Archive for 2020

6/30/20, Daily Life in the time of Covid

Posted on June 30, 2020

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week and that things are going well where you are. Getting the virus in control seems to be a bumpy road, with some places faring better than others. And much harder dealing with an entire continent, than dealing with individual countries in the rest of the world.

 

I’ve been keeping busy with editing and re-writes, and new books, and I hope you’ve had time to read “Daddy’s Girls”, the story of a father and his three very different daughters should be good distraction from all we’re dealing with!!

 

And I’ve really been having fun puttering around my house, replacing some things I’ve meant to replace for a long time. (A flood in my kitchen, which drowned two rugs, gave me a good excuse to buy two new ones. I bought one on line from Ikea and I love it, a bright red!! And bought two orange rugs for one of my daughter’s bedroom, and an orange chair!!). And fixing other things I haven’t had time to get to until now. Seeing my publishers, an occasional lunch outdoors on a terrace with a friend. The confinement and the stress that we’re all under has been a test for some friendships. It’s interesting to see who comes through, and who doesn’t, and who our real friends are. And I bought some pretty flowers for the house in interesting colors, brown, yellow, and dark purple.

 

I’m anxious about the virus blazing in the US, which is alarming on the news. And anxious to see the numbers go down, and the borders open again, so people can come and go freely again, and for it to become safe enough to go and visit my children. I hope things improve in the next few weeks. We all need some peace after the harrowing months we’ve had. And life has begun to seem more normal, getting used to wearing masks and social distancing. It will be wonderful when the need for them is over. I am sorry to see the wearing of masks become a political issue—if it is for our health and safety, and a necessary factor in getting the virus in control. It’s a matter of health, protecting ourselves and a courtesy to others—-not politics.

 

I hope that all is well with you and you have a fun week ahead. And whatever you do, stay safe, protect yourself and those you love, and let’s get this virus in control!!! Have a great week!!

 

love, Danielle

 

6/22/20, Happy Father’s Day, Mom!!!

Posted on June 22, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that you had a peaceful week, and that life is returning closer to normal in your community. There is a wide divergence between cities and areas around the world, as to how confined they are, or aren’t, how many things are open in their cities (stores, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, nail salons, etc.). Some places never confined at all, and some are still under very tight lock down, and some cities seem almost normal. A friend currently visiting Denmark reported that everything appears to be up and running normally. With some compromises and adjustments, Paris is very functional too, we have indoor and outdoor restaurants, hairdressers, all stores, we can visit friends, walk down the street freely. Masks are strongly recommended, and social distancing, but masks are up to the individual and not always required but are a nice courtesy and safeguard of everyone’s health, and social distancing on streets and in restaurants and in tight indoor spaces makes sense. I love how normal the city/ Paris appears now, and the festive atmosphere in outdoor restaurants, where open air dining terraces are part of the Parisian way of life. Hairdressers re-entered our lives as soon as deconfinement began—–all of which brings us closer to normal, and feels very civilized. And hand sanitizer and washing hands is a must. Paris began deconfining 6 weeks ago, and has made life livable and even fun again. And I know some cities and states in the US didn’t confine at all, and others are still under very strict lockdown, and have a very long drawn out deconfinement program. Every country, and in the US every state and city, seems to view it differently, which is very confusing!!

 

