Friday, November 30, 2018


Lost in space
It's rare that I miss New York. However there is
one element of city living that I long for. Which
is spontaneity. Even with all of the many hassles
of urban life it's damned convenient. Inevitably
within steps is something amazing. The latest or
most unexpected. Or the beloved, tried, and true.
Thus occasionally I crave an element of surprise
beyond the great outdoors here in Montana. And
that's when I wish I could walk down the block,
hop into a cab, or take the subway to see or do
something new. As Diana Vreeland once said,
"the eye has to travel." And around this time of
the year mine need to spy some INSPIRATION.
Just around the corner
We rarely appreciate what we have. Living a
block from Bergdorf Goodman was a luxury
we took for granted. What I wouldn't give to
see their newest holiday windows. This year
their theme is "Bergdorf Goodies" hence they
provide more than simple sugar plum visions.
However looking at them from afar isn't the
same as catching a random glimpse from the
corner of one's eye on a daily basis. But all
is not lost. Thanks to modern technology we
all can click on the following blue links to see 
Bergdorf's, Barneys, SaksMacy'sand
soon to be gone Lord & Taylor windows.
Friends & neighbors
For as long as I can remember the Metropolitan
Museum of Art has erected this amazing Italian
creche Christmas Tree in Medieval Hall. Said
magnificent work of art is truly a tour de force.
Yet what I miss even more is being able to pop
by and visit old friends while there. Like John
Singer Sargent's - The Wyndham Sisters. Or
J.H.Twachtman's Arques-la-Bataille. Every
once in awhile even I need a wake up call, that
is when I view Marc Rothko's Number 13.
Or pause to reflect in my favorite oval oasis
originally in Bordeaux's Hotel Cours d'Albret.
And somehow always what's old is... NEW.
Chips off the old block
If I'm honest, I am haunted by former haunts.
Hence not a night goes by that I don't wish
I could pop into Donohue's for a steak. Or
grab a late breakfast at the Neue Gallery's
Cafe Sabarsky. And what I wouldn't give
to be able to have a late Sunday brunch at
The Mark. Or bitter melon with beef from
Chinatown's cash only Cafe Hong Kong.
Nowadays if we want to go raw we must
drive two hours, take two flights, and be
in transit for at least nine hours before we
can hit Sushi Gari. A gentle reminder that
we must savor the here and now.... NOW.
Home sweet home
Many of the places I dream of going back to are
long gone. Usurped by modern replacements
that will hopefully now create equally magical
memories for future generations. One of the
key elements in my past perfect are those who
I loved and lost. Hence even if I could go back
to Rumpelmayers it wouldn't be the same sans
my parents. Thus fantasies aside, we must count
our blessings while we may. Therefore instead
of dreaming of times past - I'm going to do my
best this holiday to create new memories here
and now. After all, tomorrow is another day.
And all we'll have left will live in our hearts.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Open door policy
During the darkest days of the year we
all need something to cheer us up. And
nothing is as effective as a bit of razzle
dazzle to help make our spirits bright.
One's portal is where it starts. A wreath,
some garland, and some twinkles says
all are welcome to join the celebration.
The same applies to your entrance hall.
Every year we hang our banister with a
trail of fresh greens. It's fragrant scent
welcoming all who enter our home...

Click below to read the latest

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

There's going to be HELL to pay...

A devil of a time
Now that most of us have finished off the last
bits of turkey it's time to move on. Christmas
is less than a month away. Yet this initial week
before December's start is in essence a respite.
A time to regroup and refocus prior to being
consumed with mania. Most literally "chill"
as we do the guest room laundry and put the
roasting pan back into storage. However some
this week have had no choice but to face reality.
As is the case with our soon to be "X" political
leaders in Washington. Rather than packing up
their offices, many of the recently defeated are
trying to pack in their last sucker punch.

