Friday, July 30, 2010

From the world of senior singles ...

It seems that the moment Vic's obit hit the paper, my spam box became innundated with flirts from internet dating sites, specifically senior ones.

Far from being even remotely interested in dating, I must say these sites can provide some serious entertainment value.
A peek into another world.

I have learned little things: when the guy is wearing a baseball hat, it means he is bald. Sensitive usually means he got picked on ruthlessly when younger. No photo & complex scripting also spells some kind of allusive trouble.

This morning, instead of hitting delete all, I read this one & had to post it.

What do YOU think???

'A little about me...

When a man and a woman find each other in this confluence of confusion, insanity, and just downright incivilities that we now seem to be bombarded with from nowhere, rather than give up, rather than compromise who you are, or rather than feel downtrodden, why not fight back, push at what is wrong, fight for what is good, and feel that special bond which only two persons with a true affinity for each other can ever know.

What are you looking for in a partner?

A good hearted woman with a big appetite for loving! I am both passionate and compassionate.

For it to work, it must be both the head and the heart; the lust and the spirit; the touch and the feel; the longing and the release; and, best of all, when we laugh, it will always be for the right reasons and at the right time. For then, but only then, will we experience each other’s inner being.

For I AM ALL MAN. And you must be ALL WOMAN. A rib from my breast. And then you will receive my best, dear person.

I'd just like to add...

I love fine dining with a classy woman who is a lady, and I love classy people who say what they mean, and mean what they say."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reason, Season, Lifetime ...

People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

When you know which one it is,
you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.
without any wrongdoing on your part
or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something
to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real.
But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order
to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson,
love the person
and put what you have learned to use
in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime.

Friday, July 16, 2010


"Karen, can you please bake a cd for me?"


"You know, bake me a dvd."

"Burn it, Mummy. You mean "burn you" a cd."

And the oy goes on!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sugar porn


Here it is ... Croissan'Time, home of Mantell family, all occasion magnificent mocha gateau.

The delicious breads, the mini patisseries, the CAKES ...


Started in 1986, the starter husband & I were smoked salmon salad on Saturdays regulars from the get go.

So very happy it is still in business. Lines apparently go
outside on weekends ... So totally worth the wait.

South off Sunrise Boulevard on US1 in Fort Lauderdale, Croissan'Time
is a sugarholics den of erotica!

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Cheese corn!

I really can't help it but I am so incredibly fortunate to have friends as wonderful as mine!

As I slowly, slowly emerge from the dark, they continue to be there for me through the many stages of what is a custom-designed process called grief.

Grief has no boundaries.

It follows a path of particular direction or destination.

The key for me has been to acknowledge & allow myself to experience all the feelings, good & certainly bad.

The months of random crying. Make that doubled-over bawling. Being present for the pain. Being present to appreciate the peace which always, always followed ...

The pain that would interrupt moments of peaceful resignation. Being present to appreciate the pain which always, always followed ...

Slowly, gently, the wounds are closing.

My amazing friends continue to be important as we all continue to heal & figure out life, so very, very different now.

Life so very, very different ...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Emmy nominations

OK, can I call them? Not that I pay that much attention to any awards. Having said that, when my personal viewing comes up a cropper, then I sit up a bit straighter.

Today's Emmy awards were announced.

So, from the beginning, Larry David for "Curb your Enthusiasm." Love, love, love him. Hate him. Love him! Such psychotic chutzpah.

"Mad Men" - love it - superb dialogue, totally catapaults me back to my childhood in New York ending late 1963.

"Nurse Jackie" - Eddie Falco for being such a totally messed up, stale, ER room nurse. Nurse Jackie taught me what it takes to actually get a buzz from Vicodin as opposed to just using it for its medicinal use. Something to do with an old back injury ... and so the shopping & snorting goes.

Migraineurs, I must add, do not fuck around with pain meds.


At least this one doesn't. I so respect the magical ability my meds have to relieve my throbbing head & nauseous stomach. Yuk! Not a pretty sight - ever.

Still, I always just wondered how people got high off of something that was a pain reliever... a bit like how exactly does a high colonic work.

But that's a whole different ponder ...

Finally, Alec Baldwin gets a nod for making paunchy, middle age look really good. Let's hear it for the black lights on "30 rock". "It's complicated" really put him on top of the middle aged, menopausal woman's poster man for the kind of bad boy about whom we all momentarily fantasize!

Still waiting for Becky of Sunnybrook Farm to have that 'Mad Men" luncheon. Cigarettes, booze, a token drinking & smoking pregnant woman ... tit bits to go with the tit bits!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Grouper cheeks" anyone?

Should you ever see "grouper cheeks" listed on a menu, let me share a visual presentation of said delicacy ...

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Such a view ...

For Father's Day, we went down to see my father who is pushing 85, much to his (& frankly my) great surprise.

He is finally starting to show the undeniable signs of aging & we are getting into gentle discussions about the possibility of his moving up here, closer, etc.

He moved to South Florida from Forest Hills, Queens (718) permanently in 1994.

