Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Week Ahead or La Semaine Prochaine


On The Calendar for The Week to Come:

Lundi:  Transatlantic Parallel 

Mercredi: Virtual Soldes Shopping with Edith: What we would buy if we could buy -- money- no-object -- anything we desired. No jewels allowed in the game. 

Vendredi: Dear Cherie. . . (depending upon her humor, one never knows)

Surprise (!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Un Cadeau























Kindness in words creates confidence; Kindness in thinking creates profoundness; Kindness in giving creates love.  Lao-Tse

                      *********************
As I often do I promised a surprise for the weekend, a petit cadeau. When I made the promise I had no idea what it might be.

This time though it was truly a magical surprise and a gift for me as well: the quote from Lao-Tse.

When I started my first job at 22, I kept it framed on my desk or in a drawer as a constant reminder of how I wanted to live my life; to make whatever effort it took to apply the "laws" in every thing I did. (Kindness in thinking can be a Herculean challenge.)

I thought I had lost my scrap of paper. 

It's not as if I couldn't have re-written and re-framed it of course, but it had become a sort of talisman in its original tattered form in a handwriting I barely recognize today. (Maybe there really is something to the science of graphology. The French believe in it and often require a writing sample or a handwritten cover letter as part of a job application.)

My "original" re-appeared in Andrea's recent massive re-organization of my life. It is now in a new frame and back on my desk.

I think these principles come as close to a perfect way to live one's life as is possible on this earth. 

Although my story has nothing to do with the theme of the blog, I allow myself such diversions from time to time when I think they might make you smile, sigh or nod your head.

Have a lovely weekend -- rain, snow, or sunshine.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dear Cherie. . .























What a week this has been: dinner parties; working on projects; shopping the last of the soldes; a med-ped and worst of all, You-Know-Who has started her regime impelling Cherie to avoid her at every turn. She is un-su- por-ta-ble (French pronunciation). 

She eats these blini/crepe things every morning made out of coarsely ground buckwheat and oat bran held together by an egg and a heaping tablespoon of frommage blanc (zero percent fat), mixed and then spread into a non-stick pan, no easy task considering how gooky it is. Et voila, breakfast. 

If the horses across the street were au courant there would be a stampede on the kitchen.

To be perfectly honest with you, which Cherie usually is, she liked You-Know-Who better when she was eating ice cream and drinking Chartreuse.

Enough of that, let's get to your questions:

Q: Dear Cherie, You mentioned dinner parties. Did you notice any trends?


















A: Chere Mme. X, Cherie assumes you are speaking about the guests as opposed to the repas, n'est-ce pas?  In that case, yes. We were six couples at table, among the women five were wearing some form of pearl earrings. Cherie is not fool enough to predict this coincidence as a mode movement, simply an observation. The pearls were in all sorts of shapes, sizes and sizzle: long teardrops held by a decent sized ruby; round surrounded by diamonds; a single large one suspended from a small gold loop; and a sort of chandelier affair which Cherie liked least.

Q: Anything strike your fancy these days, Cherie?























A: Of course, Mme. M, Cherie's fancy is tickled several times a day. She insists upon it. She was particularly "touched" might be the correct word for this photograph (by Denis Rouvre) in Figaro Madame magazine of Diane Von Furstenberg. Why, you might well ask? Because she has clearly done the teeth whitening procedure, but she hasn't zapped her hands and look at the crinkles around her eyes. Cherie thinks this is all quite splendid.

Q: Dear Cherie, Before you get worked up, I know you don't do "cute," but I do and was wondering with your refined eye if you might steer me in the right direction so I could have mignon, without looking the fool. Could you do that for me? Hmmm?























A: Dear Mme. S, Has anyone ever told you you're annoying? If not, they must have been thinking it. Alright, Cherie will not get worked up and will actually show you something she considers cute. This cashmere pull from Sonia Rykiel with "Garçon Manqué" (tomboy) emblazoned across the front. You know Cherie does not approve of grown women wearing messages on their chests. She's just saying in her opinion this is awfully mignon

Do you think that expression on her face has anything to do with the fact she forgot her trousers? (Photo by Nicolas Bergerot.)

Q: Chere Cherie, You have neither the time nor the space to tell us what you think about all the latest haute couture collections, but would you show us a few ensembles you might wear if you lived in the rarefied world you so richly deserve?


















































































































































A: Ah, Mme.H, How very delicate on your part. Cherie would be delighted to share a few looks that caught her eye. She does this with an irrevocable caveat however: One must never, never, never -- and you fashion mavins know this -- look at a collection on a runway or even in most fashion magazines and say to yourself, "Well obviously that wasn't made for me." 

