Dickens wrote that it was the best of times and the worst of times. I kind of felt that way about this weekend.
I’ll start with the worst first. One of my cousins, who religiously followed this blog and commented quite often, passed away yesterday. She was 65. She broke a leg while body surfing and in a freakish circumstance, suffered a pulmonary embolism. When we were young, in our late teens to early twenties, we hung out quite often. We, along with one of my sisters, took a road trip to Florida and we got into all sorts of adventures—both naughty and fun.
Always positive and always happy. And a friend of this blog community–she was my cuz!! And I’ll miss her comments here!
Debbie–fourth from right and two away from me. Cousins. We may not agree with each other but we’re thick as thieves! Miss you Cuz!!
Debbie was a good person. She was very spiritual too. We didn’t agree politically and our last words on social media were of a political and argumentative nature. Luckily, I ended the conversation with that fact that I still loved her. She was my cuz. And I’m still in a state of shock. We saw each other at the Gorman Family Reunion in April and it was a true blessing. And that is all I’ll say because it’s really difficult to process the fact she’s gone.
I’m also nursing a hangover today. Between our Bastille Day dinner last night and drowning sorrows with half a bottle –ok—three quarters of a bottle of Côtes de Provence, I fell asleep at nine o’clock last night and am feeling a bit under the weather at the moment. In fact, I just sent Bonaparte out to get me a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and a package of frozen peas. My hangover food! I managed to drink a tall glass of chocolate milk earlier!
I kid you not! Wine does not agree with me. I’m so sick today!
But I have to say, before this news of my cousin, the weekend started off great!
As a Nordstrom Card holder, I have early access to the Anniversary Sale. But here’s the thing. The past couple of years, the Anniversary Sale has left much to be desired. And it’s getting worse. The goods are getting shoddier and the selections are becoming a bit too trendy—which is fine for some but doesn’t ring my bell. But—there’s always underwear and my husband mentioned in passing that I could use some new underwear. I love my comfy granny panties but he was right—I mean, some of my drawers are like ten years old and that’s just nasty!
Trust me–you don’t need early access. Nothing is spectacular!
So, I got in touch with one of my ex-Nordie’s co-workers and asked her to pick out some Hanky Panky panties for me, which she did. After all, I would rather see her get the commission. And I’m not naming her because something happened that really got my goat. When I stopped by to see her, I asked her to come up to the lingerie dept. with me because I also needed a bra. She asked the other sales assistants if they would kindly assist the customers that she had and every one of them said “No”. What bizitiches! And that is what I despised about working at Nordstrom! My managers were fantastic. I loved Michael and Jamie so much and I still stop by to see Jamie but Michael is now in Seattle! But the commission sharks were vile! Absolutely vile and I think Nordstrom upper management loves this sort of bad behavior.
Yes. I picked up nice panties and a bra. And today I’m back in granny panties!
My friend is such a sweet woman and is just kind to everyone. But there’s no way I would go to any of the women in the POV department at KOP besides her. Ugh. After witnessing that behavior, I’ll shop online!
Yesterday, we met my stepdaughter, Claire, and Bonaparte’s granddaughter, Sophie down the shore for some serious beaching at Wildwood Crest, where they have a summer place! I frolicked in the ocean with Sophie, read a book, basked in the sun and frolicked some more and all the time, my wig stayed on, got wet and dried beautifully!
I got a new two piece from Swimwear for All. So the tummy bulges but I don’t care. This swimsuit is comfortable and allows me the freedom to frolick in the waves!
Not a cloud in the sky. This street of nicely-lined homes is so picture-postcard perfect!
My bestie Sophie. We hung out throwing those surfer toys into the ocean and hanging in the ocean. She also entertained me with stories of summer camp! I miss having kids around!
The lifeguards were on watch to protect my wig if it fell off and got carried away by a wave. It didn’t!!
And an extra was the huge sandbar! I hadn’t seen a sandbar like that in years!
When we arrived at the beach, it was empty and filled up very quickly!
I love the feeling of scrunching my toes in damp sand–don’t you?
There was an abundance of seaweed too. I was tempted to bring some home for salad!
When we arrived home, I quickly showered, changed and got to work to prepare our Bastille Day Dinner out on the deck. The Frenchman requested Béarnaise sauce to accompany the steak to which I complied. I also made enough to dress up the asparagus spears. And we had a lovely dinner!
