In March I lost one of my oldest & dearest friends, Franciska Diemont. She started feeling ill in December and was in and out of hospitals for a few months. I feel blessed that I lived close enough to spend time with her, especially her last week. Frannie, Susan, Irma and I formed a gang of 4 called "FIPS" and we celebrated each other's birthdays and Holiday tea every year. We gave up giving presents several years ago and decided that we would spend time with each other on our birthdays. This included making art in my studio, walking around a neighborhood, going to the Nutcracker, going to Mrs Grossman for a tour/sticker-buying or other fun activities. In December, we had a tradition of having a luxurious Japanese lunch, then walking around downtown to look at all the Christmas decorations and buy ornaments. Then in the late afternoon, we had a sumptuous tea at either the St. Francis, Sheraton Palace or the Ritz. We also reviewed last year's New Year Resolutions and wrote down the coming year's resolutions. True to our friendship, Irma, Susan and I spent time together with Frannie during her last month. Frannie was also one of my letter-writing, card-creating friends. I found this undated Thanksgiving card painted by her. It reflects her giggly sense of humor perfectly.