Cincy to Sanibel , Beaches and Doggies, Oh MY!

So, it is cold and blustery up North. Go grab a coffee, a cappuchino, a hot chocolate and curl up with my latest blog!


HAPPY HAPPY GOOBLE GOOBLE DAY from sunny Florida! It is chilly here but NOTHING like up North…I wore one sweater, two jackets to the beach this morning with a scarf!


I came home warm and sat on the couch with Dulce, mom and I drank hot chocolate as we watched the Macy’s Day Parade.


Well, thank you for all your notes and well wishes about my truffle oil French fry accident that caused my hematoma in my leg. I am kidding. The doc didn’t believe it was caused by French fries. I am still not sure she is right!


I must confess my blog is behind me by two weeks so one minute you think I am in Sanibel, and I am in Cincy. The next you think I am in Cincy, and I am really in Sanibel.


My mom didn’t like my last blog. She said I talked about really mundane things and you all could careless if I ate bananas with blueberry yogurt on them or not. So, I am going to try to trim the fat, in addition to catching you all up so you live in the same time speed as me. So, we are going to the do the National Lampoon, Chevy Chase version of the last two weeks!


I came home from Sanibel and went to the doctor. It was a hematoma. It probably was a result of the combination of driving 8 + hours, walking in bad shoes, getting a leg cramp and bending funny. I asked her if it had ANYTHING to do with the truffle oil fries.  She laughed and looked at her assistant and said, “I LOVE THIS GIRL!” Then looked at me and said, “NO!” I still haven’t had a fry. What a great way to temporarily stop eating French fries.


She suggested that I stay home and do nothing for the next few days, except take Alleve, elevate my leg and keep heat on it. I spent Saturday and Sunday doing just that and catching up on my junky television shows. I have friends that love reality shows. I detest them!!! I hate all that crap! But I love another kind of crap…SCANDAL, REVENGE, NASHVILLE, BLUE BLOODS, CASTLE, WHITE COLLAR, GREY’S, ELEMENTARY, THE GOOD WIFE, THE MENTALIST and I am sure I am leaving something out. I watched three weeks of those shows in TWO DAYS!!! It actually was pretty darn awesome. I couldn’t do anything else…so why not!


Monday my father called and announced that he and my Uncle had decided to take Veteran’s Day off and my stepmother was at a volunteer job and it would be a good time for us to go to lunch. He wanted Mexican, because she won’t eat Mexican with him. Sadly, they were all closed so we went to Dewey’s and had salad and pizza. The waiter told us there are no calories on holidays! Yippee! “Let’s go to Graeter’s then,” I said.  We planned to share a mocha chocolate chip dip. We walked in the door and heard someone saying, “BOBBY & ERIN!” I said, “It is ERIN & WALLY! My dad has an identical twin named Bob. NO ONE can tell them apart.


It was Kathy Graeter , who played tennis with my Uncle for 24 years and still can’t tell them apart. She came and sat with us. My dad asked her about business and how it has grown so much in recent years. They are even putting one across from Holtman’s Donuts on Vine Street. I think they should partner, and give ice cream to stuff inside the donuts and in the reverse, donuts to crumble on the ice cream? Just a thought. I also learned that one can get Graeter’s in Publix in Florida. Wonder what this expansion is doing for the shipping business? I love that I can go to my mom’s and not have to miss my Graeter’s!


I went home and got ready for a retired minister in my building who asked to come over for tea and to discuss “issues” with me. We had a nice visit, but no building issues were discussed. We just chatted. I can tell he was a real looker in his day. A real lady’s man and charmer too! I was told to not trust him, but he seemed harmless. I will keep you posted.


The politics in my building at the moment are becoming a bit intense. Everyone has their nose in everyone’s business. We keep needing to reiterate AD NAUSEUM….let people do what they want to do! Leave people alone! People will do what they want to do and they should. It is called FREEDOM!!!


A gal in the building came to discuss some of these issues with me. She seems to be on the right track! I hope the problems go away before it divides the building. It is so interesting to me. I grew up in the same house from baby till college. I have lived in apartments ever since, with a few exceptions of homes. I had no idea how there are people that were meant to live “city life” in condos and apartments and others that are incapable of playing nice in the sandbox. Everyone has their thing…I am just a city girl at heart!


The following day, I went and met my friend Mindy and her awesome kids: Brady, Ruby & Herwyns at the OM Café in Clifton for turtle drinks. Okay, hot chocolate with caramel sauce. Need I say more! Definitely try THAT at home!


