Monday is Halloween, October 31, 2016. They don’t pay much attention to Halloween in this town. Delicious candy is in the stores, but… there is always candy in the stores – delicious gourmet chocolates and boxes of goodies. No huge sacks of small Hershey Bars. Store windows have a “fall” theme. My Halloween fun will be on Facebook – seeing all the posts of parties and creative costumes mixed in with a barrage of political opinions and posts – ugh.

More important, Monday marks the anniversary of Steve’s death – two months later. It seems like yesterday that he was watching TV on the sofa, or sitting at his desk – writing things to post on Facebook, or spending time with the Redhead and Vic Landell in Nice, or in the kitchen – cooking “gravy” (the Italian word for pasta sauce). Most of his clothes are in the closet. All trains lie dormant. Boxes of uncooked fusilli are in the cupboard. A copy of each book – in the bookshelf. How long will things remain like that? I don’t know. Until I change them. Don’t know when that will be.

GoFundMe has been a Godsend. I am almost “there”. Some signs of accomplishment – I paid one hospital – two to go. I have submitted required documents to the French government, the U.S. Government, the landlord, insurance companies, and a slew of other agencies that needed notification. I have renegotiated my lease (for now) and have begun thinking about downsizing – again. None of this has been easy – but necessary. And, during it all, I got sick. 

The good news is that I am better. The bad news is that I must get in the car, drive to Hopital l’Archet, deal with Admissions, and negotiate hospital bills with people who speak French – only. On another day, I must get in the car, drive to Hopital Pasteur, deal with Admissions, and negotiate hospital bills AND morgue bills with people who speak French – only. One lady scolded me – in English, mind you – how dare I live in France and not speak French. 

These campaigns are controversial. I have been criticized – “it is a scam”, “she lives in California, not France”, “she is enhancing her retirement”, “GoFundMe campaigns are out of control”, and so forth. Maybe. I am doing it anyway. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And, to those of you who cannot contribute, or don’t want to contribute, or have contributed – please share this post. That helps a lot. 

Just for the record: When Steve died, it was like being in a shipwreck, with waves crashing all around me. I searched for a piece of wreckage to hold on to, having to make decisions right and left. And, worst of all, I was in shock and couldn’t think. Now, six weeks later, I am thinking a tad better and glad of it. Bottom line, I need help. There are a lot of bills. If you will, it really helps. We moved on a tight budget. Maybe not the best way, but we did it anyway. All attorneys are not rich (no jokes, please). With love and appreciation, Jay  For those who may not know, on October 1, 2015, over a year ago, my husband Steve Orlandella and I moved to Nice, France. We moved to France as a compromise. We had been living in Los Angeles, California, for many years. I moved there in 1968, from Gainesville, Georgia, to be an actress. I met Steve Orlandella in 1993, at Dodgers Stadium. He was a television writer / producer / director for KCET. We got married in August 2005. He began writing books while I practiced law. In 2014, we decided to retire to Nice, France. It took two years to “get our ducks in a row,” complicated with snags galore. On October 1, 2015, we moved – two happy campers. On July 30, 2016, Steve didn’t feel well – the flu. On Tuesday, he took a major turn for the worse. I rushed him to emergency. He was diagnosed with acute pneumonia. He remained in the intensive care section of ICU for a month while doctors tried to save his life. On August 31, 2016, he died of heart failure. He was only 66. Since then, bills have come in – hospital, doctors, morgue, funeral home, crematorium, obituaries, insurance policies, deductibles, renewals. We did not have life insurance or sufficient French insurance because we were excited about living, not concerned with dying.  The money is being used to cover existing costs and incoming bills.  So…. I thank you for any help you are willing to give. I’m sure Steve thanks you, too. Jay

AND, have some Hershey kisses – especially the ones with almonds – for me.

Best, Jay



Grammar has always been fun for me. When I was in “Grammar School”, I learned how to diagram sentences. We built little bridges and put words places that made little pictures. I could make a picture and get an A+ for doing it. It started with Miss Castleberry in First Grade, then on to Miss Bessie in Second, and Miss Dent in Third, Miss Lay in Fourth, Mrs. Patten in Fifth, and Mrs. Miller in Sixth. I don’t remember whom I had in Seventh Grade. Mrs. Puckett? Not one of them easy. Strict and hard. Great. Bring it on!

In High School, I don’t remember grammar being a focus. I had Miss Turner for English in my Senior Year, but I don’t remember grammar. I guess by then, we were supposed to know it. Maybe. I don’t remember. At the University of Wisconsin, nothing. And, at the University of Georgia, nothing. But, as soon as I graduated with my Master’s Degree, I began teaching at Brenau College and then at Gainesville Junior College. I always included grammar in my English and Drama courses. Students seemed to know NOTHING about grammar. Why not? Didn’t they teach it anymore?

