Lavender Blue for You!

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Lavender in bloom at Carmel Valley Ranch

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green,

When I am king, dilly dilly, you shall be queen.

Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?

Twas mine own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

—English folk song and nursery rhyme dating to the 17th century

 

 

 

 

To Market to Market!

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Farmer’s Market on the Monterey Penninsula

Dear Reader:

“Go to the farmers market and buy food there. You’ll get something that’s delicious. It’s discouraging that this seems like such an elitist thing. It’s not. It’s just that we have to pay the real cost of food. People have to understand that cheap food has been subsidized. We have to realize that it’s important to pay farmers up front, because they are taking care of the land.”—Alice Waters

 “Buy flowers, too!”—Michele LaFollette
 

3-2-1 Salute!

 

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Enjoying an Aperol Spritz!

Dear Reader:

The word for the day is aperitif  (pronounced “ah-pair-ee-TEEF”)… the lovely Latin word for a pre-dinner cocktail that’s usually big on refreshment and light on alcohol. The sun has arrived here on the Monterey Peninsula (and hopefully to your neighborhood), so it’s the perfect time to head to BevMo! for supplies to make one of my favorite afternoon coolers. The Aperol Spritz is orange soda for adults. It’s a sparkly, happy drink with notes of rhubarb and a hint of grapefruit rind bitterness.  This is the cocktail that says: the day is done…it’s time to celebrate!

Ingredients
3 parts Prosecco
2 parts Aperol
1 part soda water

1 slice orange

It’s very simple to make; here’s a tutorial for you!

I have some expert mixing notes to offer:

  •  Adjust the drink to suit your personal taste. If you’d like a more sweet, less bitter taste, lower the Aperol to Prosecco ratio.
  • Make sure to use large ice cubes, not crushed ice! This is essential for slow dilution of your drink!
  • Choose a chilled, dry Prosecco, but if that’s not handy use whatever you’ve got in your frig: Gruet, Cava or anything French but not expensive.
  • Use a Bordeaux glass and add a straw…black is the traditional color. If you haven’t got one, a rocks glass will work.
  • MIX WELL!

Ladies, I guarantee you’ll look lovely sipping this spritzer while your man fires up the grill or orders the appetizers!

Enjoy,

Michele

 

 

 

Maui Time

Dear Reader:

While there is no bad time to go to Maui, my husband and I have discovered a truly good time to visit the island. Last year, a couple of days after Thanksgiving , we loaded the suitcases with books and magazines, threw in our suits and shorts and escaped the holiday rush. We walked every day along the beach paths and in the sand. We slept in late and began each day with a mimosa. We didn’t rent a car. We didn’t watch the news.We enjoyed sudden bursts of tropical rain. We sang along to “Frosty the Snowman” in the hotel lobby as we enjoyed Kalua pork sandwiches and mai tais. There is something particularly satisfying about having nothing to do for a whole week, especially in the month of December. (Our daughter was appalled: we had not only gone without her, but we were there while she was taking finals. We sent pineapples and chocolate covered macadamia nuts to her and her five roommates!)

My reading list for the week was diverse, and heavy! I have simply not made friends with readers, and so I hauled my heavy load from lobby to pool and back again throughout the week. I began with the book my sister-in-law had recommended: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I am not a person who has to be convinced of the power of non-fiction. But, even I was struck by how moved I felt at the stories of those who lost their lives in such dramatic fashion in 1915. I followed that book up with something lighter:  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I knew I had to read the book when I heard  that it was a novel by a blogger and that the central character was a 59-year-old curmudgeon. My husband is not yet 59, but in three years he will be a 59 year old curmudgeon. The book was charming, as is my husband. For my third book, I read Delia Ephron’s: Sister Mother Husband Dog : (etc) . I’ve always admired the work of the Ephron sisters and I enjoyed the mix of autobiographical essays that had me alternatively chuckling and near tears…a true representation of life. The last book I read  Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho was an inspiration. I read it once; then I read it again while taking notes; then I read it again because it was fun. I felt energized, afraid, motivated, excited! After tossing around the idea of a blog for several months, I suddenly knew that I was going to become a blogger. Joy had convinced me!

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On our last morning, as I packed up my large tote with my books, my husband called for the bellman. He arrived shortly after and looked at me and said, “You look like a movie star…or, maybe a writer.”

His comment seemed to me to be a good omen. Clearly, I do not look like a movie star! But, yes, I’m a writer. I must be. I look like one!

Aloha,

Michele

* Note to those who want to look like a writer or movie star: Throw on a pair of jeans and a black tee, top with a long cardigan, drape a colorful scarf around your neck, carry a large tote filled with a computer and books, and WEAR A MARVELOUS PAIR OF SUNGLASSES!

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“The” Pink Dress

Dear Reader:

I  vividly remember the dress that got away, maybe in the same way some women remember the man who got away. I can see it and almost feel it…soft pink, perfect pink angora/cashmere blend, long sleeves, mock turtleneck and just above the knee.

My mother had taken me to run errands after school one day. I was about 10 years old. We were racing through Gottschalk’s, a local department store,  in pursuit of a crock-pot when I came to an abrupt stop in front of a child-sized mannequin.

“Oh, mom,” I exclaimed.

“Oh, no!” was the quick reply.

My mother was not born with a love of pink or fashion, and I’m quite sure that the dress would have been out of the budget, anyway. But, to mom’s credit, she remembered the shade of pink I had admired and a couple of weeks later sat down at her sewing machine to make me a short, polyester skirt that I wore with a pink, cotton turtleneck in an attempt to re-create my dream look.

Since then, I’ve purchased many pink dresses, bags, scarves and shoes; most of them are gone and forgotten. Yet, nearly 50 years later I still remember that dress… so maybe it didn’t get away after all!

Sincerely,

Michele

P.S. The first day of Spring is a nice day to shop for the perfect pink dress!

http://www.vogue.com/projects/13527630/fashion-pink-dresses-spring-2017/