Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vamos A La Playa

And I'm off again, tomorrow morning.

This time to Fire Island Pines. I take a train, then we take another train, then we take a jitney to the dock, then we take a boat, then we fill up a little red wagon with our belongings and pull it along the boardwalk to the house.

Then we breathe. No cars, only walking, or jogging or swimming.

One of my most favorite places on earth.

I'm bringing my camera (thank you Susan for the speedy return) my IPad and that pesky poison ivy.

I haven't been able to shave my legs or use a moisturizer since this was identified.

Not my usual beach look.

And I'm going to stay with my most style conscious friend.

Ah vanity.

But I'll be back next week, hopefully with pictures of paradise, though you can be sure I'll be photo bombing IG.

Well if there's wifi.

It is an island.

And the deer run free. I'm sure lymes disease is readily available this summer.

No thanks, the PI was enough of a souvenir.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my favorite nursery in Falmouth,Ma, Brick Kilm Farm.Wish we were there.


Monday, July 21, 2014

And The Beat Goes On.....

I just said av revoir to Elle and her family.

Sadness lingers.

She was a constant bubbly joy.

I loved her, my neighbors loved her, my friends loved her.

She will be greatly missed.

We had a farewell dinner last night.


I made a heirloom tomato salad with watermelon, Bulgarian feta, fresh mint, salt, pepper, splashes of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garden mint.

We grilled sausages and served them with my so called French potato salad.

Then my neighbor Nelda knocked it out of the park with a peach, blueberry and raspberry cobbler with whipped cream.

Some say it with flowers, we say it with food.

The French are off on a three week adventure, getting their kicks on Rt.66, from Chicago to Santa Monica.

Then they drive to San Francisco, overeat, and fly home.

As I write this there is a moving van parked in front, moving the neighbors across the street, who had rented for a year.

I will miss their energy, soccer balls everywhere, the little boy who kept a diary, the young wild dog Rocky who would chase Lucy around the yard while she scrambled over fences and ran up trees.

So again, changes.

I try and embrace them these days.

My life has been enriched by all the different people who have filtered in and out of it.

Thanks to Elle, I could get these pictures off my new phone and put them on the blog.

I can light a grill, make a pastry crust and tie a scarf , but I still don't speak a word of French.

And to her grave disappointment, I still don't have enough "products".

The shower is empty without all her scrubs and rubs.

And our house is empty without her.

But our hearts are bigger for having known her.

Bisous Elle.

Friday, July 18, 2014

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N In The Summer Sun

I went to the Cape. We ate and we ate.

Fried clams and green beans,

Lobster rolls and ice cream.

 We ate at a farm, saw some goats in a barn,

walked through fields of flowers and  hay.

We went to the beach, we went to the gym,

in a futile effort to try and stay slim.

 We read and we napped,

watched movies, walked laps.

With 3 little dogs on leads.

The skies were so blue, low humidity too.

A treat for a girl from the city.

I flew back all tan, my I Pad in hand.

Determined to bring back the feeling,

of time to be wasted and meals to be savored.

And friends to be held in your heart.

Then my phone up and died, I left my camera behind,

And I had a mysterious rash.

Poison Ivy it seems, has invaded the dreams,

of living beach life back at home.

Now I'm back and I'm itchy, so occasionally bitchy,

the saying, it runs through my head:

"Where ever you go, you take yourself with you".

And I guess you bring it back too.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Because Futbol

I want to go to the gym but I don't feel I can leave the house until the France/Nigeria match is over.

I know Elle is taking a long "lunch" today and standing in a bar in DC screaming her substantial lungs out.

So the cats and I watch at home. They are napping, taking a break from their Rumspringa.

Which allows me a break from worry.

Between them and soccer I had to dash to the hairdresser last week. It's all turning me grey. Or at least it was.

Last night we had a birthday dinner for the French Girl. The usual suspects. But this time they carried gifts over with their beers.

And to their surprise were served glasses of pineapple gazpacho, garnished with finely chopped cucumbers, 3 colors of peppers, vidalia onion, cilantro and my first garden jalapeno.

Is it a shot someone wondered?

No, it's soup I said, try it. It went down so nicely on a hot Virginia night I forgot to get pictures.

But I got a shot of the annual shrimp boil.

And everyone whipped out their phones for a pic of the raspberry almond cake, served with whipped cream and more raspberries. These are my kind of people.

Bravo, Senorita Bravo.

There are still 3 pieces begging to be eaten.

But the match is over, France has won!  Happy Birthday mademoiselle from Le Bleu.

I'm off to the gym.

Can't wait for my afternoon (cake) coffee.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Oh What A Night

Picture me, if you will, in gym clothes, flipflops, a gardening glove on my right hand, carrying a broom, dustpan and two plastic bags.