As my children were growing up, I corrected them – a lot, until I stopped. We had so much going on in our lives, my kids did not need for me to get on their case about grammar. When they got older, I considered correcting them, but didn’t. When they became adults, I didn’t dare correct them. Still don’t. Correct grammar has gone out the window. I see bad grammar in legal briefs.

Every week, I get an email from a guy named Gary Kinder, selling editing software “SoftRake” that should be required in colleges, law schools, trade schools and on home computers, business computers…… Last week, Mr. Kinder wrote one that was inspired. I loved it. So, I am re-posting his post:

“After much pondering and many long discussions with my wife, I have decided to jump into the race for President of the United States. I know it’s a little late, and the campaign will be arduous, but I have been preparing myself for a long while, practicing the victory sign with both hands at the same time.

My platform is simple, one plank: I pledge to the American people to wage war on one of the most insidious threats to the American way of life since Ben Franklin flew a kite in a storm. The VFW, NOW, DAR, AIM, MADD, NAACP, ASPCA, MLA, NRA, LBJ, and JFK all support my campaign and have contributed heavily.

Yes, I am talking about the pervasive, relentless, unmitigated, diabolical flipping around of subjective and objective pronouns. If we do not act decisively now, the “me-‘n-himmers” will soon be old enough to procreate. What will happen if a “me-‘n-himmer” hooks up with a “her-‘n-Ier?” Can you imagine the sentences that will come out of the mouths of their offspring? “Me and him bought her and I Jimmy Choo handbags.”

How will I implement my plan? First, I will create Youth Groups, young women and men who will wear red arm bands with slogans: “Lips that touch bad grammar shall never touch mine.” Stuff like that. I also plan to resurrect the pillory, that thing where you put your head and hands through and they lower the top half, so you look stupid with your head hanging through a hole. I know there’s one in Williamsburg, and I think Boston has a couple.

But I can’t do this alone. I need the help of every adult, especially coaches, teachers, and parents. Tell the kids, “You may say anything you want to around your friends, but you may not sound stupid in this house (on this court, field, track, diamond, in this classroom).” You wouldn’t let them drive on bald tires; don’t let them shoot their futures in the foot by getting used to bad grammar. 

Reality check: Most children listen to their parents, but would never let their parents know. When your children climb into their twenties, you will have a lot of good laughs with them, as you discover they were listening the whole time.

Now, parents, if you will, I need a few moments alone with your kids. Thank you.

Are they gone, kids? Okay, here’s the deal: Your parents’ greatest fears are that you will contract some terrible disease, get hooked on drugs, be in a horrific car accident, or use “Me and her” as a compound subject in a college interview.

Fact: When the college interviewer says, “Tell me about your best friend and what the two of you like to do together,” she wants you to say, “Me and him play ‘Destiny’ and hang out,” so she can quickly cross another name off her long list. Next! Why not ruin her process with, “He and I hitchhiked from Lake George to El Paso to get closer to real Americans, and that experience has helped him and meto understand more about our country. When we were in Appalachia . . . .”

A few more thoughts: Unless you are standing in the shadow of El Capitan or staring at a Leafy Sea Dragon, it’s time to retire “awesome.” Do not use it when you’re working at BCBGMaxAzria and a customer tells you he has correct change. Also, do not have this conversation with yourself while within ten feet of another human: “So he tells me this, and I’m like. And he’s like. So I’m like. You know? Then he goes, ehh. And I’m like, whoa.”

Here’s the cool part about learning grammar: You can correct your parents. Because just between you and me, they do it, too. They need your help. Every time you hear one of them use “me” or “him” (or both) as a subject, tell them they owe you a quarter. For example, “Me and Kelly’s dad are driving to lacrosse this week.” That’s two bits in your pocket. You can make a lot of money, more than you could with a paper route (never mind), and you don’t have to get up so early. You may go now.

Kids are gone now, parents; just us again. So here’s my plan going forward: once we have them (and ourselves) using subjective and objective pronouns properly, we can move on to “could of” and “should of.”

In the meantime, please join me in my quest and elect me President of the United States, for the future of our children and our children’s children. And our children’s children’s children. And our children’s children’s children’s children. And anyone alive in 4973.

P.S. As I was writing this Tip, I saw an article on a study by the Pew Research Center that compared the Millennials’ reading habits to those of the Baby Boomers. Guess what, Boomers? Millennials read more than we do. And, bless them, they are more likely to say there’s a lot of really great information out there that’s not found on the Internet!”

