I took my mom out for a belated Mother's Day lunch yesterday and she rewarded me with these pictures from the past. There is her mother, my "Kiki," third from left, standing with her five sisters, including my godmother, Maddy, on the far left. I can't decide whether I look more like one or the other.
Here's Kiki again with my grandfather, whom we called Rydi. He was the quiet type, but Kiki was the kind of woman who would play with me in my playpen. And, by that, I mean she would climb IN THERE with me. Hey, I think I saw those specs of Rydi's on Warby Parker!
From today's Londonist comes news of Heathrow's preparations for Jubilee Week, including the painting of this flag on one of the runways. That will be fun to see, of course, but I particularly like the touch of rolling out red carpets in all of the arrival terminals and inviting visitors to sign a guest book for the Queen. How charming. What shall I write, I wonder: "Dear Lizzie, you rule! Here's to 60 more, old girl!" Too much?
One week from today, we'll be setting off on our journey to the motherland via planes, trains, automobiles and boats. Lots of travel, lots of opportunities for motion sickness. On last year's Mediterranean cruise, the seas were calm. This year, on the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean? We can't be too careful. Thus, the array of products above. Oh, and the earplugs are for me. Back in bed with the snorer after a blissful month and half in my own room? I can't be too careful there, either!
It seems fitting, somehow, that my husband will close the sale - at long last - on his mother's house tomorrow, as Memorial Day weekend begins. My MIL loved pink and, despite being the only woman in a household of four men, she used the color liberally in her home, even down to the kitchen appliances. The new owner will likely tear them out and that's a shame. Because they just don't make 'em like that anymore, and they probably never will again.
Note: This is my first attempt at posting from my iPad via the Blogpress app. (I am getting so app-y, lately.) I have no idea what it will look like or if it will even work.
I finally broke down and bought something dressy for the cruise. Oceania doesn't believe in formal nights, thank God, but there are certain specialty restaurants that make you want to put on the dog. The Indian number on the left should do the trick, although I'll probably live in the long cardi on the right. Both from Soft Surroundings, my new favorite store.
That was the scene I'd been waiting for all season. (Wish I could say the same for the entire episode.) Don and Joan playing hooky at a bar, Rosemary Clooney (?) on the jukebox. Brilliant dialogue, beautifully acted. Oh, they must never, ever hook up. But, omigod, if they do, my head will explode and my eyes will pop out of my head. What do you think, Mad Men fans: Will they or won't they?
We took a trip to my husband's hometown yesterday. His mom's house finally sold - knock wood till closing day - after three frustrating years on the market. While he dealt with business, I did a little shopping at the local mall, which is a depressing half-vacant shadow of its former self, but still has a Bath & Body Works. I was once a fan of B&BW but, nowadays, it's an assault on my mature senses. Too many crazy colors and patterns and fruity smells. That said, I do like their True Blue spa line, especially the margarita scented body scrub. (When it comes to fruit, I make exceptions for liquor-soaked limes.) Unfortunately, they keep these products way in the back and, yesterday - being the only person in the store - I had to negotiate not one, but three, overly enthusiastic salespeople who really wanted to chat me up. I was not in the mood to talk, so I smiled and said my usual: "Just looking, thanks." Well! It's as if I had thrown down the gauntlet.…
My new Arcopedico shoes came today! I just discovered this Portugal brand recently and knew I had to have them. So light yet impossibly sturdy, the cutest walking shoes I've ever seen. Can't wait to give them a test run over hill and dale.
The hubs and I have always wanted to see the Scottish Highlands, but didn't want to be confined to a tour bus all day on our stop in Inverness. So, for the reasonable-sounding price of 55GPB, we hired a car for the day (just the car, not a driver) to do our own tour including the Inverlochy Castle and the Falls of Shin. This will be our second experience driving on the "wrong" side of the road, the first being in Grand Cayman three years ago. Suffice it to say, the first 24 hours was a dizzying adventure. Note to self: Skip the whiskey tastings that day.
Last year, in my rush to get ripped - or, rather, less ripply - before vacation, I took to the gym with a vengeance, tearing my hip adductor and groin muscles in the process. This year, I've been much smarter, choosing a safer workout routine suited to a weekend warrior of my advancing age. The goal: Create a little extra room in my clothes to accommodate inevitable cruise ship consumption. (Sure, there's a gym, but we're talking 12 days of fabulous cuisine.) This new book, "Kettlebells for 50+," and my new 5-pound bells (purchased for $10 at Tuesday Morning) have been a big help. You can workout virtually any body part with kettlebells, but I've been using them primarily for arm/shoulder exercises and squats while watching BBC America.
In an effort to whittle down our electronics for the big trip, the hubs and I decided to pack the iPad and one iPod only, in addition to our phones, of course. Enter this nifty little audio splitter that will allow us to watch movies or listen to audio books simultaneously, without disturbing our fellow travelers. I didn't know this little item existed! If only we'd had it on those car rides with the kids.
True confession: I sleep with my phone. Not so I can check emails in the middle of the night (although I won't deny doing it - what else are you supposed to do while going pee at 4 am?), but because - in my new room of my own - my phone has become the alarm clock. Last night, I programmed my Nightstand Central app to wake me up with a lovely, slow-to-fade-in Joni Mitchell song, "Morning Morgantown." Ahhh. So much better than the brutal buzzer of old.
This is my mom's engagement picture, circa 1954, taken a few months before she married my dad. This shot was taken early last year, two months before she married the second love of her life. I think it's perfectly clear: Love's the best anti-aging secret out there. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
I just discovered that on the day we arrive in Kirkwall, U.K., the northernmost port of our cruise, sunrise will be at 4:01 a.m. and sunset at 10:30 pm. That's as close to the Land of the Midnight Sun as I've come.Very cool, yet concerning for this sometime insomniac. I'm sure to be packing this deluxe sleep mask (which comes with earplugs - bonus!) and a couple of those chip bag clips to keep our stateroom drapes closed. (I read that handy tip somewhere. Miraculously, it just came back to me.)
My travel partner and I spent the day shopping for suitable gear for the British Isles, where high temperatures in June typically hover in the low 60s (F) and even colder in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Not to mention, the inevitable rain. (I don't mind. It really is my preferred kind of weather.) I scored this Marmot "Minimalist" rain jacket in a pretty cardinal red and waterproof hiking shoes by Ahnu, which are so incredibly comfortable and light, I may leave my humongous white gym shoes at home and hit the on-board gym in them instead. Three weeks and counting! Still looking for a proper fascinator for the Queen's Jubilee. Not a lot of millinery in my neck of the woods, sadly.
I've written countless warm and fuzzy mother's day columns. This year, I decided to tell it like it is. I may come off as an ingrate, but I'd like to believe most Moms out there will secretly thank me.
Derby Day meets Cinco de Mayo in this delicious cocktail from Emeril with mint, basil and cilantro. I'm making the simply syrup with Splenda so as not to go completely off the low-carb tracks. Cheers! Update: You gotta love a long-shot horse named "I'll Have Another" ridden by a young Mexican jockey winning at Churchill Downs on Cinco de Mayo.
My wild roses - and I mean WILD (look how high they climb) - are blooming three weeks early, providing a lovely view out the kitchen window (our ugly raised tomato bed notwithstanding). 'Almost makes me happy to do the dishes. Freaky side note: Those are real yellow flowers in the limoncello bottle on the sill, still going strong since the day before Easter. Incredible!