First Complaint Of The New Year

Hello guys!
How did you like that one post Susan wrote for all of last year? Impressive, eh?
Her *BLAHg-ing commitment is obviously for sh*t. She doesn't even know why you're bothering right now, but do what you want.

For the new year Susan made a list of things she can not endure. She'll start with one now so as not to tax herself, then maybe follow it up with another later.

First are true crime podcast recommendations. One can actually hear her hopeful excitement being extinguished as the words true crime penetrate her little puppy brain, as if no other podcast category exists. She's received so many true crime podcast recommendations that her eyes immediately roll up, around and backwards. She can't even stand to use those two words together anymore. From now on she'll just write TC, and capitalize it so it looks intentional instead of just tc which looks like it could be a mistake.

Mercifully, her daughter, who is as close to perfection as possible, recently gave her a non TC suggestion. It's a good one, not perfect, but there were three or four stories which Susan's been thinking about since she heard them.
Listen to the first story:

Of course RISK makes Susan think of her premier, tip-top, numero uno fave THE MOTH RADIO HOUR. For years any time a friend would tell Susan they were bored, lonely, or had to travel for work she'd say 'The Moth will keep you company'.
CLICK HERE for one of Susan's favorite stories.

MODERN LOVE are stories of love, loss and redemption which started out as a column in the New York Times. Susan has been reading the NYT since she was a kid & almost started a fistfight over her undying allegiance, just ask her friend ZH.

HOW I BUILT THIS are interviews with the creators of the biggest deal companies around, and how they started. Literally step one, where they came up with the idea, how did they start, find the cash, their failures, everything. Susan knows what you're thinking this sounds boring. Well it's not, and stop being so dismissive.

Susan's newest podcast discovery is ARIA CODE in which one iconic operatic aria is explored from three different points of view afterwhich the aria is heard in its entirety. Susan doesn't know sh*t about opera and she loves it.

OK, there you have it. First post for 2020 is in the books.

*For anyone who needs a refresher, BLAH + blog = BLAHg


Last Day of April

Hey guys, long time no see. Did you miss our Susan? She thought about you every day.

Susan's back to work now, she has what appears to be a nice job working for a big deal place that requires her to get up before 6am, which is her least favorite hour. Prior to rejoining the working world she used her seven months of unemployment to perfect the poached egg, entertain a steady line up of houseguests, drive back & forth to visit the old folks in Florida, and watch Cousin Greg get married in Brooklyn. She also discovered that she lost all her professional skills.

Susan's Little Sister packed up her family & moved to a nearby neighborhood, which is pretty exciting because now Susan doesn't always have to go everywhere all by herself.  A bunch of crappy things happened too, like Susan's little apartment got flooded, her son had four toes amputated, she had to turn over $1700 to replace a doctor's bumper and her dad died.

Susan's lovely friend *Kate, who has a knack for communicating the exact right thing, sent this poem to Susan:

Shifting the Sun by Diana Der-Hovanessian

When your father dies, say the Irish
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Welsh
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians

When your father dies, say the Canadians
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Indians
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the British,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn’t.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever
and you walk in his light.

*Ph.D., professor, writer, mom, conversational user of words like covetousness and prolix.


Susan was walking the dog this evening and turned when she heard the husband call her name.
Immediately she realized her mistake. She looked over at the person who had done the calling; he was the opposite of a big burly Irishman, and he definitely wasn't calling Susan. Still, she stood there soaking in the little split second in which everything was suspended and she was simply about to respond to her husband.

It's a whole new world for our gentle heroine. Susan has done what she's been threatening to do and moved herself down to North Carolina, the land of trees, music and strange bugs. She's given up the cushy do-what-you-want elbow room of her former house and now rents apartment 1-C with her roommate Lucy the restricted breed dog.

Even though Susan has traded in square footage and a bit of privacy, she still likes where she landed. Unfortunately she's got a couple of things driving her nuts, like the bugs (see above) and the neighbor who smokes on the patio all day every day, completely gassing Susan's little outdoor paradise. But, she has a two prong plan; incense and bedtime prayers for the unseen neighbor to hurry up and die of cancer. Oh yeah, die. Susan's not gonna be nice about this.

