She's actual size, but she seems much bigger.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001


I've moved!

Please reset your browsers to point to my new location:

And for your own sake, please be sure that you are sitting down before you go there.

posted by saysSusan | 3:39 PM | Comments []


This is no joke - Kitten and Corgi in Crisis!

She seemed nice enough, that Kitten, if you could ignore the uzi part. Before this, we had only a glancing aquatainance and were bonded only by our common love for grape leaves.

Now we are joined by tragic circumstances. Held hostage for comments by the brilliant, but somewhat deranged Bulletproofpunk.

I implore you: go make a comment and save the corgi! And the cat, too, I guess.

posted by saysSusan | 10:03 AM | Comments []


Meet Keith Foster.

He is the the go-to guy for information on all things concerning droopy dogs. In fact, he is a top contender for World's Formost Authority on them. Read and find out why.

Mental Emissions.

"a change of scenery, a change of attitude, life just keeps getting better..."
and droopy dogs, too.

posted by saysSusan | 9:41 AM | Comments []

Sunday, November 11, 2001



Weekly World-Wide Wews ... er, News

posted by saysSusan | 10:27 PM | Comments []

Countdown To Thanksgiving: 11 Days

Most everyone has traditions they have developed over the years for their holiday celebrations.

My old friend Dave makes his now-famous Thanksgiving Geese.

This bird suffered from too long a cocktail hour.

"One of the finest traditions in our family are the Thanksgiving Geese made from yellow squash and carrots that grace our table every year. The kids love to help starting with the shopping ... Our tradition concludes the day after Thanksgiving when we line the little geese up in a steamer and "boil them alive". "

Go here for the complete story, including instuctions on how to make your own.

posted by saysSusan | 7:56 PM | Comments []


The latest addition to the parade of soups is Spicy Lentil and Pumpkin Soup from a recipe found at

Mr. Sami tried very hard not to like it, but in the end, he had to admit how good it was . I consider that a major success.

posted by saysSusan | 1:20 PM | Comments []


In appearance, he is the mirror image of his father, except for his little fingers, which are mine. In personality, he is me, except that he is more confident and socially out-going. Which makes him a handsome devil.

He has a brilliant mind and a quick wit. He is an honor student at NJIT and is carrying a double major: Applied Mathmatics and Bio-Medical Engineering, and is the BME representative on the student senate. He is there on a full merit scholarship, which his poor parents appreciate very much.

He is the most devoted member of the Theta Chi fraternity and lives in the world's coolest frat house and he won't reveal the secret signal to even me, his own mother. Everything he cooks has garlic and curry powder in it.

He is not afraid of hard work and has been at is since age 14. Jobs he has had: dishwasher in a bakery, stockboy in a large Collectables and Gift Shop ( please don't mention "Snowbabies" around him ), Taco Bell employee, bank teller, inspector at an civil engineering company. He comes in very handy for carrying things around for me, and will do any chore that needs doing, from cleaning bathrooms to walking on the roof to clean gutters.

He plays the saxaphone, the piano, the bagpipes and the tabla. He learned to waltz when he was 10 and he still makes sure that every old lady sitting alone at weddings gets at least one dance. He always did make a big impression on people he meets. His first word was two syllables: "tic toc", which he taught himself from listening to the regulator clock that hung on the wall.

Now he is 20. He is 5'11 tall and has a beard like a billy goat. A bear hug from him is an unforgettable experience. Even though he plays annoying music much too loudly, stomps up and down the steps and never closes a door, he is just exactly like you would want your son to turn out.

Son of Sami. Son of Bob. A special person.

posted by saysSusan | 9:49 AM | Comments []

Saturday, November 10, 2001

Countdown To Thanksgiving: 12 Days

I spoke to my mother on the phone this morning and she said she has one apron finished and the other one well underway.