Well of course it wasn't, it was made for the photographer so the photographs could be sold with enough shock value to grab your attention. Stripe away the theater and look at the treasure beneath. Another point, we're talking haute couture here. That means when you go in to try on the evening gown of your dreams that costs more than a Harvard education, you can ask the atelier to make the skirt longer or add a pair of sleeves. At those prices some customers are invited to dine with John or Karl.

Pictured above: Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior and Chanel.

(For the record: Cherie doesn't wear sorbet pastels and no, she doesn't want to discuss a crop as the season's new accessory.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Edith et Moi: All Soldes Out













































Do you recognize the woman on top of the heap? Nor do I.

I think it's me trying to go against type, i.e. attempting to look more French. (I know, I know. . .)

Let me explain: it's painful and embarrassing, but what can I do? That black sweater dress/tunic/whatever there was marked down 50,000 times and I thought: "Oh, for heaven's sake, just go for it." 

The little voice, that annoying little teller of truths, was whispering: "Are you out of your mind? You'll never wear it. You're not French. Can't you figure out another way to spend 20 Euros?" 

Apparently not.

That's my story. (As Jennifer over at The Daily Connoisseur would point out, my American kicked in and eclipsed whatever good French sense I've learned over the years.) The same M.O.: "Sale, sale? Did someone say, 'sale' -- where, where (?); here, take my money, no I'm not crazy about it, but it's 70 percent off, wrap it up."

In my defense, this is a look I love -- on other women. I own the gray and black striped jersey turtleneck and of course hundreds of pairs of black pants, so I was covered on those fronts and obviously I wanted my arms concealed. (Note length of sleeves on new purchase.)

But enough about me, if I do wear the get-up outside the house, I'll report back. Edith says I should, but then again she would. She's French and it would look terrific on her.

As of now we're finished with the sales. We've been to the bottom of all the boxes and baskets and there is nothing left except a few scarves which I bought en masse for moi meme and future gifts. Some are really, really special. I'll tell you about them some time. All were between 50 and 70 percent off the price I probably would have paid for them anyway, except I would have bought fewer -- at least that realization is very French.

These are our final markdown purchases:

1.) For Christmas I gave Edith a mauve silk and cashmere turtleneck, a color she has never before worn. She hasn't taken it off since. By chance she found the skirt shown with it here. Who knows how? Who knows where? She's French.

2.) Passing by Ventillo, Edith popped in and popped out with the body-caressing lace top embroidered with ribbon "accents." She says it's perfect with black jeans or an evening skirt. I believe her.

3.) My other huge purchase was the paper-thin wool scarf I'm wearing with my 20-year-old YSL jacket, another of my thousands of pairs of black pants and my Chanel ballerinas. The scarf, although you cannot discern the details from the license the artist took. . . is actually blue-gray with a -- this is killing me to say, but it was only five Euros -- leopard print in blue, light and dark gray. (When I handed over the five Euro bill I had visions of how absolutely green with envy Une Femme would be.)













































Next week Edith and I plan to tell you what we would have bought, if we could have bought anything our little hearts desired. You won't want to miss this installment. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Transatlantic Parallel























Taa-daa: the second installment of Transatlantic Parallel with the eternally chic (and French obviously) Jeanne-Aelia of The French Eye of Design.

How about a little back story on our parallel series? Since we're still feeling our way in an attempt to fool-proof our technique and fine-tune our approach, this is what we do:  every week we e-mail back-and-forth, back-and-forth, with lists ticking off (in some cases this has a duel definition), what we like about our adopted countries; what we like less or not at all; what we miss from the place we once called home; and what we are glad we left behind.

Once we agree on the subjects; that's it. End of conversation. Silence on the airwaves. We attack in parallel, but not ensemble, if you see what I mean. Neither one of us will read the other's post until you do. Is that exciting or what? Can you still your beating heart?

This weeks topics for debate include:

1.) Bridesmaids versus untold numbers of flower girls.

2.) Standing like ladies and gentlemen in lines -- no cutting in.

3.) Café in the salon after dinner.

4.) Sweats. (Perhaps the name itself gives an enormous hint about the appropriate environment in which they should be worn? Then again, I guess not. . .)























