Lots of Ways To Give Thanks


Bittersweet, pumpkins, feathers, sunflowers,grasses, leaves-so much of what you can use is right in your backyard-have fun and be creative! (All of these were made by friends,family and me)

Thanksgiving Planning


Sadly I am JUST starting to think about how to decorate my table for Thanksgiving this year. I looked back to pictures I took last year for some inspiration…I love putting the flowers in a clear vase loaded with cranberries (they don’t get mushy for a week)…all receive a chocolate turkey…..sprinkling corn (just buy popcorn) and Lindt chocolates wrapped in gold make a pretty filler…

Canyon Ranch

I went to Canyon Ranch with 4 friends a week ago. What a restful, wonderful  4 days we had!! You can hike or bike through exotic desert canyons or explore pine-topped mountains.(I loved my morning hikes!) Fortify your body with 40+ fitness classes a day. Enjoy unhurried consults with top wellness experts. Dine on nutritious cuisine, and learn how to cook that way at home. Melt away stress with the best body treatments anywhere. Flex your mind, nurture your spirit and let yourself soar. I highly suggest going there-it is in Tucson, Arizona. They have an additional facility in Lenox,Massachusetts in the Berkshires. Canyon Ranch also operates Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, Florida, as well asSpaClub locations with primarily day spa facilities. These are located at the Venetian and the Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas, and on various cruise ships including Queen Mary 2, Regent Seven Seas and Oceania cruise ships. Canyon Ranch’s slogan is “The Power of Possibility.”

excerpts from Canyon Ranch website and Wikepedia.

Daniel Chester French


In Concord, Massachusetts we have many famous people who have lived and died  here-Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson,Henry David Thoreau,Nathaniel Hawthorne to name a few. Most people don’t know that Daniel Chester French, although he didn’t live here as long as in NYC, decided to be buried here and spoke candidly all his life of his love for Concord.

In 1871, young 21 year old Dan was asked to design a monument to commemorate the first battle of the American Revolution. Cast in bronze from melted down Civil War cannon,the Minute Man was unveiled at the centennial celebration of April 19,1875 with President Grant,Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson in attendance. It has been noted that May Alcott,the youngest of the Alcott girls and an artist, and Ralph Waldo Emerson were instrumental in getting Dan to propose his idea to the town meeting for approval of the Minute Man statue. It is near the North Bridge in Concord. There are many local stories about him making the monument in his bedroom until his mother made him move it all to the shed!

After the success of the Minute Man,Dan went on to carve a statue of his dear friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1879 and of course he reached the height of his career with the seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

The Melvin Memorial(pictured) in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is considered to be one of French’s masterpieces. James Melvin commissioned the work to honor his 3 brothers who died in the Civil War. Instead of a realistic portrait, French chose instead to create an allegorical representation of grief,”Mourning Glory”.

French died in 1931 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow in Concord.His simple gravestone(pictured) is inscribed “A Heritage of Beauty”.

From October 11-March 23 2014 there is an exhibit of Daniel Chester French at the Concord Museum.

Think Pink!!




I went to the MFA in Boston a few weeks ago with a friend who is a docent. She knows the Museum inside and out and it was a really fun day. One of the exhibits we went to is this one-it is open in the Loring Gallery from October 3-May 26, 2014. I highly recommend it!

This is from the MFA website:

From pinking shears to pink ribbons, the color pink is associated with fashion and femininity; perhaps no other color has as much social significance and gender association. The fascinating exhibition “Think Pink” explores the history and changing meanings of the color as its popularity ebbed and flowed in fashion and visual culture from the 18th century to the present day. An interdisciplinary show drawing from across the MFA collections, “Think Pink” juxtaposes clothing, accessories, graphic illustrations, jewelry, and paintings to shed light on changes in style; the evolution of pink for girls, blue for boys; and advances in color technology. “Think Pink” includes a selection of dresses and accessories from the collection of the late Evelyn Lauder, who was instrumental in creating an awareness of breast cancer by choosing the color as a visual reference. The opening of “Think Pink” in October coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when the MFA will be illuminated in pink.


City Bike- Shares Around the World

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I find this a very interesting topic-both of my daughters are using the bike- share system in NYC-they love it.

Bike-share has seen explosive, global growth over recent years. As of April 2013, there were around 535 bike-sharing programs around the world, made of an estimated fleet of 517,000 bicycles. In May 2011 there were around 375 schemes comprising 236,000 bikes. So those two years saw a doubling of bike share globally.

Many bike-share systems offer subscriptions that make the first 30-45 minutes of use very inexpensive, encouraging their use as transportation. In most bike-share cities, people seeking a bicycle for casual riding over several hours or days are better served by bicycle rental than by bike-share.

Bike-share use is made more predictable with Smartphone mapping apps which show where nearby stations are located and how many bikes are available at each station. This is also important for riders looking to return a bike; they need to know if there is a dock open at a certain station, since stations can fill up with bikes. So using bike-share to get around a city is made far easier with real-time, GPS-based smartphone apps with bike-share station information overlaid on a city map.

The reasons people use bike-share vary considerably. In some cities, people who might use their own bicycle as transportation don’t do so because of concerns about theft or vandalism. In addition, many bike-share users find bike-share extremely liberating. A rider can seamlessly transfer to public transit or to a car without concern about leaving a bike behind: a person can ride to meet someone in a city, leave the bike-share bike then walk with them, tourists go from hotel to museum to show, citizens can take visiting friends or family to local attractions with bike-share, users may take public transit to work on a rainy day then ride home afterwards when the weather improves… the flexibility of not having to always park and own a bicycle make life freer and easier for the growing number of bike-share users globally.

The Wuhan and Hangzhou Public Bicycles bike-share programs in China are the largest in the world, with around 90,000 and 60,000 bicycles respectively. In Hangzhou there are over 2,400 stations. The Velib in Paris, which comprises around 20,000 bicycles and 1,450 bicycle stations, is the largest outside of China. The countries with the most systems are Spain (132), Italy (104), and China (79).The systems with the higher market penetration are both operating in France, the Parisian Velib’ with 1 bike per 97 inhabitants and Lyon with 1 bike per 121 residents.

– excerpts from Wikepedia

America’s Dubai?


On the topic of “over the top” like Dubai, Las Vegas definitely does things big! A friend sent me these pictures from a recent visit, taken at the Bellagio and the Venetian hotels. The glass work is done by Chihuly and it is on the ceiling of the Bellagio.