Scam Warning: DON’T Dial 90#

I received this message in an e-mail, and it has been passed around a lot already, so I do not know who the original author is. I will reprint it exactly as it appeared in my e-mail, forwarded to me by a friend:

90# on Your Telephone

I dialed ‘0’, to check this out, asked the operator, who confirmed that this was correct
so please pass it on . . . (l also checked out This is true, and also applies to cell phones!)&nbs p;


I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus) who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine(9), zero(0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up. Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.
Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.

I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons DO NOT press 90# for ANYONE.

The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW.

After checking with Verizon they also said it was true, so do not dial 90# for anyone !!!!! PLEASE HIT THAT FORWARD BUTTON AND PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!

Elegant Woman or Christmas Tree?

I tend to bite my tongue in order to not offend people. However, I feel it is relevant and helpful to broach the topic of jewelry (spelled “jewellery” in Britain). I only wear earrings and a necklace together on rare occasions–like when Hell freezes over!

It was Coco Chanel who advised women to assess their ensembles before going out, and to then arbitrarily remove one piece of jewelry. These days, one sees otherwise presentable women wearing long, dangling earrings and several necklaces at once, perhaps a broach on the hat or coat, and then enough bracelets to open a booth in a souk.  (These baubles may have sentimental value for the wearer, but to the discriminating eye, they just scream, “too many nuts and cherries on the sundae!”) Would you  rather look like an elegant lady, or be festooned like a Christmas tree?

A strand of pearls or other tasteful  necklace, such as one which features a simple jewel, OR a pair of elegant, non-pendulous earrings that separate you from the primitives, together with a watch, is a safe daytime jewelry scheme.  A well-dressed lady may exercise a bit more flair in the evening. Beware, though, of appearing overly decorated–a person’s sterling qualities can easily be overlooked by the distraction that too much jewelry creates.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Women’s Warm Winter Slippers at Target

Today’s a good time to repeat this post, since Target sent me an email to the effect that they are having some sort of sale.

Chandra Slippers at Target

These comfortable slippers are the next best thing to sheepskin, very comfortable and warm, with a non-skid sole to keep you from slipping and falling on slick floors. Ladies’ “Chandra” scuffs are faux-fur lined, real suede mules; they come in several colors. They’re a good deal at $16.99 per pair. My tests prove that they will not put scuff-marks on floors, despite their name!

Chandra Scuffs at

Chandra Scuffs at

My Chandra Slippers from Target

Happy Birthday, Elegant Survivor Dianne Lennon

Even though I had planned to honor the Lennon Sisters here since yesterday, after I had looked up their version of “Melodie d’Amour” on the internet, I’ve just now realized that today is Dianne (“Dee Dee”) Lennon’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Elegant Survivor Dianne Lennon!

Here is my tribute to this national treasure: The Lennon Sisters: Elegant Survivors

Where are the words to describe the beauty, elegance and goodness of Dianne Lennon? (“Dee Dee” is the lady at the far right end on this video.)

Elegant Survivors: the Lennon Sisters

Official Website of the Lennon Sisters: Talented, Tasteful, Elegant Survivors

This video is from 1958. Some of the Lennon sisters are still singing, including Janet, who was 11 or 12 years old at the time of this appearance on the Lawrence Welk show. Her expressions as she sings are priceless. The Lennon Sisters are an American national treasure.

Lennon Sisters Peggy and Dianne (known as Dee Dee) retired in 1999 and 2001 respectively, but Kathy, Janet, and another sister, Mimi, perform in Branson, Missouri at the Welk Champagne Theater.

Their father, Bob Lennon, was murdered in Marina del Rey by a deranged fan in 1969; their mom remarried in 1998 at age 80. One of Bob Lennon’s brothers was the elegant voice of boxing, world-famous ring announcer Jimmy Lennon.

In 1954, the girls’ sixteen-month-old baby sister, Mary, was struck and killed by a speeding car.

They have sung for seven different United States Presidents – Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan.

In 1987, the Lennon Sisters were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Lennon Sisters by First Name
The Lennon Sisters by First Name

Kathy and Janet Lennon Design Rag Dolls Inspired by their Grandmother:
Best Pals

M-J’s Autumn Harvest Potato Salad

M-J’s Elegant Autumn Potato Salad

Like the potato salad that my Swedish grandmother used to make for me, this dish relies upon some bacon, vinegar, and an onion.
Peel, quarter and boil eight medium sized potatoes, or ten small ones. Salt the boiling water. Alternatively, add some Maggi or Knorr chicken bouillon powder.
Boil the potato chunks for fifteen minutes. Drain but do not rinse them.

