Monday, November 19, 2018


Thanksgiving…This year we’re in Southwest Florida…perfect, not too hot, not too cold. But not too exciting—across the street from the cows, just the way I like it.

The PARADE sure does evoke memories. As a senior in high school, we actually participated. Our band, led by the incredible person we called “Chief,” achieved the position of honor: we marched in front of Santa Claus. What did we play, over and over, for hours and hours? “Here Comes Santa Claus.” It would have been fun if it weren’t so cold; at every opportunity, we found the nearest manhole that was spouting steam. We thought it was warm, thought being the operative word. Try playing the clarinet when your fingers are so cold that they just don’t move.

For ever after I was a fan of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching every minute on TV. We didn’t venture into the city, our city, to attempt to view it in person until we had three children and a motor home. We parked overnight on 35th street, facing the parade route, sleeping in our really comfortable abode. Parking was illegal, but standing was OK, and, because we were in our vehicle, we were standing.

The next morning, we climbed the ladder and, accompanied by our puffy jackets and blankets, had a birds-eye view of the parade. Other than having to keep bystanders off, we had the best time. It was our parade in our city.

 Cold as it was, we took off after the parade on a trip; this one was board-walking. We determined that our final destination would be Walt Disney World, but, along the way, we would walk on  boardwalks on the Atlantic Coast. Beach communities have boardwalks, complete with salt water taffy, candy, restaurants, and fun, lots of it.

Our first stop was, of course, Coney Island. In Coney Island you must go to Nathans for hot dogs and their incomparable fries. A ride on the cyclone, once was enough for me, but the kids had to have a repeat performance.

Next came Atlantic City. Atlantic City is cold in the winter, but, as long as you are careful not to break a tooth, the saltwater taffy is the best! Bundled up, we walked the boardwalk, listened to music, and overdosed on candy.

Next boardwalk, Virginia Beach, then Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our trip was leisurely, but the further South we went, the better the weather, so we concluded that The Boardwalk at Walt Disney World was sounding better and better, so we hightailed it to Florida.

The feeling, the first morning, when we awakened in Florida, opened the door to the motor home, and smelled and found oranges, was indescribable. It used to be MY New York. Now it’s MY Florida.

Of course, we had to return to NYC. The kids had school. We had a business. We had a house. But Florida was in my blood and still is. Florida is crazy, even crazier than New York, but I’m used to crazy.

Normal is boring.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Dog is a Dog is a Dog--Not a People

I almost did it, made the mistake so many people make, and tried turning Wesley and Willie into a people. Nope…they are dogs. They think like  dogs. They are not people, though they do out think me so much of the time.

The day Wesley got sick, very sick, so sick that we didn’t think there was any hope for him, we realized that we were doing something wrong.  His vet was worried, sent us to a 24-hour emergency clinic that admitted him and had no idea why he was so sick. We all prayed. He recovered.

It was then that we realized that we were barking up the wrong tree, treating him and Willie, like they were people. I had been working on a cookbook that I called “People Foods for Pets.” What a mistake! I had a website. I had designs. I had recipes. I did research. And then I realized that dogs are not people.

Dogs don’t use food as people do. We eat for enjoyment, for social interaction, for entertainment. Dogs eat to satisfy hunger…period. Sure, you can give them treats when they deserve them, but not the treats you would eat. DOG TREATS ONLY.

A chocolate chip cookie can kill your dog. Likewise, a piece of sugar-free gum.  Chicken bones can perforate intestines. We love our dogs. We know they love us in return. We hug them and pet them and sleep with them and kiss them, but we don’t want to kill them with kindness, and we can if we’re not careful.

What made me say this?  I received an email with an article asking if it was safe to give dogs oranges. Why would you want to give oranges to your dog? Who knows and who cares if it’s safe? The best thing we can do for our dogs is to feed them high quality dog food, no variety, the same food all the time. And watch them to be certain that they don’t pick stuff up from the ground.

