Daily View

Our Best Bette!

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A couple of weeks ago, Boyfriend and I drove out to Vegas to meet Little Brother and his BFF for a series of adventures that can best be described as a Totally Gay Vegas Weekend.  My brother's BFF, Mike, is the world's most amazing hair stylist and lives in Vegas.  He's an honorary Tomlin - my other little brother.  He's also a fabulous host whenever we're all crashing at his place.  (Thanks, Mikey! XOXO)  Blast for not having any hair for him to cut and style this time!  So I got a mani-pedi while my bro got his hair done.  (Thanks, Little Brother! XOXO)

I know what you're thinking: "Girlbert, what kind of a brother makes his sister, her brain tumor, and her chaffeur/boyfriend drive all the way to Vegas to see him for the first time in over a year?"  And I'd say, "The World's-Biggest-Bette-Midler-Fan, that's what kind of brother!"  January 31st just happened to be Bette Midler's closing night after her two-year run at Caesar's Palace in The Showgirl Must Go On. I saw her on opening night with the same boys two years ago, so it only seemed appropriate that we were there on closing weekend.

Bette was A-MAZING.  Everyone was in tears for the last few numbers, including the Divine Miss M.  It was Boyfriend's first Bette Experience, and as he put it, "She rocked!  And she's hilarious - I had no idea."  I remember feeling the same way when I saw her for the first time on her Kiss My Brass tour - no idea she was such a fantastic entertainer.

And entertain us she did!  Her final performance was particularly moving because Bette was genuinely sad it was over.  Us, too.  We love you, Bette!

Check out more pictures here.

 

Haven

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My grandma had a screened porch when I was a kid - nothing could touch the fabulousness of being outside, view of the lush, midwestern backyard, without the pesty mosquitoes bothering us as we ate, talked, relaxed.   I haven't been blessed enough to come across a screened porch many times since, much less live somewhere that had one.  I made several attempts to simulate such a feature on the back deck of the house I lived in in Colorado, only to have the great winds of the front range destroy gazebo after gazebo.

Boyfriend and I live in a cabin that boasts the screened porch of all screened porches, to which I escape daily to birdwatch, take a nap or read my latest cancer book or raw food manual.  We eat meals and drink tea at our little cafe table. I've moved my herbs here, out of harm's way (turkeys!), now that the indigenous vegetation has become so scarce.  When we're feeling romantic, (who, us?) we both fit on the built-in daybed for a cuddle and the opposite end has a comfy swing.  A trunk and two chairs stand ready for a game of dominoes, one of our favorite after-dinner, wind-down evening activities. It's the most amazing haven for together time or alone time, and it's been quite the luxury to have friends and neighbors dine or hang out on our 'patio' too.

Until yesterday's ash storm, brought to the surrounding area by the La Brea wildfire raging east of Santa Maria, it was as clean and cozy as this picture depicts.  I need to find a spot on the to-do list for some housecleaning...

Where's your haven?

Haven

Consuela

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Over a year ago, Boyfriend and I were in Puerto Vallarta for one of his sailing events.  He was working, sailing every day, and I was along for the ride.  We were in the throes of new love, just beginning our relationship.

The suite we were staying in had a big balcony on which a peahen roosted every night.  She was often still there in the morning.  One morning, I blindly got up and went to the kitchen for a bottle of water, and THERE SHE WAS.  In the kitchen.  She had entered the kitchen through the sliding glass doors, left open overnight for some fresh air!  Boyfriend was still asleep, so I shooed her back out onto the balcony.  It didn't take much, I was clearly more alarmed about her situation that she was.  She had no trouble finding the door, and left no evidence of her presence.  What a good peahen!

So we fondly named her Consuela.  When our stay in Mexico came to an end, we sadly said goodbye, figuring we'd not see her until we came back.  We agreed that we would miss that big, beautiful, funny bird.

Shortly after we returned home, I moved into this little cabin in the mountains of Santa Barbara.  Once I was settled in my new home, I discovered the resident wild turkey group.  Fascinatingly, they have kindly allowed a peahen into their flock.  Consuela had followed us all the way back to California, just to keep us on our toes.

So yesterday I awoke to turkey and Consuela peeps outside my window, when this wave of new energy hit me. And she remains our symbol of fresh starts and new journeys.

Consuela in the Grass
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