“New York Times bestselling author, Gary Kinder, has taught over 1,000 writing programs to law firms, corporations, universities, and government agencies. In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake, the only software in the world that edits for clarity and brevity, giving professionals more confidence when writing to clients and colleagues. Backed by seven U.S. patents, WordRake was recently hailed as “Disruptive Innovation” by Harvard Law School. And LexisNexis® Pacific has chosen the WordRake editing software to include in its new Lexis® Draft Pro.”

Ugh. Not funny.

Best, Jay


OUR HONEYMOON – 11 Years Later

It was a Sunday – mid-June. Usually on Sunday, Steve and I would take off, go to the Italian market for provolone cheese, ravioli, gnocchi, and thin-sliced salami, then browse the flower market for flowers, fruit, cheeses, olives, baguettes, and wind up at our favorite restaurant – Di Piu, Nice. After lunch, we might browse the shops, get a soft vanilla ice cream, or walk along the Sea. Come home, hang out, watch TV, and munch on baguette, thin-sliced salami, Dijon Mustard, and olives for supper – with a cookie for dessert. Add Cabernet and Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and you have the picture. It was always fun.

For some reason this Sunday, we were staying in. Steve was writing. I was surfing the Internet, looking for a place to go on holiday that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I came across a Get Away resort in Interval International – Club Elite Vacation at La Fenice Resort, outside of Olbia, Sardinia, Italy. “Steve, have you ever been to Sardinia?’ “No, why?” “Want to go?” “Sure, why not?’ “Can we be ready to go by July 8?” “Sure.” With that response, I clicked “confirm”. We were going on holiday to Olbia, Italy [Sardinia] from July 8 – July 15.

We flew to EasyJet to Olbia from Nice, and the Resort sent a shuttle to pick us up. Driving there, I began to question our choice because the road became narrow and mountainous. “Remote” is another word for it. Yet, when we arrived, it was beautiful. Serene. Picturesque. Cozy. Quaint. Surrounded by small mountains. Right away, we could see that it felt different – like we had gone to summer camp.Pool and PatioIMG_2802

We even had an assigned leader, a lovely Italian woman who lives in Spain who comes to Olbia for 4 months in the summer while the resort is open for guests. Obviously, it is closed for the rest of the year!? Right away, our leader said food was expensive in Sardinia – duh – and did we want to buy the food package – seven breakfasts and seven 4-course dinners with wine for 400 euros? I said no; Steve said yes. Well, we didn’t have a car, so why not. And, where would we go? We hardly knew where we were. When we arrived at our assigned room, it was delightful. Not plush, but nice. With a patio, covered with bougainvillea. Lovely. Then, true to form, we immediately tried to get online. No way. So, Steve took his phone to the Lobby. Yes, WiFi – but he had to find a “hot spot”. The hot spot changed often during the day. One had to shift around the chairs to find where it was at the time you wanted to check messages.


On the other hand, the people were nice, the guests friendly, and the pool was just what the doctor ordered. The surrounding hillside was gorgeous. Al Fresco dining with candlelight. There was a TV in the room – in Italian, French, German. So…. No WiFi, no TV, no lunch, dinner almost past my bedtime – at 8 PM. And, no car. Hmmm. I brought a book, and Steve brought his computer.




During the days – other than the day when we went with our “co-campers” around the Island on a private yacht, we ate breakfast (when we pocketed something to eat for lunch), sat by the pool, read, swam, slept, laughed, joked, played solitaire on our Ipad(s), and hung out together.


Steve did a lot of writing on the patio while I lay on the bed and read. It was great. We met a couple from Bristol, England, and were delighted to have someone to talk to. EVERYONE was Italian except for the four of us. The chef was Italian and divine. Pasta courses every night. Dinners were out of this world. Each dinner was different with four courses, and wine. Steve, of course, had Sprite. I cannot tell you how much we loved being there and loved being with each other. Several times, we agreed that this was the honeymoon we never had. And, it was worth waiting for.


On the last night, we set our alarms early for a 6:30 a.m. shuttle ride to the airport. That was when I saw a message on my phone (wonder of wonders) from my niece, Deb Prince Kroll. She wanted to know if we were all right. Yes. Why wouldn’t we be? Had something happened? That is when we turned on the TV to discover – Terror Attack in Nice.  Since we couldn’t get WiFi, Steve went to the lobby to find a hot spot. No go. We turned on the TV to look at pictures and were horrified. That is where we go every Sunday. It was Bastille Day. We would have been there but for this vacation. Would we be able to get home? Would they close the Nice airport? Were our friends all right? Those were families. Families go to see the fireworks at the beach on Bastille Day.

