From The Archives

Susan formerly worked for a New York State government agency. She traded being a depressed stay-at-home mom for an opportunity to work in the greatest city in the world. This went on for a few years until she couldn't hack the four hour (round trip) commute any longer & transferred closer to home.

While Susan's NYC job was wonderful, Susan's suburban transfer job was dreary. She can tell you why, but not today.

Eventually her work situation drove her insane and she began to put together a resume and some good quality references, one was a local Assemblyman who was also friend of the husband. Susan had met him a few times but their relationship was very cursory and she wanted to let him know that she was using him as a reference. Toward that end she wrote him a letter.

Here's the letter Susan sent, recently unearthed from beneath a pile of notebooks, school art projects and old magazine articles:

Dear Andy,

You and I have met a few times over the years, and I would like to take this opportunity to reintroduce myself.

I am preparing to look for a new job and my husband Patrick has insisted that I use you as a reference on my resume. Even though he assures me that no one would ever contact you, I feel as though you should have a brief overview of who I am just in case.

I have been working for the NYSDOH since 2001 as a temporary employee, currently I'm out in the desolate wasteland of (name of town redacted) with the Adult Homes Unit. As much as I always dreamed of a job where I could exist under the radar, thanks to my current position I realize that I much prefer an environment where my superiors actually care if I accomplish something.

I am an office grunt-worker who is fluent in proper English and can get along with just about anyone. Quite often I am used as a liaison between associates who prefer not to be in each other's company. No task is too small or unimportant for me to sink my teeth into.

I don't drink (on the job), tattle-tale or make trouble. I am organized, quick to learn and enthusiastic (to a point). I enjoy waking up, putting on clean clothes and going someplace every day, if I have to work in order to accomplish this, so be it.

I hope that I've provided you with an accurate picture of my personality and abilities.




Both of Susan's primary doctors recently stopped accepting her medical insurance.

First to go was her PCP, who Susan liked, was right in the neighborhood & always able to squeeze her in. Then, went her gynecologist. Susan loved this guy. Loved! She had been with him before her children existed, through all the changes in her life and all her previous medical insurance. She happily drove an hour to see him because he was wonderful, gentle and easy to talk to. They had great personal chats over the years. During one memorable examination he described her internal lady parts like chocolate cake, moist and velvety. Now he's gone.

Susan set to work finding two new doctors, chose two named Cynthia and made her appointments.

Her new PCP was Dr. Cynthia S, a little powerhouse who was the sole practitioner in the office. She had an underlying bossy tone which Susan responded to.
"When I tell patients to do something, and they don't do it within two weeks, I can get annoyed."
This was fine by Susan, she was fully prepared to obey little Dr. Cynthia S. and left with an order for fasting blood work.

Her new gynecologist was Dr. Cynthia B, part of a large medical practice who offered a wider array of services in addition to the one Susan needed. Dr. Cynthia B was more Susan's size and had a warm efficiency. She didn't take as much time as Susan's former gynecologist, but she didn't rush Susan out the door either. Susan left with an order for a mammogram & bone density scan.

Susan was able to have her bone density scan done right away & returned to the waiting room for maybe twenty minutes until the radiologist could see her. There was a mother & small child sitting in the seat next to her, and the mother was trying to keep the kid from disrupting the other waiting room occupants, but the mother was the real problem. You all know the type. Mothers who speak more for the audience than the object of her attention, who create a false environment of disturbance, who won't shut up. Those moms are a notch away from those who let their kids run rampant without intervention.

Susan has no use for either.
Anyway, once inside, the radiologist told her to lie down on the table, which Susan did.

The scanner was comprised of the table & a scanning arm, sort of like a tree limb, which passes slowly down the length of the patient, to take the xrays. It's not even a five minute process. In fact, here's a picture:
This wasn't the least bit confining or scary for our claustrophobic heroine, yet as soon as she laid her head down she began thinking of every scary thing she could and had a little freak-out panic attack.

First was the scene where Uma Thurman punches her way out of a coffin (feel free to click on the link), then was the NYT video of a tunnel used to smuggle drugs from Mexico to Arizona, (she knew she was going to regret watching that).

Even though the radiologist was keeping Susan company from a short three feet away, she still wanted to pop up on the table, confess she was a claustrophobic and flee. She knew that if she gave in to her fear it would make everything worse. Instead, she used the power of her mind to force happy thoughts.

She envisioned where she would be in ten more minutes, driving to work to see her Work-Best-Friend, Too Much Funny. WBFs don't come any better than Too Much Funny.

Then she thought about the peanut butter & jelly brownies she was going to make for a party she was attending the next day. The whole time her heartbeat was accelerating, but she stuck to the plan Keep thinking happy thoughts! and miraculously the panicky feelings passed.

She got her scan & an order for calcium then walked out the door into a beautiful Friday morning, slightly muggy, the breeze carrying the fragrance of trees and the woods. She couldn't recall ever feeling happier.


In Susan's little corner of the universe the first weekend of September was either gorgeously sunny and breezy, or else the wind was knocking everything over and the sky was hidden by a layer of mashed potato clouds. Either way it was warm during the day with a little chill at night.

Autumn was within sight and this excited Susan. She doesn't need summer to last forever, if it did there would be no figs or baking or lighting the fireplace or boots. She looks forward to all the things that come with the next season. Summer is filled with flowers and bugs but it isn't cozy, she can't hunker down and make soup.

Since she had an extra day off for the weekend Susan felt justified squandering a portion of it watching Alien movies with her daughter. The rest of the time she was out getting bitten by mosquitoes because she left her Burt's Bees Bug Spray sitting on someone else's backyard table. She took a nice trip out east where she bought Italian plums from a farm stand and a stoneware berry bowl from the dude who made it

She ended her long weekend by staying up late making fig jam, baking a plum torte, listening to the wind and slaving over her BLAHg.


Guess which one of these things Susan has never, in all her fifty six years, ever done before:
  • Shown up in a bathing suit without shaving her external hairy parts
  • Poured vodka into a can of soda and called it a cocktail
  • Jumped off a boat into the water and dog paddled to the beach
  • Considered panicking then decided against it
  • Willingly gave up any claim to the last cup of coffee
Since there's no hope of anyone rubbing up against Susan's legs anytime soon she conducts one shave every three weeks but only in the months containing a U.

Alcohol poured into anything, including directly into her mouth, constitutes a cocktail.

Susan, Anxiety & Panic all go way back together. Every once in a while, through sheer force of will or IV Ativan, she can resist engaging in imminent panic.

Susan's generous nature allows her to participate in selfless acts like declining the last K-cup in the galley so that another can enjoy it.

Susan never learned how to swim, she took lessons but never learned. It is rare that she finds herself in water above her ankle. Only if the shower backs up. Encouraged by her cousins she jumped from the Lisa Ann into the bay and swam in a very primitive manner toward the beach. Halfway out she looked back toward the boat & started to panic. Cousin Melissa spoke to Susan in a very soothing manner and gently gave her the confidence to continue forward even though Susan was scared.

Susan has never in her life jumped into the water and swam anywhere. Ever.

Thanks, Cousin Melissa and yay Susan!


