Venturing out – Shopping in SoHo

You can tell two items:

  1. Master is traveling and out of the picture, so dievca doesn’t feel submissive – she’s not running “ladylike”.
  2. dievca’s knee is feeling better because she is more willing to walk the City.

This Sunday?  Shopping in SoHo with a friend – dievca is supposed to be the responsible human who helps her friend put on the brakes for spending.   Really? dievca’s not sure that she is the best person for this job description…

Weather today: a high of 63 F (17 C) and sunny.

Sounds like Sweater weather with option to strip off layers – dievca is going “old school” with a late 80’s early 90’s College vibe: (And, yes, the knee brace is an accessory – it fits under her jeans and helps dievca walk longer).


Needed a moment (again) to regroup

vivienne-westwood Lingerie BDSM
A long weekend – a college friend has chosen not to operate on their cancer due to quality of Life and has five years. This is where you find out what speaks to you in Life and you do it.

Photo: Vivienne Westwood Lingerie BDSM

A little Dutch Sass about Life (and Coffee)

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Good Morning! Have a good week. XO


A Mature Moment – Modehus

dievca’s Swedish friend laughs at her because dievca always has to visit two stores in a small town.  One is an optical shop that sells great eyeglass frames and the second is, well, yeah – a “Mature Women’s” shop . A modehus that her friend does not step into unless dievca is visiting.  Let’s put it this way – dievca saw a pair of cropped pants in the store and then saw them on her friend’s Mother-in-Law an hour later.

Whatever.  dievca stops in because she always finds a gem.

Two trips ago, the gem was a dress made by a Danish designer upcycling vintage Sari silk.  dievca still wears the dress.  dievca bought a similar dress on her last trip, but she felt that the arms were too snug and she passed it on to her Dutch friend.  Her friend loves the dress so much and has worn it a number of times that she had to wash it.

dievca received this photo in response:

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You have to appreciate a fabric care tag telling it like it is!

What did dievca buy this trip? 

Well, TWO pairs of eyeglass frames – but they will appear in another post and a “Made in Italy” linen top which was a tunic but dievca’s friend’s Mother cropped it for our short dievca:

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It looks clean and crisp with white jeans and the Zimmerman sandals:


The Gardens of Santar


Made it

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Flight was Amazing!

Passport control – Hell… 3 hours in the line.

Missed train and couldn’t rebook because all was sold out on a Sunday… dievca’s friend had to drive 3 hours to pick her up.

The Eco – Lodge is a paradise.  Fresh lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, apricots, raspberries, nectarines all for the picking.  32 C (90F) during the day beside the pool, dropping to 19C (66F) during the night..

Can you find the house (left) and the edge of the pool (right) in the photo above?  It’s taken from down below by the fruit trees!

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On the hunt for Bling (for a friend 😉😉)

Rhinestone Coffee Mug

Jazzing up your MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!

dievca has a very good friend who encases her phone in this:

Large Crystal Phone Case

she can’t find a coffee mug embellished with those large crystals, so she’s looking at the colorful one above…  Hmmm, maybe dievca could make the mug for her friend – a little DIY project.  Something to ponder.

In researching sparkly, glittery gifts for her IRL friend – dievca started to think about another blogger, a virtual friend, a “little” who loves color and bling.
“Cinnamon and Sparkles” has stepped away from the WordPress account with that handle (
vanillawithatouchofcinnamon.wordpress.com) and her Cinnamon email account is closed. dievca is wishing her the best and sending love her way if she stops by for a peek. XO


“Friends bring happiness into your life…

coffee Tom Boyle Getty ImagesBest friends bring coffee.” — Unknown

Photo: Tom Boyle – Getty Images


I’m up, I’m up!

Waking up

dievca caught up with a friend who knew her as a “Night Owl” – they laughed, things have changed.

Via the Cleveland Clinic and  LiveScience:

Chronotype is determined by a combination of nature and nurture, scientists have found. On the nature side, a number of genes are known to play roles in determining whether a person prefers to be awake late at night or early in the morning, Drerup told Live Science. Hundreds of genes are associated with being a morning person, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Nature Communications. These genes influence a person’s circadian rhythm, or their natural sleep-wake cycle, which leads to their chronotype. 