Each time I go down to visit, very rarely to be honest, I wouldn't trade Vero for anything but sometimes, the views from his apartment are just so glorious that I really do understand his reluctance to leave such a very lush setting among the concrete monoliths.


The kids love fishing there, I love floating in the pool - anything to get out of his boutique, cigar infused abode.

A wicked, tropical, over the top Jewish ghetto, Aventura is everything I hate about my tribe when congrugated in a discount shopping district but I have to say, the bagels & the Mall is pretty good!

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Not for naught do those of us on the inside call it "Oyventura."

Enter my dream ...

'The time has come,'

the Walrus said,

'To talk of many things:

Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --

Of cabbages -- and kings --

And why the sea is boiling hot --

And whether pigs have wings.'

Like the Walrus, I have decided that the time has again come to speak of other things. I am glad so many of you are joining me as I recommence chronicling the latest off-road journey in life. I am seeking to circumnavigate & articulate via words some of kaleidescopic phantasmagoria that makes up the labyrinth to which I occasionally refer as my "mind".

Sometimes, I might put up a "Dramamine alert". Other times, "Oxygen Zone." The trips through my head can be very fast, unpredictable, not for the faint of heart, narrow of mind or those with vertigo!

Who knows, after a spin inside my world, an isolation tank might be the only cure ...

Remember, when the vibrations get me, I always find it fun to nudge the world a little more out of its comfort zone, proudly splatter vibrant hues, joyfully color outside the lines, sing out loud, dance like a Dervish under the ever-changing moon, garden in the rain - naked!

Some say a prayer at the beginning of a new journey, asking for guidance & protection. Even as I write this, all I can stammer is "Higher Power. Protect me from committing, grammatical atrocities against the English language, misquoting sources, Miss Shadlock's hateful red-lining, taking self or life too seriously & never miss the chance to learn, share & help make someones day a little better, even in this case, my own."

Time to "drink me" & tear off down the rabbit hole!!!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy days @ the shooting range

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Magical thinking??? Not.

This time last year - a house overflowing. A house busting at the seams. There was a constant sound in the house. Noise, sounds of kids behind closed doors, televisions on non-stop. Yet it was good. It was all good.

This was what family is supposed to be. You are there for one another. In good times & bad. Like a marriage. At least, that is what my picture was. The reality was very different.

I have wrestled with myself for a long time as to how I could have achieved a different end result.

Of course, it was never for me to alter. Journals & emails recently reread have helped me see the picture how it really was.

I found Vic's scan reports following his 6 week radiation. I highlighted the pertinent words, such as spreading, worsening, growth ... When I look back, all I remember was how we were going to attack this now. That is what Vic wanted. His treatments were always his call. That I really did not understand that this was the beginning of the end ...

April 2009. We were returning from what would be Vic's last trip to London. At Heathrow airport, amidst the throngs of what were clearly terrorists being herded through passport control, Vic's Buffalo nickel bracelet broke. Beads everywhere. I picked them all up despite all the hideous feet & shoes. I had it repaired & Vic wore it up until he went to hospital in October.

I wore it every since. However, there have been two occasions that it broke. The latest being the other day. When I noticed it was gone, I had an odd reaction. I did not panic. Somehow I knew it would return. I checked drawers & all the usual places but nothing. Two days later, my neighbor knocks on the door, holding the buffalo nickel & bracelet, separated but still here! My instinct was right. It was not gone. Just out of sight. But safe.

Still, I had a strange feeling that maybe the time has come not to wear it, just keep it close & in sight. Just with me. Not, on me.

When I told DCC about the bracelet, he told me that according to Buddhist tradition, if a sacred bracelet is broken, it symbolizes karma fulfilled. Transitions. New beginnings.

Three times it broke. I kept saving it. I think maybe karma is being fulfilled.

I have been through several pivotal dates lately, culminating with this date, one year ago. I don't want to say anniversaries, although ours was a June date.

There is nothing "magical" about this year. Not yet, at least. It has taken hard work. Lots of acceptance, of reflection. Of stark realities.

Forgiveness is something I have a lot of trouble understanding. I ask everyone for their interpretation, how they do it, etc.

As I look back on the last year, losing Vic of course would be the #1 hurt & loss. Obviously. Clear winner. I continue to work on this but it begins to make sense.

In second place would have to be Shay. We always had a difficult relationship. From the beginning. Both ways. It always seemed that she raged at me for unresolved issues with Vic. Clearly, there was much she never liked about me & held onto it fiecely. I took many a piece of hate mail from her, going back prior to Vic & my marriage over which i would choke but ultimately recover, considering the source.

When we opened our home to her & the children last year, I was well coached by Vic that it was a huge mistake. She should stay with either of her brothers who live in Florida or her Mother. Her best friend did not want her & the kids staying because of disrupting her childrens' schedules.

Vic was fighting for his life, having chemo. I assured him I would be responsible for them being here & keep everything away from him.

"Disrupt this!"

