Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kim Kardashian Can Kiss My Flat Ass

Finally, here it is....without further ado. My homage to girls with no ass, those of us blessed with concave posteriors. I really don't know what's happening out in the world but when I go to the gym now, it seems every girl has an ass. Whatever their ethnicity, whatever their age -- asses, asses everywhere. 

When you're a girl with no ass, like it's just a straight shot down from my belt loop to my ankle, I guess you can be a little sensitive. When you think about a phenomenon like the Kardashian sisters becoming multimillionaires because of their asses, you get a little bummed. I mean what place is there in the world today for a girl with no booty, no badonkadonk? How in the world do you get one of those asses when you are starting from scratch?

Kim Kardashian recently attempted to "Break the Internet" with a photo of her oily, naked bum. First of all, I don't think even Kim Kardashian can Break the Internet. Second, I really don't think that photo was very flattering. Nor am I sure what parts of it are real. Her butt looks a little reminiscent of something you'd buy at Cracker Barrel to celebrate Thanksgiving. I'm not even going to use that image here in case it breaks my blog.

I'm sure all these big-assed girls are perfectly lovely, but I'm serious, what is happening? Is it our genetically modified food? Is it those machines at the gym? Is it these big butt exercises posted on YouTube? 

You girls can keep your shapely curves and your tiny waists. I have neither of those, but I'm okay with that. I'm okay with having a shape that most closely resembles my Uncle David's. I can wear a belt. As long as it's one of those stretchy ones. And look what I found on the unbroken Interweb. Chicken cutlets for your butt.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not Yet Men

Last night Will was coming home from the gym and ran into some kids he knows from baseball. One of them has a dog that apparently gets out of the house quite a bit. They live near a busy intersection.

The dog followed Will across the street and was hit and killed. The driver didn't stop. Will carried the dog home to the boy's house who was also a witness and obviously distraught. I don't know what to say to my son about this. He was washing blood off his shoes and I was washing blood out of his clothes. What do you say about that?

N.B. I was harassing Will about AP English homework last night and he said something about what I must think of him -- that he's a slacker. And I said I don't think of you like that. I think you're heroic. What I think I meant was he has great character. He may not have great grades, but he has great character. This is what I think about Will

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pet Food Looks Eerily Like Human Food. And the Reverse.

I had the funniest catch-up call with my sister-in-law last week. Bunch of great stories. I was reminded of one today when I went for a scoop of peanut butter as a midday snack.

I bought myself a small jar of reduced fat peanut butter to use for snacking during the day, instead of say carbs. Sometimes I just have a teaspoon, and sometimes I put it on something (usually a carb). At the same time or nearly, I bought our dog a large vat of regular fat peanut butter because she also loves it as a snack. I take my snack from my jar and Daisy's snack from her jar, until one day my husband started filling her Kong ball with my reduced fat peanut butter.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

""Giving the dog a treat," said Rod. 

"But that's my treat," said I.

Turns out I have been co-mingling / sharing peanut butter with my dog for I don't know how long now. The other thing I find disturbing is that my husband gave the higher end, lower fat version of the peanut butter to the DOG. 

Along those lines, my sis-in-law was telling me about my brother eating bird kibble at her parent's house. Apparently, it looked very much like trail mix which actually I would buy that those two foods could be mistaken. Except the bird kibble was made for large birds that destroy foods with their beaks, so it contained things like whole nuts in the shell. 

I guess my brother took this as a challenge to eat the trail mix / bird food with whole nuts. Cracking whole nuts probably slows down your snacking and that's why animals are fit and we are fat. Not my brother, but other humans.

I just did a search for whole foods bird food and the first result that came up describes their product as:

This parrot food is so delicious that you may want to share it with your parrot. As with all of Dr. Harvey’s Avian Blends, Exotic Parrot Food contains only 100% human grade ingredients. We use only whole nuts, fruits and vegetables. We never use pieces or “pet grade” with any of our products.
That picture is my son Will around 6 years old with a birdie named Cha Cha.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Congrats Fitness Edge of Fairfield on the Worst Sales Pitch EVER

"Well technically, you're obese," said the Fitness Edge Fitness Consultant.

"Um okay. Wow. That's news to me," said me.

