The husband had a so-so day. He got up, showered, went over more paperwork, argued with someone over the phone (formerly standard behavior), drank his Ensure then took a nap while Susan rubbed his back.
Meanwhile, the husband's two daughters drove eleven hours to see their dad & make Susan feel as though anything were possible. They took over every time her low functioning brain couldn't navigate a simple task.
Just like their dad does for her.


Today was a good day.
Susan hipped her daughter's guidance counselor to current events. She and the husband went over some important paperwork and stuff. His sister came out for a nice visit. Susan likes her sister in law, she's a calm person who's easy to talk to.
She spoke to her parents over the phone.
She wasn't filled with dread all day.


Susan's daughter lost a wonderful mentor over the weekend. He was her figure drawing teacher, but really much more than that. Susan likes to describe him as the person who pushed her daughter outside her little artistic prison. Susan's niece, the art school graduate, has studied with him since she was in high school. The loss is terribly sad.
Now he lives within each member of his art studio.

Susan's family is now weathering a very dark storm involving the husband's health. Susan, half pessimist/half optimist is figuring out how to get through each day as best she can. She doesn't know what effect this will have on her twistedsusaning, she just knows that she loves to BLAHg & loves her bloggy pals.

Today Susan made a list to keep her mind occupied, she entitled it A Simple List For A Simple Person and it had things on it like;
Learn the mortgage
Do laundry
Organize nails & tools
Make soup.

She did laundry & made soup. She delivered difficult information to her daughter. She made Ensure smoothies for the husband, massaged his legs, assisted him when he needed her & joked with him. She threw things out & reorganized the bathroom drawers. She fielded phone calls & reached out to friends. Susan's next door neighbors came over in the freezing cold to fix a piece of siding that was torn out by the wind. The day ended when Susan's little sister offered to accompany Susan & the husband next week to learn the outcome of his medical tests. Susan breathed a tremendous sigh of relief and accepted her offer.


God's finger touched him, and he slept.


Susan hasn't been cooking lately.
It started when her son left for sleep away college & she had trouble recalculating how much food was needed to feed the remaining people in her house. 
Then her husband got sick & stopped eating. 
Even though her daughter still had to eat it was too late. Susan lost enthusiasm. 

She eventually had her fill of watching the daughter mope around looking for something substantial in a perpetually empty fridge. Susan promised to re-establish the basic tenancy of her maternal contract and make something for the kid to eat.
She started small. A rotisserie chicken became curried chicken salad followed by chocolate chip pancakes from scratch, not Bisquick.
She also made some pumpkin seed candy for company.
The End.


Susan almost had a panic attack over her Netflix password.
 But, she resolved it then everything was fine.
Next time she will try to be less reactive. If possible.
However, she can't guarantee anything.



Obligatory BLAHg post required
Four minutes till midnight
Nothing to say


Susan is not in the habit of watching any Kardashian related television programming. When the original show was shiny & new she watched enough to develop the opinion that Kris Jenner was a pimp.

This morning Susan was sitting in bed with the TV on when one of the Kardashian shows came on, she couldn't locate the clicker so she just let it be.  

Susan was really surprised at the poor quality of communication between a pregnant Kardashian & her partner. The partner didn't appear to be any great prize but he was suffering from grief, anxiety and insomnia and could have benefited from some sweetness & a little emotional strategizing in order to inspire a compromise. When he jumped into a different Kardashian's bed to complain about the pregnant Kardashian, Susan pulled the plug.  She felt sad for the lot of them living their lives in front of the cameras. 

Susan wonders if the pimp is proud of her dynasty.


Susan appreciates the simplicity of the Buddha's wisdom.


Susan's getting ready to hunker down for the winter. She's cleaning, laying in supplies and finishing projects so that every available inch of her house is usable.

Susan's keeping everything simple. She's gonna take care of her family, make soup, watch movies, BLAHg, invite people over and maybe try a new art project or two.

She's not fighting Xmas either, she'll just be a normal person & let it happen.


Earlier in the week Susan & the husband drove in to NYC.

Along the way Susan saw a building that made her think of a pagoda. It didn't actually look like a pagoda, it was just a regular brick building but with a slightly unusual outline. That, combined with the angle at which she glimpsed it brought to mind a pagoda.

        *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *  

These two photographs were waiting to greet Susan when she arrived at their destination:


Susan got a good night's sleep and woke up as if she were reborn. She didn't jump out of bed or anything, high energy is not her style, but the crushing stupor was gone & her mental attitude was returned to its normal condition.

While out replacing the husband's scotch-taped-together phone Susan observed a forty something woman in a baggy sweatshirt, floppy plaid flannel pajama pants & flip flops exit an expensive SUV with her teenage daughter.
As the sloppy mommy drew closer to Susan's location she remarked 'pajamas incoming' inspiring everyone within earshot to look over and watch sloppy mommy walk in.

God punished Susan later when she lost an earring & pair of sunglasses.


Susan is exhausted. She only slept ninety minutes last night. That's not enough.

