Archive for June, 2021

Diane Mattis: Passionate Artistic Photographer & Flower Gardener

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

My Note: When I was substituting in Lower Merion several years ago, I worked with a terrific member of the food team: Candice. Recently she dropped off a beautiful greeting card featuring a flower on the cover by Diane Mattis, with a note inside suggesting we get together. Turns her next door neighbor, Diane, has a dense backyard garden bursting with flowers that I wanted to photograph for Menupause. The three of us got together a few days ago at Diane’s densely populated flower garden and had a wonderful “girl talk” visit on the porch overlooking the garden. Here is a photo of Diane that she created with flower petals from her garden. BTW: This is my second posting for P.I.C. [Product Information Corner.]

I took photos of Diane’s flowers, but realized that her photos were far superior to mine. And she creates floral designs that become the front of her hand-made greeting greeting cards that you can purchase to use as personal note cards or greeting cards, since they are blank inside. I still snail mail greeting cards, so I bought a set of five for myself!

Here are two photos with a black background that she will make into (white) greeting cards of heavy stock. Some have poems or sayings in calligraphy:


This duet of irises (above) is on a white background for a greeting card, while the one below is completely covered by the flowers with the music symbol superimposed. On a post-it note to me: … for the “”musically-oriented on a white greeting card.




Here are couple of Diane’s photos of singular flowers, instead of an arrangement, a Parrot Tulip on the left and the center of an iris. She seems to capture the essence of each flower, each one more beautiful than the next.




I love Diane’s cards! If you want to order your own cards chosen from hundreds on file on her dining room-turned-greeting card-inventory, here is her artistic business card. Her Botanical Images are beautiful! (Tell her you saw this info on Menupause.)

Feel free to contact her at:


P.S. After putting this piece together, I found a quote from one of the animal rights organizations. It uses gardening to describe people who bring us happiness:

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

– Marcel Proust

My Brother Paul, a Terrific Dad

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

My slightly older brother Paul was a terrific father: kind, attentive, soft-spoken and loving. While I loved my own dad and have posted two times about his life, he was an absentee father in that he worked seven days a week, 10-12 hours per day at his own gas station/garage business.

My brother Paul, (nickname Bali), on the other hand, was a hands-on dad who spent a great deal of time with his children, probably because he remembered how little time our own father spent with us.  Paul was a professor at Brown University for many years. Once when I visited him and my close friend Carol, who he married, I asked Carol if she had ever seen him teach. Her answer was “No.” So I said, “Let’s go hear his lecture.” We did and even though it was well into the semester, I understood everything he said, because he was great at teaching. In fact, he was voted as a favorite teacher several times. He had themes to his lectures, sometimes wearing a “costume.” I remember he was a Star Trek character in one of his “incarnations.” He also used to go to his “office” in their house and practice his lecture after writing it, much like the way I imagine a minister does for the Sunday mass.

As his health diminished, along with his memory, I went to visit him and he said that seeing his students when they visited made him feel really good. He often mentored grad students in his lab and made a real difference in their lives. He died four years ago and I miss him a lot. He always had my back. He was funny and smart and I know his children miss him a great deal. I wish him a silent Happy Fathers Day, because when he was alive, he made his wife and kids happy!