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and I was very touched when one of my children, my youngest son, called to wish me a Happy Father’s Day, and a friend did the same by email, and it really made me think about all the women and Moms I know who do double duty, and stand in for absentee, deceased, divorced or non-existent or non-attentive fathers. More and more women have opted to have children on their own, without a partner, in recent decades. And others have wound up in that situation due to unexpected circumstances, and some men are just less attentive to their kids than others, and as women, if we have children, we work hard at our jobs, and try to be hands on attentive mothers too, and cover all the bases. Once divorced, with still very young kids, I became a single Mom to my 9 kids, and when my husband then passed away, I was even more so. I tried to teach my oldest daughter how to play baseball and ride a bike (with very little skill or experience at either one!!), went to all of my sons’ sports games (baseball, lacrosse and soccer) and cub scout meetings, went to every ballet class with all 5 daughters, helped with homework, wound up in the emergency room at midnight alone for bumped heads and sprained ankles, was the family chauffeur, listened to my daughters’ boyfriend problems growing up, and tried to give my sons gentle advice on what girls prefer and how they want to be treated. I felt at a tremendous disadvantage with my sons, because I’m a woman and couldn’t give them fatherly advice. Fathers have a way of seeing things more practically, often more simply, with fewer frills and nuances, I think as women we see kids’ issues more in three dimensions and multi layers, men don’t complicate things as much with emotional issues, on the other hand we, as women, can offer great comfort in many situations that men aren’t always as good at. And no one kisses a boo boo better or applies a Ninja Turtle or Minnie Mouse band aid better!!!  I couldn’t help thinking yesterday of the many many MANY women who are both mother and father to their children, and do a damn good job of it. It’s usually an advantage to have two parents. I grew up in the reverse situation, alone with my father all my life, and got NO advice about makeup, hair and high heels, but I know a lot more about cars than most women. And I still wear very little make up, I could never quite get that right, and my father was no help on that subject whatsoever!!!

 

So I’d like to offer my belated Father’s Day wishes to all the women doing 3 jobs: as mother, father, and in their jobs and careers. When we have to be both mother and father, we try harder, and even though we worry about it, and may be unsure, a lot of the time we get it very right!!! So Bravo to all the Moms playing a double role with their kids, I salute them for all their hard work, and the endless, tireless hours that they spend being not only great mothers, but very good fathers too. Hats off, Moms, and Happy Father’s Day, if you’re a double Mom too!!! Have a terrific week, and remember to stay safe, the pandemic isn’t over yet, but we’re getting there!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

6/15/20, Joy

Posted on June 15, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How’s it going? I hope things are getting easier, wherever you are, that the confinement is getting eased, you can get out more and do some things you love, that you’ve had some good moments to share with people you love, and had some good news!!! And that you and everyone you love are healthy, and haven’t been touched by the virus.

 

The confinement and the slowing down of our daily lives—–by eliminating so many things we usually do and take for granted every day and enjoy—–this time of lock-down and even as it begins to ease now in many places, has given us all more time to think than usual. We focus first on what we’ve lost, what we can’t do and wish we could, we focus on our fears for ourselves and others, our livelihoods and our jobs, and the world in general. We hear the noise of fear constantly, loud as a drumbeat: ‘a second wave, it will get worse, more people will get sick, we’ll lose our jobs’—–and beyond the drumbeat of fear, there are the die hard optimists who tell us that the sky is bluer without so many planes, that the flowers smell better without pollution, and the birds chirp louder. Okay, but let’s face it, give me a cheeseburger at one of my favorite restaurants after an afternoon of shopping, a day or evening with ALL my kids around me, a hug and (unmasked) kiss from someone I love, and a # 1 book, a fat bank account and no financial worries, and a solid economy, and life would be pretty damn sweet. It all seemed so simple before the pandemic. It wasn’t simple every day, but looking back, it seemed that way, and there was a lot we all took for granted. Now everything is complicated—keeping our distance, remembering to wear a mask, worrying about our loved ones, washing our hands constantly, bracing for bad news, and trying to resist the loud voice of our fears—-it’s not easy. I’m an Olympic Class worrier, and the pandemic has given me LOTS to worry about, starting with worrying about the safety, well being and health of my loved ones, and even my own. And after that, the list of what I worry about is LONNNNGGGGG. Endless!!!

