Archive for the ‘Parties’ Category

12/31/18, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Posted on December 31, 2018

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’re all in good spirits, and have enjoyed the holidays. I’m working a lot and writing a lot these days, which keeps me busy and happy, and Christmas was lovely with my kids. They left a few days ago, and I went back to work.

 

Today, New Year’s Eve, is just one of those days I’m not that crazy about, some holidays are just harder than others. Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving are hard for some, particularly if one is alone, it helps to have children and a big family around you. And then there are some other holidays that are just lousy if you’re alone. New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day are just not a lot of fun if you’re single, and not dating anyone. In truth, my best New Year’s Eves were when I was married, we didn’t care about New Year’s Eve, we watched old movies on TV and ate popcorn, and were asleep long before midnight. That was fine with me!! Best New Year’s Eves ever, in pajamas, no fuss, no muss, no parties, tucked up in bed with someone you love (WITH popcorn!!).

 

Then there was a phase where we gave big parties on New Year’s Eve. That worked, it was fun (although I preferred the pajama years). When I was very young, I would go to parties on New Year’s eve, but since I don’t drink, everyone was blind drunk and I wasn’t, and I would then be scared to death that my drunken date would kill us in the car on the way home (not fun, when I got older, I got smarter, and refused to be driven by a drunk, eventually, I just stayed home). After the big parties we gave, I was divorced and continued to give them, and watched everyone dancing and kissing at midnight and was the odd man out (while pretending I was having a great time), and after the party I’d go upstairs to my room and cry. (erghk/dismal, definitely not fun). Then I switched it to fancy dinner parties on New Year’s Eve, so I didn’t have to watch them dancing. That was okay, but not that great either, I still had to get through the kissing part while I watched politely. Then I came up with a new idea: poker parties on New Year’s Eve, which I loved, and would make about $20., no one kissed, they smoked, ate pizza and drank, and if they drank enough, I won more. I did that for a number of years quite happily, but got tired of it, and then gave small dinner parties with friends, but once again you can’t get around the kissing part on New Year’s Eve, where they do, and I don’t, if I’m alone. And at last, I finally gave up, and decided a few years ago that the best way to get through New Year’s Eve for me, was to work on a book, where I don’t even know what day or time it is when I’m writing. It was the best solution I know to get around being single on New Year’s, with no one to kiss at midnight. When I write, everything disappears except the book, and I’m lost in the story. So, there it is, writing on New Year’s Eve avoids the drunk driver problem, the not having a date problem, and the kissing problem. There is no one kissing in my office at midnight when I’m writing—-except the characters in my book. it doesn’t make for a glamourous New Year’s Eve, I don’t have to wear a fabulous dress, my hair is usually a mess when I’m writing, and I’m in a comfy nighty and a sweater. I still prefer the pajamas and popcorn nights, and the poker nights were pretty good, but for those of us who are dateless on New Year’s Eve, writing my way through them works for me. So, if you’re on your own tonight, I hope you found an equally effective solution. Maybe a box of chocolates and a favorite movie??? It’s only one day a year and it really doesn’t matter. By tomorrow, everyone will have a dreadful hang over, and maybe didn’t have such a great time. So happy new year, no maudlin songs or emails, and much more importantly, I send you all my good wishes and best thoughts for a FABULOUS FANTASTIC PRODUCTIVE HEALTHY HAPPY NEW YEAR AHEAD!!!

 

and all my love, Danielle

 

12/17/18, Twas 8 days before Christmas, and all through the house…..

Posted on December 17, 2018

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that things are going well for you. The demonstrations and riots are continuing in Paris, but are thinning out, and were less violent this past Saturday. The government made some concessions, and I think people are just worn out from the strain of weekly violence, and so much destruction. Businesses are sufferring, and thus the economy, and all merchants, with shops and restaurants closed every weekend for the past five weeks, so close to Christmas. And hotels are empty. People don’t want to come to Paris with so much unrest in the country. I hope the New Year brings some peace to all!!

 

Other than that, my new book is out, Beauchamp Hall. I hope you’ve had time to read it, or will over the holidays, and I hope you gave it as a gift to someone. And my paperback, Accidental Heroes, is doing really well, and is an exciting read.