Your environment also plays a large role. People tend to participate in daily activities that reinforce their chronotype, Drerup said. For example, night owls feel more productive and alert at night, so they tend to exercise and socialize in the evening. These activities are stimulating and reinforce the person’s tendency to stay up late. 

Because the environment is a factor in determining whether a person is a night owl or a morning person, it is possible to change your sleep-wake cycle. If you want to wake up earlier, make the change gradually. Drerup recommended slowly shifting your wake-up alarm earlier by 15 to 20 minutes every few days over the course of several weeks until you’ve adjusted to your ideal schedule.


Thinking of moving to Portugal ~ all caused by sardines.

dievca spotted a crossbody bag on sale from a fun French Brand,  Jamin Puech.  she thought it was depicting sardines and was thrown into dreams and memories of Portugal.  she wants to buy the bag for a friend who is a foodie and enjoyed with sardines with dievca.  It’s still a bit dear at €207.00 on sale when she is not sure if her friend will wear sequins.  

Click here if you are interested in the bag – there are 4 colorways:

By the way, the bag is called SPRAT.  Which is a different fish than Sardines:

Sprats are recognized for their nutritional value, as they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats, considered beneficial to the human diet. They are eaten in many places around the world. Sprats are sometimes passed off as other fish; products sold as having been prepared from anchovies (since the 19th century) and others sold as sardines sometimes are prepared from sprats, as the authentic ones once were less accessible. They are known for their smooth flavour and are easy to mistake for baby sardines. Wiki


Better for survivors or better for the person dying?

deivca is pondering a question this morning… please let her explain the scenario, 1st:

Inline & Roller Skating - Amazon_comA work friend died yesterday. she was a few years older than dievca. The friend worked at a different location, so dievca didn’t see her all the time.  dievca did see the friend in the summer and she looked a bit tired and thin, but her friend was thin to begin with. The friend was moving well and rollerblading consistently to work.

In September the friend asked dievca for a favor and it was to be turned back over in November. Not anymore.

No one knew the friend was sick, she just died.

It was cancer.

The workplace is reeling because this person was kind, happy, and caring. Lovely to everyone.

No one knows what happened.  Was it diagnosed Stage 4? did she decide to pass on chemo? was it so aggressive there was no time? had she been battling it for a while and told no one but her family?

Back to dievca’s pondering…

Is it better to let people know about your illness or say nothing?

A quick death might be better for the terminally ill person, but doesn’t allow people to say Good-Bye.
(You don’t have to explain your condition, your treatment plans, deal with everyone feeling sorry for you, etc.)

A longer process allows people to connect with the terminally ill person but extends their trauma.
(People will keep asking what is going on, what the treatment plan is, ask how you are feeling, maybe offer pity, etc.)

OK, multiple questions. Tough questions.

No matter what the answers, it does bring to mind the phrase, “My Body – My Choice.”


Coffee with a dead friend.

The ghost is drinking coffee

Everybody knows the secular holiday of Halloween. But not everybody knows it derives from a Holy Day, All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1, which is followed by All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2.

The root word of Halloween is ‘’hallow’’  which means ‘’holy.’’ The suffix “een” is an abbreviation of “evening.” It refers to the Eve of All Hallows, the night before the Christian Holy Day that honors saintly people from the past.

All Saints is a celebration of the communion of saints, those people we believe are in heaven.

All Souls’ Day is a day to pray for all souls.

Where is dievca going with this on a COFFEE MONDAY MORNING?

she realized that she would really like to get a coffee and sit down and have a chat with a dead friend. The friend she went to College with, the friend who loved the Fine Young Cannibals and the Cure, the friend with whom she caused a lot of trouble with, the friend who didn’t pass judgement, the friend who dealt with Gall Bladder Cancer then Pancreatic Cancer with grace.

Do you have anyone you would like to have coffee with?

All Soul’s Day would be the Day.

dievca will hit her friend’s favorite coffee shop in NYC tomorrow.

The graveside chat will be something for next year.


Celebration of a Friend’s Life – an Outfit

Roll over the photos for item descriptions.
Something simple worn to brunch celebrating the Life of a close friend.
It was a lovely day in NYC.


When you have a good friend who is Dutch

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The title of this book has great meaning!

