Saturday, December 30, 2017

Madam Butterfly-To-Be

While the rest of the country is in the freezer,
we are having normal Southern California weather
which allows me to get into the garden
and perform a little maintenance.  
While cleaning up the sage, roses, Bird of Paradise and other shrubbery,
I was putting the latest cuttings in the green waste when...what?
On one of the dead stalks from the milkweed,
a vivid yellow-black-white stripe figure stopped me in my tracks.
I immediately recognized this to be a creature of import.
Cinderella maybe.
Sleeping Beauty perhaps.
Royalty in the making for certain.

Here is Madam Butterfly-To-Be.
She is small but she is mighty. 
I took the branch she clung to back to the milkweed
then left her alone to find her way.



I will keep an eye on her 
and make certain she is still hanging out.
I cross fingers that she finds enough nourishment
to make her journey to cocoon and
eventually her coronation as 
Monarch of the butterfly world.

I will keep you posted on Madam's progress.

Still here on Moonlight Lane.

XX
holly



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Reading

I hope that your holiday was a lovely one filled with 
Laughter.
Surprises.
Affection.
Warmth.
The Joy of Giving.
And today finds you filled with
Gratitude.  

Ours was quiet and always richer as it is my grandson's birthday!  
A solid thirteen this year and fully engulfed in smelly feet, 
long showers and video games that destroy planets.
On the softer side, there is even 
a confessed girlfriend 
and a first kiss!  
Too soon?  
Maybe.
"Let's let her mother worry about it.", 
Mrs. Walsh.  The Goonies, 1985

His birthday cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes
So decadent with chocolate/chocolate chip and that insane frosting that
makes your teeth hurt but is Oh. So. Good. 
I sacrificed - phoned in the order, drove and picked it up.
All by my myself! 
If you have them in your area, definitely worth it 


OK - focus and back on-topic.....
Christmas Reading....
by John Baxter

A lovely story that lets you peek into a French family Festin de Noel 
and feel the love and dedication that goes into preparing
the revered holiday meal.

John Baxter, and Australian film critic finds himself, 
oddly enough, in Los Angeles. 
John meets French woman, Marie-Do.
John falls in love.
John moves to Paris.
John marries Marie-Do.
John prepares Christmas family dinner for 18
at the family chateau outside of Paris.

Not surprisingly,
the French take Christmas dinner quite seriously.
Nothing fast.
Nothing purchased ready-made 
except for the bread from the local boulangerie.
Several courses.
Loads of wine.
Every bite savored

Le Menu:
Mareindeer Clear Oysters
Roast Suckling Pig (Cracklins included)
Roast Potatoes
Carrot Pudding
Clochard Apple Sause
Vacherin Cheese
Pears Crassanes
Chateau les Eyquem Margaux, 1998and for dessert .... Fruits Brules.
And yes, the French take naps post fete.
Snoring included!
The bonuses are the travels taken to assemble the feast.
My favorite, a trip to Charente-Maritime for oysters.
Ah, to have a home there and maybe one with a gite.
Je Reve. 
But por moi, hold the oysters. 
Finished the book on Christmas Eve - Perfect Timing!

I enjoyed his gift of insights into French culture 
and my only regret is that I could not join them for the feast.

Our Christmas dinner was not suckling pig as in John's book
but Porcupine Meatballs at the request of the 
Birthday Boy-Man.
Here is the recipe as adapted from the original 
found in Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, 
Porcupine Meatballs
My recipe is from the "Who Knows When" edition 
as that page is long gone.
They really are quite good and a family favorite
since my girls were young.
An easy prep and includes the must-have 
Midwest ingredient of a can of Campbell's condensed soup.
We served with mashed potatoes and 
NO vegetables.
Again as requested by the Boy-Man.

Now we march on to yet another family birthday Wednesday,
and then mine.
 I have begun my New Year Resolution list.
Have you?

xx from Moonlight Lane

holly

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn Solo Breakfast

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I am watching the sun rise in east 
and paint my room with golden tones. 
Mr. Moonlight slumbers in bed.
Baby Boop sleeps on top the back cushion of the sofa.
Che is off snoring on his cheetah pillow.
I, alone am awake and loving these precious moments.
Reflecting on the week past and preparing for the one ahead.
Day at a time madam, day at a time.
So I slow my thoughts and breath -
yoga breath...
inhale through the nose, pause;
exhale through the mouth, pause.
Repeat.

