Week Four—A Month of Corona Chronicles? A Birthday. A Hairy Face. And More.

Hard to believe we are now on week four of Indoornation!

I’m ashamed to admit that I’m feeling a bit lazy when at home these days.

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I recline on the sofa instead–but the remote is always in-hand!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m still going to work five days a week from 8 AM till 5 PM I’m working like a dog—and I’m loving it because I’m by myself.

New office essentials for this essential worker–hand sanitzer and a mask!

No office politics. No snitches.  No distractions.  My biggest concern is that I’ll be very unwelcoming when everyone comes back.  Hey!  Ain’t gonna lie!

I’m still dressing for work though.  I wore a couple of favorites this week.  I LOVE this outfit because for some reason, the loud printed pants just work!  The pants were purchased on sale from the Gretchen Scott Designs website. The shirt is years old from J. Crew and the shoes?  Repettos that are at least ten years old purchased on one of our visits to Paris!

On my birthday, I wore this tried and true, four-season ensemble. In all honesty, it’s my favorite work outfit.  The skirt is either from J. Crew or J. Crew Factory. The shoes from J. Crew and the shirt from Target. This has got to be my most worn outfit!

And yesterday I wore a comfy shift by Lilly Pulitzer.  I may have been a bit premature in switching out the seasonal clothing but I’m glad to have done it. This made me cheery–especially in an empty office. The flat shoes?  The purchase was made in late December at a Talbots sale. Eyeing these for a while, they were purchased at a deep discount!

But let’s talk about how the week went whilst not at work.

I’ve been falling asleep very early. Last night I reached slumber at approximately 8:30 PM.  That’s right. Eight. Thirty. Pee. Em!  And I slept like a baby.

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And while I was dreaming, Bonaparte was watching all the TV shows I can’t stand!

It also meant waking up early on a Saturday morning.  One would think after such a long slumber I would be full of vim and vigor.  Instead I’m full of laziness and lethargy!

Good Morning!  I put Saturday makeup on!  Just a bit. And I decided to plop a wig I hadn’t worn in a while. Hayden by Henry Margu!

It could be because I’ve been thinking a lot about my brother, Pete, this week.

Thursday was our birthdays.  Twins 13 years apart.  As I turned 65, he did not turn 52.  And it was a very odd birthday.

I have this photo in my cubicle at work.  I like to keep Pete close to me. This is my favorite photo of us.  It was taken back in 1992 at Tice’s farm in New Jersey. He was visiting us while we took the kids pumpkin picking.  It isn’t fair that he’s not here…

I’ve been swinging the pendulum of emotions from sad to not sad. From missing him to accepting the fact he’s not here.  From anger that my brother is gone and a certain person who lies is still breathing.

Add to that, turning 65, which is a milestone of sorts—as I step completely away from any notion of youth and over the boarder to bona fide Senior Citizenship, I dwell at how unsuccessful in  a career I’ve been. On the other hand, I’m very thankful to have a job.

And thankful to have health and three great kids and a wonderful husband.

But there was no birthday cake—and I would have had to bake one anyway so my hips and ass are ridiculously happy over the no cake.

Saturday Randomlings | Atypical 60

I think I made this cake for Roman or Oona. Perhaps both since their birthdays are so close together.  Alas, I passed on baking a cake for me!

The stores are closed so I couldn’t go birthday shopping—which is great because money is saved.

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Actually, the husband is happier!  

Bonaparte got some gorgeous red roses for me and they are so beautiful to admire.

Aren’t they gorgeous? 

And as I sit here typing, I can look up from the table and admire them!

The kids got me a Nespresso machine which is making me feel as though I’m now a professional barista!  Thank God the caffeine in coffee, and espresso, do not affect my sleeping patterns. I can enjoy a cup in the evening and still go into a deep sleep!

Mommy also knows what the kids are going to want with breakfast on their next visits!

It’s so cool. Although I will admit that I had to watch a YouTube video on how to use this.  I need visuals instead of written instructions!

It came with a box of pods..

..and continued yesterday with another delivery of more pods!

My first attempt!  That milk frother is everything!

All in all, it was a low-key birthday but bittersweet just the same!

A great gift indeed!!

And the day after turning 65, I went to the office and happened to…touch my face!  I know, I know. We are not supposed to touch our faces at this time but sometimes you do these things.  And what did I discover?  A hair!  Not a little lady whisker that is normally found on the chin and immediately plucked. But a hair!!! 

Approximately a quarter of an inch.  Dark.  It bothered me all day.  I could just about focus on the tremendous amount of paperwork.  And when I arrived home, I plucked that muthafucka out of my cheek and realized that this is what aging is.  Finding stray hairs on areas other than your chin!

The first thing I’m gonna do when stores open is buy a tweezer for every purse!

I have tweezers in my car. Tweezers on my vanity. Now I need to buy a pair for every purse I own.  I’ll be touching my face forever now!

Actually, that is the second thing I’m gonna do.  The first thing will be to get a proper manicure and pedicure.

 Yeah. The hands are kind of nasty.  Chippy was lucky enough to go to the vet yesterday to get his nails clipped. I’m thinking of calling the vet’s office to see if he does human paws!

The nails were looking pretty messed up.  Gel polish was peeling.  The acrylic was chipping.  It was awful.  What I ended up doing was soaking cotton in acetone nail polish remover, wrapping the soaked cotton around my fingertips and covering it with aluminum foil which I kept on for almost a half hour!

It all peeled off nicely and I gave myself a coat of clear nail polish. It’s the best I could do for now but I find that I like the look of a natural nail. I may keep them like this until next winter!

Hey! They can be worse–you know??

Feeling rather…um…. productive, I cleaned my makeup brushes in between blogging!  Quite honestly, they were so disgusting that I am shocked no crud was growing in the crevasses, otherwise known as wrinkles, of my visage!

In all my slothful laziness, I managed to clean my makeup brushes. God knows this was a chore that was way overdue. Ewwww..they were so filthy. I should be ashamed.  But I’m not!

They were so gross and filthy that I decided to use Fantastik and it worked like a charm.

Don’t judge!  It worked better than soap!  Besides, it did cut through the tough grime and grease!

I’m going back to do nothing right now—except to watch Diners,and Drive-In’s, and Dives! That comfort food is addicting! And if I watch it on TV, it’s not as fattening!

Top Restaurants if Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Returned to Omaha ...

Although I find Guy Fieri utterly vulgar, I’m so addicted to his show. And I love when he can’t stand something and he pretends to like it!  He can’t hide his feelings, this guy!

Remember!  Stay Safe.  Stay well and remember this will pass!

Be well and stay safe!

I also want to thank you for your patience with me.  I have been so exhausted after working all day that I have been lacking in energy to write more during the week.  I’m sorry!

