One Life, One Flag, One Mile…

Words fail me.  What a remarkable man, and what a tribute!

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From my talented sister…

…from my perspective, my sister -jewelry designer Cynthia Dillon-, juxtaposes a mixture of Art Deco and Dali-esque drama, with a twist.

Why do I think so? Because, a long time ago I used to work for Tiffany & Co., at a time when “giants” of history and design were part of the Tiffany lore:  Walter Hoving, Gene Moore, Farnham Lefferts, Harry Platt.

I was not an artist (like my sister).  I was a budding lawyer, but, BUT, I was smart enough to understand the beauty and the drama behind what made Tiffany & Co. tick (it does not have the same cache today, sorry!!!!).  I was lucky enough to work for both Hoving and Lefferts, who were the kindest souls around, and taught me how to measure Presidents, CEOs and Chairmen using their example:  to this day, no one, NO ONE, -in my experience- has measured up to them.  These two patrician men knew how to relate to their workers.  Walter Hoving greeted his customers one-on-one.  He could relate to kings and dispatchers the same way.  He treated dispatchers as kings and kings as dispatchers.  One day I will write my memoires about those days.

Suffice it to say that one of my biggest thrills was to have Walter Hoving call me into his wood-paneled office to come admire the necklace President Lincoln had given his wife, which had been purchased at Tiffany’s and had been brought back there for cleaning and restoration.  I am an old lady now, who remembers how much in awe and admiration and reverence I stared at and touched the jewel as a young gal.  All these unique men are gone.  They made a big difference in corporate work and jewelry design.  Not all the T&Co. designers they encouraged were worth their time and effort.  In fact, today, the haughty store is suffering from a dearth of talent.  The mighty T&Co. of yore that carried beautiful Schlumberger designs [the legend of Breakfast at Tiffany’s] no longer exists.  But then, they were just mere mortals!  On the other hand, my sister has a unique touch that reminds us of what beautiful design used to be…even if with a flair.

…From The Depths of the #Earth….#Lava…#Jewelry

The bracelet below, I carved by hand in wax and then completed the  model in Sterling Silver and labeled it “Lava.” For the fun of it… I thought I would color one  bright red or  lacquer red…And the rest…. well, shall we say…we …leave it to the imagination!!

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From my talented sister: Rhapsody in Blue.

“Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.” -George Gershwin



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From Nonna to her Grandchildren…

These are some of the mish-mash of Argentine songs that I shared with your Fathers when they were little tots like you.  Why?  Because I either grew up with them or your Grannie sang them to me when I was a little girl:

Last, but not least, your Great GrandMother used to recite this wonderful poem, which I will let your Fathers translate:

Camina la Virgen pura,
camina para Belén;
en el camino como es largo,
pide el Niño de beber.
En lo alto de aquel cerro
ricas naranjas se ven;
las está guardando un ciego,
ciego de rica vejez.
-Ciego, déme una naranja,
que mi Niño tiene sed.
-Cójala usted, gran señora,
que yo no la puedo VER .
La Virgen, con cortedad,
no ha cogido más que tres;
una le dio a su niñito,
otra se quedó en la mano
para el Niño entretener.
Apenas se va la Virgen,
el ciego comienza a ver.
-Ciego, ¿quién te ha dado la vista?
-Me la ha dado una Mujer;
no sé si será la Virgen
con su esposo San José.

Esta noche es Nochebuena
y no es noche de dormir,
que ha nacido Jesucristo
y hay que irlo a divertir.

Dale, dale, dale,
dale a la zambomba,
dale, dale, dale,
hasta que se rompa.

Señor cura, coja al Niño
y no la deje llorar,
que está su madre dormida
y la puede despertar.

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Etymology: perspicuous versus perspicacious.

I love the etymology of words.  It is like opening a secret compartment and discovering a hidden treasure.  I realize not everyone feels this way.  But, for me, because I grew up learning -as a young child- English, Spanish, French and Latin- I have always paid attention to words.

I am always thrilled when I learn something new.  In fact, my daily aim is to discover something new every day (I think this keeps me young at heart and mind despite the aging body!).  Today, I discovered a new word:  perspicuous.  I knew about perspicacious, but I had not come across perspicuous.

Obviously, the root is common.  Study it below.  Suffice it to say that perspicuous means ‘lucid’, while perspicacious means ‘seeing clearly’.



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The Power of One: Primo Levi.

“A monumental new edition of the Auschwitz survivor’s complete writings shows a humanist laboring in the darkBy Adam Kirsch.”

