, but she misses her mom in Brazil tremendously.  She said there are days when she can’t take the loneliness, as her husband works long hours and her mom can’t Skype.  The more we talked, the more it became clear that the Divine Spirit had a plan for us….

I have been waiting for a young lady to come into my life for a long time.  With a husband, and three sons who have  no “serious” girlfriends yet, it’s a lonely existence for a woman in my house!  Even my dog, Jesse, is a boy!

The more I talked with “Giselle”, the more we bonded.  I told her she could call me anytime, night or day, and I would be there for her.  I will be babysitting for her so she can get back to her sport of running,and I can get my fix of baby love, and have a surrogate daughter for the time we both reside there and maybe onward.

The day we met, as we were parting, she asked me my name…when I said “Kathy” she burst into tears and hugged me….her mom in Brazil is named “Kathy.”

Coincidence or Divine Interveniton?  You decide.

If I hadn’t broken waaaaay out of my comfort zone to try new things, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am as of this writing.

Now, unemcumbered by that house, my husband and I have the time to embrace new things instead of raking lawns and fixing leaks.

We have lots of adventures awaiting, and I’m so ready for what’s ahead…

I may even try the Indian food truck that comes to the complex next Friday….; )  or maybe not…

Here’s a pic of my tiny tiny balcony…decorated within an inch of it’s life for Fall….Can you tell I’m a downsizer?

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Have a glorious October, embrace the changing of the seasons of your life, and wear your crowns! ~

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CLEAR THE WEEKEND….~

I’VE BEEN A VORACIOUS READER SINCE THE “NANCY DREW” DAYS.  I’M HAPPIEST  WHEN I’M LOST IN A BOOK.

I ENJOY BIOGRAPHIES MOST BECAUSE  I’M ENDLESSLY FASCINATED BY HOW PEOPLE NAVIGATE THE JOURNEYS OF LIFE.

IN MY FIFTY PLUS YEARS OF READING, HOWEVER,  IVE NEVER READ ANYTHING LIKE THIS….

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JUST PUBLISHED, “LOVE WARRIOR”, BY GLENNON DOYLE MELTON WILL BLOW THE LID OFF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MODERN DAY WIFE, MOTHER AND WOMAN.  IF “EAT PRAY LOVE” SPOKE TO YOU, “LOVE WARRIOR” WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS….

EVEN BEFORE OPRAH SWOOPED DOWN AND MADE IT HER BOOKCLUB PICK OF THE SEASON, I HAD READ THE BUZZ FROM AUTHORS I ADMIRE LIKE BRENE BROWN, ELIZABETH GILBERT, CHRIS NOTHRUP AND MARIANNE WILLIAMSON. THEY RAVED, AND THEY WERE RIGHT.

YOU WILL BE HARD PRESSED TO READ A MORE HONEST BOOK.  I COULD EASILY HAVE READ IT IN A SITTING, BUT SEVERAL TIMES I HAD TO PUT IT DOWN TO ABSORB THE WORDS.   I’VE SAID THOSE WORDS. I’VE HAD THOSE THOUGHTS…WE ALL HAVE IF WE ARE HONEST.  FINALLY, A WOMAN IS SPEAKING THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO WEAR ALL THE HATS, HOW FULFILLING AND DESPERATE, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

READ THIS BOOK IN PIECES, AS SHE MOVES THROUGH THE STAGES OF HER LIFE. BEGINNING WITH HER BULIMIC CHILDHOOD, THROUGH THE DRUG FUELED COLLEGE YEARS, TO MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD , SEPARATION, SINGLE PARENTING, RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS, SHE BARES IS ALL WITH SUCH INSIGHT AND HONESTY, NOTHING IS SPARED.  ULTIMATELY, JUST AS THE BOOK WAS GOING TO PRINT, SHE ANNOUNCED SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE DIVORCING. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SAY THEY DIDNT TRY.

HER WRITING IS LIKE NO OTHER, AND HER TRUTH IS HUMBLING. THIS ONE WILL DO FOR OUR GENERATION WHAT BETTY FRIEDAN’S “THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE” DID FOR OUR MOTHERS..IT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT AT BOOK CLUBS FOR YEARS TO COME, AND IT MAY CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT OUR LIVES.

PROFOUND.

AND ON A LIGHTER NOT….