 

It’s been a checkered week with some good and bad things thrown in. A friend came to visit and stayed with me for a week, which was fun (except for the lockdown weekends due to the demonstrations and riots). But other than that, we had a good time. A close best friend lost his adorable little dog, hit by a car, which was heart breaking and we all felt terrible for him. And on the happy side, I had my Christmas party, with 28 good friends. People stay much later than they do in the states, so they stayed till about 1:30 am, on a school night, which was really fun. I gave a Christmas ladies’ lunch too, and had some women friends for a pasta dinner in my kitchen. So I saw a lot of friends this past week, which is fun in this season. And I’ll be seeing my children soon, which is the best part of the holidays for me.

 

I’m still trying to catch up on work, and I’ll be back at work, deep in new books when the holidays are over. I can’t believe Christmas is only 8 days away. I’m still scrambling for the last few special presents.

 

I hope these are happy days for you, that you are finding something to celebrate, and the time and opportunity to spend time with family or friends. The one thing I realize every year is how fast time flies, and how fleeting the precious moments are, they fly through our fingers like angels and bless us as they rush past. My hope for you is that you are enjoying special times with people you love, and who love you. I hope that the days leading up to the holidays will be happy ones for you, and that the holiday will be a memory you cherish. Thank you for the blessings you share with me all year round, reading my books, and enjoying my work.

 

Thank you, and much love to you, Danielle

10/29/18, Trick or Treat

Posted on October 29, 2018

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week, and that this week will be more treat than trick for you!!! (Treat being lots of dark chocolate or whatever makes you happy!!!)

 

I worked REALLY hard last week, writing 20 hours a day, so I am definitely back up to fall speed and my winter writing schedule. And I finished what I was writing on Friday, so I treated myself to a fun day on Saturday (after Xeroxing everything I’d been writing, since I type it on a typewriter and don’t use a computer). After the Xeroxing, I did some Christmas shopping….and of course a few treats for me!!! I’m having my Godchildren for a Halloween dinner, and they’re still young enough to really enjoy it!!

 

After Christmas shopping on Saturday (I went to a really cool store that is ALL men’s socks in a million different rainbow colors—–great stocking stuffers for the men on my list!!)—after that, I did something I never do. I NEVER go to restaurants alone, I’m not a big eater, wouldn’t enjoy being in a restaurant alone, it always looks weird to me when I see women alone in a restaurant, or people alone generally, and it’s no fun without someone to talk to. If I’m out doing errands, I just plow through until I get home, and I always have a bar of dark chocolate in my handbag if I get hungry, and it doesn’t hurt to skip a meal. I’d rather do that than go to a restaurant alone. And I’ve only done that once in my life. But Saturday, I decided to spoil myself a little after a week of hard work, and spotty meals. I tend to eat food that’s easy to eat and I don’t have to pay attention to when I’m working. Like hard boiled or scrambled eggs, the occasional sandwich, and waaayyyyy too many cookies!!! But Saturday I stopped for a late lunch, I had truffle risotto and calf’s liver (I love liver—-I know, no one else does). It was yummy, I was on an outdoor terrace, having a ball watching the people go by, sitting in the sun, feeling lazy and spoiled and enjoying it thoroughly. It was a fun restaurant I go to a lot, so they know me, and the kind of place where families and couples go, and all kinds of people so I didn’t stand out alone. And the people watching is superb there. Lots of foreigners, on my right were two Chinese women who looked like they were having a good time. They took photos of each other with their phones. to my left were two young Americans, maybe about 18 or 19, a boy and a girl, talking about college and exams, and how awful their parents are (I tried not to laugh at that. The boy said he had to take a trip with his father and said “Erghk!! How Sinister is That!!”) And beyond them was a beautiful Russian woman with what seemed to be her boyfriend. Lots of people came and went in some wild outfits. It’s a restaurant where a lot of people go in the fashion business, and some models, actors and actresses sometimes, and people who want to see and be seen. There was a Chinese actress posing for photographs in front of me, and some crazy outfits: one couple had on matching suits with Bermuda shorts, and she was wearing Mickey Mouse ears. It was a fun interlude for an hour, and at least I had a decent meal after a week of eating snacks nonstop.  I did some more errands after that, and went home and listened to some music and answered some emails.

 

I still haven’t figured out a Halloween costume, I have a pink sweatshirt with Miss Piggy on it, and may settle for that this year. I hope you have a GREAT HALLOWEEN!!! Whether in costume or not, and I hope you get lots of treats!!!