I was headed outside to dispose of a gift from Lucy who just won't quit this week.

I heard voices from across the street and lured two neighbor, Rob and Carlos, over to help with the burial.

Amid merciless teasing, ( I did look a little eccentric ), they disposed. I proposed they stay a while. Soon we were joined by Elle and Vicky, the deceptively glamorous looking neighbor who can yield a sledge hammer as effortlessly as an eyeliner.

Above our laughter we heard screams from the backyard. This time Lucifer had a bunny. Lots of scrambling and shouting, bunny released, Lucy grounded.

20 minutes later I let her out. She made a beeline for a Queen Anne's lace where bunny was resting.

More shrieking, chasing, Rob leaping over pots and liriope effortlessly only to land on the borders edge,  the deeply edged border. He was up, he was down.  He was up again chasing the bunny down the street to safety. Lucy got another time out. Rob got a sprained ankle.

Thank God I specialize in ice bags. Drinking and story telling resumed. Lucy came out. Peace and laughter continued until I realized it was 11:00pm and I had to go to bed. Saturday is my Friday.

But first I had to round up the felines. Gus always falls for the laser toy and was triumphantly carried into the house.

Lucy was in the sky with diamonds, up on the roof. I raced inside to get my IPad and attempt to get a picture (of course), Rob, balanced on the thin stair railing and tried to lure her down with crunchies.

She took the treats then rolled around on the roof, flirting shamelessly.

We went to the back of the house, back to the front of the house,  to the back, to the front. Elle got a step stool, Vicky an 8"ft ladder and Carlos a spray bottle because he thought if he squirted her she'd come down. WHAT? Gus of course got out.

Finally Rob got up on the roof, handed her off to Elle who was now on the ladder, who handed her off to me. Elle chased Gus and brought him back inside.

It was midnight. Just another night on Ode Street. I fed the cats, bid everyone goodnight, washed my face and took a double dose of calcium.

This morning  the ice pack was lying on the table and a small feather drifted about the patio.

Those and the bags under my eyes were the only evidence of the night before.

Though I was asked to send thank you flowers.

From the bunny:

For the burial.
And for the roof rescue.
"As if."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All Quiet On The Eastern Front

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..

You truly came through in my hour of need.

I love action suggestions and you gave them to me in spades.

I bought the Feliway spray.

I tried to model "calm behavior".

Though if the cats were truly influenced by me, they would get up every morning, strap tiny sponges to their paws and wash the kitchen floor. Maybe stand on their back paws and put a load of laundry in..

And they would certainly sweep up their own hair.

I rubbed Gus all over with crunchies. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he started cleaning himself.

"Hey, I'm delicious" it said.

I got out their laser toy and we all had such fun playing with it, I now use it as a lure to get them back in the house at bedtime.

Lately this has also included laying a trail of crunchies from the front stoop into the living room.

But that's another story. And a girl's got to sleep, no judging.

By Monday morning I could feed them side by side again.  No more hissing, growling or aggressive behavior.

What an enormous relief for both  humans but especially Gus.

Of course now I have to make another appointment and get Lucy Lui to the vet on her own.  The Feliway spray suggests misting the carrier 20 minutes before attempting to load up the cat. I'm in with that.

Though I don't know if my poor traumatized girl will be. 

But right here, right now, peace and harmony reigns in the house.

Life is once again

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trouble In Paradise

I don't mean to post bomb you but I have a disturbing situation here.

Yesterday GG came to take the cats and the Lab to the vet for their yearly check up.

She brought her sister's two cat carrying cage. Lucy was intrigued, wandering in and out at will.

Gus was AWOL but after several text back and forth and a phone call I directed her under my bed where he was found sleeping soundly.

She scooped him up and put him in the cage and then added Lucy. I don't know whether it was the smells of the other cats or the fear she was being kitnapped but she went ballistic on Gus.

GG got them both out, Lucy ran to my closet and freaked out every time GG came near her, spitting, growling and hissing.

Eventually GG left her home and took Gus and Nika to the Vet's.

They were both outside when I came home, Lucy was loving and sweet to both myself and GG but continued to growl and swipe at Gus who was all what up with Lucy?

This lasted all night, I had to feed them seperately and Gus spent the night with Elle except for a bried foray into my bed at 11:45 where Lucy found him and started a fight.

I kicked them both off the bed and everyone returned to their corners until this morning.

I hoped Lucy would be over it by today but there was a brief hisssy fit until I let the Guster out.

What to do? Any thoughts or suggestions? I know Lucy was scared out of her mind yesterday but why is she taking it out on her brother?

Will she get over it? Has anyone had an experience like this?

We're shattered here. Will peace return?

Ayyiyi. My babies.

Where has the love gone?