 

I was thinking yesterday of what is missing right now from our daily lives, for many of us. A simple word. Joy. JOY. That burst of happiness that overtakes you, fills your heart, and makes you happy.  It takes less to make me worry right now—-but it also takes less to make me happy. Being able to go to an outdoor restaurant has been a real delight and a thrill. Walking down the street after being trapped in my apartment for 74 days—-a VERY long time— was great!! A photo of one of my kids….something that makes me laugh. A sunny day of gorgeous weather. A call from a friend, the realization that someone loves me, either one of my children or a close friend—-or the awareness of how much I love them. A thoughtful gesture. Finishing (writing) a book. There have been some very special moments during this hard time that have touched my heart. Being far from my children for the past three and a half months, confined alone, and with social distancing, I am aware of how much the human touch matters to us. I have one close friend I can hug now, and who hugs me. (A designated hugger!) Other than that, there is no physical contact between people right now, we can’t get close enough to touch each other if you respect social distancing. We need people in our lives, exchanges, conversations, touch, love, hugs, laughter, things to smile about. We are not made to live in isolation, or at a distance from other humans.

 

But in a quiet moment yesterday, I wasn’t thinking about how blue the sky is without planes, or how much better the flowers smell.(That’s nice, but eh?….really??), I was thinking that what we all need and must not forget, is to try to put Joy into our lives, right now, even before the pandemic ends—especially before it ends!!!—-we need to do something fun that makes us smile, to reach out to the people who make us happy, to seize the joyful moments large and small, to laugh, to do something that really brings you joy, even something silly, and to seize and cherish those moments when they happen.

 

I think Joy is vital to us, like hope and love, and food and air. Let’s try to remember to put more joy into our lives and the lives of others right now. We all need it. Just pure simple joy, a great meal, a belly laugh (my youngest son sent me a hysterically funny photo of himself this week, I laughed for 5 minutes and smiled for an hour after I saw it)….we need a good laugh right about now, a happy moment when we stop worrying about what’s coming next and what isn’t. I think I had forgotten about joy in the pandemic. We are so focused on safety, which is important too. But let’s try to focus on Joy, on feeling good, on treasuring the small moments that light up our hearts, and our souls…..and after that, I’ll remember to notice that the sky is bluer. Joy. I wish you a joyful week, a great belly laugh, a bunch of smiles, some really happy moments, and a couple of great surprises!!!

 

with lots and lots of love, Danielle

 

6/1/20, Peace and Justice

Posted on June 1, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week. There was good news in France, the numbers continue to go down. There are no more ‘Red’ spots on our map, the entire country is ‘green’ on the map, with only a very few small ‘orange’ spots—–the distinction being where the virus is under control or even non-existent, and the red spots being where it is still blazing, so it no longer is in France. As a result, we got some more privileges in our steady ‘deconfinement’ and easing of the rules, some more liberties for summer vacations. You can now go further than 100 miles from your home, and the most warmly received news in Paris: the re-opening of outdoor restaurants, which are always a big feature in Paris. And now every restaurant that can will have outdoor dining with social distancing. Slowly, slowly we return to normal. I’m grateful for any freedoms we have. It remains super important that we wear masks and maintain social distance. It seems a small price to pay for our health, to protect others and being able to pursue a relatively normal life in the crisis.

 

These are unquestionably troubled times. It seems as though every time I sit down to tell you something silly, or talk about spring weather, or find some degree of normalcy in very abnormal times, some other major event happens which upsets us all, takes our focus and/or tragedy strikes. I would rather not dwell on unhappy times when I write to you, but at times there is no way to avoid it. As the Pandemic began to take hold, it was no longer appropriate to chatter about fashion shows and parties. And now, here we are again. Even far away in France, all of Europe has eyes on the riots in the US, and the tragic reason for them, and as an American, it makes my heart ache to see the country torn up again. Will it never end? We barely struggle through one enormous challenge—and are faced with another. We need a break, and happier times! And we need what the Declaration of Independence promises: liberty and justice for all.  And peace in our land.