Here is a delightful piece of information:

There was enough material left over from each piece of fabric to make a little half apron. For our daughters. We are talking about Mother / Daughter aprons. Can you imagine the expressions on their dear little faces as we present them with matching versions of their mothers' aprons? - right before it's time to do the dishes.

posted by saysSusan | 10:32 AM | Comments []

Friday, November 09, 2001

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 13 days

Are you one of the poor, unfortunate souls who is planning to go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving? Take my advice and don't do that - it is one step down from pathetic, and everyone knows it, too. Society in general will politely go along with your line about "...and no dishes to clean up" but pities you for having no left-overs.

Are you staying home and cooking this year? If so, then you are enjoying your own little countdown, aren't you? The third option for this grand holiday is to be guest at someone else's dinner table. In that case, a hostess gift is mandatory. Mandatory. Even if you are bringing along a dish you have made, you still must provide a token of acknowledgement for the effort your hostess has made.

Don't bring a pumpkin pie - they already have one. Don't send flowers - the table is already over crowded. On second thought: send flowers. It's always good to send flowers. But here is a great little idea, courtesy of DebSmouse ( a gal after my own heart, a one man band of multiple web sites ... we need an entirely seperate post to even get into it.)

Via her recipe collection, The Purple Turnip, we have the gift that keeps on giving: Food Gifts to Give. She even gives accessorizing suggestions: "...if you sew, make an attractive sack out of matching linen ." Ya gotta love it. Someone very closely linked to me may be getting a small basket full of Bouquet Garni bundles.

This is just the sort of thing that appeals to me. It has the double benefit of covering your gift-giving obligation, and people will be jealous of your creativity. Yes, they will admire the thing, and think "I could do that for Christmas gifts when I go visiting!" But they won't - they will be recovering from Thanksgiving and will be too tired to do it. Then they will admire you all the more, and wish they were as organized and forward-thinking as you.

It's a good thing. (I made that up and Martha copied from me.)

posted by saysSusan | 7:18 AM | Comments []


... but at least I had the good sense not to become a Home Economist.

posted by saysSusan | 6:56 AM | Comments []

Wednesday, November 07, 2001


The Guestblogger had a birthday this week.

In an unbelievable display of food chocies, she picked the Australian Outback Restaurant as the scene of the birthday dinner. While her father and I were sceptical that they would have either mozzarella sticks or tuna sandwiches on the menu (her only two choices in restaurants for all her life), we forged ahead.

She ordered a blooming onion and then a barbecued chicken and ribs platter. AND THEN SHE ATE IT! Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles!

Maturity arrives at last. She has always been such a picky eater the up until that night, her father and I were sure that there would only be peanut butter sandwiches at her wedding dinner (no jelly). Now there is a faint glimmer of hope for a sophisticated palate someday.

Today: the driving test.

UPDATE: She passed the test. Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies. She's on the road.

posted by saysSusan | 6:12 AM | Comments []

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Countdown to Thanksgiving: 16 Days

The dessert selection for our Thanksgiving celebration has been finalized.*

Cranberry Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Raisin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Poppy Seed Roll
Nut Roll
Rice Pudding
Pineapple Dream Bars
Chocolate Cheerios Treats
Rice Krispy Treats
Chocolate Cake

Now chocolate things hold no fascination for me, but that last one was the special request of Tina's husband, the original Mr. Joe. So I had to find a way to inspire me to look forward to making it. And here it is:

The Wilton Wonder Mold Kit

What are you looking at? It is a Doll Cake. The skirt is made out of two boxes of cake mix and it is iced up and decorated to high Heaven until it looks like Cinderella's ball gown. It is a real show stopper.

Imagine this in a chocolate icing skirt. At first, I had the idea to decorate it like a pilgrim woman, complete with paper hat and collar, but then I realized I would be spending a lot of time applying icing not only to the bodice of the doll, but to the arms as well. So I ditched the pilgrim idea. I think a chocolate ball gown, decorated with ruffles and bows made of yellow or orange icing and a few tastefully placed icing leaves in autumn colors.

I'll put it on a cake plate with a pedestal so that it stands above the other desserts and people can ooh and ahh over it. And they will.

It never fails.