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Indoor Nation-Week Three. The Corona Chronicles

First of all, a Happy Easter and Chag Sameach to all celebrating Passover.

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It’s different this year, but we can still be happy!

It’s weird having a non-Easter this year. No Mass. No Chocolate Bunnies. No Easter Baskets. No eggs to color.  No outdoor Easter egg hunts. No Easter Parade.

Oh, what I would not give for a chocolate bunny right now!!

And no big Easter dinner of Roast Lamb.

Ahhh. Roast Leg of Lamb. It was a tradition growing up and I still love lamb!  

Instead, our Easter dinner won’t be an early afternoon Roast.  Instead, we’ll enjoy lamb kabobs and couscous.

Spiced these babies up with rosemary, ras el hanout, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic!

And tomorrow it’ll be back to work.

But, lets talk about how this week went.

In all honesty, I’m becoming very spoiled by being the only one at the office.  I relish in my alone time because although the amount of work is astronomical compared to “normal” times, I’m incredibly productive without interruption.

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Actually–my boss is a very cool woman and if she wants it done, she’s got it done–from me!

It isn’t lonely either. I’m not longing for human contact. There’s too much work.

Evenings are spent going upstairs to bed after dinner.  We’ve finished Ozark. And cannot wait for the next season. I will not give any spoilers except to say that this is one twisted drama!

This is one crazy-ass series.  I’ve never seen Jason Bateman so….so…evil!

We started watching “Bonfire of Destiny” aka “Le Bazar de la Charité”, a French import on Netflix. It’s loosely based on true events from the Charity Bazar fire in Paris in 1897. This fire killed over 125 people-mostly aristocratic women and their maids.  The story centers on three women who’s lives were impacted by the event.

The story centers around three women, Alice, Adrienne and my favorite, Rose!  This poster is awful because it doesn’t showcase the true period of the events.  But the show has gorgeous costumes!

The costumes are absolutely gorgeous and it is a beautiful period piece.

The most interesting storyline is Rose, who was burned but believed to be dead. This is good TV!

The “Global” dinner search continues and last night we traveled to Morocco with a Chicken Tagine and couscous. And it was absolutely delicious!

The table was set for a sumptous dinner.  I think either Oona or Roman made that little blue dish when they were in grade school!

And speaking of yesterday…….at nine in the morning, I decided to switch out my winter clothing for summer.  A bit soon, I know. I know!  But it had to be done. eventually. Besides—this winter was so incredibly mild that all those heavy sweaters went unworn.  Many of the heavier pants went unworn.  And for four hours, I cleaned out dressers and my closet.  It was a chore but well-worth it.

Dresses and skirts all in order..

So are tops!

All summer shoes are organized too!  There’s a story to the Crucifix. Jesus fell off and I’m afraid to mess with repairing it because I don’t want to ruin Jesus. Hey. I’m Catholic. I’m not gonna mess with Jesus so I keep him comfortable on my shoes.  I feel like my shoes have been blessed!

And not to break productivity, immediately upon finishing that chore, Bonaparte reminded me that his supply of Gougères was down to two.  I made two batches.

Oh wait!  These are the ingredients for the souffle that I screwed up last week.  But wait! They’re basically the same ingredients in the gougeres! So I’ll keep the photo!

It was after finishing up the Gougères that I started on dinner.

Yes. This weekend has been busy.

There was a moment yesterday when I took a plate from the cabinet that I use often.  Oona made it. In Kindergarten. In 1995. In April.

Amazing how a 25-year old plate can make me so emotional!

And it brought to mind that back in 1995 in April on Easter weekend I was busy carting the kids from baseball to soccer to softball and coloring eggs and filling baskets and chatting with neighbors.

Who would ever think a pandemic would change things?

Regardless, I dressed for Easter today in a cute shift from Lilly Pulitzer because I wanted to feel like it was Easter.  I wore a cheery pair of flats, plopped on a wig and went to work….

I even took a shower, washed my hair and shaved my legs!

…making masks.

I’ve been creative while being lazy at the same time!

I took a cleaned, old white tee and cut it into thick strips.  Then I twisted hair ties at each end, folded the fabric over and ironed a makeshift hem with Stitch Witchery.

Tee shirt. Twirly Do’s for the hair. Stitch Witchery and a scissor of course!

I made five. At the end of the day, we can wash them, let them dry and have a clean one for the next day.  They are by no means perfect but they work!

Twirly do’s on each end, fabric folded over, held together with Stitch Witchery..

…and ironed!

Makeshift masks!

How long will our Indoornation last?  Hopefully, not too long but it doesn’t seem like it’ll end within the next few weeks.

Let us hope the end of this pandemic is near! 

Remember to keep safe and stay well!

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Indoornation! What I’ve Been Up to During Week Two. The Corona Chronicles.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay indoors.  I realized this when, this morning, I heard the happy voices of unsupervised children in our neighborhood.  What I found utterly disheartening was the inconsideration of the parents of these children.

There are those in this neighborhood with compromised immune systems. Both adults and children.  I’m completely flummoxed as to why people don’t understand the reasoning for staying indoors.  And worse than that, the selfishness of those people.

Venting aside,  I’m still going to the office every day.  And I have to say, I’m loving it more and more by being the only one,  save for two others who work in the mail area, because my productivity level is wonderful. Not bragging but it’s just that without distractions, the “Mrs. Kravitz” employees who are constantly watching what others are doing and not concentrating on their work, the office socializers who “get” out of work by floating from cubicle to cubicle are not there.  And so, I’m in my glories of working harder than ever.

I’m wearing a mask and gloves to and from work and whenever I need to venture out of my home. Which is nearly never other than going to work and back.

This is how I’m driving to and from work.  We had “work” masks in the garage and am using these until I make “regular” masks.  The gloves are key!  

I could politicize this post but I’ve decided to focus on what we can do indoors.  Let’s face it. We are all well-aware of why this pandemic is so serious in our country so I won’t delve into it.

stay healthy helpful and calm

And especially stay calm!

But.  I’m keeping busy in the calm respite of our home.

come-on-my-sunroom | Atypical 60

Now more than ever, our sunroom is my comfort zone!

Granted, during the weekdays I’m dressing more and more casually at the office because nobody is there. And during the evening, I’m so pooped from work that I’ve been heading up to bed to watch TV and get well-needed sleep.

Yes! I’m sinfully casual at work. In fact I wore these leggings TWO days in a row!

It’s the weekends that have me active in the confines of the castle!

And this weekend brings new activity!

As you know, I love to cook. And I’ve decided that during our weekends indoors, I’ll bring world travel to us!  Last weekend it was Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken.

This weekend it’s French pastry in the form of Bonaparte’s favorite—Pains aux Raisins. Epicurious Pains aux Raisins Recipe

The finished pastries. Complete with apricot glaze!

