Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

5/5/22, Mothers

Posted on May 5, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you, and that things are returning to normal after the pandemic. I keep hearing about how things have changed, familiar businesses have disappeared, new employees are hard to come by, many people have changed jobs, or haven’t found new jobs yet to replace their old ones. Every time I need something repaired, at home, or with my car, I’m told how difficult it is to get parts. (I have been waiting for a replacement refrigerator since last August, and I’ve now been told that I wont have it before September. Over a year to get a new fridge). My florist can no longer get certain flowers. Caterers that were easy to come by and ready to take on any event, no longer have the staff they did before and turn down parties because they just don’t have the experienced servers to staff them, and new staff no longer want to work the same demanding hours, and wont work on holidays.  I have been helping one of my children refurbish a house, and shopping recently at popular furniture brands, half the merchandise had been discontinued and the rest was back ordered for many months. What should have been easy to accomplish was much harder than expected, and before the pandemic. I was stunned, and imports are sitting in containers on long delayed ships. And my publishers, one of the largest in the world, are still not back in their offices, and all their employees are working from home. And in spite of less service, and very delayed deliveries, prices seem to have gone up across the board. Everything is more expensive than before. So other than our concerns about our health, whether consumer, vendor, or employer, the ripple effect of the aftermath of Covid is affecting us all.

 

This Sunday is Mother’s Day—-with nine (adult) children, it is still one of my favorite holidays!!! I love it. My mother left when I was 7 years old, and I grew up alone with my father, so there were many instances in my own childhood, when I was without a mother. But it’s interesting how life provides what we need. Throughout my life, there have always been older women who filled parts of that role for me. A truly wonderful stepmother from the time I was sixteen, and a one time friend of my mother’s whom I connected with later in life and was also an extraordinary mother figure for me. And throughout my life, there was always one or several women who fulfilled a motherly role for me, and one or two who still do even now and have served as role models in my life.

 

Being a mother is an extraordinary honor and privilege, and has been the greatest joy in the world for me, more powerful than any other. It is a special bond, which doesn’t always go smoothly, but can be one of the sweetest relationships in the world and an incredible blessing. Motherhood is not for everyone, and for some it is a form of bondage that weighs heavily. Too often one hears that things will change someone for the better when they have children. I don’t believe in that theory. Some women know that they are not cut out to be mothers, and I respect that point of view entirely. Some women live to become mothers and thrive once they are, others dread it and see it as an intolerable burden. Those women are wise not to have children, going counter to one’s nature about something so important rarely has a happy result for mother or child. And many women also grieve and feel incomplete if they can’t have children. But having benefitted so richly from generous women who took me into their hearts to fulfill a motherly role for me, I can say with certainty that even women who are not biological mothers can play a hugely important part in someone’s life in a motherly role that is mutually fulfilling for both and can be as close, or even closer at times, as ‘real’ motherhood.

 

So I celebrate all kinds of mothers on Mother’s Day, whether biological or adopted, or a warm affectionate relationship that can change someone’s life forever for the better. you can make an enormous difference in someone’s life in a motherly role, whether you gave birth to them or not, and whether official or not. It was certainly true for me growing up, and even now.

 

So happy Mother’s Day to Mothers of all kinds and natures. Being a mother is not an easy role, although to some it comes more naturally than others. And sometimes the closest of mothers and daughters can encounter bumps and challenges and friction in their relationships. Love is always the answer, even at the hardest times. And a child who appears to hate you at one time in your relationship may be the child you will be closest to one day.’ Motherhood is not for sissies’, whether real or adopted. And even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and there may be disappointing times, it is always a blessing and a learning process that benefits everyone. No one can humble us or hurt us like our children, or give us as much joy.

 

I hope you have a wonderful mother’s day, and can celebrate it with the mothers and daughters in your life, whether ‘official’ children or not. I hope it will be a happy day for you!!!

 

Have a great week, love, Danielle

3/28/22, They’re Back!!!!

Posted on March 28, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week, and that a good new week is taking off nicely. All the same BIG problems are still with us: Covid and its variants, and the heartbreaking war in Ukraine—with no easy solutions to either of those problems. I hope the war ends soon.

 

Troubling times make distraction a very welcome relief to get our minds off the problems we can do nothing about. My new book High Stakes came out a week ago and it’s a fun book that I hope you’ll love, about 5 women who work at a dramatic and literary agency in New York.  So that’s one distraction!!

 

And I was SOOOO EXCITED to find out that Bridgerton, the Netflix series which I loved and was one of their greatest successes EVER last year, just showed up with Season 2 on Friday, and I dove right in on Saturday and binge watched all 8 episodes!!! I absolutely loved it!! I enjoyed it just as much as the first Season 1. And it took my mind off everything for the eight hours I watched it on Saturday. I got up early on Saturday so I could watch all of it.

