cake lover?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

god loves a terrier

the lowells are schnauzer people. in 1995 we bought our first schnauzer. we named her pepper, and there wasn't enough of her cute pudgy little body to go around. mom and dad thought it would be great fun to breed her and have more schnauzer puppies. (i thought this was a horrible idea and cried and yelled at my parents for taking her to get raped. their claims that it was in her nature disgusted me, and i still believe to this day that sex and pregnancy changed my sweet innocent little pepper). but the mating took. and pepper had 6 pudgy little puppies, 5 girls, and 1 boy. the boy was the runt, so we appropriately named him wilbur (and if you've never seen charlotte's web, perhaps you should update your netflix queue). wilbur was so teeny that one fateful day, pepper smushed him. julie counted & recounted, but only counted 5 puppies, until she finally found him, under pepper. wilbur was barely breathing, but my dad got out his stethoscope and my medically inclined parents performed "mouth to snout" resuscitation. though slightly brain dead, he's the sweetest little pig. the cutest female became jennie and derek's first baby. they were living in hershey, PA, and consequently, cocoa was christened.
one christmas, derek surprised jennie with a second schnauzer puppy, duncan, and then there were four.

i wanted a dog. but i was going to break away from my famliy's trend and forge my own path. and i did. when i was in the peace corps i found myself a pudgy little black mutt, koobe (the kiribati word for coffee), who grew into a black lab look-a-like who thought he was a schnauzer lap dog. i tried my hardest to bring him home with me, but the doggods were not in our favor and that's too sad of a story to tell.when i returned i searched the pounds and the humane society for my dog. i knew that he or she would come to me and that i would just know when the dog and the time were right. i searched and searched but found no doggie soul mate. and then i gave up the search with the tiniest flame of hope still lit in the back of my heart.
derek's parents, lynn & allen had taken up the hobby and side-business of dog-breeding. their spacious farm offered much land on which their cockerspaniels, poodles, schnauzers, cockapoos, & schnoodles could run.
on another fateful day, one schnauzer was born to them with only 3 legs. the umbilical cord had wrapped around her hind right leg and cut off the circulation so much so, that her leg had fallen off (who knew dogs even had umbilical cords?)! lynn & allen couldn't sell her, so they offered her to jennie and derek, who declined because they had their hands full with cocoa, duncan, and baby baxter on the way. next she was offered to me. the time was right, the dog was right (even though i thought i didn't want a schnauzer), and then there were five. ella was meant to be mine. thank dogness she is.with five schnauzers, the "guess the schnauzie" game, in which a blind-folded family member was on the clock to guess which schnauzer she was touching, was born. it was really quite easy -- duncan had cropped ears, cocoa had a cyst on her side, pepper was the licker, wilbur has the softest fur, and well, ella only has 3 legs!
sadly, we lost our duncan to cancer. luckily (some might say), another terrier waltzed his way into our lives. oliver was julie's "rescue" dog -- who rescued whom, i'm still not sure. the poor wheaton had spent the first 11 months of his life neglected in a cage, left for hours at a time. he had abandonment issues, to say the least, and still gets nervous and pees on things when julie starts to pack. (i know i'm not really one to talk when it comes to a dog's nervous bodily habits). i think both of our doggie soul mates have come a long way though.

ella just turned four -- i think celebrating her with a blog post and a little whip cream treat is exactly what she wanted.

happy birthday baby.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

an ode to summer's end (part III of III): star lake revisited

ever since I can remember my family has been celebrating labor day and the close of summer at my grandparents' log cabin on star lake in the middle of nowhere in the adirondacks. usually we are bundled in jeans and sweatshirts around an inside fire, but in the last few years, global warming has provided us with a warm, sunny final weekend.

after an extended-birthday goodbye breakfast with uncle arthur in new jersey, our family started the 7 hour trek to our favorite place in the whole wide world.