Thus began my renewed love / hate relationship with The Edge Fitness in Fairfield. My son had been bugging me and bugging me and bugging me and flailing himself against stuff to join a gym. He went to the jiu jitsu place. He went to the cross fit place. He went to the open 24 hours place. Do you know how much these places cost? Like $100 a month per person. For a 16 year-old. So we went back to my old gym that I practically had to sue to leave the first time. God I hate gyms. But I love gyms. Cuz they have so much stuff.

As part of my new life as a freelancer, I decided to take off the 10 pounds I'd gained in my last year as an employee. What with the stress, and the M word -- if you don't know what that is, then you're not 50, or a girl. I'm working on it. I've lost about 5 pounds now and have another 5 to go. I'll get there. 

As part of my new Fitness Edge membership, they offer one hour of free personal training. I thought hey maybe this will help me get there faster. Just FYI, it's total bullshit. It's about 10 minutes of personal training and a 45-minute sales pitch on being obese and getting their "Total Fitness Solution." Really guys? I'm in marketing, so there's pretty much no Total (insert marketing word) Solution I'm buying.

They take your weight and height and then ask you to hold this gizmo that looks like a gaming controller to calculate your BMI (body mass index). After going blank several times, the Fitness Edge gaming device says my BMI is 34. I freaked, so today I went to the BMI calculator offered by the NIH (National Institutes of Health). The NIH says my BMI is 24 which is NORMAL. It's high normal, but still normal.

And did I mention she was rounding up my weight? No one rounds up on weight. Not even guys. 

This gets better. Then they created an avatar of me in my current obese state. Really I think I would rather have had a ________(you fill in the blank). Oh my god. I have no words. 

After shaming me with the "obesity" news, the Fitness Edge Fitness Consultant then took me through multiple scenarios involving working out with a personal trainer and tracking my food online. I get it. I've done that food tracking before with Weight Watchers when I would guess my BMI was 34 after having a 10 pound baby. And it works. I am a huge fan of Weight Watchers and their non-shaming approach to weight loss.  And I get that working out with a trainer is probably a pretty cool thing too.

Finally, the end of the sales pitch. The end of the worst sales pitch EVER. For a mere $499.93 a month, I can get three 30-minute personal training sessions per week plus unlimited "Edge Strong" team training, plus diet tracking. For $369.99 a month, I can train twice a week, etc. For $199.97 per month, I can train once a week, etc.

Thank you Fitness Edge Fitness Consultant for the information, but I can't spend $500 a month on personal training because I don't have it. Maybe instead of spending time creating my fat avatar, you should've checked my bank statement. Or you could've just asked me.

One thing I will say is that after only 10 minutes with my personal trainer, I loved her. She was funny and honest and paid very close attention to what I was doing, correcting my form etc. Liz Heatter. Ask for her. Avoid everyone else. 

Wait I forgot. When I first sat down with Liz she asked me some questions about my goals, any injuries etc. She said, "Someone wrote here that one of your goals is to lose 50 pounds. But I'm looking at you and wondering from where?" That's when I knew I loved Liz the personal trainer. Then she took her pen and scratched it out over and over again. 

NB: You may recognize the iconic Piggly Wiggly logo above which actually looks exactly the same as my Fitness Edge fat avatar.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Path We Choose

Too long off the blog. Wow I haven't posted anything since May. I've actually had a few ideas rumbling around in my head but I've been so busy this summer writing for work, I haven't felt like writing for fun. So this idea is one of my rumblings inspired by my neighbor Cynthia.

When summer got into full swing, I started taking our dog Daisy for a walk first thing in the morning. Typically it was still cool outside so we could walk for about 35-40 minutes without succumbing. The path I chose goes through our neighborhood and around to Brooklawn Avenue, which is a large street that cuts through both Fairfield and Bridgeport. It's actually quite picturesque in sections, mainly the section that doesn't go through Bridgeport.

Bridgeport for those who don't know, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Connecticut and also one of the poorest, if not the poorest. I just googled it to look for stats and found a great article that says the area surrounding Bridgeport is "home to the biggest income divide of any metropolitan area in the U.S." 

When I walk the path I chose, I'll know immediately when I've hit Bridgeport. Trash everywhere. You have to sidestep it and make sure the dog doesn't eat something that was wrapped in tinfoil and discarded. It's so bad I am planning a clean-up party on the corner down the street. And I'm seriously thinking what should I wear for this in case I find something contagious, shall we say. But I keep taking that path with the garbage and the odd characters I meet along the way.