* We briefly toyed with the idea of Coffee Jello, but in the end, we realized this was not the crowd for it. We'll save that one for another time.

posted by saysSusan | 7:14 AM | Comments []

Monday, November 05, 2001


He's back. And it won't be pretty.


posted by saysSusan | 10:12 PM | Comments []


I was not looking forward to making a long drive in the dark.

I try my best to have the major portion of my weekend trips happen in daylight. It is nerve-wracking enough to mix in with those big trucks on the interstate, not to mention the hepped-up fans with Monster Trucks aspirations from Pocono Downs racetrack, or the increasing amount of outlet mall shoppers who have stayed out till their last cent is gone, and are now tired and distracted on the trip home with their loot. And, of course, the Joad families - loaded up with pillows and paper bags and things strapped onto their car roofs. It is a wonder to me how they can squeeze three generations into the car as well. But now that standard time has returned, I knew it was inevitable that a good deal of the travel time would take place in the dark, increasing the anxiety factor with reduced visibility and headlight glare.

It turned out to be a pleasant and soothing ride. Thanks in large part to my history of extensive interstate bus travel, I was comforted by the golden glow of other people's windows.

For many years, I rode interstate buses from northeastern Pennsylvania to NYC then a local back to northern New Jersey. Every Friday and Sunday for three years. Depending on time, traffic and weather, the trips were 3 1/2 to 5 hours long. At first, I felt trapped and could barely tolerate the slow movement of time. I marked the time by watching for landmarks and familiar sights.

I saw the same houses and storefronts again and again. They became familiar to me in the true sense of the word. I watched for certain homes to pass by - I knew the lamps and the curtains. Mostly, I saw empty rooms but sometimes you could see a person reading next to the light, or occasionally you would catch the flicker of a TV. The light were on outside, waiting to welcome family members or visitors, or as families filled the rooms. They were on as lone figures sat safe and warm in their favorite chairs and they were on in every window of some of the houses.

The next phase of my life took me to New York city. The lights from the windows of the highrises was harsher...white light, not golden.What was the difference? The apartments of the upper East side of Manhattan seemed impermanent. They held singles, couples, professionals, yuppies... yes, there were occasional babies and small children, but they soon moved away and lit up suburban windows.

Home fires. That's what I find so comforting. Like cavemen huddled around the central fire, like pioneer families in front of the hearth, like cowboys at the campfire in vast open places - true homes cast a golden glow. Don't you feel it when you are approaching a building in the dark and you know someone is waiting for you inside?

So last night, on the road in the dark, I passed by many homes, most of them were lit. I couldn't peer into them because I thought it might be more prudent to keep my eyes on the road, especially in the face of the increased deer traffic around. But I found it comforting to think of the people inside those lighted rooms.

Am I spying? Am I peeping at people? No, I am looking into lives, writing my own scripts for what goes on in the golden light.

posted by saysSusan | 7:13 AM | Comments []


The amount of squashed animals on the highway this weekend was astonishing.

In addition to the usual skunks, possums, cats and the occasional dog, I saw a coyote (well, half a coyote) in a very developed part of NJ. Where I usually only see one or two deer laying twisted on the side of the road, this week I passed no less than 8 on the way to Pennsylvania, and I counted 12 on the return trip.

What could this mean? Were there more deer on the road for the weekend? Were more headed east than west? Are they slowing down in the cold weather and cannot dodge the oncoming traffic? Where are the bucks? All the victims were without antlers. Are the bucks sending the dopey young out onto the roads as expendable scouts: "Hey, kid - go see if it's safe for me to cross the road."

Now most of these dead deer were along roads in the Poconos in Pa. where the highway goes through heavily wooded areas. In NJ, the roads are edged with what are known as beautification strips - trees and shrubs thickly planted to create the illusion of traveling through undeveloped areas. But these plantings are only about 30 feet deep - you can see houses, malls and other highways peeking through.

But what about that coyote? Hmm?

posted by saysSusan | 5:44 AM | Comments []