Since Lucy no longer has a fenced in yard to roam, roll around in, and poop throughout, Susan has to walk her. First thing in the morning the girls are up and out, Susan enjoys the early morning walk but after a while it's very boring to watch Lucy smell every browned patch, plop of duck poop and lamp post base. And when another dog comes in to view they turn around and head the other way. Lucy is not a lover of other animals.

Anyway, that's enough for today. Susan doesn't want to strain herself with the first BLAHg post in three, um four months. She's missed BLAHg-ing and thought about it every day. The husband calling to her from beyond was just the prodding that she needed.

In the meantime she hopes everyone has a grand day.


Susan did a bunch of crazy things on Saturday and they all involved being outside. Now, Susan is a big fan of being outside as long as she is in a seated position and out of direct sunlight. This particular day was special because there were a number of miserable tasks our Susan wanted done and no one to whom she could delegate them.

In no particular order this is what she did:

  • Ascended a ladder (a ladder!) to pull debris out of her gutters
  • Reinstalled an 8 foot downspout which had been lying on the side of the house all winter, and by reinstalled Susan means that she improvised a solution using available resources 
  • Removed screens and washed windows
  • Remained bent over for an extended period of time while she pulled weeds out by their roots
  • Relocated broken tree branches
  • Raked leaves then put them into a wheelbarrow and transported them to the compost pile
  • And lastly, lopped off vines and branches of weeds that had grown into trees
The ordeal left Susan dirty, itchy, sweaty, punctured & bloody. If you wish to read about a previous instance in which Susan did 'yard work' please CLICK HERE.


Even though she didn't think she had much to do Susan managed to fill her Memorial Day weekend with friends and family and firepits and food and getting big cocktail rings stuck on her finger in Nordstrom Rack and filling her hallway with boxes of everything she's getting rid of and being remembered by a waitress who only served her once (even what she ate!) and listening to a 17 piece band play Frank Sinatra music with Aunt Eileen & Uncle Joe and buying a Craigslist bike with her daughter from Ravi in the rain and buying yet another polka dot dress  and meeting Mitchie's family and eating brownies for the first time in five months and making a couple of decisions about things and enjoying a meandering trip with her little sister & bro-in-law out east and visiting her beloved Cousin Lisa & Bob Smith where they rest with more than two hundred thousand of their brothers and sisters and having a nice picnic at The Peconic River Herb Farm where she considered making an overpriced impulse purchase of a handmade light up tin sign but opted for three succulents instead before ending the day at Melissa & Andy's house for a family barbecue and some turkey watching.  


Susan went food shopping on her way home from work. Her supermarket provides her with a hand held scanning gun so she can scan each item as she drops them into her cart. When she's done she just rolls up to the Do It Yourself checkout, lets the register read her gun, all her purchases appear on the screen, then she pays & she's out the door. No more lines or cashiers or ringing things up or packing groceries into bags. She just pays & goes. If she's really smart she'll have brought her big blue IKEA bag with her, but she rarely does.

On this trip her scanner beeped but did not record all of her groceries. She figured this out at the Do It Yourself checkout when her total was roughly fifty dollars cheaper than it should have been. The disembodied voice from within the register told her you may scan additional items now.
F*ck that. She grumbled under her breath & started sorting through her cart to figure out what had not been recorded by the scanner. She looked around, there was usually an employee who would pop over at the first sign of trouble, but instead the disembodied voice told her if you are ready you may finish and pay.

Finish and pay fifty dollars less, yes please.

No one came to keep Susan from stealing groceries, but neither did Susan stop herself. Instead she paid, turned in her gun and cooly headed for the parking lot. She knew she was wrong but kept going. Machine error was not her responsibility. She repeated this lie to herself a few times.

Susan went home, unpacked her groceries, sat down at the computer and made a sixty dollar contribution to Long Island Cares, an organization started by Harry Chapin to feed the hungry.


Susan didn't shower this weekend, she brushed her teeth and washed her face but that was it. She spent a cold rainy Saturday & gorgeous warm Sunday clearing out her basement.

Remember when Susan threatened to be out of New York by April? Or before that, in January? Well, she wasn't ready, so she took a little more time.
Now our Susan is prepared to starting behaving like she's moving. She's been chucking her extraneous belongings for over a year, but last week she packed her first box of things to bring with her. She marked it KEEP to reduce any possibility of confusion.