It all went well. Our flight was delayed three hours, but we got to Nice. No problem going through customs. Got a taxi. Got home. We found out our friends were fine – even though close calls. They were there, watching the fireworks. So were his parents. Found out the Nice airport had been closed right after we left. That Sunday, July 17, we went to the scene of the crime – the Promenade – where so many died. We agreed that life is fragile. Little did we know what would happen two weeks later.


I am posting pictures of the resort, the pool, our boat trip around the island, the patio, our friends from England, and a few others. The pictures aren’t great, but my heart was not in taking photographs. I was having too much fun. This was a week to remember. Forever. I love you, Steve. I miss you. Forever,

Love, Jay




This post is about ROSES. I am not sure when my love affair with roses began. Early on. But, Mother did not grow roses. She always said they were too difficult. Instead, she decorated the house with silk roses that Henry George helped her buy. I never liked the silk ones because I was a nature-snob and thought anything artificial was tacky. But, at least, Mother’s artificial flowers were silk. And expensive. That helped – snob that I was/am. And, if I got a corsage, it was either an orchid – purple or white – or gardenias. I wouldn’t wear anything else. Alice Whitehead’s father grew roses – really pretty ones. I think Mrs. Martin next door had some roses. And, I LOVED it if a boyfriend brought me roses. But, that seldom happened because roses were expensive. Plus, when I was dating, guys didn’t bring flowers – not like today. Steve bought me roses on my birthday and on Valentine’s Day. He knew I loved them and enjoyed seeing my delight when he came in the door with a dozen long-stemmed red roses. My son Craig sent me roses one time on Mother’s Day. I was ecstatic. And, I bought roses from time to time at Ralph’s or Gelson’s.

Things really changed when I got my first smart phone in 2005 – a Blackberry. It had a camera. So, in the mornings, when I walked through the neighborhoods, I took pictures – of roses. In Southern California, it seemed as if every yard had roses. At least, that was all I saw. Beautiful roses. When Facebook arrived on the scene, I began posting a picture-a-day on Facebook. Very little else – just pictures of roses. People began giving me thumbs ups. That encouraged me to continue. And now, 11 years later, I am still posting pictures of roses on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, FOAP. I have an international following. It is fun. And, I have published two books about roses – “Moments in Time” and “Capturing Beauty” – for sale on

So, from time to time, expect a rose here and there on Jayspeak. Today, I am posting roses from Los Angeles – Brentwood, Westwood, Encino – and Nice, France. Plus, I am posting flowers I have used on my books. Steve was wonderful at Photoshop. So, he made some beautiful covers. Guess I will have to learn how to use Photoshop. Along with a myriad of other things that Steve took care of for us. Picture quality has changed over time because Apple keeps making the camera better and better. I have so many pictures of roses, that it is difficult to pick only a few. But, this is a sampler. Enjoy.


Best, Jay

JayM1_1932 good



A lot is going on over here on the French Riviera. Each day is filled with at least one crisis, often more. And, it is always exciting to go to the mailbox to see what has arrived in this day’s mail. Usually, it is another bill or problem or requirement or whatever. The list goes on. As a result, my original intentions of moving to France, travelling with my husband, dining in delicious cafes and restaurants, reading, writing, practicing the piano, taking photographs, learning to paint with oils – has all gone out the window. Steve died. As a result, I write. I read a little. I take photographs from time to time and practice my scales on the piano. Don’t “dine” – it is expensive and no fun to do alone. Don’t travel – it is no fun to do alone – well, sorta. And, learning to paint with oils – well, that sounds expensive. I would need supplies, wouldn’t I?

Instead, my days are filled with trying to reach someone on the telephone at the Social Security office in Paris, sending required documents to the U.S. Embassy in Marseille. Dealing with l ’Assurance Maladies, AXA Insurance Company, dealing with Hopital Les Sources, Hopital Pasteur, and Hopital l’Archet. Trying to find out who gives flu shots. Making doctor and dentist appointments for me. Buying less groceries – groceries are heavy. And, at my local supermarket, Monoprix, I must package my own, schlepp them (without a cart) to the car (after I find a parking space in the carpark), schlepp them into the building, get them into the elevator, up to the condo – all things Steve used to help me do. I am good at putting them away. 🙂

Then, I started looking for good things happening- small things that were working. Small things that mattered.