I cleaned up nice! From the wig that dried fabulously from salted water to coming home, showering and putting on my French-girl hair that Bonaparte got me for my birthday and a Breton striped shirt to celebrate Bastille Day!
I set the table outside in French colors (actually Franco-American colors since we share the red, white, and blue )
We started out with Kir Royals and the Alain Ducasse Gougeres that I make..
From there it was the delicious Paoli tomatoes and Mozerella topped with fresh Basil..
On to Filet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce….
…and asparagus spears dressed with the same sauce and topped with grated Jarlsberg. And I wonder why the scale isn’t giving me lower numbers!
And here’s the cause of my hangover. I can’t even look at this….
Waking up to rain was no pleasure today so we were both happy that we decided on yesterday as the beach day! I made my way downstairs to do some ironing. My tee shirts needed to have wrinkles ironed out. Ironing while hungover is not fun.
I was running on slo-mo! It took me an hour to iron four shirts. An hour!!!!
But—boy, what an exciting day today proved to be. Yesterday being Bastille Day and today being the World Cup Finals with France v. Croatia! Who would win? Both teams are incredibly talented and it ended up to be a very French weekend! France won 4-2. And it was a nail-biter at times but France’s young team proved to be more adept at today’s game!
My World Cup ensemble. Blue Salut Tee, white shorts and red toenails! Check out my lashes–that L’Oreal mascara is really good–they look fake!
I need a flag like this! Allez les Bleus! I’m so glad they won–and a certain Frenchman told me that despite my hangover, I will celebrate later with champagne! Yeah. Ok!
We’re taking Sophie to see Cirque du Soleil Tuesday evening. Luckily, we only have to drive up the street and she’ll be enjoying dinner with us.
You can see this tent from Route 422, the road I take to work. And every morning the nosey rubbernecking adds ten minutes to my commute. I can only hope that tent is fully air-conditioned!!!
To prepare ahead, I made a three-cheese Mac & Cheese earlier this afternoon. I made a béchamel sauce and added Cheddar, Colby and Jarlsberg cheeses. Then I added the cooked macaroni and blended it all together. I allowed it to “set” in order for the pasta to soak up the cheesy sauce. For dessert, I made a nougatine that is now in the freezer.
You have NO idea how tempting this was to me when I made it. I wanted to dig a large spoon into it while gulping down chocolate milk. But I didn’t.
Mac & Cheese stays well in the fridge for up to a week. And it works because when I arrive home from work on Tuesday, I’ll only have to heat the food up and not have to worry about cooking. It’s so much more enjoyable that way!
And now, I’m going to relax for a bit and take a bit of a well-needed rest! Sometimes we have those weekends where one day it’s all good and then you’re hit with horrible news. Life is certainly a roller-coaster of sorts—isn’t it?
Here’s what I wore this week to work. We had a blood drive and due to the fact that I’m a universal donor I donated. You lose a pound for every pint you donate and I’m sure I gained it back twofold after last night’s dinner!
Monday’s outfit was a simple tee shirt dress from Old Navy and my black Rondini Sahara sandals. I went with my blonde Wren wig!
Tuesday, I went with a “Blood Donor Friendly” outfit. I had to get up and lay down on a table so I wore an old pair of J. Crew Minnie pants, an Old Navy top and ballet flats. I kept my arms bare because….
It was easier to stick the needle into my arm! I was so happy that Cranberry juice was offered because in case I had a UTI, it would be gone. I took two cans!
Wednesday was more pants because I was too lazy to shave my legs for two days in a row!
Hands down. Thursday’s look was my absolute favorite! Remember a few weeks back I tried on a tie-front dress at J. Crew factory in gray but I passed on it? It was bothering me because I really liked the dress. I ended up ordering it for half-off in black. I freaking LOVE this dress! And I wore it with my NEW Jamison wig! I ordered another Jamison because it was on deep discount. I just love this look.
Just in case anyone would forget what day it was! Guess what day I wore this? With a white denim skirt and Jamison again! I don’t wear this shirt enough!
And that was my week in clothing! And to toast Bastille Day and the World Cup–here’s a toast–and you can listen to my Frenchman give the toast!!
I am so sorry about your cousin’s passing. And all the more shocking because it was so fast. She looked great. May she rest in peace, and may we be wise enough to cherish every precious minute we have on this Earth.