Over the previous two weeks she purged half the books she owns, now she just has what fits on her shelves plus a little extra. And her cookbooks.

This weekend was the basement.

The basement is serious territory filled with big plastic bins, furniture, tools, art supplies, Christmas crap, photographs and petrified spiders. Susan dragged the big plastic bins up the stairs and went thru them one by one, getting rid of almost everything they held. Once empty she threw them in the shower, put them on the deck to dry, then stacked them in a corner. They will eventually transport whatever she's taking.

The Christmas crap was done in no time, everything went except the little light up Santa bought in Maine with her friend Kate, the plastic sandwich baggie wreath that Susan's daughter made in grade school, and a modest tin of decorations.

The photographs were going to take some time. Susan had previously reduced 4 shoeboxes of photographs down to one, but now she had entire photo albums to consider. One was easy, she looked through it, smiled at the pictures, then tossed it into the garbage. Goodbye.


Susan owns a new, modern, high functioning phone!

Having packages Fed-exed to one's front door in order to sit unattended for hours is insane, but also very convenient. So, there it was on her stoop waiting for the first person who came along to pick it up. Luckily that person was our Susan.

Susan is not one for figuring out electronics and planned to bring her new phone to the New Phone Store the following day. There's one right down the block from work and the last time she was there the New Phone Store employee was very helpful. She looked forward to having him help her again.

Upon arrival she did not see her preferred employee, but another stepped up to assist her. She handed over both old and new phones to have done whatever was needed in order to have all her contacts, pictures and notes transferred, as well as the four apps her old phone allowed her to download. Her contribution to this process was to have charged the phone overnight.

The New Phone Store employee worked silently pressing buttons, asking her passwords, none of which she could remember, but which he ultimately was able to circumvent. He continued for a couple of wordless minutes pressing buttons and could have been emptying her bank account for all she knew.

She took notice that each of his fingernails were dirty.

How unusual. Other than her auto mechanic, Susan doesn't normally encounter people who maintain their fingernails in such a state. It was certainly poor hygiene and terrible customer service. She couldn't look at him and wondered how quickly would she be able to plunge her phones into bleach after they were returned to her, and then her own hands after she touched them?

Susan turned completely away from the filthy fingered employee and searched the store for absolutely anything else to look at. There were only two employees; the one emptying Susan's bank account, and another helping a couple next to her. There was a third person, a woman in her forties playing with an iPad-looking thing. She appeared to be standard issue I don't care anymore with unkempt hair, jeans, sneakers, a sweatshirt and...gasp! a name badge.
She was an employee? Heavens!

What kind of a place was this?

Enough with those two. Susan really wants to tell you about her phone. Not the phone so much, but what it has taught her about herself. But first, a sidebar:

Susan had been driving an elderly BMW since February of 2014. Prior to this she spent two years sharing a car with the husband, and by sharing a car she means that the husband had primary custody. Please feel free to refresh your memory by reading THIS and THIS
Susan liked the elderly BMW, but she didn't love it and only held onto it for misguided sentimental reasons. Each year brought a reduction in automotive quality of life; the motors in the front windows failed and were repaired twice, the CD player refused to either play or vacate the last CD inserted,
the side view mirrors moved on their own and the little inside knob to adjust them didn't work necessitating Susan to manually fix them by hanging out the windows at red lights, dashboard sensors came on & disappeared, the front directional lights were always blowing out and the driver side seat warmer burned Susan's bottom.
There were also BIG under the hood repairs, but you get the idea.
The straw that broke Susan's back came when the car refused to unlock or lock without an additional thousand dollar expenditure.
Two weeks later she had a slightly used new car, one in which everything worked, with a sunroof and bluetooth speakers for perfectly clear hands-free conversations, one with a warranty, and one with which she fell immediately in love.

Worth noting: she cried out loud like a baby widow the first morning she drove it to work. 

The car has taught Susan that even though it was nice not to have a car payment for a number of years, it's also nice to spend money on something that is worth having.

Susan never cared about bluetooth until she experienced the ability to hear every word of her phone conversations. Did you see how Susan underlined that sentence? It's important to her. She often would just hang up in the middle of a phone call exhausted because she couldn't raise the speaker phone volume to be loud enough or shove the phone into her ear far enough to hear properly.

