Oxytocin and Sister Friends Across the Atlantic

A year ago I  dedicating my first blog to my mother at age 100, and today  we are celebrating her  101stbirthday. Unfortunately my  mother- in -law that I considered my second mother  passed away last month at the age of 106. God Bless These Ladies.  This  year I wish to dedicate my  blog to all my sister friends that have been with me through the years, without minimizing in any way the wonderful men in my life that helped me be who I am today, especially my husband, sons, and  family members. But there is something special  about  girlfriends.  Could it be that “feel good hormone called oxytocin?” Shelley Taylor In her book The Tending Instinct, seems to think that the need for a sisterhood of friends may be biological.  I do not know what it is but strong social ties with my female friends make me feel  good.


Our combined annual birthday celebration, thanks to our daughters

always there for each other











First and foremost are my two blood related sisters, Rose and  Mary who have been by my side through thick and thin and never let me down

Love this girl (1)

Laila, my roommate for 3 weeks while traveling together in August. Great time with my oldest grandchild, 13 years old,  the  new generation of ladies.

Sisters and nieces with mom

Our daughters continue giving love, attention and time whenever needed.

with me in tuscany

Fun with  sister-friends from Italy to California, I apologize to the many that are not represented here but are always in my heart.

Not a bad price for our new purchases, warm neck wear for one euro.

you can crash my party anytime Good hugger Have no idea who he is but that is ok. IMG_0522 lucyWe had the best week alone  in tuscany over  20 years ago

There is always a party planned for me when I return to the States. When I expressed my wish for no party,  Janet suggested at least a little breakfast group of close friends.   This is what happened.

Have no idea who he is? Honest Jorge I never met him before. Not sure if it was Julie Argyros or my daughter Michelle but following him as he walked into the house and  picked me up and  hugged me tightly were the two giggling ladies walking behind him.

Photographer Yana gets in the photo

Photographer Yana gets into the picture


tuscany sisters

Called the Tuscany sisters are my 5 Scandinavian sisters  and me who some 30  years ago got together and began this sisterhood of monthly meetings, membership closed, where we talk the night away discussing life happenings,  family, children, social life and problems  never to be discussed out of our  meeting. The meetings often end with Anita our psychologist giving a closing solution. Happy to say after all these years she asked me a few months ago for advice. I shall never tell.

We have been together In Sweden, Norway, ( suppose  to be visiting Karen in Denmark this year). We have all  been together in Tuscany a few times. I met Eva at the one and only medical wives gourmet group I attended in 1970. Both busy woman  we had no time for tennis that is, unless we could hit some balls at 6 in the morning which we did for a few years.  Then she introduced me to Mona, Anita, Berit and Karen and one night out for drinks was so much fun we decided we needed to do it every month.

karen joins me for an International, all expensive cooking week in Liguria

Karen joins me for a week long  international, cooking competition  in Liguria,


fun even on a rainy day2

Fun even on a rainy day

fun even on a rainy day1

Rainy day in Tuscany

Fun even in the rain.

Mary R and Barbro 2


Mary, who I always call when needing advise.

Different political views yet sister friends Mary and Barbro  for some 40  years

legs and legs great gals and friendsBarbara's bar


Who but  Barbara Venezia could have a bar like this?  Invited for a luncheon in my honor we had a great day with more wonderful friends.  Barb and I met when she interviewed me in the 70’s when I opened What’s Cooking Bistro.



Berit never fails to organize a ride in the harbor for me and my friends every trip back.  Then there is the ladies luncheon to follow. Great food, conversation, beautiful setting, what more can one ask for?

just having fun old friends

It is impossible to not bond with these ladies that have experienced the vicissitudes of life with me since coming to California in 1968. We have dined  together, played  together, laughed together and cried together but always there for each other. Even when differences  cause disagreements it seems with true friends social bonding is only enhanced.

party time when I return silly moments are great memories


Surprise for me

They are always full of surprises like this. How can I not love them all?

To all my female friends of every age, from my mother, 101 today,  to the newest addition to our family, granddaughter  Kara Ann Luhan,  born on June 1, 2014, may I wish you all the best of  health and happiness .  I wish to thank everyone for all their kindness and friendship through the years. May you all have sister friends, that biological need in our DNA, that can help you through good and bad times . Let the oxytocin flow.

singing to mom on her 100th bd last year

Three sisters singing  to Mom a year ago  on her 100th birthday. Happy 101 Mom.


at 101 not to old to make ravioli (1)

Still making raviolis at 100


Kara Anne Luhan, one day old
















101 years difference in age, Kara Ann Luhan, born June 1, 2014.

A difference of 100 plus years