Susan no longer has the stamina for:
Drinking alcohol in the heat
Long newspaper articles
Answering Why? questions from her medium sized children
Service fees
Staying up late combined with getting up early
Sullen cashiers
Searching for sh*t in the bottom of her bag
and holding her head up.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Susan was reading cuisinenie when she saw a stack of Jane's peanut butter cookies.
Oh, the joy that is peanut butter!
If Susan weren't so tired she might have started a cookie baking project right then because she knows her peanut butter cookies would totally mop the floor with Jane's.
Susan's cookies are flourless, which is much better because nobody needs any extranneous ingredients to get in the way of all the lovely peanut butter and sugar.

2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chunky peanut butter

350* oven
Combine sugar & soda; stir in eggs & vanilla, add peanut butter. Stir until combined.
Does everyone know the water displacement method to measure peanut butter? Fill a large measuring cup with 2 cups cold water, add peanut butter until the level of the water is raised to 4 cups.
Form into 1" balls & drop onto a cookie sheet three inches apart.
Bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.


Thanks, Pop.

Saturday morning Susan's old man phoned her to say that
this movie was on TV later that evening.
Susan immediately invited her little sister's family over.
After eating a big meal, shattering some glassware, breaking a table leg and making a pot of coffee
everyone sat down and peed their pants.

Look, a Picture!

Susan has decided to reward her modest fan base with a profile picture of herself and apologises for taking so long.
Under normal circumstances uploading a photograph to a blog should be no big deal unless there doesn't happen to exist a decent photograph of a certain TWISTED subject, even when her little sister is a professional photographer. The biggest factor working against Susan is that she just doesn't know how to smile for a photograph. Plus, Susan's face is often shiny, which is why she has few wrinkles for her 49 years, but it also makes her appear as though she's rinsed off in olive oil.
Susan's little sister was nice enough to make up a disk of recent family photographs and when Susan got tired of looking for the perfect representation of herself she cropped out Cousin Lisa and used the one you see above.


Susan's Dress Goes to the Opera

Four years ago Susan purchased a dress to wear for her husband's daughter's wedding. It was off the rack from a nice store and Susan was very excited because it was everything she wanted in a dress. The neckline was flattering, the fabric was the proper weight to glide gracefully o'er her bumpy parts and there was enough support in the bodice to get away without wearing a brassiere.

The other evening while conversating with the husband at the dining room table, Susan was casually looking through an Arts section from the New York Times that was two months overdue for the recycling bin.
Down at the bottom of page C 5 was a big, beautiful soprano wearing Susan's dress.


Fruit Salsa

Susan has a friend named April who moved far away back when the Go Gos were playing on the radio. Sometimes Susan flies on a plane all by herself to go visit April and during one trip April made some fruit salsa.
Here's her recipe.

1/2 ripe cantaloupe, diced (Susan substitutes cantaloupe for the original papaya)
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 15 oz can black beans (any sort will do), drained & rinsed
*hot peppers (please see note below)
juice from 1 lime
Mix everything together and serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to fish.

*Since Susan can never figure out which peppers in the supermarket are hot she uses a few spoonfuls of crushed red peppers from a jar. She also adds a few shakes of Tabasco sauce and might add some black pepper. She tastes as she goes along to make sure she doesn't over do it with the heat.

This is a staple in Susan's house during the summertime, she makes it every weekend along with a pitcher of sangria because she lives in hope of company.


Ow. Hugs Hurt.

For the length of time Wild Bill is in NY he has a home at Susan's house and a job ninety minutes away. After a few weeks of getting home in time to sleep for four hours before he has to get up again he's taken to bunking at a buddy's house. This is a nice arrangement for him, at least until the buddy's wife decides she's had enough of the loud, guitar strumming stranger sleeping on her couch.
In the meantime both Susan's kids ask 'When's Uncle Billy coming home?' until someone answers them.

His current schedule is to show up every three or four days, stay a day or two, then split. Even with this abbreviated arrangement his sisters are happy to have him close because this is the most amount of time they've spent with their brother since they were all kids.

Wild Bill wears a khaki fishing vest, it's got a crap load of pockets that he fills with all his belongings.
It's like his pocketbook.
Anyway, the other night he shows up just shy of midnight and gave Susan a crushing bear hug which drove something bumpy and metal into her chest.
By the time she realized that she was being impaled by something in his pocket, she was released.

The next day Susan was sporting a bump just south of her collarbone, a little inside. Ow, she couldn't resist pressing the bump making it hurt.
The day after that the bump still hurt. Ow.
Three days later the bump is a little smaller but still hurts. Ow, because Susan keeps pressing it.


Frank's Brother

Frank McCourt has gone to meet his Maker and even though Susan didn't like any of his books ('Tis true)
she wishes him well in his new endeavor.

Susan much prefers Frank's brother, Malachy the author of 'A Monk Swimming'. Malachy makes Susan laugh and uses words like spifflicated, querulousness, concomitantly, promulgating, desultory and avoirdupois. Susan knows what promulgating means because it was part of a couplet in a junior high school bathroom stall and has stuck with her for three decades. Some of the other words Susan has seen around the neighborhood but she really doesn't know them and two are flat out strangers.

Let's make friends with some new words, shall we?