Waiting game
There is nothing worse than a sore loser. Most
especially when post defeat they've got little
to lose. While a newly elected blue wave waits
in the wings, their red predecessors are going
out with a bang. Hence before they hand over
control in January - they're attempting to settle
what they see as unresolved scores. All while
their Commander In Chief's ruse of alternative
facts crumbles at their feet. Yet rather than try
to address the root of all evil, they continue to
ignore the obvious. An act not only disturbing
but firmly confirms that their constituents were
right to summarily vote (throw) them out.

From bad to worse
Some may reject the facts yet they can't be
ignored. After lining their pockets via Mr.
Trump's tax revisions - General Motors is
laying off fourteen thousand employees -
and closing five plants. Meanwhile the
Trump administration's attempts to stem a
tide of freedom seekers along our southern
border has resulted in children being torn
away from their families or tear gassed or
both. All while our President ignores the
crimes of a Saudi King and Vladimir Putin.
Leaving many to wonder - when is this all
going to end. And how can we stop it?

Help is on the way
The recent election proved that many Americans
are unhappy with our current state of affairs. And
should our President and cohorts opt to continue
their shenanigans, the U.S. electorate's disdain
will only increase by 2020. Thus in essence we're
all waiting for some major shoe to drop. Be that
the patter of baby blue congressional ingenues or
another round of indictments from Mr. Mueller's
"witch hunt." One thing is certain which is that
what goes around comes around. Come January
I'm confident it will return with a vengeance. So
enjoy this season, HELL is on the horizon. And
all I can do is hope we come out of it stronger!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Less is more
Like many others we're really trying to
cut back this holiday. For many reasons
it seems that things have totally gotten
out of hand. At least as relates to gift
giving! The mania related to finding the
right thing for some special person is out
of control. So much so that many of the
true messages related to this time of year
have been usurped by checking off one's
list. Hence many are questioning what
this season is truly all about. And... some
wonder whether we all need to step back
and take a reality check. How about you?
Gone but not forgotten
Depending on one's faith, the rituals
of December all involve some sort of
higher purpose. Oddly, if one reflects
on the reasons for such observances,
few if any involve the things that now
consume most of us. In theory, each
require that we step back and reflect
upon what life is really about. That
should include freedom, equality,
sacrifice, unity, and much more. Yet
sadly most are focused on gluttony,
greed, and self indulgence. Have we
forgotten the reason for the season?
Mawlid al Nabi November 20-21st 
This Islamic holiday venerates the
birth of the prophet Mohammed.
Muslims believe he was the last
prophet sent by God. His purpose
was to restore Islam, the unaltered,
pure, monotheistic faith of Adam,
Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others.
He united what was then known
as Arabia into one unified muslim
polity. Therefore many consider
this day a celebration of harmony
and shared beliefs - not shopping.
Hanukkah December 2nd-10th
After the Jewish people were conquered
by Alexander The Great they continued to
freely pursue their religious beliefs. More
than a century later, Antichious IV decreed
an end to the Jewish faith and subsequently
massacred those opposed. Ultimately led
by the Macabees they revolted against
persecution. Today a seven night ritual
lauds their victory over oppression and
celebrates the rededication of the Temple
in Jerusalem. Hence this Jewish holiday
is in honor of religious freedom. And not
dreidels, gelt, or seven days of goodies!
Saint Nicholas Day December 6th
One can't help but wonder how the Greek
patron saint of fishermen became a man
in a red suit flying with reindeer. During
most of his time here on earth, Nicholas
was a pilgrim and a searcher of truth. As
one of the signers of the Nicene Creed -
his spiritual legacy is fairness, equality,
and clarity. Rather than doling out gifts
from a sack, the real St Nick fed the poor,
protected the oppressed, and miraculously
restored life to the wrongfully killed. How
could we have exchanged his message of
peace and love for a trite "HO-HO-HO?!"
Christmas December 25th
The advent season recognizes what
Christians consider to be the greatest
gift of all. For those who embrace the
theology of immaculate conception
feel God the Father's gift of Christ
his son that and much more. Thus to
those who embrace said human diety -
it's an example of total self sacrifice.
The idea of which bodes the question.
How did decadent over indulgence
become the reason for this season?
Is it only about getting not giving?!
Rohatsu tJanuary 24th
This holiday celebrates the Buddha's
enlightenment. You see, at some point
all of us - even Gods need to chill out.
Depending on how one tells the story,
Buddha slowly shifted deeper into a
meditative state. There he confronted
his true self, discovered the Law of
Karma and other truths, and ultimately
it all led him to Nirvana. So in essence,
this religious recognition is all about
finding TRUTH. The question is do
most of us realize that Buddha never
searched for presents under his tree?!
See the light
Whatever one believes, it's hard to not
agree that somewhere, somehow, we
forgot why we celebrate what. Instead
one might suggest that our focus has
shifted from humble worship to glitzy
glamour. When will we all realize that
there can be too much of a good thing?
And the fact is we're already more than
blessed. Therefore if it is better to give
than receive, shouldn't we all be giving
our all to some sort of higher purpose?
Isn't it time to stop the foolishness and
go back to the reason for the season?!