Susan originally wanted to BLAHg about a bunch of stuff including how it's hot-weather-advisory hot in her house which only serves to make her more of an irritable hysteric than she normally is. Susan's a Gemini, so the half that's not hysterical is calm and thoughtful. Thoughtful as in she thinks about stuff, not that she's considerate of others or nice. Although she can be considerate, and probably sometimes is, she doesn't mean it that way now.

Instead, Susan wants to share a conversation she had with her daughter after a long day together, one in which she had to yell at her for being a thoughtless little pig*.

The daughter was tired as they drove home. In this condition her protective barrier is often lowered allowing for less restricted communication. Susan always loves to find out about others' mother-daughter relationships so she named a few of the daughter's friends and inquired which were most like their mothers. The daughter answered and the two of them exchanged observations and adjectives for each mother-daughter combo which inspired the daughter to ask 'How would you describe me?' Susan provided her answer then reciprocated with 'Well now, how would you describe me?

There was a long silence during which Susan feared the daughter was scrolling through the long list of rotten attributes searching for a decent one. Susan was positive the oft used I don't know was imminent when the kid started to speak:

You're mentally strong
You give helpful advice
You're sympathetic

There you have it, folks!

*A shout out to Alec Baldwin for this wonderful characterization! 


Happy Birthday To Susan's Absent Husband

Absence, the highest form of presence.
~James Joyce


While waiting for her insulated bowl to freeze Susan made ice pops. She pureed the remnants of two pints of blueberries and added coconut milk, but not before she strained out all of the teeny little gritty blueberry seeds by pushing the mess through a very fine sieve. She's made blueberry ice pops both ways; by straining the seeds and by not bothering to strain the seeds, she prefers no seeds.

She added some simple syrup infused with lemon left in the fridge since her birthday when she made the last lemon cake she will ever attempt. After this she filled up the pop molds and shoved them in the freezer.

Sidebar: Two birthdays in a row Susan's made herself a lemon cake and both times she was disappointed, even though the cakes had lemon zest, lemon syrup poured over them and lemon icing. From now on when she wants a lemon cake she will make lemon curd instead & eat it with everything. Lemon curd is the way to go.

For a second set of molds she pureed more coconut milk + orange juice concentrate + a frozen banana + spinach and made green Orange Julius ice pops. 

Then she went to bed.

The next day she mentioned the blueberry ice pops and the green Orange Julius ice pops to her pal. During this conversation Susan saw there was a new voicemail on her phone. It was from her friend who talks to dead people, he called to say he was leaving the country for two weeks, was thinking of her and he loved her. 

She called him back. Before they got too heavily into conversation her friend (who talks to dead people) said Susan's husband had some messages for her and did she want to hear them. 

For almost 20 years Susan's friend (who talks to dead people) has periodically delivered messages to her which has made her a little blase about receiving them. Plus, she has her own collection of interesting coincidental things and isn't in need of anything from beyond. But, she's also not going to turn it down. 

He told her a few things, nothing that particularly jumped out at her until he asked;

'Were you doing something with blueberries recently?'


It's been HOT in Susan's little corner of the universe. Normally she is able to withstand suburban NY summers in her un-airconditioned home because her property has trees & a cross breeze. During heat waves she keeps the overhead fans going, blinds drawn and moves only when necessary. 4pm is the magical hour when things start to cool down enough to open the windows and let the breeze do its work. Unless there is no breeze and then she's f*cked.

A few years back Susan hosted a recurring house guest who gifted her a number of things including a fancy coffee machine and an awesome ice cream maker. Susan is not such a big fan of ice cream but she loves sorbet, especially if it's tart, and that's what she makes in it. There are three main components to the machine; the motorworks, an insulated bowl & the paddle. The insulated bowl needs to be kept in the freezer until ready to use, but since Susan's freezer is small the bowl gets stored off season with the Zoku ice pop molds, which is where it still was.

Susan came home with lemons & mangoes hoping to concoct within her kitchen some relief from the heat. She climbed on top of a chair to retrieve her insulated bowl from deep storage then set to work making the necessary room in her freezer.  Assessing the situation with extreme prejudice she started tossing anything she would not be using in the current season till only one expendable thing remained, her home made lobster stock.

Travel back with Susan to this happy day almost two years ago, back when she thought she had oodles and oodles of time to love and grow old with people, back before she was stunned by an enforced change in plans. Anyway, Susan was saving the lobster stock for risotto, the perfection of which was still under development because it's always too al dente. She had already dedicated a good amount of the Twentieth Anniversary Lobster Stock to this project before switching to less precious stock, while the original was kept in frozen anticipation. Now it was about to be chucked because Susan was hot.

She unzipped the two large frozen gallon bags, placed them in her sink, and assisted in their transformation by running them over with hot water. As their cherished contents melted they released their lovely salty lobstery fragrance and Susan breathed it all in, remembering how she sauteed the shells in olive oil with garlic and then simmered them into a golden broth. It was a meditation during which she was freed from the responsibility, and also the promise, of the lobster stock.

She shoved the insulated bowl into her freezer and set about to wait until it was ready, 24 hours.


Susan loves this email that she recently received from her Aunt Eileen:

Here's another quote for you: "Take care that you never spell a word wrong.  Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary"  Thomas Jefferson to his daughter Martha.

I thought of you when I read this since your sister has said how you do not react well to misspellings, or poor grammar.

Hope you are having a nice day.


Susan's front storm door snapped two of its hinges months ago. Months and months ago, like maybe almost a year ago. It deteriorated to the point where it didn't close properly, or at all unless you put in the extra effort. Then it developed a loud metal rubbing against metal creak that could have been used in a horror movie as the sound of a casket opening. It was pretty bad.

Last month during the first visit by Susan's landscapers, the garden gate got busted when the big standing mower ran into it. Prior to that its ability to swing open had been somewhat compromised, but the mower rendered the gate a cripple which had to be carried gently and placed in an open position, or a closed position depending on whether one was entering or exiting. It too was pretty bad.

Last weekend little sister's sleepover company came to Susan's house to annihilate the sliding screen door leading to the deck. Guess which one of these three is now known (only to Susan) as The Destroyer:
If you guessed the littlest one then you would be correct.
When she wasn't using her brute strength to burst through old doors with torn screens and wheels which often didn't sit properly in their tracks, she was pretty charming. So were her sisters.

The quality of Susan's life in her own house was declining fast.

Cousin Greg, most recently of GIANT jenga fame, offered his assistance which Susan immediately accepted. In fact, she may have even initiated the idea that she needed his assistance. Regardless, Cousin Greg is a generous and decent person, as well as her brother in grief, but most importantly he's smart and HANDY with almost everything in the universe. And Susan is needy.

Cousin Greg came out on his day off to repair the gate, repair & re-screen the back door and install a new front door which required two trips to Home Depot before they got the right one. It was a hot day, he departed Susan's house ten hours after he arrived covered in sweat and smelling like armpits.

Oh, and he also fixed Susan's bedroom closet door.

Susan heard her son arrive home from work, walk through a front door that didn't cry out in screetching agony, and declare in a tone denoting impressed surprise Whoa! 
She brought him through the house to survey Cousin Greg's handiwork; he had given them more than fully functioning doors, he had restored their humanity.


