Life On Mar’s via the beach

This week while my friend Mary was on vacation living the good life in Hawaii I offered to take care of her dog Elizabeth until she returned this Monday. If you read my blog last week, you might remember that Mary has a fabulous place on the beach in Fairfield, Connecticut, and with the blast we had when we were together last week, I decided to offer to take care of Elizabeth, rather than have Mary send her away to a local kennel. I would spend my nights there and pop in all day as needed to keep her happy and feeling at home. I ask you; if you lived on the beach would you want to go away and stay off the Post Road and share your living quarters with strangers, or would you want to stay home and enjoy your perfect paradise surroundings?

That said, I moved in and enjoyed “Life On Mar’s” via the beach. This experience proved to be delightful as both Violet and Elizabeth solidified their BFF friendship. I have always enjoyed my mornings with a good cup of coffee – add the beach to the equation and it’s the start of a perfect day. We would do just that my first morning, Monday, enjoying a nice quiet stroll, taking in the beauty and the serenity that only the beach can offer. Each morning I would sip and savor my coffee while clearing my head and reviewing in my mind my day’s agenda. This was heaven, and because I’m an early riser I needed to introduce this schedule to Elizabeth, as her mother lets her sleep in late.

Tuesday began a lot like Monday with the exception that I reported to Rocky Hill, Connecticut, for a live segment on WSFB, Channel 3, Better Connecticut. Sara the host is always so delightful and has yet to call me anything other than MARvelous Mar. She is so cute and we always have fun working together. The segment was about creating window boxes using inexpensive Easter or Passover flowers/bulbs. Using perennials is always the way to go.

Wednesday night I was a guest for dinner at the lovely Greenfield Hill home of Mark and Angela. It was much needed as it’s been a long time since we sat together one-on-one for dinner. After dinner Angela and I ventured over to her closet–well actually it’s more like a boutique department store and yes a mannequin should be included in the visual. Angela had a “little” something to show me. I can’t tell what it was as her husband did not even know. All I can say is that I saw this “little” something at Barney’s in New York and called her with a “you must have this” cry. Her closet is what I call “OTT:” over the top. Hours could pass and if we are missing we can be found in this closet discussing the latest trends, deciding what to wear and reviewing the endless shoe and handbag collection. Angela is what I call my “glamour girl” as she knows how to put it all together with style and sophistication. A former skater herself, her tiny body is perfect for modeling off the latest trends and purchases. I love fashion and covering fashion week for Better TV only lifted my appreciation for the designers and their work. It’s wonderful to see not only their current designs well before they hit the stores but equally fun to remember interviewing them as well. Pretty fabulous right?

Thursday, I returned to New York for my in-studio segment for Better TV, the national version of Better CT. Violet joined me as we filmed a wonderful segment: “Puppy Love: Training 101″ that will air next week. As we began our segment, Audra Lowe, the co-host who I’m in love with, fell fast and furious shortly after meeting Miss Violet. As she took a better look into her eyes Violet offered her a kiss. Rightly so as I would do it as much as I could, too. Truth be told, Audra is a very special person who I adore for so many reasons, but mostly because she is the most wonderful co-host I have ever worked with, and I long for the day that we could do this every day together. It’s also not so bad that she is breathtakingly beautiful both inside and out – it’s no wonder Violet picked right up on this and offered a nice wet one. But Audra was not alone, as Rebecca Millman, our producer, was also greeted with this same excitement and love. Violet would seal the relationship with yet another kiss. That’s my girl!

That night I felt inspired by my visit to Angela’s closet and so I decided to treat Mary to an updated and new-and-improved closet. A closet makeover, as it were. I removed everything piece by piece and began to organize each and every item back in a new, proper place. Mary’s closet has a closet within the closet, so I began by removing the second set of sliding doors offering more room with better access. I did not stop there: I added much-needed shelving and hooks and also moved in a wonderful bench she had in the guest room so she can sit and decide what to wear. I found over twenty dollars in small change and small bills and found a piggy bank buried in the back that I brought out, and placed under the new bench, to encourage the collection process. Where were the dogs, you ask? Not far, as both Violet and Elizabeth took refuge in the laundry pile.

Now Mary can come home to a surprise: to discover everything perfectly folded, stacked and accessible. I found everything I needed throughout the house or in her garage. I created a better system, and it was done with zero dollars. Not that it was not in good shape before – I just felt I needed to give it a MARvelous touch! Who’s next? (Want to know exactly what I did? Stay tuned: that’s the subject of an upcoming article.)

Friday, I continued doing other small projects around the house such as repairing a hand railing, fixing a fence, repairing a door lock and washing and folding her laundry. Can you tell we’re totally good friends? I guess having a lifestyle expert watching your dog can be a good thing.

Truth be told, with three large plasma TVs on-site I could not get them to work. I guess you need to be 12 to know how to operate these complicated remotes. I don’t know about you, but I just want the TV to turn on and off, it should not be a big ordeal. It’s no wonder I was inspired to do chores: I couldn’t watch 30 Rock!

In closing, Violet turned sweet 18–weeks, that is. And now when we go to bed we have Elizabeth with us. Every night it was the same getting-settled ritual: both needed to be touching some part of my body. This is a first for me as I have never shared a bed with two dogs. It’s crowded, but soon Miss Violet and I will return to our own bed, and I’m looking forward to it. (That’s this Monday, right?)

This weeks photo is none other than Miss Violet discovering a new basket on the beach. I have to thank my Westport neighbor David for being so accommodating.