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dievca thought this appropriate for Master and her meeting, she’s not sure he agrees ~


Octogenarian + Nonagenarian = Play Date

Elderly Ladies Chatting

dievca mentioned that her Mom is fading or depressed and her Mom’s best friend (91) immediately asked her son to drive her up to my Mom.  (God, I’m starting to cry).   deivca set up the date to coincide with the caregiver who likes to cook and is already thinking of a nice light lunch for the ladies.  Mom’s friend is bringing the dessert – a certain chocolate and raspberry cake because she knows Mom loves it. dievca’s Mom will rally to sit in the wheelchair for a longer period and see her friend –  they will lean close because neither can hear.  It’s a gift that is amazingly generous.

Never dismiss the touch of a true friend, its one of Life’s greatest miracles.

Old Friends


“I surround myself with people that I want to be with. And I keep moving forward.”~ Sam Bern

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives.

7. Positive people smile a lot.

8. People who are positive are great communicators.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

10. Positive people are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.


When a friend knows you well enough to buy you a vibrator (something of use)

OK, it is a vibrating roller – but it still falls in the vibration causes pleasure category!

dievca should explain…
she is a huge fan of the Power Plate Machine at her gym. It’s helped her strengthen her body.

More importantly, it helped her loosen her insanely tight quads, glutes, calves, feet, and hamstring muscles.

(Note the roller…)

When COVID-19 hit, dievca was out-of-luck with using the Power Plate machine at her gym.  she had to depend on her heating pad, foam roller and heavy-duty time consuming traditional stretching. Not a worry when you have time to spare, but the results were not as euphoric as using the vibrating plate with a roller.

NYC is expecting COVID-19 to hit, again.

dievca’s access to the Power Plate will disappear.

But, it is not a problem anymore. dievca’s friend bought her a vibrator.
In the form of a Vibrating Foam Roller:

Next Roller vibrating foam roller $99 from Amazon (click photo for link) 

  • Three speeds of vibration
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable
  • One Year Warranty

Looks like a good solution for tight muscles in quarantine or any other time.
It works well, dievca used it immediately.

An amazing birthday gift, right?😍


Understanding a friend’s behavior – after years of friendship.

In France, there are several words for “to complain”: there’s se plaindre”, used for regular old complaining; there’s porter plainte”, for complaining more officially. And then there’s râler”complaining just for the fun of it. A curmudgeonly grumble.

Aha!

In France, a complaint is an appropriate – and frequent – conversation starter. “To Americans, saying something negative sounds like you’re closing the conversation”, in France, such comments are perceived as “a way to invite other people’s opinions”. North Americans, she said, are not as comfortable with confrontation – or with criticism – as the French are. Râler, then, “comes across as something that’s more intelligent than being too starry-eyed and optimistic about things”. (Julie Barlow – Canadian Journalist)

dievca’s friend is half-French, but it is a large half of her Life.  That consistent grumbling is an invitation to an intelligent conversation….and dievca has missed the boat a number of times. XOXO

BBC Article: Why the French Love to Complain

An additional note from dievca – when Americans hear a complaint, they think they need to fix the issue. Apparently, the “râler” creates no such obligation. Good to know!


Iced Coffee for a Friend

When you have a guest over for coffee, you want everything thing to be “just so”.

Brew your coffee the night before using good-quality coffee beans, and make it very strong as it’ll be diluted with ice and milk. That way, it can come to room temperature by the time the morning comes around. As always, add cream (milk), sugar, simple syrup to your taste!

dievca’s friend likes to add simple syrup to her brew, so dievca will be making her own syrup – directions below.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coffee, at room temperature
2 tablespoons half and half*, or more, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
To make the simple syrup, combine sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool completely and stir in vanilla extract; set aside.
Serve coffee over ice with half & half and simple syrup, to taste.


Coffee on the Upper Eastside


dievca took a friend to an early morning outpatient medical procedure. One is not allowed to sit in the waiting room for the pick-up, so dievca wandered down to the East River to enjoy her coffee. An excellent choice.

Note: dievca brought her own coffee in an amazing Japanese brand ZOJIRUSHI thermos that a friend gifted to her.  

Photos: dievca UES 07/2020

Traveling with a Foodie

Traveling with a “foodie” can be a complete challenge.