Sleepover Company Days Three, Four, Five and Beyond

On Day Three Susan went to work and her sleepover company went to Montauk to climb the lighthouse and later discuss its claustrophobic qualities. Alone with her children at dinner Susan established the rule that when she picks up the tab they are responsible to put down the 20% tip. Why oh why couldn't she have thought of that last year?

Day Four saw a visiting MacBook Pro done in by a bottle of stout.

Day Five had everyone packed up & out the door early for the long drive home. Later, while Susan was out running errands in extreme heat she saw something straight outta the '70s; a big ol' pregnant lady walking around the supermarket parking lot smoking. That was almost like seeing a unicorn because when was the last time you saw a pregnant lady smoking, right?

Susan saw a bunch of other neat stuff over the next 24 hours like Charlie the local hobo pushing his shopping cart with a little baby doll propped against a dirty pillow. Then at the mall, where Susan and her daughter went to experience air conditioning, there was a treasure trove of visual treats such as the kiosk worker flossing her teeth without a shred of self consciousness.
The dude in a wheelchair giving his girlfriend a lift, but not in a sexy Coming Home way, more like a there's something wrong with both of them way.
To the heavily made up lady with adolescent curled hair do & a glitter tee shirt, Susan tried to wordlessly direct her daughter's attention, however if she's going to ignore her mother's signals she's going to miss out on such gems.

In between Susan's sleepover company and the mall there was a hillbilly backyard party held in honor of her daughter's graduation from High School and 18th birthday, here are a few of the die hard stragglers:
And GIANT Jenga!
T h e     E n d .


Sleepover Company, Day Two

  • Susan slept an hour past her alarm, oh no!
  • She observed the little dude cheat at Tic Tac Toe
  • Her sleepover company made their own plans so Susan mixed some cocktails & hung out with little sister's sleepover company instead
  • Susan had a Cherry Bonnet at Carvel
  • Just before bedtime Susan tried to convince the little dude that Batman's real name is Cat Man


Sleep Over Company, Day One

Susan is happy to have this little dude and his parents occupying the newly transformed Florida Sunset Guest Room for the next five days.

Here are the highlights from Day One:

  • Susan lost a fight against an empty can of black beans with sharp edges. She quickly made a field dressing from a paper towel secured by a rubber band which is her standard solution for such situations, especially if a bit of tourniquet action is required.
  • The little dude vomited some probiotic yogurt which had been fermenting in his stomach for a period of time. He covered the floor in a slick, foul substance the fumes from which literally knocked Susan backward into the wall. It was Old Rummy With An Ulcer bad and elicited much coughing & gagging by the clean up crew.
  • Everybody watched Shark Tank.


In anticipation of imminent sleepover company, a chain reaction of organizational tasks was put into effect by Susan a week ago. Sunday morning had her cleaning out the junk drawer in her kitchen. Any other day of the year Susan doesn't care about her junk drawer, it's a perfectly fine location for all manner of things that she either uses or should have thrown out long ago. However, since the recent gathering of the household screwdrivers and little tooly things she thought that the junk drawer would provide them with good centralized storage.

She emptied the drawer completely and began picking through the contents in which she found two folding hex key sets (think IKEA Allen wrenches) and a teeny little multi tool with needle nose pliers, a knife & combo bottle opener/screwdriver. This immediately made her recall an even teenier Swiss Army style knife that Cousin Lisa had given her years ago. It was an industrial gift* originally received by her brother promoting Lotensin, a blood pressure lowering drug, and it consisted of a knife, combo screwdriver/nail file and a teeny but sharp pair of scissors. Lisa passed on this petite and practical item to Susan as they washed their hands in the ladies room of a long forgotten restaurant.

For years Susan carried the little red army knife in her pocketbook, but eventually it made its way to the junk drawer & although not there now, she knew it was still in the house. Happily she thought of it and Cousin Lisa and continued on with her task.

She removed a package of wooden skewers from the junk drawer collection & brought them over to a larger drawer filled only with kitchen related items. Within this drawer sat an adjustable bamboo drawer organizer which Susan fiddled with in order to accommodate the slim package of skewers. She noticed that the width of the organizer was slightly more expanded at the front of the drawer than it was in the back. This difference was probably less than 1/10" but it caught Susan's attention, so she removed the organizer to see what was back there.


Susan said Hello Cousin Lisa out loud to the empty room, smiled then dropped the little knife into her pocketbook.

FYI: *Industrial gift was the husband's term for promotional give-aways.




Big centipede has
Crazy legs that look like hair
Go home, you scare me

Too big for squishing
I'll pretend I didn't see
You, if you leave now

Don't test my patience
I'm above your weight class, go
Run behind that wall

M*therf*cker best
Get a move on it or feel
My size ten shoe, b*tch.


OMG guys, it's been like a whole month since her last post, how much did you miss Susan?

But before we go even one sentence further, don't think that she didn't notice who did and who did not leave her a comment. She noticed. Big thanks to all who reached out and let Susan know she is not floating around in a cold, dark bloggy void. For everyone else, Susan is opting to set aside her disappointment and catch you up on the amazing magical journey of her life!

June was pretty exciting all on its own because, well it's June! But it became so much more wonderful when Susan hired landscapers to do everything she hates to do in her yard. Strangely, dog poop removal and poison ivy eradication don't bother her & will remain under her purview, but every detestable task involving leaves or twigs or grass has been contracted out. Good bye!

A flat tire led to a $1500 bill for Susan's elderly car, which was previously described by her mechanic thusly,
'For such a high end car they're really not well made'. 

Susan had a June birthday and despite being dead set against enjoying it, Little Sister forced Susan to be happy, not crappy, for her middle-aged 56th. Then her work friends got their turn to shower Susan with love and attention. Susan is blessed. BLESSED she tells you!

She bankrolled her son's purchase of a used 6 cylinder Toyota, which enabled him to pass his 4 cylinder Toyota along to his sister. Prior to this arrangement she backed it into a cluster of mailboxes denting the trunk & dislodging part of the bumper which the son completely removed for fear that it would fly off on the road and kill someone. It has been through every member of the family and is quite broken in now.

Mid month she look a lovely Friday evening cruise with her family aboard the Lisa Ann:
Please Note: this photo was pinched from Little Sister, the professional selfie taker.

Then Susan's father had a pacemaker implanted which wore out her mother with anxiety. He explained to Susan the procedure of inserting a thin wire into his vein adding he 'I was more worried about them tickling my heart'. After it was all over he ate hospital grade Eggplant Parmesan, went to sleep & got home in time for Father's Day.

In between everything Susan also baked blueberry scones, met her sister for outdoor music on Wednesday nights, commissioned a Giant Jenga from Cousin Greg watched Columbo on Netflix, painted a hand-me-down dresser Flashy Sapphire, made stuffed peppers with orzo, chickpeas, feta & spinach and received a letter from a private investigator.

Home improvement was represented when Susan's son moved downstairs and his former pigsty was transformed into main floor guest accommodations. The daughter was allowed to choose the new color and came up with Florida Sunset. Who can't relax & fall asleep in a bright orange room, right?