 

Looking at the riots on the news, I am reminded of the “Yellow Jackets” in France a year and a half ago—-their cause was initially an honorable one: higher salaries, lower taxes, an earlier retirement age, and better pay for medical personnel. The demonstrations that were meant to be peaceful erupted into violence, blazing fires, destruction of property, theft and vandalism almost immediately—-entire streets of cars on fire, EVERY store on the Champs Elysees (80 of them) destroyed. Beautiful historical monuments decimated. Every single Saturday for 9 months, store fronts were smashed, restaurants were set on fire, violence, tear gas, destruction. The entire country was paralyzed every weekend, and everyone suffered. What I was saddest to see were the small businesses people had built for a lifetime, wantonly destroyed, and those small business owners would never be able to rebuild and lost their businesses and livelihoods forever. A high price to pay for a good cause. And very upsetting, when arrests were made, it was often discovered that those causing the violence had come from other countries and cities just for the day, young hoodlums, arrived just for the day just for the entertainment value of the violence and destruction, and to loot the stores. And almost comically, the destruction happened every Saturday from early morning until dinner time. Then everyone would go back to wherever they came from, and show up again to destroy the city the following Saturday. Billions of dollars of destruction, countless injuries and a number of deaths were caused, the destruction of beautiful monuments, people’s livelihoods lost forever, and a blow to the economy the country hasn’t recovered from yet. And for what? The good cause that was intended degenerated into uncontrollable violence. On a December Saturday, every single car on my street was set on fire. Clouds of tear gas hung over the entire city. Police tanks lined upon city streets. It looked like a war. The damage was caused by people called “Breakers”, who came to break everything in sight. They arrived with sledge hammers in hand to do the job.

 

What is happening in the States now is far more serious, and the cause a tragic one. And yet, despite the enormous seriousness of the cause, and the good intentions and aching hearts of the demonstrators——-there is an element of people who come on the scene, regardless of the cause, to break and burn and pillage and loot—-which entirely disregards the seriousness of the situation, and in their frustration disrespects it. People who come to exploit the situation, often once again from other cities—-and there is no way that breaking, destroying and looting and stealing sunglasses, leather jackets, expensive purses and microwaves and name brand running shoes is ever going to help the noble cause. The violence born of anger, anguish, compassion and frustration, which rapidly degenerates into theft and looting disrespects the very seriousness of the cause, and the tragic circumstances which lights the fuse to the stick of dynamite, and a mob mentality takes over.

 

I hope our country will find peace again, that our ills are cured (far worse than any virus), that justice prevails, that violence and injustice can be stopped, that peaceful voices with a powerful message will be heard, without violence. The sound of the mob drowns out the voices that speak up for justice, and peace and safety for all. I hope that the strong voices of peace and justice will be heard, and that violence will no longer be the first weapon people grab, the first reaction to heartbreak. I hope that the violence will end soon and that the changes that need to happen will happen swiftly and smoothly. I pray for peace in our troubled world. When hearts are broken and raw, violence is not the right answer. I hope we find the answers we need soon.

 

With love to you for a peaceful week, and I hope that the sorrow in our country heals soon.

 

 

love, Danielle

 

5/25/20, Memorial Day: Here Comes Summer!!!

Posted on May 25, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that you’re all healthy, well, and safe, and holding up for these last days of confinement in many places. In San Francisco, and in many places in the US, it has been two and a half long months, and in another week, your city and state government will tell you what comes next, and hopefully the confinement will be lifted and you can get back to a more normal life. That happened two weeks ago in Paris, and it made a HUGE difference being able to get out of the apartment (after 11 weeks), walk down the street and breathe, and see friends, and do at least some of what we all took for granted before the pandemic turned our world upside down. I am grateful for every day and hour of freedom now, even with social distancing and a mask. I found that the last 2 weeks of our confinement in France were the hardest for me, and many people I know. People are not meant to be isolated, and being shut down can really hit your spirits, especially if you’re alone. So if you’re feeling droopy now, or really fed up, hang in, the end is in sight. And hopefully you’ll be out and about again very soon, even with a mask and social distancing. Stores are open here in Paris, you can go to the hairdresser, many people are going back to work (some are still working from home remotely), but life as we know it is becoming more normal again, and it will be soon for you too, if you’re in a place that is still sheltering in place. Hang in, you can do it for this final stretch!!!! It’s almost over, if you’re still locked down.