In the end, when the British visas were finally issued after 3 long months in the processing, Vic didn't care what it took, he just wanted his home back. Our children did too. They had sacrificed their space & shared their summer with the understanding that this is what family does.

Shay, surprised to find herself pregnant with #5, also wanted her own life back as did her chidren. We all still wonder how she could possibly have been surprised after being pg 4 other times!!! oddly, Vic walked past her one day before she knew & asked me if she was knocked up again. I defended her saying she still had some of Stone's baby weight to lost when in fact, she was indeed up the spout again.

She's old enough (& experienced enough) to know that it's not the stork that brings the baby but the lark when the lights go out! Oh!

We all held it together very well despite all the stress. Shay & I laughed a lot, as we always did. It was also good to have someone else around who understood Vic differently. A glance across the room between us said it all. I liked having her around. I enjoyed her company. I can honestly say I loved her very much & when things were good, they were very good. I knew it was difficult for her & did everything I could to make her comfortable, cared for, loved.

I never forgot, however, that I was she was not my friend & I was not hers. I was her father's wife & mother of her other half siblings. That's who I was. I also never forgot that at any given moment, she could attack. Like a snake. A spitting cobra.

She had several moments there that it was hard to hold it in. Especially when I asked her husband Paul, why he kept calling me "scary grandma" and "mean grandma" nearly every time he walked past me with the baby in his arms. Something to do with the immature English schoolboy humor I believe, but I did not like it, appreciate it or want to hear it. Anymore.

He was a whole other kettle of very stinky fish. Vic's dislike & mistrust of Paul was all revealed by the end of the summer when he found himself unable to pay for his familys' return tickets to the UK. About 2 weeks before, he had assured Vic that all was fine & taken care of.

Bla, bla. All bullshit.

So Shay bit her tongue & so did I. We all got through the summer. She & the kids got their visas & returned to their new home in the armpit of the UK. We got our home back.

She came back when Vic died, missing him by only a few hours. She stayed for his cremation then returned with a suitcase of Vic's stuff. Just stuff. Clothes, t-shirts, just things. She had shared the whole summer with him. What greater gift?

Her final missile of hatred was launched less than a week after Vic's beautiful, touching, very fitting memorial service. My shock was palpable. She told Daniel & Kaelin that I had "tormented & manipulated her for the past 20 years." That they should watch themselves. Over a desk name-plate of Vic's that I gave to her sister, Angie. A piece of wood.

As of that moment, she was history to Kaelin & Daniel. It was what their Daddy had said about their sister. Her character. Impulsivity. Inability to control herself at times & the list went on. It was easy for them.

For me, it was much harder & it took much longer. Oh, I totally agree & was perversely grateful when she said she was done (with us). As the song says "it's over, it's over, I went through you, you went through me."

Vic had tried to warn me. He tried. I would not listen.

"One hundred years from now, the size of my bank account, my house ... will not matter. What will matter is that I made a difference in the life of a child".

As I tried to replay everything as to why she hated me so much, it suddenly occurred to me. I had always given her my very best. I was there for her when he own Father (let alone Mother) were not. My incredible, amazing friends gave her their very best during her sejour. We all showed her love & consideration & support. That's how people in the real world are. That's how people in my world are.

Guess what? Apparently it was just not good enough. Her email of bile contained something about Vic having done little for her (as an adult) & that there was a very strong sense of being owed ...

So how to forgive? I could not get around that. Then I realized. It was not for me to forgive her. She was being true to herself & her feelings. It was for me to forgive myself. I was beating myself up for having let her down in some way. Did I? Absolutely not.

Her children will always remember their time here & will come to their own conclusions if & when the time comes.

Ours was a relationship whose time had come. I have no regrets anymore. I have learned. Everything I did, I did with love & the best that I could. I did it because she was Vic's daughter.

So, for me the bracelet is indeed karmic & symbolic.

By this time last year, Stone had pounded his red, white & blue smash cake for his 1st birthday. I still have the pentas I bought when he fell in love with butterflies. The butterflies still love them.

I am glad that I can look at the flowers & not feel a stab of pain at the memory. Time to put closure on the hurt, even though it took a lot of time & effort & stepping outside of the normal paradigms of my thinking.

Vic is smiling because he was right & he likes to hear me saying it.


He really did know his daughter. I was just hopeful & naive.

It is still raining here in the land of the free, home of the brave. I love it.

It's a great day for Independence!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wasp it all about, Alfie?

It's full pollen alert. Red eyes, runny noses & sneezing abounds.

The flip side to the discomfort is that the vegitation is exquisitely verdent & plentiful.
Plump, red berries call to the froliking squirrels. Precariously dangling by their tails, they pick off the last juicy bunches at the farthest ends of the willowy limbs. Bellies full, they chatter to one another in cheerful clicks.

The gadda is also full of eager insects, polinating everything they touch.

Come & take a quick peek inside a couple of sista k's bloomers today ....

"Wasp it all about, Alfie?"

This lucky chap gets positively drunk on delicious, sun-warmed nectar.

"A la salud!"