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.


Susan is out of ideas for her enforced daily BLAHg post.
Forgive her.
Day 23 is bogus.


Bathtub Drain, Two Ways

Susan asked her son to remove some hair that had collected in the grate covering the drain in the bathtub then watched in horror as he took the hair, threw it into the toilet and flushed it away.
At the very end of Susan's shower she noticed she was standing in a half inch of water. She took her foot and played with the lever. Nothing happened. 
She got out and plunged until she was sweaty and wracked with old age pains. Nothing happened.
She asked her son to plunge. Nothing.
She went out with her little sister and returned with Drano & a snake which her son took and went to investigate. A few minutes later he emerged and asked if Susan had been messing with the lever. 
She may never learn why the tub was a little slow to drain but apparently she sealed the drain opening shut when she flipped the lever the wrong way.


Susan spent a crisp Saturday on a walking tour of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery with her little sister and two nieces.

Susan's a sucker for a good cemetery and this one's on the National Register of Historic Places, plus it's right in Headless Horseman territory. It's got a lot of famous and infamous residents, folks like Leona & Harry Helmsley, Washington Irving, William Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, William Chrysler, Brooke & Vincent Astor, as well as the dude who wrote Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Claus.

After the two hour walk Susan needed a cocktail, then a nap.

Susan's fave, the final resting place of The Queen of Mean
A peek inside, nice right?


Susan is too disinterested to BLAHg.

She has buyer's remorse after spending $43 on a bottle of maple whiskey. She wouldn't have minded the expense if she liked maple whiskey, but she had to spend that amount to discover that she didn't.

Hope y'all liked Day 20.


Susan is roasting asparagus for Acme Heaven Sent's Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow. She roasted them in batches, making the first over-done and limp then each subsequent batch a little less so.
She envisions treating her coworkers to asparagus gruel after an hour of sitting over a sterno.
Susan also made the apple cider punch undrinkable with a heavy handed addition of cayenne. But, not to worry because she managed to pour half of it all over her kitchen counter.


Susan promised everyone a normal topic for Day 18 and here it is; Eggplant Pizzas!
This is the sort of thing that Susan would never think up on her own because she's got an inside-the-box brain. Her aubergine averse kids might even eat these although nowadays Susan doesn't care if they eat what she makes.

There you have it, all Susan's years of maternal effort have brought her to this point; she doesn't care.


That wasn't Susan's husband yesterday, she's got more than one dead guy making her sad. That was Jeff, her daughter's former figure drawing teacher, although this description of the relationship is very inadequate. Suffice it to say that Jeff was important to Susan's family and also had the distinction of having the best, most entertaining wake.


Susan's husband died two weeks after Jeff, so she still has that jubilee looming on the horizon, but first she'll have to endure Cousin Lisa's birthday, the day before. Susan made it through 54 years intact, there were losses, but they belonged to other folks. This double whammy is hers.

Anway, Susan's gonna give you all a break tomorrow & BLAHg about normal stuff.


Susan is sad today.
She'll be better tomorrow.


Susan cleaned three rooms of her house for company Saturday night; the bathroom, livingroom & kitchen. Oh, and she made her bed. The dining room was kept dark to conceal that she prefers to keep her table piled high with household debris.
Susan had some pears which she wanted to incorporate into a cocktail. Last year her friend Anna served her a lovely concoction of pear puree, pear vodka & lemon juice. Susan pureed the pears & added vodka. She didn't have any citrus, so Italian grapefruit soda was a surprisingly tart substitute topped by seltzer and lots of ice.
Presto! Susan is a genius.
Susan's company arrived, they threw a Duraflame log in the fireplace and had a terrific three hour chat.


A symptom of Susan's grief is revealing itself to be anxiety.
She's afraid to do time sensitive things, so she procrastinates until they cause a problem.
She's afraid to open her e-mail even though there's nothing scary in there.
She's afraid to mail her amended tax form even though she's due some money.

Susan and anxiety go way back to when she was little. Then during both her pregnancies she had panic attacks, those things were mind blowing. A dead husband's got nothing on panic attacks.