And before they were cut. 

I use Chef Thomas Keller’s brioche recipe for these delights and there’s plenty of dough left over to make more brioche.  I got a regular loaf and a small loaf out of the recipe. Brioche Recipe

The two loaves after coming out of the oven!

The Pains aux Raisins are now individually-wrapped and placed in the freezer. This way when Bonaparte wants one, he can take it out early in the morning to defrost naturally or bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.  They freeze beautifully!

Each one of these babies is now in the freezer!

Apparently. I was lucky to have yeast in the house because a couple of my friends were unable to even find yeast in the store at this time. My guess is that many home cooks are making their own bread.

The crumb on this brioche is excellent.  Its so buttery with a touch of sweetness. It’s wonderful toasted and makes a great snack on its own.

And the interior is golden yellow from the eggs and butter! Yum!

The success depends upon patience. You make the dough batter the night before baking, allow it to rise then refrigerate overnight.

But—where are you going?  Refrigerating overnight is no big deal at this time. Right?

Last night we went to Mexico via Chicken Tinga.  You know, I’ve never made this before and I don’t make authentic Mexican food simply because I don’t have any recipes. After enjoying the smokey goodness of this recipe, I’m now in search of more authentic Mexican recipes.  Chicken Tinga Recipe for you!

Shredded chicken with smoky chipotle. I added jalepenos for more heat!

Lime wedges, cheese, sour cream and cilantro to finish it ott!

Next week we will visit the Middle East I’ll do a tagine!

Moroccan Chicken Tagine Recipe - Analida's Ethnic Spoon

Although I lack the conical tagine cooking pot, I can still make tagine in a dutch oven!

I also started polishing some silver.  This ladle was nothing but tarnish. So was this silver platter.

Getting rid of tarnish is always a good thing!  Good as new–sort of!

On the rare occasion of venturing out of the house, we took a drive to Produce Junction yesterday to buy fresh flowers.  It was worth donning masks and gloves because the staff was dressed the same way.  Our flowers from two weeks ago were sadly wilted and there’s just something so cheerful and happy about fresh flowers.  It was also good to see that those who also ventured out were in masks and gloves as well.

I bought enough flowers to fill two vases…

New flowers.  I newly untarnished antique all atop an antique chest of drawers that I keep our table linens in!

For now, this is our new normal. But hopefully it won’t last forever. Safety and health are important.  We gotta do this for now!

I’m also revisiting wigs I haven’t worn in a while. I’ll tell you, wearing wigs is a blessing during this time of closed hair salons!

Take care and I’ll see you next week!!  I’m doing weekly posts for now simply because I’m exhausted after work!

Be well and try the recipes!  They’re fun!

 

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Social Distancing—And What I’m Doing!

Not gonna lie.  It’s tough out there—or rather in there at this time.  Social Distancing is now a way of life.

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Social Distancing is real!

Luckily for me, I’ve been social distancing ever since I moved to the Philadelphia area and left my New York and New Jersey friends behind. This area is the only place I’ve ever lived that has turned me into a misanthrope.

Be that as it may, this virus is serious. It’s life-threatening and we need to keep safe.

And Bonaparte and I have been staying at home, in the comfort of our little chateau!

But first things first.  I’m working.  As an Administrative Assistant for an Advocacy company, there are certain things that need to be done.  All but three of us are working at home.  The three at work are two in the mail area and me.

Just me. And my shoes. And an empty office!

People are sick.  They are disabled. Paperwork and documentation must get done.  Even in this age of electronic documentation, paper is still used.  That’s where I come in. I’ve been handling mailings of paperwork and documentation and I’ve been busier than ever.

working from home

Not me!  And I’m glad because I would be doing nothing but stress-eating!

The beauty of it is.  I’m alone. Tout seul. And I absolutely love it.  There are no distractions whatsoever.  I’m more productive than I’ve ever been. No office politics to eyeroll.  No busybodies.  It is Administrative Assistant bliss.

I miss my boss and my supervisor but we’re in touch and I miss the two other admins I work with.  It’s a nice group—it really is.  But there is something so pleasurable about working without interruption that allows for deep focusing.

Add to that the cleaning company is on the premises every afternoon literally scrubbing the building down.  I feel very safe.

I’ve also been dressing very casually too!

This was yesterday’s outfit!  Comfy pants from Gretchen Scott Designs, an olive sweater from J. Crew Factory and an old pair of Weejuns!  I’m wearing Raquel Welch Wigs “On Point”

And my morning commute has been such a wonderful experience. No traffic and I drive through Valley Forge Park enjoying the early-morning solitude.

My morning commute. My favorite tree and total solitude. Except for the fact Bonaparte drove me to work. He’s working at home and we’re doing our part by using one car when we can!  Isn’t this a beautiful photo?

This week, however, we had two days of lovely afternoon weather.  And the bozos were out in force.  Yes.  We still need to stay indoors.  And we should not be socializing in force until this thing blows over.  We need to comply and obey laws.

Scenes from a CLOSED Valley Forge Park. People are not only ruining the atmosphere with their germs but they are ruining spaces that the grass grows on.  Morons.

That isn’t the case here in the Wayne/Valley Forge area of Pennsylvania.  For starters, Valley Forge Park is officially closed.  The main roads through the park are open for traffic. That is it.  Barriers have been placed to close parking areas. That means the park is closed. CLOSED!

This car has a story. The small road in Valley Forge Park was barricaded closed. The person who owns this whip obviously opened the barricade.  It’s incredible how selfish people are. Oh wait. This is on Philly’s Main Line. Figures.

But there is a number of people around here who believe they are above it all. On my drive home, I’ve witnessed couples with babies in strollers.  BABIES! I witnessed six people exiting from one car laughing and ready to hike.

stay home

My question is, do you hate your home so much that you can’t stand being indoors.  For me, it’s a respite. I love my home!  It’s my safety and comfort zone!

It is frightening because these are people who could be carriers of the virus. They could have it and pass it on. And the worst thing is that they are parking their cars on the common grassy areas of this beautiful park. I did see Park Rangers giving talks to some of these morons. But how can you fix selfishness?

I know it’s tough but sometimes you gotta take precautions.  I’ll stay indoors thank you.

And while I’m in my own little indoor world, it hasn’t been all that bad.  When I arrive home from work, it’s dinner then upstairs to our bedroom to watch TV.

This morning we watched a great, old, French comedy directed by Yves Robert, who was married to Bonaparte’s aunt.  It starred the comedian Louis de Funes and it was bittersweet for my husband to watch because his beloved cousin, Zazi had a small part, as did Yves himself and his son, Jean-Denis.  It was, for him, like watching an old family movie.  As for me, I was ridiculously proud of myself because there were no English subtitles and I understood most of the dialogue.