jennie, derek, and the kids went on a special mission into the city to obtain the most coveted cupcakes in the world – magnolia’s cupcakes. jennie and the kids wanted the cupcakes. derek just wanted to use the GPS that he’d “borrowed” from his parents (D, does borrowing become stealing once you’ve had the item over a month?). once said cupcakes were obtained, back and forth text messages went like this:

from D’s cell: cupcakes! (3 dozen of them)
from suz & julie: magnolia’s cupcakes got all the bomb frosting.
from d’s cell: GPS rules! we are invincible!
from suz & Julie: i prefer mapquest, but google maps is the best. true. double true.
from D’s cell: cupcakes in mouth – I mean hand – with this accompanying picture:from d’s cell: 90 bucks later mission cupcake successful. sweet – with this accompanying picture:from suz & Julie: double sweet.

sadly, jennie and derek had never seen the snl skit/song to which julie and i were referring. please educate yourself now about "lazy sunday" and understand why magnolia’s has all the bomb frosting.

mom & dad headed up to saratoga to pick up pepper, wilbur, and oli at the doggie spa.

jennie, derek, and the kids headed to jeremy and steph’s (derek’s brother and sister-in-law) in schuylerville to pick up ella and cocoa. (if you read derek’s blog, you’ll hear his take on magnolia’s and on dealing with ella’s catastrophic escape).

julie and i continued north, meeting up with mom and dad to transfer oliver to his mother’s waiting arms, though he gave her the silent treatment for the first 24 hours (and even slept on my feet & couch the first night. oh was he mad at her for abandoning him for a week).

we all stopped for pizza an hour from our mecca. we were going stir-crazy by that point. i attempted spelling pizza backwards and drew a large pepperoni slice, though my backwards/rearview mirror writing skills are lacking, and mom & dad only knew that i was trying to send them a message, though they had no idea what AZZIP meant.

the 3 car caravan eventually made it. the crackle and pop of the stone gravel driveway under our tires was like a sigh of relief.


it's hard to put the experience of being at star lake into words. it's like how you feel when you've finally come home after a long trip. it's like putting on that favorite too-big sweater that has been in storage all summer. it's like cuddling up with a good book on a rainy day. coziness & contentedness all rolled into one.
not much has changed about star lake. the marlin fish is still on the wall above the dining room table. the bear skin, deer heads, and moose head still overlook our evening antics in the living room. the old-fashioned jars of toxic fire-extinguishing chemicals still sit in their orbs. the kitchen still can only fit 2 people comfortably (2 and a half is pushing it jennie). the kitchen is open for breakfast from 6-8:30 per grandma's rules, and lunch is served promptly at 12 when the noon siren goes off (the local fire station lets the whole town know when it is noon, and then the lowell posse of dogs reminds everyone with their howling). dinner is served at about 6, and if you want a snack in between you've got to sneak it. even baxter knows where the good graham crackers are kept, and since grandma's hearing is going, we've even gotten away with popping a bag of microwave popcorn right in front of her. after dinner there's always dessert and after dessert there's almost always s'more.

our log cabin at star lake has not gotten any bigger, but our family has. grandma still has her bedroom and mom and dad still have theirs, but paige and baxter have taken jennie, julie, and my place upstairs in the loft. derek and jennie now sleep outside in a tent and julie, ella, oli, and i claim the 2 couches. uncle mark still gets the boat house, and unexpected visitors bring their own tents. lord knows that one bathroom cannot accommodate all of those guests, and the toilet has overflowed on more than one occasion to prove it (we managed to keep that flood from grandma as well). there used to be a plaque in the bathroom with this sage motto:

"in these lovely isles of sun and fun, we never flush for number one."

once the guest numbers became too large, and grandma made the switch from well to town water, that plaque resigned its place of honor and we can actually flush every time now. grandma's toilet however, was still not keeping up (or down as the case may be). uncle mark managed to switch the old one out with the monster "toto" brand (again, without grandma being the wiser), and we have yet to have a problem.