Alright, I'm going to plunge right in and deal with the fallout later. There will be fallout, of that I am certain. I prefer bridesmaids, dear friends of the bride's, over the French tradition of scads of little girls and boys dressed-up in admittedly a-dor-a-ble (French pronunciation) outfits as attendants. There, I've said it.

This is why -- I know you want me to tell you: It's the bride's day. One hopes she knows how to choose her friends, let's hope also that her dress is a show stopper and that all the pretty maids in a row are supporting actresses.  I look at them as the complimentary greenery the florist gives one to fill-out a bouquet. (Think of this as a metaphor. Or maybe it's a simile since I used "as."  Thank you.) Theoretically their role is to make the star shine. 























(You be the judge. The photograph later painted by Edith herewith, shows the mini attendants moments before they run amok.)

Little children, even unspeakably cute little children, ultimately believe their role is to morph into unruly scamps and take the spotlight off the star. Yes they are sweet in photographs and walking down the aisle, but thereafter disaster strikes. I've seen it happen.

I have nothing against one, max two flower girls as long as their mothers are well-disciplined.

**********
Without transition, a major rant about the French and line-cutting. It's a national sport. Some are actually proud of their highly developed techniques. 















It makes me wild. Do you hear me? Wild(!) They do it at the movies, at grocery stores, chez le boulanger, airports, boutiques, any and every place they can get away with it. 

When Andrea was about eight I sent her to our tiny village to pick-up a baguette. When she didn't return after 20 minutes I started to worry. When I ventured out to look for her she was at the end of the line because all the adults had cut in front of her. She would still be there today if I hadn't intervened.

**********



















Moving along from bread to café. . . I must admit one of my favorite rituals at French dinner parties is coffee and tisanes in the salon. It is for me, like walking from one experience and atmosphere into another ambience entirely, the third act in a play. Dinner is finished, the hostess gives the signal, everyone stands, places their napkins on the table and adjourns to the living room where a beautiful try is set with demitasse cups, little chocolates and nearby an assemblage of liqueurs, Armagnac, and brandy. 

Neither the hostess nor the guests start a march into the kitchen with their dirty plates. The host or hostess extinguishes the candles and the lights as they leave the dining room and the evening flows on, new setting, more lively conversation. (Antique service above by Christofle.)

**********
































I've saved the worst for last: sweatsuits or any parts therefrom worn as real clothes. Yes, I am fully aware of the taut bodies in Juicy Couture get-ups, but still. I don't care how many accessories one adds, I'm sorry, unless a woman is literally running or at least on her way to or from the gym I don't get it. You know I could go on and on, but enough said. Oh, no, not quite. A woman of a certain age should really re-think the sweats issue and visit her full length mirror (if she doesn't own one, it should be her next fashion purchase) take a quick glance over her shoulder. And then ask herself: Do I really like that derrière view? Probably not. Furthermore, is that a choice location for a message?

In all my years in France I have never seen a Frenchwoman, of any age, wearing sweats as if they were some form of ready-to-wear. Never.

A bientôt, until Lundi prochain.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Week Ahead or La Semaine Prochaine













On The Calendar for The Week to Come:

Lundi: Transatlantic Parallel

Mercredi: The Last of Les Soldes with Edith (Fab-u-lous, really)

Vendredi: Dear Cherie (Assuming she's in the mood, if not this & that from You-Know-Who)


A Surprise (!)

(Calendar from Puce Blue)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Have You Seen This!?
















For those of us who unabashedly admit we're Marion Cotillard fans, if you haven't seen and heard her singing and swanning in the Dior Rouge campaign, Lady Dior, you might like to click and see the value-added content she's giving the brand.

When the screen opens you will see: "Pour proffiter pleinement de l'experience, veuillez allumer vos haut-parlers."  To completely appreciate the experience please turn on your speakers (it probably really means "turn on and turn up" your speakers). Then be patient. On my computer it took a while to load-up. We can discuss the music at another time if you feel so inclined.

Et voila, a little weekend cadeau

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear Cherie. . .























Have you any idea how draining it is watching you-know-who and "the little one" tear the abode apart, in an attempt to turn chaos into clutter-free calm? 

 Truly, you can't imagine. 

Cherie left town and checked into a spa the minute the dust started flying. Cherie needed -- no deserved -- some serious R&R pampering. 