 

Memorial Day is a holiday commemorating those who lost their lives in the armed forces, a special day to remember and celebrate brave people. For those of us who never lost loved ones in a war, it has a broader meaning, and a very happy one. Traditionally, it has always marked the beginning of summer, with good weather, picnics, parades, and a lot of fun. Before Memorial Day weekend every summer, we used to do a massive cleanup of our summer home, and worked really hard to get everything ready for summer. And now every year, one of my daughters and I do the same thing, and spend a week getting rid of old broken stuff, getting outdoor furniture repainted, and doing a massive cleanup!!! I get to do it with her on Face Time this year (ha ha!!! I get the easy part!!!), and actually I’m sorry to miss it. It’s always a lot of fun, spending a week with her, working hard on getting everything clean and in shape. My children own that summer home now, it’s a 163 year old farm, and any home that old needs a LOT of tender loving care, and a lot of work to keep it in good shape. Every time you turn around, something breaks and needs fixing or replacing. But old homes have a lot of charm. We turned all the old farm buildings, (the horse stall, the cow shed, the rabbit hut, etc.) into little cottages, and the kids loved going there when they were little, and still do. We had chickens and goats (ugh on the goats, very smelly!!), and our pig loved it there too!!! We spent a lot of time there in the summer, and I still spend my birthday there every year, with all my kids. I hope to be home by then this summer!!!

 

I hope that you find some way to celebrate this first unofficial day of summer, and that our burdens lighten now, confinement will be over everywhere soon, and we can all enjoy some down time this summer, even if things will be different with some restrictions, but they’re not forever.

 

Have a great holiday, and let’s hope that this will be a wonderful, healthy summer, and we’ll all have fun in unexpected ways. Happy Memorial Day!!! Have a great week, hopefully your last one sheltering in place!!!

lots of love, Danielle

 

5/18/20, Dazed and Confused

Posted on May 18, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you? Hanging in, I hope, whether confined, or liberated, under serious lockdown, or finally easing out of it, depending on your country, city or state. I hope you’re finding ways to keep busy and keep your spirits up. These are challenging times. We will get through it, but there are definitely better and worse days.

 

And particularly now, as some places start to de-confine, the difference in rules, even between neighboring counties, is REALLY confusing, often contradictory and in conflict. My closest knowledge is about San Francisco, and France. San Francisco, which confined the earliest of many states and cities in the US has done the best, and gets a gold star, with incredibly low numbers of sick people and deaths (fewer than 100 deaths). And they seem to be planning to de-confine slowly, starting on June 1st on some subjects, if all goes well.

 

I chose the title on the blog today, because I think we are all dazed by the whole situation, worldwide, and how quickly it happened. 3 months ago our life was entirely normal, with vague distant rumors of some unknown flu ravaging China (which couldn’t affect us, right? Now they say it was already in the US in November and we didn’t know it, and thought it was just regular flu season) Less than 3 months ago, I was dancing at my son’s wedding and having fun. And there were vague rumors too a few weeks later, that people in Italy had the flu. And then ZAP!!!Fast forward a few weeks, and Holy Sh—!!!! What the hell happened? Two months later, we’re locked up, and it’s a pandemic. I never even knew that word 3 months ago. And I think we’re all confused by the constantly contradictory information we hear, some of it real, some of it well meant but inaccurate, and some of it just rumors that people spread, scare you to death, and turn out not to be true. The truth is scary enough, and I absolutely detest the people who spread rumors with delight, just to upset us. “Have you heard THAT…..”and then they tell you some horror, and you/I can’t sleep all night. What’s the point of that??? It’s irresponsible and vicious.