But from his first book to his last, Primo Levi’s subject was not death but survival, not the triumph of evil but the defiance of evil. He was a man who lived through Auschwitz and emerged a humanist. This made him, for many readers—and especially many American Jews, who shared with this Italian Jew an assimilated and irreligious upbringing—one of the heroic spirits of the 20th century. Like George Orwell or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Primo Levi’s name stood for the survival of humane values in the face of overwhelming violence. This made his eventual suicide a particularly dark and dispiriting act, as though he were saying that even he could not find a way to live in a world where Auschwitz was possible.

Read this amazing review.

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The Making Of A Roman Cup…

My talented sister does her jewelry designs using the lost wax method, something the Romans did a couple of thousand of years ago. Here is a fascinating video about a beautiful Roman cup:

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The Gift Wrap and The Jewel.

Oh so true… I remember my Mother making the same comments about her reflection. At 80 or so, she thought of herself as the 14-year old she had been, writing poetry and dreaming. But what stared back at her was someone different. I thought I understood her then. In my view, she was still the young Mother of my youth. Yes, she had a few more wrinkles, but she never looked old to me. But, today, I look at myself in the mirror and I also wonder where that girl full of dreams went! I still feel like the 14-year old I once was. Yet the mirror tells me otherwise.

I love knowing that I am only seeing the gift wrap. That underneath it all, I am a gem stone (in my case, a gem stone about to be polished!!!!).

I now finally understand what my Mother always said: that as long as your heart is young, it does not matter what your body becomes. Your mind and heart are what count. This lady captures it to perfection.

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Tom Wolfe by Michael Lewis.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed reading an article that was so full of surprises. In this day and age where the attention span seems to be one paragraph bits of information, the story Mr. Lewis tells in multiple paragraphs is absolutely fascinating.  Read the article.  You won’t be disappointed!

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The Work of Giants.

Via Maggie’s Farm, a fascinating video that tells the story of the Chinese “Working On The Railroad”:

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Something for the hunter to ponder…

I come across deer every other day either in my neighbor’s backyard or on our patio, or by our front yard. They look at me in a bored way, as they stand barely 3 yards away, munching whatever is left of the blooming hostas.

And then I found this video, via Maggie’s Farm.  It immediately made me think of  “Schadenfreude”.   Not that I am necessarily judging.  Still, OH MY…

Which led me to one of my favorite books, Aesop’s Fables:

The Hart & The Vine

The Library of Congress has an intriguing collection of old children’s books.

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The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

I just discovered a wonderful blog,, that has captivated my attention with what the author calls The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – the Annotated Gordon Lightfoot.  

I did not realize that the haunting song sung by Gordon Lightfoot referred to a ship that only 40 years ago ended at the bottom of Lake Superior, taking 29 souls to their grave.  Am thinking of the El Faro, that has yet to be found.

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The Heron.

I once wrote:

Blue herons hold a dear spot in my heart, even though they eat the fish in our pond.  They are majestic and very patient. I was not aware that the native Americans of the Northeast called the heron “CASCO”, of Casco Bay fame. The Wabanaki name is “kasqu”.


Because of my childhood rearing, I always associate anything to do with the animal kingdom with Aesop.  Having observed herons fish at the pond, I understand the fable:
heron A Heron was walking sedately along the bank of a stream, his eyes on the clear water, and his long neck and pointed bill ready to snap up a likely morsel for his breakfast. The clear water swarmed with fish, but Master Heron was hard to please that morning.

“No small fry for me,” he said. “Such scanty fare is not fit for a Heron.”

Now a fine young Perch swam near.

“No indeed,” said the Heron. “I wouldn’t even trouble to open my beak for anything like that!”

As the sun rose, the fish left the shallow water near the shore and swam below into the cool depths toward the middle. The Heron saw no more fish, and very glad was he at last to breakfast on a tiny Snail.

Do not be too hard to suit or you may have to be content with the worst or with nothing at all.


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Of spiders and flies: cartoons.

A while back I shared an old and allegorical poem about the spider and the fly.  I have a son who is a very talented cartoonist who specializes in bringing creatures to life (he has been doing this since he was a toddler).  So, I am always paying attention to drawings and animation of insects and animals.  I just came across this old 1936 cartoon about The Cobweb Hotel.   I do wonder whether this type of cartoon film could ever be made today…

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Of Ducks and Dynasties…

From my talented sister:

Dynasties of ducks abound,

silver  and  gold stars fill the  sky

and dreams of Autumn allure…Haiku by Cynthia-San



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