Monday, November 26, 2018


Fossil hunting
I've been known to date myself frequently.
Calling to mind historical cliches that in
essence label me as a dinosaur. The other
day I related too many cocktails to "seeing
pink elephants." My niece looked at me
incredulously and asked "what does that
mean?" Then I realized that along life's
way I'd become some exotic species. A
fossil spouting irrelevant bits of historical
irrelevance. Which most of the time only
make sense to me based on ages long ago
experiences. Or worse, I repeat one of my
parent's phrases which even I don't "get"!
A closet case
For example - when confronted with a mess
I may conjure up "Fibber McGee's closet."
A comparison that both of my parents made
on a regular basis. The problem is that they
were in their nineties when they died several
years ago. Yet for them said connection was
perfectly acceptable. When said phrase was
coined "Fibber McGee and Molly" was the
top  radio show in America. Broadcast from
1935 through 1959. For a total number of
one thousand six hundred eleven episodes.
Yet now few know what I'm talking about.
Click here to listen to an episode...
Connecting the dots
Whenever I feel out of touch I think about my
father-in-law. At one hundred he's seen it all.
And yet somehow he is still able to adapt to
whatever challenges that come his way. For
his family and our community - he's a vibrant
link to our past. A living conduit between then
and now. However he's anything but stuck in
the past. Meaning that often his random tidbits
are timely foils to whatever ails us. After all
he's lived through two World Wars and other
battles too numerous to recount. He's adapted
to new technology on a regular basis. And a
plethora of evolutionary cultural phenomena.
Past imperfect
Yet why do I find it charming when he recalls
the past? Whereas I feel that I'm stuck in a rut
whenever I relate "then" to "now"? Given life
is full circle - might we ultimately regain our
credibility upon hitting the advance stages of
our time here on earth? Given I'm a history
buff - I'm often more comfortable in the past
imperfect. In part because hindsight truly is
twenty twenty. And in my case, trite phrases
and terms that I regurgitate are my milestones.
Literal markers of times and places long gone.
So the next time that I suggest you "fly me"
you'll know why air travel disappoints me.
There but for the grace of God
There is no denying that life is an endless cycle
of readjusting to new situations. Hence humans
are more than adept at embracing all that's new.
When deep in the mix, certain things insure we
navigate our own evolution. Be that advertising,
entertainment, or friendly advice. Harbingers of
things to come that ultimately morph into trite
phrases we old folks utter decades later. Given
everything becomes obsolete they're in essence
connections. Veiled references to all that made
us who we are today. So while Grace Jones
may no longer be a household name, she's still
MY girl. And in my opinion beyond "COOL"!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

7th Day Surprise: Deck the halls


While a hardy few have had their halls decked for weeks,
most use this weekend to kick off the holidays.

Whether it's putting up the tree or
hanging outdoor lights, garland, or wreaths -
have fun celebrating the season.