Autumn comes slowly to Southern California.
Our seasons are like quadruplets. 
All looking alike but each a little different.
It's subtle.
A few random trees are changing their
headdress crowns to garnet and amber.
Most trees are not. 
The palms still wave their green fronds.
The pines whisper their golden pollen to the breezes.
Magnolia trees holding their buds like jeweled scepters.
Such a beautiful tree of emerald leaf tops and cinnamon velvet undersides.

Stepping out in the garden (before, middle and after images to come)
the newly installed DG crunching on my footstep.
What a lovely sound.
Hummingbirds swirl to breakfast at the feeders
while others are warring over rights to salvia bushes in full bloom.
The air is crisp, at chilling 57°, which is sweater weather here.
I work to deep water pomegranate, roses, lilac 
and whatever has survived the hot dry summer.
Slippers wet from unseen puddles in the grass, I step back inside
to prepare my solo breakfast.

Steel Cut Oats
Original Recipe from The Simply Luxurious Life

1/4 C steel cut oat (I used John McCann's - love the tin)
1 Tbsp butter (I use Trader Joe's French Butter)
3/4 water
pinch of sea salt (I use Trader Joe's French Fleur de Sel)
heavy cream
seasonal garnish
berries, raisins, nuts, apples, bananas,
any combo of the above
honey


In a small skillet, melt butter and add steel oats.
Shake skillet to evenly distribute and let the oats toast
for two minutes.  Add a pinch of Fleur de Sel.
Boil water in microwave while the oats
are getting toasty golden.
Slowly add water to oats.
Water and oats will boil.
Reduce to simmer for 7-10 minutes
until water has been absorbed to your desired consistency.
Pour in heavy cream and cook briefly to thicken.
Once in your bowl, add garnishes.
This morning I had blueberries
in a different bowl than when I started (full disclosure).




Please stop by The Simply Luxurious Life.
It is a favorite blog with lovely ideas on décor, fashion,
lifestyle/coaching and beaucoup de choses French.
Enjoy your Sunday and
thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane.

Bisous,
Holly

Saturday, September 23, 2017

That Little Turquoise Box


As I stepped out of our front door
with the babies leashed for the evening walk,
a small parcel was at the doorstep.
"I don't recall ordering anything."
Picking it up, it was very light weight 
and didn't rattle as I shook it.
No name of sender just an address from Parsippany, NJ.
"Hmm.  I don't know anyone from New Jersey 
since Carl moved to Florida".
I tossed it inside the entry as the babies were anxious 
to start their neighborhood rounds.
Curiosity tumbled through my mind with every step.
"A gift from a rep?"
"A long forgotten back order?"
"The Uni-bomber?" 
(No, he's in jail, silly)

On returning home I opened the parcel to find
lovely embossed tissue paper.
It said Tiffany & Company.
I sighed with the puzzle solved.
Unwrapping the paper, there was the famous
turquoise box with white satin ribbon.
This is my Ten-Year Anniversary
gift from my employer.  


This employer,
which will no longer be my employer come next Friday,
is showing its incredible generosity and class
by honoring anniversaries as if the sale
from Adidas were not days away.
The divestiture of the company will
never change my devotion and gratitude
for the past ten years of employment.
Through heady times of incredible success 
and moments of "not so much", 
I am constantly reminded what a 
truly successful company looks like.

A family.

Faces and events pepper my memory with festivals,
happy hours, weekend retreats, rallies and 
annual bonus celebrations strewn
with confetti and toasted with champagne.
Darker days with layoffs and farewells.
Co-workers that are so funny I want to wrap them up 
and take them with me everywhere.
Others so difficult that I want to wring their necks.
Some who make work incredibly hard and those
that created a lovely place to be forty hours a week.
Many that have moved up and on
and one that is no longer alive but her smile still shines
in the corners of the halls and offices.

I am a lucky woman.

Gratitude oozes from every pore as I 
look back down the curvy road of life and wish my
Taylormade family success and happiness 
in the years to come.

I think I will wait to open this on Friday, 
the last day under their employ.

Thank you for stopping by Moonlight Lane!

Bisous,

Holly



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Kitchen Lighting

Hello again -----

It is starting to cool down a bit but I am no fool, 
this too shall end as we head toward
our hottest month, September. 
But for now, I will enjoy this while it lasts. 

Been slowly working on projects.

Our kitchen lighting was so dated...fluorescents from the '70s!
We rarely turned them on as I always felt like I was still at my office.
"Unfortunately" while sweeping, the broom handle 
hit one of the plastic lenses which broke on landing.
Awwwwwwww.........
Neither Home Depot nor Lowes had the right pre-cut size.
Second Awwwwwwww.............
There are no images of a before as I am embarrassed
that I lived with it for two plus years.