Back today and admittedly delighted to see her desk has a top -- formerly Cherie thought papers were suspended in mid-air, not a surface was bare and heaven knows Cherie can be as obsessive/compulsive about neat and orderly as she is about her personal appearance. (In mid-sentence gloss is often re-applied and parfum freshened. Surely you're not surprised.)

But enough about moi. Let's talk about you. The poste is overflowing with your questions. Let us begin:























Q: Chere Cherie, You know I don't wish to be rude, but I can't help wondering: Do you plan on talking about les marinières t-shirts (again and again) any time soon or will you once and for all drop the subject?

A: My Chere: Is your question, are marinières over? If so, the response is non, non, non et non. The other day Cherie did some stealth photography at Monoprix and guess what's on the racks for spring? You've got it. And what do you see above? That's a spanking new Chanel sweater which Cherie believes one would call a marinière, n'est-ce pas (?) right out of the January 15th edition of French Elle (picture by David Vasijievic). 

You have Cherie's permission to wear them again starting now.

Q: Dear Cherie, Thrilled you're back and hope you're feeling perky and rested. On the subject of "perky" I need your help. What with the let down after the holidays and all the gray weather, do you have any nifty notions about perking up our winter wardrobes?

A: Dear Mme. M: That was long-winded, but thank you for asking, Cherie feels refreshed and relaxed (relaxed being a relative term for one as active and mondaine as moi meme). This is a subject about which Cherie pondered while being pummeled and came up with a few snappy solutions for the last dark days of the season.






























































1.) A new plaid shirt. Cherie likes the ruffled one from the Gap (a nice mix of F&M -- masculine and feminine, what were you thinking?) which might be on markdown (or completely sold-out), the pink from Bruce Field or the red from the label Finger in the Nose -- Cherie with her delicate sensibilities twitched when writing that.





















2.) How about those pearls from Chanel? If they don't pick up your spirits it's time to hit the meds.

OK, just pearls in that case. Pearls are wonderful for the morale.

3.) Scarves, scarves, scarves. As Frenchwomen know, they are the best all-time investment whether dirt cheap or designer cher. Think white or color(!) and don't worry about fads and trends, scarves are personal statements.

Q: Dearest Cherie, I've been seeing lots of pale, pinky natural lip colors and much less red, red, red? What's your reading on this? Do I spot a trend?


















































A: My chere Mme. D: Poor Cherie, always a wearer of beigey/pinky/rosy/nudey lipsticks, is befuddled by this conundrum -- not the question obviously, but the indecision on the part of the beauty industry. Note all the naturals pictured here on: Robin Wright, Sharon Stone (you'll notice in the Dior ad, where you can't figure out who she is, she has pale lips) and Audrey Tautou. Furthermore, the recent magazine covers have featured low-voltage color. However, open the pages and out pops the red. (Note the orange on the model in the Chanel sailor shirt.)

Cherie suggests you find your color and stick to it as she always does. Or, find your colors and stick to them. For the moment, Cherie can confirm, lips are not slippery/shiny. That's about it.

Q: Cherie, dear, What's new?



































A: Mme. L, dear, this is what's new: A line of bijoux from Cartier called Entrelacés. Cherie refuses to believe that something that looks either like a piece of barbed-wire or a twisted electrical cord will replace her beloved Trinity collection of which she has the ring and the bracelet. 

The twister (Cherie's word) has been executed in three forms: ring, bracelet and necklace with prices beginning at 600 Euros. You be the judge. If Cherie had designed it the ends would have been filled with precious stones, but then again Cherie was no doubt having a facial when Cartier called for her input. 

Cherie's Running Late. . .























Cherie will be with you shortly -- right after she settles a few things with you-know-who. 
xoCxo

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shopping Les Soldes with Edith









































We're back, we're back(!) 

Edith went off to her tiny chalet somewhere in France -- I can never remember the name of the place, all I know is it's not Gstaad (and yes, I know Gstaad is not in France) -- where she told me they trudged through gucky, mucky watered down snow and never unpacked their skis. 

Quelle chance, I stayed home and unpacked my closets, shelves, cupboards, drawers, desk, bookcases and suitcases. I ask you, which one of us had more fun? Precisely.

But never mind, we're together again and we've been shopping the markdown racks like little mad mavins. This is how we approach les soldes:

1.) Formerly waaaay too expensive items we long to own and would probably wear for the rest of our lives if only they weren't quite so pricey. Strategy: Grab 'em.