For the price of two medium sized repairs Susan purchased an extended warranty and drives worry free because Toyota is in charge of fixing any disasters. Toyota is like her husband now. 

Back to the phone.

Month after year Susan put off upgrading her circa 2014 phone.

Worth noting: The husband purchased this phone for himself in his final month on earth and Susan took it over after he died. See a pattern?

Susan didn't want a super fancy phone because she didn't think she used one thoroughly enough to require such high standards. She's not a teenager & didn't listen to music or watch videos, or play games. All she really did was text and talk and look stuff up and read her emails & the NY Times and get places using Google maps and and listen to NPR and call an Uber and do her banking and keep track of everything she wants to remember and wake herself up in the morning and figure out what she can't eat on Weight Watchers and play her wireless speakers at home (thanks Cousin Greg!) and look at Instagram and take pictures.

Susan likes taking pictures and needed a phone with a good camera. So she got a good upgrade. 

In the past five days the phone has taught Susan that she should have a new, modern and high functioning phone to take better pictures and listen to Morning Edition as she showers, and hear conversations with tremendous clarity, and store all sorts of information without being threatened with lack of storage, and organize all her pictures into easy accessibility, and if an app interests her she can download it like magic just because she wants to. 

And why shouldn't she? 


Susan just concluded a week in rainy, sunny, thundery, rainy, chilly and sunny again Florida visiting the Old Folks. Since we last checked in with them the Old Folks have gotten older, but so has Susan and everyone else in the world.

Susan's travelling companions included four of her immediate and much loved family members, many if not all, have been featured here. It was a lovely trip with one exception, the amount of talking most of these companions inflicted upon our poor Susan was oppressive. She has always maintained a low tolerance for unnecessary and redundant conversation, and this low tolerance was tested on the way to the airport.

Susan suspected that Chris the Uber driver tried to discourage, what will henceforth be known as The Talking, by playing his AC/DC music loud. This crowd didn't care, everyone talked at once, over each other, and about nothing particularly interesting. Chris the Uber driver turned his music louder. The Talking got louder.

Side bar: The lone person exempt from this behavior knows who she is.

The Talking continued all week long. Under normal circumstances Susan leaves the area when a conversation disinterests her, but being trapped in the car while everyone fights for the right to have words spill out of their mouth was agonizing. Susan stared out the window wishing the world would end.

She knows what you're thinking, where are your headphones old girl? Well, Susan is not in the habit of using headphones, so she never has a pair with her. She did purchase a cheap pair of earbuds while on her trip but they did not work effectively in her circa 2014 phone. Susan has been aware for a while that she should get herself a new phone; the battery drains quickly, she can't download a new app without first having to delete an old one & every day she gets a message that she's running out of storage space. Otherwise the phone works great.

There is no f*cking way that Susan is ever again going to allow herself to be trapped in an environment of unrestrained blathering. When she got home she ordered a new phone & bought a pair of headphones. She even negotiated a waiver of the thirty dollar upgrade fee (which is total bullsh*t anyway).

Oh, and she found this in her luggage:
TSA touched her dirty underpanties.


When last we left off Susan was telling you about three ghost stories told to her by two friends. She still owes you the story of George, but she's not in the mood for ghost stories right now so she'll save it for another day.

A lot went on last year, not everything got twistedsusaned. 

She continues to experience little coincidental things which she feels are not coincidences. Most recently a senior gentleman sang to her the entirety of 'You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby', and Susan was struck by the feeling that it was the husband being sweet to her from afar. Susan's absent husband sang to her for more than thirty years and even though this was not one of his usual songs she's not going to nitpick over the details.

Susan lost two long standing friends, both were in their fifties which she thinks is pretty rotten because that is her current decade of being. What's going on with all these principal people in Susan's life dying years ahead of schedule? Who the f*ck knows.

Anyway, there was mostly good stuff that happened to Susan during the year, here's a partial list;

She went to Texas hill country to visit her pal Cyndi (yes she really spells her name that way), it was a super nice trip. Here's a picture:

She went to Paris with her sister in September and LOVED it. Here's a picture:

At the same time Susan's daughter went to Morocco and had her phone & ID stolen on day three. Picture:

Then came the new year:

In January Susan went down south to see her Navy man.
No picture.

In February Susan marked three years without her beloved Cousin Lisa.