My most talented son-in-law volunteered
to install can lights and trim it out.
He hates to paint so I took care of that part.
Here is post installation with one coat of paint.
A note to our viewers:
Don't install can lights, tape, the try to paint.


Notice: one can already fell out..grrrr.

Here is the right way - 
paint rolled on with the cans out.

You can see Jon's beautiful work.  
He used ship lap on the ceiling from a current job.
Purchased the primed door trim and other trim
from Home Depot.

Here is the final image with cans installed.
It is simply beautiful and all on a dimmer. 
I feel like a Princess!  
Can't wait for daylight savings to end so we can use them more.
Wait. No. That was just a crazy thing to say.

Oh, and see the pendant to the left?
That was once an original can light.
Found it at Lowe's.
The fixture is really a pendant light conversion kit 
and for just $19.98 and since the glass was only $7.98,
the whole thing was just over $30.00 including tax.

I did this install 
all.by.myself





No, those are not my hairy arms - just a photo from the box.
This is an easy project.  Only tool is a step ladder!

Simply take the light bulb out of the can.
Remove the can light trim (I had to touch up the paint a bit).
There is more than enough wire so just
find the perfect length for you.
Screw the converter into the socket.
Tighten the escutcheon plate to ceiling with decorative screw 
while tucking the excess wiring up into the can space.
Install glass shade and light bulb.
It's beautiful. 

My kitchen lighting is updated and
I can enjoy working in my kitchen.
Now just need kitchen countertops updated.
Au revoir to linoleum soon!

Thank you for stopping by Moonlight Lane!

Bisous~Bisous

holly




Friday, August 11, 2017

Long Time No Post

Boy is that title an understatement!
It has been forever.....
Being in the golf industry, this is my busiest time of year.
Little gets done at my house when golfers are on the links.
The season is starting to wind down as our 
shipments have shipped, 
tournaments are played,
and now returning excess inventory and
shoes that have gotten wet....
"I swear I didn't wear them into the pond"....
blah, blah, blah.

I am now returning to my real life and have changes in the air...
a new grandson is due at the end of the month!
A lovely baby shower was held last Sunday and my daughter
was in heaven with friends and family gathered to 
rejoice in their last month of the wait.
Tick Tock - her due date is 08/30 but for her sake,
I hope it happens sooner.  


8 pounds and more to go until he comes.
My younger daughter coordinated and friends; 
Alana helped with food,
and Pam with the cake.
All done with Where the Wild Things Are theme.








Aren't those decorations cute? 
The signs all done by my most talented daughter
with greenery to soften everything up.

And here is the lovely cake made by friend, Pam.
It was a lovely day and we all enjoyed 
the delicious food and mimosas.

Thank you gifts were adorable as well

Now all we have to do is wait....
Tick Tock 
Tick Tock




Thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane.

Bisous~Bisous

holly




Monday, May 29, 2017

Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange

New book arrived yesterday with a Sunday Holiday
delivery by Amazon Prime.
I have been dreaming of his book for a long time
and when I continue to dream of something,
returning to it time and time again...
then is when I hit the purchase button.


Chapter by chapter, you go deeper into her view
of how to be Parisian no matter where you are.
Trust yourself and keep it simple. 
Don't forget to have a little fun though.


Just four chapters but full of information and suggestions
accompanied by illustrations and photos of people and places
that make Paris so special.

Image result for parisian chic
Here is one of my favorites.
Simple to achieve with your favorite
white jeans and navy sweater.
Accessorize but not too much!
Ines cautions to go lightly on the bling
and that applies to every ensemble.
From the above casual about town outfit
to evenings out in your little black dress.
Image result for parisian chic book

There are oodles of favorite places where
she shops, eats and even takes the children.
She includes a short summary of their wares and
highlights what is their best products. 
She includes their address, phone and even their
website if they vend on line. 

I spent an afternoon at the pool pouring over this little
gem of a read and then rushed home to pop in and out
of the shops on line. Someday I hope to visit Paris and
these lovely boutiques in person.

I can attest that it was worth the wait and will
return to this reference book often as I struggle with
"Oh, what am I going to wear today?"
Merci Ines!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

My Favorite Body Wash

Hello Saturday!
Challenging week is now behind
and a sweet 48 hours lie ahead.

