Sunday 29 March 2009

21st Century Salon

It was while we were driving that Nadalene said that she thinks that my blog, and all blogs really, resemble a French Salon of the 18th century.

‘Mom all these people gather: artists, writers, poets, intellectual thinkers; all with something to say.’

I could not deny the truth of it. I believed her then and I believe her still.

It was never my intent of what the blog should be and it is still not my intent, but things have a way of becoming what they become.

My intent of the blog is still for my children, still for them to know what I think, and mostly for them to hear my voice when I can no longer speak.

But somewhere along the way I wrote something that someone thought something of. Others wrote or did art that I thought something of. I communicated and they communicated. And before I knew it we became a community of friends. It appeared that I had a salon and so did they and we could get to each others in a blink of an eye.

Our salons are a gathering of women and men who share their thoughts about what we are doing or what matters to us on any particular day. In my salon I would love to create a space for dialogue and reflection.

In my particular salon I want an inclusive environment that all feel welcome to express their views. I really do love to hear what everyone has to say. I tell my truth and I love to hear your truth.

Like the French salons of the past our blogs have become an informal university. Through our blogs we are able to exchange ideas and receive enlightenment.

My hope for my salon in this 21st century is to have a gathering of stimulating people partly to amuse one another and partly to increase my knowledge through my meanderings of their art and words, and mostly to have an exchange of love and ideas.

The exchange of love in my 21st Century Salon has never been more evident than what went down on the 28th for my birthday.

My youngest sister Shelly read on my blog where Nancy mentioned having a guest blogger. Shelly asked me a week or so before my birthday if she could do a Regarding Renee post. I of course jumped at it and absolutely love what she wrote. She is amazing.

Then I was laughing with Bella, Ces, Linda, and Bjornik and in my laughing, I thought I had an inkling that something was going down regarding my birthday. (Which it did, they threw me a party.) They are amazing.

Mad Texter who is hilarious left me a comment the day before my birthday and when I went to reply I saw he had romper room for my birthday. I was totally stunned and thought wow so cool.

A spoonful of sugar who lives in Australia whose imagination and skills are beyond my imagination had a birthday banner up. I love it.

Rosaria was going to make an award and I was to be its first recipient and I received it the day before my birthday. What she wrote made me cry. I love it. Rosaria is amazing.

Then just before I went to bed there was a comment from Orly. I replied and in the corner of her blog I saw my banner picture with ‘Renee Day’ written across it. Then I was like what the fuck?

This led to a birthday filled with wonderful pictures and poems and stories and Bjornik the best love letter I have ever received.

This is the order that they came to my birthday. Please check them out. These salons are all brilliant and I love each and every one of the people behind the salon.

Mad Texter at

Spoonful Of Sugar at
Rosaria at
Orly at
Michelle at
Ces at
Bella at
Delwyn at
Karin at
Bjornik at
Caroline at
Kathy at
kj at
Audrey at
Rebecca at
Cheryl at
Sarah at
Gloria at
Daria at
Julie at
Linda at
Laurel at
Nancy at
Ronnie at
Lisa at
Kelly at
Nolly Posh at
kj at
Sheri at
Caroline at
Kate at
Aleksandra at
Ces at
Jacinta at
Flossy-P at

Now if all of you dolls would send me a copy of the pictures and letters and paintings you did in the mail; well then I would be completely satisfied, as you know I am always pushing my luck.

I am so sincerely humbled (which is not me) by what you have all done and the many birthday wishes that have been sent my way. Thank you, all of you.

Love Renee xoxoxox


kj said...

whew! 134 comments later, the lovely renee posts anew.

i love the idea of a salon. how elegant. i'm thinking of how to dress, how i want my hair done, what color to paint my nails, who to gossip about, how to compare sexual secrets....i could easily go on.

renee, please thank shelly for her comment on my blog. or better yet: hey shelly, thanks for your comment on my blog.

have a good day, good night, good dreams throughout.

most sincerely,
ms. kj

ostrich girl said...

Renee you are one incredible lady! I can't believe how much beautiful stuff you write and always manage to crack me up with the sprinkling of a classic "What the Fuck?" I hope you are getting some of these beauties into a book! I know a truck load of girlies that would buy your book and you could leave behind a mini gold mine for your future generations in more ways than one!!! My grandfather always said, "Publish or Perish"
I can't believe how quickly you catch a post and write back I swear it's like you are on radar!It'so fun! Much love to you
Forever xoxo Sheri DeBow

Rosaria Williams said...

You are most welcome. Glad to be in such fine company.

GlorV1 said...

THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR. Have a great week Renee. I'm going beddy bye now because I am tired. Take care.

Bella Sinclair said...

