“I had to suffer to realize I was tougher than who I thought I was.”
– Aija Mayrock
No Suitcase Needed
Our home away from fires, flood and corona. Palm Springs, like the rest of California is taking baby steps to return to some kind of normal. Restaurants are not back, but many have curbside pickup. The grocery stores were civilized, everyone with a mask and social distancing. Still little TP or paper towels on the shelves.
Coco gave us a scare. We looked over and yellow-green liquid was pouring from her mouth as she sat shaking in a corner. A couple calls and off to the Emergency Pet Center after scouring the house. Did she eat poison? She is rarely out of our sight, because she is so little.
The hospital was lovely, and they came outside to take Coco right away. X-ray, blood tests. They see little what looks like bone slivers in her tummy and intestine. Good lord! Have no idea what that is. A couple hours later, after waiting in the 90 plus degree weather we lug a better-looking Coco home and jump in the pool!
Nights are balmy and we can swim under the myriad stars, the big dark mountain embracing us as we float on rafts in the pool.
They wore them for fun and amusement. Ever wonder what a masked ball or bal masque was like in Paris? Specifically, during the Second Empire? Well, let me paint a picture. First of all, you’d be just one of hundreds invited. Make that thousands. Yes, often four thousand drank, ate danced and did other things in the garden of the Tuileries Palace. That is if it was one of Empress Eugenie’s balls. There would have been a profusion of flowers, wax candles, gas chandeliers that greeted the extravagantly attired guests when they arrived. On the stairs were the stone-faced Emperor’s guards with shiny silver helmets topped with big white feathers. In the great ball room, a room where frescos abound and gilded to the teeth, a raised dais was built or the Empress and Emperor and their special guests. The Empress would have been heavily enameled (quite literally paint that would harden) under her outer mask. Dancing began at 10:30 (different sources sight slightly different times), with the Emperor and Empress making their appearance at 11 when they strolled through the halls. The first dance was a lively quadrille. Dancing would end about 1 when Emperor and Empress retired, the guests moved on to a many course meal and danced until two or three. Men wore uniforms and the women outrageous gowns and diamonds galore. Taking a page from Lady Gaga’s playboy, a dozen young women once dressed as bee’s (Napoleon’s emblem) and brought into the room in hives. It was an opportunity to dress scandalously. One – and I mean just one – of the Emperor’s mistresses came as the Queen of Hearts, her bodice and voluminous skirts adored with hearts. It was said Eugenie wondered at how low the woman’s heart really was.
Another woman came as Eve, well you can imagine. Another dressed as an African Queen sitting in a golden chariot pulled by slaves. These masked balls were said to be an agreeable distraction. . . perhaps we need to think of our masks as the same?
Anyone else taking up a hobby? How many times have we thought, someday I’d like to . . . learn another language, draw, needlepoint? Well, now certainly is the time. I’ve started collages, sort of mood boards for my work. What do you think? I’m also researching and obsessing dollhouses. OMG. Down the rabbit hole for sure.
Another New York City Trip – Cancelled Corona. This was to have been a good one, which I’ll tell ya all later what it was about and hopefully has only been rescheduled.
Our latest mentor is Jade Chang, the author of “Wangs vs. the World.” Jade is a journalist and author and I’m thrilled to add her. “Wangs vs. the World” is not only funny but really has so much depth. You’ll like it.
I have started trampolining. Okay it is so fun and so hard!!! I have to work my way up to more minutes. But anything not to become bored with my workout routine, which basically is just walking/running on the treadmill and doing some laps in the pool. I won’t kid you, not that many.
The best part of lockdown is all the time I have – guilt free – to read read read! I have piles of books, and the sad truth is, I’ll get to all these, but I’ll never read all the great books. So, since I’ve done so little else. Here are some of my reading highlights: “The Last Widow,” a thriller by Karin Slaughter. I’m so in the mood for murder, mayhem and violence. “Paris Reborn,” all about
The building of Paris during the Second Empire. It was research for me so might not be as fascinating to the average reader. “Life Isn’t Everything,” about Mike Nichols. Very good. And “Silver Swan, the Search for Doris Duke” was a fascinating, different look at this poor little rich baby. You walk away with way more respect, and its not as tragic of a storage as is always portrayed.
On my IG and YouTube new “Write for Success” tips are posted from Meg Gardiner (oh she’s so good!!!) and some director guy (he won an Oscar) Robert Zemeckis, best-selling author (her When We Were Yours sold 1 million copies!) Lisa Wingate. New videos every week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=letfNzhZXHM
A Delicious Mistake
Made a great mistake with these cupcakes. It’s a vegan recipe to begin with, but I thought I’d doctor it more, I used mostly almond flour and I used coconut oil instead of other oil. And they backed but did not rise. They turned out like little sunken volcano pits. I was not about to remake them (they are Red Velvet by the way) so I melted marshmallows, filled the whole, whipped up a cream cheese frosting and I gotta say, several people told me they were my best yet.
Burlesque and Pinup Emojis
If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype, I’m available. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktailrecipes before for you all to try. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want me to join in. A questionnaire is on the website to download for your Book Club.
And what I’m reading or recently readfor complete list, I have everything on Good Reads
as I can’t remember them all!
See ya between the pages next month . . . masks on!