Ni vu, ni connu (1958)

This movie was so stinking funny. Then again, I’m a huge fan of Louis de Funes

We’re having a favorite for dinner this evening. Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. It’s marinating as I write this. And in my quest for healthier eating,  Here’s the link to the recipe I base the dish on. Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken.

Spicy, aromatic and delicious.  This IS a family favorite. My kids request it whenever they are over! 

I made a pate out of mushrooms a nd beans. There was no recipe so I just did a bit of this and a bit of that and added Cognac to kill any germs! And trust me, I need healthier eating at this point because I’ve overdosed on Corn Chips from stress-eating.

Canned red beans, cooked mushrooms, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic, alll into the food processer.  And a big splash of Cognac!

In a plastic-lined loaf pan and ready for the fridge! I sure hope it tastes good!

I also cleaned up another vintage Louis Vuitton bag.  It’s the Alma PM. A bag I’ve wanted for a long time but could not justify spending the money on a new one that I really can’t afford.  I got this on Mercari for a ridiculously low price and the bag was in great shape. All she needed was cleaning.

My newest addition.  She was in fantastic shape save for some water marks and aging on the leather but I love that!

Now she’s all dressed up with a handle scarf!  I can’t wait to take her out!

She’s dressed up in a cute scarf I purchased on Amazon.  Here’s the link to my idea list to “Clean that Bag”. As you might or might not know, I’m an Amazon Influencer and make a couple of dollars off purchases.  It helps at this time.  So, if you are thinking of cleaning a bag, or dressing up your bag with a scarf, please take a look!

As I love a bag with a history, I was inspired to take my Kooba Sloan bag out of the closet and liven her up a bit.  There’s a story to this bag.

My Kooba Sloan is well-worn, well-loved, has a history with me, and I showed her some well-needed love today!

Back during the lowest point in my life–it was after I lost my home with the divorce.  My oldest son was away at college and my middle guy and my daughter and I moved into an apartment in Pennington. The apartment was not bad but it wasn’t what my kids were used to and I felt awful about it.  Things were not good for me.

She was in need of cleaning and conditioning!

This was right before I met Bonaparte.  I had no money.  At all.  But one night I was perusing the Neiman Marcus Last Call site and my eyes came upon this bag. I had seen it so many times and absolutely loved it.  I couldn’t afford full price. Actually, I couldn’t even afford the sale price of $350 at the time. She was, hands down, the most expensive bag I had ever purchased. It was about 16 years ago. And I bought it.  I needed something to just make me feel good about myself at the time and this bag was the cure.

Quite frankly, the amount of compliments I received on this bag when I used her were remarkable. She was a beauty!

I wore that bag every day for a few years.  I loved it. And every now and then, I’ll take her down and use her but for the most part, she’s on a shelf in my closet.

Conditioned, but the handles need another coating.  She’s looking mighty fine. And a story is why I love a vintage bag!

Today I freshened her up.  I’ll never sell this bag ever. There’s a ton of meaning for me.  She made me feel good when I had absolutely nothing.  And that’s the story!

What’ll I do the rest of this afternoon?  Well, I already set the dinner table.

The table is set for dinner for two. I kept a very simple setting.

I made envelopes from cloth napkins. My bad for not ironing them first but I’m being lazy today!

The utensils are snuggled in the napkin!  It’s simple but cute!

And in a while, I’ll sit down to binge on David Chang’s Ugly/Delicious.  It’s a great series on Netflix and I’m addicted!

Freakin’ David Chang. He’s my new Anthony Bourdain!

Whatever you are doing, remember to stay safe. Cook something different. Clean a bag.  Watch a movie. Read a book.  Clean baseboard.  But take care and distance yourself because this will pass.

Have a great weekend! I’m enjoying no makeup and dressing like a slob today!  How about you?

 

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I Did Another Thing. Bought a Vintage Louis Vuitton Bag and Cleaned It Up!

Last year, for my 64th birthday, I received the second-best birthday gift of my life.  The number one greatest birthday gift I received was on my 13th birthday when my brother, Pete, was born.  Unfortunately, he is no longer with us but I have his lifetime of great memories embedded in my heart and mind.

Which brings me to my second-greatest birthday gift ever.  Bonaparte surprised me with a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag. Believe me, it was a total surprise that had me going into complete shock.

Last year’s birthday gift. Just about a year later the leather is starting to get that nice honey shade!

I love that bag.  And when I say “love”, I mean it. I. Love. That. Bag.  And I have a tendency to treat it like a baby; which is unusual for me simply because I’m very tough on bags.

It’s one of the few bags I have that actually gets placed into the dust cover!

I’m that person who throws a bag into a car.  I lug it around with just about as many items as Mary Poppins fits into her magic tote!

Oh yes. I throw those bags around!

And I love a “good” bag.  I’m not big on rotating my bags either. I’ll take out a bag and use it for months. Among the brands I carry regularly are Longchamp, J. Crew and a beautiful, no-brand yellow bag I picked up in Paris two years ago.

This yellow leather bag was purchased at Sophie Sacs on Rue de Rennes. It’s one of the greatest bags I own. It holds a ton of stuff and is greeat for travel. And..soft as buttah!

My red Longchamp cuir satchel was a birthday gift from my husband a few years back, and until he gifted me with the Vuitton bag, that red bag was the most high-end bag I’ve ever carried.

Another favorite bag that surprisingly holds more than expected. I’m a huge fan of Longchamp. Four cuir bags are in my closet as well as the Pliage bags.

But there is just something about my Louis Vuitton bag.  I love the iconic monogram canvas. I love the Vachetta leather and the way it evolves into a honey-toned patina.  I also love that the brand has remained iconic over the years.

This poor bag is the object of snobbery due to the fact many LV lovers deem it “basic”.  For me, it’s basically classic!

Yet, the brand remained out of my reach due to the expense. And so, you can imagine my utter joy when I was gifted with that bag. Due to the nature of the tote, I’ve learned to love the brand. It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’. The heaviness of the stuff I load into the bag validates the strength of both the coated canvas and its sturdy construction.

Because of this, I want more.  Yes. I want more Louis Vuitton in my life. But here’s the thing.  I’m not wealthy.  There is no way I can go about purchasing thousands of dollars on a bag.  I can’t see myself spending $700 on a wallet or almost the same on an agenda.  If the company I worked for back in 2007, didn’t close its doors to the location I worked, I most likely would be able to do so.  Presently, no.

But I’m a determined old broad and I found, through research, that the brand’s bags are attainable for a lower price. It doesn’t mean they are inexpensive—because they aren’t, even for vintage and pre-loved ones.  However, for a lower price, and some elbow grease, you can find a vintage one that needs TLC, bring it back to bag use life and have an item with a history.

Such is the story of my Louis Vuitton Bucket GM that is no longer produced by the brand.