Some of you know this, others don’t. I am a VERY proud breast cancer survivor! I went through a pretty toxic chemo. I lost all of my hair and the silver lining was that it came back curly with these AWeSOME and SERIOUS blonde streaks, so guess what? I didn’t want to cut it. I finally broke down last week and got it cut. It was starting to look like Andre Agassi’s hair and real skunk like at the ends. I did lose a lot of the blonde. Such sadness. Remedy, I am down on Sanibel (NOW) and I am going to do everything in my power to let the sun bleach it blonde for the winter. I will be walking around with crusty hair from lemon juice, or dunking it in chlorinated pools, whenever I pass a pool, you name it. I will be doing it.



Friday, I met my friend Stacey. Stacey and I went kindergarten through 12th grade together. I always, always liked, trusted and felt completely comfortable around Stacey, and she used to do this dog name thing that used to make me laugh till I cried. We lost touch after high school, I saw her once in Boston with her hubby and another high school friend and then lost touch again. When I moved back to Cincy, I found her. She is now one of my best friends. So, we met at this awesome sushi place she and her hubby discovered when moving back to Cincy from Chicago called MEI. They do a miso soup, salad and two sushi rolls for $10, and it is really good.


I left Stacey and went to Barnes & Noble, because I was told they have a section for local writers and I should go talk to them about taking my books. It looks like more Ohio authors than Cincy writers, and it looks more non-fiction than fiction, but I will do the paperwork and see where it lands me. They decide on a national level, so I guess there is a chance that it would go into all B & N stores on a national level, which would not hurt my feelings at all.


I then went to Trader Joe’s to find roadtrip snacks so I do not have the challenges of KFC and Dunkin Donuts or the upset belly again. I bought Wasabi almonds. I bought a trail mix of Chocolate, Cranberries, Cashews and Pistachios. This time I was determined to do it right.


I also went and bought a pair of compression socks. I am sure if I didn’t wear long pants I would have reminded someone of their granny with what looked like knee high panty hose.


That night, I was invited to a restaurant called RUTH’S in Northside that is located in the Can Lofts.  The people doing RUTH’S were the folks that did the beloved MULLANE’S that used to be downtown. My friend Mary Lou was retiring from being an OR Nurse and her friends asked me to be a part of her celebratory dinner. It was a lot of fun! I had a great burger and they made homemade pies. I had apple, which was yummy, but a friend had raspberry and that was divine. The place was hopping. It was crowded from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. Northside sure is a mecca for foodies!


I left there and rushed over to the Clovernook Country Club because I had been asked to dinner there and thought I could go join friends after my dinner, but they were gone. It felt so college-like going from one festivity to another one.



Saturday and Sunday, I geared up for my long drive to Florida by resuming my sitting on the couch for an inordinate amount of time! I had taped Law & Order episodes and sat there, leg in air, heat on it and watching the telly.


I finally took a break to go to the pharmacy. I had two prescriptions that I had been sparingly using for ELEVEN years. One was for cankers, which I get when I eat too much fruit, another for my itchy ears, which I seem to have WAY too often. Well, I mislabeled them. With a Sharpie I wrote CANKERS on one and EARS on another one. It wasn’t till I saw what my mom was putting in her ears that I realized that I was putting the canker meds on my ears and the ear meds on my cankers. So, I went to the pharmacy to confirm. He was more upset that I was using SUCH outdated meds than the fact that I reversed them. Everyone else laughed. He tried SO hard not to laugh….Yes, I DID go to Harvard! See, this is why I usually don’t tell anyone, that is so bad that I did that!


I came home from the pharmacy and a neighbor cornered me about the board and issues and then another one. I thought I always wanted to be in politics, with the exceptions here and there, but this is too much!  


I then went to visit my dear, dear friend Edie and her hubby. Edie has been battling cancer at the ripe age of 80+ and she has done it with so much humor, integrity, strength, and perseverance. She is such a great lady and her husband, such a nice fella.


Monday I went to sit with my friend Mare at chemo. She has 3 chemos left out of 12. She looks fabulous for this horrendous chemo she has endured. The doc says she never will get over the chemo or stop. She tries so hard to not let it get her down, but it is hard. She feels bad that I come sit with her because it is so depressing but it is only depressing when I first arrive and then I focus on her and forget where I am! Plus, so many nice folks sat with me during chemo, I think it is good karma passed on!


Wednesday morning, I went to Sidewinders and ordered a large Mexican latte and drove to Atlanta. I stopped at Temple’s and hung out with her and her children during Atlanta rush hour. Once rush hour was over, I left and went to Forsythe, Georgia and met my Cincy neighbors Roy & Carolyn in a Waffle House for dinner. It was so perfect. I had a ham and cheese omelet, I ate cinnamon and raisin toast with Apple butter. I know, no bread, but I was on the road. Excuses, excuses, and look I did a chain restaurant and didn’t complain! It was so great to see them and it broke up the trip and gave me a second wind to drive 2.5 hours more.