In the morning Susan is going to bake, she has blueberries & lemon on the counter. They're a good combination.

She's also going to see her friend Fire Ball who made pumpkin curry soup to nourish Susan's weak physical structure.

Susan is bereft of any usable brain power to inspire her obligatory BLAHg post. She likes this picture, will it do?


Susan caught the first episode of House of DVF and immediately developed a crush for Diane Von Furstenburg.
Let's all look at some pictures of DVF together starting with this dress, OK?
Susan doesn't know what the future holds for her & DVF, but she's prepared to watch for the next seven Sundays to find out.
Susan also liked this article she read in Vogue. 


Poison Ivy Timeline

Tuesday: Susan scratches an itch on her wrist. Later she finds a teeny bump while scratching. Did something bite me? 

Wednesday: A cluster of tiny bumps sends Susan for the hydrocortisone cream. F*cking poison ivy!

Thursday: An explosion of poison ivy blisters assault Susan's delicate arm. She finds relief by turning on the shower as hot as it goes and thrusting her arm underneath.

Friday: Oozing, gauze. Temporary hot shower relief.

Saturday: Oozing, gauze, angry inflammation, relentless itching. Three hours in Stat Medical. First dose of Prednisone. Can't sleep because of the ITCHING.

Sunday: Oozing, gauze, relentless itching. Second dose of Prednisone.

Monday: Oozing subsides, still horrifying ugly, hot shower relief is back. Third dose of Prednisone.

Tuesday: Itching under control, ugliness continues to be hidden by gauze. Seven more days of Prednisone to go.

Who remembers that Susan's previous bout with poison ivy required medical intervention too?



Susan's schedule has been thrown off because the husband has been sick and underfoot for more than a month. It started out as a bad sinus infection which confined him to bed with sensitivities to everything from the sheets to fresh air. Oy! In that time he lost thirty five pounds and acquired an appearance like a refuge from an old folks home. Susan's response has been to badger him into making doctors' appointments, force him to eat what he can, get him up to move around, and argue vehemently over the most retarded nonsense every minute they're together. Beyond this she keeps her distance from the elderly shut-in who replaced her formerly burly husband.

Since the husband has not been eating normally Susan has not been cooking anything other than Sunday dinners when her little sister's family comes over to eat & watch Walking Dead. In an effort to keep his plumbing moving she's been making green smoothies using a combination of spinach, cucumbers, bananas, ginger, brown sugar, cinnamon and yogurt or juice. If she has anything else lying around like oranges, tomatoes or celery she throws them in too. Strangely all those things taste really good together. So good, in fact that Susan has been making them for herself. Her inspiration came from Foodie With Family's Green Orange Julius Smoothie which she recommends very highly. Very highly.

During this period her housekeeping has also fallen off, and when she doesn't clean up no one else does either. A few weeks earlier she came to the conclusion that she would never read all the sections of the NY Times she hoarded during the summer and reluctantly threw them into the recycling pile. Then she took them out, carried them around with her for another week, still didn't read them & put them back.

Currently she has a pile of magazines to sort through before passing them onto her little sister where they will end up as part of her lavatory library collection. Susan loves magazines. Big glossy pictures to tear out and save makes her woozy with delight. It started back in 1972 when Susan removed this Coty advertisement from a magazine, folded it up and carried it in her wallet for years, taking it out to gaze at the simple beauty of the model, Season Hubley:
Now she tears out things like this:
And this:
Sometimes she tears out pictures of five thousand dollar alligator boots or Parisian studios filled with books and a little messy bed by a big window on which to read them. But mostly she saves pictures of things she can do in her house.

Till manana, guys.


peering from some high
window; at the gold
of November sunset
(and feeling: that if day 
has to become night
this is a beautiful way)



Happy November, guys!
Susan is going to punish herself for being a BLAHging failure by writing an obligatory post every day for a month:

We can most definitely judge this NaBloPoMo effort by all her previous NaBloPoMo efforts; expect quantity, not quality and you won't be disappointed.
Well, God bless, set your clocks back and let's all meet here again tomorrow.


Susan's son came home for the weekend.
He was exactly as she remembered him.

One of the ways they spent time together was while he drove her car & she sat shotgun. This was probably the least combative activity they shared. To be accurate there was not any actual combat involved, more like argumentative flare ups even though Susan tried mightily to keep a lid on such stuff. If Susan just let herself go and argued as much as she wanted no one would be left standing. That special behavior is reserved for the husband.

They agreed to compromise on a few points such as, she'll be less sensitive and he'll be more sensitive. That sounds like a recipe for success, right? Perhaps between two grown-ups it is but her son is a teenager with an undeveloped brain, which is always in evidence. She doesn't want to badmouth her kid with a list of examples even though this is her BLAHg and she can do what she wants, so she'll provide just one; Susan requested a small task be completed and it was not done even though she asked nicely, and he agreed, twice a day for three days. What Susan really wanted to say was get the f*ck up off your ass right now and go do it.

