Bearnaise, Tweenies, Open-faced sandwiches, Racy books & Beach walks

I am going to put this at the top of the blog so maybe depending on how far you read…you will see this! I NEED HELP!!!

Okay, I am going to ask you all your advice on these two matters again.

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 of a woman holding a child’s hand with one hand and the child is holding a balloon and the stepmonster 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.

Okay, here is the proper start to the blog.

It’s funny how my mom and I can be traditionalists in one sense and not in another one. As a tradition, whether I lived in Washington, D.C., Boston, I religiously would watch the Macy’s Day Parade on television. When I lived in NY, I went to it. I love it. My other tradition is hot chocolate. The ONLY part of that tradition is that before living in Paris, I drank Swiss Miss. Now, I ask what the hot chocolate is and if it is Swiss Miss or some powder equivalent, I pass. Paris spoiled me for good hot chocolate. A lot of places and people here think hot chocolate means a spoon full of powder and add water. In Paris, cook milk on a stove top, and add grated chocolate. Now, that is hot chocolate. City Bakery and Jacques Torres in New York get it.

My mom surprised me and made me a hot chocolate that had a spicy kick to it. We watched the dog show something we always do, just usually in different cities and while on the phone instead of sitting side by side.

We walked on the beach. We came home and this is where we went VERY MUCH against the traditions. Neither of us are big fans of a traditional turkey dinner. I like the stuffing and the pumpkin or fruit pies. I like turkey, but more as a cold leftover. My mom is the same. So, being in Florida we reverted to an old Florida tradition of ours from years ago. We ate grouper stuffed with crabmeat and béarnaise on top and then asparagus with hollandaise. It was delicious. For dessert, we conformed a bit. We ate apple crisp. It was really yummy.

The day after Thanksgiving is a little bit of a let down. EXCEPT!  There is this “thing” that I love. It is at a place/hotel called Tween Waters (aka Tweenies) up on Captiva Island and they light the place up for the holidays. Tonight they had a big party and they play carols and light different things according to the songs. (Example: They light Rudolph’s nose and sing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.) After the grounds are lit, they do this firework show on the beach. LOVE IT!! Absolutely love it. The parking was abominable and completely scattered, disorganized, and a colossal mess, but everything else was so much fun!

We came home and my mom had cooked a turkey breast to make my favorite sandwich a turkey open-faced club sandwich! To me, this is the best part of Thanksgiving. This sandwich! It is a piece of white toast, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, bacon, lettuce, turkey and then thousand island dressing. I was in charge of the dressing and since I was, I made a lot of it! I love this sandwich!

It is so odd. Before my mom and stepdad married I loved Christmas. But my stepdad hated it and was quite the Grinch about it. It made me feel mixed about the holiday. I had such fond memories of Christmas carols and decorating the tree with my mom as a child, trying to stay awake to catch Santa eating the cookies I left him, but my stepfather was HORRENDOUS about the holiday and in a lot of ways it killed it for me. But nights like tonight I love. It is odd, because hearing Christmas carols on the radio or in a shop is like fingernails on a chalkboard for me, but singing carols tonight at Tweenies or on Christmas Eve at Chapel by the Sea up on Captiva is just downright special and wonderful to me. I leaned over and looked at my mom tonight and thanked her for raising me with Christmas instead of Hannukah. I so would have missed all these Christmas traditions. I love Jewish traditions, don’t get me wrong, but Christmas is so non-denominational to me and I am in it for the Christmas lights. It is just such a fun holiday!

I had a book signing this morning. I had a lot of foot track but not a lot of buyers. I find that so discouraging.  It was interesting, a lot of granddads thought Peri’s Sanibel Island Adventure was cool and would be great for their grandkids, but they said they would send their wives to buy it and they didn’t.

I was so tired after the booksigning (and Dulce waking me at 7am, even though she slept 30 minutes longer than usual) that I crashed after it. Then I couldn’t wake up. I finally rolled over and saw that it was almost five o’clock and I hate to miss sunset. I feel this obligation to get to the beach at least once a day! I never want to take the beach for granted.

My mom looked at Dulce and I like we were crazy! The sky was overcast and we had a cocktail party at 6.  I am trying to teach Dulce to get excited to go to the beach.  All of our dogs LOVED going to the beach. We used to say, “Do you want to go to the beach?” and the dog would go running to the door. Dulce seemed unphased.

