Last Friday in the office for a bit, and last Friday before Christmas! So it’s really time to start getting merry! Not just merry for Christmas but for everything–for seeing and spending QT with family, for having only 10 days (just 10!) left until my Peruvian adventure, and for enjoying some good ol’ Midwestern suburban time too! Continue Reading
The Met’s current Costume Institute exhibit is called Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire. I was told of this exhibit while admiring estate jewelry with a gemologist in Hudson - so some admiration and appreciation of the fashion of the past went into this recommendation. Continue Reading
One of Virginia’s historic points of pride is the plantation of Thomas Jefferson, an estate that was consistently under construction during his lifetime as he embarked on new businesses (like forging nails), new design schemes (like inventing the wine dumbwaiter), and new, growing families (his own and those of his slaves). Plus the man never met a day he didn’t want to buy something new. His debt was impressive. Yes, he was our President – a tall, dashing yet reluctant one at that. But what is most interesting about Jefferson just may be the slaves who cared for him and his property. Particularly one – Sally Hemings, his lover and the mother of his children. Whether their relationship was voluntary or forced is up for discussion, but they basically had a long-term marriage that started in Paris, continued throughout their lives on the top of the mountain at Monticello, and did not end until Jefferson’s death on the 4th of July. Continue Reading
So last week when we posted “5 For Friday” we were 20 days away from Christmas, and now we’re just 12 days away from Christmas Eve. Go figure on the crazy time warp that occurs around the holiday season. Hopefully, you’ve found time to get in some holiday shopping so that you’re not starting completely from scratch, and maybe you’ve already worn that holiday dress or those shoes for the office party. Continue Reading
I love to match up my vacation with an appropriate read. For instance, reading Joan Didion while in Quintana Roo, or The Hemingses of Monticello while at…Monticello (soon to come). So while in Portland, Maine I dipped into Elizabeth Gilbert’s Stern Men, her first novel which takes place on the lobster boats and islands off the coast. Filled with eccentrics and hysterical cursing with “Down East” accents, I was so immersed in this book that while at cafes throughout Portland, I didn’t even notice that the locals were introducing themselves to me to ask how I liked the book!
Lobsters do not recognize boundaries, and neither, therefore, can lobstermen. Lobstermen seek lobsters wherever those creatures may roam, and this means lobstermen chase their prey all over the shallow sea and the cold-water coastline. This means lobstermen are constantly competing with one another for good fishing territory. The get in each other’s way, tangle each other’s trap lines, spy on each other’s boats, and steal each other’s information. Lobstermen fight over every cubic yard of the sea. It is a mean business, and it makes for mean men. As humans, after all, we become that which we seek. Dairy farming makes men steady and reliable and temperate; deer hunting makes men quiet and fast and sensitive; lobster fishing makes men suspicious and wily and ruthless.
The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is clearly the pie. Yes, yes, so many love the turkey skin, and so many are partial to that canned green bean casserole that is so cheap and fattening and delicious that only America could have invented it. But for me, it’s all about the pie (a la mode, not with whipped cream – that is just a wasted opportunity).
For a few years in a row now, we have been ordering from a delicious Portuguese bakery on the Upper West Side. We send Bill to do the pickup, but he can no longer be trusted as last year he was disrespectful of the gravity of the pie situation and dropped them on the sidewalk. He never told anyone, and we brought broken pie to someone’s house as a gift.