The daughter graduated from High School, a happy and exciting event with a lot of speechy stuff from high ranking twelfth graders, none of whom had anything worthwhile to tell Susan about life. She thought of how things have changed since she & the husband sat there together two years ago and despite having a dead father her kids have excelled. Afterward, she commemorated the event by badgering her family to dress properly & show up on time for dinner.

On the final Friday of the month Susan installed a Record Wall at work:

Lastly but not leastly, Susan and her work pals spent a long weekend on Fire Island courtesy of their boss; there was a fake Housewives style fight, changeable sleeping arrangements, very rigid sleeping arrangements, staying out late, Cards Against Humanity, naps, borrowed clothing, long walks into town, bikes, blooming flowers, cooperative cooking & cleaning up, wagons and ferry rides.

CLICK HERE to read about last year's trip.

All in all there was nothing that Susan would be ashamed to admit in front of her children.
Happy Birthday, America!


Susan Takes Attendance

Susan has noticed that almost NOBODY leaves her a comment anymore.

Some of her modest fan base comment privately, which is terrific, but how many times must her parents be expected to pick up the phone to tell her she's wonderful?

As much as she loves compliments, Susan is more interested in who's out there reading her little paragraphs, and how can she do that without comments?

So, go ahead and leave Susan a comment. She has disabled all comment controls so you don't have to do anything fancy like jump through hoops of fire, or word verifications. However, she would appreciate if you didn't make any grammatical mistakes. Wait. She's not even going to enact that restriction. Just leave a comment.

Let's make it super easy; tell Susan what your favorite song is. It doesn't even have to be your number one tip top favorite, just whatever favorite song you can think of right now.

Susan will go first.


Susan got up early on a beautiful morning and met her pal, Annie Tumbles* for a bit of yardsale-ing & togetherness after a long absence. Susan drove while Annie Tumbles navigated, doing an exemplary job of sniffing out the best spots in a variety of neighborhoods.

Two minutes into their first stop Susan scored a classic Chemex coffee maker for the preposterous price of three dollars. The husband of the seller, a dude with a bandana and a sharp knife, overheard Susan strategizing how she was going to outline the edge of her deteriorating leather bag with black electrical tape to keep it from tearing any further.

Sidebar: Susan employs black electrical tape as a solution to any number of problems.

The dude was of the opinion that electrical tape would peel off immediately and suggested black duct tape then went inside to get some. The dude had Susan lay her bag on a table and pull the edges taut as he carefully affixed the duct tape then trimmed it with his knife. Susan, Annie Tumbles, the dude and his wife all conversated amiably during the operation after which Susan thanked him by folding a dollar bill into a ring. As she folded his ring she explained that this was a skill taught to her by the husband during the early days of their courtship, and perfected over time on bar tops. The wife considered that to be a good bar pastime 'I never know what to do in bars but get in trouble'.

Even though Susan was in love with these two she had to break up and move on.

At their next stop, a house whose construction looked to be patched together with spare parts, Annie Tumbles took a shine to a mandolin and began negotiations with the old Chinese man occupying the yard until he was revealed to know little English beyond 'Yeah, OK'. His Turkish Son-In-Law came out to give an inflated price for the pretty pear shaped instrument, but even without a sale he was a talker, so he & the girls talked. As soon as he mentioned he had a son Susan wondered aloud what the combination of Turkish & Chinese might look like, so he called inside for his little son to come out and 'meet the ladies'.
Verdict: a near equal fusion of Chinese features & Turkish coloring.

At yard sale #3 Susan paid a dollar for both a wind-up nun & an old timey Mammy salt shaker, had a nice chat with the seller, and met a woman buying a small pair of military wings to place at the grave of her nephew, an Air National Guard Staff Sergeant who was killed in Afghanistan during his fourth tour. Coincidentally, Susan drove past both his wake and his funeral back in January.

Seen on the street: A fella with a crazy Kid 'n Play haircut who caught Susan pointing at him so she thought fast and gave him a thumbs up for that head of hair.

#25 was run by Grizzly Adams' biker grandpa.
There were motorcycles, tires, Harley stuff, semi circular farming tools, a bear rug, a taxidermied pheasant, gauges, small appliances and a soft leather halter adorned with feathers & beads which started a conversation between the girls & Grandpa Adams regarding who might be the likeliest candidate to wear such a thing. On the topic of aging Grandpa said 'We all had our turn.' On the topic of aging & relationships he said 'I told my wife, you were sixteen once, get over it.'

Seen on the street: A gentleman riding a bike with his dachshund sitting up front in the basket wearing a teeny white helmet.

The girls ended up in a consignment mall where they ran into seller #3 while Susan was purchasing a Pee Wee Herman doll for $15. But, their day was not quite over. They still had to get a flat tire then pull over in the shade next to a creek filled with turtles and frogs and little fish and wait for AAA to come rescue them in the form of a strapping young Jamaican fellow named Leons (Yes, Leons). Then they went home.

*A few years back Susan's friend Annie & her husband Jimmy came to Susan's house for friendship & tequila. When Jimmy tumbled into Susan's neighbor's yard the husband renamed him Jimmy Tumbles. 


Susan was in the process of stripping the linens off her bed to be washed, as she went along she was thinking of the husband. Once the bed was bare she felt something scrape across her leg to which she immediately thought how the husband would reach out and grab her as she passed by. Twenty five years living together did nothing to diminish his enthusiasm for a quick feel. She looked down to see the Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law tag and laughed to herself thinking the husband was using it to get her attention. She stopped what she was doing and stood there, letting him make her smile, until her reality flipped and she covered her face with her hands & started to cry.


Team Building

After Susan's 12 year old neighbor pointed out the location of a dead raccoon on her property, Susan gathered her family for a little team building exercise. They met outside where the daughter illuminated the dead raccoon with a flashlight as the son shoveled it into a garbage bag held open by Susan.

On the off chance that your appetite for stories about a dead raccoon has not been sated, click HERE. 


The other night Susan wanted to make some black bean brownies so she reached up to where she keeps her well used food processor & the lid fell on her head. Susan is not one to let such things occur without a crazy frustrated reaction, so she picked up the inanimate plastic object & flung it across the kitchen where it bounced around before she threw it a second time while cursing. And, when Susan curses you know the term m*therf*cker is in there somewhere.

She calmed down and dumped the ingredients into the processor's roomy 6 cup bowl; black beans, avocado, coconut oil, sugar, egg and cocoa powder but when she twisted the lid onto the bowl then snapped everything together and turned it on nothing happened. The lid has a little plastic piece which, when everything is locked into place, allows the pulse & chop buttons to work. However, when an insane home baker throws it around in a snit little plastic pieces can sometimes break off rendering the entire machine useless.

Over the next few days Susan tried with zero success to find a replacement lid for her discontinued Euro-Pro Quad Blade processor. Her regrettable behavior had ruined a perfectly good kitchen workhorse which, although handed down eight years earlier from her pal Sharon, still had a lot of life to live. Reluctantly Susan vowed to stop throwing small kitchen appliances in anger and ordered a new one.


Susan is excited anytime she has zero plans for the weekend. She is not encumbered by the need to do stuff or see people and beautiful sunny days can just as easily be enjoyed in her own home as out clomping around somewhere.