 

So tune into Netflix and have a ball!!!! Take some time off, or an evening off, you won’t be sorry you did!!

 

 

Have a great week, lots of love, Danielle

 

3/22/22, Hope

Posted on March 22, 2022

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week, and that some good things happened to you. Maybe Valentine’s Day got you off to a good start. I hope it went well!!!

 

It’s hard to find a suitable subject these days, with so many serious things going on. Fashion Week, in any city, pales by comparison, or cute shoes, or even my dogs. These are serious times. As we go through our daily lives in our various cities in countries where we are safe, our ordinary lives and problems are in sharp contrast to the horrors of war that we see on the news from Ukraine, where an unthinkable battle/war is being waged, where innocent women and children, and ordinary civilians are losing their lives and their homes and their country is buried under debris from the bombs, the images we see are heartbreaking, and millions are fleeing, while being peppered with bombs. It is more than sobering to watch, and the children break my heart.

 

In England, France and the US, we’ve moved into a new phase with Covid, where tests are no longer required, vaccine passes are no longer necessary, and masks have been dropped—only to be warned on the news that it’s too soon, and that there is a new variant, Ba.2, which is thought to be THIRTY TIMES more contagious than Omicron, which was something like 50 times more contagious than the one before. So how are we supposed to feel relaxed with that lurking? I am keeping my mask on any time I go out, and am feeling squeamish about very public places, and won’t go to indoor restaurants. In France there are still 100,000 cases a day, and in Germany 300,000. That doesn’t sound like it’s over to me.

 

War and Pestilence, it still sounds biblical to me.

 

But even with that going on, I took a card my daughter sent me to be framed, I had publishing and legal and insurance meetings today, seeing my accountant tomorrow, when I’m not writing, I have to do all the grown up very boring stuff that keeps life on track and sure isn’t fun. I dropped by to see a friend today, and bought cute plates for our Easter brunch.

 

Life is a strange mixed bag of ordinary tasks sometimes, with HUGE issues to ponder in the world, like Covid and Ukraine. While I sit quietly at my desk tonight, writing to you, someone is crawling out of the debris of a bombed burned out building, a child is crying, people are hungry and thirsty and freezing cold….the harsh realities of life woven in with the ordinary tasks, and then a brief, fleeting happy tender moment, of friendship, of love, and hope, a smile, a hug from a child, and my dogs snoring next to me when I finally get to bed at night.

 

We have to seize the beauty where we see it, and catch the rays of sunlight and moonbeams when they happen….and always in the midst of tedium, and chaos, and even heartbreak, somehow we have to see a ray of hope, and hang onto that.

 

Be safe, and well, and happy, and careful, with all my love,    Danielle

 

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3/14/22, “When Words Fail”

Posted on March 14, 2022

 

When Words Fail……

 

     When words fail
         when the feelings are too big
             and the message is too strong
                 and the wounds are too deep
                     when my love is too wide
                         to fit into my heart
            when the killing
                      and the chilling
                            is tearing me apart
                  when babies are born
                      wide eyed innocents
                                to die by morn.
                   when my dead children
                                          are yours
                        and yours are mine
                      when i look into your eyes
                             i see courage and fear
                          i see your blood,
                                          my blood
                        i see sisters and brothers
                    amid the sounds of terror,
                            i see you brave.
                                 i see you strong
                                     i see you live
                                              another day
                            we grieve with you,
                                 we cry for you,
                              when hate is only ashes,
                                       and bombs
                            cannot touch your souls
                                  you will live beyond this day
                                            in history
                                                engraved
                                      in our hearts forever
                                             never forgotten
                                            the living symbol
                                                of courage,
                                                     love,
                                                         and hope.
                                                                                  d.s.

 

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2/7/22, Working…

Posted on February 7, 2022

Hello!

I am busy working on a book, see you here next week!

Love, Danielle

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11/11/21, Traveling…

Posted on November 11, 2021

Busy traveling,,, I will see you next week!

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8/10/21, On vacation!

Posted on August 10, 2021

Hi Everyone,

I am having a much needed break this week on a family vacation, I hope you have a great week!

love, Danielle

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12/29/20, Happy 2021!!!

Posted on December 29, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and were able to be with your families. My family and I made a brave decision this year, very brave, to follow the guidelines and suggestions not to celebrate together this year. For us, it would have meant all 22 of us getting together, 12 of us flying in and under one roof, 8 households united, arriving from 6 cities in 3 countries. To be together this year would have been flying in the face of wisdom and disregarding all expert medical advice. So we agreed to stay where we were, in smaller units of my children, well within the rules, and in the musical chairs of Covid, I wound up entirely alone. I spent almost all of Christmas Day on Face Time, and Christmas Eve on the phone. And somehow, despite distance and missing each other, we managed to open gifts together, and spend a lot of time together. it’s not the same as being together in the same room, but it was an adequate substitute in the circumstances, and left us all feeling we had spent time with each other, and it was the right decision, even though it was very hard not to be together.