Hi Maryellen! The entire family is in a state of shock. But you are so right. Every minute should be cherished and we are lucky to be here!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Your photos and this post are wonderful, a bit of escapism for me after a horrid week or two. I am so sorry to hear of your cousin’s passing. I often think of precious family members I still have left and cherish the moments with them because at this age one tends to be aware we are not here forever. I try to be grateful and remind myself to live in the moment and appreciate those I care about, especially when I feel like complaining (which happens often!). I also enjoyed watching the world cup here in Cape Town, South Africa, it was a very entertaining game! We have a beautiful quaint little town outside Cape Town, called Franschoek which has a lot of French Huegenot influences from the past and each year Bastille Day is a big celebration there! It is wine country so there is always lots of wine, olives and fun…and everything French. I hope you have a good week!
Hi Vivella! And a good forthcoming week to you too! Wasn’t the game so exciting? And it was so great that France won–but Croatia had a fantastic team too. Yeah. As we age we do lose more people close to us and I dread that….make each moment count!!! XXOXOXOXOXO!!!
Cathe, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love and hugs
Thank you Lori! I’m taking that love and hugs and cherishing them!!! XOXOXOXO
Cathe….My condolences for the loss of your cousin. What a scary and tragic thing to happen. Thanks again for sharing your weekly work attire. Love all the looks as usual. P.S. I have a few of those Old Navy tops (and a few of the swing dresses, too). I just love them.
Gosh, what an awful shocker about your cousin. It’s the unexpected ones like this that really rock us to the core. And it always makes me stop to tell myself, I need to enjoy each and every day. In fact, one of my blog readers (who will actually be filling in for Nancy tomorrow on my blog) just lost her husband over the 4th. A massive heart attack. And we had just visited with them. It’s pure craziness.
That’s why I love reading your blog. Because you do enjoy each and every day—you eat wonderful food, enjoy wearing fun and modern clothes, and just have an overall good time. Except the ironing t-shirts—-that’s a little cuckoo!! LOL!!!
Sending love and hugs!!
My condolences on your loss – it reminds me that I need to be more careful about cherishing those I love even when I disagree passionately with them. And thank you for your characteristically cheerful account of the rest of the weekend, all except for the mention of ironing the tee shirts! I am aghast – I always thought the whole point of tee shirts was not to have to iron them! Surely, if they somehow become unacceptably creased, you can just hang them in a steamy bathroom, can’t you?
Hi Marsha! Thank you for your condolences. It’s so true and trust me, I’m not even speaking to half my family. In fact, one of my sisters and I made peace this morning because our politics are way different. But we are sisters and we love each other. Its beginnning to make me so sad that this buffoon in the white house has managed to destroy families.
But enough of that–LOL. I have this thing about tee-shirts. In fact, I ironed my kids tee shirts to the point that my sons could not even wear a wrinkled tee–especially at the collar. My bad mom is showing!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!
Oh boy, Catherine, you HAVE had a weekend filled with extreme emotion. So sorry to learn of the tragic loss of your cousin. Sometimes there are no words…
It was a beautiful beach day yesterday, and that little Sophie is a cutie. We were also at the beach, in Spring Lake, before our 14 Juillet celebration at Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill. Have you been? Lucy Daigle and her band played Edith Piaf and songs from American Songbook.
And this morning, well that was a nail biter! An excellent, hungry Croatian team made it all the more exciting. Such great players, and that Mbappe, only the 2nd teenage player to score during a WC Final. He has great company.
Best wishes, Catherine, and my condolences.
Thanks Maribeth for your condolences! Hmmmmmmm Paris Bistro? Chestnut Hill? Hmmmmm…I just asked the husband if he has heard of it and someone mentioned it to him just the other day! Is a meet-up evening in order here????? XOXOXOXOXO
That could happen!
Definitely. I just got onto the website! WOW!!!!
So sorry to hear about your cousin, that must of been quite a shock. I like the sexy undies.
Thank you Julie! Yeah–and those undies are extremely comfortable too!!! It’s amazing!!!! XOXOXOXOX
Oh Cathe, I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin – she sounds such an amazing life force. What a heck of a weekend, with such extremes of emotion, I am loving all your outfits and that tie dress is divine, Sophie looks a wee treasure. Hope this week is better for you
Thank you Juliet!!! She was a pretty amazing person!!! Thank you! Yeah. Sophie is a riot!! I get a complete kick out of her!!! XXOXOXOXO
So sorry for your lost……hope u take good care of yourself.