Renee, love, I would not have kept coming back to your salon had you not been so darn stimulating and engaging and charismatic and loving. And a darn good writer, to boot. Must be a prevalent writing gene in the family. I'm so glad you had a fabulous birthday. It was fun going on the ride with you! Next year, same battime, same batchannel, okay?

pRiyA said...

But of course!!! These are Salons!!! It makes such a world of difference when you refer to a blog as a 'salon'. If it is all right with Nadalene, I would like to borrow her idea and henceforth refer to my blog as a Salon from now on.

And Renee, you deserve every bit of the love you got for your birthday. You are truly amazing.

Strawberry Girl said...


I am so glad to have found your blog. Blogging in general has turned into as you say the "Salon of the 21st Century." I have met so many interesting and creative people and you are one of them.

BTW: Happy Birthday! ;p

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

Dear Renee:

And, what a wonderful, fascinating, and thought provoking "salon" you have created. The proof is in the pudding, in that, and in that you are loved by so many people. Because you are so loving yourself.

Oy vey, what beautiful tributes your friends have bestowed upon you. Mine pales in comparison:( But, it's the thought that counts, yes?:)

Sweet dreams, blue eyes.


Ces Adorio said...

Are you kidding me? Send you what you want for nothing when all you have given me are threats and sexual come ons. NO! You can't have anything until you deliver my three demands. In fact I will pull all stops on additional celebrations. Remeber that crazy loon Ces who said that in her culture and family they celebrate birthdays for a month? You wish! Hand over the three things I want.

Yvonne Anderson said...

I am a new reader of your lovely blog.

Not so long ago I was a nurse who cared for people with cancer. Not so long ago my own father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I live on the other side of the world from my family and sometimes wonder why!

You write beautifully Renee. You are courageous.
A woman who I cared for a long time ago who was dying from cancer said to me " Enjoy your life. Every minute. I have been on a diet my whole life and for what? I wish I had just enjoyed cake and tasted life to the fullest. Please note that every moment is precious". I will never forget her words. She was a true inspiration....

I now live every day to the fullest and used to want to inspire everyone around me. Now as long as I have made someone's life better by being in it, that is enough for me.

You have obviously touched many people's lives Renee and they will always carry that.

Take care

Ces said...

I totally agree even though I am in a delirious state for not having been able to look at my face for five hours since I was abducted by this hot bearded man. (I really think she is a very sexy woman pretending to be a man).

As for French Salons, the most famous hostess of them all was Marie-Jeanne Phlipon otherwise known as Madame Roland. Contrary to modern day's interpretation of salons, a French salon was an intellectual enclave. They sowed the seeds of the French Revolution. Women and men like Maximilien Robespierre and other philosophers and thinkers gathered. By the way, your blog does resemble a salon, except some of your liberal followers cannot stand it when I disagree with some of your views and then they come out of the woodwork, and criticise the commenter instead of having true discourse of facts and ideas.

It's only the blogs but it is true that friendship may occur without bodies and extremities, just heart and intellect, especially if one is mental ninja or just mental, I suppose.

kj said...

a big hug back to you. and please tell shelly four and a half minutes is fine, but not to take longer than a day or so. no need to have me pacing from foot to foot :)

renee, go to and put in my name or 'the light stays on'. you'll find reviews there. it may not be a good read for you right now, so please check it out first.

g'night to you, wild woman of winnipeg. sleep tight!

ps your comment to sheri about answering comments too fast made me laugh. i think the same thing. sometimes i wait just to appear nonchalant! xo

Snowbrush said...

I see that I am remiss, or maybe amiss, or perhaps even hit-and-miss. Happy birthday. I turned sixty my last one (March 1), and thought, whew, I survived a whole other decade. Perhaps, your horizon is shorter. Perhaps, mine should be.

nollyposh said...

Hee! Hee! it's bEEn fun! Like eating fairy floSS X;-) i'm so glad i found you chickie <3 (Ps) Did you want a copy of our birthday wishes in your email or postal address? xox

Michelle said...

And you deserve every bit of it. Did you know that they sent us all emails to make sure we didnt forget (not that I had forgotten). Soooo sweet I thunk :)

I hope you had a special speacial birthday lovely one!


pRiyA said...

I second Ostrich Girl. Book please Renee, with all the very same illustrations that you've used here. What I'd give to curl up on pillows and turn the pages slowly while savouring your writing on each page. It would be like eating a good chocolate...

But for now, it's the comp screen and my tuna sandwich.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

What a posh thing, a 21st Century Salon! I love it, can I tempt your patrons with some torta for tea, or shall it be crisp, deep fried sage leaves and champagne? The host picks the daily snack menu, and I will provide, tuning into the conversation shyly at first. I love blogland.

soulbrush said...

and i was so honoured to read a lot of them in my own wanderings through bloggy world, and man oh man it reaffirmed for me just what blogosphere has given to us all and to me too. we all have such a lot of internal hurts and baggage we carry around and this is a way of unloading it in small or largish chunks, of hearing from others and then bondins in a self affirming way filled with love and acceptance...oh boy i am getting mushy for a monday morning!!! can i please be a blonde in our 21st salon???

