Sunday, October 26, 2008


Just put a banana bread in the oven. Can't even remember the last time I made one of those, but with four bananas stinking up the kitchen and Alton Brown's online recipe (which I kimodified by using brown instead of white sugar, and vanilla instead of almond extract), and motivation fueled by cleaning my foyer, in one hour I'll be in dessert heaven.

Power was out in Hamden all day yesterday, even the businesses. It was weird to see everything closed when it should have all been open. Woke up to no power, went out for breakfast in the next town which is on a different electricity delivery system, then to the movies, then came home, still no power, but a message from M. that I should come to dinner with her friends, so I did. Yum.

After dinner, I took the three kids and two adults in my car for ice cream, and found a chocolate ice cream stain on the passenger side seat when I got home, which I had to treat two times before it came out. Glad it wasn't worse than it was. I've got to spray that new car with Scotch guard right away. Funny thing is, it was an adult who sat in the front seat who left the stain! I mean, I hope it was chocolate. I'm pretty sure it was. Shout out to Max in the Hague with that one, ha ha.

Saw "The Secret Life of Bees" at the cinema one-too-many today with a group, then we ate in the food court of the mall where the theatre was. I liked the movie very much, very intense and compelling, and full of compassion and emotion. Haven't read the book. Can I just say I HATE MALLS! They feel like soul-less buildings to me, which is why I prefer to shop in smaller places, even if I have to pay more. I know in some places malls are the only option for shopping, which is a shame, but I HATE THEM!!

Bindi has an odd little bump on her ear, don't know what it is. When I take Misty for her shots, I'll take Bindi and have it checked out.

Went to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" again on Saturday with D. and her ten year old son N. I liked it just as much the second time. D. thought it was the first time I had seen it, I was laughing so much. Shout out to my brother: take the kids, it's fun! And one of the main characters looks like Bindi! There's very little about the Beverly Hills pampered pet syndrome (although the costumes are hysterical, and I mean the ones on the dogs) and much more about adventure and finding out what's really important. And with the voices of Andy Garcia, Cheech Marin, George Lopez, PLACIDO DOMINGO as Montezuma, Edward James Olmos, Paul Rodriguez, I mean Come On! It's worth the price just for that!

I watched "There Will Be Blood" on DVD last week, and thought it was excellent. I've always been a Daniel Day-Lewis fan, and he did not disappoint. I thought it was gonna be more bloody than it was, but it was not, although the main character was ruthless. I never know if these types of movies are in any way historically accurate, but if it did portray a realistic story of early American oil barons, that part was intriguing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Animal Planet

Man, I must be more fragile than I think this morning. Was watching "Growing Up" gorilla, with two orphaned gorilla babies being raised by human women, and I was absolutely sure that's what I want to do when I retire. It' something that has been on my mind for a long time, and one of the women in the documentary, a previous volunteer at this refuge in Cameroon, flew in from Canada to help out. She was in her 50s, and said she had raised her own kids, but in working with baby gorillas she experienced a lifelong fulfillment, or something like that

5.30 pm. I got myself to go to a yoga class today! It's offered Tues/Thurs at the Hamden senior center, for free, by Ravindra Vashi. He worked as an engineer for Sikorsky for 23 years, then retired. After doing yoga on his on for a long time, he decided he wanted to share it/teach it "before I go to cremation," he said, so he went to India, got certified, and came back and has been teaching only since April. He's 65, in great shape, and wants to gear the class to us older folks with all the common older folk ailments. He even showed me some knee postures that he said should help a bit. He said one of his wife's allopathic doctors asked him if he would teach her yoga, he did, for no compensation save one: he said to the doctor, Don't give out drugs so quickly to your patients, until they have tried other means of dealing with their conditions. Then he proceded to tell many stories of people who thru yoga and diet have gotten off many of the prescription medications they were on. He was completely accommodating of my bad knees and the postures that I could not do. But I was reminded how good it feels to stretch parts of the body that have not been stretched in a very long time. Yeah me.


So, the baby gorillas. Doing something with wild animal rescues is definitely in the cards. I even have a contact in Tanzania, Patricia Moehlman, The Jackal Woman, who has been studying jackals forever, and said she could hook me up with a rescue preserve.

Then there was a segment about a large elephant that had gotten badly stuck in a mud hole, and the whole village came out to try to free the elephant who had been trapped for three days. It took them all day, much pushing and pulling and ingenuity, and finally she was freed. I almost burst into tears.