Saturday afternoon Susan's little sister rang her up to inquire if she had any plans for the evening.
Other than to be left alone, Susan had none. Little Sister further inquired if Susan would like to accompany her to see Elayne Boosler  and possibly sell some tee shirts for her animal rescue.

Some of you may, or may not remember that Susan's little sister is loopy for unwanted hairy mongrels and volunteers for a local animal rescue. You can read all about them by clicking here. Susan respects the passion they have for what they do, but when more than two of them get together the conversation is exclusively contained to dogs & cats. Susan is limited by a very strict five minute attention span for any of this and has actually shouted at her little sister to 'Stop talking about dogs!'

Susan took a shower, got dressed then steadied herself for a long evening.

Little Sister provided Susan with a Last Chance Animal Rescue tee shirt to wear, and what a shocking delight it was to find that she fit into a medium! Susan has not fit into a medium anything for at least twenty years. Upon arrival to the little 1932 era theatre with pinched faced women tending a dissapointing five item cash bar Susan was relieved to find that favorite rescue member Linda was the only other volunteer in attendance. There would be half a chance that she might enjoy herself.

The girls set up a little table in the lobby next to another little table manned by Elayne's husband Bill supporting her own Tails of Joy which raises cash for small, needy & local rescue groups like Last Chance. Bill chatted and joked with the girls the entire time, he also gave them adorable charm bracelets then Elayne came out to chat and joke with the girls, give them her own donation after which they went outside to take selfies.
Susan wants to stop right here and issue a disclaimer concerning her hair color.

Somewhere in her forties advancing decrepitude robbed Susan of her natural red color. In a curious twist of pigmentation another part of her body sports the exact color she had as a kid, but the top of her head has to get dyed back to an approximation of her original ginger every four weeks. She is always telling her colorist Paula make it more orange and early Saturday morning she did so, but not in a good way. There you have it.

The girls got to watch Elayne's show, and although it was filled with written material, it was really just her on stage talking to people. This included someone who had brought an envelope of pictures from their old neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay initiating a ten minute conversation about who lived in which building, where their families ate, and did he possibly steal her bike. More than once El Boo mentioned that she was now old and fat for which Susan knew she could make immediate improvements by simply dressing her differently.

The girls popped up out of their seats and waved their hands when El Boo gave a shout out to Last Chance inviting everyone to buy a tee shirt or make a donation on the way out. After the show El Boo chatted and laughed with everyone, smiled for as many pictures and signed as many autographs as were requested cheerfully indulging the last fan standing, a crazy cat lady who was sporting the exact toe nail polish as Susan. The girls waved to El Boo and Bill as they walked off into the night accompanied by a college student who was conducting a research project on female comedians. Or perhaps she was the final part of a threesome, either way Susan had no business knowing.

Got a few minutes left? Treat yourself and CLICK HERE.


Party Time

Susan allowed her daughter to attend a classmate's party, one at which the parent or parents would not be present. The daughter texted her mother the address once she arrived and then shortly thereafter requested a ride home, the pickup location changed to a corner in the neighborhood.

Once in the car Susan interviewed her daughter about the modern teenage party.

Concerning the guest list:
I thought it was just going to be juniors and seniors, but there were people who graduated already. 
And people who went to jail and got out.

Something disgusting in a gatorade jug

Food served:

Fun party games:
A kid had two *40s duct-taped to his hands and had to drink them both

Guest behavior:
A kid passed out.

Lastly, Susan asked about the premature end of the party:
The police came

*40 as defined by the Urban Dictionary


Susan has been concerned with her stupid memory lately, it's not uncommon to lose her train of thought, forget that she just pulled a can of black beans off the shelf two seconds earlier, not recognize new people the second time she sees them, and misplace common vocabulary words. Luckily she can still rewind a bit to pick up where she left off, eventually remember the new people and sometimes even figure out which word she was fishing for.

Susan conducted some casual research and took this test from the Alzheimer's Association website to determine if her symptoms were normal, and she's happy to report that they are.

Thus far.

If the day comes when she forgets what to do with her knife and fork, then she's got a problem larger than being unable to cut a big piece of food into smaller pieces.

Susan mentioned this to her daughter, who offered the suggestion that it's probably no coincidence that her memory problems ramped up after... not saying the words 'after daddy died' just saying 'after....' and allowing the silence to finish her thought.

Susan had previously come to that conclusion on her own but she still enjoys getting paranoid about everything.

Moments later, Susan picked up her phone from the kitchen counter when she inadvertently hit the New York Times app and this front page article came up on her screen:

Fraying At The Seams

Like all New York Times articles it went on forever, but she kept reading, and thought that she would save it to encourage her when she gets Alzheimer's. As she read, she thought about a promise the husband repeated throughout their marriage 'I'll stay with you till you don't recognize me.' usually followed by a kiss or a grab or just a smile. To her, it meant exactly the opposite, and was a playful affirmation of his commitment.

She imagined the husband's happy voice and saw his lovely face in her memory, then began to cry. It was a good cry with flowing streaks of tears and a low rumble of sustained misery. If the kids weren't in the house she would have opted to howl, but that was not a direction she could take right then. Plus, she had things to do and needed to get moving.

The crying continued for like an hour; down the hall, in her room, on the toilet and then in the shower. After she finally knocked it off she looked like sh*t, an appearance always tries to avoid. Susan did her best to arrange the way she looked & headed out the door to enjoy her weekend.


Susan had dinner with her work pals, here's a sampling of what was discussed:

  • How delicious the ceviche was
  • Construction of a jailhouse tampon (strictly for emergencies)
  • How an airport alarm was set off by the infrastructure of a brassiere 
  • Can red and white wine be consumed in one sitting without ill effect
  • Children, including but not limited to feeding them, carpooling them & the wildcard aspect of soft-footed ones during parental alone time
  • Scallops and beet puree, a story of friendship
  • The effective use of vegetable oil for post menopausal dryness 
  • A happily anticipated work trip to Fire Island
  • Jolly Ranchers as a marital aid
  • Celebrity infatuations (Susan chose Benicio Del Toro)
  • And finally, who was going to drive who home


She knows that this is a recurring topic but most every day Susan sees a word that she hates. They're always on social media which is her own fault for exposing her delicate self to the written expressions of ordinary folk who can't spell, punctuate, or sound smart, but let's not allow this to impede her from enumerating the words that make her blood boil.

Her top five will always be;

  • BLESSED: Don't confuse receiving a Pandora bracelet with being blessed unless you're the Virgin Mary 
  • MAGICAL: Very few things are actually magical. In fact, nothing is.
  • WANDERLUST: Why would a reputable person even want to be associated with this word?
  • JOURNEY: Ugh, enough with the journey of every little thing
  • AMAZING: Susan guarantees not to be amazed

Now, let's talk about ants.
Susan's house hosts ants every spring, always in her kitchen and often in her bathroom. They're nothing special, just standard small black ants for which she mixes together a diabolical smoothie of honey & Borax. It requires a few days to take effect so she passes the time by encouraging them to have their fill and keeping absolutely nothing impregnable out in the open.
Sometimes Susan will set her Rebecca Minkoff acid yellow structured mini tote down on the kitchen counter only to find an ant crawling across its surface the following day while she's at work. Sometimes she even transports an ant on her person to a second location.
If you are squeamish about getting ant cooties from Susan's house, don't come over.