 

I learned something VERY unusual this week by the way—At least I think it is, a social event popular with the Millennial generation (late 20’s to early 30’s) Apparently the big trend is for “Gender Reveal” Parties. Clearly, I’m from the Dark Ages because I’d never heard of it before, although all my children knew about it when I checked. It sounded extremely sexy, but apparently isn’t. Here’s how it works if you don’t know about it either. When a Millennial is having a baby, instead of having the doctor tell her and her partner or spouse the sex of the baby, the doctor writes the baby’s sex down on a piece of paper, seals the paper in an envelope and the future Mom takes it to a party planner and a baker, and they throw a party, which will either have a pink or a blue theme, they invite all their friends, and when they go to the party, they discover the sex of their baby, along with all their friends, from the pink or blue balloons. I have to admit, I was stunned, I can’t imagine wanting to share that discovery with 50 or 100 friends or even two. In my generation, it was a very private moment to share with my husband and not discover at a party. But apparently, Gender Reveal Parties are a big deal now. You learn something new every day!!!

 

 

Trick or Treat!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

7/2/18, Happy Fourth!!!

Posted on July 2, 2018

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope your summer is off to a great start, and that you’re getting ready for a festive, relaxing Fourth of July. It does bring back happy memories of the Fourth of July parties we gave when my kids were little, which eventually became barn dances with line dancing. It was lots of fun, the guests were all ages, old and young, with dozens of children running around, lots of yummy food, games for everyone to play. It was a real, old fashioned Fourth of July.

 

And I’m in the category of ‘Beware of what you wish for’ right now, in the midst of a heat wave. It’s sweltering, and was chilly only a week ago, but at least it feels like summer!!!  My summer has gotten off to a busy start, with 3 of my children visiting me for 2 weeks, and lots of running around with them. And four more arriving tomorrow, with friends, for another 2 weeks of my children visiting. They’ve been coming in shifts this year!!!  And between the two ‘shifts’, I just had a ‘grown up week’ to myself. As much as I adore my children, and am grateful for every moment I spend with them, it’s nice to have some grown up down time too. I had lunch with a friend almost every day, which is rare for me, since I work through lunch most of the time and don’t go out for lunch, but I indulged myself. I had lunch out every day, with leisurely opportunities to chat and catch up. I had dinner out once with a very interesting friend, a psychiatrist who is also a writer. And I had a group of women for dinner, whom I try to see once a month. We laugh a lot, and also talk about some serious things. I caught up on some reading, did a couple of writing projects, went shopping on Saturday, and am ready for the next group of visitors. The best thing about summer for me is spending time with my children, and although I love it when we’re all together, I also enjoy it when they come in smaller groups, which gives me time to focus on each one of them, and spend some individual time. We’re a big group when we get together!!!

 

Without getting involved in the political issues, my heart has ached recently for the children who have been separated from their parents, due to immigration issues. It always saddens me deeply when children become the victims of adult actions, and are in precarious situations. Children in jeopardy is something that is dear to my heart. As I understand it, there are 3,000 of those children, separated from their families, in limbo at the moment, while adults attempt to solve the situation. It breaks my heart when children pay the price for adult actions, whatever the reason. Childhood should be an innocent, protected time, in a perfect world, which is so often not true, starving in ravaged areas, or the victims of wars, living homeless on the streets in our own country, or even children of ‘good homes’, being abused by their parents. And often there is so little one can do to help and protect them. I hope that those 3,000 children are rapidly reunited with their families. Children are so often at the greatest risk, in every country, even ours, ravaged by poverty, disease, or neglected by irresponsible parents. Children are always at the mercy of the adults in their lives.

 

I hope you’re busy making summer plans, and will get some vacation this summer. My vacation is the time I spend with my kids, we’ll spend a week at the beach, and as soon as they leave, I go straight back to work. I don’t know what to do with my free time when I’m not shepherding kids!!! Old habits die hard, and I’m grateful that they spend time with me!!!

 

Have a wonderful Fourth of July. And between the hot dogs, hamburgers, Southern Fried chicken, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream, it’s good for us all to remember and be grateful for the immense freedoms we have in this country, and all the advantages.

 

We are very lucky!!! Happy Fourth!!!

 

And much love, Danielle

 

 

Have a GREAT week!!!

5/7/18, May Day

Posted on May 7, 2018

 

Hi Everyone,
 

I had a sweet day last week, which was a double header for me. May Day. When I was a little girl in French schools, we used to wear a little wreath of flowers around our heads, and dance around a Maypole. It sounds pretty silly, but I thought it was fun. May Day is Labor Day in France, so it’s a National Holiday. And lily of the valley, the flower, are the symbol of May Day, and happen to be my favorite flower. I love their delicate scent. In France, everyone exchanges sprigs of lily of the valley on May Day, as a symbol of friendship and good luck. There are street vendors everywhere selling lily of the valley, for people to give to friends, coworkers, children, grandmothers. It’s such a pretty holiday, and a lovely thought.
 