Unknown said...

it was such a pleasure to be involved in your birthday celebrations- i posted it on the night of the 28th here thinking it would be the morning of the 28th there but somehow my post ended up getting to you later than others......go figure.anyway, HAPPY Birthday darling lady- people love you- simple xx

Sarah Sullivan said...

Ah a Salon - I'm in!!! Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful world hon. so very glad you enjoyed your day hon!!! Hug hugs and love, Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hey I wrote you yesterday..where did it go? Well I'll try to say it again although I'm sure it will lack the sponteneity of the original..
So I love your salon..In Hebrew 'salon' means living room...and that is what your blog is to me..a LIVING room...a cozy, relaxed, warm, inviting and accepting all levels of human depths..
I was wondering if you noticed that on your banner on my site you are smiling, your eyes look straight forward to our hearts and that there are butterflies circling your head? Have you noticed? Have you, have you sweet Renee?...Orly

Kate Robertson said...

I love the Salon idea, how perfect can that be. When my non blogging friends look at me funny I know just what to say.


theartofpuro said...

I knew abot you from Bella Sinclair and others illustrators,
I'm late but wanted say to you HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Carrie P. said...

Just came by to wish you a very Happy Birthday.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a wonderful idea--a French salon.
I'm so happy to be included in your birthday festivities. You are a beautiful friend!

Ces Adorio said...

C'est de vous informer le captif Ces And Her Dishes, envoyé au salon de Madame Renee aujourd'hui une enveloppe, contenant une image de ladite Madame, exécutée dans à l'encre noir sur le conseil de 9 » x11 » Bristol. Elle espère que le donner permettra à la Madame Renee d'implorer belle Madame Bella Sinclair, l'architecte-artiste maigre Bjornik et le beau avec du charme de Linda Cardina pour recueillir vers le haut leur acte et pour payer la rançon appropriée. Si la traduction de cette note est un désordre, blâmez mon traducteur un certain poisson.

Shelly said...

It was my absolute and unequivocal pleasure to have written your birthday blog, I will have to start saving material for next year – maybe yours and Mickey’s story from the wedding for one – he he. I have to say though that a) I am B-L-O-W-N away at the number of people you have touched through your blog and b) how wonderful, intelligent and talented they all are.

kj said...

renee, thanks for your comment. so you checked it out, huh? do you want a copy? i will send you one as a post-birthday gift but it will probably make you cry. some of the parts about treatment and chemo are detailed. plus it's a love story. do you want to cry? or maybe you'd rather read my favorite poem by billy collins (your house in the country)?

either way, whatever is best for you here and now. have some fun today while you're breathing deep.
love love :)

Kate James said...

I'm so pleased that your birthday was wonderful Renee.

All of those comments, all of that love. What a tribute to you.

Every Photo Tells A Story said...

P.S. What a beautiful, beautiful thing you did by taking the time to post all the links on your posting today, Renee:)


Love you,


Anonymous said...

It is certainly a gathering place, but being a guy I prefer to think of it in terms of a pub. :)

Anonymous said...

Of course I'll send you you...(: Email me your address okay?

Unknown said...

sorry renee !!!
my postal address is in the top corner of my blog............and YES, I would LOVE an rock/stone- THank YOU xxxxx

Maya said...

Hi Reneé! I'm Maya, Orly's daughter, and I really like your website! I think you're really good at making art! :)
I hope you had a spectacular birthday with all those birthday wishes from your friends, and I hope you have many more birthdays to come!
I love your blog :)


Ces Adorio said...

Les personnes françaises ne savent pas embrasser. Ils slobber et sucent tout l'air dehors. I kiss mieux. You are right, Ces the wild woman, my lip she bit and gave a kick in my crotch. She is impatient to return to her blog. She says she has something which must be done for a certain Madame Renee.

Aleks said...

Hi,may I know your mail can send it to my mail,it is on my profile,xxx Sandra

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a blog as a salon. It really is a remarkable community of thinkers/

kj said...

To Whom It May Concern:

We have received your order via the babe kj and it will be shipped for probable arrival within the next five days.

Most Sincerely,
I. M. Charming
Shipping Manager

Anonymous said...

Hello Renee, First i want to tell you that your story touches my heart. I am Orly's son and i find you very inspiring. Your happy personality despite the "circling my head" is incredibly inspiring. You have reinforced what my mom always taught me, which is to live life to the fullest. Thank you! Your artwork is inspiring as well. You are very talented in that field. I think you are giving a gift to the world by sharing your story with the world, and people connect to you. I too say thank you for inspiring me.

YayaOrchid said...