I walked into a hotel in Valdosta, Georgia near the GA, and FL. Border. Nice Drury Inn and crashed there. Nice breakfast. Drive thru at Starbucks was next door. I went and got a Chai latte and drove the rest of the way to Ft. Myers. I returned my books on DVD to Cracker Barrel. Do ya’ll know about this…..go to a Cracker Barrel and get a book on DVD…listen to it and return it to another Cracker Barrel and pick up another one. SO great! I had this awesome Harlan Coben book I listened to over 17 hours!


Then…I went to Norman Love, or Norman, my love, google him ( one of this country’s top chocolatiers! So amazing. I bought 2 dark chocolate bars. Then I went to TJ Maxx’s for a bathing suit. Didn’t find one. I guess I am stuck with my 1996 Ralph Lauren bathing suit that is like a Timex watch. It takes a licking and keeps on lasting. BARELY!


I arrived home just in time for sunset. I grabbed my mom and the dog and off we went.

So, nice to be home! So nice to see the sunset over the water.


My mom made Salmon & Spinach for dinner. Still working on clearing those arteries!


Next day, I went to find THE ISLAND COW guy to talk books, I went to the CVS to get a passport picture, because my passport is due to expire soon and I am NOT going to be in the percentage of Americans that DON’T have a passport. What if I met the man of my dreams and he wants to whisk me away to Paris or Venice and I have to say, ‘ No, my passport is expired!’ I don’t want that to happen. Now, that would be a travesty!!! Plus, I have so many friends that aren’t Americans and they ALL know that a lot of Americans, don’t have passports, don’t leave this country and that is a shame….We ALL need to see the world!!


I left there and went to the post office to mail in my passport. Laura behind the counter asked how long I am home and talked about her cool art. This Sanibel is a lot like Mayberry. I love NYC and I love Mayberry.


My mom and I went up to Captiva Island to meet my friends Karen & Bill at a place called Key Lime Bistro. We sat outside surrounded by palm trees and I realized why they call this paradise. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes, I don’t!  It was like a scene out of an islands magazine.


My mom had arranged for us to walk with her friends Tom & Sylie and their 4 dogs. Two greyhounds named :Rumo & Ralla, and two bearded collies named: Winnie & Cookie.


Tom & Sylvie are from Germany and have a place on Sanibel. Sanibel is a mecca for Germans and Brits. Don’t know why…it just is…


Tom went to Business School in Cambridge at Harvard Biz School and so we talked Harvard, Cambridge, Boston and that was a lot of fun!


Then Ellen from Chicago came out with her dogs: Tess, Sadie and Bella and we all walked.


We ran into Tom & Anne and their poodle Cleopatra.


Imagine this…these adults, and then NINE dogs!!!!


It is doggy heaven here! I love it. I love the down-to-earth people.



We came home and made a big tossed salad for dinner. It was nice to be back home on Sanibel, especially since it was going to 25 degrees in Cincy.


75 degrees, sunny, beach, dog, mom, friends on Sanibel vs. 25, cold, bleak, and no friends wanting to go out in Cincy. No brainer.


I had a book signing on Saturday at Bailey’s. I saw so many folks I knew. I sold a little more than a handful of books, but the folks I knew coming through the market was enough to entertain me most of the time.


I returned the leashes I borrowed from ISLAND PAWS the dog shop on Sanibel. The gals that own it Liza and Tracy are so great!!! They were kind enough to let me borrow leashes to photograph for the cover of my new book called THE URBAN LEASH, which is a fiction book for dog lovers! Stories of a dogwalker. Hopefully fun and funny! Thanks Liza and Tracy! The book just came out on Click on link:



Another kid’s book is out as well! It is called THE OLD OAK TREE and it teaches kids the importance of respect, boundaries and the difference between wrong and right. Also on under the name E.M. Holzman. Click on link:



Then I went for a sunset walk with my sister Dulce and we were meeting my friend Joyce and her dog dude. We went to her boardwalk and met this nice couple from NJ named Marty & Dot. I told Dot my favorite character in my book, Women in Pink is probably the gal named Dot.


Marty & Dot live on a farm with horses 40 minutes outside of Manhattan. Is that the best of both worlds or what? Country and City so wonderfully close together.


I came home to Cobia dipped in butter and lemon with a side of mushrooms. My mom asked if 3 mushrooms would be enough for me? I said try 5…3 are you kidding me? The woman eats like a bird. I am not talking Portabellas. I am talking button mushrooms. Would 3 be enough for you?


Sunday we went to Overeasy Café, also owned by the ISLAND PAWS people. It was a cast of 8 friends and three dogs. The dogs get food ordered for them as well. NO JOKE!

Then I got to see a friend of a friend that I ADORE….named Jim. An appeals judge from Kansas. Love this guy! So psyched to see him. Hello Jim!!