In your cooking pot, sauté eight strips of bacon, finely chopped. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon. and reserve in a small bowl or cup.
Empty out  half of the bacon fat from the pan. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use peanut oil) and two tablespoons of vinegar (I use malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar). If you have it, a tablespoon of concentrated apple juice can be added to this dressing mixture. You will adjust the vinegar and oil to your taste after the initial mixing of all ingredients.
Add the potatoes, one finely diced small onion (red, white or yellow), and one diced, unpeeled apple. Grind some pepper into the mixture for taste, and check for salt. Mix gently. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature for  best flavor.

~~Recipe and Photo of Autumn Potato Salad Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie Recipe

Best Apple Pie Recipe, Apple Pie Recipe, Elegant Apple Pie
M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie



M-J’s Elegant Apple Pie Recipe

  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 stick of salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¾ cup of chilled lard (“manteca”)
  • 7 Fuji or Sonya apples–cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (reserve peels and cores)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup light-brown sugar (or more, according to your taste)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 additional half stick of butter
  • An extra 2 tablespoons of sugar, either white or brown
  • One cup of water
  • 1. Make the dough: put one stick of cold butter into a large mixing bowl, together with the 3/4 cup of chilled lard and a teaspoon of salt. Add flour gradually, working it into the butter and lard. Add approximately 3/4 cup of cold water, then cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms small pea-shaped balls, and when formed into a large mound, it holds together. Sometimes less cold water is required–believe it or not, the amount needed to make a pie dough with this recipe depends upon the moon.’s current phase. Mix this by hand, since machine will create a tough pie crust. I use an old-fashioned wire potato masher and a wooden spoon. When the dough sticks together but doesn’t stick to your hands, shape it into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • 2. Put all of your apple peelings and cores into a saucepan on the stove with a cup of water and two tablespoons of sugar, and boil until the liquid becomes syrup. Strain liquid from solids and reserve it. The peelings can then be eaten or ground into applesauce–it’s important not to waste any edible part of your apples.
  • 3. Assemble the pie: heat your oven to 425°F. Roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9 or10-inch pie pan. Place one layer of apple slices into the dough-lined pan. Cover them with two tablespoons of cornstarch and a quarter-cup of brown sugar. Repeat this process with apples, sugars and cinnamon. Distribute the half-stick of butter on top of the apples after slicing it into bits. Add your apple syrup over the top of the pie. Alternatively, I sometimes skip the step of creating syrup from my apple peelings, and just use some apple juice concentrate (found in grocery frozen juice section).
  • Roll out the second ball of dough for the top crust. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water or milk, and lay the top crust down, pressing the edges together to form a tight seal. Use your imagination to pierce or slice a design into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for ten minutes at 425*F, then lower your oven heat to 350* and bake for another hour. Let the apple pie cool for a minimum of two hours before serving.
  • Elegant Apple Pie Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

Rancho Encantado Resort in Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Rancho Encantado Resort, and Terra Restaurant
State Rd 592
Santa Fe, NM 87506
(505) 946-5800

“Terra at Encantado is the only fine restaurant in Santa Fe where you get value for your money”~~Employee at Mikimoto of Beverly Hills

Santa Fe Sunset
Santa Fe Sunset

Friendly Staff and Valet Await You at the Rancho Encantado Entrance

Encantado Concierge and Terra Restaurant Entrance
Rancho Encantado Concierge and Terra Restaurant Entrance
Encantado Features Native Rocks and Plants
Encantado Features Native Rocks and Plants, Celebrating the Natural Beauty of New Mexico
Terra Restaurant at Encantado Resort, Santa Fe County
Terra Restaurant at Rancho Encantado Resort, Santa Fe’s Best Dining Experience

All Photos by M-J de Mesterton

Terra at Encantado Resort
Santa Fe County’s Most Elegant Restaurant: Terra at Rancho Encantado

View from Betty’s Bar, a Magnificent Spot to Watch the Sunset

Terra’s Executive Chef Andrew Cooper Prepares the Best Pommes Frites this Side

of the Atlantic, Pictured here with Perfect Hamburger and Chipotle Mayonnaise

All Photos Copyright Elegant Survival 2008

Casitas at Encantado, Santa Fe County, New mexico
Casitas at Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

The Elegant Survival Microfiber Kitchen Towel

Elegant Survival Trimmed Microfiber Towel
Elegant Survival Cotton-Trimmed Microfiber Towel
Bias-Tape for Elegant Survival Kitchen Towel
Bias-Tape for Elegant Survival Kitchen Towel

Trim your microfiber cloth with Wright’s Bias Tape as shown. Then, you can hang it wherever you need it in the kitchen. These micofiber cloths are easy to wash by hand in the sink and, wrung well they dry quickly.

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