Building A Business

I’ve been watching people read my sleeping blog. A place I poured my heart into for two years while building Oceans SF.

I broke my arm a few days after announcing I would no longer write my blog. I’ve been working for other entrepreneurs and dating and as temping as it was/is to write about these endeavors it’s not really ethical. Plus, after the break I couldn’t type at all.

My attorney tells me my friends and family know I’m a lifestyle writer so they are aware they can land on my pages at any time. I always read my posts to my kids before publishing, and ask their permission first and in every way try to be considerate of the privacy of others while maintaining my own authenticity.

For my friends and business associates as forewarned as they are, I am as cognizant of the power of my words, and understand when you have 80,000 hits in 72 countries what you say has meaning.

Recently, I’ve watched my analytics with interest; Canada, France, Brazil, Jamaica, Spain, Australia and can’t believe I’ve given up something I’ve loved so dearly. What’s nice about my website is I can pick it up whenever I choose because it’s something I’ve built and own.

I love writing my 24/680 News Column as well, but I do have editors and they choose my titles and weigh in on my content, but mostly are my biggest fans.

Ocean SF has recently been funded, due to investors who found my company through my writing and hard work in promoting my company and brand day in and day out for the last several years. I’m busy working behind the scenes with some amazing people on that. Ocean SF is also something I’ve built and can cultivate as I choose.

I saw off my friends to the Pacific Cup Race to Hawaii at the St. Francis Yacht Club last week. They took my apparel to really prove it at sea. It’s been sold into some of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world now and I’m excited to have my products in stores this fall. It’s also gratifying after so much hard work, time and energy to finally have my company up and running.

I’ve also picked up some independent consulting work as I roll off of my enjoyable, but seasonal catering side hustle. It was a gift to learn from so many hard working and dedicated entrepreneurs. It takes commitment and dedication to be successful and I will implement what I’ve learned over the past six months as I continue to build my brand, business, and team.

It’s interesting that my most popular post recently has been Love & Money as I feel that to be truly successful one must have love and this is in direct proportion to the monetary rewards of life. This is just my own observation of course, but I’ve noticed that loving your life, the people around you, and being both generous and kind brings countless blessings and rewards, many of them financial.

I’ve certainly found this to be true recently as I’ve decided to center my attention on my family, friends and the work and people I love most.

I’ve had some hard lessons this summer. My business had some ups and downs and I almost gave up on it. I broke my arm for the second year in a row on Father’s Day and have been in a good deal of pain. I compounded this by dropping an iron umbrella stand on my other hand.

Yet, my friends and family have surrounded me with love and I’ve truly surrendered to my circumstances and because of this, I’ve actually had a really wonderful summer with the added bonus of some spectacular business success.

From working in the kitchen at the catering company I’ve developed an interest in making cakes. I’m a horrendous baker historically, but I actually adore making birthday cakes. I’ve made four over the past few weeks for milestone birthdays and just ordered my professional baking supplies so I can make bigger and better cakes in the future. I absolutely love doing this for the people I love.

As I’ve said before, it’s not what I would have expected, but nevertheless joy.

Love and blessings to all.

Kids, Love & Food

I have a bad habit of spoiling the ones I love. I do this in many ways, but in no way is it more obvious then in how I cook for the people I absolutley adore.

No matter how tired I am, or what I am doing, I always find time to drop everything and make something amazing for one or the other of my daughters. All they have to do is look at me and tell me they’re hungry and I go running off to the kitchen like they were four years old (I once did this for my late husband as well).

Today, felt like a Sunday, and we had all eaten a very late lunch, so no one was interested in dinner, my older daughter went out, but as eight o’clock rolled around my younger daughter, who had been studying all day for the SAT gave me that sad look and told me she was hungry.

I’ve made these little pizza’s before and they are a favorite. So, this is what I made for her. I took the picture above and wanted to share this very easy and quick recipe with you.