1920s slang for drunk
Damaged beyond repair

A related form of QUERULOUS; inclined to find fault,
often complaining

Occurring simultaneously, accompanying,
existing with something else often in a lesser way

Announcing, making known

Lacking in consistency or visible order, disconnected

Excess body weight


Is Anyone Interested In A Potato Salad Recipe?

Susan's little sister was over for a certain eleven year old's birthday party and had nice things to say about Susan's potato salad.
Susan doesn't like her potatoes cold and slathered in mayonnaise, but she likes this recipe because it uses sweet potatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Susan's recipe allows for all sorts of substitutions but she will stick close to the original form.

1.5 pounds of small red potatoes (or any potatoes really), scrubbed & quartered
1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (add more)
1/2 onion, finely chopped (use the whole thing)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil or oregano, whatever's handy
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons plain yogurt (feel free to use fat free,
Susan does)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Susan has also been known to chop up a red and/or green pepper for a little crunch.

Simmer potatoes 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain & rinse under cold water.
Combine vinegar, oil and garlic in a LARGE bowl.
Add the onion and potatoes, toss to coat.
Combine the cilantro, basil or oregano with the mayonnaise, yogurt, salt & pepper.
Pour over the potatoes and toss to coat.
Refrigerate until cold.
Susan finds it tastes best the day she makes it.
Will anyone be put off to learn that it's a WW recipe?


Happy Birthday, Sunshine!

Susan is lucky enough to have two children who she prefers over all other children, except maybe for children who don't whine when they're told to do something,
but she has yet to meet any.

Susan's son was born in the winter and every year she has to hold an off-premises birthday party because she can't accommodate a braying herd of boys in her house.
Her daughter was born in the summer and thank goodness for backyard parties. Susan loves backyard parties because although they require that she cleans the house, they also require much less money. Assuming she pays attention to how much she spends.

When her daughter was little Susan had to shame mothers into RSVP-ing or beg them to bring additional offspring in order to ensure a decent turnout.
Now that her daughter is eleven, chasing after guests is no longer necessary. The eleven year old took on the responsibility of writing all the invitations and each invitee called up to accept or decline on their own.
What mature girls!
Mothers' involvement is now limited to transportation,
not communication, which is fine with Susan.

In the past Susan has had to provide a series of games or crafty activities for the party guests, but not any more.
A simple above ground pool, water balloons and music is all that's necessary leaving Susan free to sit on the deck and drink sangria while her husband makes hamburgers.
Even when the party guests turn into overnight company a PG-13 movie and green nail polish keep them happy.

Susan was unsuccessful in abolishing the goody bags. Drats!
The eleven year old allowed Susan to simplify the contents to a gimmicky toy, a deck of cards and candy.
Happy Birthday, Sunshine!


The Car's Got To Go

Susan's new old car has an oil leak which means that she can't park it in the driveway.
It also means there's a smoky exhaust smell.
She knew it had no air conditioning, but discovered it had no heat when she tried to dry her hair by aiming the blowers at her head.
It squeaks and rattles but that's almost not worth mentioning.
Susan walked in the door this evening with the taste of a city bus in her mouth and approached the husband.
'We have to sell the car.'
He didn't object.


Susan Telephones Her Daughter From Work

Hello, sweetie.
Hi, mommy.
What are you doing?
Did you have fun today?
It was okay.
Did you see your cousins?
I thought daddy was dropping you with your cousins.
Did you go to work with daddy?
Were you bored?
How come daddy didn't drop you off with your cousins?
I dunno.
Was Uncle Erik home?
No, he was a witness to a bank robbery and he had to talk to the police.


Twisted Susan's Car

Recently much of Susan's life has been eaten up by her new career as a sweatshop seamstress.
As a result she hasn't had time to do anything other than work like a DOG.
But, she's managed to squeeze in a few things over the last twelve days, such as;
paint her toenails
plan a backyard camping trip
watch a movie with her brother
take a nice drive
bake eggplant, tomatoes & garlic in olive oil @ 500 degrees for 15 minutes
and participate in the purchase of a car.

For the last few years Susan and the husband had been in the habit of driving new cars. This was nice for a while but ultimately became a terrible burden which was relieved,
to some extent, by a tow truck. Immediately afterwards, Susan was happy to drive her little sister's van until it required too much money to repair. Lately, Susan and the husband had been sharing one car while they searched for a suitable used car. Susan was enthusiastic when the husband showed her a reasonably priced Volvo.
It was reasonably priced because it was made in 1993.
That's older than Susan's marriage!

The privilege of purchasing this car necessitated a trip one state over because there are no 1993 Volvos for sale in Susan's home state. This notwithstanding, Susan was excited because she would have her own car again. So, one evening last week Susan & the husband went to pick it up. Susan approached her new old car, stuck her face in the window and said 'It smells'.
Susan was not allowed near it again until yesterday when she spent an hour scrubbing the inside with one of her green cleaning cocktails. Then she drove it.

It runs good and goes fast. It doesn't have air conditioning but there's a working sun roof and power windows.
It doesn't have a cup holder but there's space to wedge her coffee cup between the center console and the seat.
It doesn't have a CD player but the speakers are good and Susan likes listening to the radio too.
Susan likes her new old car.