I had a PET and CT scan yesterday, a followup of the cancer diagnosis and treatment. That's a stressful thing. First they shoot you up with radioactive isotopes (aren't I glowing brightly enough ALREADY?), make you sit in a dim room doing nothing for an hour, then come and get you and make you lie still on the machine table while the table moves back and forth inside a four foot deep tube that makes all sorts of weird noises. I see the oncologist on Monday for results. I keep wondering what these tests do to one psychically, metabolically. Bleecchh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Frost

Good thing I brought in the houseplants from outside last night. Not an easy job. They're all still in the foyer right now, and I have to spray them with horticultural oil to kill any insects that might be on them, wash off the pots, and determine the best windows for the appropriate light for each. Glad I got the windows washed as that will allow more light in, better for the flora.
Love old barn doors. This one was in Cheshire over the weekend.

Beautiful Elvy wrapped in K's shawl at the winery on Friday afternoon. Notice the unusual and lovely pin.

Driving yesterday this car was in front of me. Couldn't help but notice the license plate. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the person/woman driving it was bald, so likely a cancer survivor.

K. and Elvy at the dog park. Elvy is a Parson Jack Russell terrier.

More beautiful dahlias from the community garden. This frost last night probably finished them off.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Good news. I've been approved for social security disability benefits! So now I can formally retire with full benefits from Jale in December!! And M. has already offered to throw me a combo birthday/retirement party! Then I can get my knees done. Oh, that kind of sucks.

But I'm moving closer to beginning the first day of the rest of my life! And severing my ties with that awful employer.

Leaving soon to go see "W" with friends, then out for Thai food. I hit a few tag sales today and people were so cold outside they were practically giving stuff away. I got $53 worth of stuff for seven bucks. Yesterday I was interviewed for a couple of hours by a woman doing a book on the women's movement in New Haven in the 1970s, then K. and Elvy and Bindi and I went back to Gouveia vineyards and had wine and snacks outside while other customers swooned over our baby girldogs. They are getting along much better after a rocky first meeting. We then went to a new place for pizza near me, which was very good. Whole wheat thin crust with white sauce, onions, peppers, fresh tomato, and garlic. Yum. And the rest of the wine.

Have made plans to have a friend visit whom I haven't seen in 30 years. He left the U.S. then, moved to Ireland, has done dance, art, music, etc., became a citizen there, and is now coming back here for a visit. I'm kind of blown away. Here is his website:

I asked my shrink about how having someone around helps me complete tasks, and she said she has heard others with ADD talk about that same thing, so apparently there is a connection.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Schlep

The idea was that young, Jewish Democrats would flood Florida and convince their grandparents that voting for Obama was OK.

I love this idea and the grass roots organizing within families and generations, to counter racism and other prejudices. There are an estimated 650,000 Jews living in Florida, and will be a crucial state in the election.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Misty Came Home!

12 noon, October 13. She's fine. She promptly ate a ton of food, then threw it all up as she sometimes does when she eats too fast. That will be one vomit I'll be glad to clean up.

I was distracting myself by deleting stuff I didn't need on my computer. A friend theorized that perhaps she got confused because I painted the front steps. Maybe the smell threw her off. Whatever. She's home!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


is missing. Two days. Camilla did this last year for three days. So I'm hoping Mist will be home tomorrow. Fly, GAs, fly.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's Just and Fair

Although I have not be obsessing about gay marriage like many others have, I am proud that Connecticut has now legalized it. Now, on to other very important issues for the lgbt communities.

Today K. and I met at the dog park for some Bindi and Elvy bonding. Not so much. But as usual there were many great lookin' dogs around, and Bindi got lots of exercise running with those she deemed to be worthy of her effort. Elvy stayed pretty close to mom.

We went to Starbucks for coffee then back to my house where K. hung out while I put a coat of primer on my bare wood front steps. We had a conversation about why it is that some of us can complete tasks only when someone else is around. K. suggested is might be connected with having ADD, although we are not exactly sure how. If a task is not fully engaging at the outset, some of us can be completely motivated if another person is present, even if they are not helping, which K. did not, except to keep an eye on the dogs. Elvy was playing with some of Bindi's toys and balls, Bindi was on her tie-out line, and Elvy turned into a confident, playful dog. For her, being motivated to be more relaxed and expansive had to do with the alpha dog, Bindi, being tied up, or perhaps Elvy was just distracted by toys that she really really liked. Anyway, it was kind of fascinating all the way around. Tomorrow I will put a coat of paint on the porch and it will be ready for the winter weather.

