Saturday, December 22, 2012

What I Wish I'd Known

Nora Ephron (1941-2012) was a brilliantly funny woman.  Here's a list of hers to take us into the holiday season.

What I Wish I'd Known:

You can't be friends with people who call after 11 P.M. 

The last four years of psychoanalysis are a waste of money. 

The plane is not going to crash. 

Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five.

Write everything down.

Take more pictures.

You can't own too many black turtleneck sweaters. 

The reason you're waking up in the middle of the night is the second glass of wine.

If the shoe doesn't fit in the shoe store, it's never going to fit. 

There are no secrets.

Back up your files.


Never let them know. 

If only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you're ahead of the game.

You can order more than one dessert.

-Excerpted and abridged from "I Feel Bad About My Neck" by Nora Ephron, published by Vintage.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Little Cheer!

I know I owe several blogposts, but I saw this on Facebook, and had to share it.  I think we all need a little lift right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


A thought from Pema Chodron today...... from her book "The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times"

 The underlines and red are my additions.

Enjoy the adventure, whatever it may bring!!!


"Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesn’t work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Hungry? NYC food

As I said a few posts ago, I sorta got sidetracked with Julie's elbow injury, and the photography took a second seat to her needs...but I did remember to catch a few photos of food (naturally).  Especially when it was of Daniel Boulud's gorgeous creations at DB Bistro Moderne.

My hanger steak.

I can't remember who had the fresh pasta.

Amy, I think, had this GLORIOUS seafood salad.

And you KNOW I have never been able to pass up dessert....  especially if it is warm gingerbread with a molten caramel center, topped with a tuille and vanilla ice cream.

Obscenely good.

Wicked good, as well, was Balthazar's mussels on Monday.

How I LOVE that place!!!!!

Elf on the Shelf???

Those  friends of mine with small kids have been all over Elf on the Shelf for a few years now.  It is brilliant, and I wish it had been around when Alix and AJ were younger.

But when my friend Amanda Gouthiere posted this the other day, I absolutely lost it.

Oh, come know I would!!!!!!

This and That from NYC

Just a few more photos from my recent trip to NYC...

Of course I had to take a photo of the skating rink at Rockefeller Center...

...and pay a visit to Times Square.

The subway is always good for a photo or two.

Colton and Martha listening to the incomparable Jane Marx (more on that later).

Colton laughed when I said I wanted a photo of his hands, but played along.

On Monday, while everyone was buying fake purses (you would think we had enough of them by now), I was pulled down Canal Street for a quick respite.

Now I know what my name looks like in Chinese.

And other places...

Beautiful displays in Chinatown.


New York City

If you've read this blog for years (oh, admit it, you have read it for years, right?  Yeah, Riiiiiigggghhhtt),  you know that every November some of the girls in my family head to New York City with about 20 of our friends.  I describe our group as a well-heeled gang. The 2012 trip was the 14th in a row.  And it was a doozy.

We spent the week before wondering if we would even MAKE it to New York.  Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, leaving those unaccustomed to hurricanes in devastation.  We from the South understood their pain and anxiety.  But we were not to be stopped by some windstorm. There was shopping to do and plays to be seen.

Even up to the last minute, we worried.  The day before we departed, New York got hit again-with SNOW.  It was still piled up when we arrived-right on time.  That's something of an oddity (the arriving on time) with New York's LaGuardia airport.

First stop upon dropping our bags at our favorite hotel, the Kimberly, was the wine shop.  Diplomat, to be precise. Terribly convenient at 2 blocks away.

We are ready for the next 24 hours, at least.

This year, the schedule changed a bit.  We used to go to a show the first night, but having to get up so early (4am) to make the plane connections had everyone worn out. So this year, we had the cocktail party and dinner on our first night.  Everyone seemed to be delighted with the change.

Before hand, we gathered in our room to start festivities rolling.  Cousin Suzanne and her daughter Amy joined us, as did our friend from Arkansas, Martha.

Note Julie talking to Suzanne.  It will be the last you see of her..........for a while.

At the cocktail party, Colton Peltier joined our merry band.   He plays the piano.  (Well, that is an understatement if I have ever made one.)

 Here he is with the delightful (and energetic) Martha.