there's much more i could say about camp, many more stories to recount, and pictures to share, but camp is my family's sacred place and something i don't share with just anyone. you have to be invited to camp. and when you come, you fall in love with it.

years ago, mom and dad bought the land behind and to the left of our log cabin with dreams to expand & build. plans have been slow-going. mom and dad, this is my plea: so that we can enjoy many more years of sun & fun in our lovely isles, please please lay the floor & the tiles!

an ode to summer's end (part II of III): celebrating 90 years of great art

after jules and i strapped her bike on the trunk, we were off to east brunswick, NJ to meet up with mom, dad, jennie, derek, baxter, & paige for our great uncle arthur’s 90th birthday.

arthur, my father’s uncle, (his mother’s brother), used to wow his grandnieces, by pretending to eat salamanders. he held them up by their little tails and dangled their wriggling bodies above his mouth, lowering them just so that it really did look like he was eating them. i think he delighted in our squeals of disbelief and disgust just as much as we did. we nicknamed him uncle anteater (we knew he wasn’t eating ants, and we knew he wasn’t an anteater. i think it had something to do with the children’s book character arthur the anteater. uncle salamander-eater just didn’t have the same ring).

arthur neuhauser was born on august 27, 1918. he was best friends with one milton “mickey” lowenthall, whom he introduced to his sister judith, my future grandmother. he met and fell in love with his soulmate rosalyn before he was shipped over to europe during world war II. my great uncle will talk and talk for hours about most things, but never the war. don’t even ask him about it. all you’ll get out of him is memories of his dog, gorgan, a black mutt, whom he smuggled home. and then you’ll hear the story of how judy and mickey lost him while they were dog-sitting. poor gorgan was never seen again, and poor arthur’s heart still has a teeny crack from the loss. arthur and his 3 children (kenny, mitchell, and claudia) were to suffer an even greater loss when cancer stole their rosalyn in 1980. in his wallet, arthur kept a newspaper cutout of a quote of the day for years: “of all of god’s creatures, the goose and the gander mate for life,” until he finally gave it and his porcelain goose and gander statues to his daughter. to this day, arthur has been without his goose, or another mate, though aunt ros’ 2x3 framed picture accompanies him whenever he travels and framed photographs of her beautiful smile fill his room.

arthur worked at the NY times as an editor for 40 years. he also edited books, and even was thanked/mentioned in martin gilbert’s historic account of world war II – he found a very big mistake. arthur has a penchant and a talent for word games, crossword puzzles, and cryptics. he lies awake at night assigning number values to each letter of the alphabet (A=1, B=2…Y=25, Z=26) and attempts to find 100 point words. he’s actually found some. and then he reverses the value and starts over.

arthur’s optometrist was also his next door neighbor and good friend who was practicing out of his basement with out of date equipment. i forget how the story goes, but it has something to do with his optometrist never testing for glaucoma, or his glaucoma testing machine being broken, or something like that (arthur could fill in the details). unfortunately, his glaucoma was discovered too late. his sight, though not his keen mind, has faltered ever since. in his old age, he’s had to learn about the photocopier so that he can blow up his crossword puzzles and he’s befriended the local librarians who save him the best large print books. he has magnifying glasses of varying magnifications by his reading chair, and was recently gifted a reading machine from the VA.

i started developing a deeper and closer relationship with arthur when my grandfather died in 1999. my grandfather was an incredible man, but a quiet & stoic one who came across as foreboding and hard-to-approach to his grandchildren. arthur shared stories about his and micky’s childhood and early adulthood, and helped me understand what kind of man my grandfather really was. i am forever grateful to arthur for providing me a glimpse of my family’s history and of my heritage. not only do i understand my grandparents better because of him, but i understand my father better too. i am also grateful to my uncle for being a surrogate father for my father. i know how much dad cherishes his weekly conversations with arthur.