 

I never do anything very special on New Year’s Eve, so I’m much less sentimental about it than Christmas. Long ago, I used to give big dinner dances when I was married, with an orchestra, and I love to dance. Eventually, we spent quiet evenings at home with popcorn, watching old movies. And once divorced, I gave poker parties on New Year’s Eve that were really fun. And in recent years, I neither give parties on New Year’s Eve nor go to them. They just seem like too much trouble and are usually disappointing, the roads are dangerous, and I’m happy to stay home. Now, in the year of Covid, the whole world is dangerous, and everyone and everything is dangerous wherever you are. So I’m even happier to be at home. But what I long for now is a world where Covid is gone and long forgotten, my loved ones aren’t at risk, I don’t have to remember to wear a mask, or ask my friends what they’ve been doing lately, or panic if I was in contact with someone who came down with it, or get tested regularly. Covid has become a full time part of our daily lives now, and we have to constantly remember to be responsible. It will be wonderful when it will no longer be part of our lives, and I am fervently hoping that 2021 is the year we see it depart, just as 2020 was the year we saw it arrive, and had no idea what was in store for us on New Year’s Day last year, and what lay ahead for us all, with lock downs and curfews, and tragedies over lost loved ones.

 

So my hope and my prayer for the New Year is that 2021 is the year that Covid will end, that it will disappear into the mists, we can throw our masks away, and not worry if we caught it going to the grocery store or from a friend. Here’s to the end of Covid, and welcome 2021. I hope this is going to be a very, very, very good year. And I wish you happiness, health, peace and prosperity in the coming year. May all your wishes come true in the coming year, and all of our wishes that this will be the year that the Covid 19 virus disappears.

 

Happy New Year!! Happy 2021!!! Have a beautiful New Year!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

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12/21/20, Twas four days before Christmas…

Posted on December 21, 2020

 

“Twas four days before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”

 

Hi Everyone, just four more days until this controversial Christmas that has everyone stressed out, trying to decide what they should do responsibly, what their families expect of them, and what their neighbors will say…or just do whatever they want. And even the people who truly believe they are responsible, and work hard at it, make concessions here and there. Even people in government and the people who are supposed to set an example have made some flagrant mistakes, and broken their own rules.

 

I hope you had a good week as we lead up to Christmas. Only four more days, and I do find people anxious and stressed out at the moment. But who can blame them. Our own family faced a minor dilemma. For all of my children’s lives, Santa Claus has made an appearance at the end of Christmas Eve dinner, usually at dessert, and by then some wine has been served now that they’re all adults. We hear the bell ringing, and a minute later, there is a resounding Ho Ho Ho!!! outside the dining room, and then there he is. Large and Round, in a red velvet suit trimmed in white plush, with his wide black leather belt and boots, white mustache and beard very convincing, his hat and his sack, and he enters the room and circles the table, stopping at each member of the family to make an appropriate comment about how did that car work out for you, and do you like the boyfriend I sent you last year…..how’s your cooking coming…how’s the puppy I brought you two years ago. And for those moments, no matter how old we are, we really believe he’s the real deal (if he does his job well. That does not include the Santa several years ago that we now refer to as The Communist Santa, who saw us living and eating well, nicely dressed for Christmas eve, and gave us a very stern and surprising lecture about what kind of people were we that we didn’t give away everything we have, and live more simply while working to free oppressed people around the world. We didn’t have him back. The message was a little heavy for Christmas Eve). And always at the end of Santa’s tour of the table with knowing comments, we take turns sitting on Santa’s lap, for photo ops, no matter how old we are (me too), and ask him for the impossible, hoping that by some miracle we’ll get what we ask for, a new house, a better job, a husband, a wife, a baby. We all enjoy a warm moment with Santa. But in this year of Covid, even he is having to work remotely.  We took a family vote, and Santa got voted out both times, the conclusion was that the visit from Santa on Christmas Eve just isn’t worth the risk, even though we’ll all miss him. Only my three children spending Christmas together would have had the visit, everyone else will be in their own homes, to keep Christmas small and risk free this year. Their other siblings and I won’t be with them, they’ll be in their own homes. And I guess Santa will be at home at the North Pole this year, and Rudolph will deliver all the gifts on his own with the other reindeer. So No visit from Santa for us this year. The origin of the at home Santa visit was so that I didn’t have to stand on line for 3 hours at some department store with nine young children, while all the other children coughed and sneezed, and mine inevitably caught the flu from them. And we’re dealing with a MUCH bigger flu now. But our tradition of the Santa visit has lingered, and hopefully will be back next year. We are sad not to be seeing Santa this year, but it’s one more change due to the Coronavirus.

