More vacation envy…stop it!!
August 5, 2009

 Thought I’d share with you some reader comments and questions….this from Nicole, regarding the post yesterday on the dreaded vacation envy, about a co-worker’s return from Provence…..
My recent vacation (just got back last Tuesday) included a day in Beverly Hills… my best friend and I went to the Jose Eber Atelier salon for a beauty stop. (got my hair cut by Jose himself… ) Then a run to Sprinkles cupcakes. Then a stop at the Panini cafe in Beverly Hills. Finished by a window shopping walk along Rodeo Drive. On another day, I spent some time walking along the beach at Coronado, California, watching a pod of dolphins leaping offshore.”

Does cruelty know no bounds, Nicole? While you were waltzing off to Jose Eber, I was probably cleaning the cat litter. My only come back in that I too, have had my hair done by the glamorous Jose(does he still wear that hat?)….anyway glad you had fun, you dolphin-watching cupcake-eater.

From Paul: “Ah Provence! I was fortunate enough to spend a month and a half in Cheval-Blanc, just outside of Cavillon near Avignon while apprenticing with master-chef Alain Nicolet. It was wonderful! I boarded in a house in town and did everything the French do. I can’t wait to go back.”

“It was wonderful!” OK, that is just piling on….I can hear you making funny/lame American jokes with the master chef Alain….”alors, oh witty Americaine, your weet just ees jus delightfool….ha-ha-ha!”…and no doubt swilling the Cheval-Blanc. That is a fancy white wine, isn’t it? I hope you didn’t drop a pan of beef bourguignon oh his foot while you were there….

The finished result...looks good, oui?

The finished result...looks good, oui?

And this from Elaine about my daughter’s cooking:
Donna, How was the beef stew your daughter made? Would really like to hear if she used an actual pan this time. God bless her for making the attempt.”

Elaine, Elaine, Elaine…God bless her indeed, but if she knew you were calling her Julia Child beef bourguignon… beef stew….even though that is what it is, she would be incensed. Incensed, I tell you! Actually, it was very, very good…excellent really, and I am happy to report she did use a pan…proof in the photo above. The girl is learning. Though she was quite put out that no one had commented on her owl cake from a previous post, that she spent much time and effort on.


Gratitude and Envy…how to feel both at the same time!
August 4, 2009

I picture the villa like this(in my head)....
I picture the villa like this(in my head)….

One of my favorite co-worker/friends is back from vaca…she traveled with her entire family…parents, husbands, and kids in tow,  to France. Provence to be exact. How idyllic is that? They stayed in a fabulous country villa decorated in shades of grey and white, drank white wine, made daily visits to the village fromagerie and boulangerie, and days trips to Arles and Paris, and the best part…at least one of the best…her parents footed the tab, I mean hosted the trip. That’s…just…not…fair.
All of us here were alternately pea green with envy and wildly curious for all the details. “How cold was the white wine?” “How fresh was the bread?” “How long did you sit on the terrace overlooking the vineyards?” You know what I mean.
We couldn’t get enough, like thirsty stragglers on the desert. If it had happened to someone I like less, it would have been truly painful. As it was I was able to enjoy it vicariously, as a really thirsty straggler, who has not been on holiday all summer, and will not be on holiday for the dog days of August.
One reporter here, who I shall not name, asked, “Your whole family was there, and there wasn’t any drama at all??” When she assured this person that there was a wee bit of drama, and indeed, when is there not on a family trip, they breathed a tiny sigh of relief.  OK, there’s the envy part of my day. To hell with France.
The gratitude part? Well, there are two parts to it. The first..I gota call last night from myson in New York. As you may know, this is not an everyday occurance. The lovely Jennifer will call me, and sometimes at the end of our convo, she will say to my son, who is also in the room, “Do you want to say hi to your Mom?” I can almost feel the resigned look he gives her, which is to say, “What else can I say now…no?” So he he replies with somewhat forced enthusiasm, “Sure!”  Perhaps I imagine all this, but still, it is nice when he calls me, because I know he wants to talk to me. And he called with good news about his new wife of whom he is understandably proud. “Jen is gonna be an American Express Featured Card Holder!” Honestly I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, but I knew it had to be good, and quite an honor for her fledgling business to be included, so I though you might also enjoy it. Here’s the link!

Not my dog, but cute nonetheless....
Not my dog, but cute nonetheless….

And the other gratitude I pass along compliments of Ojas Yoga…my yoga place, that comes from their monthly wellness newsletter, about how we can all take a lesson in life and happiness fromyour dogs. Enjoy…ruff.
When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back in the grass.
On hot days,  drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and stop when you’ve had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. (Like a holiday in Provence!) XOXO