Rustic Easter Tablescape: Humbled by the old, rugged cross

It was a table for 10. Shoulder to shoulder in our dining room, we ate and laughed and shared our hearts. Men and women, all fairly new friends of ours, but we hold one important thing in common:   We celebrate Easter.     Mikasa Italian Countryside dinner plates, Tiffin King's Crown glassware, and vintage damask napkins brought a simple elegance to balance the "rustic" feel of seagrass placemats and bird's nests.     Three rock-filled vases of yellow tulips and carnations paired with blossom-filled pear branches to continue the rustic elegance vibe. At the base of each stood a cross.   Easter is nothing without the cross.     If Easter is all about the ... Keep Reading...

The night Richard Simmons ate cake—and read my aura

A few days ago, Renaissance Man received a call from someone at the New York Daily News asking him to confirm that Richard Simmons (yes, THAT Richard Simmons) had indeed purchased a well for our Hope Unlimited for Children campus in Campinas, Brazil.   Confirmed.   Obviously they were working on a piece, and so we started watching for it to come out. Over the weekend, it did.     The story raises so many unanswered questions—and brings back some really intense memories for me. I really don't know how to respond other than to sit here and write, putting those memories on virtual paper. Be forewarned:  There are a lot of memories...   I met Richard Simmons in August 2013—and shared the ... Keep Reading...

The Back Side of Yesterday: Unmerited Favor

Yesterday was surreal.   She got into my car in tears; said I had to help her. A story about a neighborhood dog running loose—and her dog getting loose... and someone complained... and a citation to appear in court.   A citation she signed agreeing to be there—and the court date she wrote on the calendar.   Feb. 26   But it was "dog court", and she didn't want to miss the class she'd just started to keep improving things for her and her family, so she'd called to see if she could reschedule.   Reschedule? She'd already missed the court date; put the wrong date on her calendar. The paper said to appear   Feb. 23   It was no longer just "dog court". It was ... Keep Reading...