On Saint Paddy's day Aunt Eileen hosted a big shindig and Susan ate Shepherd's Pie and drank Guinness with her cousins & her cousins' cousins.

On Easter Sunday (or as Susan likes to call it, Sunday) mother & daughter had a date at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, but since only the Star Magnolias were blooming in the bereft & barren New York spring, they had plenty of time to walk next door to the Brooklyn Museum and spend hours at the David Bowie exhibit.
(Susan's review: Bloody brilliant!).
Worth noting: Susan also liked Mecca Journeys.

Anyway, there we are, totally up to date.


Susan heard three ghost stories the other night told by the two friends who experienced them. 

Rob's story involved shadowy forms outside his window that would float inside and disappear into the corner of the living room, up near the ceiling. Their appearance became so commonplace he would casually say 'Oh, the shadows are back again' if he saw them while he was on the phone. None of this alarmed him believing there was a physical explanation for which he was simply unaware, except once. Back then he had a dog & one night the dog's barking woke him up, when Rob emerged from his bedroom he saw that the dog was barking up at the corner where the shadows always went. 
'That scared me.'

Mark had two stories. 

The first one took place in the basement of an old house in which a dentist's office had been established. The house sat on Main Street with the Cedar Hill Cemetery behind it. Mark arrived to fix something in the basement, the staff directed him from the top of the stairs after which he went down and got to work. The basement was made of stone in the way old basements are, and Mark was there for approximately fifteen minutes when he saw a man dressed in black wearing a fancy hat walk from the doorway, cross behind him and disappear into the wall. He walked as if he was angry and he glared at Mark as he passed.
Mark hot-footed it up the stairs where the staff all asked Did you see him? Mark made such a commotion with his answer that the dentist came out and asked him to quiet down. Mark left. 'I made my partner go down there and get my tools.' 

Related: If you recall, last Saturday Susan went to a little local cemetery to say hello to someone she used to know. Well it was that cemetery.

Mark's next story is about George the ghost but it'll have to wait till tomorrow.


All day long Susan thought that Thursday was Friday, it started on Wednesday night when she thought it was Thursday night. Even when she looked at her calendar her eyes kept zeroing in on Friday's schedule, not Thursday's.

Despite that confusion & the morning's downpour of rain & her ongoing poison ivy she had a good day. It started when she allowed herself the luxury of sleeping till almost 8:30am. Then there was a Friendsgiving planned at work which meant homemade FOOD! Susan is still observing her month of no additional sugar but she treated herself to the apples from inside a slice of apple pie. 

After work there was an impromptu gathering of some friends where personal ghost stories were exchanged. Susan doesn't have any ghost stories, but two in her group did. She'll tell you about them tomorrow.


OMG, Susan has poison ivy again. Arggh! 
For the last three years she has gotten poison ivy at the end of November which keeps her scratching for two weeks. Always on her right arm. She knows this because she has intended, on the first of the last two Decembers, to have a bit of her beloved Cousin Lisa's handwriting tattooed inside her right wrist but has been thwarted each year by the damned poison ivy!
It is Susan's recollection that Cousin Lisa was not a fan of tattoos, so naturally Susan assumes it is she manipulating things from her current control center, keeping Susan's delicate skin from being permanently pigmented.
Go ahead Cousin Lisa, do what you can, Susan will wait you out. 
And thanks for keeping in touch.

Read more about Susan's poison ivy HERE.


Cousin Greg assisted Susan in the relocation of her daughter's bed from her house to the daughter's off campus bedroom, and by assisting Susan means he did everything. Cousin Greg lives approximately fifteen minutes away from Susan's daughter which is pretty convenient, but he also lives an hour from Susan in the opposite direction which is pretty INconvenient. So, he had to drive an hour away from his house, disassemble the bed, pack it nicely in his truck then drive back to fifteen minutes beyond where he originated, carry all the bed components & mattress up a crazy amount of steps and reassemble everything. Susan contributed by keeping all the bolts and screws in a bag and remembering to bring them with her. She also provided the energy Cousin Greg would require for this ordeal in the form of an Egg McMuffin.

Not missing an opportunity: While Cousin Greg was in Susan's house she also had him hump a Queen sized mattress up twelve steps.