Every meal analyzed, every type of food must be explored, on a mission to find certain foods or tools to make the local foods. Insistence upon their way for all food choices – even snacks. FOMO – food-wise.
It gets old, but one tends to go with the flow if said one has no real food-driven desires – only insisting that the complaints of an unchosen meal be limited before the said person goes meltdown on the foodie’s a**.

dievca is not the foodie.

she did not insist that they take a 45+ minute tram to Jerónimos Monastery for an egg custard tart. Packed in like a sardine with people yelling a conversation over her head.
No – that was the foodie who insisted that Pastéis de Belém was reputed to have the best tarts in Lisbon – fresh from the oven… which entailed another 1-hour wait in chaos for the treat to arrive.

The egg custard tarts are not one of dievca’s favorites, but the foodie was in HEAVEN!
So much, in fact, a quest was commenced to scour the city for places to buy the tart tins for the egg custards to be made at home.

An Australian Food blog saved the day, giving three locations to buy the tart tins in Lisbon — one shop was relatively nearby. Then the damn foodie was miffed that the price went up to a Euro for each tin when the 4-year-old blog post said 83 cents per tin….eyeroll.
dievca did send the blogger a message, thanking her for the help.

Anyways, back in Belém, after eating the tarts it was found that the monastery was packed with Asian tourists and the line to wait was insane. The crew just wandered the surrounding park, river walk, and hopped a packed bus back to Lisbon. It was faster than the tram and offered the bonus of watching a European street busker hit on an All-American slice of sunshine~

So, that long intro explains why dievca’s eye was caught with this
NYT Article: The Chocolate Cake that Saved My Vacation

dievca wasn’t too interested in the egg custard tarts – but she could have really gone into a “foodie mode” for Chocolate Cake. Plus, she had great empathy for the writer’s experiences on the #28 Tram after her own tram ride.
BTW, dievca took that #28 tram to transverse Lisbon, but she started before 8 am on a Sunday — no one was on it.

Here’s what dievca wants to make:

Lisbon Chocolate Cake

  • YIELD: One 9-inch cake (about 10 servings)
  • TIME: About 1 hour, plus cooling

Lisbon Chocolate Cake

Sarah Anne Ward for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Amy Elise Wilson.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

  • ½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
  •  cup/30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces/140 grams dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, chilled

FOR THE GANACHE:

  • 1 ¾ cups/420 milliliters heavy cream
  • 6 ounces/170 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

FOR THE TOPPING:

    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

PREPARATION

  1. Make the cake: Center a rack in the oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan, line with parchment paper and butter the paper.
  2. Sift together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.
  3. Put the 1/2 cup butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Scatter dark chocolate on top, and heat, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the pan, and stir in the sugar. One by one, energetically stir in the eggs, beating for 1 minute after the last egg is added. The mixture will look like pudding. Stir in the dry ingredients. Scrape the mixture into the cake pan, and give the pan a couple of good raps against the counter to settle the batter.
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (or with only a tiny streak of chocolate). Transfer to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the cake. Peel off the paper, invert the cake and cool to room temperature. Wash and dry the cake pan.
  5. Make the ganache: Pour 1 1/4 cups cream into a small saucepan; refrigerate the rest. Scald the cream over medium heat, turn off the heat and stir in the semisweet or bittersweet chocolate until fully incorporated. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Refrigerate the ganache for 10 minutes, whisk it, then refrigerate again for 10 minutes. Repeat chilling and whisking steps until the ganache is thick enough to make tracks when you stir, 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. Cut two 3-by-16-inch pieces of parchment or foil, and crisscross them in the cake pan. Carefully return the cake to the pan.
  7. Whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream until it holds medium peaks.
  8. Using a whisk, gently beat the ganache until it’s soft and spreadable. With a spatula, fold in the whipped cream. Spread over the cake, and refrigerate for 2 hours (or cover and keep for up to 2 days). The cake is best served cool or at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.
  9. To finish, put the cocoa powder in a fine-mesh strainer, and shake it over the top of the cake. Run a table knife along the sides of the pan. Using the parchment or foil handles, carefully lift the cake out of the pan and onto a serving plate. Discard the strips. Cut the cake using a long knife that has been run under hot water and wiped dry between each cut.

An unexpected pleasure – Sunflowers

Photo: dievca NYC 8/2019

“True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time.”

Marie Williams Johnstone

An unexpected pleasure in the middle of NYC. dievca grew up with a neighbor who grew large sunflowers in their backyard – it is a childhood pleasure to see one. There is a second sunflower that is so heavy with seeds, the head is drooping.