The panic attacks were special, they came in the sunshine of her happy life, taught her some stuff and haven't been back since. They also changed Susan's relationship with anxiety; it's cautiously cooperative, she gets ready when she knows it's coming, and it always comes to tell her something.

Susan sees the pattern in the things she's afraid of lately.


Susan had two extreme soup experiences today.

At lunchtime she ordered seafood soup from the local Chinese food place. There was no description on the take-out menu, just seafood soup offered in a quart size for $6.99. Susan envisioned a steamy broth with shrimp and scallions, maybe some vegetables.

What it arrived it more closely resembled a container of goopy lobster sauce with pink imitation crabmeat sliced into rings. The sight of it disgusted Susan. She reluctantly ladled a small amount into a bowl, tasted it then chucked the whole jizzy mess into the trash.

She just tipped a dude to deliver food that she took from him and threw out.

When Susan got home she was hungry from having no lunch and immediately took her daughter out to eat. They entire dinner was most unremarkable except for the spicy miso seafood soup; a heavenly bowl of smoky broth that made Susan woozy and silly.

This notwithstanding, Susan spent money all day long on meals she didn't care for, she's got to start cooking again.


Susan has been watching BBC and has learned a lick of slang:
Bob's your uncle = added at the end of a sentence, such as after some instructions, to mean there you have it, or that's it!
Bollocks = no good
Bugger all = you have nothing
A do = a party
Duffer = a useless person
Knob = penis
Owt = anything
Pillock = stupid person
Shite = shit
Summat = something
Tosser = jerk


Susan agrees that she cheated everyone out of a legit BLAHg post yesterday, however this is no reflection on the cartooning charms of Roz Chast. Susan recently read Roz's graphic novel about running back & forth to take care of her extremely elderly parents Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant and found it entertainingly horrifying.
Susan's own laziness, fatigue and lack of imagination gave a whiff of illegitimacy to Day 10 and now hopes no one notices that Day 11 only has three sentences.


Susan has left herself mere minutes to complete her obligatory BLAHg post before the clock strikes midnight.

Once again a cartoon, this one by Roz Chast:


While loading groceries into the fridge Susan found a forgotten head of cauliflower way in the back. Susan doesn't have one of those big fridges where everything is up at eye level, she's got the old-school-white-freezer-up-top-type requiring her to bend way down to see what's in there.
Anyway, as she retrieved the cauliflower & backed out of the fridge she banged the top of her head on the bottom of the freezer and went insane.
She immediately began beating the Dickens out of the fridge with the cauliflower while cursing
f*ck you m*therf*cking c*ck s*cking f*cker! and spitting all over everything, even herself.
The half dead cauliflower was no match for one crazy assh*le & a fridge so it quickly disintegrated all over the floor where she just left it.
Strangely, Susan was actually mad at the cauliflower but not the fridge.


Here's a New Yorker cartoon in lieu of a BLAHg post:
Susan does not care for The New Yorker beyond their cartoons, so don't go thinking she's all highbrow and everything.


Susan got up, made herself a cup of coffee and started her Saturday morning cleaning during which she removed the garbage can from underneath the sink and left it out to be emptied when she got around to it.

The garbage cans in her house are always filled to capacity because neither of her children will dump them unless they are asked to, or unless Susan does it herself. They will comply, often making her wait until after they complete whatever they claim to be doing so that they don't have to jump up and do it right then. She has been known to ask them three or four more times with lessening degrees of patience.

Kids. Whaddya gonna do (about them).
Ed. note: To be read rhetorically.

Susan went on to do something else, possibly to crawl back into bed and watch an episode of Last Tango In Halifax, and left the garbage can in the middle of the kitchen floor with trash bag filled with garbage still inside.

Later when Susan emerged to continue her June-Cleaver-ing she noticed there was something a little off in the kitchen. Everything looked fine, but she felt something was different.

The garbage!
It had been dumped, a new bag put in, and then returned to its place under the sink. One of her children had done this without being asked, which is something that has NEVER happened in the eleven years they have lived in the house.

Susan never imagined this would turn out to be such an auspicious day.


Susan was invited to her pal Sharon's house for homemade broccoli cheese soup in bread bowls which Susan regards as the perfect coupling of two marvelous things to eat.