Susan told Cousin Greg he was like her rubber husband, which now that she sees it in writing doesn't sound very flattering, but means that he helps her do things that she can't do alone like that disc of rubber which helps weak-armed ladies to grip & twist open jar tops.

Anyway, during their three hour adventure Susan got to see her daughter, see where she lives and meet her roommate, MD. Susan also got presents from the daughter's trip to Morocco! 

Related: remind Susan to tell you about when her daughter went to Morocco at the same time Susan went to Paris.

After Susan kissed everyone goodbye she went directly to meet up with Christine and Crazy Debbie, together they helped a mutual friend by getting her house ready for Thanksgiving company. At the end of the day all Susan wanted was to be back in her own house and lie on the couch with Lucy. So that's what she did.


Susan had a long Monday that started when she woke up & went to work leaving her weekend company to fend for herself with the two dogs, one of which is a killer of small furry things. Susan is happy to report that GP and Big Steve departed without incident and are free to return for another visit.

Susan did a bunch of things on Monday which put her in other people's homes and required a lot of driving. When she finally got back to her own home she just crashed on the couch & was too pooped to BLAHg. She'll hip you tomorrow when she has more brain power to make everything sound interesting, but here's a preview: Susan saw her daughter!

Oh, and Susan had a cut on her finger and it hurt all day. 


Susan's Sunday began with a late wakeup & more grilled pumpkin bread for breakfast before driving an hour to an estate sale where GP negotiated a 33% discount on a very nice four panel Oriental screen. Since GP is not one for heavy lifting her partner Susan folded the thing up and started moving it with some difficulty through the living room. This attracted the attention of a kind stranger who assisted Susan with its removal. Then, with the help of a second volunteer, they stuffed it into Susan's car with only a modest amount of maneuvering.

Susan and GP took the scenic route toward home stopping to have crepes for lunch. Crepes, ooh la la! Post lunch they continued along the scenic route for quite a distance in order to pick up a fresh farm stand pie to bring for dinner at Susan's little sister's house. 

The estate sale, lunch and pie took all day.

Susan's little sister's house is a noisy place filled with people and animals, and there's always room for more. Big Steve got an opportunity to run around with his kind, sniff asses & lick turkey fat from greasy fingers. He may even have pooped on the floor.
Once back at Susan's the girls changed into their nighttime loungewear for an evening of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Big Steve went to bed but not before peeing near the couch & pooping on the floor twice.

Day three, everyone made it through the weekend alive. 


Susan's weekend guests had a good Saturday. 

Susan baked pumpkin banana bread which was nice in theory only. Susan always forgets that she never likes anything she bakes using pumpkin. She loves adding pumpkin to things like chili and brownies, but pumpkin baked goods are always a disappointment. That said, it didn't stop her from grilling a piece on the stove top & eating it.

GP wanted to get Big Steve's nails clipped in the morning, so everyone put on their cold weather gear and went to the groomer in between the bagel place & the hairdresser. Big Steve revealed that he really didn't want his nails clipped by trying in earnest to bite everyone & peeing everywhere. 

Noteworthy was Susan being referred to as GP's partner by the owner.

The trio stopped at the vet to pick up Lucy's prescription then they went to an estate sale in a tight little house with lots of small rooms, the sort of house that was not altered by anything other than new shelf paper. Susan purchased a framed print of Notre Dame sitting patiently just waiting for her to find it.

Related: remind Susan to tell you how she went to Paris in September.

After the estate sale they went to a little local cemetery to say hello to someone Susan used to know, then they went to eat but it took a long time because the waitress gave their food to another table, then they walked around town ending up in a small used book store where everybody bought books.

Related: The last time Susan was in that book store Wild Bill bought forty pounds of WW2 books.

By now it was time to head home, en route Susan stopped by the Jewelry Hospital to drop off a favorite earring which broke when when it fell into the bathroom sink, then the local chain pet store where she picked up a 2 lamb shanks and an an impulse purchase of a new ID tag which she fed into a machine and watched being engraved, before ending up in 7-11 for half & half and the marvellously entertaining New York Post.

Once home everyone changed into their loungewear, Susan threw a fake log into the fireplace, and the dogs who seemed only marginally interested in each other were kept on their leashes and out of striking distance, Susan was not going to be fooled. 

Day two, no casualties.