This is a wonderful post Renee! And I agree wholeheartedly with your daughter. I had actually thought something along those lines a few weeks ago. I was thinking of the gatherings of poets and artists in the 40's and 50's in which some were very political in nature. I'm thinking of gatherings such as those during the time of Frida Kahlo, when in Mexico she along with her husband gathered with the intellectuals of that time. I could go on and on, but yes, I get it! That is very much what this whole blogging experience really is. You just put it in much plainer language, LOL!

Renee, do keep us posted as to your MD visits? Just thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers.

Ilan said...

I really enjoy the seventh grade and yes I make art like my mom. I feel that art is the swiftest way to a persons soul. :)

ostrich girl said...

Renee you are so funny! I love how Quick you see stuff!and respond!
I hope my blog will begin to resemble the salon with the meeting of intelligent minds and lovers of art!

studio lolo said...

Wow, what a wonderful post reflecting on your special day! I will for sure send you a copy of the card I made and I'll write a love note inside ;)
I can also send it to you in a PDF but it's really not worth it! I did have fun dropping those little party hats on the refined guests though!

People are drawn to you through your words and your heart Renee, and once we're hooked there's no dumping us. We're in for the long haul so get used to it.

Love you Miss Winnipeg, raven spirit, sister in the trees.
Sleep tight and dream big.

Chrisy said...

Just wandered into your salon via snowbrush's....he's doin drugs over there so thought i'd visit somewhere more elegant! I won't disclose what I'm wearin or what I look like...let's just pretend that I'm looking gorgeous - to match everybody else.

pRiyA said...

Renee darling, I just wanted you to know that when I have friends over at my salon, we float around in a tub of warm chocolate sauce and eat fudge sundays all day.

I've invited Cindycat into the tub too, but she sniffed with disdain and said she prefers a cushion and tuna.

Shrinky said...

What a beautiful, heart-warming place I have fallen into! Thank you for opening your door to me, I have a feeling I shall be compelled to return here many times more.

I am so sorry I missed your party, but from what I can see, there are bound to be others - perhaps I will be lucky enough to join in the next celebration.

Ces Adorio said...

My dear Renee! Do you like nuts? I like the cracking nut on mt blog. Hope you do too. Ces - I'm free!

Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, lovely to hear from you, really pleased you like the bag. Hoping the prints looked as good as they did on the computer? I was keeping my fingers crossed that the bag would look lovely for you. Hoping you could take all your blogger friends with you while using the bag and have extra energy with you.

Sending loads of love and hugs, have a great day!

Caroline said...

Well, Renee it seems you had the most amazing birthday party! With all your followers, keeping your salon in order is going to be a full time job! So pleased you like your card - it will be winging its way to you very soon.
Caroline xx

angelique said...

Wow! I can't believe how many beautiful messages and gifts you received. I have been savouring them for the last few days and I can't help feeling all the love. I am also so thankful to all of these wonderful people...not only have you have made my Mom's day (or year), you have made her children's as well. Thank you everyone.

Tessa said...

Writers, painters and intellectuals - I love the idea. May I christen it Hôtel de Renee?

Trouble is, of course, that the famous salons were mostly composed of woman - so perhaps our blogland salons would be more like, say, the Bloomsbury Group, do you suppose?

Jacinta said...

Dear dear Renee...
I have added you to a birthday post on my blog too! (I 'borrowed' a pic from your blog, but I can remove it if you would prefer).
I hope you had a lovely day, as you know I was thinking of you. The post by your sister and the following comments were absolutely beautiful.
Perfect for you.
Love and best wishes, Cinta xx

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

I love hanging out in your salon Renee - I checked out some of your friends blogs - you keep amazing company here:) Your birthday bash was a highly memorable event.

Yoli said...

What a wonderful blog! I am here to join your Salon as well.

Cheryl Cato said...

Renee, I love the 21st Century Salon idea!!! And of course you can always link me to your blog. I think it is amazing that you went through & did them all. I have checked out a good many of the links, but have more to look at. It is a wonderful tribute to you that so many folks put up notes & good wishes for you on your birthday! You are a wonderful lady... :-) Lizzy xxxooo
my word verification was "cateso" -- rhymes with Cato!

rochambeau said...

Happy Birthday Renee,
What an amazing celebration you had & well deserved!

A prayer for you,
May you be at peace, may your heart remain open, may you continue to live a miraculous life and continue to be surrounded in love and surrounded by the light, may you be healed!!

with love,

Deborah said...

I LOVE everything you said about what you wanted your blog to be. And it IS. And MORE! I feel that way about blogging too. I started mine after NieNie's accident, for I saw what a beautiful documentation of her life and spirit it was. But in blogging, I have been discovering things about myself through others. Oh how warming it is to know that the world is truly filled with loving, talented, incredible people who all want to reach out and touch.
**blows kisses** Deborah