arthur has gone above and beyond the duty of great uncle. i didn’t even know that great uncles felt a connection with their grandnieces, but arthur does (he even has a connection with his great grandniece, grandnephew and granddogs). he has always been supportive of my life and endeavors. when i was studying to be a teacher, arthur called for monthly updates. when i joined the peace corps he sent me monthly, typed missives, and even included packets of sweet-n-low, until the day the post office caught him and told him it was a big no-no to send white powders in the mail. until recently, when hip & sight problems became too much for him, arthur visited his north country fan club every summer. we thought claudia would never let him return after the time he fell head over keister off the dock at star lake, but we were able to keep his bumps and bruises hidden until they were healed properly enough to pass them off as a minor stumble. when he visits malone, he also has to visit the local funeral home to catch up with the director, for once he misdialed my parents’ number and had a 30 minute conversation with the man. with arthur, there is always a hilarious mishap waiting to happen. i’m sure pat (his daughter-in-law) will never forget the time she set the bowl of scrambled eggs meant to serve 14 in front of him and arthur dug into the bowl thinking it was all for him. when i stayed with him, i was slightly appalled when he made a fresh pot of coffee and then promptly put in the fridge to keep for the week. the next morning we had to warm our coffee up in the microwave. i know the man is going blind, but it’s always slightly comical to me when he pours himself a glass of orange juice, but actually pours himself a countertop of orange juice, and similarly when he dumps his glass of water into the sink, but actually pours it on the counter. it’s only comical because he himself brushes it off with laughter.

arthur recently moved into an assisted living home, a move away from the independent lifestyle to which he was accustomed. he seems to be doing well in the “institution” (as he refers to it).

claudia wanted to celebrate her father’s 90th, but knew he wouldn’t want anything lavish. she asked him if it would be all right if his children and their families from the city came. he said fine. then she mentioned that kenny, pat and the kids would be coming from kentucky. he agreed to that as well. then she said that his sister wanted to come to, and that the north country contingency was waiting with bated breath for the OK. he kept agreeing until about 50 people were allowed to come to help him celebrate his great life.

the shindig was on a thursday evening at a chinese restaurant, no less. cocktails and fancy hors'devours of egg rolls, shrimp dumplings, scallion pancakes, & chicken & pork skewers were served, as well as an amazing meal. baxter wondered where the cake was, since it was a birthday party and all. he ran over to ask claudia about it and excitedly announced to the private room that there would indeed be cake. the north country table (read sugar fiends) cheered.

arthur’s cake was graced by the portrait that his now 16-year old granddaughter designed at the age of 6 – we’ve been celebrating great art ever since.

i’ve learned much from my great uncle arthur – above all, the love and importance of family. thank you uncle anteater.

an ode to summer's end (part I of III): krip-ahh-lu

summer camps were over, i was newly single, and it was the perfect opportunity for what i like to refer to as the "self-indulgent-get-back-to-me" vacation. i booked three nights & four days at kripalu, a yoga retreat mecca in the berkshires. i planned to overlap with my old peace corps buddy amanda, and i also planned to meet up with julie at the end of her own "self-indulgent-get-back-to-me (her)" bike trip vacation. we both left on our respective retreats on monday morning -- she on her bicycle, and i in her prius (for better gas mileage). we were to meet on thursday afternoon at the end of her miles, and at the end of my ohms. a typical day at kripalu looks something like this:

6:30 am: yoga (something i planned to do every am, however my comfy bed kept me from executing any early morning sun salutations).