I am one who is constantly on the lookout for a good body wash.
As we age, our skin changes.
Everybody knows that...
My Swedish skin, once moist and supple, is now dryer and thinner.
Also I have an ultra-mild case of psoriasis.
Just on my scalp and a small patch on my leg.
I have been treating both with a
steroid cream but not a fan of using.
Whilst still on the hunt for a good shampoo to treat my scalp,
I have found a fabulous body shampoo for my "new" skin type.
Mario Badescu
A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

Highlights of the content list are:
Grapefruit extract (Citrus Grandis);
Alpha hydroxyl acids to gently slough and wash away dry skin. 
It is a powerful antioxidant which protects skin cells
from free radical damage.
Tilia Cordata flower extract; 
coming from the flower of the Linden tree
which is found throughout Europe and Asia. 
Its' benefits are skin conditioning and it is 
refreshing as well as soothing.
Panax Ginseng root extract; 
an emollient, providing skin protection.
This wash is so gentle and leaves your skin feeling clean
and the scent is uplifting which is a great start to my day.

A by-product for me is it calms the little patch of
psoriasis on my leg so I can eliminate the use of
steroid cream on that area.

The Body Soap comes in two sizes:
8 oz. which is $8.00 and
16 oz. which is $14.00,
both sizes found at
I find I don't need to follow-up with a body lotion.
So another cost savings there!

With a small investment of $8.00
(my first bottle lasted four months)
this might help keep your largest organ, the skin,
in beautiful condition and
ready to greet the summer months ahead.

thanks for stopping by moonlight lane
xx-hb








Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tao Porchon-Lynch

One evening this past week while watching
they featured this 98 year-young woman.
Tao Porchon-Lynch
I have not been able to get her out of mind.

Born 13 August 1918
in the middle of the English Channel.
Her Indian mother, dying in childbirth,
subsequently led her French father
to surrender her to his brother and his family.
Her uncle designed railroads and took her along
on his travels throughout Asia.
While in Pondicherry India at the age of 8
she discovered yoga being practiced
by boys on the beach.
So inspired, she has been
practicing and teaching ever since.

As a young adult, she entered the fashion industry,
traveling the world and becoming known as
"the best legs in Europe"
During WWII, as a French Resistance fighter,
she helped Jews escape Nazi capture.
After the war, she moved to the States
where she started acting, often teaching
yoga to cast-members during the breaks in shooting.
She married Bill Lynch in 1962 and remained
married until his death in 1982.

She has led yoga classes all over the world
and shares her love of
meditation
wine instead of water
"flexible" vegetarianism
(occasionally eats seafood)
eats a grapefruit daily
and reminds with her mantra
"There is nothing you cannot do".

She has marched with
Mahatma Gandhi
Charles de Gaulle and
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
and has met so many actors and dignitaries,
she is the female Forrest Gump.
This woman is
A M A Z I N G.

In the interview, she said the most amazing thing
So for the past four days as I journal my Gratitude,
I end with this same Intention.
And you know what?
It works!
Not every day is the best,
but each day is by far better than what
they were before adding this to my journey.
Even tougher days bearing disappointment
are lighter and I am better able to smile.
So then, maybe they really are the best after all.
I highly recommend adding this to your morning ritual
and see if it works for you as well.

If you would like to learn from her own voice,
you can purchase a signed hardcover of her book
The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master

thanks for stopping by moonlight lane
xx-holly

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring is in the Air....


We have finally had a break in the weather
that has lasted more than a week.
We southern Californians do no do well
with endless rain. 
Sunny and warm days bring bursts of
creativity
energy
outdoor chores
and appetites.

Today I prettied up the mantle
The painting is by Wade Koniakowsky,
a local impressionist painter. 
We have this one large work
and a "few" more smaller ones.
He paints California well.
The greens are from Trader Joe's
and simple cylinder vases from Target
and are terrifically priced.

Now must run to bake
As you can see, my lemon tree
"runneth over" with fruit...
Have a beautiful Sunday and
thank you
for visiting.
xx-hb


Sunday, February 19, 2017

To Do Basket

I am a great lover of lists...
to do
grocery shopping
what to plant in the garden
décor updates
bucket lists....
ha!
another list just appeared above.

I just love the feeling of accomplishment
as I see lines crossed off each week.

Now I am enhancing the list with a basket.

As I go through my week and add items to my To Do List
to be done during my precious weekends,
I then collect any items that are necessary to accomplish each task.
Here are
seeds to planted (if it ever stops raining!)
recipes to be prepared or filed,
essential oil recipes to be made for neighbors/friends
journal to fit in musings.

It has created a great organizing spot
which keeps me focused and
leaves me no excuses when it comes
time to tackle that list.

This idea gets two thumbs up!

thanks for stopping by Moonlight Lane!

xx-hb