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Showing posts from April, 2014

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Dreaming of France: 29 Avenue Rapp

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Scrolling through my Instagram& finding this image, I’m surprised I haven’t shared this particular French door for Dreaming of France before. 29 Avenue Rapp boasts what might be the most famous door in Paris. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful.



Designed by Jules Lavirotte in 1901 it’s a striking example of Art Nouveau architecture and features the very risque sculpted Adam and Eve above the door. I first saw the building in the movie Gigi as the building where Gigi's Aunt Alicia lives and where Gigi goes for her lessons in how to catch the right man. Preferably someone rich like Gaston.

Naturally when Mark and I visited Paris, we had to pay the building a visit. What struck us about 29 Avenue Rapp was how many people just walk on by, as if were nothing special, just another old stone edifice, the door, just another entry. I think even if I lived on the block, even if I saw the building and its door every single day, I would still have to pause and take it in. Not a whole …

Seven Reasons Older Women Love Older Men

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How sweet it is! The Good Men Project ran my piece Seven Reasons Older Women Love Older Men! A response to their Seven Reasons Men Love Older Women. When I turned sixty my one thought was, wow, sixty is shitty!  Really! I wished I felt like rocking some sort of 'sixty is the new sexy' tattoo except for me, sixty sucked. 

But I've had a change of heart. Looking back at some photos of younger self, I know exactly how critical and self-loathing I felt at the time. I could fill a page at least, listing all the things I've hated about my inner or outer self at one time or another. And I know that while the dreaded sixty isn't pretty, it's perversely going to look a whole lot better when I'm sixty four. While sixty four, in turn will feel even worse if I continue to focus on the lines gathering like a perfect storm on my face. What a waste of perfectly good time that would be! The inexorable march of time moves on, what are you doing to embrace it?


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Little House on the Hill

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Living in the little house on the hill for six straight years was a gift. That's not quite hyperbole. We got the Mountain View house - #33 in the list of places I've called home -  when our good friends, Mike and Judy, found their dream home and moved out of the Mar Vista bungalow they'd been renting. They recommended us to the landlords as the perfect tenants; that perfection being a bit of a stretch considering the house was going to cost us a challenging $300 more every month than what we were paying for our townhouse. We signed the lease with the owners, dropping us within the boundary lines for our school of choice just days before the deadline to register for a coveted kindergarden spot in the fall.

It had happened organically, inevitably; exactly as I'd laid it out on my treasure map. A couple of years before then, back when Mike and Judy were only dreaming of homes, I was dreaming too.  Using a photograph Judy had taken one afternoon of Mark, Russell and me stan…

Qué sera, sera; What will be, will be.

My mother passed away two years ago, this Sunday, April 13th. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a dozen years earlier, she really left us long ago. It's painful to think back on how confused she was, not just at the very end, but in those last years when her memories, her life and its details faded as if they'd been written in disappearing ink. While the image of her looking lost and bewildered as her identity slipped away still haunts me, I'm pleased my eternally singing mother is so present in my writing. When I wrote the piece, Of Brasso and Brownies, about growing up in Niagara Falls in the sixties I thought it was about me but, reading it again, I can see my mother, alive and vital, loving and proud, played as big a role in my story as I did. Of Brasso and Brownies is #9 in my On the Street Where I Live stories.

Of Brasso and Brownies

It’s daunting to move into a new house and make it yours. A never before lived in house seems more than new as it stands before…