My vintage LV Bucket GM. Note that I’m less cautious with the handling of this bag as there is a bottle of Sriracha sauce directly behind it!

I love a big bag because I have a ton of shit to carry around.  And when I saw this bucket bag on Mercari, I fell in heavy lust.  Mercari had it listed as authentic but ever the Doubting Thomasina, I still had sleuthing to do.  The date stamp was valid as was the brand stamp.  The bag was authentic and being sold for a lower price. I offered $236 and the offer was accepted.

Authentic Louis Vuitton Bucket GM

As soon as I spotted this, I wanted it!

My main concern after the purchase was the look on Ricky Ricardo’s Bonaparte’s face when he got the bill.  I would deal with that later. Trust me, I had a lot of ‘splain’ to do.

Just replace Lucy with “Cassssseeeeeeee”! S’il vous plait!

Anyway, the bag arrived in better shape than expected. The coated canvas was in fantastic and that’s the most important aspect. No cracks, no fading, it only needed to be wiped down.

The canvas, in great shape only needed wiping down

The Vachetta leather?  It needed cleaning and conditioning. The straps were in great condition with slight staining. The leather trim at the bottom of the bag had water marks but I’m not really fussy about that. In fact, I don’t mind. It means the bag was well-used and well-loved.

The stains really don’t bother me at all.  I’m fine with them. They tell a story. The story is that someone very much like me owned this bag!

The brass feet on the bottom were black from tarnish and needed to be cleaned. The leather trim at the top of the bag was definitely well worn and needed some serious attention.

The inside of the bag—that’s where the challenge laid.

The interior of the bag definitely needed a lot of TLC!

Back when this bag was produced, and with a number of Louis Vuitton bags, the bags were lined with a coating of vinyl which the brand named “Vuittonite”.  The coating didn’t fare well. Especially in humid climates.  The humidity caused the lining to peel, therefore creating quite a mess. The bag was lined with Vuittonite. It was peeling. And the inside of the bag smelled musty.

The musty scent doesn’t bother me too much. I’m that oddball who loves the smell of musty old books but I did place a couple of scented dryer sheets into the bag and the mustiness is dissipating.

Anyway, after researching how to rid the bag of the peeling and sticky lining covering, I went to work.  The majority of tutorials stated to use gloves and acetone nail polish remover or Goo-Gone.  Since I use Goo-Gone specifically for when Chippy gets into my makeup, eats it, and smashes it into carpeting, I’m not wasting the stuff.

The scent of acetone doesn’t thrill me. And gloves, unless worn in very cold weather, bother me.

I used my bare hands to peel the coating off.  It took three nights. After work, I would run upstairs, start peeling then stop when I was frustrated or wanted to give up. But I persevered.

I turned the lining out of the bag, covered the canvas and went to work. Let me tell you, this stuff created a mess!  It got all over and the vacuum came out!

I peeled and peeled…

And cleaned and cleaned!

Once the coating was peeled to the best of my ability, I was left with a bit of a rough, flannel-like fabric lining.  I took water-based baby wipes and wiped the lining down until what remained was a smooth texture.

 

 

Here’s a look at the rough texture of the fabric once the coating was peeled.

After wiping the lining down with water-based baby wipes, the texture of the fabric was smoothed and ready for use!

These are the wipes I used.  As you can see, I used quite a lot but I purchased to packs.  FYI, Walmart and Target carry this brand of wipes.

 

And after wiping down the inside of the bag, I hung it over the shower bar in our guest bathroom to allow it to dry.

I hung the bag, with the dampened lining over the shower bar to dry.  Luckily the shirt that was drying next to it didn’t get any of the lining residue!

The chain in the bottom left photo was also very sticky from rubbing against the coatingI cleaned it with steel wool and it did the job!

And then came the leather. Louis Vuitton uses Italian Vachetta leather for the handles and trim. This is untreated leather and as its ages, builds a nice patina and the straps turn a honey color. This is one of the things I love as the bags age because the newness of the leather looks too clean for me.  And, as a natural slob—well, you get the picture.

Cleaning the leather was the most daunting part for me because I was afraid that I would screw up.

The leather ended up to be a pretty-easy clean and I conditioned it so I felt good!

Needless to, I was extremely cautious and careful as to keep the leather cleaner on the leather and not on the coated canvas.

I used two cleaners and conditioners. Apple brand and Lexol. In all honesty, neither of the cleaners “wowed” me.  Both did a great job at conditioning though.

I used this Apple Brand cleaner and conditioner as well as…

I also used these products by Lexol. Both did the job as expected. 

As this was my first attempt to “clean” up a vintage Louis Vuitton bag, I did make one error. I was way to rough on the leather trim on the top of the bag and tore the leather in one place.  Am I upset about it?  Not really.  Perhaps down the line, I’ll take it to a professional to have it replaced.  I can bring it to my local Louis Vuitton shop to have sent for repair but it’ll cost more money than expected.  So essentially, I’ll leave it alone.

I was a bit rough in cleaning the top leather trim. And when I say rough I mean it. I scrubbed way to hard. Lesson learned and the bag is still fine. I might use a touch of Gorilla glue on this piece. I will most likely leave it alone though!

The “feet” on the bottom of the bag were very, very tarnished.  Brasso and Q-tips did the job. I was very careful not to get Brasso on the canvas!

Brasso and a ton of Q-tips cleaned the brass feetsies!

In the long run, am I pleased with the result?  You bet I am!  It comes down to my personal budget.  At this point in time, I cannot saunter into my local Louis Vuitton shop and purchase that coveted Speedy bag.  Or a brand-new Alma. Or wallet or agenda. It just isn’t feasible.

My two Louies!  One new and one old.  Both are gorgeous!

However, with my pocket money saved, I can purchase a vintage bag of the brand. It takes research, savoir-faire, and knowledge of knowing how to spot a “real” bag vs. a fake. Lollipuff Easy Louis Vuitton Bag Authentication Guide

Cleaning or refurbishing a vintage bag is actually a decent project for this time of quarantine. You can check out sites such as Mercari and Poshmark.  There are a great many sites to purchased pre-loved and vintage bags but in my novice sleuthing, I find that Mercari and Poshmark have the greatest number of budget-friendly bags.  I would err on the side of caution with eBay though, I almost got scammed.

I saw a bag for a great price—almost too good to be true. I purchased it.  It was never shipped and so I contacted the seller.  What ensued was a ridiculous and pathetic exchange.  On the seller’s behalf different excuses, abusive language and improper spelling and grammar.

Beware of this eBay seller.  What a crock!

I contacted eBay and they did a great job of refunding my money.  However, it left a very bad taste in my mouth and I won’t be perusing eBay for bags in the future.

I’m a happy little clam because I think I did a good job for my first time!

