Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh Tannenbaum

This is how I found our gingerbread man this morning.  I swear...
A gift from Lois oh so many years ago

Our Christmas tree is still up.

Yup. Today is January 15 and our Christmas tree is still up. 

When I was a kid I would beg my mom to let us keep the tree until my birthday on January 9. She always said , "no". It would make too much of a mess. Denial on the other hand likes to keep the tree around until my birthday, which I love about him. All I know is that it remains up, a homage to our busy lives. Sure, after I get home and pretend to make dinner, get Gusty to do his homework, practice the cello and make sure that his music theory homework is done then put him to bed I COULD go to the basement get the boxes and wrap all of those small precious ornaments but it's all I can do to knit a few stitches, wash my face, brush my teeth and throw myself into bed.

Don't get me wrong, I like the tree. It's festive and smells good. The problem is that it's in what is supposed to be my crafting room. That's right. I actually get a crafting room. It doesn't matter though because when the tree comes down I'll be able to look at that space and marvel at how little I really use it.

I have plans to sew, make myself a dress form and design beautiful things to wear, sell and give away to deserving friends. I want to go through all of my photos, organize them and seriously get rid of the ones that mean nothing to me at this point. Oh goddess please afford me the time and energy to indulge my creative side.

Who am I kidding? I can't even find time to dismantle a tree. It is Sunday. I think today's the day.

The corner without the tree.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Au Revoir Marie Christine

 On Christmas Eve I learned of the death of a dear friend.

We met in the late 80's when I was just out of school and was working at ELLE Magazine. She had been aquatinted with my boss and was trying to get some work as a stylist. My boss, Regis, didn't care to hire her but somehow she and I managed to strike up quite a friendship in the process. I can't even remember how it came about really. She was significantly older than me. She had me to dinner at her home. I met her then husband. She went to France, came back, got divorced. She stayed with me and hosted me in Paris. I began raising a family and she rediscovered her stepdaughter. Childless, she fell in love with my son and her stepdaughter's son and showered them with gifts. She spent time with my family on Shelter Island and had great respect for my mother. She was at times frustrating but her giant heart and love of life always won out with me. For 23 years she made me crazy and we loved each other.

On December 8, while living in Paris (which she hated) she had a heart attack and died. Even thought I hadn't seen her in two years my world is different without her. She used to say to me, "Oh Tracy, getting old really sucks." Always attractive, even at 70 she would show up in leather pants and decked out in black. 

I have keepsakes. She used to wear all her rings on a chain around her neck. One day she took the chain off and removed a Cartier ring from it. "Mais tu est folle," I said. "C'est un Cartier!". "I have others," she said. "This one I want you to have.". Because of her I now wear my rings on a chain around my neck. When she last moved back to France I got to ransack her apartment. Among the items I got from her at that time is a small Le Creuset covered casserole which I have never used. It's perfect for confit and roasting small birds. Living as I do in my veg household I don't have opportunities to make such things so in her honor I have prepared this confit of cippolini onions.

If anyone out there has ideas of what other yummy vegetarian things I can slow roast in this beautiful casserole let me know. In the meantime I will savor my onions and lift a glass of Cotes du Rhone in Marie Christine's honor. Salut mon amie...