She and I went to the beach and we ran into Marilyn and Dick, two folks that lived in Wisconsin and bought a house on Sanibel to escape the cold from time to time during the year. Sometime after buying the Sanibel house, they were transferred to Santa Barbara. At that point they loved Sanibel and were attached so they go between the two. Not bad!

So, I was telling them that I can’t get Dulce excited for going to the beach or by saying, “Wanna go bye bye in the car, car!” That kind of stuff used to make our other dogs do back flips. Not Dulce. So, I jokingly said,  “I wonder if she was trained in another language?” I fumbled over other words in other languages. I said please in German. That did nothing. I said thank you in Chinese, hello in Spanish, and spoke to her in French. Nothing. You can see my other language knowledge is so limited. Dick spoke to her in Spanish and nothing. THEN…THEN…he and Marilyn spoke to her in German and voila! The dog is fluent in German. It makes SO MUCH sense! As I said in my last blog, a lot of Germans come to Sanibel and since I am half French and half German. I like it. Well, this is a hoot! You should have seen how well-trained this dog is in German. She comes when you call her. She sits when you tell her. BUT….this was ALL in German. Amazing. No wonder why she doesn’t get excited when we speak to her about going to the beach or in the car. She wants to say, “No speak English!” No wonder why she has been so hard to train. She is learning a new language. The dog does not comprehend English and the fact that she has done so well with English is really a testament to this great pooch. I am so in love with her. Almost hope she does come back to Cincy with me!

Isn’t it funny that my mom’s Chinese Crested poodle mix understands German? We have a bilingual dog. Just made the dog smarter than me! And so cool and fun!

Dick and Marilyn said this is how you learn German, Erin. You learn all the German commands and you will learn bits of German. Pretty cool!

I went home and told my mom the secret to her Chinese dog is that she is fluent in German. I tried the only two commands Dick and Marilyn taught me. SIT and COME. Amazing. My mom went and emailed Sylvie (who lives here and is from Germany) and told her that she needs to teach my mom German commands because the dog is German.

I think this is really nifty!

A bit later, the dog did something my Mom didn’t like and she told Dulce that she was on her shit list and I looked at my mom and said the dog has NO IDEA what you are saying! She is German.

We went to a cocktail party given by Lily’s a really nice jewelry shop on the island. Every year around this time, Karen the owner throws a wonderful holiday party that is catered and has a band. My tennis gals were there so it was fun to see them. Two of the gals, individually pulled me aside and told me doozy bits of gossip. I love my tennis ladies. The food was catered by this man who made these awesome tamales or so my mom said and she asked him if he made them and he said yes. She asked if he was Spanish because they were so good and he broke out into an Irish accent and said, “No, top of the morning ta ya! I am Irish. I learned how to make them from a Spanish woman!”  He wasn’t attractive to me, but his personality was downright adorable! I am sure the accent helped too!

After eating, tamales, pigs in blankets, deviled eggs with salmon, and spanakopita, we left came home and my mom made us BBQ shrimp with bread to dip into it. It is not traditional BBQ more New Orleans style. It is tasty. If you get a chance, try it.

Okay, my mom pulled me into her football web. We watched the end of the Auburn v. Alabama game. Holy moly! Bama kicked it and the guy (#11) who caught it ran it back the full length of the field. (It was a 100 yards, but he was 9 yards back in the end zone, so technically he ran it 109 yards. Absolutely, breathtaking, inspiring and just awesome!

We went to breakfast and the Farmer’s Market this morning and while we were at Market I heard some German speakers and asked them to talk to Dulce. She seemed to respond and then one of them said, “Well, 2 of us are Dutch!” So, of course I wondered if she was Dutch and a dobie smoker, but we took her to Sylvie and Tom’s house and she is not German. I am sad and happy about this. I am sad because how fun to have a bilingual dog, but happy for her that she didn’t have to go from a German household to an American one. That would be so sad and confusing for a doggy.

We took Dulce for a sunset walk and ran into a gal we know on the beach. You will love this! She asked about my kids books and told me she thought that would be much better for her, because my trashy novel BRAND MY ASS was WAY TOO racy for her. Funny thing is, compared to Fifty Shades of Grey it is so tame. I keep thinking I need to write something far racier!  