AND HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

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BY A COMPANY CALLED “BELLA BEAT”, FINALLY A “FITBIT” WITH A LITTLE STYLE.  THIS TRACKER, ENCASED IN A LEAF SHAPED PIECE, CAN BE WORN AS A PIN, NECKLACE OR BRACELET, IN SILVER OR ROSE GOLD.  AND IT DOESNT JUST TRACK YOUR SWEATY STEPS, BUT YOUR STRESS LEVEL, MEDITATION AND SLEEP CYCLES, YOUR FERTILITY AND MORE.

BEAUTIFUL PIECES ON THEIR OWN, GET ONE NOW AS THEY ARE BACK ORDERED FOR MONTHS…

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I KNOW WHAT SANTA CAN BRING ME THIS YEAR IF HE CAN GET IT IN TIME!!

FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THEM HERE….

https://webshop.bellabeat.com/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling

 

ADJUST YOUR CROWNS, OWN AND CELEBRATE YOUR OWN STORY, AND HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND, OR WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF IT IF YOU OPEN THIS BOOK!~

Well, HELLO AUTUMN!❤️🍁

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And hello blogosphere ! Too long, I know. Many changes and lots to do has taken me away from my happy place, Wear Your Crowns. I apologize ! I’ve been busy selling a nine room home and trying to figure out how to fit it into a four room apartment as temporary dwelling til the real estate market catches up with its low inventory. At the end of this month, I’ll be camping out for the holidays in a cozy but lovely place, looking for that Final Destination. I’ve moved a lot and the next house is the last!

How was your Summer? Ours was dry and drought filled, which is kind of amazing considering the severe flooding in other parts of the country. My heart goes out to the people who’ve had bigger challenges than dry lawns and a truncated foliage season to deal with.

One of the best nights I spent this summer was the night of the Perseid Meteor Showers. It was promised to be amazing this year! I had lots of wishes and needed to find some shooting stars, and it did not disappoint.

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It took three different locations by car at 2 AM, but bleary-eyed, I found what I was seeking and the show was breathtaking!☄💫✨

One of the things I wished for was that I would never lose childlike wonder and the ability to be thrilled by the world around me. Many wishes later, I crawled home stiff-necked but filled with hope and awe. Amazing.

Another thing of interest this Summer happened September 1st. While I’m not a student of Astrology, this next event fascinated me.

The New Moon in Virgo, with a Solar Eclipse  is a significant astrological event in two parts (Sept. 1 and Sept. 16). This is a time of major change and clearing. It’s a time to reject old patterns that aren’t serving you, accept the past, forgive and move on, and be mindful and open to the changes this period of time will bring about. According to the astrologers I have interviewed, some changes may not be welcome, some very appreciated, but the key is to stay open to the process, don’t fight it, and see where it takes you. This astrological movement culminates in March 2017, so hang on to your hats…it’s going to be interesting!

My motto has always been “change is growth”, and it’s always the tough changes that bring the most growth. To me, being stagnant and unable to move, letting life happen to you as opposed to creating and living your life consciously, is the sorriest of human states.

While it’s not always easy to embrace change…a child leaving for college, leaving a stress filled job that doesn’t serve you, ending a relationship that isn’t healthy, dealing with an illness, these are the hards of life that bring you to the place you are supposed to be. Fear is the only thing, I believe, that keeps people stuck.

Remove the fear and meet life head on. The beauty of living an authentic life, the life you are supposed to be living, is the greatest reward. One I’m very much looking forward to in the days ahead.

SO! Welcome back and thanks for being here… Today’s “lecture” culminates with the prayer that you set your intentions, keep your hearts open, and of course, Wear Your Crowns👸🙏🏻❤️

Have an AMAZING AUTUMN~

THINGS I’M LOVING, SUMMER 2016❤️~

imageWith Memorial Day upon us, I want to share some Crown~Worthy  things that, in my humble opinion, will enhance the all too brief summer experience. Remember, I’m from Boston…our summers last about ten weeks, our winters five months. Summers are sacred in New England.

SO! Having said that, here’s my SUMMER 2016 Hall of Fame Crown~Worthy list!

I love my champagne, but I love it even more, sitting on a beach, watching the sunset.

Veuve Clicquot Rose is the perfect drink for a special sandy sunset. It’s light, like the Rose we enjoy all summer, but with a magical taste of bubbly goodness, and SO pretty🍾 . It’s hard not to smile when enjoying a glass. Treat yourself at least once this summer. You owe it to yourself!