Third and last topic.
You guys all know that if you click on any word(s) that are a different color you'll go on an amazing magical journey to another website, right? Did you click on Rebecca Minkoff above? Did you click on  How Doctors Die two Twistedsusans ago? If not, get crackin' and keep your eyes peeled in the future.


Driving to work, Susan saw someone who resembled her husband. The closer she got the less he looked like her husband but it was too late, the seed was planted. She let go of all mental controls and allowed herself to remember, if only for an instant, what it was like to see the husband walking the earth again. She let her brain carry her back to that simple, ordinary, wonderful impossibility.

Susan is aware in her every conscious moment that the husband is gone. Even when she's engaged in things that have her total attention, she's aware. Even when she's reading or laughing or cursing a four minute traffic light with no turn arrow, she's aware.

The husband has been absent from her life for 488 days. That doesn't even seem so long, right? How about a year, four months and three days? Seventy weeks?
She accepts her current state without complaint although sometimes she likes to remind people Hey, I have a dead husband over here. She almost always regrets doing so, but it's a testament that she can't always keep everything held together.

There's a freedom to having a dead husband, Susan can do what she wants with only her children to consider, and they don't require much onsite interaction any more. She is available to accept any invitation offered no matter how drop of the hat it may be. She also observes the freedom to stay in all weekend, not answer the phone and not shower.

There's nothing worse than an old whiny bore, so Susan's gonna stop right here lest she turns into one. Check back tomorrow and she'll report on how the ants are back in her kitchen.


Susan went to the dermatologist for a full body scan. She's a prime candidate for skin cancer, already bearing a few scars, and was overdue for her check up.

How does a person who just lost her husband to melanoma let herself be overdue for a scan?
Don't expect an answer, that was a rhetorical question.

She sat in the exam room, stripped down to her drawers and covered by a paper gown. Susan let her mind travel back to a similar room in which she sat with her husband sixteen months ago. She tormented herself with that recollection until she was ready to cry then decided to knock it off. Instead she eyeballed the unshaven condition of her legs and completely bare toe nails. She was groomed like a pioneer lady.

The doctor arrived and immediately engaged Susan in conversation, he had a nice manner and what color are his eyes?
He started with her scalp then employed a shotglass sized scanner with a very bright light to go over every square inch of her face. The doctor chatted with Susan as he worked, investigating each freckle and dark little corner of her middle aged body with his bright light and gentle manner. They shared stories of their recent losses to cancer; Susan's husband within two months, and the doctor's father in law over a year and a half including a very painful end.
The doctor told Susan about an essay he read entitled How Doctors Die, which are not in hospitals, but at home without unnecessary treatment.

Susan's doctor told her that she was in fine shape, no suspicious moles or marks, and sent her on her way with instructions to wear a broad spectrum 30 sunscreen and enjoy the nice weather.

Susan thought about their conversation the rest of the day. She *GTS-ed the short essay & after reading it realized she would have to start forming her brave attitude now about choosing quality of life at her end. It kind of made her feel relieved.

*GTS = Google That Sh*t.


Susan went in to NYC with her little sister and:

  • Became smitten with a well dressed sexy black god called Marco Glorious
  • Rode five stops on the subway
  • Ate in a Cuban restaurant no bigger than a hallway
  • Got drunk and hugged a wee Smart car
  • Saw Aladdin Sane on Mott & Kenmare
  • Briefly considered purchasing an overpriced vintage Marni bag
  • Sobered up in Little Italy 
  • Paid the parking attendant and went home


Fact: Susan thinks coincidental things are actually related things conspiring to look arbitrary.

Fact: Cousin Lisa liked ginger candies.

For years whenever Susan ran across a bag of ginger candies she would purchase them for her Cousin Lisa. Susan always considered them to be foul little suckers, but in recent years she's developed a taste for them. The ones she prefers are different from those she would purchase for Cousin Lisa, but that's really neither here nor there, ginger candies taste like ginger.

Cousin Lisa also liked candied ginger, which is actual ginger that has been dried and coated in sugar. Susan had a candied ginger connection in her neighborhood & would periodically bring a bag of it to her cousin. That stopped the day Cousin Lisa graciously accepted a new bag and placed it in her kitchen drawer alongside two previous bags.

Anyway, the anniversary of the day Susan had to give up her beloved Cousin Lisa arrived and steamrolled right over our tender heroine. She sobbed for hours the evening before and when she awoke it appeared as though she was punched in both eyes. She took a hot shower, donned a new dress in homage to her eternally stylish cousin and headed off to work.

When Susan arrived she found something on her desk.

The husband of her office-mate had purchased this for himself, discovered it was not to his liking* but thinking it may appeal to Susan sent it in as a hand-me-down gift;

A bag of ginger candies.

*Gross was the description


who foresaw that I
would prove my strength by living
this year without you

I fill the absence
with a thousand reflections,
each a universe

red bird on a branch -
I remember that morning
and our happy chat

in similar moments
maybe I'll choose to see you
blowing me a kiss


A Small Example Of What It's Like To Have Susan As A Friend

Susan sent a text to her long standing pal shortly after the death of his father:

There is a grammatical error in your father's obituary, to whom may I complain?

Susan's pal responded with the contact information of the responsible party and asked her to relay what she had discovered.

Of course! I love any opportunity to educate.

Susan communicated with the responsible party and by the time she checked back it was fixed.


Susan fell down.

Susan and her friend Anna met after work for fancy cocktails and dinner. She knows what you're thinking already; falling down and cocktails in the span of thirteen words?

Yeah, OK.

The girls spent two hours happy to be in eachother's company, during which time Susan had two cocktails (vodka house-infused with pineapples, freshly muddled mango, lemon juice and a thin slice of jalapeno), a bowl of spicy lobster bisque, and seared tuna over rice with avocado and fruit salsa.

At the end of the evening Susan went to visit the ladies room, and within the first few steps she felt her heel slip in a direction she was not headed, but she caught herself, recovered and said under her breath let's not fall down. Five or six steps later she felt the same heel slip and this time she just kept going until she was on the floor.

Whenever Susan has fallen, which averages once every four or five years, it's always in slow motion, and as she's always surprised how far she has to go to hit bottom. Like she's taking an hour to tumble down a mountainside. On this occasion she watched a family eating dinner watch her, then stare until she resurfaced and gave them the double thumbs up.

She checked her heel for foreign matter and resumed her navigation to the restroom where she surveyed her knees for damage, then went on to buy a pair of gloves in Macy's without further incident.


Even though Susan just concluded the entirety of 2015 in the grip of double barrel grieving she's not going to say she had a bad year. What she had was a special year in which she was given the best from all the best people around her. Many were lifers, some were far away or brand new, but her legions of supporters all contributed significantly to Susan's successful first year.

She was afraid to let it go because she knew it would take her farther away from the husband. She felt comfort for those 365 days being able to think on this day last year we were happy...However, it was ultimately nothing she could hang her hat on. When that personal day of infamy came it was OK, fun even, filled with his meatballs & sauce and people to help eat them.