One day my neighbor Cynthia suggested we take a walk. Instead of walking through Bridgeport, we took her path through the Brooklawn Country Club area. It's a far cry nicer than my path. There are beautiful homes with manicured lawns. The homes have grand entrances and gates that say, "Don't you dare think of driving your crappy VW through here." And I started thinking about why I would choose my path, when Cynthia's looked so much better. 

Then my friend Leslie came for a visit. She lives in East Hampton full time, which sounds super swanky but she's not that kind of gal. I mean it's swanky, but Leslie is very down-to-earth.We agreed to meet for lunch and I would choose the place. Since Leslie and I had both grown up in Westport (me part time), and we'd been to some places in Fairfield, I thought why not try some out of the way little place in Bridgeport?

My son came along too. First stop was Bloodroot. Bloodroot is an organic, vegan, possibly lesbian, definitely feminist little joint overlooking Burr Creek in the Black Rock area of Bridgeport. They offer weaving classes if that sort of sets the tone for you. Sadly Bloodroot was closed, so we couldn't experience it. Although Leslie said she was definitely coming back. 

We ended up at Harborview Market, another Black Rock gem. Harborview has fantastic chocolate croissants. They are so fantastic, I can't go there anymore.  Or at least I can't go there and have those croissants. We had some salad and sammies and sat outside. Even Will liked it and he's 16. I think he liked it better than Bloodroot. I think he was a bit frightened by Bloodroot.

During our conversation, Leslie mentioned she liked these places that she'd never tried before, and I only knew about now because of our proximity to Bridgeport. Then she said something to Will about "your mom always lives on the edge." Or the fringe, something like that. And she was right. But it had never occurred to me.

I went to college in New Orleans which is, I would say, where you can certainly live an alternative lifestyle. In DC I lived in Southeast on Capitol Hill. At the time, it was the murder capital of the US. In Raleigh, I lived in Five Points, a cool yet edgy section near downtown. And now I live in what I've termed Fairport - Fairfield on the Bridgeport line. All of my former neighborhoods have since become gentrified and their property values have shot through the roof. If only I'd stuck to my edgy instincts and purchased or held on to one of those properties.

Maybe my instincts are right about Fairport. It has been a long haul I can tell you that, completely gutting and renovating our circa 1925 house. We are currently in the midst of a mini crime spree. But as the cop told us when he came to take a report on stolen goods from our car....last week it was Southport. And before that Burr Street in Greenfield Hills. Neither of those neighborhoods can in any way be described as edgy. See crime happens everywhere. So why not live on the edge?

Maybe if we stay here in Fairport the tide will turn. I can tell you that I am one of the biggest supporters of Bridgeport catching a break. I like the feeling of urban in suburbia. I love our neighbors, those who've lived here forever and the new ones moving in. Maybe because we're on the edge together, we're nicer to each other and we look out for each other. But the speeders and the robbers and the litterers can make it tough sometimes. 

The picture above is the Perry Arch from Seaside Park in Bridgeport. It's a grand archway that was designed by architect Henry Bacon, who also designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. On any given Sunday at Seaside Park, you'll see lots of picnics and beachgoers. You'll also see guys waxing their cars with their pitbulls sitting faithfully nearby. It's the perfect sort of contradiction that goes on in Bridgeport. Here on the edge.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sinful Sandwich in Savannah

We visited mom over Mother's Day in Savannah, Georgia. When you're from the South and you go back to the South, you realize how much great food you're missing by living in the Northeast. I mean we have great Italian food here. Lots of food from other parts of the world, like my new local fave Royal House Cambodian Cuisine

And then you go to Sunday brunch at the Savannah Golf Club and they have fried oysters, collard greens, pimento cheese and pecan pie. Really it's just overwhelming. You wish, in the remote recesses of your coagulated gall bladder, that you could grow a second stomach like a cow, and then fill that one too. Sadly, I did not grow a second stomach and I resisted the temptation to start squirreling food away in my handbag. Really only to save face for my mother -- because she has to go back to the club some day and face my would-be accusers.

"JoAnn, was that your daughter stuffing fried seafood in her purse?"