Summer tends to play havoc with my hair, newly silver. Between the UVA rays, salt water and dry heat, delicate gray shades don’t stand a chance. White becomes yellow in no time, and not in a good way.

After a year-long search, I finally found the perfect shampoo for white, silver and platinum.

Aveda Blue Malva is a joy to use. Smells like I think Heaven would smell (if I ever get there😉), and when your hair dries, it’s bright, silver and luminescent. Not a trace of dull yellow, and it feels like silk. Highly rated online, highly recommended by me. A Crown~Worthy  find a year in the making, but not cheap. It runs about $38 per bottle, but it’s 33 ounces, so you’ll use it awhile.

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I can see a difference in my hair since using it, even in photos….

 

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Next on the list…

I searched far and wide for a summer nail color I wouldn’t get tired of. One that was neutral enough to go with everything, but not boring like most neutrals. (I will never be accused of being boring!)

I saw this on a model in a magazine and eureka! That was it, and the search was on…

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I finally found it, but it was sold out everywhere, forcing me to buy it direct from the company and pay shipping, which I was not happy about. But it’s mine, it’s on my feet and toes, and it makes me smile every time I look at it, so it’s all good!

It’s by a company called Smith and Cult, and while the names are insane, the colors are gorgeous. This green is called “Bitter Buddhist” of all things, but it’s a subtle, grayish green that reminds me of a Monet. The wear is great and, if you are into that kind of aesthetic, the bottle is gorgeous.

You can find it at Neiman Marcus, if you’re lucky, and other places online if not sold out. But I bought it direct from the company because when I finally found it, I had to have it.

Heres a cute article from the Huffington Post about the company and the crazy names of the colors..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/smith-and-cult-nail-polish-line_n_5990128.html

 

Next up, a water bottle that A. Looks sleek B. Keeps your water cold FOR TWELVE HOURS IN A HOT CAR….it’s true, I tested it, and may I introduce my new favorite thing…

 

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Produced by the company S’well, these bottles are it for me!

Ranging around $35. per bottle, I’ve seen them in Starbucks and Barnes and Noble Cafes. Target sells the cheaper, smaller version of their bottle, but when it comes to water, go big or go home!
How pretty is this limited edition rose gold one….?
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Oh, and did I neglect to point out that it keeps the above referenced champagne, or any other wine, ice-cold for an outdoor picnic?  And yes, it’s keeps your hot coffee steaming all day in the cold weather, but we aren’t going THERE today.🌞

Here we have a make your own ice cream sandwich kit from Williams Sonoma. SO cute, and you can customize all day long to make the perfect sandwich. I’m famous for my ice cream sandwhich cookies for the beach parties our extended family gathers at. This makes it so much easier. Why spend your precious time on anything but being creative?

My favorite is combo is salted caramel gelato, the sandwich dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed cashews. The options are endless and we’ve been known to use anything from pop rocks to crystallized ginger! The kit is super easy to use, and  at a $19.95 price point for three, it pays for itself in no time!

You can purchase this at Williams Sonoma in store or online.

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At last but not least, while I am a HUGE proponent of shutting off the TV and being outside as much as possible in the precious summer, here’s one hilarious show I found recently to binge watch if you have a rainy day.

Silicon Valley, an HBO comedy centered around the high-tech industry, is uproariously funny, or as one of my male friends said “freakin brilliant!”

It’s the story of a team of nerdy but brilliant computer guys naively navigating the cut throat Hi Tech industry of Silicon Valley. Having two computer engineers in the family, (how do you think I set UP this crazy blog?!), I can tell you from my sideline observation that the show is dead on, and funnier than it has a right to be! Now in its third season on HBO, it’s available for streaming. Enjoy!

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Wherever your summer takes you, whatever you eat, drink, shampoo with or watch, have a GLORIOUS SUMMER and savor each and every day, and have a Crown~Worthy Memorial Day Weekend❤️👸🏼~

MOTHERS AND OTHERS~

Mother’s Day…So many images come to my mind when I think of the word “mother”.

There’s the obvious mom, yours, and there are the ones not so obvious.