At that point, I got sick – caught a bug going around, possibly a virus of some kind. I looked up “Viral Infection” in Louisa Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”, and it says, “a viral infection signifies ‘lack of joy flowing through life. Bitterness'”. HELL, YES!  Duh. This is not fun. It goes on to say that I should say the affirmation, “I lovingly allow joy to flow freely in my life. I love me.”  Yeah … well… maybe, as soon as I find out how to get rid of these money-eating time shares, pay the insurance company, see a dermatologist, put the groceries away, meet with Hopital Admissions at three hospitals, deal with my landlord, ….  Then, to my surprise, I discovered – this building has turned on the heat!! In the middle of the night, I felt heat – actually, heat – coming through the radiators. Great news!!  This condo building, like many buildings in France (so I have been told), has its heating system in the cellar somewhere. I cannot control it from my unit. And, in the summer, someone turns off the heat. It is turned back on in October. So, if it gets cold before then, tough luck. Last year, when Steve and I first came from Encino (100 + in the shade), we were sleeping in down jackets. This year I was better prepared for the cold nights – Andrea and Slav let me use their portable heater – a favor that mattered.

Small things matter.

When I thought about it, I realized: Monoprix delivers groceries (70 euros minimum + nominal delivery charge) – I am still learning how to order – just received too many zucchini, apples, and carrots (enough for a cafeteria),  and L ’Atelier de Julien delivers Vegetarienne pizza AND Vin Rouge (for a fee) and they know who I am. I see trees out my bedroom window. I have my warm bathrobe my sister Patricia gave me for my birthday one year. My piano is holding its tune – with all it has been through. I can close my windows (with the weather getting cold) and practice my scales.  I know two – count them – two young women at Pharmacie de Cimiez who speak English, know me, and explain things to me. Lignes d’Azur No. 17 bus stops in the Monastery parking lot during the week – good for me in case it is raining.  Riviera Radio (FM 106.5) in Monaco (News, Music, Talk Shows in English) wakes me up in the morning on my Bose Radio that Steve and I bought in LA. Church bells toll from time to time in the Monastery – don’t know why they are tolling, but I don’t care – sounds comforting to me. Mama Loudermilk’s water color that she painted when she was an Art Teacher at Brenau College is hanging by my bed. Some of Steve’s clothes fit me – Nautica sweat pants, skinny jeans, sweat shirts, T’s, denim train shirt and white dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up. He loved it when I would wear his clothes. And more.

Small things matter. Good things are happening. 

This post is about small things mattering. Good things happen while we are focused elsewhere. It is not about the filler pictures at the end or windows to truths or God or faith. Just an observation by me at a unique time in my life. Life is fragile. It is important to live each day fully. Steve and I both thought he would get well and be home soon. Not to be. So,  the campaign continues. If you have contributed, or cannot contribute, or don’t want to contribute, please share the campaign post. That helps a lot. And, to those who have objections to a personal campaign like this, I understand. I used to have them myself – before the need arose. Thank you very much to all who have helped and are helping. It means the world to me – especially at this time.  Jay

Small Things Matter2


Best, Jay

Janet - 4-15-16 at Plage Beau Rivage


Once again doing my first love – ACTING. Over the past few weeks, as I began to realize that life as I had known it was over, I tried to get a grip because at night, I would panic. Aside from bills, problems, money, crises one-after-another, I realized that I am in France, not California or Georgia. By myself. I can’t work at all in France – not allowed. My age is such that it is time to retire. Yet, I have energy. My health is good. I look and feel younger than I am. I love living here. And then, I remembered my first love: ACTING. I am in SAG, the Television Academy, The Actors Studio. And, I could re-join Women in Film – International, if need be. Then, I remembered that I cannot work in France. Well, maybe American producers would hire local talent if shooting in France. I live close to Cannes. I will network, try to meet people. Look for an agent in Nice. Or Cannes. Or Paris. The thought of this gave me hope.

Acting has been part of my life forever. When I was four or five, my father taught me a “speech” that he wanted me to act out on cue. He would put me on a stump or platform or chair or desk – anything to elevate me – in the presence of friends, associates, business executives, farmers, relatives or whoever was around. And, this is what I was supposed to say while pounding my little fist into my left hand:

I (pound) know a man (pound) in the ranks (pound),

Who would not stay (pound) in the ranks (pound).

Why (pound)I’ll (pound) tell you why (pound).

Simply (pound) because (pound) he had (pound) the ability (pound) to get (pound)  things (pound)  done (pound)!!

Photograph (2)-2

About that same time, Mother took me to “speech lessons” at Mrs. Hosch’s house on Prior Street. There, I had to learn a speech for the recital, titled “I’m Just a Raggedy, Raggedy Doll”, falling limp like a rag doll while reciting. Often, I would put on a “show” in my front yard on Cleveland Road, with Jenny and Jo Shillington who lived across the street. We would invite my sisters and our parents to come for the presentation.