8:00 am: a delicious and healthy breakfast (silent in the morning to "ease into your day mindfully," unless you choose to eat outside, which we did). the food at kripalu is amazing -- all natural, whole foods, whole grains, totally organic & local. no coffee (i survived). the guest guide has this suggestion about how to make the most of one's dining experience:

"many people take advantage of their stay at kripalu to experiment with portion sizes and eating slowly and mindfully -- natural ways to eat less."

the only problem was that there was such a variety of food options, i had to try just a little bit of everything. i didn't mean to. i served myself a nice bowl of steaming oatmeal, added some dried wild blueberries and drizzled some fresh vermont maple syrup, and figured i'd be satiated. but further down the line was granola, dried fruit, and organic fat free soy yogurt. i had to have a little serving of that too. oh, and then there was the bowl of bananas, and the fresh nectarines, and the whole grain toast with that cool do-it-yourself conveyor belt toaster and all-natural peanutbutter... i was not, however, tempted to serve myself up a bowl of miso soup. miso soup for breakfast, you ask? i wondered too. miso is fermented soybean and it helps get your digestive juices flowing, easing you out of your fast, as do the aromatic herbs and spices that were available for sprinkling. not a fan of soup for breakfast? you can always whip yourself up a fresh batch of ginger juice... oh the things i learned at kripalu.10 am: hiking, biking, kayaking, lectures, workshops, relaxing, digesting, the beach, or whatever else you would like to do. amanda and i hiked every morning. we found our way through the apple orchard, past the wild flowers, to monk's pond & the burbank trail overlook, and we even managed to get lost. but life is about the journey, not the destination.12:00 pm: yoga. yoginis have their choice of gentle, moderate, or vigorous yoga sessions. always up for the challenge, amanda and i tried our hand at vigorous and were not disappointed in instructor ray crist, who encouraged us to get in tune with our inner jaguar, though reminded us that we were perfect just the way we are. ray, a shaman, a yogi, a reiki healer, dad, and quantum physicist, soon became our new hero. amanda bought his CD, we went to his class every day, sometimes twice, we passed him in the hall, and then whispered and giggled about how much we loved him, i went to his lecture on chakras and shamanism. (did i mention that kripalu is like sleep-away camp for adults? perhaps it was the fresh air that allowed that giddiness, silliness, happiness, and freedom to seep out of us like we were kids again).1:00 pm: lunch. more amazing food selections. but no dessert. at kripalu they are serious about healthy living and eating.
2:00 pm: anything your heart desires. my heart usually desired a nap, some conversation, a walk, and some reading. oh, and perusing the gift shop. other, more materially-endowed hearts desired massages, oil treatments, and ayurvedic wonders, but not for this tightly-budgeted yogini.4:30 pm: more yoga.

6:30 pm: more food. one night there was dessert -- vegan carob peanutbutter bars, so, not really sweet or melt-on-your mouth good, but it was dessert.

7:30: lecture or workshop or whatever you like. amanda and i went to a drumming workshop and played the djembes. the next night we showed up too early for a whole foods cooking demonstration and chatted our dread-locked chef up about love and marriage. we asked him what the recipe for success was (he'd been married 8 years). he told us that you always have to look at life as half full, that you had to have patience, and that, most importantly, you have to love yourself first before you can love someone else. he assured us that the capacity to love comes from within you first and advised that likewise, if a person didn't love themselves, it would be hard for a person to love them back. he compared relationships to a compost pile -- that juicy, not always so pleasant dirt would most definitely be turned up on you and your significant other, and you had to persevere through the unpleasantness to make the relationship richer. after the compost talk, we were definitely ready to eat the amazing pad thai he created. from chef aidan, i also learned that though everyone thinks yogurt and fruit is a good combo, it's actually not. the digestive enzymes that are produced to breakdown yogurt actually counteract the digestive enzymes that are produced to breakdown the fruit, so it takes twice as long to digest, or something like that. also: beans don't make you gassy -- chili, with beans, meat, cheese, & sour cream (multiple proteins) make you gassy. stop mixing your proteins people. i could go on and on about how eating local, in-season foods help prepare you for the coming season in terms of allergies and cold and sickness prevention. i could talk a little bit about a macrobiotic diet and the ayurvedic diet. but i won't. because i only caught the surface. fascinating. over my head. but fascinating.