There’s the aunt who was like a mom, always magically appearing when you needed her most and there’s the friend who came over and gave you a heating pad when you were having bad menstrual cramps (or in later years, had a level 3 hangover,) because your own mom was busy elsewhere..your friend just knew exactly what you needed and provided it.

There was the teacher in third grade who could see that you were hurting because you were new to the school and not making friends.  She let you sit with her during indoor recess, and included the “cool girls” at her desk as well. Discussions on the merits of “Beatles” vs. “Monkees” ensued, and  by the time recess was over, you were a cool girl, too.

There’s the sister who called you the day your first-born was leaving for college, because she’d been there, and knew you couldn’t breathe from sorrow.

That’s mothering..

There are all different kinds of moms…crack addict moms, and gluten-free, free range,organic only, natural birth with a doula moms.

There are the absentee moms that say “life is a bitch, and if you don’t toughen up, you will get eaten alive,” and there are the moms that would kick down the doors of Hell for you.

What kind of mom did you have?

and what kind of mom were you?

I find there is a correlation between the two.

If your mom was a “June Cleaver”, you probably tended to be a “Murphy Brown”.

If your mom was a “Roseanne”, you were more likely to be an  “Abilene,”(the housekeeper/nanny from the movie “The Help”..)

What little girl would not want to be on her lap, hearing her coo “you is smart, you is kind, you is important.”

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I had a hard-working, career pediatric nurse for a mom.  I was the only girl in my class who had a professional mom in the 60’s.  I was SO proud of her.  But I missed her, and often, while she was healing the sick children in the city. She wasn’t home for us much, even when she was.

I overcompensated by being the breastfeed til they were two, stay at home, homeschooling, Boy Scout, school board and every-sport-known-to-man volunteer mom.

the one who would kick down those Hell doors….

After a lot of trial and error, I turned out OK…

and while they are still works in progress, so will my boys.

Somewhere between my mom and me, there exists the perfect mom. A mom who has the perfect balance of give and take, of attention and independence, of   “let them grow up” and “don’t ever let them go”…..

My mom and I are polar opposites, but one thing we have in common…we do the best we can, and really….that’s all you can do.

Happy Mothers day to all the moms, aunties,teachers, sisters,  friends and all others who mother us well, and make our lives worth living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THINGS I’M LOVING NOW~

Well, hello SPRING! That’s what I’m loving most, even if it WILL snow tonight. I’ll be walking the beach and picnicking in no time!

I’ve talked about this before, but about four times a year, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra join forces to produce a free 21 day meditation challenge. The first one I did, about two years ago, changed my life. I came to realize that whatever I was lacking, or whatever I needed, was right there inside me and always had been.   I just needed to make the time to access it.   That knowledge empowered me to make major changes in the way I think and the way I look at the world, and I’m better for it.  I look forward to their challenges now, each one focusing on a different thing.

Starting Monday, they are offering a new meditation challenge centered around weight and weight loss. If you need to lose weight, I urge you to participate. You won’t be sorry. It only takes about 17 minutes a day, and after twenty one days, you will think differently about your body, I promise!!

I’ve recently lost twenty pounds, but understand that keeping it off is going to be the real challenge, so I’m ALL IN for this one!

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Just go to Oprah.com and find the above link to register. You will thank me!

The next thing I love was introduced to me when I was on my weight loss program recently. The diet, (The Fast Metabolism Diet, highly recommended,) requires that you drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. Yikes!!! For someone who doesn’t like to drink anything but coffee or wine, this was a challenge. Then I found La Croix sparkling water at my local Whole Foods, and became instantly hooked. It’s a sparking water that’s flavored with essence of natural fruits, no calories, no sodium, nothing artificial. SO REFRESHING, I can drink it all day.  With favors like coconut, cucumber mint, mango, pear, etc., you can shake it up!

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Another thing I’m loving.. The new show Vinyl on HBO is a rollicking ride through the seventies music scene. Produced by Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger, it’s a take no prisoners story of the excess of the seventies. Sex, drugs and rock n roll as only Martin and Mick could tell it.

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And the cast??? Powerhouse Bobby Canavale soars as the coke’d up record producer Richie Finestra, with the golden ear for great music. Olivia Wilde plays his recovering wife, and GREAT PERFORMAMCES by Micks son James Jagger, Juno Temple, Andrew Dice Clay, and Ray Romano like you’ve never seen him. Hang on to your hat…especially if you remember the early seventies! When the Emmys roll around again, bet money of this!!!