Photograph 6Janet - the ACTRESS

Then, in kindergarten, I performed in Miss Alice’s recital for the parents. My part was that of a beautiful scarf dancer from an exotic country far, far away. I had one aqua scarf draped around my body and another one I was supposed to swish in all directions. I poured my heart into it – swishing my scarf with expertise while draped in aqua “silk”.

In grammar school, I got the part of the Statute of Liberty in the class pageant and got to hold a torch. That was wonderful. During high school, I tried out for everything everywhere. I got acting and singing roles in the plays at Brenau College, Riverside Military Academy, the First Baptist Church, the Junior Class Play, the Senior Class Play, and skits happening anywhere in town.

At the University of Wisconsin, I got the role of Diana Devereaux in “Of Thee I Sing”, performing for huge audiences with the Wisconsin Players as well as performing in Humerology for the Greeks, and running for Prom Queen. I performed my campaign skit all over the campus.


At the University of Georgia, I was a Drama major and played Juno in “Juno and the Paycock”, Ghislaine in “Waltz of the Toreadors”, and Mrs. Elvsted in “Hedda Gabler”.


When I moved back to Gainesville, I performed, produced, and directed –  at Brenau College (Brenau Playmakers), Gainesville College (College Players), Appletree Summer Stock, Gainesville Junior Service League (Children’s Theatre), among others. I couldn’t get enough. For as long as I can remember, I loved pretending. Pretending to be someone else. Not animals or inanimate objects, but lovely young girls or women whom everyone loved. For a long time, it was Honey Bunch – a young girl in a series of books I loved. Everyone loved Honey Bunch. Then, it was Nurse Sue Barton or Nurse Cherry Ames. As long as I had my imagination to count on, I didn’t care what happened – I could escape into my mind. It was wonderful.

1967 Any Wednesday Cover


In 1968, I moved to Los Angeles and acted in film, television, theatre, commercials, print ads – for 38 years. I loved it.

JanetPeterSgt.Pepper poster

1977 Set Lemonade commercial

Then, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I wanted a change. I have tried to explain it as a desire for power, a dislike of the youth-oriented industry, lack of jobs for older actresses, whatever. So, I went to – wait for it – Law School. No one thought I could do it – make the switch. I did. I went to law school, passed the California Bar, and practiced law – employment litigation and entertainment law – for 19 years. Did I miss acting? You bet. I missed it big-time! But, I loved practicing law, too.


When my husband and I retired to the South of France, I immediately started eyeing Cannes and the film festival there every year. Plus, I took note of various theatres in Nice, wondering if France has acting unions like SAG. One day, I googled acting agents in this area and wondered if they ever signed American actresses. I noticed French actresses seemed mature – not all young and sexy. I studied French commercials on television. I made note of people I know in the U.S. to ask, maybe message one day on Facebook.


Steve loved my being an actress. He encouraged me to get back into it. He would say – “the happiest I have ever seen you is when you were working as an actress.” He loved this picture.

Photograph (1)

He wanted me to do both (act and practice law) – in LA. I couldn’t. As an attorney, I gave it 100 percent focus. But, the part about my being happier when I was acting – that is true.

When Steve died, I talked to expat friends in Nice about getting involved in the film industry somehow.  acting in France – in films. Then, week before last, two expat friends texted me about a “Casting Call” on An American writer/producer/director Maxine Pugh, living in Cannes, needed a mature actress to play a French Countess in a short film currently titled “Damien’s Reawakening”, to enter into International film festivals. No pay. Expenses, only. Concerned about the French language and whether I remembered how to act or not, I contacted Ms. Pugh. The part needed English language with authentic French dialect, to act with French actors from Paris. After a lot of back and forth trying to get my English to have an “authentic” French-sounding accent and in competition with three other actresses, I got the part. I worked last Sunday – in Cannes. Producer Daniella Gonella works for the BBC in London. Small crew working camera, camera/lights, and sound from London and Portugal. It was fabulous. I took the train from Nice to Cannes. Walked to the set. Used my own wardrobe. Worked all day with excellent actors from Paris. Got more and more French as the day wore on. I was back in the saddle again. It felt great. Steve would be happy.

At this time in my life, there are several things that make me feel like things will be all right once time passes and the pain decreases – classical piano, a soulful saxophone, the smell of roses, and a creating a character I like (thank you, Miss Alice) – or don’t like. At the shoot, I wasn’t focusing on taking pictures, so the attached are not great – the train, the myriad of steps at the train station, the set and some of the crew, the actress Celine Durand from Paris (daughter Chloe), the actor Nicolas Audebaud (son-in-law Damien) from Paris, and me (the Countess) on the set and in makeup. I felt like things would be all right. As Steve would say, “maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon”.