Yesterday morning my cleaning person came and completed washing the windows in the house. Now they are all clean and sparkling. I'll be putting plastic over some of them because the heating bills were so high last year. Clean washed windows make a significantly nicer difference in how much light comes into the house, and looking outside is clearer and more enjoyable.

I then had lunch with my friend G. at a favorite Turkish restaurant, followed by a visit to the dentist, and then to the bank to put some money into a 4% seven month cd.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rest in Peace R.J.

Such sad news today. I ran into my neighbor across the street, RJ's dad, RJ the dog that Bindi likes so much. I said, C, how is RJ doing, as the dog was under the weather several days ago. C. said, not good. He's gone. What? He's gone? What happened? I cried in disbelief.

Apparently last weekend RJ's family went away for 2-3 days and left RJ alone in the garage, with his bed and food and water. When they came back on Monday, RJ was listless. They took him to the vet, who thought RJ had hurt his back, prescribed some pain medication, and RJ seemed to be doing better. But he started going downhill fast. After several trips to the vet, it was determined that RJ's back was broken, possibly from jumping up on something in the garage, or perhaps something fell on him. He is/was a small kind of frail, although lively dog. I always thought he was underweight, but C. said they were trying to feed him different food so that he would gain weight, but wasn't. Bindi just loved him.

Turns out RJ's injury paralyzed him, and he was crying out in the night with pain, terribly upsetting C.'s two daughters. The vet said that surgery was possible, although very expensive, and would need a specialist, with no guarantee of success. So they put RJ down yesterday. I burst into tears as C told me the story. I felt like a good friend had suddenly been taken from me and Bindi.

I am trying really hard not to be angry at C. and his family for leaving RJ locked in the garage all weekend. I've seen C's garage and it is filled with all sorts of stuff that could have potentially been harmful to RJ. Of course, fellow dog lovers, most of us would never do such a thing. In fact, when I first found out that C had left RJ alone, I said please let me know when you are going out of town again and I will watch RJ for you. But now it is too late. The puppy was only 3 years old. I am very very sad. C's wife was so upset she had to come home from work today early.

After that news, I drove out to Guilford to take S. and her friend Morgan to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," which was very cute, and funny, and I liked it very much. But our fluffy neighbor dog, who looked like a little lamb leaping thru the grass, is gone and our hearts are weeping.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Just Another Sunday

Yesterday at Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford where a friend and I shared a bottle of local rose. These are the grapes on the vines. Connecticut has nineteen vineyards.

Here's Bindi getting her monthly nail clipping. She's used to these two women, but look at that tucked between her legs tail. It doesn't hurt but she does not like it.

Next to Van Wilgen's Garden Center with this gorgeous display of hybrid pastel pumpkins. Really pretty.

Inside the greenhouse a chamber orchestra was playing slow polkas. How civilized.

Outside, a ginormous scarecrow with a massive bail of rolled up hay as a head. Kind of weird.

Bindiana Bones on the tractor. Hey, I told passersby, she's the only kid I have!

A stunning dahlia flower from my community garden plot. Photo does not do justice.

Friday, October 03, 2008

How To Cure Boredom

Step 1. Get two medium size rocks and a length of 30 lb test fishing line.

Step 2. Tie one rock to each end of the fishing line.

Step 3. Determine a strong branch on a tree in your yard.

Step 4. Throw one end of the fishing line attached to one of the rocks over the pre-determined branch, allowing the other end attached to the other rock to function as a counter weight.

Step 5. Untie the rocks from each end of the fishing line, and tie the two free ends of the fishing line together. Adjust the height so that the item in the next step can easily be hung from the line.

Step 6. Fill the already purchased 1/2 price bird feeder with seed and hang from the dangling line.

Step 7. Admire your handiwork and praise yourself for inheriting such genes of ingenuity.

Step 8. Wait twenty minutes and enjoy the birds feasting from your feeder, the squirrels eating the crumbs falling below, the cat chasing the squirrels, and the dog barking at everything.

Step 9. Notice that you are no longer bored.