Postcard From Italy No. 2–High Speed Chase Through Vasari Corridor

In our last episode, the hero was foiled by his devout but conniving wife in his valiant attempt to visit Italy without darkening the door of a single church. T’was a bittersweet tale of betrayal and deceit, with beautiful scenery and a great lunch. This week, we find our hero in the footsteps of the dukes of Florence, in a high speed chase across the forbidden Vasari Corridor. Can he break the Corridor world speed record? Tune in here…


Just Another Night at the Ranch… Starring Shirley Jones and the Cassidy Brothers

How often do you have in your living room an Academy Award-winning actress, a Tony Award-winning costume designer, an Emmy-winning composer, and a Grammy-nominated bona-fide teen idol all at once?
We did when we hosted a singalong with Shirley Jones and Shaun Cassidy and decided to make an evening of it. Rancho La Zaca was filled with music, laughter, and a tear or two.


Little Life Enhancer: A Handy Way to Clean Dental Devices

Here’s a nifty little case for cleaning retainers and bleaching trays. You know how grotty they can get. It’s called a FreshKase, and you put your dental thingie in it and pop it in the dishwasher. Boom. $11.95. A good little travel case, too.


A Tale of Two Birthdays–Indoor and Outdoor Entertaining

Here are two dinner parties I hope you enjoy and are inspired by. One is outdoors in the olive grove at Rancho La Zaca, our home in California. The other is in the beautiful Manhattan apartment of my friend Carolyne Roehm.



Quince and Lace Curtains

I love¬†flowering quince. One of the earliest blooming shrubs, usually right behind forsythia, or “for Cynthia” as I used to call it, quince is one of those things you can just stick in a vase and it’s beautiful. Going through seven million photos the other day I ran across this one taken few years ago… Continue reading Quince and Lace Curtains


How Lucky Is the Soul That Mends the Heart

Something about Valentine’s Day brings out the poet in me. Or rather inspires me to read poetry by those who write it, which I don’t. Okay maybe the occasional naughty limerick, but we are not going there. Instead I offer you a verse by Hafiz, the 14th century Persian mystic and poet, in praise of the heart–even when–especially when–it may be broken.


Joyful, Joyful – Wedding at Rancho La Zaca!

Well ladies and gentlemen, here we are. I’ve gone and married my Cowboy, (His Grace, for new readers) and I reckon that makes me Miz Grace? It definitely makes me happy. Apart from losing the marriage license the day before the wedding and driving a million hours to the nearest clerk’s office in Santa Maria… Continue reading Joyful, Joyful – Wedding at Rancho La Zaca!