 

But even if you try to stay informed through allegedly reliable sources, newspapers, online, doctors, etc, what you hear is confusing. There are rules, laws and suggestions, not to be confused!!! In France, the chain of command is simple. You get the word from the President, with solemn pronouncements on TV, telling us we’re locked up for X number more weeks. For slightly less solemn announcements, the Prime Minister delivers that message. Until now, the rules have been the same for the entire country. Simple. You may not like the message, but you know what it is.  Now, in France, we have red zones and green zones, the green zones don’t have Covid, the red do. About 2/3 of France is green, without Covid 19.The US has 6 times the population of France, the country is huge, and the ‘rules’ are made city by city, county by county, state by state, by mayors, governors, and in some cases, the President. And many of the rules conflict and are contradictory, about the disease itself, and about what you’re allowed to do. From what I know, more than half the states are not under lockdown, some cities aren’t, others are locked down tight. Some cities are beginning to loosen up, others (like LA this week) are tightening up and slamming shut. Who is right? What’s the rule? In some places masks are required, in other places they aren’t, in some places they don’t wear them at all. What is safest for us, not to get sick? Wear a mask or not? Where and when and with whom? The directives between some of the US and France on that are completely opposite. Who’s right?

 

Hairdressers were forbidden in the beginning in France, now they’re allowed. All hairdressing salons are open. But in San Francisco, they are strictly forbidden. BUT in San Francisco anyone who does cosmetic procedures on your face is allowed: like Botox and all those shots and procedures that are so popular now. So it’s okay to mess with your face, at VERY close range with the person doing it—-but don’t touch your hair. (Personally, I’d rather get my hair done!!!). That makes NO sense to me at all. Gardening was forbidden in SF (Am I really going to get Covid 19 from my gardener, when they work out doors, usually far from people, and work alone?). Gardening is okay in France, and the ban on gardening has just been lifted in SF. (To me that seemed an unnecessary economic cruelty to gardeners who couldn’t work and make a living, weren’t dangerous, and were harming no one). One doctor in France told me to always wear a mask when you leave the house now. Another doctor in France told me don’t bother, not necessary. And I believe they are required in San Francisco now—-or ‘suggested’. There’s a difference. I think the root of a lot of the confusing directives is that they really don’t know. ‘Take your shoes off when you get home’ or, ‘Take off all your clothes and disinfect them and shower the minute you get home.’  (in the East of the US), don’t bother (in France), ‘the ventilation system will kill you and the air conditioning’ (said in the US), I haven’t heard anything about it in France. And why will seeing the hairdresser almost surely kill you in San Francisco, when it won’t hurt me in Paris? Who’s right? Hair salons are open now in France, but my hairdresser came to the house, he was wearing a doctor’s surgical gown over his clothes, something to cover his own hair, he wore a mask, a plastic visor over his face, eye guards, and rubber surgical gloves, and he insisted that I wear a mask and gloves too (he looked like an astronaut ready for a walk on the moon). So they’re not casual about it, although he may be more careful than most. In French stores at the moment, sales people are wearing masks and gloves, but clients don’t have to wear a mask. Why not? If they are, I should be too. I wore a mask on a walk yesterday, but almost no one else did (I saw 3 masks in all), and I looked like I was going to rob a convenience store. I don’t mind the rules, and I’m willing to follow them, but I wish they made more sense and were more consistent, and that you had the feeling that the people making the rules really know what’s best for us. And then there are whole countries doing things differently. Sweden has no confinement, Switzerland and Austria have reopened. France is starting to. I wish I knew what is really right and safest, so we can protect ourselves intelligently, wherever we are. Our world is confusing right now. And I don’t object to rules, and will follow them, but I wish they were more consistent and made more sense. (Several people I know in the US spend 2 hours washing their groceries when they come home from the store, they remove wrappings, take everything out of cartons, it’s a big production. But no one does that in France).