How about you?  Are you into vintage luxury bags?  Have you ever refurbished a bag before?  Thoughts?  It’ll be fun to hear from you!  Here’s a video I did last week!

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That Virus. And a Weekend in New York City

So two weeks ago Bonaparte decided to surprise me with a weekend in New York City. Of which I have been meaning to write about.

And then the Corona Virus took precedence over our lives.  I don’t necessarily mean Bonaparte and me, but I mean all of us. Our world.  And since returning from New York, things have been different.

Everyone at the company I work for is now working virtually with the exception of a tiny skeleton crew.  In the area I am in, it was three of us.  It is now downto two. Yes!  I am one of the lucky ones who is still getting dressed, getting into my car, and driving to work every day.

That’s right. I’m happily going into an office every day. And allow me to say, it’s a very clean environment!

Alas, it isn’t a bad thing because the office has been cleaned down accordingly and there’s nobody to bother me.  Thus, the beauty of “social distancing” (a ridiculous term but I get it).

keep your distance

Caveat–I’ve created social distancing ever since I moved to Pennsylvania! I’m a pro at it!

Quite honestly, I could go on and on and on about what has happened to our society with this Corona Virus.  But I’ve decided not to. We are all aware of how our lives have changed and so I’ll focus on the positive.

And so,  I’ll tell you about our trip to New York!

New York!  Still the most beautiful skyline on earth and I always get a kick out of snapping a pic whenever we approach!

Let’s go back a couple of weeks. Shall we?

Bonaparte surprised me with an overnight stay at the Marriott Midtown on Lexington Avenue.

Overnight bag packed and hair at the ready, I was excited to get back to New York!

It’s our regular stay place in the city. The location is great. The staff is greater and the rooms are wonderfully charming.

He also wanted to drive up to Nyack. It’s where his grandfather André Girard is buried.  A little backstory here. After WWII, my husband’s grandfather moved to the States. He was working as an artist for various advertising companies and was pretty successful.  It was then when Bonaparte moved to Nyack with his mother and sister for a couple of years. He doesn’t remember much because he was very young. But he remembers Nyack and the nice times he spent there.

The weather was on our side and it was one of those spectacular late winter Saturdays. It was still cold, but you could feel the air becoming warmer. As though winter knew it was getting ready to make an exit but kind of wanted to hang around a bit longer. The sun was bright and warmed things up even more.

We thought it was great that there was hardly any traffic on the Jersey Turnpike and we were even more shocked there was no traffic on the Palisades Parkway leading upstate.

And might I add that I’ve never seen the GW this empty–and I crossed this bridge a countess number of times over the years, even when I lived in Manhattan!

And as we approached the tip of the Hudson Valley, I had an immediate whoosh of comfort.  I miss New York. I miss Long Island. I miss the City.  And I miss the sleepy vibe of the artsy communities north of the city.  Nyack is one of those communities.

Streets lined with small shops were literally empty. But we chalked it off with the notion that when the warm weather arrives, throngs of people would be out and about.  The Virus never really entered our thoughts.

We drove by beautiful old homes, loaded with character and history.

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that a half-hour outside of Manhattan, gorgeous Victorian homes can be found–for an expensive price!  I’m also fascinated that to me, anything north of NYC is Upstate!

 

 

And then we arrived at the cemetery to visit Bonaparte’s grandfather.

Bonaparte’s maternal grandfather, Andre Girard was an incredibly interesting man.  He was extremely active in the Resistance during WWII and was a very talented artist.  You can read more about him in the blog post I wrote quite a while ago. Holocaust Stories. A Family Torn Apart

It was good for my husband to visit his grandfather.  We hadn’t done this in a while. Rest in Peace bon-papa.

When we left, we drove past the house that my husband lived in for a while then headed down to the city.

Here’s the house my husband lived in for a couple of years as a very, very young child before moving back to Paris.  He has little but fond memories!

It wasn’t until we arrived in Manhattan that we realized, like Miss Clavel of Madeline, that something was not right. It’s one thing when traffic outside a city is light, but when the city streets in NYC are almost void of cars, cabs, buses, sirens and horns, you know something is going on.

Like Miss Clavel, we knew something was not right. But for us, it was in the middle of the day!

That was the “aha” moment that this virus was “keeping” people away from my hometown.

Madison Avenue. Middle of the afternoon. A Saturday. There’s just a handful of cars. I’ve never seen it like this!

And in the past, Laduree has always had a line outside. This time it was different and no wait.  I got to stuff my mouth with macaron!!!

We arrived at the hotel a bit early and were prepared to leave our luggage at the desk while we explored the neighborhood.  Instead, we were surprised to learn not only was our room ready, but due to low volume of guests, we were upgraded!

The room was great!  A corner room which lent itself so well to multiple views.  It was roomy, immaculate, and wonderfully cozy and comfy.  Bonaparte was gleeful over the big-screen TV and I was overjoyed at the decent lighting!

Our upgraded room. Corner views.  Big screen TV (for a hotel, this is big screen)…

a wonderfully cozy bed with decent lighting..

And the views!  Look at how empty the street below is. That’s Lexington Avenue. It’s always jammed with traffic…..except these days.

You can keep your trendy, streamlined boutique hotels, I prefer the charm and homeliness of old-school..

Grand and with a history!

And as evening approached, a more spectacular view!

The restaurant where we had dinner was just up the street. A walk of a few blocks. Le Relais de Venis L’Entrocôte.   I’ll tell you, since our favorite Les Halle closed, this has been our go-to restaurant when we are in NYC.  Why?  It’s because the food is consistently good.  The menu is but one choice. Steak.  And Salad.  And the steak is done to perfection. And the dessert choices are wonderful.

Since this was at the boundary of “The Virus” and just before “social distancing” became a thing, we were wondering if we would be but a handful of people out to dinner. Our thoughts were wrong about a “handful” of people because the restaurant was mobbed. Which was a great thing for business.

Please enjoy our dinner with us!

Somebody special is mulling over the wine list..

The salad is divine.  No heavy vinegar taste and super-simple..

The sauce, a secret recipe that was impossible to decipher, is the best sauce I’ve ever had. Served over the perfectly cooked (blue, in my case) steak and oozing over to the frites, it’s consistently a great dinner!

And the profiterole dessert is so good that it turns me from a human being into an agressive and territorial dog!

Sunday brought about a sunny and clear one. Our plan was to hit MOMA, The Museum of Modern Art.  It’s funny because when I was younger, I abhorred Modern Art but as I’ve pro-aged, there are some aspects of it that I enjoy—such as photography and the social messages.

We had a great time and the admission for “seniors” is at quite the discount.

Here’s a little sampling of what we saw.

The day we visited was International Women’s Day which had me snapping all things woman!  This is a Leger painting.