Next.. After a long drab winter, it’s a bright OPI red for my nails. Nothing says Spring like Chick Flick Cherry

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And finally, I’m loving my muse, Jesse, snoozing in the sunlight of the first Spring day.

imageHave an AMAZING SPRING, and a lovely week~❤️🌷💐🌸🌹

BRAVO, DOWNTON ABBEY👏

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I came late to the party called Downton Abbey.

I didn’t even consider it til last month, when a nasty illness forced me to bed for an extended time.

I decided to rent an episode to see what the fuss was about. $90. worth of Netflix episodes and four weeks later, I had binge  watched six seasons of some of the finest TV  I’ve seen in a long time.

Almost immediately, I was transported to a world of pure bliss. Escapism at its finest. The decor, the scenery and those CLOTHES!!!🙏

While I feel the plots aren’t as epic as those of other great shows such as say,  “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad”,  the brilliance of this show is that you come to care very much about the characters, and  are totally whisked away to another place and time. A time of all things gentle and lovely.

Feisty Dowager Crowley, played by the brilliant Maggie Smith, is a force to be reckoned with, but someone I’d love to have a tip of spirits with in another time. My kinda gal!

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As an Ex-Pat in a very English world, Countess Crawley has her husband, Lord Grantham, and the rest of the house wrapped around her pretty little finger. She KNOWS you catch more flies with honey.

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Lady Mary and Lady Edith give new depth to the words “sibling rivalry”….and yes, I did want to slap Mary many times.

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Tom, the lower class mechanic who marries into this British nest is my favorite. Sparking Irish eyes, always the mediator with wit and charm, he won me over with his decency and huge heart.

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Then there’s the overworked “downstairs staff”. All trying to just get by while taking care of the more fortunate class. Most certainly not the easiest of lives, but  they seemed to accept their collective lots and make the best of what were the times they lived in.

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It’s not often that we are treated to such a beautifully, classy piece of drama. TV today is not for the faint of heart.

So I will miss this show tremendously.  I do, however,  hold out hope that I am treated to something again, as visually lovely and well done, in my ever advancing  lifetime!

Sunday night I’ll raise a glass and watch the finale.

BRAVO, and well done Julian Fellowes, et al, and thank you for making a tough Winter a bit easier.

Better late to the party than never!

Have a lovely week, and find your escape~

 

❤️EVERYDAY IS VALENTINES DAY~

Can it be that another Valentine’s Day is almost here???

How time flies when you’re having fun!

In my house, we have a motto that “everyday is Valentine’s Day”. We don’t wait for special occasions to say “I love you”, or to do something nice for one another. Why let the advertisers dictate when you should pay attention to your partner, when, with a little effort, you can do it all year long? It’s the little things that matter. The things that mean more than a dozen roses ever could.  The gestures, the kind word, or the quiet support. Having one another’s back. Those are the things that cement a relationship.

HOWEVER…we DO like treats! So what better day to gift the one you love than on the day of love. Forget flowers on Valentine’s Day.  So unoriginal, so easy.

Here are some things that would surely please your mate on Valentines Day…

Tickets to a romantic show, like this one, would be GREAT paired with a nice dinner, or after show cocktail and dessert at a lovely bistro.

Remember these two?

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The FABULOUS Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neil of “Love Story” fame have teamed up again after decades to bring a poignant joy to this long standing romantic play. The reviews are great! Check to see if it’s coming near you. Perfect Valentines Day gift if you were touched by Oliver and Jennie, back in the day.❤️

Next, for the coffee lover in your life, and you all have one, this is some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Black Bear Roasting Company in New Hampshire is a hidden jewel of a find. This mail order company delivers some outrageously good coffee beans straight to your door. You can buy it in half pound bags, or in bulk, and the selection is great. Trust me on this one…the quality and taste of this coffee will knock your socks off. The service is terrific and the price is comparable to a Starbucks bag…… But SO MUCH BETTER!

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My favorite is this gorgeous blend, Country French. This rich, smooth blend is perfect for a weekend cup in bed with the papers…my idea of heaven!