 


Oriente

Talk to the hand.

Meow!

The most clouds seen in a week.

Relaxing and stretching on the Tagus River.

Killing time while waiting for a friend to fly into Lisbon…dievca wandered Oriente.

Photos: dievca Lisbon - Oriente 08/2019

trött

After a heavy week ending, then heading back to a friend to help her entertain and feed 10 people. – dievca is trött.

Tired.

The crowd was lovely, kind, fun. But when it is not your house, your dishes, your food, your timing – you have to be aware.  Add the language-shifting and alcohol– by the time we played, Kubb, dievca was cooked.

Click on the name to find the rules of the game…just let dievca tell you that it involves throwing larger wooden dowels at wooden objects across a pitch…sometimes around windows.

Recovery starts this morning:


God morgon!


May your week start with a strong cup of kaffe or te!


Learning about Life via Death

dievca was one of the few people at her Aunt’s funeral a couple of years ago.
Eleanor Rigby kept playing in her head.

Yesterday, dievca’s friend had a Memorial and Service to inter her ashes.

It was lovely. Friends of all ages and different phases came to celebrate. Siblings gave the realistic view of their sister with humor. dievca wore bright colors and listened with a smile. Her friend had set aside money for a buffet meal at a cafe across the street with an open bar. Great venue, good wine.

She was loved, is loved and will be remembered with love.

Why? What’s the difference between dievca’s aunt and dievca’s friend?

Her friend was open to new ideas, willing to try new things and try-on new viewpoints. She was able to accept change. She accepted people for who they are, not who she wanted them to be. She didn’t pass judgment. She stood up for what she felt was right and that would include the thought that all people should be treated fairly and equally. She gave in simple ways – nothing grandiose – an ear to listen, advice if asked, expertise if needed and company with silence, her time. Things that people truly need or want.

What dievca has learned:

Be yourself. Work to keep old friends and work to gain new friends. Enjoy life and share your Joy and knowledge. Mentor. Accept idiosyncracies and people/situations that make you step out and grow. Don’t stop moving. Life is to be experienced. not watched.


For the Master or Mistress of BBQ

Master is heading over to a friend’s Brownstone to be the “Master of the BBQ”.
They are European and haven’t learned the fine art of grilling.
dievca heard some mumbling about the grill not being cleaned properly, etc.
she really wants to send over these naughty roasting sticks:

Let’s take a closer look:

There are “kid-friendly” and “transgender” options, too.

Or you can buy a Gay couple, a Lesbian couple, singles….
Available at Amazon: 805 Metal Craft


Simple Coffee

Master told me that I would be exhausted when I got back.
He’s right.
Watching someone you love, pass away, is a privilege.
But it does run you through the gamut.

I just want coffee before heading to work.
A Simple Coffee.


And she was~

Floating Girl by Jonathan Robrecht

A most beautiful friend died yesterday.
I got to see her, say “I love you” and hold her hand before she moved on.
I’m hoping that she was able to float out on the next plane, blissing out, losing her pain.

“I used to know a blissed-out hippie-chick in Baltimore,” recalled Byrne in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads. “She once told me that she used to do acid (the drug, not music) and lay down on the field by the Yoo-hoo chocolate soda factory. Flying out of her body, etc etc. It seemed like such a tacky kind of transcendence… but it was real! A new kind of religion being born out of heaps of rusted cars and fast food joints. And this girl was flying above it all, but in it too.”

Then as I thought about it more — I think that my friend would prefer to leave you with this:

Me? I’m firmly on the ground.


Hey Good Lookin’! What’s Cookin’?

Paul Ciernia Pin-Up Cooking

dievca is not a cook, she bakes…
she WILL be cooking today because 5 friends are coming for dinner.

They are a “Meat and Potato” crowd, so she is keeping it simple:

  • Fresh Vegetables with Dip, Cheese Plate and Chardonnay for Appetizers on the rooftop
  • Baked Pork Chops (bone in), Green Beans, Rice and Norman Cidre for the Main Course
  • Lemon Meringue Pie and Pinot Grigio or Coffee/Tea for Dessert


Wish her luck, but dievca does have a secondary strategy: Distraction via Clothing

And Plan C: Pizza and Beer