7.26.2016

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?'




7.25.2016

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.

7.24.2016

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.

7.23.2016

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.

7.22.2016

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 .

7.13.2016

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

7.12.2016

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.

7.10.2016

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.

Guess.

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.

7.07.2016

7.05.2016

Haiku

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.

7.04.2016

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!