On our last day in town, we stopped by a little burger joint on Broughton Street. Even though this is Savannah, I really wasn't expecting much more than the usual hamburger. My mom ordered a BLT. Then the waiter asked slyly, "Would you like to try the B&D Loaded BLT?"

Here is a description of the B&D Loaded BLT:
We gave this classic a B&D twist. Apple smoked bacon, green leaf lettuce, homemade fried green tomato and pimento cheese.
Oh yes, we tried it. My mom and I split the B&D Loaded BLT and it was worth every ounce of fattening, carb-laden goodness.  Now, after two run-ins with pimento cheese in just two days in Savannah, I'm on a quest to find it here in Fairfield. 

I told my mom, and she was horrified at the thought of my ingesting store-bought pimento cheese.She said, "Beck it's just grated cheese, pimentos and Duke's mayonnaise." I didn't have the heart to tell her, I don't think we have Duke's mayonnaise in these parts. I'm going to look. But I don't recall seeing Duke's brand. 

So I emailed my neighbor this morning to ask her where in the world, or in the the great state of Connecticut, could I find pimento cheese -- because she knows all the best places. Her response, "What's pimento cheese?"

This does not bode well for my quest. 

There's a weird little grocery store in Bridgeport called like Food Bazaar. I'm going to look for Duke's mayonnaise there. In the meantime, I googled recipes for pimento cheese and found this one featuring what main ingredient? Duke's mayonnaise.

May the fork be with me!

NB This image is a map from the Duke's Mayonnaise website that shows availability in the US. Look at this. It literally stops at Connecticut.

Friday, May 2, 2014

DC Redux: My Return to Capitol Hill

It's a Tuesday night in 2014 and I'm sitting here in a Capitol Hill apartment just one street over from where I used to live in 1992. I lived on the Hill for about 4 years give or take with Lou Lou and Peggy and then eventually by myself. 

I was thinking about how I got here in the first place. Lou Lou and I were working in the City. I was at a big law firm -- Willkie Farr and Gallagher. Lou was working in finance. We both wanted out, so Lou called her sister Rosey who was living in DC and going to Catholic U. And off we went.

At first we were both waitresses. I found a job with a company that catered big events like the Kennedy Center Honors. Lou eventually landed at the Dubliner, a purportedly IRA-financed, yet incredibly fun bar across the street from Union Station. I remember the catering manager for this company I worked for had a brother in soap operas. I'm going to look him up. Anyway, I thought he was so cool, even though now I realize he was like a skinny Jack Wagner from Melrose Place. But it was the 90's, so what can I say?

One day I was working at a luncheon at The Washington Post. As a waitress mind you. The Katherine Graham (then publisher of the paper) stood up to give a speech and she was so easy and funny and cool, I thought I don't want to cater parties here. I want to work here. I was lucky enough to have a connection through a friend of a friend from Connecticut. He was pretty high up in finance I think. Again need to find his name because boy do I owe him. His daughter's name was Missy. Maybe Cannistraro? (Nicholas Cannistraro Jr, SVP Sales and Marketing).

He got me an interview with HR which was basically fairly grim, aka apparently there are a lot of young people who would like to work at the Post. Then I got a call about a job with Herb Block, the paper's editorial cartoonist. Finally! I'm in. Or not. As it turns out, I was not their first choice. But when their first choice didn't work out, I was their second choice. 

I still have my Post ID card including a freaking perm that I was rocking at the time. As a young person, you often don't realize the spot you're in, until you no longer are. Such is the case with me. Man I had fun. That was the most fun working I ever had. 

Mr. Block was a hard worker but he also loved to joke around. And such a nice man. You would never know he was a Pulitzer and Peabody winner (more than once). His long-time assistant Jean and I became friends too, and remain so even after his death. Lucky for me because Jean is a great friend to have.

Tonight I am attending another Herblock Foundation Lecture and Prize ceremony. Bob Woodward is speaking. Like THE Bob Woodward from All the President's Men. But there have been many great speakers at these events, for example Barack Obama, Tim Russert before he died, Ben Bradlee and so on. 

Here's a confession. After Washington, I lived in New York briefly. One day I was walking through my neighborhood in the West Village and I spied Woodward's partner in crime, Carl Bernstein. I followed him down West 4th Street. I really don't know where I was going with this but I had become such a news hound at the Post that I couldn't help myself. Plus he was married to Nora Ephron whom I adored. This went on for a few blocks and then I realized I'd never get the courage to say something so I stopped. 

