it’s beginning to look NOT like Christmas…

January 14th.. not to bad for taking my tree down right?

When my brother Jeff, was a Lothario in the ’80’s, and he was on the verge of breaking up with yet another girl he had been crazy about for two weeks previous, he famously said (paraphrasing), “Love is like a Christmas tree.  It’s starts out smelling so good.  It’s pretty, it makes you happy to see it sparkling, but then it dries out and becomes a fire hazard.”

That girlfriend was toast.

As I was undressing my tree I thought of the difference from the night we brought it home, the kids so excited to decorate it as I made hot coco, Frank Sinatra carols,  the warmth of our home on on a cool evening.  To this morning, harsh glare of Eastern light coming in the window, applying the anti aging wrinkle cream Santa brought me .  christmas tree and kidsI’m alone in my black sweats,  covered in flocking.

A Flocking Mess

A Flocking Mess


Cody, smile for the camera

I have to pry the ornaments of the tree because the tree is dying and has curled over the hooks.  Parts of the tree come off and I pull the dead branches off the ornament so I can neatly put them away in my ornament storage ( took me 20 plus years to figure out the importance of that).  “Get off of me you dead tree. I’m done.”

The promise of love, the promise of yuletide glow.  It’s over.  Unstringing the lights it felt like the morning after a one night stand.  Heated, and exciting the night before,  But now my lipstick has been kissed off, I’m tired, look bad and Romeo doesn’t look so hot now in the glare of the sun, and I’m just wondering, “Where is my bra?”

Get your crap and get out of here.

Get your crap and get out of here.

But, hope springs eternal.. we will hop in the sack again next year.



New member of the family

For the first time in my life I am a dog owner.  We got Cody the Cockapoo just a couple of days ago.

Rex had asked Santa for a dog, but Santa told him he couldn’t cross state lines with a live animal. He said he would bring a toy dog.  Rex understood.  Both the kids got toy dogs, but still wished for a real one.  Like in “Miracle on the 34th street” Santa has his ways.

When Mark and I discussed what kind of dog we wanted our list was, 1) not too big, 2) not a puppy, 3) not a shedder 4) male.cockapoo

One morning I get a call from my neighbor Joanne asking if I knew who anyone who would like to take a 6 year old, Cockapoo, boy dog.  I said, we would.  I said “well, bring him by and we will see.” Mark sat nearby and said, “there is no “bringing by”, you see it, you’ll want it.”

It’s an odd story of how he came to be with us.  Joanne said another family in our area asked her if they wanted to take him.  Why, my friend and adult daughter asked?  Knowing Cody was a nice dog.  They said they were moving to North Carolina and couldn’t take him and they were going to have leave him at a rescue pound.  Last I heard they have dogs in North Carolina, so I don’t know what the story is, but unless a hurricane is about to heat and you have to run for your life I don’t know why you would leave your family dog behind.  But, our gain.

The kids were in the back with two of Viv’s best friends when we brought Cody back.

“Do you like this dog?”


“Want to keep him?”

“For the day?”  They asked.

“Forever”  Vivien jumped and hunged her friend.  Rex was speechless.

So far everything is fine except ONE thing.  The dog is a bolter.  At first I thought it meant he was looking for his old home.  But, I’ve been told he did this with them too.  So, no open front doors here.  He has a huge backyard that is secure he can ramble around, but hasn’t ventured out much yet.  Also, they never fixed him so I have to do that.

But, since I’m new to dog ownership I welcome any helpful hints to all this.

The kids are happy and we a more complete family.

Freaky Friday

Weird things happened today. A mob hit?  An ominous warning?  Or just random funky stuff going down?

Awoken about 5:30 by pungent smell and damp feeling.  Ah, Rex had crawled in next to me and his pull up had sprung a leak.  I replaced it, flinging the wet diaper on the floor as I was so tired I couldn’t get up again.

Rex; “momma, I smell something.”

Me: “It’s your dirty diaper.”  I’m a class act.

After a few minute of trying to fall back to sleep with the pee smell wafting over me  I suggested we get up. Rex was thrilled.

Okay, so no big deal, just a moment of parenting.  I walk outside in my robe to get the paper.  As I walk back towards our front door I’m startled by what I see.

There lying in my garden, by the driveway near the front tire of my car is a cat.

The cat is sleeping. No, cats don’t sleep out in the open, in the cold The cat is dead.

It’s a calico cat with damp fur.  Probably doused by the sprinklers.

There is a thin brown blanket underneath it.

Different thoughts: Is someone sending us a warning?  Like a mob hit.  Did someone hit this poor cat on the street last night, thinking it is ours brought it to us in a kind ‘oops, sorry we killed your cat’ gesture?  It was creepy and I worried that it was one of my neighbors cats.  I went next door and woke him up.  He came out.  It wasn’t his cat.  It didn’t have a tag.

“well, it’s trash day”.  he said.

I really didn’t want the kids to see this.  It would have really upset him. It upset me. I ran to get Mark.  Really glad I am married as I knew my husband would ‘take care of this’.

After breakfast…which was a tad hard to eat… I was running around trying to get Vivien out the door to school. Rex was going to stay home with dad.  Mark was on the phone.  I knew he was talking to a relative about another relative who has had mental health issues.

“hey honey, will you be home by 11?”