Susan will admit that she's been a real prizewinning m*therf*cking heavyweight champ about everything. Her mental fortitude keeps her moving forward, but her people keep her happy. A component of this has been a new job, one which she didn't even have to look for, she just had to say thank you then unwrap it.

In the interest of full disclosure, not everything has been all top form behavior during her year of grief. One particularly immature habit has been Unnecessary Procrastination Resulting In Unnecessary Consequences.

Self explanatory.

She gets exhausted quite easily so there has been a noticeable decrease in the amount of cooking and cleaning being done around the house. Plus she's more forgetful than normal, wasting time searching for cans of corn, her phone or the last thing she set down on her desk.

However, there are perks to Susan's enforced single status, such as double the closet space & the ability to make plans on a whim. If she feels like spending the entire weekend in bed watching Netflix, she happily does so. Who wouldn't love all that, right?

However, there are no perks whatsoever to losing her beloved Cousin Lisa. No perks at all.

Susan feels as though the husband lobs messages to her from wherever he is, most notably this one, but there have been others, one causing her to say hello out loud to him in the middle of her work day.  She likes that.

This past week Susan told her kids about a feeling she had, kind of like she was being nudged from beyond. It was nothing more than taking notice of two related things she overheard. The mere fact that she paid attention to it made her think it might be something more.

Stay tuned.


For Christmas Susan got to wake up and drink a French pressed cup of coffee without having to pay a premium price with a 20% tip. She also got to play with a bubbly three year old, laugh with Wild Bill, learn how to make cider sangria and cream cheese sausage balls (oh yeah!) and just enjoy a great, low key day messing around with her family while Elf played in the background.
Susan hopes all your Christmas dreams came true too!


Day Five: Getting Out of New Orleans

More rain, oy.

Susan & her kids had a nice easy 12:11pm flight to Atlanta then a connection to North Carolina. From there they would visit family; first to Wild Bill's daughter's house for Christmas then on to the husband's eldest daughter's house.

Susan fretted about not being able to squish all her stuff back into her luggage, dropped her postcards into the gold mailbox in the lobby & took one last look around her fancy temporary home before climbing into a taxi for the $45 trip to the airport, 11 miles away. Susan liked the lady cab driver working on Christmas Eve with bronchitis who had taken care of her mother until she died two years ago & as a result became certified as a Home Health Aid but is still grieving & not able to resume that kind of work so she drives a cab, and gave her a $10 tip.

Susan knows more about her but how much do you want to hear?
Alright, she'll tell you.

The lady cab driver moved from Kentucky 15 months ago, has a laid off husband & three kids between ten and six and wants to move again because the climate is bad for her health but they're going to wait till they're back on their feet, and she still has to do her Christmas shopping.

There's more, but you get the gist.

Susan knew before she left the hotel that her connecting flight was delayed, but she wasn't concerned. Susan is always surprised by what doesn't bother her because it's unpredictable. The other day she was beside herself worrying about getting her boarding passes while away, which is a situation with many practical options. A delayed connecting flight would normally be the stuff of anxiety for Susan, but today it was like, eh.

At the airport Susan was selected for a random chemical screening and removed from the line so that both her hands could be rubbed with a pad secured to the end of a wand. Thirty seconds. After that she discovered that not only were both their flights delayed, but so was everything up to New York. The pilot for her Louisiana to Atlanta flight was on hand to answer questions in his southern drawl, beautiful pilot's outfit and commanding presence. He was very reassuring.

Surprise Panic: The flight to Atlanta was boarding but there was still an entire airplane's worth of people ahead of them when Susan's son opted to visit the restroom. After ten minutes Susan asked the daughter to text her brother, no response. Five minutes later Susan called him, then called again every minute thereafter as her heart raced imagining someone stealing her 225 pound boy. This was a primal fear based deep in her heart which made no sense as the mother of a grown recreational wrestler, but she didn't care. Ninety nine percent of her was positive that evil had befallen him, but she clung to that teeny one percent that he was just taking a long poop on the potty. When he finally came strolling out of the men's room Susan hugged him.

Fast forward through 2 quick flights which left Susan five hours behind schedule. When she arrived at the rental car counter the representative pointed out that her reservation was for the 20th, not the 24th. Susan explained that's when she began her trip, but not when she intended to pick up the car. He said that the price on the reservation expired 24 hours after the date of pick-up and the current price is now 30% higher because the longer one waits to rent a car the more the price goes up.

Enter Susan at 9pm on Christmas Eve looking for a car.

When the smoke cleared, Susan paid the stupidity tax and drove off into the fragrant North Carolina night toward her niece's house.

Stupidity Tax = mistake related expenses.


Day Four: New Orleans

Day four began much better than day three when everyone got out the door to eat their breakfast at a reasonable time, plus the sun was out and it was warm & breezy. Susan left New York needing a winter jacket, now she was walking around in a shirt & pants, not even a sweater or plastic rain bag.

The spot Susan chose for breakfast was the closest thing they had to a fave place because it's the second time they were there. The first time was for beignets and the waitress said 'that's all you want?' This time Susan didn't care, it was festive, all the windows opened to the street and they had a breakfast menu. Breakfast is Susan's happiest meal, it's full of promise and will also be the least amount of money that she'll spend all day. From her seat Susan could hear the bells ringing from St. Louis Cathedral and the train near the French Market. She grew up a half mile from train tracks and always loves to hear a train.

There was a photo exhibition a few blocks away that Susan wanted to see. You can click on the link and read about The Katrina Decade, Images of An Altered City but Susan can also show you a few pictures right now:
Immediately after the exhibit Susan cut her son loose while she & her daughter went to a used bookstore where Susan did her best to discourage the purchase of heavy lumpy books she would have to lug home in her carry on.

Susan's most magical time of the day came later when both of her teenagers were down for their daily nap, one in which she would normally have joined them, except on this last day she opted to go out for some solitary time and a cocktail. She had her eye set on the Carousel Lounge in the lobby but it was always filled & noisy, so she hit the street and ended up in a little quiet place where she sat at the bar & wrote out postcards while she drank her beloved French 75 and ate crab cakes.
Here's a Christmas parade passing by:
Eventually her kids broke the spell when they tracked her down & requested dinner. Their last meal would be opposite the French Market where a giant pot of crawfish boiled away for all to smell as they walked by. Susan and her kids had never pulled apart crawfish before & asked the server for a quick tutorial. That sh*t was lip burnin' spicy! Susan picked through all the carcasses and sucked them dry, chewing on the shells if she had to. She shared her grilled oysters with garlic aioli, although she really didn't want to.

On the way back to their fancy temporary home they stopped one final time for beignets and Cafe au Lait although there was no room in their stomachs for either.

The End.


Day Three: New Orleans

Susan hasn't eaten a vegetable since she left home.
Instead she has eaten beignets, kumquats, jambalaya, oysters, crawfish etouffee, Andouille sausage gumbo, fried alligator, blackened redfish and drank chicory Cafe au Lait. Susan would be drinking French 75 exclusively if her children weren't around to cramp her style.

Please allow Susan to elaborate on the French 75, she was introduced to it on their first morning in town, it's made with champagne, either gin or brandy (Susan prefers gin), lemon, & simple syrup with a zested lemon peel garnish. Tre fabu! She's going to be serving these to herself on New Year's Eve.