That's okay. Tonight I get to hear what Bob has to say in person. Should be entertaining. (It was!)

NB. I know I should've chosen some dignified picture to accompany this post about DC swanky journos but I chose instead this image of the Tune Inn, a bar about 3 blocks from my old place. Lou Lou and I spent so much time here the bartender would take messages for us and store our stuff, like ice skates and backpacks. His name was Chris. I remember him too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Circle of Words with Friends

No, this is not a post about Words with Friends. I was just trying to think of a clever headline.

In fact, Words with Friends is a sensitive subject for me. My friend Kajone, our web developer at work, kicked my ass multiple times in Words with Friends. And he was as nice as he could be about it. He's like, "Becky you've really got to watch those triple word spots." I'm like, "Kajone, I really can't talk to you about this." 

Because I'm supposed to be the expert in Words. And you're 26.

Once again, I woke up this morning from a series of vivid dreams. I had a very weird dream that an old guy friend from high school was married to a man (he's not), who sort of had the head of my friend Sylvie's Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Nina. It was weird. So I decided to do my homework for a new project I'm starting thanks to another friend from high school.

I'm really excited about this project because it's about writing, something near and dear to my heart. I was reading all the background materials and one of the pieces was an article about Salman Khan who founded the Khan Academy. I think I first heard about Khan Academy from my dad who encouraged me to show the tool to my son as a way to understand concepts in math. It's a pretty amazing story and very inspiring for me. I sat there reading and thought, "Hey I'm finally going to learn something about physics using Khan Academy." 

Then I read that Khan grew up in Metarie, Louisiana outside of New Orleans. Because I went to Tulane in New Orleans, I'm familiar with Metairie and some of the other surrounding cities like Houma, Algiers and Slidell. I mispronounced all of them when I first arrived in New Orleans, but you learn their ways over time. Like Houma is pronounced Ho-ma, not Hu-ma. 

Then I was thinking about another old friend who gave me a copy of Lucinda Williams' album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. One of the songs on that album that she wrote is called Joy. In my humble opinion, this is genius: 

I don't want you anymore
Cause you took my joy
I don't want you anymore
You took my joy

I'm gonna go to Slidell and look for my joy
Go to Slidell and look for my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy
Maybe in Slidell I'll find my joy


The contrast of finding joy in small town Slidell, Louisiana strikes me as pretty cool and a sly turn of phrase. Keep writing Lucinda. Keep writing.

This blog is thanks to many friends who keep me thinking, keep me writing and keep kicking my butt in Words with Friends.

NB: Okay this is weird but while researching images for this blog, I realized the Words with Friends logo appears to include a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Dream Of Dali

Almost every night, I have these vivid, weird dreams that I feel no one else can understand. For example, last night I dreamt Daisy was a puppy again, and she was trying to catch a baby turtle. But I was trying to stop her from catching the baby turtle because it was a baby, and because I thought it would just generally be a bad idea for a dog to eat a turtle.

And then I saw Hashim who is one of the boys from Kolfe Orphanage in Ethiopia. He's the boy who came to stay with us I think two summers ago. My mom would remember. He was grown up and looked stronger and healthier. He also seemed happy, which for a kid like Hashim was something big. The first time I saw Hashim smile was when Daisy the dog jumped up on his bed to wake him. Also when he learned to ride a bike. He smiled then.

There was one other time he smiled. I was taking him to meet Mary Beth, co-founder of Operation Hearts and Home, and the woman who organized the trip for the kids from Addis. We agreed to meet at the SUNY Purchase campus in Westchester. While we were waiting for Mary to arrive, I took Hashim into the student center. There was this super fancy Coke vending machine with a robotic arm that flew around locating your drink selection and dispensing it. He actually laughed out loud.

Maybe I have such strange dreams because my mind tends to wander, even in the daytime, as evidenced by the total tangent I just took on Hashim. 