2.) An item or two that breaks us out of our style molds -- even if only slightly. Because we're taking a minor risk we want the price to be right. Strategy: Hesitate, don't be impulsive, decide to go for it.

3.) A sure keeper, something we have already spotted on the next season's runways and will constantly re-emerge over the years, i.e. -- and heaven knows I hate to say this: Animal prints. Strategy: Debatable, but probably not a bad idea.

4.) If we're lucky a classic replacement or back-up, i.e. black cashmere sweater, a jewel colored velvet jacket, flannel trousers, white blouses (eh, oui) and so forth. Strategy: A no-brainer. She who hesitates will never forgive herself. (OK, slight exaggeration.)

We will be shopping until the end of the month. We figure by the 31st we'll have our heads in dusty, battered bins labeled 60 and 75 percent off. And, honestly, you just never know what's at the bottom of the basket. . .

This is what we've bought so far:

Edith found this large hound's-tooth jacket she readily admits she never would have bought if it hadn't been on its second markdown.

The black wool dress frankly was a no-risk, "how could she get so lucky" find. (I unearthed something similar, but not as smart as hers, to show you next week.)







































The long purply/blue turtleneck is a stretch for me. Edith pushed me to buy it at half price. I'm wearing it here with my favorite, not much longer for this world, navy silk trousers. 

The black silk sari-inspired tunic is actually a present from Edith. I envision wearing it forever. It is soooo me and soooo black. I'm soooo happy. (Next week you'll see something I bought for Edith in a color she has never worn before. She claims to love it.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Transatlantic Parallel
















With Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart

Once upon a time a French woman fell in love with an American man, married him and moved to the United States – 40 minutes outside New York City.

Once upon a time, on the other side of the Atlantic, an American woman fell in love with a Frenchman, married him and stayed in France – 40 minutes outside Paris.

Perhaps you’re yawning, thinking: “Yes, oui, whatever. . . I’ve heard that tale hundreds of times.”

No you haven’t.

This story is all about us:  Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart, creator of the stunning, inspiring, oh, so chic French decoration/lifestyle blog and moi.  Click over to see what I mean -- Through the French Eye of Design -- and join us on our "Anglo"/French exchange mission.

Every Monday we will have a Transatlantic “conversation” about our parallel lives.

We’ll tell you everything about our experiences in our adopted countries as the insider outsiders we are and always will be. (J-A has lived in the States for 18 years; I’ve lived in France for 25.) 

We’ll dish, dissect and delight you (we hope) with what we find amusing, annoying, frustrating, fascinating, dismaying, challenging, infuriating and most certainly all the things we love about living on opposite sides of the Atlantic.












Of course our conversations wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t reveal what we miss from our homelands. Don't fret; we plan to spill les haricots on the good, the bad and the elegant.










As we begin our discourse I'd like to share a few of our favorite things. We both like masses of pearls, worn at the same time (obviously); macaroons (café is my favorite framboise is hers); Dyptique candles (I like Oranger, Jeanne-Aelia prefers Baies); clusters of silver timbales filled with everything from colored pencils to small bouquets and much, much more. . .














A few points on which we disagree: I do not particularly like frangipane, J-A, does; Jeanne-Aelia thinks American friendliness in commercial situations is terrific. I think the non-stop “how’re you doing today(?)” repeated several times as one traverses a shop in the States is EXTREMELY annoying. Nobody cares if I have a cold or didn't sleep well the night before, it’s simply a marketing gimmick that makes me want to actually tell the salespeople how I'm feeling.











What would I miss? Since I know I can find the wine in the States, I would most definitely regret the cheese to go with it, particularly a Camembert made from lait cru (unpasterised milk) and a perfect Reblochon.

Oh, yes, I think J-A will tell you she loves the way guests gather in her kitchen when invited to dinner parties. When I lived on the other side I found that charming as well. Now, I prefer the French way. Guests -- that means men and women together, no separation of the sexes -- remain in the salon, sip their champagne and with the exception of perhaps one best friend, everyone stays out of the kitchen. 

(Note: I do not have a large, divine country kitchen where everyone could comfortably congregate, if I did perhaps I would change my position on the subject.)

Let us know, s'il vous plait in the petit commentaire chez Jeanne-Aelia or on the comments section chez moi what you think about all of this so J-A and I can cheerfully debate your views en Parallel, of course, on our transatlantic lives.