Mediterranean Pizza

1 pita

1 onze pesto (this was actually a chimichurri sauce, but I’ve used both)

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup mixed spinach, chard and kale

5 kalamata olives

2 cherry tomatoes halved

Salt and pepper

The first thing you do is pull out a frozen pita (Costco) and put it immediately in the oven on the rack with a cookie sheet under it at 400 degrees. This helps it defrost. Then I put a pan on the stove to preheat turning it on high (my stove is slow to heat up so adjust as needed). I use a nonstick pan. I gather the other ingredients while everything is heating up.

Then, I pull the pita out of the oven and spread the pesto lightly. I always do sauces on the light side, but give the kids some on the side for dipping. I then add the cheese and let the cheese melt. I usually cut up some fruit at this time because it’s a good time to get, said child, to actually eat it.

I know she’s seventeen, but I still care and worry about her. So, tonight she had strawberries and ate them all.

While the cheese in melting, and before the pan gets too hot, I add the eggs and cook them over easy. I make one for the dog (I can’t help it I love the dog as well) and the dog is now eleven so what is the harm at this point in giving her people food?

I keep an eye on the bread and when the cheese has melted (7-10 minutes depending on your oven) I pull it out. At this point I cut it into four triangles for ease in eating. I put the salad mixture on top, add the olives and tomatoes and top with the egg. I always plate with salt and pepper, but not all humans like this I’ve found, so do what works for your loved ones.

This process literally takes so little time and it delights my children beyond what you might expect. I also make it with fig jam, Brie and arugula which with friends over is a very welcome snack.

Love and blessings to all.

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Commitment Is Freedom

I’ve had a stressful week with the news of my Ocean SF partner resigning on Tuesday, but luckily it’s been another peaceful weekend.

I love living in the Bay Area. There is nothing more beautiful than San Francisco Bay. The azure water, the beautiful San Francisco skyline, and the many Islands and coves from Richmond to Redwood City never cease to fascinate me.

The way the sunlight plays on the water, the combination of the working harbor, and the recreational sailboats that go by proves the multi-cultured diverse ecosystem that is my home.

I spend a great deal of time on the Bay and recently on Treasure Island, but it is ever changing and never the same from one day to the next. It is always a different experience due to the dramatic role the weather plays.

Being on the water for the Friday Night sailboat races and then on Treasure Island for the Treasure Festival is in my opinion the epitome of bliss.

I especially enjoy spending time with my Treasure Festival boss Chaz. It was nice to have another entrepreneur to talk with about Ocean SF and the challenges ahead. Plus, I am treated so well there. I came home with arm loads of flowers, desserts and more food than I can eat in a week.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about commitment. As someone who values freedom above all else this is an unusual train of thought for me.

For many years of married life I found this deep commitment liberating, because I could focus on my career, and other interests knowing I had support and love to back me up every step of the way. My late husband supported everything I did. It made going out into the world that much easier.

It was during this time that I was the most successful in my career, my watercolor paintings hung in galleries, and he constantly encouraged me to write. He read everything I wrote and would tell me that if he could write like I could that he wouldn’t do anything else (he was a very fine writer as well I might add).

Because of this idea, I committed to Ocean SF 100% from the start. It’s been my baby and number one priority apart from my kids for the past two years. I’ve literally loved it into existence. Now, even people I don’t know have heard of Ocean SF. I’ve devoted myself 100% to promoting it on all platforms and it’s starting to pay off.

I feel so blessed to have had the resources to commit to Ocean SF full time for so long. I look forward to working with others who have deep roots and decades of experience in the retail industry who have committed to helping me to finally bring my vision to fruition.

Today, I committed to staying at my side hustle for an entire year, the last weekend of every month. My boss and I will meet monthly and talk about entrepreneurship and my Ocean SF progress. These conversations which will include all of the details of the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur will make a wonderful book for other entrepreneurs to learn from.

Commitment is freedom.

Love and blessings to all.