Picasso’s Girl Before Mirror

Frida Kahlo Self Portrait with Cropped Hair. I LOVE this one so much! I wonder why? Could it be the fallen hair? Yes! It is!

This photo was my favorite of any displayed works we saw. It was taken in the 1950’s and I don’t recall the photographer. But it has been haunting me ever since I saw it. Look at the young woman’s face. She isn’t hateful nor angry. She’s full of hope.  My God, to think we were like this. Let’s hope we never return to those times.  I just want to hug this woman!

A view from MOMA. One car. That’s a piece of work!

Always fun to spot a Jacques-Henri Lartigue photo. This, a self-portrait photo taken when he was a boy (he received his first camera as a gift), made Bonaparte very happy!

After a couple of hours, it was time to get the car and drive off. And might I share the parking lot we used while visiting MOMA.  The indoor parking spaces offer no discount on the weekends—or rather, the discount they offer isn’t much. However, if you find an outdoor lot, you’ll save money.  Another funny thing is that even though streets were void of traffic, parking spots on the street were still impossible to find.

This is Carlos. He works at the parking lot and he was the greatest attendant ever!  If you need a parking lot, stop by to see him!!

Here’s more random photos for your entertainment!

Fifth Avenue along Central Park. All the bikes are in place because nobody is around!

This is a bittersweet sight for me. What is now the MetLife building used to be the PanAm building. I attended Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in that building and sady, the secretary has gone the way of Pan Am. It’s very depressing to me. But change goes on…

A restaurant on the East Side across from where Bonaparte used to live when he came to the States as an adult.  Looks good so I’ve referenced it for next time!

You can have your fance lunches but for MY money, Sabrett Dirty Water Dogs are one of the greatest gastronomical delights on the face of the earth. With sauerkraut. And the bun gets mushy. I’m in love!

Ugh. Call me a discerning snob but Times Square is now an exercise in vulgarity. Chain restaurants. Chain stores. Disney. Bleh!!  It was so much more refined and characteristic when the “working girls”  and drunks were there. Trust me on this. My dad was a NYC cop and always told me Times Square was one of the safest havens in the City due to the amount of undercover cops. Now it’s just cheap and disneyfied!  

Another view from the room!

An eerie emptiness on Broadway

Leaving NYC..

En route to the Holland Tunnel. This was the heaviest traffic of the weekend!

Back home after a great little overnight, we had no idea of what the coming  week or weeks ahead would offer.  We’re not in a good place right now. And due to the nature of my work, in an advocacy company for those who need disability, many of whom are very ill, I’ve been very busy.  But I am vowing to try to do more “happy” and positive posts for reading.

Thank you. Stay well. Stay safe. And be careful.  I love you all!!! XOXO  And I hope you enjoyed this visit to NYC!

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for remaining to support and read and be friends of this blog. We are in this together. And together we will come back stronger!!

 

Posted in Life Over 60 | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

Florida. The Casino. A Wedding. Family Photos. And Countless Pomegranate Martinis.

Part Three. The Wedding.

Note: It’s been quite the crazy week.  Honestly. I come home from work and literally want to veg out.  My apologies for my tardiness on this—and awayyyyyyyy we go to Part Three!

Waking up on Saturday morning was a pleasure. Finally—the weather was cooperating with my thought process.  It was sunny and bright; It warmed up and felt like I was finally in the warm climate I traveled to.

Bitmoji Image

Finally. A warm day!!!

My sisters and Aunt Terry and I met for breakfast, had a fantastic political argument which ended with Aunt Terry stating that the four of us were a perfect example of how our country was divided.

Our instructions were to show up at the Church at 2:00 PM for the marriage ceremony. But the reception wasn’t until Seven in the evening.

The four of us hopped into the car my sister rented and drove to my brother’s house for a bit before getting ready for the wedding

Oona and Yanela had to get the cake to the reception hall amid all the activity that was going on.  It was best that I stay clear out of both their ways.

Coffee and laughs and back to the hotel to get ready.

I had someone come to apply lashes at 11 AM.  Yeah. You read it right.  I paid a girl $25 to apply strip lashes to my eyes.  I didn’t feel like dealing with mascara and I am horrible at applying lashes to my own eyes. Cross-eyed people and false lash application aren’t really a good mix. Anyway, Allison who was a friend of the family showed up on time, did my lashes and we had a good time together! She was so adorable!

Bitmoji Image

Well, I certainly didn’t have to spend money on a hair stylist!

My biggest issue was stressing that my dress would be too tight.  You know, I was doing so well on Weight Watchers and then the thing happened with my brother, we went to France, and the holidays zoomed in.  I am carrying about 7 extra pounds.

The dress fit thanks to an inexpensive body shaper from Walmart. Screw the Spanx—they roll down and are incredibly uncomfortable. It the cheap stuff from I Walmart that does the job with comfort!

Yayuh!  The dress fit!

With my spray tan, lashes being applied, and wearing fake hair, it didn’t take me long to get ready. In fact, while everyone else was going through the ritual of beauty and hair, I was relaxing on my hotel bed playing Candy Crush!

Dress on. Lashes on.  Wig on.  And I was all set to go!

We arrived at the Church as instructed.  The church was adorable.  St. Anthony of Padua. It’s the parish my brother and his family belong to and all three boys attended the grammar school.

This church was so stinking cute. And yes. I have a “thing” about churches. They must meet my personal tastes. This church did.

It was very old-school but bright. Not dark and dismal.

So tiny and old-school!

There’s nothing like a good statue of Jesus on the Cross to bring out the Catholic guilt of childhood…

Matt and his best man were waiting.

My sisters arriving. Thankfully, I talked my sister into taking off those horrific black pantyhose. I told her she would get an infection.

The stereotypical “Church Lady” made her appearance by announcing that “This is God’s home and we must be quiet and respectful”

We had our own Church Lady to make sure we behaved!

To which I almost got up and answered “Well, God loves a good party with loud people”.  But I was on my best behavior. For now.

I dunno who the priest was but he was from Ireland and had a slick sense of humor.  Before the ceremony, he announced that cell phones must be put away.  I gasped because it meant I could not start snapping pictures.And why did the priest look straight at me when he made that “no cell phone” announcement anyway?

The ceremony was beautiful and casual.  My son, Roman, did a reading. (I was insulted that I was not approached to stand on the pulpit but, it wasn’t my party)

I have to say, next to my daughter Oona’s wedding dress, Bella’s dress came in as my second favorite wedding dress of all time. It was short and simple.  I was shaking.  She bought it at Neiman Marcus and it made me want to go straight to that store, buy that dress and have Bonaparte and I renew our City Hall vows!

Mr. and Mrs. Wynne. And that dress. Huh?

While others were trying to get pics of the bride and groom, I shoved Matt out of the way and made Bella turn around so I could get a great shot of the back of this dress!  It’s stunning!