 

Some people say our world has changed forever (I sure hope not), others say it is temporary. No one knows the time duration. Maybe it will disappear as suddenly as it arrived, or maybe it will linger. I think it’s the uncertainty, of what will happen, what we should do, and how long it will last that is so anxiety producing. Some people love video conferencing, others say that their video meetings are lifeless and dead and much less productive. I find it MUCH harder to write, and to concentrate, in the constantly stressful atmosphere. But I hope and believe that our world will return to normal again. Some countries are almost there. It just feels like a very long time, but in the scheme of life, this has not been so long, only 3 months. And maybe 3 months from now, things will be immeasurably better, or even nearly normal again. It will certainly have been a very strange time. And in some ways it forces us to reconsider what matters to us, what is really important, and who we care about most.

 

Things are loosening up, or will soon in some places, the death tolls and numbers of sick are coming down in most places, after months of confinement, the curve is flattening….what lies in store beyond that, we just don’t know yet. We just have to keep plodding on, and hope that the rules and directives and laws and suggestions are the right ones to keep us safe. And that people follow them.

 

So if you’re dazed and confused, me too. We all are. And hopefully, we will come out of this unscathed. With no major losses. The light is there at the end of the tunnel, if I squint I can just barely see it up ahead. I’m not complaining, Paris is de-confining, and I went for walks in the fresh air this week, I saw a friend, and will see a few more next week,  confinement in isolation for so long was really tough. The sun is shining, I’ll go out later for a walk….and when I do, do I wear a mask??  Hang in, and have a great week!!!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

5/13/20, Deconfinement

Posted on May 13, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How is it going? Are you in a State that is confined, or one that’s open, or sort of between the two??? Sheltering in Place is definitely challenging, and it is a real sacrifice to be deprived of other humans, the freedom to do what you want and go outside.

 

This is a Big Week in France. On Monday, the government eased up, and things are slowly loosening up. As of Monday this week, stores were allowed to open, florists, dry cleaners, businesses, and we are now allowed to go out with masks, social distancing and lots of hand washing or hand sanitizer.  We can have friends over or visit them, a maximum of 10 people.  I had been in confinement for 74 days, almost 11 weeks, nearly 3 months. It has been long and hard.

 

So Wednesday was my big day, we can go out now, so I walked down the street near where I live. I’ve waited for this day!!! I have longed for the ability to go out!!!

 

I hope you’re taking care of you, and following all the rules!!!

 

I have been working very hard on 3 new books. I hope you love them when they come out!!!

 

Take good care, see you soon, love, Danielle

5/11/20, Writing…

Posted on May 11, 2020

 

Working on a book, check back on Wednesday, and stay safe, love, Danielle

5/4/20, Mother’s Day

Posted on May 4, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you doing in confinement? Hanging in? Chafing at the bit? Cabin fever? Or doing okay and settled in? I find that there are ups and downs and some days are better than others. The rumors and the doomsayers make it much harder. And talk of some deconfinement eventually gives us hope that life will return to normal again. Being out in the world again sounds a bit tricky, and obviously not as safe as full confinement, but full lockdown has its challenges too. We will just have to learn how to protect ourselves when we are out in the world again. The masks, which they told us we didn’t need at all in the beginning and were supposedly useless, have now become mandatory (in France anyway), so people are scurrying to find them, and they are nearly impossible to find in France. It still stuns me to realize how fast the world unraveled. 10 weeks ago life was still normal, a week later, the roof fell in around the world, and now we’re all locked up at home. I hope you’re holding up, and having Face Time, Zoom and Skype with absent family and friends, doing puzzles, reading, watching videos and movies, cooking, exercising, and doing whatever you can to relax from the stress and stay occupied. I think people the world over are getting very tired of being locked up, but for now it seems what we have to do to stay safe and protect others. This will all end eventually. Soon, I hope.