Family, Love & Birthday Traditions

We headed into the city on Friday to belatedly celebrate Paris’ 19th birthday. Since Paris was in the fifth grade we’ve gone to Neiman Marcus for lunch on her birthday.

For the first few years we went to the spectacular Rotunda resteraunt in San Francisco. Later, so she wouldn’t miss so much school, we went to the Neiman Marcus restaurant in Walnut Creek.

Yes, many people say that it’s over priced, but the food is amazing, the atmosphere gorgeous and they treat you like glass, giving you lovely popovers with strawberry butter to start and a delicious chocolate chip cookie when you depart.

Anyway, on this particular day, we couldn’t get our usual table in the Rotunda. We like to sit by the window and look out over Union Square. As a rule, we always sit at the same tables in restaurants we love. So, we decided to shop and come back when our table was ready. However, everyone was hungry, so we went to the Four Seasons instead.

It was a nice change and they treated us equally well. Our table had a gorgeous view of Market Street (above) and they brought us a beautiful platter of chocolates and fruit at the end.

I’ve incorporated traditions into the life of my family over the years, as I grew up with no traditions, and from holiday to holiday, I never knew what to expect. I had also read that traditions are good for children, and I think they were nice for all of us as life over the last few years specifically, has been largely unpredictable.

However, I think change is positive and doing things just slightly differently, while retaining the spirit of the thing, is an evolution of sorts.

We’ve all changed and grown so much from that Saturday afternoon having our first grown up birthday lunch together so long ago.

Although change is good, and it is the one thing we can all count on, what has not changed is our love for each other, and the joy in spending these special occasions together.

Love and blessings to all.

Out with the Traditions

For many years, I held tightly to our family traditions. Every holiday resembled the previous one with only slight variations and adjustments. Recently, I’ve begun to question the wisdom of this. It’s as if I believed that by following a predictable routine I could control the uncontrollable. But life doesn’t work like this, it is inherently unpredictable, and often devastating. There is no way to escape this.

Last year, we were in Tahoe doing our predictable holiday routine. All was well, and then an argument erupted over nothing on the gondola, and our Christmas Day tradition of skiing all day splintered into a thousand pieces. Teenage girls are maddening, and for the first time, I refused to cook the holiday traditional dinner. I could not spend two hours pouring my heart into preparing a meal that I felt would go largely unappreciated.

We drove from the the ski resort down to Lake Tahoe in our ski clothes and went to Garwoods and sat in the bar. This was a definite and startling break from the past. It was however, one of the most relaxing and delicious meals I have ever had. We sat by the fire looking out over the snowy lake. Afterward, we walked along the shore of Lake Tahoe, the water was calm and as smooth as a mirror reflecting the pink and blue sky as the sun went down.

This year, we’re in Moraga for Christmas and I decided to leave town and go to Napa for a few days. The fires have adversely impacted the wine industry, and they are hurting. We spent two hours at Darioush with an Italian historian and wine sommelier in the caves below the winery, and then another two hours at Trinchero tasting some of the most beautiful red wine I have ever had. We were the only people there. The sky was overcast, but the club room had a giant fireplace with swivel chairs. They treat you very well there, serving beautiful platters of cured meats and cheeses adorned with quince, nuts and dried fruits with their beautiful wine. They even ended with a lovely dessert wine, and biscotti and egg nog cheese cake. It was possibly one of the most pleasant and enjoyable afternoons of my life.

Maybe traditions are not as important as we have been taught to believe. Living well is an adaptive experience clearly.

This has been a wonderful holiday season, not what I would have expected, and in no way reminiscent of the past, but delightful none the less.

Love and blessings to all.

Margarita Pizza

Handmade Margarita Pizza
On Friday, I got the big guns out, after my daughter who recently had knee surgery refused to eat anything but, donuts and candy. My chicken noodle soup could not compete, so I had to get creative.