After dinner Susan made Hasselback baked apples, also very well received and a total cinch.

Day six is in the books.


November 5th is the day last year that changed Susan's life.

It's the day she sat with the husband in Sloane Kettering for seven hours drinking coffee from their fancy machine that grinds the beans for each cup & reading their brand new magazines.

It's the day that offered her no protection, the one she didn't see coming.

They would return a few times more, and each time the news would be worse, but by then Susan had an idea of what to expect. Last November 5th she was completely unprepared.

It's also the day that everything unimportant fell away leaving only love.


Susan's never met a pasta salad that she really liked. It should be something that's easy to like; macaroni, chopped up stuff and sauce, but the proper combination has always been elusive.

Cousin Caroline hosted a little get together at her house a few weeks ago and when Susan saw the pasta salad she thought ho-hum but dumped some on a plate and ate it anyway.
Strangely, she liked it.
When Susan replicated it at home fifty percent of her kids liked it too. She can further report that leaving it in the fridge for almost a week had no ill effect on either the flavor or consistency.

For day four Susan is presenting COUSIN CAROLINE'S PESTO PASTA SALAD:

6 ounces jarred pesto + 1 cup mayo whisked together
pasta of your choosing
14 ounces drained & quartered artichoke hearts, in water or marinated, whatever
8 or 9 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, not frozen is also an option
sliced black olives
chicken, cubed or shredded

Dance this mess around then buon appetito.


Day three of NaBloPoMo and Susan has zero material. This being established Susan is prepared to offer one sentence as her BLAHg post:

There is a tremendous amount of leftover Halloween candy at Acme Heaven Sent, like five plastic pumpkins full just lying around for everyone to eat as they walk by.
It's a problem.

NaBloPoMo, quality sacrificed for quantity.


A few weeks back Susan had a delightful time with a mob of people all fifteen years her junior or worse. One of the highlights of that evening were the two cider cocktails she drank.

Of course two cocktails are a very unremarkable number, but for our elderly heroine they represented a continued time commitment, meaning she was gonna be hanging out with the kids a while.

Ultimately she joined them as they went from the first location to the second, then declined the third but appreciated the invitation.

The cocktail had been haunting her dreams ever since, it was liquor-y, tart & a little sweet from maple bourbon, pear vodka & apple cider.

On Sunday she paired some Maker's Mark with cider and maple syrup, the real stuff not Mrs. Butterworth's. The maple syrup added a smoky element which she liked, so she pushed the cocktail further into that direction with a pinch of smoked hot paprika. She squeezed half a lime for tartness, and because she puts lime juice into all her cocktails whether they need it or not.


It's earned a place in the little notebook of home cocktails Susan keeps. It just needs a name.


Many of Susan's bloggy pals know that her awesome BLAHging talents extend all the way back to 2009. Probably no one realizes that every November she signs up for National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) and commits to writing a post a day for 30 days. She likes to reward her modest fan base for their support by boring them every day with an insufficient effort just to maintain the criteria of a personal challenge.

Susan hasn't been posting as frequently as in previous years because she hit the jackpot when her husband got sick and died in two months then her best friend died three months later. Has she mentioned this already?

She's still got lots of people she loves and when you get down to it every one of them is her favorite although some are more favorite than others.
And some are less.

But for the record, Cousin Lisa was her supreme, tip-top Favorite of the Favorites. This distinction was so well known that Susan's husband and brother in law would poke fun whenever Susan and Cousin Lisa would get together;
'Oh, let's drop everything because Cousin Lisa is coming over!' they would say in a slightly snooty accent, emphasizing Cousin Lisa in a higher pitch. Sometimes they would reduce their commentary to just a high pitched Cousin Lisa!  
This always made Susan laugh.

Anyway, enough crying over the laptop for one day. In an effort to get back to blogging normalcy Susan is going to be writing a post a day for the month of November, which is also the month in which Susan's husband rapidly deteriorated. So, screw your courage to the sticking place because this may be a recurring topic. But, as Susan always sez, this is her BLAHg and she'll do what she wants.

NaBloPoMo day one, done.