Why this blog?

To understand why this blog was created and where it got its name, start here

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Philippe

My son Philippe turns 37 today. Where did the years go?

I still remember him as a blond, curly headed child at three years old:

and later, his hair a little darker but still very curly in high school.
Elaine and Philippe
 Now, head shaven, he is a professor of French at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. (For more pictures of Philippe, click here.)
Philippe with wife Rachel in Portland
Happy Birthday Philippe. I love you.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sonia's 80th

I've known Sonia Martin, my former teacher and life-long friend, for 51 years. She taught me everything I know about English spelling, grammar, and punctuation. She is still my behind-the-scenes copy editor. She is a careful reader of my blog and her eagle eye catches mistakes in spelling and syntax on a regular basis. (Thank you, Sonia!)

Yesterday was her 80th birthday. My son Eric, sister Jan, and I brought take-out Thai food and had dinner at her house. Her hair is still brown and she still swims almost daily. We wish her well.

Congratulations on your 80th! For more photos click here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa on skates

Santa paid a visit to the ice rink at the Belmar shopping center last week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Across the street from my mother's house are the homes and horses of some of Denver's best known Mexican charros. A charro is more than a cowboy. The term applies to a tradition of horsemanship where horses and riders alike demonstrate skills acquired through years of training. The movements are virtually identical to those found in the Olympic competition of dressage. These horses and riders participate each year in local parades and Mexican rodeos dressed in spectacular traditional costumes.

It's quite a show. And each morning we have a front row seat for the training sessions. 
Gilberto astride Apasionata

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Recuperating at Mom's house

Not much going on, not many outings or castles to visit, so we pass the time putting together jigsaw puzzles. This 2000 piece puzzle featuring a photo of Cinque Terre took us two weeks to finish. It reminded me of my visits to Italy in 2001 and 2010. I am so lucky.
My mother Marilyn on the left and sister Jan on the right

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Philippe's visit

My son Philippe arrived yesterday for a weekend visit from his home in Portland, Oregon. My mother welcomed him with a dinner of her homemade beans and pork green chile. Mom also made bunuelos - a type of fried pastry also known as sopaipillas or beignets.
We celebrated his arrival and my successful surgery with a bottle of pink champagne. Yumm.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I had a follow up visit to the surgeon yesterday. Bandages were removed and I am now free to shower. Yes! The best news of all? The pathology report indicated that my lymph nodes (ganglions lymphatiques) are completely free of cancer. "You are cured (guéri)!" said the doctor. The cancer was completely isolated in the breast and I won't need radiation or chemotherapy. What a relief (soulagement).

I'm feeling better every day, although I'm not quite ready to go out dancing or hop on a plane. I'll  be taking it easy for the next several weeks as I look forward to a full recovery.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eric's visit

One of the highlights of this difficult week has been the presence of my son Eric. He is a Chinese Medicine doctor and has created a special formula to speed my healing. He also recognizes the benefits of fresh air and sunshine to improve my mood. Yesterday, he picked me up at the hospital and transported me to my mother's house to recuperate. But we took a little detour along the way. We drove to the top of Flagstaff mountain west of Boulder. You can imagine how the view from here and the presence of Eric contributed to my feeling better.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Going home

Surgery was a success and I'm feeling good. I'm going home already! Thank you for all the good wishes :-)