Best to you and your family.
My condolences on the loss of your cousin. You are right we need to treasure the moments we have with the people we love. Time is very fleeting. Wasn’t it wonderful to have that time with your cousin at the reunion? You were blessed to have been able to spend time together. As we get older it seems that loss becomes part of our life more often then we want.
Hugs my friend.
I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin, thinking of you at this difficult time, and I am in total agreement with Jodie and what she posted…..your blog is such an affirmation of living life well and enjoying whatever amount of time we have here. Thank you for sharing with us and setting such a great example of how to age with grace and humor and gratitude!
How shocking. I’m so sorry about your cuz. You have my condolences. Don’t let that person in the White House separate you and your sister. Your sister is more important. I find we simply don’t talk politics any longer. Be well.
Hi Sandy! Yeah. A week later and we are all still in shock. But you’re absolutely correct. I need to stop that person in the white house from affecting my relationships with family and friends. I’m on medication to relieve my anxiety and am doing much better. The edge is somewhat “off” these days!!!! XOXOXOXOXO
I love your blog posts! This one is such a mix of emotions. Sorry for the loss of you cousin. It is so hard to lose someone so young and unexpectedly. It reminds us to live life to the fullest. You are an inspiration for your love of life and posts about fashion and make up for aging women. I found your blog through your IG account because of your hair posts. Keep them coming – so inspirational.
Hi Karen!!! And thank you so much!!! It’s very hard–especially when you grow up together. It’s true–we really do need to live life to the fullest!! And I thank you for coming over to the blog via IG! Don’t be a stranger!!! XOXOXOXOXO
Sorry to learn of the loss of your cousin, my cousin and I are besties, talking weekly, she in Canada near where we grew up and me in the USA. Can’t imagine life without her in it. 🙁 So sorry.
Your post went on to detail how to live with flourish ~ you’re so stylish and cute, and I enjoy your posts so much!! On another note, Swimsuits for All is my favorite swimsuit co, they have the best customer service and I have 5 of their suits!
And yes wine gives me a headache, too — can’t do it.
Thank you for posting and again, sincere sympathies at the sad passing of your cousin, so young and such a kick in the pants!
So sorry to hear that your cousin has passed away Cathe, how shocking for you all. It sounds like Debbie enjoyed life, so tragic that it was taken in this way. So pleased that you and your sister are friends again, the orange buffoon is just not worth falling out over. Btw did you see him with the Queen?
Little Sophie looks a sweetie, I imagine Bonaparte pronounces her name the French way? So pleased that France won the world cup…I was working so couldn’t watch it, I heard the streets were crazy last night!
Bonne semaine! Xxx
So very sorry about the loss of your cousin. it’s moments like this that remind us all about how fragile and unpredictable life can be. The oaf in the White House has done a lot to tear human relationships apart, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, it’s the only thing he is good at.
Love your outfits! Tell me more about the mascara – I must’ve missed out on that! My eyelashes need help and I’m not going to try fake ones.
You’re going to love Cirque!!!!! So much fun!
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Hi Catherine, I want to let you know how sorry I am to hear about your cousin. Sending my sincere condolences to you and your family. You’ve truly have had an emotional rollercoaster weekend. Reading about your hangover remedy makes me smile…campbell chicken soup and frozen peas. 🙂 I second vavashagwell about the Cirque du Soleil , you are all going to love it! You look beautiful in the J. Crew tie front dress. An universal donor here, I was at our Red Cross station donating blood. I’m fine as long as I don’t look at my arm while they prepped and drew the blood. Sending a late congratulations to your Frenchman for France winning the World Cup! I didn’t watch the playoff but read about it online. My youngest granddaughter is staying with me while her parents are away celebrating a special anniversary. I love having her. She’s a cutie and also my bestie. 🙂 XX Amelia
Oh boy, I am heartbroken over the loss of your cousin. Man, life is short and so precious. Prayers for you and your family.
Oh, Cathe, I am so sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your cousin. She seems like she was a wonderful woman and it is always so nice when family members become quite great friends in adulthood. Sending you lots of prayers and healing thoughts.
Of course, I love all of your photos, but that Friday tee with the white denim mini skirt is so stinking cute, I just can’t get over it! All the food pictures have made me ravenous now. And if you really miss having kids around, I have two I can send your way! hahaha.
Many hugs to you,