 

This week is a big deal, with Mother’s Day at the end of the week. It will be the first time EVER (since I was 19, when my first daughter was born), that I will not be with my children, any of my children, for Mother’s Day, which I have to admit will be REALLY hard. We will Face Time for sure on that day, and we will celebrate it at a later date when I get home. Mother’s Day without them won’t be a celebration. My mother has been gone for 14 years, so I’m used to not having a mother’s day with my mother, but I have never had one without my children. And Mother’s Day is my favorite holiday, since I get celebrated, and presents—-and I don’t have to get a year older!!! What a perfect holiday!!  And my children always spoil me!!

 

My new hardcover “The Wedding Dress” came out a week ago, and I hope that it seemed like a good Mother’s Day gift for your mothers and grandmothers. And I hope you have time to read it too. It’s a four generation saga about the four very different women in the family who wear the same dress, in each generation.

 

Weddings are a delicate subject now too, since all the April, May, and June weddings (and even July perhaps?) have had to be postponed, because of the pandemic, which is an emotional disappointment too. Dates in late summer, the fall, next winter and even next year have been chosen, and I know many brides, and even one in our family, who are sad to postpone their weddings, but what is happening in the world is even bigger, and it just can’t be helped. Weddings have to take a backseat to the pandemic, and people’s lives and safety. So we are all trying to be flexible and optimistic about changes of personal plans. This is definitely a crazy time in the history of the world.

 

Take good, good care of yourself, stay safe and follow the rules in Lockdown, as we make our way through these unusual and often scary times. We will get through this, and in the meantime, I’m thinking of you and send you much love, and I hope it’s a peaceful week, and a Wonderful Mother’s Day, even if it’s on Skype, Zoom or Face Time. Have a great week!!

 

lots of love, Danielle

 

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4/27/20, The Wedding Dress

Posted on April 27, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a peaceful and not distressing week sheltering in place, and are finding ways to keep busy. Series, movies, reading, cooking, needlepoint, baking, house repairs, exercise, letters to friends, playing with your pets, or working. It’s a challenge to help speed the time along until we are free again. But in the meantime, staying confined is important to save lives, and keep us safe and healthy.

 

I just finished a book, and a re-write while in lockdown confinement, so I’ve been keeping busy.

 

And exciting news: I have a new hardcover novel coming out tomorrow, Tuesday 28 April, “The Wedding Dress”, in time for Mother’s Day. I LOVE this book and hope you do too, and it’s a great escape to distract us from our very unusual circumstances right now. The book begins in the 1920s, and covers some important events in modern history, it’s about a beautiful wedding dress made in Paris, and worn by 4 generations of the women in a San Francisco family. Each of the women is very unique and different, and each of them have interesting lives, typical of their time in history, from before the Crash of ’29, to the Second World War, the Flower Power days of the hippies, right up to the tech days on the Internet in current times. The book is a celebration of those 4 brides, in 4 generations, while encompassing some very interesting times in our history. I hope you love it. There is something very special about a wedding dress which accompanies 4 different generations of brides!!! And I think the book is very special, and I hope you’ll think so too. It might be the perfect antidote to our current confinement.

 

And this Friday will be May Day, May 1st. It’s the day when everyone in France gives friends, loved ones, coworkers, family members a little sprig of lily of the valley, to show love and wish people good luck. Paris smells delicious on May 1st, with street vendors on every corner selling little bunches of lily of the valley. I don’t think they’ll be out this year, but it’s a time honored tradition in France, and the lily of the valley stands will be back next year. And in the meantime, Happy May Day!!!

 

I hope you have an easy week, I wanted to share the news with you about the book in case you’re looking for something new and fun to read. And I hope that soon, we’ll all be out, enjoying the Spring weather, free again, with these challenging times behind us.  Take good care, stay sheltered in place according to the rules in your area—-and have a GREAT week!!!

 

 

love, Danielle