I made her favorite soup (recipe to follow), which she enjoyed for two seconds, and then went back to the pounds of candy delivered by friends. Being desperate to get her to eat something more nutritious I made her favorite pizza.  

Making pizza is fast and easy, but you do have to stay close to the kitchen, and keep an eye on it as it cooks. I had enough dough for two, so while they were baking I made her a white lasagna (recipe to follow).

Note: The oven must be well preheated and very hot. 

Margarita Pizza

Pizza dough (Whole Foods)

3 tablespoons tomato sauce (any kind)

1/2 oz. extra-virgin olive oil

2-4 ounces fresh mozzarella (small balls)

4 to 5 basil leaves

Instructions:

  • Let dough rest for half an hour in a warm place. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Rollout dough with extra flour on stone. Place a pizza stone (or cookie sheet, but grease with olive oil) to warm in the oven.
  • Roll dough with a rolling pin into a circle. Spread the sauce using the back of a spoon evenly across the surface, stopping approximately 1/2 inch from the edges.
  • Cut each ball in half and place evenly and gently on the sauce. 
  • Place onto the heated stone or tiles in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, approximately 4 to 8 minutes.
  • Add fresh basil. 

Make as many as you have time for, as these disappear magically. They can also be eaten cold, or reheated with excellent results. 

Gift of Time


There is something to be said for down time. It’s not often a person is handed the gift of time. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning eating ice cream, red vines, and peanut butter cups while watching Pirates of the Caribbean with my daughter.

I’m typically productivity minded. The only time I relax is with friends at dinner, or at the Yacht Club, or on boats. It’s difficult to multitask on a boat. When I’m home, I time phone calls with chores. I have a set schedule. I feel I have no time to waste. Somewhere along the way, I learned not to relax. 

These last days, while caring for my daughter, I’ve trimmed my roses, weeded my flower beds, cleaned out cabinets, finished my taxes, and reorganized my coffee cups, and cooked and cooked. 

But for hours and hours, I’ve spent time with my daughter. I’ve also spent a good deal of time with Jeff, Dan and Chris, my neighbors and late husband’s golf foursome, who have been a constant in our lives. 

Last night, Jeff brought us dinner, and Chris stopped by, earlier Dan was here with donuts, and his daughter. 

I love my neighborhood, and the kind and supportive people who live around us. Guardian angels all. 

Love and blessings. 

Girls & Body Image

My daughter Paris has been wicked smart since birth, but her writing is where she really shines.

She has given me permission to share this draft of a paper she’s writing for a class called, Body Image and the Media.  Her writing on this topic is stunning, and she has some interesting insight into body image in the big state of Texas.  

Good Body

by Paris Thomas

PREFACE

Growing up in an affluent neighborhood of the Bay Area, standards about beauty, intelligence, and success were always suffocating. When I was six years old, my parents gave me a Stanford University sweatshirt and told me that this was the school they knew I would get into and end up at because I was always bright as a kid. This was the beginning of feeling pressure to fill shoes that maybe weren’t going to fit me.

I remember being in middle school and seeing all of the older girls wearing the Victoria’s Secret, teen brand, PINK, yoga pants tucked into their rolled down chestnut uggs. I remember thinking, I cannot wait to be in eighth grade and to look so grown up and cool in my rolled down uggs. This was the first time I ever thought about emulating someone and dressing in a way that was not really me.

When I was younger, I was always a lot more mature than the kids my age, and prefered to sit and talk with the adults at any given outing. As high school started, there was more pressure to fit in with the other kids and to be like them. So, I started to change my mindset about pretty much everything. I found that it was “important” to dumb yourself down, to be quiet, and to look a certain way. My freshman year I was playing volleyball and a big part of the sport was developing strong leg muscles and a solid core. I always had a smaller, tighter stomach, but my legs were always way too big in my opinion. I remember the 2014 December issue of the Victoria Secret catalogue arriving through the mail slot at my house. I remember flipping through the pages and seeing Candice Swanepoel appearing over and over again. She was incrediby fit, blonde, and had a radiant smile. I always thought, wow I want to look like this. That Christmas break I started trying to slim my legs down and would do intensive workouts, log my meals, and constantly look in the mirror for hopes of immediate results.