My mom sent me an article last week about dreaming. It was written by Gina Barreca, a columnist for the Hartford Courant in nearby Hartford, CT, though my mom lives and reads her paper in Savannah, GA. I thought this bit was brilliant:

Men don't want to hear about dreams. When somebody says, "I was playing Barbies with Madeleine Albright and we were either in a circus or a brothel when suddenly I started to cut my hair with manicure scissors and Albright says, 'Shouldn't a priest read you your rights before he hears your confession?' which is what she always says in the dream but this time I answered, 'These are not my walls, but my paintings are on them,'" the natural question is, "What do you think it means?" And a lot of men don't like to analyze things.
Read more here:

Read more here:

It just occurred to me what my dream might mean. I've been thinking of a book about Daisy for over a year now and done almost nothing. The turtle is symbolic of the slow traveler. Maybe Daisy was trying to eat the turtle in me. Because Daisy never dawdles. She goes for what she wants. Like socks. She really loves to destroy socks.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Short Blog About Responsibility at 15

Our neighbors and dear friends have two younger boys and we have an older boy. There was a a time when they were all sort of closer in age, but now that Will is 15 and they are still in elementary, the gap widens. For the most part, I think their kids have always viewed Will as a playmate or possibly a horse. Definitely not an authority figure. 

Of late, our boy Will is thinking constantly about making money to save up for games and sports stuff and a car. When I was 15, I made my money babysitting. Quite a good bit of money, less the stuff my bother "borrowed" from me. I don't know though, boy babysitters have a much harder time. You would probably leave your kids with a girl just because she's a girl. I mean she could have like a side job on the reality series Teen Mom, and you will still feel a little bit safer leaving your kids with a girl. I actually had a boy babysitter as a kid and he was kind of creepy. Plus his name was Skipper.

Anyway, our neighbors asked us one day for the number of the teenaged girl down the street. I had to ask Will for it because I didn't have it. He gave it to me and asked why. I said I think for babysitting the boys next door. At first he was sort of like what? I can do this. 

Eventually he texted me the number. I texted back, "Sorry bud." He replied, "It's okay. She'd be better at it than me." I thought that was some responsible shit. And honestly, I think he's right.

Update: My awesome neighbor read this blog and had no idea Will was interested in babysitting and he got his first job with her. There you go. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow is a Microcosm

As I sit here with my trusty bag of frozen kale pressed against my lower back, praying it keeps me in alignment and out of traction, I am contemplating all the snow today. It occurred to me that living here in the Northeast may not be as visibly difficult as other places in the world, but it is difficult. Today we had over a foot of snow on the coast which means inland they were bombarded. I just checked the forecast and they are predicting more snow and something called a thunder snowstorm which I think may be not good. 

When you live in a dense neighborhood like ours, it's tough to ignore your neighbor. We know a lot about each other, whether we know each other or not.  Like I know the guy who NEVER said hi to me until recently is a writer - figures - and his son, who is nice as can be, went to Tulane like me, and was also my son's camp counselor.

I know my neighbors next door, one a widower, one whose husband is not in the best shape with his back. Our younger neighbors on the other side -- he has a bad shoulder. I know all these things and then I know my own frailties, aka 50 aka bad back and when snow comes I have to weigh my options. We try to never stop at just shoveling our house. We try to do at least the two neighbors who are older. But today was a monster and here I sit with my frozen kale.

Deciding who to help is a really tough decision. I honestly don't know how people who work at non-profits don't drive themselves crazy. When you are coping with weather like we are having, you start resenting your dog. Like crap I have to take her out again? Not to mention, how far will I go to help others? How many neighbors can I shovel out?

I almost always think about my neighbor Ray and his gardening mantra..."Just do a little at a time." Then there's one of my all time favorite books "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott.  Same principle -- don't get bogged down in doing it all. You actually can't do it all. I mean me. I actually can't do it all. What the hell? I can't do it all? What a let down.

Today we had a new neighbor to help. Old neighbor, but new to our help. They have a snow blower and a guy who plows. But the other day the ambulance was at their house for the husband. I think I know why. It doesn't matter anyway. Now the wife and son need help, and we need to try.

This is a big lesson. That I am trying to learn. And it's only taken me 50 years. And counting. How do you friend, help, support, abide people you don't necessarily like?  I don't have the answer. I guess sometimes it helps to have the cover of snow around you.

On a positive note, shoveling snow apparently allows you to eat anything you freaking want and not gain weight. 

NB I just noticed my last post was a lot more cheery. See. Perfect example of what a long New England winter can do to you.