7:30 pm continued: the last night i went to aforementioned lecture about chakras and shamanism. i could go on and on about that and even draw diagrams about the 7 chakras and their colors and how they align with your spine and nervous system, and how your chakras can get dirty and scarred and how you might need to visit a shaman to get them cleaned, or you can just do yoga. but i won't go on and on, because some of that stuff is fluffy stuff to me and a little too out there. but ray is also a quantum physicist and he witnessed a peruvian shaman perform some miracles, and though he didn't come right out and say it, there were potentially hallucinogenic herbs involved.

10 pm: spa time. amanda had heard that spreading honey all over yourself while in the sauna helped moisturize the skin as well as promote detoxification. we pilfered some honey from the dining hall and snuck it into the sauna, where "clothing is optional." women of all shapes and sizes were walking around in their birthday suits, just as naturally and normally as they would have in a shopping mall. i've been in locker rooms before, i don't know why this surprised me. after a week of reflection, i understand that what was different about this situation was how comfortable all the women were in their own skin and around each other, with no comparison or beauty contest of who was thinner or fatter, lumpier or smoother. the self-acceptance and centered calmness was almost palpable in the steam. conversation with naked strangers flowed and honey was shared. i'm not sure, but i think amanda and i may have been nicknamed "the honey girls." the next day we ran into one of the women with whom we'd shared a naked steam (at first i didn't recognize her with clothes on) and she put her arm out to us and exclaimed, "soft honey skin, girls." i worry that now there might be a sign in the dining hall and the sauna room reading "please do not take honey into the sauna."

(oh, and i can't forget to mention the incredibly beautiful tattoos -- trees, mountains, spirals, ohm symbols, sanskrit. i think the men wish they could be flies on the sauna walls too...)

11:00 pm: turning on of the cell phone, just to check to see if julie had safely camped for the night. final conversation with amanda. one night we went into the chapel to lay around on yoga bolsters and stare up at the vaulted ceiling. a woman walked in and asked if we minded if she played the piano. our conversation was accompanied by the gentle chords of pachelbel's canon. that's the thing about kripalu: things fall into place, a room is empty if you need it to be empty, chairs facing the mountains open up just as you are ready to sit down, the conversation you are having is exactly the one you need to be having, and the person you just met is exactly who you needed to encounter.

11:30 pm: deep sleep in a surprisingly comfortable and non-squeaky bunk bed, with non-snoring dorm mates (because we had to fill out a survey about our nocturnal noises), and a non-slamming, non-creaking door. shavasana, the resting pose, has never felt so sweet.
last day: by thursday morning julie's butt had had it (i wish i could show pictures of her bruises, but doubt she would appreciate that). i back-tracked 40 miles west to pick her up and we were off for part II (of III) of our vacation. as soon as i was on the road, kripalu was a distant memory of bliss, peace, and calm. only to be revisited in my yoga practice and in the quiet moments of my day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ladies of leisure

for eva gabor, suzanne monroe, & tracy "lyra" martin, the grueling summer months had been so devastatingly chaotic, that a much needed slumber party was deemed the only remedy. while ms. monroe was slaving away at summer camps, eva was busy canoodling with peter freyne, elton john, patrick leahy, and all of the seven daysies. down in warren, tracy was donating her own blood, sweat, and tears to help the fabulous phantom theater run smoothly. the ladies who lunch (on wednesdays, after tracy's tail-feather fluffing NIA dance class) had tragically not been together since the fateful day of July 3 (actually a thursday).

as is always the case with these multi-tasking, over-booked, talented women, one of them is inevitably late (and although, ms. monroe probably wouldn't like to point fingers, it's usually eva or tracy -- except for the aforementioned July 3rd lunch). the slumber party started at 7, but tracy was in the valley making sure the backwards dancers had their lemons in a row, so eva and suzanne gnoshed on fresh veggies from eva's garden & waited ever-so patiently, being ever-so careful not to dish any real dirt, until the red-haired bombshell the meantime, ella, the 3-legged punk, surveyed eva's digs, and much to the dismay of ms. monroe, chased crawford (named as such for his signature cindy crawford mole) out of the house.