This was the beginning of my body image dysphoria, and even today I think my legs are too big and that I could afford to eat better, look better, and work harder. Still to this day I think my mom is disappointed that I am not at Stanford University. But what has changed is that I really am incredibly happy with myself and the love and support that I have in my life. I am thrilled that I feel healthy and good about myself. And in all truthfulness, I really love the way that I look– well, most days at least.

When I got out there and started talking to some of my peers and my family members about the way they see themselves, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much my self love has grown as I reflected on myself through talking to them. As women, society and media has created a pressure for us females of all ages to pit themselves against each other. It has put a focus on always being better, always finding someone who is more attractive, or more thin, or more smart. It has created a false sense of perfection, when in fact, perfection simply does not exist. It is something we, in my opinion, as women have created to push ourselves to be “better.” What girls and women need to realize is that the only better we need to be, is better about our health– not just our bodies but our minds. It no longer should be about looking a certain way, but rather feeling a certain way.

JADE

18 YEAR OLD MODEL AND PHOTOGRAPHER

Ten years ago, my whole life was flipped upside down and changed drastically, so drastically that at the time I could not even comprehend the everlasting effects it would have on my life. I was born and raised in a small suburban town in the L.A. area. My family once consisted of a mom, a dad, and two children. We were happy for a long time, until suddenly we were not so happy anymore.

First my parents split up. Then my brother became very angry at the world. And finally,  I began to doubt myself as the walls around me began to crumble as my sense of love and security diminished. This was the beginning of never feeling good enough. It started with my older brother always making comments about what I was putting on my plate or in my bowl. He would say to me, “are you really going to eat that ice cream Jade. Are you really?” My eight year old self would stare at the ice cream, my eyes burning so hot with welling tears, until eventually it would melt. Shortly after the ice cream melted away, I melted away too. I became cautious about everything from then on, and when I was not conscious of a certain aspect of my appearance or what I was serving myself up with, my brother was sure to make a note of it.

I know today that he did not mean to hurt me or harm my image of myself, I know that he was just angry at our parents and at the world, but some scars never heal, like the one on my leg. From then on, as I got older I started to notice the other girls around me. Some of them were prettier than me, and even the ones who were not, I always saw in a better light than I did myself because of how lowly my self esteem had become. Hannah, one of my best friends, was tan, pretty, skinny, blue eyed. She was the ideal “American girl” and I always felt lesser than her because of my ivory complexion and my body image issues that had derived from the constant verbal attacks at home. Of course my mother always tried to counteract the attacks, but this did very little, for as they say, once the paper is crumpled, there is no uncrumpling it. The damage had been done.

One thing my brother never taunted me about was my stomach, and thank god for that because today that is my most favorite part of myself. I love my flat, toned tummy, and my tiny belly button. Though it is just one part of a whole, my confidence in my stomach has led to an overall confidence. A few years ago I got into modeling. You see, modeling is tricky because you feel self conscious, you feel your insecurities being zoomed in on by the camera. It is all consuming. My legs have always been an insecurity of mine, because as a model you are expected to be toned and fit in today’s day and age. Although I have long and thin legs, I always feel that they could be stronger and more defined. But as my modeling pursuit intensified, I decided to get behind the lense for once, and here is where I really fell in love.

I fell in love with taking pictures of beautiful young women and capturing the beauty in their “flaws.” The greatest thing about photography, should it be a picture taken of me or of another, are the raw moments. I think there is nothing more beautiful than a naked face and no compliment more appreciated than being told I look stunning without makeup on. In my industry, I have learned that it is so important to not just lead a healthy physical life style, but to create a healthy mentality. I have changed my mindset about the way I look to myself and about how others will perceive me. But most importantly, I have surrounded myself with people who help me to stay mentally healthy and encourage me to have good habits, and to view myself in the most beautiful and feminine way.