 

There will be a lot of changes this year for all of us, some families not together to celebrate, college kids who can’t travel home, grandparents whom everyone is trying to avoid seeing in order to keep them safe. And hopefully the changes will be enough rules respected to really make a difference and help us to get a handle on the pandemic, bring the numbers down, and not wind up with another huge spike which throws us back into confinement after the holidays.

 

One thing truly shocks me, is how many people are planning major trips during the holidays. Many people in Europe are planning to visit Swiss ski resorts, since the French and Italian ones aren’t open, and it is strongly recommended not to plan ski holidays. Others are escaping to warmer weather in Morocco and even in Dubai, where life more closely resembles what we knew before the pandemic. Some Europeans are going to Spain, which has lower numbers than its European neighbors. Given how we have all been urged not to travel, all around the world, I don’t understand how people can plan these trips, knowing the risks they are taking, and that the fallout from them is liable to worsen the already dangerous situation we are in. And many Americans, as well as Europeans, are not heeding the pleas not to travel, and are planning to do it anyway. It is painful to hear about those holiday plans, knowing that we will pay dearly for those trips later, just as Thanksgiving travel has created the bleak numbers we are experiencing now in the U.S. a month later. I hope that somebody plans to follow the rules and the advice not to travel. Right about now, the pandemic is seeming endless to all of us, and we are all sick and tired of the rules we have to live with, the confinements, the lack of ability to have a ‘normal’ social life, and for many of us, the chance to spend Christmas with our loved ones. Some people are making big sacrifices, while others blithely choose to ignore the rules. We can’t hide from the reality of the pandemic anywhere in the world. And the numbers of people getting infected with the virus, and the death toll are harsh wake up calls.

 

Four days before Christmas, many countries and cities are in full lock down, while others are in a modified version of it. We’re trying to cling to our traditions, and adjust them as best we can, or shelve them for another year. In San Francisco, one of my daughters saw a group of 25 carolers without masks, in a highly populated neighborhood, singing their hearts out, although singing is particularly said to be a dangerous spreader of the virus and is strongly discouraged. Some people just don’t want to listen.

 

ALL of my Christmas will be virtual this year, which makes me particularly cranky about those not following the rules. There will be no Christmas dinner with family, no chance to hug my children, no midnight mass, none of our cherished traditions. I will be alone on Christmas this year, for the first time in my entire life, because it was just too dangerous to travel to be with my family. We opted for caution and safety, and it was a very hard decision to do so. And as hard as it is, I hope that others will be reasonable this year too, at least to some degree, even if they don’t give up celebrating it completely. The more serious we are about the holidays this year, the better and safer and healthier they will be next year, and hopefully we will be able to put the pandemic behind us, all around the globe.

 

In the meantime, I hope that you will have special moments with family or friends, that the spirit of Christmas will shine in your hearts, that you will reach out to those who need to be remembered and may be alone this year. It is a year in which joy will take many new and different forms and creative expressions, when we need to count our blessings, respect others, and work together toward a healthy world again.

 

I wish you joy and peace and good health and love in the coming year, and may all your holiday wishes come true. Please be safe, as best you can, every moment and every gesture of caution counts, for all of us.

 

May you be blessed in every way this holiday, and may you be a blessing to others, with all my love,  Danielle

 

11/16/20, Popcorn Time!!!

Posted on November 16, 2020

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week, restrictions seem to be tightening around the world, to try and get the numbers down and get a handle on Covid before the holidays. Moderate measures and varying degrees of confinement seem to be in place in many cities and countries, to get a grip on it, lower the numbers, but not impact the economy too badly. It’s a delicate balance.

 

And I have just had a REALLY fun few days binge-watching various series, and even took a class, to help pass the time and stay at home. Books are always a wonderful way to spend confinement, getting lost in the story, the ultimate form of escape. Reading books (and writing them!!) helps pass the time incredibly!

 

And in addition to writing (my main activity in or out of confinement at all times), and reading, I have had some real fun with series.  I was lucky enough to follow a religious class for half a day, which is only given once a year. It really helped ground me, and feel peaceful, in the face of the pandemic. And after that, I indulged myself. I loved The Queen’s Gambit, on Netflix, 7 episodes. And I am LOVE LOVE LOVING Season 4 of The Crown which started on Sunday, also on Netflix. I think it’s the best season of all so far. And I know I will watch the whole thing again, after I watch it for the first time. I like watching things for a second time, I see all sorts of things I didn’t notice the first time.

 

AND THIS TUESDAY MY NEW BOOK ALL THAT GLITTERS COMES OUT!!! So between binge watching, I hope you enjoy my new book, for yourself and as a gift for the holidays, and my little book of quotations “Expect a Miracle”, which came out 3 weeks ago.

 

The distraction is good for us all!!!! Have fun watching and reading, and have a GREAT week!!!

 

love, Danielle

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