Susan's weekend guests have arrived and even though she kept them waiting in her driveway on a very cold Friday afternoon they were still nice to her.

As previously documented, Lucy cannot be trusted around small furry things, or even small seemingly hairless bug-eyed things with a rat tail, but Susan isn't familiar with a beast fitting that description, certainly not Big Steve the chihuahua.

Susan let Lucy out the back door as GP and Big Steve came in the front door. He strolled around the house sniffing everything before establishing his temporary homestead in the orange guest room.

Eventually both dogs had to be introduced to one another, a moment Susan was dreading all week. She imagined Lucy busting through walls to devour all ten pounds of Big Steve in one bite. Instead both dogs were able to be restrained by a tight hold on their leash and eventually spent the night in each other's company, Lucy & Susan on one couch sitting opposite Big Steve and GP on the other. Susan rubbed Lucy's ears and kept the leash wrapped around her hand leaving only five inches to spare.

Night one, no casualties.


Swim with the current
Be a good navigator
Stay calm under pressure
Be well traveled
Think long term
Age gracefully 
Spend time at the beach

Susan loves this card her Aunt Eileen sent after they bunked together during a trip to Florida. For five decades Aunt Eileen and Susan have shared ideas & had wonderful meaningful talks, there's always something new to learn.

Aunt Eileen snores.


Susan is 57 but could easily pass for 56.

Today at work Susan was speaking to a 35 year old female seeking a job. During the conversation Miss Thirty Five wanted to write down the date she was scheduled to return. Instead of typing the information into the calendar on her phone, as most people would do, she pulled out an old school planner and explained 'I'm like an old lady...
Then she looked directly at Susan adding 'No offense' and continued talking.

For the rest of the day Susan's nickname was Grandma.


Susan is trying not to eat any additional sugar. This enlightened decision was brought on by the frightening volume of leftover Halloween candy she has been consuming at Acme Heaven Sent. Susan was already starting not to fit in to some of her pants which is a feeling she does not enjoy AT ALL and bite size nuggets of every imaginable chocolate candy just made her feel like Eric Clapton each time she stuffed them into her mouth. 

Sidebar: Eric Clapton was a former world class heroin addict who started with sugar 

Susan also read THIS ARTICLE about going a month without sugar, which made it seem pretty easy to accomplish. Susan liked the idea of resetting her taste buds, learning which packaged foods hide sugar and making some changesThe article suggested that she read the ingredient list looking for things that end in '-ose'. Susan reads most labels anyway and could certainly do that much, right? The article included a simple interactive game where she clicked on pictures of packaged foods and the amount of sugar was tallied up letting her know how good or bad her choices were. Not exactly Cards Against Humanity, but she found it illuminating.

Anyway, that's Day 7. Read the article, it'll take 2 minutes. The End.


Susan was drinking a smoothie in lieu of eating a proper dinner and texting her daughter and researching how much it is to order her dog's medicine online and putting away her groceries and listening to David Bouchier and writing a check and going through her garbage looking for a receipt and looking at cake decorating videos on Instagram and reading and yawning instead of BLAHg-ing.


Susan stayed home all day in her PJs. She didn't do anything constructive beyond brushing her teeth, moving her clocks ahead one hour, and repotting her little rosemary plant

She had a nice chat over the phone with her dad about combating anxiety which is an important (and recurring) topic. She had an equally nice chat with her pal, GP about what they would do during her upcoming visit and how they would keep her chihuahua, Big Steve out of Lucy's grasp.
I watched her kill a squirrel like three weeks ago Susan offered, as if GP needed any reminder of Lucy's ferocity around small furry things. Click HERE to read about Lucy's run-in with GP's dog, Sadie.

Susan's gonna require Big Steve's paw print on a waiver.