 

BRITANY

23 YEAR OLD TEXAS BEAUTY QUEEN

Let me tell y’all a little about our mighty fine, great state of Texas. Here in Texas, we go big or we go home. And when I say big, I mean BIG. Our crops are bigger, our meat is bigger, our muscles are bigger, and our breasts are damn bigger. If you don’t have big breasts, then honey I suggest you go find the finest plastic surgeon in your area and you get that shit taken care of. Because here in Texas, the only things we like small are our women’s waists, legs, noses, and feet. Now, when I was in high school, I was a real stick. I had great legs, a great ass, and the cutest damn face y’all ever saw. But my breasts, not so great. All the girls would snicker at me in the halls, and the boys sure made a point of calling me queen of the “itty bitty titty committee.” So for my sixteenth birthday, I had my mama call Dr. Sloan, the best plastic surgeon in all of Texas. He does wonders on breasts, especially young girls breasts.

In eighth grade, my friends and I would go to tanning booths for fun, because here in Texas you have got to be as orange as the logo for UT Austin. We would go to the mall on Sundays and stop by the teeth whitening booths, where they bleached our teeth until they were as shiny as the pearls we would wear to our formal dances– here in Texas we are still pretty traditional with our Southern Charm. After we whitened our teeth we would head over to Victoria’s Secret where we stole hundreds of dollars worth of bomb shells to make our unful breasts look plump. As y’all probably know, appearance is important, but it’s all about the real deal and what you can feel. That’s why after my appointment with Dr. Sloan, all the boys wanted to get a little grab in, and I sure as hell let them. My new, bigger and better, breasts were the greatest thing since the birth of Christ for me. And if you know anything about the South, and how we feel about our lord and savior ,Jesus Christ, then y’all must know how amazing my new boobs were for me– they truly were the second coming.

Shortly after my boob job, when the attention started to filter away from them, people began to notice my fingers, which I had always been insecure about because fat fingers run in my family, I started going to my mama’s nail salon where I would walk out feeling like a real beauty queen, but of course that feeling of acceptance filtered away as the polish started to chip days later. Like my busty new breasts, the feeling of confidence always left and then I was left still feeling bad about myself.

The next thing I got teased for were my hips. Even though I was always skinny, because I liked to run, which probably accounted for my lack of breasts, all the girls who were rail thin made fun of me for having busty hips. Today, everyone wants hips and the nice ass that’s supposed to come with them, but back then, it was a sin to have curves. To try and make myself appear smaller, I would skip lunch everyday to try to fit in with the anorexic skinny girls, and this made me feel better for a long time, because I loved the feeling of seeing the changes my body was making. I wasn’t patient and I didn’t want to wait for the long term results that came from getting older, or working out, or things like that. Like I said, in Texas, y’all go big or you go home. There is no waiting around, patience is nothing more than a social construct. In Texas, you make sure you get what you want, no matter how bad it may hurt.

TYRA

19 YEAR OLD DANCER

I began dancing when I was three years old, but it was not until I was thirteen that it became more than a hobby and I started to really take the art seriously. The thing about dance, is that it is an incredible amount of pressure on the body. Yes, physically it pushes and challenges your body, but it is more of a mental pressure. Have you ever looked up pictures of professional ballerinas on the internet? Well, if you have then you know that all of these woman are the most muscular stick figures you have ever seen in your life. To make it in ballet, you have to be powerful, but more importantly you have to be thin. Very thin. At eleven years old, my best friend and I began something of an anorexic tag team in which we pushed each other not to eat with hopes of becoming thin enough to be professional dancers. Like I said, in dance you have to be incredibly small and this does not create a healthy mind set, especially for young girls.