Day Three had no schedule, the only plan was to get up when they felt like it, go to the French market, eat, and poke around. Unfortunately, when one wakes up late one also eats breakfast late, and as a result Susan had a teeny little meltdown. She's sure hardly anyone even noticed. Eventually the triumvirate of family members barely speaking to each other found an all day breakfast joint and everything wrong in the world was righted. At least till Susan got hungry again.

The day was rainy, but it was also a pleasant temperature, Susan re-stocked her supply of $2.99 plastic rain gear, although she would wear hers only if absolutely necessary. They stopped for a snack (that's Susan's code word for beignets) and sat in a breezy open restaurant a block down from the hotel. Phones immediately come out at mealtimes which Susan has been allowing because she understands that 24 hour togetherness breeds contempt and her children need a break from her.

Purchasing every meal for three people is starting to take its toll on our poor heroine. Periodically Susan's son picks up the tip, which she appreciates, but it's not a discount on which she can rely. The other aspect is that she hasn't really fallen in love with any one dish or restaurant, except Cafe Beignet, and that's only because it's a minute's walk, and well, beignets. Generally speaking, she loves gumbo, jambalaya and spicy sausage, but nothing yet has haunted her dreams except for the kumquats and French 75.

Susan has also been depleting her finances by dropping some of it into the hats of local independent musical entrepreneurs. She never gets tired of hearing music in the Quarter but her impatient children do not share this view and are constantly pushing her along.

Here's a picture she took on Day Three:
The End.


Day Two: New Orleans

The homeless don't just sleep on the street, they snore.

Susan and her children had a morning date at Reverend Zombie's House of Voodoo to meet up for a walking tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. However, they opted to leave their hotel late then chose a very leisurely paced establishment in which to order their breakfast dooming them to reschedule till the afternoon.

Magic 8 ball: By the afternoon it would be pouring.

They put their morning to good use inside a vintage store which had the added benefit of assisting Susan's daughter to overcome her terrible mood, one which was really starting to bug Susan. It was also an opportunity to scope out new breakfast spots, specifically ones which would not cost $60 after tip and without liquor.

At noon it was drizzling, by the time they got to Reverend Zombie's it was raining. 

Susan saw a line of tourists wearing disposable slickers and inquired where she might get some for herself. They pointed two doors down and within minutes she & her children were outfitted in glorified plastic bags at $2.99 each.

The rain was unrelenting, coming down harder as the tour progressed. But underneath Susan's plastic bag she was comfortable and dry. Tour guide Jill told everyone about the town's history, religious influences, burial practices over the ages and specific residents of the oldest City of the Dead. 

Eventually, everything outside the protection of Susan's garbage bag got soaked, her shoes squeaked as she walked along, but she didn't care. It was fun to be in the rain, even her kids didn't complain. After the tour concluded she stopped for cafe au lait and beignets then a long nap.

The end.


Day One: New Orleans

Susan is spending a few days in New Orleans with her kids.

Her pre-getting-on-an-airplane-anxiety hit critical mass the day she had to pack, complete a few errands & get to her destination on time. The actual flying through the air was uneventful. She shared inflight coping strategies with her nervous armrest infiltrating seatmate who rewarded Susan with her brand new Food Network magazine.

During the ride to the hotel Susan saw palm trees everywhere! She never considered that she may encounter palm trees and it was a nice surprise. She also passed exotic cemeteries filled with above ground crypts, Susan's a sucker for architecture in any form & got woozy with anticipation of getting an up close crack at them. As for architecture, her French Quarter hotel is a real looker all tarted up for Christmas, even the beautiful wood paneling cleverly distracted her from panicking in the claustrophobically sized elevator.
In the interest of expediency and because Susan is tired, here's a partial list of things she saw on her first day in New Orleans:

  • A noon seizure
  • Gas lights everywhere
  • A preponderance of people encouraging Susan and her children to drink alcohol
  • Helicopters
  • Tarot card & palm readers set up in the street
  • Music!
  • Raspy voiced black men
  • Folks walking around with portable cocktails
  • Fancily attired ladies and gentleman, different than New York fancy
By 8pm the neighborhood was insane with drunks, homeless, normal people, little kids, loud music and police sirens moving everybody along. Neither Susan nor her children objected to retiring early.

The end.


Susan has dragged herself across the finish line to Day 30.

She hopes that everyone appreciates how difficult it was to stretch what was maybe five days' worth of material into thirty. What a testament to her awesome blogging talents!

December First and Second are Susan's ground zero. She's got a plan to get through each day and they both start with getting up & going to work. Her Acme Heaven Sent family is pretty good at caring about Susan and who wouldn't want to get a little bit of that on a difficult day? Or two.

Don't worry if Susan observes a few days of radio silence, she'll be fine, and you can believe her when she tells you that.


Susan has never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's so imagine her surprise when she sat down to watch this beloved classic and discovered it to be a horrible waste of her time. 
Holly Golightly is intolerable and everyone else is insipid.
What an awful movie.


On Day 28 Susan pinched this from the awesome Nick Holmes.


Susan cried into Cousin Lisa's stuffing on Thanksgiving.
It wasn't just Lisa's recipe recreated for Thanksgiving, it was actual stuffing made by her own formerly alive hands.
At first Susan didn't understand, she just thought it was stuffing. But when Cousin Danielle hipped Susan to the deal, she felt stunned.
Stunned by Sausage Stuffing!
Susan filled her Thanksgiving plate with food and nestled Cousin Lisa's stuffing next to her daughter Danielle's orzo with spinach. Susan took a seat on the staircase and ate her food. She didn't intend to cry, but she's not in control of these things and began almost immediately, until tears were rolling down her cheeks. Eventually she was found out, knocked off the crying and resumed the enjoyment of her Thanksgiving.


Happy Thanksgiving, Guys!

'I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it and, more important, because I like to give it.'
-Julia Child


Susan is determined to use up that bottle of maple whiskey so that she never has to encounter it again. She dumped two cups of it into apple cider then threw in star anise, ginger and cinnamon. Stay tuned to find out what her fellow Thanksgiving revelers will have to say about it.
Disclaimer: This is not Susan's photo, she pinched it from here.


Susan's elderly car is making a funny noise. Sort of like a whistle, if that whistle was screaming while it wheezed.
Screams and wheezes don't even go together, but that's what it sounds like.

Nothing bad can happen to this car.

You may recall that Susan & the husband shared one car for almost two years. This translated to Susan being driven to work & then picked up from work EVERY DAY for TWO YEARS.

It took her more than six months just to pound into the husband's thick skull that she required silence during her morning commute; there was to be no commentary or stories about the old neighborhood or business conversations on the phone, in which he engaged unceasingly anyway.

Even now that he's gone, Susan never thinks Oh, if only I could have one of those miserable drives to work with him again...

Anyway, after a pretty lengthy search Susan saw an ad for her elderly car and dispatched the husband to check it out in person. On a bitter snowy day two years ago they brought it home and Susan regained her independence. This car was the result of her blood and pain. Well, not really, but it was made possible by a combined effort, and she still feels linked to the husband through it.

Nothing bad can happen to this car.