May Day also happens to be my late son Nick’s birthday. I loved that he was born on May Day. So it’s a bit of a double edged sword for me now, with happy and bittersweet memories that flood into my mind. Memories of him as a little boy, and when he was born, and as he grew up. He was an amazing person, and passed away at nineteen. So I love the day, but I also miss him enormously on that holiday. I usually invite friends to dinner that night, so as not to be alone, and I did the same this year. Twelve friends joined me for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. Before that, I spent a quiet day, reading, and thinking of Nick.
 

So Happy May Day to you, and I hope that Spring is now officially here. And soon it will be full-on summer!!! Get ready for it!!

 

 

love, Danielle

8/8/16, Roll of the dice.

Posted on August 8, 2016

 Hi Everyone,

I hope things are rolling along smoothly. I’ve had some busy weeks, and have been flying around a lot, which gets more and more complicated with increased security in airports, which is a good thing. This month has been about friends for me. I had house guests last week, who came to visit their son in his summer job far from home. It was special and wonderful having friends I particularly love stay with me. It gave us time to talk, share meals, and just hang out, which doesn’t happen often in busy lives. It was a really lovely, warm, cozy time.

And I had a very special evening last week. As I mentioned to you exactly two months ago, my ex husband Tom Perkins, with whom I stayed very close even after our marriage, passed away in June. Sadly, his memorial happened in San Francisco on the day that my five youngest children arrived in France, for our annual vacation. They all have demanding jobs and lives, and had asked for their time off 7 months before, so we couldn’t postpone our vacation, and I couldn’t come back from France for the memorial. So I arranged for a very special night when I got home. During our marriage, long before, and long after, Tom had a very special group of friends, who were his closest friends and wonderful to me. They’ve all been Tom’s closest friends for more than 60 years. They welcomed me into their midst with open arms and loving hearts when Tom and I married, we have stayed close as well, and I nicknamed them The Big Six, 3 absolutely wonderful couples, who were like Godparents to me. And added to them eventually was the daughter of one couple and her husband. They were Tom’s closest friends, we saw each other frequently, and spent vacations togetDS.TP.1her. And one of Tom’s favorite past times was playing Liar’s Dice, a form of poker, using dice. We had some really great times together, and some fun rowdy evenings with lots of laughs playing dice. Tom loved to win, was a great player, and took great pleasure beating us. But we gave him a run for his money too. He didn’t like playing for money, but we did anyway, for small stakes. On a big night, we could win $20.00, or lose $10. You would think we had won the lottery at the screams of glee and delight when one of us won $5.00. We set up regular dice nights with pizza dinners, and lots of snacks while we played (Cheetos, Fritos, chips, pretzels, chocolates, and one very fancy night, corn dogs as well as pizza).

So one night last week, we gathered at my home for our dice night. It was bittersweet without Tom to growl when he lost to one of us, but the evening was mostly sweet, in memory of our Fearless Leader. We talked about him, reminisced about our trips together, told funny Tom stories, and shared a warm and very special evening. I had gathered up photos of Tom and set them on the table with little vases of red roses. The photos brought back so many memories, of our trips, our wedding, our great times with him. We all cried looking at the photos, and laughed at the stories we remembered. It was a perfect way to remember him. And I gave everyone a dice cup with one of Tom’s favorite sayings on it. It was such a lovely evening, and such a nice way to share our memories of him. It was a wonderful reminder too of how precious good friends are, and how important they are in our lives, to share happy and sad moments. We all left each other at the end of the evening, grateful to be together and for our friendship, with Tom’s presence so firmly in our hearts forever. He will never be far from us.  And I won $10.00 !!!!

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Have a great week. I hope you do something fun this week, and even get to spend time with a good friend. There is nothing better!!!  (Except maybe one’s kids. But good friends are so important for our well being).

all my love, Danielle

5/16/16, Memories

Posted on May 16, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a good week, and that good things are happening for you.