Miss Martha heard him play at a master class at the Aspen Music Festival when he was 11( or maybe it was 9---I forget).  Since then (he's now 18), she has ensured that he studies with the best teachers, and now he is in his second year at Julliard.  He is a delight to be around-poised beyond his years and so willing to jump into all situations and experience the world around him.

 He's been compared to a young Van Cliburn.  Remember his name. Colton Peltier.  You heard it from me first.

Now, back to Julie.

A photo like this is never a good sign.

Neither is a clock reading this in the middle of the night.

What happened, you say???

Well, on the way back from the restaurant (DeGrezia, since you asked),  Julie caught the edge of an uneven pavement slab, and fell.  On her elbow.  Directly on her elbow.  The same elbow she had surgery on in MARCH for nerve damage.

She tried to hang with the pain, but it got the best of her, and off we went to Lenox Hill Hospital.

I have to say, that at 4am, it's the place to go for quick emergency room service.  We were in and out in 2 hours. X-rays and all.

Diagnosis- broken elbow. (She ended up having surgery the next Friday and is mending nicely- but she really did a number on her elbow.  The surgeon said he's only seen 8 or so as bad in his 34 years of practicing medicine.  Well, if you are gonna do it, do it right, I always say.)

Julie was a trouper through it all.  She even noticed that they had a chair specifically for my brother Ed, in case he should ever be in the neighborhood and need emergency services....

(Have you figured out that Julie has the best sense of humor in the world?)

The rest of the trip is pretty much a blur.  My camera was sorely neglected, but I managed to get a few shots....

I was very excited to see the promotions for Bill Joyce's movie "Rise of the Guardians" (I took art lessons with him at Mrs. Slagle's house in my teen years.....I was barely adequate; he was brilliant, even then...)

I visited Mood Fabrics, famously highlighted on Project Runway.

Our plays----we saw Newsies (wonderful, but CruiseGran didn't like the union-sympathetic undertones.... lol), saw Annie the day after it opened,  and then saw Once on Sunday at matinee (and I cried....oh, it was wonderful).

Walked past the Rock...

And the Rockette's home.

On Saturday, we ate lunch at DB Bistro Moderne, and it was wonderful.

But that's not unusual.

It's New York.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New 'Do for the Holidays

Well....Look what I did on Tuesday!!!!

I needed something I chopped my hair off.

Maybe I am channeling a Christmas elf or something...I don't know....

But I like it!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 Summer Family Cruise

It's hard to believe I have finally posted photos of our family cruise and overland trip. Combing through so many photos and editing them brought back so many memories.

We have been to some pretty incredible places the last six summers.  And I am sure there are many more adventures to be had.

But Turkey was something special.  Was it the history?  Was it the ruins?  Was it the sheer beauty of the rocks and sea and olive groves?

Maybe it was our incredible tour guide Özgür Erdogan.  He certainly made the sites we visited come alive in ways other tour guides have never managed to do.

All I know is that Turkey is high on my list of places I want to revisit.  And I would like to stay for a longer time.

If you have the chance, dear reader, to visit the western coast of Turkey, take my advice.

Do it.

And don't forget to bring back a costume to remember!!!!

2012 SFC- The Basilica of St. John

And so we come to the last stop on our 2012 Summer Family Cruise Trip.  But not before lunch!!!

Özgür had found us some pretty tasty spots the past few days...and our last lunch was the highlight of all--- Bizim Ev Hanimeli Restaurant and Cafe.

In the cool breeze of the trees....

The magnificent midday spread that is the Turkish noontime meal.

And yes, the owner has a cookbook...which Julie and I both bought.

Alix put a pin on the map for Middle-of-Nowhere, Georgia.

And we left the olive and fig groves for the Basilica of St. John the Apostle.

The Basilica overlooks a mosque built in 1374. What a lovely courtyard.

Storks build their nests all over the area.

The tall column is all that is left of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Again, Özgür makes us feel like we are the only people that matter.  Here he explains the church's baptismal font.

The church was completed in 565AD.

The tomb of St. John.

Özgür pointed out another "graffiti" from ancient times--this one, a Christian fish.

My mother enjoying a look around the ruins of the church.

2012- Ephesus Glimpses

More of breathtaking Ephesus.