Best, Jay



Steve and I had just gotten back from Sardinia. It was a terrific trip – totally unplanned and a spur-of-the-moment happening. We tried to find something close by so that we could get away for a week in July to have a “summer vacation” because the fall would be intense. We would have been here a year, and all of our policies, house lease, my French Visa, and several other things would come due. So, we had to watch our pennies to get past all of the incoming invoices. No problem. We would just “tighten our belts” for a while. Then, in October or November, Steve wanted to go to Portofino, Italy. Especially, since Steve had his Italian passport. So, I had started looking for Airbnb’s for the weekend. In fact, we found several that I starred because we liked them.

Our main dilemma was trying to decide whether we would spring for a trip to our time share at the Hanalei Bay Resort, in Princeville, Kauai. We had booked a week in the Guava Building (choice spot) in April 2017. That is where Steve proposed to me. We both loved it. So, Steve was looking into air fare and had found some relatively cheap flights. But, we were concerned about being on a plane for such a long time. Did we really want to go? Yet, the Guava building was tempting.

And, Steve was 70 pages into his next book, and he was loving it. Vic and The Redhead were in Nice, France, at someone’s request. Steve was mentally in all his favorite places on the French Riviera, writing non-stop. And, we had both just started Stevespeak and Jayspeak. Steve had a list of things he wanted to cover in his posts, and so did I. We liked the titles – Stevespeak and Jayspeak. Lots to do and lots of fun ahead.

Then, on August 2, 2016, while the housekeeper was cleaning the condo, a series of events happened within an hour to change our lives forever. Trip to emergency, hospitals, doctors, good days, bad days, and death. NEVER did we see this coming. It hit us both blindsided. Yes, Steve had a cough. And, yes, Steve thought he was fighting a flu bug, but…..

Within three weeks after his death, I had bills and bills and bills. And, they are still coming in. At the same time, Social Security stopped all future payments of benefits (of Steve’s) and took back Steve’s September payment, while threatening to take back August’s. And, Steve had charges on his charge cards. I started trying to figure out what I could sell. Not much of anything. No life insurance. No death benefits. No plans for dying. Only plans for living.

Sometimes, I get frightened. I was the older one – Steve would be burying me. Yet, here I am – without Steve. Most of the time, I handle what I can when I can. I have lost weight, and most of the time, my stomach is in knots. But, I won’t take medicines of any kind. I don’t believe in medical crutches. Wine helps at night, but I try to limit that, too. And, I walk. Like a maniac, I walk. That seems to help. Taking my flower pictures and posting them from time to time.

Swallowing my ego, I set up a page and asked for help. I am still asking for help. Not what I had planned to post on Jayspeak, especially with all the election mess to cover, yet here it is.

This is the link. It would mean the world to me if you would donate something. And, if you don’t want to donate or have already donated or cannot donate, then share the post. That helps a lot. I thank you in advance – without a way to pay you back. The only thing I can promise is that I will pay it forward when I can. And, Steve would thank you, too, if he could.

Best, Jay


JARDIN du Monastère de Cimiez

This morning, after my walk and café in the park, I decided to go into my place of serenity and peace – the Jardin du Monastere de Cimiez – with the specific purpose of taking pictures to post on Jayspeak. So, I did.


Now, as I have said before, up on the hill of Cimiez – near my condo – is the Monastery of Cimiez, which includes a church (see also, cathedral) and a monastery that have been used (and still are, but by four Italian priests now, so I have been told) by Franciscan monks since 1546. And, behind the Monastery sits the beautiful Jardin du Monastere de Cimiez – the oldest garden of the French Riviera. Beautiful flowers (exquisite roses galore), trees, and shrubs grow there in every season. When one flower or shrub dies, it is cut back or replaced by the gardeners – a hearty crew. And, gorgeous magnolia trees!!! Imagine, beautiful magnolias in my own back yard (so to speak). Now, the gardeners are not a friendly bunch – let me tell you. I got too close one day to a rose I was shooting, and – well, let me say, I won’t do that again. They watch the visitors like a hawk, protecting their beauties.

IMG_3759I have read that the garden covers 9,550 square meters and initially was used as a kitchen and orchard garden by the Franciscan friars. Apparently, the original layout from 1546 has been preserved (for the most part) and transformed into flower beds. And, the best part – all of it leads to an incredible view of Nice – looking out to the Med. Breathtaking. Plus, lots of fruit trees – orange and lemon – and even pomegranate groves. The people who walk there are so quiet, it is amazing. A place of reverie, to be sure.