when tracy and her black, curly-haired doppelganger arrived, ella made it known to squid that the pink cat bed was most definitely, already spoken for. squiddy cowered in her mother's arms until ms. monroe scolded ella and attempted to instill jealousy by smothering the black miniature poodle in kisses. only the real marilyn can pull off that kind of trickery though. ella was pretty much a punk for the remainder of the evening. at least the ladies of leisure declared that while some owners are like their animals, ms. monroe and ella are nothing alike.

after the long overdue reunion, eating commenced, bubbly was poured, dancing & lip-synching ensued, and of course, the dirt was dished. oh how the men wished they were flies on the wall. after the catch-up details were all caught up on, the talk turned to more important things -- such as the dreams, goals, hopes, and upcoming plans of the ladies of leisure. if there had been male flies on the wall, they may have been disappointed that they weren't being talked about at all, a fact that went not unnoticed by the divas, a fact that was in fact cheered on and to which a drink was drunk.

at exclusive slumber parties such as this one, high quantities of calories must be consumed (inhaling is optional) & putting one's (elastic-waisted) pajamas on immediately is highly recommended. fortunately, the following day was eva's 35th birthday, so tracy's magical chocolate cake was in attendance as well as julie's magical cookie dough. (on a side note: the ladies of leisure have had some bad luck with dessert. at the christmas pj party at tracy's, they splurged on a mirabelle's special yuletide log that was too sweet even for their sweet-teeth. and at the last slumber party at ms. monroe's, oliver rudely ate the cake). the ladies of leisure have been dreaming & drooling for another ever since.
after the eating and the dress-up/character improv, tracy had consumed, imbibed, & expended way too much for her petite frame to handle, and left her friends for her dreams and to cuddle with squiddy (though she was really just over there on the couch).however, ms. monroe and ms. gabor were just getting started, and spent a few hours studying the mastery of marilyn monroe and jane russell in "diamonds are a girl's best friend." how those women twirled their little pinkies so is a mystery. and that "daddy" was ever a term of endearment for a suitor, well that just blew eva and suzanne away. after the movie, ms. monroe drifted off to sleep (at approximately 2:30 am), while eva fed her TV-monster till 4 am.

the morning after was spent drinking coffee, painting toe and fingernails, wishing eva a happy birthday with a special gift for her annual exodus to shelburne farms, and lamenting the fact that the ladies of leisure had to return to their constantly demanding lives. a next meeting was planned: a road trip to see madonna no less, and the hearts & souls of eva, suzanne, and tracy were refreshed and filled to the brim with love, hope, & friendship -- the slumber party had worked its magic.

please to enjoy some archives (christmas 2007 pj party with EMS, TWM, & SML):
and read eva's blog about it here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


a wise man once wrote me these words of advice:

hi suz,

your mom said you were down in the dumps. there are a lot of fishes in the sea and you can cast your hook and bait anytime. just think, summer is just around the bend and you can put on some bait (bikini) and go fishing. throw the ones you don't want back into the water. fish like to see bait all the time, and will keep going for it. short of knocking one over the head and dragging him home, i don't know what else to tell you.

~ one of the fishes (experienced though)

p.s. if i am not interested in the bait, i look elsewhere


i had to fire up my old toshiba 225CDS college laptop to retrieve those words of hope and enlightenment. it was back in april of '99 that uncle mike encouraged me to get back in the boat or the water or something like that.

some of my faithful readers have been reading between the lines and have noticed that all is not well in my little pond. paul and i tried to make the pieces fit, we really did.

we just never finished it. i sort of feel like my hands are all covered in fish guts, with soil-encrusted earthworm entrails under my fingernails, and hatch-mark scratches and gashes from the bites of the hooks. ouch.

but we're both gonna be ok.