Becoming a Princess



This morning included many things, one of which was putting on a dress for a charity event tonight.  I chose a pink flower long summer dress and headed out the door.

My hair freshly dyed blonde, brass reducer used the following day to cut down on the orange and red my hair pulls from my full Irish grandmother.  My fair skin and some freckles are from her as well.

Next stop was a local deli to grab lunch and while waiting in line which has very strict rules of no cell phone use.  I noticed a little girl twirling by her mother’s side.  She had a cute yellow top with stars, hearts and blue cute summer shoes adorned  on the heal with ribbon fringe.  She was about three and curious as she looked around.

She caught my dress and looked up to stare, “You’re a girl” and I said, “Yes.” She then twirled and pointed “She’s wearing a dress…a pink one with pretty flowers.”  I said, “Thank you.”  She went on as she twirled around “I have no dress.”  I replied, “But you have a pretty shirt with yellow flowers, stars and hearts.”  “But, I have no dress,” she said as she twisted.  She looked up at her mother and said, “she’s a princess.”

I smiled from ear to ear and happily replied, “well, that’s the look I was going for.”  The men in line standing quietly, following the rules, enjoying the banter were like knights in a queens court.

The man next to me as we approached the deli counter to order, who had held the door for the princess on my way in with a smile, looked at me and said, “she’s a talker.”

I thought to myself, “You have no idea sir, that is one smart princess in the making. I am off to my Chateau in France in a matter of days after leaving my castle in Holland twenty six years ago.  So stand aside while I order my five dollar sub of the week, get into my Honda CRV, circa 07 and ride off into the sun to bring my prince his lunch.  For your information, this princess is a talker too!”




To Smile or not to Smile

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To  Smile or not to Smile

Nan, my mother, as we call her and you have come to learn is currently obsessed with one fact.  I believe that my son and I were told not to smile in our passport photos.  She thinks we look terrible and is sure that is not a requirement.  She will not let it go and it has been over a month since her campaign began.

She is gathering a following of those who agree with her, my aunt included who just renewed her passport, who also was not aware of this fact that I have portrayed.  It is a non issue to me as we did as we were told.  We now have our valid passports, so Nan although you may have followers it is done.

She will fight to the death that smiling in our photos was an option.  It takes me back to her fighting with a priest over the covering up of my first communion dress that she flew me to NYC to purchase so no one would have the same dress.  It went down in the Catholic Church in our village and she lost, but not without a fight.

It was a beautiful dress and was seen after the communion.  It is my mother born in Brooklyn who grew up in Long Island, now living in the country the last forty plus years displaying her city ways that shine through from time to time.  It was my Long Island Aunt who took her side on the passport photo debate after all.

So as the Switzerland trip fast approaches we chose to hit the road today to Vermont to visit our friends Ben and Jerry.  We are kid free for the day and ready to take advantage of our window of opportunity.  We felt like a drive with a destination in mind.

We packed up water, phone chargers and my new iPod Mini, drove through to get coffee and my signature large unsweetened iced tea with three lemons and headed out.  As we drive up the Northway through the Adirondacks on a beautiful blue sky and green trees of assorted colors day my fiancé looks at me and finally notices my new device.

“Oh here we go, you’re so fancy,” he says with a smirk.  I come back with, “You think I am fancy?”  He says, “Yes” and I say, “Well not all the time, maybe 60/40.”  He said, “I am not saying there is anything wrong with it.”

That’s why I love him.  He thinks I am fancy and he makes me smile which is all Nan really wants for me.  Maybe I will look for a wedding dress in France that will for sure raise my fancy percentage and certainly make me smile, thanks Nan for the reminder.

Every Day Your Birthday

When my son and I took our trip to California a few years ago now, in San Diego we went to the pier and met Papa Alex the psychic.  Ok, I met Papa Alex as he took his younger cousin and friend to get their faces painted.

He said to me “You are an artist and every day your birthday.”  Years earlier, I called into a radio station at the last minute and got a reading from John Edward over the phone.  He said at one point, your dad is saying “Happy Birthday” and my sons was on the horizon.

Tonight on the eve of his fifteenth birthday and Father’s Day two days away I had a moment to think past the birthday and picked up a Real Simple magazine.  I was enjoying the travel with children articles and what to wear on vacation as our Europe trip is in sight. I turned the page and had to set it down.  The article stared up at me entitled, “Dads & Daughters: Reflections on that cozy, complicated, heartwarming, wondrous, one of kind relationship in pictures and words.”  Ouch, it hurts just to read the title and yet I put the magazine aside and started my office search.  I was looking for a letter my father wrote to me in the castle during my semester twenty-six years ago in Europe.  It was not to be found so I kept going as I knew I would find something else.