My dogs eat special recipe dry dog food that I leave available all the time so I don’t have to remember to feed them. I use an additive in their water the is in a half-gallon dispenser. Simple…sure. I walk them three times a day and monitor their poop.

 Just like what comes out from a baby, you can learn a lot from poop.  My parrots, on the other hand, eat everything we eat.  They demand what they see or smell and don’t stop screeching until they get what they want. They act like two year-olds, the only problem is that they stay two forever. Babies eventually get toilet trained. Dogs poop outside. Parrots are forever terrible two’s.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What is it about hair?

Is it only a girl thing? I don’t think so. Why are we so obsessed with our hair? All of you who grew up with the hair of the moment—shiny, straight, swingy, perfect, wow, were you lucky.
Not me. I grew up in the fifties. Can you imagine what it was like to have curls in the fifties? Brains didn’t trump curls.  We ironed, we pulled, we straightened, we lost sleep, we suffered. And to top it all off, my hair was the color of mud.
When one of my mother’s friends accosted her in the supermarket when I was in high school, indignantly asking her if she saw what her daughter had done to her hair, she responded,” I did it for her.” Life did change a bit after mud changed to yellow, but the curls still won the war every day.
My mother did have her idiosyncrasies—she made me clean her damned ashtrays, but, the good part was that I never did smoke. When Liz, my middle child, was very small, I remember her saying “Nanny, you’re going to die tomorrow.” But my mother encouraged my love of the theater—we skipped school on Wednesday afternoons to sneak into NYC for matinees. Sorry, Miami, you’ll never measure up.
Growing up in our somewhat out of synch house was fun. My father taught us to be color blind. We never knew what color our dinner guests would be. I’m not sure my mother was as accepting as he was, but I sure do wish he were still alive to experience our first black President—finally. If the circle could be completed this year with our first woman in the White House, even my mother would be contented.
But what is it about hair? Life does come full circle. I meet people at meetings and they swear they already know me. No, I try to explain, it’s not me they recognize, it’s the hair. Most of them have seen pictures on Facebook or Twitter or my websites and all they see is the hair.
People ask me over and over what I do to mine. First, believe it or not, I do it all myself. When my husband looks askance at yet another Coach bag or pair of shoes, I try to calculate for him the amount of money I’ve saved by doing my own hair—cutting, coloring, conditioning—for the last 40 years. He still gives me ugly looks, but I feel better.
Stop reading this now if you don’t care about maintaining curly yellow hair.
Wanna hear the recipes for maintaining curly hair? Some of it is thanks to my go to book, Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. You may not want to believe it, but shampoo should never touch curly hair. We curly girls call it “no poo.” Shampoo is too strong, too harsh. Even baby shampoo is too harsh. You’d probably be better off with shampoo that’s safe for your dog, but, you really don’t need shampoo. I wash my hair with conditioner, any kind that’s safe for colored hair. I use huge handfuls of it, and then I don’t even rinse it out. No my hair doesn’t smell, it’s not dirty, it’s not oily, and, best of all, it’s not frizzy. Every six months or so, if I decide to frost my hair, I have to use shampoo to wash the frosting out, but that’s the only time
Now to the color, and this is my own recipe. Permanent hair color is too strong for curly hair. Semi-permanent does nothing, but demi-permanent is a good compromise. BUT…the demi-permanent calls for 10 volume peroxide, not strong enough to touch my almost totally grey hair. So I use 20 volume peroxide, an off label use, a no no in everyone’s book, but it works. I use it as if it were permanent color, only on the roots, then use gobs of conditioner on the rest of it, cover it with a shower cap, leave it for 45 minutes, and am left with perfectly-colored yellow hair in really good condition.
So there you have it. Advice from Peter Pan. I’ll never look or act my age. I’ll never have grey hair or, perish the thought, I’ll never look like some of my contemporaries who sport beautifully coiffed “blue” hair and would never wear a motorcycle helmet or ride in a convertible with us. I apologize to my Facebook friends for boring you with my recently changing profile pictures, but I’ve been at the scissors again and every time I cut more, the look changes. I might as well use a picture that renders me somewhat recognizable.