Merci et à très bientôt,

Tishx (Or Letitia, just because it's so French. . .)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Week Ahead or La Semaine Prochaine













On The Agenda for This Week:

Surprise (!) Eh oui, we're back -- that's the editorial "we" as in Cherie, moi and a new collaboration with the debut of an exciting feature starting tomorrow, here's the line-up:**

Lundi: Transatlantic Parallel

Mercredi: Edith & I Shop Les Soldes

Vendredi: Dear Cherie. . .

Samedi: Next Week's Program & Perhaps A Little Surprise

**Still working on major project so fewer posts for the moment. But oooooh, if you could see my desk, my closets, my spiffed-up life you would be soooo proud of me, that is you would be proud of me if you're someone who does not ordinarily have an orderly life. If you are you probably have pity and distain, but don't tell me. Merci par avance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sooooo Waaaaaay Off Subject. . .















Regarding today's post, all I can say is the only details remotely connected to the theme of this blog are the two every day constants: I continue to be a femme d'un certain age (though barely, ahem. . .) and I'm sitting in front of my computer in the countryside outside Paris. 

Since as I predicted (and you may have noticed), I've been "away" for a few days -- figuratively, not literally -- I thought I would share my adventures with you.  I also mentioned at the time my daughter would be home, a detail highly relevant to today's post.

I don't know how many of you put credence in astrological signs, but I'm going to assume you do to make the telling of this tale more trenchant.  I'm a Taurus; Andrea is a Virgo. For the uninitiated let me simply say: These two signs have wildly different attitudes toward order, organization and general every day maintenance of a certain level of sanity. 






















(For those of you who are experts on rising suns, falling moons and shooting stars, I know nothing about the nuances of the zodiac. I'm only into the basics and in my experience certain inalienable truths consistently repeat themselves.)





















A Taurus is more laissez-faire, while a Virgo is faire tout de suite before a mole hill turns into a mountain and one starts to suffocate under the detritus and obligations of the quotidian. 

It all started when Andrea realized I had transferred my detritus from her room into the library making the opening of the door a tricky affair. After greeting the dogs, setting down her perfectly packed bags (you know, everything rolled with tissue paper, folded garments, cosmetics in travel size containers, lingerie arranged in special envelopes, shoes in shoe bags -- it's nuts) she started to take a tour of her home. I seriously thought we would have to call in the medics. 

Without boring you with the sordid details, let me tell you: I have not had one moment's peace since she walked through the front door, which btw I scrubbed free of muddy paw prints and straightened the wreathes before her imminent arrival. 

She has arranged every one of my shelves, closets, ironing, desk, filing system, spice shelf; she's made massive giveaway piles divided into designer clothes destined for vintage boutiques and good clothes for charity and she has begged me to never ever, ever buy another pair of black pants or sweaters of any sort for the rest of my life. Clothes are now arranged by type and color. She has put the items I wear most often up front; center are the less often worn and at the back evening clothes, as in black tie get-ups, which rarely get an outing these days. 

The library is now a library again. Her room is clutter-free, my desk top has work space (!) liberated of layers of papers, books and magazine pages. The stacks and stacks and stacks of magazines have been handled in two efficient procedures: sorted and kept, tossed.

Each step along the way to my personal sanity and future efficiency she asked me what "system" I wanted in place pointing out that unless it works for me it won't work. I explained the basic definition of the word "system" worked for me and merely asked that she explain it to me. I do know how to follow orders, particularly when they are in my best interest.

At my request she will prepare a notebook to keep me on track.

Since "according to studies" by whom heaven only knows, new year's resolutions last until February 17th (you've got to ask yourself who came up with that exact date and hope your tax dollars were not paying for the study) I hesitated about writing a blog on the subject. 

But getting my life in order, as in the "stuff" of my life was my major resolution. Being a Taurus and all, it never would have happened without the Virgo. Now I feel so liberated as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me -- well actually it has. 

The next weight will be the famous regime of which I will regale you in the future.

All of this is to say my new year is starting off swimmingly (oh, yes I've re-signed up for my aqua gym classes). Junk removal has put me in a euphoric frame of mind. 

That ethereal state is primarily due to spending non-stop quality time with Andrea the way we always did in the past. 

That unfortunately can't be neatly arranged on a shelf where I can reach it every day.

Ed. Note: Picture of the closet is from the late, great Domino magazine and for the record my birthstone is diamond (April), green is not my favorite color and Andrea's birthstone is peridot (August). Voila
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