I have posted a lot of pictures. In fact, I have more – for another day. So much fun. Every time I would look up, I would see something else I wanted to shoot. In fact, there were several stalks of corn there. ??? And, my new best friend, the Monastere cat followed me everywhere. Don’t know its name, but I call it “pretty kitty”. It is always in that garden. Duh.


Anyway, take a look at the pictures. Pretty self-explanatory. Hopefully, I was able to capture the beauty. I want you to see what I love to see.




I later posted this photo on a site where I sell my photographs.  It was selected and purchased by Getty Images. That is quite an honor!!


More photos!!


And, on to home.


Best, Jay





For years, I have heard that there are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining (with whom? I don’t know. God?), depression, acceptance. And, well-meaning friends have reminded me to remember those stages as I go through this terrible time of loss. Others have told me it will take at least a year before I get better. I don’t agree. I don’t think there are “stages”. I will grieve the loss of Steve – forever. And, I don’t have a year to get better because I don’t think it will ever be “better” or that I will ever get “better”. I will miss Steve for the rest of my life. We had something special that I don’t have any more. I don’t get over that. It cannot be replaced. My friend Carole Lilly Jones said to me – most of our families of origin and friends are dead. Yet, for some reason, we are still alive. Go live. Yes, I am alive. I am going to go live. Now, I am not sure what that means just yet, so I will keep on keeping on. Keep showing up – for my walks, for coffee in the Park, for groceries, for lunch with friends, for doctor appointments….

So far, everything is painful and disorienting – without a finish line. But, I already feel my moods and emotions shift and change. Highs, then lows. Laughter, then tears. Anger, fear, peace, joy, guilt, confusion. I don’t believe in “closure”. Grief is a part of love, and love evolves. Acceptance is not final. It shifts around, changing often during the day. This is a poem that spoke to me today when I read it  – it came on a card in the mail from our friends in Sarasota…

“Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.”  – Mary Frye  (Thank you, Carole and Cliff)

Below are some selfies and other pictures we or I took during this year in France. Each day was sheer delight. And, those who knew Steve KNOW he hated having his picture taken. Love that guy!







He fought a good fight. He so wanted to live.  I will miss him forever.

Best, Jay9408CB0D-B6CF-4FD4-A989-437A6003595E



On October 1, 2015, my husband and I moved to Nice, France. We are currently beginning our 11th month – as residents. It is tricky because we don’t either one speak French. We try to, but — no. A word here and there, but full sentences throw us for a loop. Yet, we have been able to make ourselves understood – by waiters in restaurants, UPS at the door, the mailman, the Post Office, the grocery clerk, the pharmacist, the doctor, the dentist. A lot of these people speak “some” English, but not much. I bought Michel Thomas’ French apps, and listened for months to the lessons. That helped. My problem comes with pronunciation. Mine and theirs. I say something I think is excellent, and they look puzzled. If they say something, I have no idea what it might be. Yet, I can translate it. I can read a lot of things; I am struggling with speech. I had hoped to pick it up faster — no.

We moved to France as a compromise. We had been living in Los Angeles, California, for many years. I had moved there in 1968, from Gainesville, Georgia. While there, I worked as an actress in film and television – selling real estate as backup. At a certain point, I got frustrated with acting and decided to go to law school. I practiced law for fifteen years and decided to retire. I married my husband Steve Orlandella – a live sports producer for television – in 2005. We had dated for several years, and he popped the question that spring. In 2014, we decided to retire. He hated the traffic, and I had battle-fatigue from contentious clients and defense attorneys. Steve wanted to move to Sarasota, Florida. I wanted to stay in L.A. We compromised by agreeing to move to Nice, France. It did not happen quite that easily, but all of that drama and saga I will save for another time.

It took us two years to “get our ducks in a row.” Steve applied for an Italian passport so he could have duel-citizenship. I required a long-term French visa. Plus, I had to close down Law Offices of Jay W. MacIntosh. It was complicated with snags galore, but we did it. And, here we are.

Hopefully, this blog will be the forum for me to explain how we did it – especially at this time in our lives. I am older than Steve – by 13 years, so moving home – lock, stock, and barrel, is not the norm. But, going to law school at age 59 was not the norm either. And, going from Georgia to the University of Wisconsin was not the norm. Moving a family and furnishings from Georgia to California was not the norm. So, I can say – I was not the norm. Neither was Steve. So, I am going to write about France, moving to France, and living in France – from my perspective. I plan to post pictures and write about the setting. Don’t expect this to be a travelogue — no.

This is my first post. Welcome aboard.  BY JAY W. MACINTOSH



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