The time came to drive the 37 miles out to the ferry which would point her son in the direction of school. The only route is a local road with speed limits as low as 30 mph and sometimes you get stuck behind a tractor.
Also, watch out for the deer!
He still had wet laundry in the dryer which got stuffed into a bag adding unnecessary weight to what he already had to hump. He didn't mind, so neither did Susan.

The kid was hungry & they had no time to stop even though they just left a house filled with food. It wasn't Susan's problem, she wasn't hungry with an hour drive ahead of her.

They arrived at the ferry in time to see it pull away meaning that he would also miss his train reservation. Not to worry, he could get another train for $97 instead of the $21 he paid. And now they had time to drive to the only place that was open and spend $19.40 on a gyro to go.

Susan didn't say a word about any of this, she paid the food bill then climbed back into her shotgun seat. She would have been able to hold her tongue if her son had not given her another in a series of smart-ass answers and then everything came out.

They ended with a mother's loving hug and assurance that she loved him. She watched him walk onto the ferry & sat there for as long as it took to call her husband and exhaust all her complaints about their firstborn. Then she drove home and watched a Marx Brothers movie.


Susan hit a milestone last week when she mailed her first box of stuff up to the wrestler in sleep away college. The contents were totally utilitarian except for the squeaking motion sensor rat she tucked in as a little reminder that mommy misses him.

Initially getting her kid to maintain even the sparsest amount of contact proved impossible. She sought the council of others in her predicament and discovered that his behavior was pretty standard.

It didn't help her feel better.

She walked around sad all the time until he called her twice in one week because he needed something. Now she's used to the relaxed frequency of his communications and happily sustains their relationship through texts and two minute phone calls.

In the 37 days he's been out of her house Susan has found that whatever she puts in the fridge will still be there when she looks for it,  the bathroom no longer smells like pee, there are no 11 pm rides to satisfy his craving for bread & butter pickles, and she's accepted that he's living his own life away from her.


Susan accompanied her Cousin Lisa to an early morning appointment in NYC. Before they headed out the door Cousin Lisa made Susan a cup of Cuban coffee with her colador, which she pronounced Tony Montana style.

A colador is essentially a gym sock employed to strain the grounds from brewed coffee. It resulted in a creamy wonderful brew that thrilled Susan particularly after Cousin Lisa added frothed milk and the teeniest dusting of cinnamon, all without fanfare, as if she prepared her coffee this way every morning. Which Susan assumes she does.

Once in the city, and after the conclusion of Cousin Lisa's appointment, the girls hot-footed it over to Central Park where they enjoyed an unusually warm autumn day chatting, listening to musicians play underneath bridge overpasses, watching a ghostly ballerina mime blow theatrical kisses, sitting in the shade near the bandshell while athletic dudes did flips and jumps, observing of all manner of people including a dirty fella making five foot long bubbles & a midget in a dark suit strolling by with his luggage on a roller cart.

Susan was keen on visiting the Bethesda fountain where they encountered this duo and their beautiful Tribal Baroque:

Here's the wonderful BETHESDA FOUNTAIN:

And BETHESDA TERRACE with its lovely architecture, tiled ceiling and acoustics:

And the iconic BAND SHELL donated by Elkan Naumburg, inside of which a bride & groom were being photographed:

Eventually it was time to go home.
As the girls exited the park they stopped at the GROM gelato truck where Cousin Lisa chose a pistachio gelato and Susan enjoyed the most refreshingly tart and sweet limone sorbet.

Three blocks up Cousin Greg was waiting to chauffeur them home.

Ed note: In 1983 Susan and her little sister attended a Hare Krishna luncheon at the band shell in which they were served food ladled from lined trash cans. Susan got indigestion.


Susan couldn't let twenty years go by without some sort of a celebratory observance so she whipped herself up a party with a minimal amount of planning.

There were LOBSTERS



The party got a little white trash when there wasn't enough room for all the guests, beverages & food, and Susan left out a few details like appetizers, forks & cream for the coffee. But, the bathrooms were clean, the ice bucket was filled, Cousin Melissa constructed a fantastic goat cheese and fig appetizer onsite and everyone appeared to muddle through. There was even a little theatrical presentation when Susan challenged the husband with 'You wanna fight? I'll fight you in front of everybody!'
Ultimately there was no fight, instead there was flourless chocolate cake with raspberry whipped cream, blueberry cheesecake and goodie bags.


Susan and the husband have been manacled together in wedded harmony for twenty years.
Weren't they the sh*t back in 1994?

To commemorate this jubilee Susan attempted to dig out their wedding album, which she has come across within the last year or so, but not on this day. She did find her collection of RSVP cards on which her guests wrote little personal notes or doodles along with their will attends.

The old married couple spent the day in Sag Harbor enjoying dockside cocktails and lobster rolls, American flags, old architecture, hydrangeas, dogs, cemeteries, churches and a Drive Slowly Duck Crossing sign on the way out of town.


Susan and the husband spent a pretty nice day together punctuated by a wee skirmish or two, if asked she'd rate it a 7 out of 10.