It’s nice welcoming a new relative into the family.  Bella is so sweet and she’s a good woman. She and Matt make a great couple. I am thoroughly happy about my new niece!

Now comes the part where I get all huffy and puffy.

With the ceremony and hanging out a bit outside the church, the time was 3:30. The reception was at 7PM.  That’s quite a bit of time.

The church had an outside grotto too.  Oh how I could use one of these!

Nobody, or rather, the out-of-towners, really didn’t know where to go. I would have been content to go back to the hotel. But—I had no control over anything because I did not have a car.

Now, you need to know something about me.  I don’t like not being in control.  When I was a child, I did not like not having my way.  I equate the adult version of “having my way” is “being in control”.  It gets worse.

Image result for fairuza balk willy wonka

Let’s just say I had a lot more in common with Veruca Salt than I did with Pollyanna. It still rings true!

With two choices of places to go and have a late lunch, my sisters, my aunt and I headed to Pancho’s, a local Mexican restaurant and about five more people were to meet us.  At 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon, you wouldn’t expect this establishment to be crowded. It was mobbed. It was small but mobbed.

Image result for pancho's cafe dade city

Whoda thunk this joint was absolutely mobbed at 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon? Everyone said it was great. I wouldn’t know that.

And at this point I was becoming hangry. A cross between hungry and angry.

Some family conflict ensued after Oona and Yanela dropped the cake off to meet us and they went to another place.

By the time we got a table, I was beyond any form of being a reasonable human being. I hate not being in control. I cannot stand when I am in unfamiliar territory and cannot be in control.  I like everything to go my way.

So, we get the table.  And as I go to walk into the restaurant some bitch who was also waiting for a table comes up to me and says “I was first”.  This was at the point where I had to turn around, walk across the street and go and sit in the car my sister rented.  And it was because I almost punched that woman.  I knew if I didn’t walk away, there would have been an altercation.  And for some bizarre reason, I didn’t want to get arrested on my nephew’s wedding day.

Bitmoji Image

Quite honestly, I didn’t want to get arrested or embarrass my children.  I HAD to be on best behavior!

While in the car, I called my husband and basically vented to him for a good forty minutes. Perhaps more. ItOK. An hour! It’s just annoying to me to not have a car or to be in control of my time and destination.

Bonaparte gave me a goodbye with his sadness that we would not be enjoying aperitifs together that night.  I promised him that it would be the same for me and I wouldn’t even be enjoying anything but diet soda at the wedding.

What I really should have done was to get off my fat, lazy ass, get out of the car and walk the two blocks back to the church to go to confession. It would have been the perfect way to while away the time and by the time I would have confessed all my sins and naughty doings and thoughts, it would have been time to head back to the hotel!

That’s right. I SHOULD have made like St. Bernadette and got on my knees rather than sit on my ass in the car whining to my husband!

Okay. Now everyone has had their late lunch and there’s still time to kill. Thankfully, we had time to drive back to the hotel to rest as well as collect my composure.

When it was time to head to the reception, we were all in great spirits.

Luckily, the reception was about two minutes from the hotel.

The reception was held at what could possibly be the cutest building I’ve ever seen. The Women’s Club of Dade City. It was like something out of an old-time movie.

The Women’s Club of Dade City was the perfect venue!

The venue was wonderful.  The DJ was fantastic. It was a very danceable crowd. And my family loves to hit the dance floor!

The food was very impressive. My sister-in-law, Mother-of-the-Groom, Beth, did an outstanding job with the Hors d’oeuvres  and finger foods.

So many lovely goodies. And I ate ’em all!

I’m watching my weight so I passed on the cupcakes!

And the best thing was that everyone was a bit full from their late lunch when they arrived.  I was hungry like an ox so I chowed down on a ton of shrimp and other goodies!

Surprisingly, I ate a good chunk of this shrimp. Even more surprisingly was as I exited the reception after many beverages, I stuffed a bunch in a plastic bag and took it back to the hotel!

After consuming so much food, I was thirsty so I got on the line at the bar.  Actually, I had to make my way through the crowd at the bar. In my family, we do open bars at weddings! So, you can imagine how crowded it was.

While on the line, I spotted a sign. It read “Pomegranate Martini” and my sister-in-law’s mother saw my scrunched-up face.  After explaining that I thought Martinis were disgusting, she talked me into ordering this Pomegranate beverage and it was life-changing.

Never in my life had I tasted such a wonderful alcoholic delight. It tasted just like Pixie Stix!  Remember those straws filled with flavored sugar?  Num Nums!  This tasted like liquid Pixie Stix.  I felt so guilty telling Bonaparte that I would not be drinking.  I lied. I didn’t feel guilty.

I got tired of waiting on the line so I had my nephews get me multiples. Yes. There was a steady supply for me!

In fact, this elixir of sorts gave me a great deal of energy that helped in keeping me active on the dance floor.

Me with Roman enjoying a Pomegranate Martini

Me with Roman and my nephew Liam after many Pomegranate Martinis.

Father-of-the-Groom, my brother Tom and me..

My two sisters. I’m sure my sister Theresa is telling my sister Germaine that I look like a damned idiot twerking on the dance floor!

Oona and my niece, Isis!

The martinis also helped my soon-to-be 18-year-old nephew, Logan to keep up with his energy level.

I love the way everyone looks after a few hours of partying!

And it’s always special when the cousins can get together!

We had a blast as Matt and Bella celebrated their new union.

They’re so stinking adorable!

Time to cut the cake!

And Yanela did a great job on the cake!

I’m not going to write about going back to the hotel after the reception because, to tell you the truth, I only remember packing to go home. Then I fell asleep because I woke up with smeared makeup and three-quarters of my lashes intact.

 

You know it was a great weekend when you get on the plane looking like you did the walk of shameless.  Look closely at my right eye and you can see the lashes lifting. I didn’t even care. My eye makeup was smeared from the night before.  

And that’s how I went home.  My brother and Roman picked me up at the hotel, we drove to the airport, Roman and I bid each other farewell and I, once again, was left to play Candy Crush on my phone for an hour until boarding the plane.

I must’ve frightened Bonaparte when he saw me because as soon as I got into the car he gasped and mentioned I should go straight to bed. It was three in the afternoon.

A great time was had by all. Despite my meltdown and my lack of control. And the fact I was severely hung over even as I boarded the plane, was worth it. It was great to be with family-especially for a good reason!

Isn’t this photo beautiful?  I have no idea what those haystacks are for but it is a field around the corner from my brother’s house!

I hope you enjoyed this.  Later this evening, I’ll finish packing for our weekend in New York City.  Thanks to Bonaparte, he thought it would be a great way to relieve the stress of my job lately.

I’m wondering if I should have a Pomegranate Martini when we go to dinner on Saturday night!

Make mine a triple!

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