I won’t ask you for sexy, racy sex scenes for the new book, because I am scared I will get them! Although Doc, I know you really wanted to help write a trashy novel with your “attributes/assets” in the field of medicine and from the sounds of it, in matters of love… if you are still reading the blog, send me what you got! I have a feeling you could write a bestseller!

Guess what? I am so excited! My blog has had over 1,000 hits so my mom and I broke out the champagne last night to celebrate! Yippee!!!!

My mom went to a lecture this morning about something called a CANE TOAD that is running around the island. It is a 5-lb toad that dogs bite and these toads are filled with poisonous venom and it kills them. Scary stuff! Does that sound like a sci-fi movie or what? Because of the lecture, my mom couldn’t get a standard blood test she needed to get so we are going tomorrow and then her treat is breakfast after it. So, I keep saying we are going out for Blood & Breakfast. Now, I sound like Dracula!

Well, my mom went into town this morning to run errands and do her puppets. This is really cool. My mom LOVES puppets and used to make really cool puppets for me when I was a kid and put on little shows. Well, she found a place in town with very sweet and very poor kids and she goes and hangs out with them for an hour every week and does puppets with them. She loves it and the kids and I am sure the teachers love the break and her!

So, I have the day to myself except my mom has been gone for an hour and already called four times. Dulce and I are sitting on the couch. I am working and she is spread the length on my leg next to me.

My dad called and wanted to Skype. He is so fascinated with his ability to see me on his computer screen. He finally said do I need to keep holding the phone while I talk to you? I said, “Can you hear me through the computer?” He said, yes. But I couldn’t hear him through mine. You would have thought someone gave my dad a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies he was so excited to see me on the screen. And this is love….I look like crap! I think my hair looks like I dumped salad dressing on it. I should shower, but I get that working at home and looking like crap thing! And not caring. Dulce still loves me.

Last things, and then I am going to call it a day on the blog. I keep trying to trim more fat and hopefully I have and this is more concise. So, on Monday, I went to Beachview Tennis, which has changed its name to the Sanibel Island Country and Golf Club or something like that! We who go to this club are not posh folks. We are really nice and down-to-earth folks. We range from MANY Indiana farmers to posh CEO’s but you would never know it. So, I ran into a Beachview gal and said I want to come over and play tennis for 15-30 minutes and see how the leg does. I do not want to sign up for a full 1.5 hours, and not be able to play and leave a doubles team with 3 instead of 4 players, in case I can’t do it.

I DID IT!!!! It didn’t hurt. So, there I am hitting with these nice gals and my partner (playing doubles here) who I do not know well, must have thought I was a looney tunes. I kept giggling like a schoolgirl. I was SO excited and happy to be out there on the tennis court! I finally looked at her and said one of my personal favorite quotes. “I am as happy as a pig in mud!” And she smiled at me and most certainly thought, she must be a part of one of those Indy farmer families. And you know what…I take that as a compliment.

Well, I am grabbing the dog and we are going for a long beach walk! I hope she doesn’t feel the need to pick up dead fish or roll around in them and get au toilette le poisson (French for fish) all over her body. That is a perfume you do not want! She saw a fish the other day, she dropped to the ground and rubbed her body across it. Nice. That night she slept in my mom’s room. Who’s the smart one now?

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

 Note: For SANiBELIANS: Friday, Dec. 6 @ 6pm @ THE ISLAND COW for Luminaries….I will be there signing books!!!




One thought on “Bearnaise, Tweenies, Open-faced sandwiches, Racy books & Beach walks

  1. Could you employ the reflection trick? Often we see this used with monsters/vampires in tv and the movies. The monster looks normal to the audience/the surrounding “rest of the world”- but their real-self, the hideous monster that they really are, is revealed to the audience in a reflection- be it window, mirror, body of water…. Does this make sense? (I have been writing the same piece of my thesis for days now, I am not sure I am communicating well.)

    Second I have a friend who runs a quilting shop and has ties to our local sewing guild. It would probably be expensive, but maybe for only 50, hand-made would work? Mind you, I have no idea how expensive it would be but… maybe this ridiculous idea will lead someone to a better one:)
    Take care and have a great night,

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