My mind started going to why am I doing this and not writing about my son’s birthday.  I have written a lot about my father and here it is two days from Father’s Day and I haven’t even thought about it, focused on tomorrow’s birthday.

There it was right in front of me his tackle box and I started to arrange his lures.  His picture stands next to it.  He is very young dressed up and posing behind a general store, no longer in business, that I drive by each day with my son at least twice.  The store owner is now “egg salad lady” as we years ago met her in church and that is what she brought for refreshments when it was her turn. She gave me this picture one morning of my father.  I treasure it as I see him there each time we pass her home where the store was underneath and where the picture was taken.

He taught me to fish a little further down this very same road where the picture was taken and I point it out each time I pass it.  He had that very tackle box with him and snacks, those weird orange circus peanut candies that I do not like.  They are squishy and weird, but he loved them.  We caught small rock bass in that spot.

I in turn, taught my son to fish along this road, but our claim to fame fish, so far is our twenty-one-inch large mouth bass from a lake in Michigan.  We display it proudly in our home.  How many boys catch their big fish with their mom.  My favorite picture of my son, his grandson, is him fishing for the first time on his own last year in Sanibel.  I was watching over him with such pride as the skill was officially passed on.

I get it now, “every day your birthday” as he keeps sending that message to us and letting us know he is watching over.  Father’s Day follows a birthday, it’s that simple.

To all the dads out there and those we may need to look a little harder to find or forgive, Happy Father’s Day, now go fishing!

Low Battery


When our phones say “Low Battery” and provide the percentage they have left we work to charge them back up to be used more.  We all have heard and used ourselves “Happy Friday” and yet for many of us, it is not the case as we are “Low Battery” by the end of a long week after doing all that is required. We self-inflict many tasks until our own low battery signs appear, pushing onward to shut down.

Our chargers take on many forms and one of them for me is places as you have come to learn.  Thank you for reading and asking for new work as my battery is low and I wondered where the energy would come from.  The desire and ideas are there looking for the charge. It came today.

One request came earlier in the week, as I drove through the drop-off/pick-up line at my son’s high school.  A mom needing a ride later that day for her son, who I adore said to me, “I haven’t seen any new ones, what’s going on?”  A very sweet request from a mom who is also, end of the school year exhausted, as football season commences.  I drove away with the new task added to my plate. It was a thrill that she asked about my writing and yet days passed with no new post.

I dropped him off today and looked down to see a text from a dear old friend who taught me how to drive stick shift in high school, “I’m having reading withdrawls!! LOL…you on a break?”  It really made me chuckle and giggle to myself.  I have an audience and they are sweet to care about my writing and my recovery.

They worry about me and yet they ask me to write which inspires me to put it out there.  I always tell you I look for signs and today it was about finding a place to charge.  I really was dragging this week as I started to work out along with physical therapy.  It kicked me hard.  I went full throttle for three days, down for one and up to finish the week strong.

I only missed one workout day this week and went to physical and today speech therapy. Both of my  therapist were worried about me and saw my “Low Battery” signals.  I felt them, really felt them and yet we are going to Switzerland and France what am I thinking was my mantra of the morning.  They talked about my blood pressure and brain fatigue, but my mind was thinking, “I can’t believe I have planned this, what have I done.”  I have been on a flat out run and only looking at the finish of being at Chateau de Divonne with my son with our feet planted in France, “Will we make it there?”

My mind is racing with unsure thoughts, as I look at my phone and see a direct message from Sophie with Chateau de Divonne internet marketing, lovely Sophie.  She has no idea, until now, what that message meant to me.  It was labeled as a “Direct Message” and that is exactly the charge I needed to move forward.  She is looking forward to working with me on promoting this historic gem of a hotel and I am grateful for her guidance.

The next stop today was an old farmhouse that I am crazy in love with.  It is a writers paradise and my fiance and I have spent many hours visiting it lately.  I fell in love with it the minute I saw it.   It is a Monet painting to me.  The flowers were in bloom today and just walking the grounds filled my soul back up.  The history of this place so very deep and humble while strong and grounded.

It is exactly what I needed and my soulmate realized it.  He indulged my obsession with this new place, walking the grounds with me, standing by the Locust trees as they circle an out building.  This particular place is on low battery as well to those who look at what needs to be fixed to bring it back to today’s standards including running water. However, the energy it gives off is far greater just the way it is.  It just needs someone to appreciate the bones it still has and breathe life into it.  It is also, just like my therapist stated it needs water to increase its energy. I drink more tea than water and per the farmer next store the only water this place has is the two buckets per day he is required by an old deed to bring to this house.  I was ok with that as most mothers know washing your hair is the first thing to go.

The last stop was finding out our old sushi place was open again, by taking a drive we did not expect we landed in the right place.  Happy Friday after all.