The zen of love . . .


  less than


     let go of.

           – Haj Ross

The French 75, a festive cocktail for holidays or any day!

This one is a classic, the sort of drink one could sip while wearing a smart little cocktail hat, which women once enjoyed putting on when going out for an evening.  (I hear those hats are coming back and hope they do.) However I can vouch that one can wear whatever while imbibing it and feel a cocktail hat perched above the brow.  Men love this drink too but, unfortunately, do not seem to achieve the cocktail-hat-effect. 

 A bit of history . . . this drink’s origins are Paris, the 1930’s and it was famously named after the French-made 75 Howitzer Cannon, a WWI powerhouse that “packed a wallop” back then.  Still does. 

You’ll need –

Gin or Vodka; St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur; Champagne

Lime, Mint

Then you simply-

Blend or shake a jigger of gin (or vodka) with a jigger to a jigger & a ½ of elderflower

Mull mint or add a generous sprig of mint to a short cocktail glass

Add ice

Add a “splash” (to taste) of champagne and mix

Squeeze of lime and add slice

 Enjoy . . . and feel that cocktail hat!


Home to the happiness . . .

Brimming with gratitude, fortified with a decadent breakfast of pecan pie, I start to count my many blessings . . . beginning with the bouquet of golden lilies, red roses and bright purple statice on the desk beside me,a gift from Honey Bunny with whom I celebrate our twelfth Thanksgiving today. 

My reverie is interrupted as the zen-master-of-love Beatty, miniature schnauzer, bounds into the room, fresh from the dog park and I hear HB’s voice calling,“Babe,we’re home!”  And I realize I don’t need to count my blessings, just be aware of them, only be at home to them when they arrive.

 May we all be at home to the happiness that knocks at our door, every day of our lives.

 May we all be aware our blessings.


Stay. Sit.  That is what I tell my mind this early foggy California morning as I sit zazen before the long window in my office.  Some of the great masters of meditation have rightly called the continual singsong of our minds, Monkey Mind.  I call mine Puppy Mind, tugging and wanting to run in any direction but those of silence and breath.  And today I am also contending with a very insistent Muse. 

Puppy:  Hey, hey is it time to stop yet?   Hey, there’s a lotta stuff I gotta do.  Hey, look at that bird over there.  Look at the color of that hanging thing in the window.  What is that thing?  Hey, pet me!  Let’s play!

Muse: Ignore the dog, Darling, you have more important things to attend to, i mean just listen to these fabulous ideas!  I know how stubborn you are about these twenty minutes but I must tell you that twenty minutes is a lifetime, my dear, an entire lifetime to a muse.   Really just give your attention to these words, they might fly away at any second.  Uh, what’s that?  Is that a pad of paper over on your desk?  How handy!  Why don’t you just reach over and . . . what?  You won’t?  Even if this is the best idea ever?


Elegance is refusal.   Coco Chanel, 1945

Elegance is refusal.  The Buddha, not in those exact words, about 400 B.C.

Coco meant the elegance of Less is More in the wordly sense – to refuse the second croissant, second (or third) glass of champagne, the over-the-top outfit that takes fashion into fashion victimhood.

The Buddha refused the ways of the world, literally lost the world as he sat beneath the bodhi tree and found enlightenment.  Now that is elegance.