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Find it here… https://blackbearcoffee.com

I’m not a big jewelry gal….simple pieces, on occasion, and I’m good. But when I saw this Tiffany piece, I went MAD (for obvious reasons..😉) This will adorn my neck soon!❤️

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At TIFFANY.com, your Queen will adore you❤️👸

If you still don’t know what to get your honey, friend, dog, child, etc, here are more ideas from last Valentine’s Day…

https://wearyourcrowns.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/crown-worthy-valentines-gifts/

Finally, while Valentines Day is the day of love, never forget that the most important person to love is yourself. If you can’t figure out how to love and honor yourself, you can never learn how to really love and honor another. Put yourself at the top of that list!

Have a lovely Valentines Day❤️~

 

 

FINALLY, A DIET THAT WORKS!🙏❤️

I never really struggled with weight before.

When I turn fifty, I thought I needed a “tune up”, so I lost 22 pounds, simply by cranking UP the excercise and cutting DOWN on the food. Nothing fancy, easy peasy, it took 12 weeks.

Enter the Big M.

Menopause, when I finally went through it a 57, Kicked.My.Ass.

It seemed like I was gaining two pounds a week😩🔫.!!!

By Christmas, I had exceeded my 9 month pregnant weight, and I’m 5’2!!!! My hips and knees had been aching for months, my blood pressure was creeping up, and for the first time in my life, my cholesterol was high. I don’t eat much meat, fried food or dairy, as I prefer seafood, veggies and fruit, so that will tells you how compromised my metabolism had become. Puberty in reverse!

Desperate time called for desperate measures…..
and that’s when an angel appeared. My friend Jackie, a foodie who works on a national cooking show, came to the local coffee shop for the first time in months looking GREAT! Her skin was glowing, and she looked svelte. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me about the Fast Metabolism Diet.

 

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This diet, by nutritionist Haley Pomeroy, has already changed my life in 25 short days.

Be warned, it’s not easy to follow, and there is sacrifice involved…..

The list of “no’s” would kill a lesser woman, but as I said, desperate times….
No alcohol
No sugar
No wheat
No dairy
No artificial sweeteners (I’m a Sweet and Lo addict!)
No processed foods
And the biggest sacrifice…. NO CAFFEINE! Not even DECAF! 😩😱☕️

And if that’s not bad enough, you have to drink HALF your weight in ounces of water each day!
I think I now know every restroom location North of Boston!

After I got over the initial shock, I decided to take the plunge, and on January 1st, I jumped on with both feet.

By the end of day on, I was experiencing a withdrawal headache. By day two, I was a sick as I’ve been in years, seriously withdrawing from sugar, alcohol, caffeine and saccharin . I will never forget how I felt, and I now have a new respect for what I put in my body, and how it effects me.

But I soldiered on, and a funny thing happened. The needle on the scale started dropping….and dropping…and dropping!

With three days left (it’s a 28 day program), I’ve lost 15 pounds so far, and the best part is, I’ve lost ALL MY FOOD CRAVINGS, and I’m NEVER HUNGRY! I also no longer have ANY of the aches or pains from my hips and knees that have plagued me for two years!!

All this is 26 days!

Can I get an AMEN!!!!!

The diet is not easy to follow. The week is broken down into three phases, and in each phase you eat different types of food. Two days of carbs, two days of all protein, and three days of good fats like hummus, avocado, eggs and curry! The food is tasty, depending on how you prepare it. Unlimited veggies, all real food, no calorie counting, no stress.

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You are switching phases every two days, so it’s kind of hard to keep up with, but what it essentially does is confuse your metabolism. By doing that, it resets itself, and because you are eating fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains, as organic as you can find, you are always providing high quality nourishment for your body, and it pays off. No fake diet food, no dangerous pills, just food that we were designed to eat and thrive on.

I feel great now and am sleeping better as well.

Also, if I haven’t sold you already, the more weight you have to loose, the more food you must eat!!

When this phase ends on Thursday, I intend to treat myself for a few days. There is a blood orange martini out there with my name on it, and a pastry or two…..and maybe the Eggs Benedict with sweet potato hash from my favorite breakfast place.

But on Monday, I will get back on the horse and lose the last seven, maybe even by Valentines Day.
The author then suggests  you do a week of the diet once a month to keep your metabolism cranking. That’s a small price to pay for being healthy and enjoying food.

The is the find of the decade for me, and I enthusiastically give it five crowns!!!!!

Stay healthy and have a great week! I will raise a victory martini on the weekend and see you next week ~

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