I had a letter from a friend this week, which brought back memories I’ll share with you. I don’t usually dwell on the past, I’m busy living life every day, meeting deadlines, talking to or visiting my children. We all have enough to think about with our jobs, our work, our families, and I realize now, when I do look back, that I have had some golden moments in my life. The friend who wrote to me was reminiscing about the parties I used to give, which seemed ‘normal’ to me at the time, and I realize now how special they were, and the memories they provided for the people we shared those moments with.

I was married to my husband John then, (the father of 8 of my 9 children), he was the most dashing man I’ve ever met, dazzling, elegant, incredibly handsome, movie star handsome. I led a very quiet life when I met him, writing my books, working hard. I didn’t go out much, and my life was certainly not glamourous. I met him, and he swept me off my feet. He was 20 years older than I, but dashing and youthful. blog.picMay16.2He loved parties, life, entertaining, going to grand events, and married to him, my life became very exciting. It was a different time, when entertaining lavishly wasn’t shocking. I’m not sure that people had more fun, but they were more daring about it. We lived in a Victorian house built in 1895, and restored it. And as our family kept growing—-every year!!—-until we had 9 children, he had his eye on a wonderful old house still owned by the original family, but no one had lived in it for about 40 years. The house was like a beautiful grande dame, that needed to be dusted off and brought into the light again. It was built in 1910, and once again we restored it and returned it to what it once had been. We filled it with our 9 children, their friends, and our friends, John loved to entertain, and I enjoyed it with him. He was the original Prince Charming, and at his side I always felt like Cinderella. He lifted me from my more mundane life to a more glamourous, sophisticated one. It took me by surprise at first, and I eventually came to enjoy it, and we gave some wonderful parties together, with music and dancing, and a band, 100 people for dinner, and afterwards people would stay until the wee hours dancing. It was very romantic!!! At the beginning of the evening, our children would come to say hello to the guests, and then they disappeared when we sat down to dinner. It sounds silly now, but for our Christmas dance, we had a snow machine on the roof, so it would look like it was snowing, as the snowflakes drifted past the windows. We had some wonderful times, and I’ve never danced as much since. People don’t give parties like that anymore, and I don’t either. It wouldn’t feel right today, but it was acceptable then.
blog.pic.May16 blog.pic.May16.4 blog.pic.May16.3

We were married for 18 years, but even fairytales end. Mylife changed, more importantly the world has changed. These are troubled times of poverty and anguish and danger in the world, of people struggling to survive, and economies shaky worldwide. Our marriage ended, my son Nick died as you know. I spent 11 years on the streets working with the homeless, and you see homeless people on the streets everywhere now, we live in a troubled world. My children grew up, and the world is such a different place. The kind of glamour we indulged in then is rarely, if ever, seen today. We all live in jeans. I have the beautiful gowns I used to wear at our parties, and haven’t worn them in years, and have nowhere to wear them, but I’ve saved them for my daughters as a piece of history. Even if I were still married, I can’t imagine giving parties like that today, with 100 people and a band, dancing the night away, with a snow machine on the roof. But what fun it was then. The friend who wrote to me, was reminiscing about how beautiful those parties were, with the snow falling past the windows. I never realized then how magical those nights were. But I do now, as cherished memories. My children remember them too, as part of their childhood. It’s a time that will never come again, and we were fortunate to enjoy those days. The world is a more serious place now, and so am I. We’ve all grown up…..but how pretty it was, how lucky we were to live it and share it with friends, who remember it too. If I go out for an evening now, I wear black slacks and a sweater, not a ballgown. There is no snow machine on the roof. We have family dinners, in the same house, on holidays, and I cherish these times too. But the memories, and the echoes of the music are very sweet. I just wanted to share that with you, and these old photographs of John, and me, and the children……sweet memories of a fairytale time…Now back to real life today!! Have a great week!!!

love, Danielle

PS. In response to a comment to last week’s blog, someone had heard that I passed away recently, and wanted confirmation that I didn’t. I’m happy to confirm that I am alive and kicking (in cute shoes, see the blog above). I think the confusion stems from the passing of the writer Jackie Collins a few months ago, and right afterwards a number of people got confused and thought it was me. She was a wonderful person and a good friend. People often confused us with restaurant reservations. We didn’t look anything alike, but maybe people just thought ‘writer’ and her name popped into their heads. I once got stood up by an airline VIP greeter who told me she couldn’t help me, because she was waiting to help Jackie Collins….she was really waiting for me, but was confused. Jackie wasn’t there, and I wound up having to drag my bags off the luggage belt myself!!! They apologized later. So we all miss Jackie…but I’m alive and well. Thanks for checking it out, love, Danielle

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