When I was going through this toxic phase of my career, I had a friend named Jaya. She too was a dancer, but the difference between the two of us was that she was much skinnier than I was. I thrived to look the way that she did, but I never seemed to be successful and this only deepened my anorexia and drive to be thin. My condition never got to the point of needing to be hospitalized but it did get to the stage where I was at the lowest mental point I have ever been.

My freshman year I become very depressed, as this was the peak of my disease. I found myself incredibly sad all of the time, and I had been so focused on being skinny for dance that I had isolated myself from my friends and felt entirely alone. They say there is a dark side to dance, like the Black Swan, but no one really knows how dark it can get until they experience it. Some days at ballet, when we would do bar work and I had to see myself in the mirror, I would have soft, silent tears rolling down my cheeks because of how upset I was about the way I appeared. It was not until my sophomore year of high school that I was finally able to get healthy again and learn how to be happy with what I had when I looked in the mirror.

Today, I am healthy. I am extremely confident in the way that I look. I have learned that my body is mine and I have to take care of it in order to be successful at the one thing I love the most in the world: dance. Although it has not been a smooth path getting to the place that I am in my career, dance is the one thing that makes me feel good and happy in my own skin. When I step into the studio now, there is no judgment towards myself or towards others. I have found a happy medium in which I have learned that eating right and dancing regularly makes me feel good inside and out. It makes me feel confident when I watch myself dance in the mirror. I love my body, from my eyebrows on my face to my ass on my backside. Today, I feel good. Today, I am the best I have ever been at dance. I have learned to love myself, to trust myself, and to embrace each new day. No longer do I worry about being the thinnest dancer in the room. Rarely do I look at my friends and feel envy. I do not look in the mirror and hate myself anymore. Of course there are days that I feel I may relapse, but then I look at myself and know that I am beautiful. I am strong. I am healthy. And most importantly, I am alive.

 

 

Delayed Reaction 

Yesterday was my late husband’s birthday, I met up with my college friends at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, we laughed in the way only old friends can, over nothing, like we were nineteen again. After, I came home and let Siena have friends over since she’s on crutches and I want her close. I made dinner, and watched a movie.

This morning, I woke up feeling a little depressed, so I went to church, then grocery shopping. I had that same lonely feeling I often had as a kid, but rarely feel now. 

I wondered around the grocery store like a ghost, and came home with ingredients for ten different dinners. Comfort food. Right now, I’m making chicken and wild rice soup, with fresh cream, bourbon and thyme from my garden.  I will move onto linguine and prawns in a lemon butter sauce next. After, I’m toasting rosemary focaccia with olive oil and fontina cheese.

Happy Sunday.

Love and blessings to all.

Charm School No. 1

A close relative and I were out having dinner and I watched with horror as she stacked all of our plates, one on top of the other, in an upscale restaurant. She had done this before of course, but on this occasion there were seven of us at the table, and it was highly inappropriate in that particular setting. 

She became very defensive when I asked her to please not do this as it is very bad manners. Erroneously, she insisted that I was being “passé” as I sat silently, and helplessly, in embarrassment, with every plate we were served stacked in a dirty mess in front of us.

Rest assured, that good manners never go out of style, and are never passé.

Plates are not stacked because it’s easier to rinse one side before placing it in the industrial dish washer. I know this because I washed dishes for a time at a quaint French restaurant in my youth. 

Please leave your plates and allow the server to pick them up. They have a system for doing this. If you don’t believe me see what Miss Manners has to say below. 

“Miss Manners Weighs In On Plate Stacking 

According to Judith Martin, “Miss Manners” herself, it is bad manners to stack plates for the wait staff to remove from the table. In her words, “Miss Manners knows that you were only trying to help. A waiter who takes pride in his professionalism would never stack plates at the table, and could be in trouble if you made him appear to have done so.” Make it a practice never to scrape or stack your plates at the table. It is aesthetically unappealing, dirties both sides of the dishes, and could damage the dishes.”

Thank you. 

Love and blessings to all.