“probably, well, not sure, why?”  Oh, just that they had decided this family member needed to be committed and he wanted to be there.

“I’ll take Rex with me.” I offered.  My trudging with a stroller a couple blocks didn’t seem that big of deal anymore.

I drove the kids while I tried to sort the placid routine of life with the bombshells life throws at you. The large socks full of horse manure, to paraphrase a Woody Allen line.

On the one hand, make sure Vivien eats breakfast and is taken to school, on the other hand someone close to us is having a breakdown.

The kids heard the word “hospital” so they were asking questions.  I didn’t lie, but tried to make it seem matter of fact.  Then Rex worried about other people in the family and started asking about them.  I told him they were fine.

“But, where is Oliver?” he asked with stress.

“He is at school”

“what are the names of his teachers?”  A few blocks later Rex came up with this:

“mommy, when I have my new daddy, he will be my new daddy.”

Me:  “Rex, I admire that you are going to be so adaptable should something happen to your father, but your daddy is fine and he is and will always be your only daddy.”  Vivien and I tried this line for a while, but Rex kept talking about his new daddy.  I gave up and went to distraction.  Played knock knock jokes. It got a new line of thinking going.

Poor guy. I’m really glad he didn’t see the cat.

It’s was 8am.

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Rex’s puppy party

My little boy is now 2.  He is even more fun, has more words and still slaps me and kisses me ( see Italian Movie Star).  I am more in love with him than ever.

As great as he is Rex doesn’t have a lot of friends.  It’s not that he isn’t friendly.  He hugs kids all the time.  Just walks up to them and hugs them.   But, no daycare, no pre school, hard to make friends.  I didn’t want to go crazy for his bday, but wanted him to have his “happy day-o”  which is what he calls it.

So, invited family, Vivien’s best pal from school and his friends ( who I like a lot) and then just neighbors.  I was so pleased because we live at a cross section of the city.  We have Koreans, gays, Hassidic Jews, Latino’s.  I was really touched that so many showed up.  I ordered Kosher cupcakes because I want all of my friends to be comfortable.  But, they were all pleased with the main event of the party rolled up.

puppy party
We had a puppy party.  I have never been a dog person.  I have never had my own dog.  But, after sometime with these puppies I think I could become a crazy dog lady. Now, of course since Rex loves dogs and cats I was sure when he saw them he would squeal with delight.  No.
puppy party
puppy party
He looked frightened. I tried to get him comfortable, but he ran back in the house.

The puppy lade set up a fence and out came the puppies.  A Maltese ( Vivien’s favorite), the Doxie I was ready to adopt right there, a Doxie Shitzue mix that won my heart.  Mark loved the Jack Russel.  We had an hour with the pups. “I think I might have you come once a month for therapy” I said to the puppy lady as I absorbed the puppy love.puppy party

“Oh, I have a lot of people who do that.  They don’t think they can handle the responsiblity of a dog, but they miss having one.”

When puppy lady had to go, one little boy cried.  I have heard that other kids are still asking, “where are the puppies?”  puppy partyWe had the cupcakes and then most guests said their goodbyes. Rex loved this shirt I bought him when I was in New York.
puppy party
Then Mark said, “where are the jumper cables?”  Why?  The puppy lady couldn’t start her car.  As Mark tried to help her with her car with an assist from his brother in law, I ran for the puppies.

“Bring them back in.”  I didn’t want them in their puppy carrying case.  She came back and set up the fence again. I thought, maybe Rex will have gotten use to the idea and he will be into it now.  I ran into the Vivien’s room where they were playing with their cousin Lily.

“Rex, the puppies are back.” I got the reaction I had hoped for.

“PUPPIES” He screamed and ran down the hall way with the girls following.

I sat back down with Rex and the Maltese came over.
puppy party
“Mommy, I think they peed.” Vivien exclaimed. Yes, their was a bit of pee on the tarp.

“Well, honey, they were cooped up, they need to pee.”  Poor puppy ladies car would not start.  She was going to have to wait for a ride.  The rest of us were in heaven.  Mark got her a plate of mac and cheese he had made and we all played with the pups.  Then it got dark.  I suggested we bring them inside as it was getting dark.
puppy party
Rex and Vivien and my niece were having a blast.  Now we had a houseful of puppies.

Finally the puppy lady was picked up and I had to pry the Doxies, and the mix out of my arms.

Mark has been against getting a dog for a long time.  But, even he melted.  “They need someone to play with , we should get both Doxies if we get one.”

The thing is I have a poo limit.  I am also still a tad sleep deprieved.  When my little human puppy is potty trained I can think about getting a dog.  But, not before then.

Rex got a lot of great presents.  People were very good to him.

He had a happy day-o.

And, God willing, when my kids are in college I will be in Palm Springs, with short dyed hair, have pink golf clothes and puppies.puppy party

Hello Knuckles, My Old Friend

Our snake Knuckles died today, and I am the only one that cares. Knuckles was my stepson Oliver’s snake; he bought him when he was a little boy. But since I’ve been in Oliver’s life, he hasn’t cared much for Knuckles.

Vivien and Knuckles the snake

A few years back, Knuckles shed his skin. Oliver looked at him and said, “This is the most exciting thing Knuckles has ever done.” Snakes don’t fetch or cuddle or lick. A nice Albino corn snake, Knuckles just wanted to be warm and hang out. Don’t we all.

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