Farmer’s Market was the next stop and another group of friends there. And more dogs….My mom just left me in one spot and I was able to mingle. So much better than the last time I was there and unable to walk. And you wanna talk dogs…had to be at least 20-30 there. My Dulce was in heaven. She really hit the doggy lotto. She went from who knows what, to a rescue, to eating breakfast in restaurants, letting the wind blow in her fur in the convertible, to eating fish, chicken, etc. and to having the opportunity to come across so many doggy friends and walk with them on the beach daily at sunset. Rough life!


After market, I went back to Joyce’s. I went to talk books with Marty & Dot (her neighbors) and she kindly bought 5 of my books. Since we both were in NY for 9.11, we shared stories. Two I want to share with you, because as we discussed these stories need to get out!


Their daughter or daughter-in-law had a kid who had a best friend and they wanted to walk into school the first day together. Dot and Marty’s kid were late with their grandson and it caused the other mom to be perturbed and late for her job as she and her son waited. She left her kid at school. She went to catch a train. It had left. She drove 5 towns up the road to get another one. She called her boss to tell him she was super late, but she would be there. He said don’t come! A plane just went into our building BELOW our floor. We are stuck here. Go home and be with your family. If she had been on time, she would have been up there and died. Sometimes things that seem annoying really do happen for a reason. It saved her life!


Second story, profound in a different way. I never would have thought of this, but it makes sense. Marty said there was a commuters’ parking lot near where they lived that after rush hour emptied. The night of 9.11, half the cars that usually would have been gone, were still there. So sad. Scary.



I came home and that night my mom and I went to dinner with some dear old friends from TN named Max & Margot. My friend Joyce always calls them M &M.


We went to this restaurant on the island called TRADERS that a lot of folks think is the best. The ambiance is great and so is the food, EXCEPT that they have NOT changed the menu in ELEVEN years and we are all a little…okay a LOT bored with it.


I did have the special. Sea bass crusted in no idea what over a bed of risotto. VERY good.


Monday was a work day! My mom and I worked on books ALL DAY LONG!!! Won’t bore you with details. LONG, LONG day! And  I love her, but man OH man, can she be bossy!!!


Here is where I need your help. 2 things.


1)    I am looking for a company to make my Peri the pelican stuffed animal. I have a prototype, but I need someone to sew them for me. There are 2 catches. 1) I want it made in America, NOT China. 2) I don’t want to have to make 1000. I just want 50 to start. Any ideas?


2)    My next teenage novel to come out is titled STEPMONSTERS. My mom (my illustrator) and I are stuck on the artwork for the title. Here is what I want to convey. A stepmonster looks normal on the outside but is devious and underhanded on the inside. I need a cover to convey this. I am thinking a woman is holding a child’s hand and he/she is holding a balloon and the monster is reaching over her head with the other hand and is popping the balloon. So, here is an idea but I need the same concept but something more appropriate for a teenager. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. Thanks.



After a hard day of work, that night my mom made us Salmon BLT on open face sandwich. YUM! My mom used mayo, but I acutally think thousand island instead may have been really tasty. May have to try that!


Yesterday, we ran errands. Bookstores to drop of booksigning posters for the doors, Noah’s to see what is the latest and greatest there and donate things, and then we went and got that caramel milkshake. Yum. I know, Erin, step away from the caramel milkshakes. And what is even worse…I think the way to make one equally as yummy is Haagen Daaz Dulce de Leche with milk in a blender. Again, please try this at home.


Last night, the clouds and the sky grew dark, the waves on the beach were fierce and the wind blew and all us doggy folks from Santa Barbara, CA., to Germany to Cincy to Sanibel all congregated on the beach and chatted. Did I tell you how nice it is to be home?


This morning was glorious. The storm that is nailing everyone for Gooble Gooble Day was supposed to pound us. It did a bit last night, and it was due to linger today, but it didn’t. BEAUTIFUL morning. I took Dulce for a two-mile walk on the beach. My first REAL walk since before HALLOWEEN, but I wanted to see how the leg was and I even ran a minute or two here and there so she could get some exercise. It was heavenly until the wind whipped and either the sand or the salty water caught her square in the eye and she couldn’t open it and scratched at it. I was a mile from the car. I walked fast seeing her tremendous pain and knowing from personal experience how much that hurts. I stopped in a hotel on the beach and caught some super nice lady out front who was kind enough to bring me a glass of water. I dumped it on Dulce’s eye. No luck. I was pained to see her hurt so much!


I got her home and under a hose because it was salt or sand in her eye and she was scratching it with a salty and sandy paw. So I cleaned the eye and the paws. My mom was their with eye drops and now all well in the world. Dulce has been super mad at my mom because she keeps threatening to send her back to the rescue place. But since my mom was their with the drops, she seems to have forgiven her. I still think I am Dulce’s favorite. Don’t tell my mom!


I hope you all have a wonderful, happy food filled Gooble Gooble Day!


Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….


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