Susan had a Guinness for breakfast with her friend Cindy

After that she went to the thrift store and bought a green sweater, the cashier told Susan she had nice eyes

After that she went to the post office

After that she went to a local department store to stand on line & return some stuff

After that she picked up something she had framed & dropped off something to be framed

After that she went to the drive thru pharmacy

After that she went to the health food store and had a nice chat with the lady who works there. Susan spent almost fifty dollars which is a lot of money for the health food store, but two of the items ate up thirty four dollars because they were special

After that she went home to see her dog and listen to music and wash her sweater and text her son and talk on the phone with her pal Christine who described a disappointing visit with their mutual friend, and change her clothes before she walked back out the door

After that she went to dinner with her sister & brother in law who made her laugh and laugh and laugh

After that they went to Home Depot where all the Halloween stuff was 75% so they walked around wearing gorilla and werewolf masks looking for white flower pots but there weren't any so they left but not before Susan purchased both masks then they all did silly walks out the front door but Susan farted and everybody ran away from her 


Susan bit her tongue at lunch. 
She was really chomping away at her Sexy Greek Salad when she bit a hole into the middle of her tongue. She's not even sure how that part of her tongue met up with her teeth, but it did.
She announced very calmly to her lunch mate Book Smart, I bit my tongue.
Then it started to hurt. It hurts she said. She may have repeated that piece of information a few times. Book Smart immediately told Susan to soothe her tongue against the roof of her mouth, but Susan had to finish chewing her salad first. 

Sidebar: Book Smart is very composed during emergencies evidenced when Susan overheard a matter-of-fact phone conversation with the husband about one of their kids:
What happened?
How much blood?
Remain calm. I'll meet you at the hospital.

Susan took two Advil and looked at her tongue in the mirror. There was a black spot and a nice 3/4" gash, like her tongue got knifed and was now dying. Susan spent the rest of the afternoon playing with the wiggly bitten piece.

Even with the tongue trauma Susan was able to eat sharp & salty pita chips when she got home. 


Susan left work early so she could run home and get rescheduled by her tree removal guys. The trees in her yard are all thirty feet tall (conservatively) and some have developed a habit of keeling over but not hitting the ground. In March the first tree hit her neighbor's house, the current tree is being held up only by the branches of the tree next to it. 
A wee bit precarious, yes?

Earlier this year the tree gave up any impression of being alive and each time Susan looked at it she thought that's dead
She also thought that's going to be the next person's expense.


Susan promised to write a BLAHg post a day for the month of November, here's day one:

Susan took a little spin around FB and saw the excess of bullsh*t some folks were shoveling. Susan knows the real story because she has observed those same folks conducting themselves in a manner opposite from what they've promoted on FB. 

Consistently opposite.
Susan invites anyone in her life to call her out on her own bullsh*t. She would appreciate that information.


As you may recall, Susan is getting ready to leave everyone and everything she loves and relaunch herself in North Carolina. She approximates that 75% of her current possessions will not be invited to come along and has been casually shedding what she owns. There is always an open box into which she may deposit a rice cooker or her entire collection of dinner plates, minus two. If you say you like her earrings she may take them out of her ears and hand them to you. Or, she may just invite you in and ask do you want this or this or THIS?

She has adjusted her soft departure date from January to February, March the latest. Definitely not April. By April she is going to be someplace brand new. Until then she is trying to keep the little things in her house working without having to pull out any cash. Specifically she's referring to a sliding screen door.  She's already replaced her front storm door, an unavoidable task for which Cousin Greg was pressed into service (read the exciting story HERE) but she just needs to squeeze a few more months out of the screen door. It leads out back to her deck & sees a lot of daily action. On the weekend that thing might get slid back & forth forty times. 

The trouble began with the door getting knocked off the track and not replaced correctly. Susan marked, in pink nail polish, the exact spot at the bottom of the door where the wheels & the corresponding stationary track should meet so that one only needed to align them to achieve success. 

Anytime Susan returned from a trip during which one of her wonderful keyholding nieces has stayed at her house to care for the dog, she returned to find the screen door scraping atop the wrong track. Small children named KiKi are also known to extend their arms & push through as if they were Frankenstein looking for a way to the backyard. Even the dog has figured out how to nudge open the screen door & knock it on top of herself.

Susan has no such issues with her sliding screen door. If she feels the slightest resistance she looks downward, matches up the two pink spots of nailpolish & gets on with her day. Unfortunately, now a structural problem has developed as the wheels get shoved up into the framework removing Susan's ability to slide her door anywhere. Usually one to give up immediately, instead our plucky heroine embraced the challenge and jury-rigged a pretty effective solution using a bit of plastic & a hammer. 

Hooray for Susan!

Also, as she's done in the past, Susan is going to observe November's NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) and post every day during the month. Once again she wants to remind her modest fan base that they should not expect quality during this period, just quantity.