Kick-My-Tushy Cold to “Thee Jewish Remedy” to Bread Pudding, to Mickey Mouse Ears and Much More…

I hate being sick! Hate it! Detest it! But who doesn’t? I woke up the morning I was due to leave Florida with a sore throat. I didn’t think much of it, because for me that just means lack of proper sleep, or I have been in a smoky room, allergies flaring, or all of the above.

As you know, I made it to Sarasota and the next morning, I woke up feeling a little worse, but thought if I could drown it in Orange Juice that would be the cure.

I continued to Atlanta and at this point, I was stuffed up one minute, and drained and running the next. I had to come to the realization that I had a KICK ASS cold! I felt terrible and fearful that I would/had left a path of colds in my wake. I was quite relieved to discover I had not.

I came back to Cincy and I did what most people do when they have been knocked hard by a cold coupled with below normal temperatures. I hibernated in my home.

I absolutely adore my home. I love the space. I love my ginormous windows that allow sunlight to flood my space. I love most of the people in the building, but I will get to that later. I just love it here. I was happy as a pig in mud to become one with my couch, a box of Kleenex and a warm blankie. And let us not forget a plethora of my favorite junkie telly shows.

I love my mother, but there was something about being back in my own space with NO ONE telling me what to do and when to do it. I know that social norms dictate that I must mate and find a man. And some days I would like to, and would like one around and other days, not so much!

I had a friend in NY, an heir to my favorite ice cream, and she used to joke that every Fall, she would go find a man to keep her warm in the winter and then discard him in the Spring, be free in the Summer and then do the same thing the following Fall. I was incensed! Outraged! Disgusted. Now, I get it!

So, basically it has averaged about 10 degrees in Cincy and I have become like a big brown bear hibernating for the winter and would I like another big brown bear to cuddle up with me, oh yes indeed, but not 24/7. My friends think I am crazy! But I think they are crazy…

Now, I am going to eat ALL my words and tell you there is this lovely and I do mean lovely couple upstairs from me that have been married for 63 years. Now, if I could have found someone to do the long haul, really stick to it for all the right reasons, thick or thin, not dump me when I went through breast cancer…I would have signed up! They are what marriage is ALL about! They are so completely and totally there for one another. They adore one another! How many married couples can say that after the first seven year itch??? I know you can Carolyn…but not a lot of folks can…

Well, unfortunately, Edie the gal who has been married to Jake for 63 years is not in good health. Her hubby and daughter threw a little party for her. I felt honored to be invited to it. Edie came rolling out of her bedroom with a hat on her head tilted and she looked like the Godfather. She was so cute! If she weighs 80 pounds, I would be shocked. We all sat around her and told stories. The requirement was no crying, only laughter. She asked when we were coming back! Amazing what great love can do for the soul!

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I know I am a walking contradiction. I want it, I don’t want it. I just know what I want and if I can’t find it…why bother!

I still had my cold several days later, so I am doing what many Jews have done before me. I have a Jewish last name and I am half Jewish…maybe ¾ Jewish….both my folks were adopted so I am a classical mutt. But the Jews REALLY had this…O.D. on orange juice and chicken noodle soup. I am telling you it works! Those Jews that started this were smart. I get sick and I don’t buy Zinc (probably should) and I sometimes buy over the counter crap so my nose doesn’t run to my knees, but the secret is the Vitamin C and the Chicken noodle soup. Trust me….large quantities of both works!!! Trust me.

My friend Mare is battling colon cancer and she is being such a trooper. I have a friend of a friend whose hubby had it and he is half Mare’s age and I think treatment hit him harder.

We decided to meet up at this café called the Sleeping Bee out in Oakley. Mare had been there and kept talking about these “Bee cakes” that she said were divine and they were gluten-free pancakes made with almond, quinoa and buckwheat flour and local eggs. I thought that maybe her chemo did something to her brain, because I was not so sure that ANY of that sounded appealing to me. Yes, I would like a stack of cardboard with powdered sugar sounded better to me. Well, butter my biscuit and call me Mabel. I had to eat every single last word of my derogatory thoughts. We got one pancake for the table. Those bloody pancakes were good, but the butter and the maple syrup to put on top of it, were knock your socks off good!

Mare and Vanessa ordered salads that sounded incredibly healthy and the ingredients are super duper fresh, but the idea of a raw piece of Kale in my mouth sounded a bit nauseating to me, but they loved their salads. Stacey and I ordered The Avi. It is an omelet that contains avocado, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and white cheddar. It was so fresh, light and yummy. Of course, skinny, beautiful Stacey asked for egg whites and her chubby little friend didn’t! Sorry, life is too short to not enjoy what goes into my mouth!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a slave to my fitbit. I have been trying to obey him religiously, since I have returned from Florida, which is why I got the Avi instead of the pancakes, so I am willing to push the envelope in some ways and behave in others, but I am not going to be egg white good. Not happening! Good for you Stacey for doing it. It just goes against my religion, which seems to be good food.

I love science, which is such an outrageous statement for the granddaughter of a Christian scientist. I lost a granddad I never met because of that religion, which infuriates me in one respect, saddens me for my dad and his brother in another respect, but my grandmother’s friends that I had met were wonderful people, but if they had their way science would be virtually non-existent and that would be sad for many. If it weren’t for science…my friend Mare would have not gotten life saving chemo that made her latest scan come out cancer free. And for that matter, if it weren’t for science or if I had followed the dictates of my grandmother’s religion, I would be up in heaven with her right now instead of here eating bacon, pumpkin pies in season, being with friends, writing books, playing tennis and writing to all of you. Science is great! My friend Mare just got more time. From your completely unreligious, but deeply spiritual friend, A-men!

There is a couple that I passed on my ritualistic visit to the pool in the summer. I would say hello and move along. I learned his name was Tom Brinkmoeller and found that to be very familiar to me, and then learned he was a writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer until Disney snatched him up and he moved to the land of the big mouse down in Orlando, Florida to be a publicist for Disney.

To make a long story short, we were formally introduced when he kindly “face timed” me into a board meeting I couldn’t attend being the only one with the skill set to do it. He said we should meet and talk.

I invited him and his lovely wife, Linda to coffee at my place. Linda had a brain aneurysm. People generally do not survive them. Linda did. She was a high-powered business woman in her own right when she was struck down with this and with his love and support, and probably a great deal of work, she has managed to survive this remarkably well. She is his lovely sidekick. Her speech has been curtailed but not her smile, her infectious laugh, her understanding and deep love for the man who constantly sits beside her. Truly amazing.

Tom came to talk to me about my writing but I was intrigued to learn what it was like to be behind the scenes at Disney. Was Eisner great? What really happened behind the curtain and the big black mouse ears?

We chatted about everything from Disney to Eisner, to the Cincy Enquirer, to 9.11, to you name it. Two and a half hours later. New friends had formed. I am telling you I live in a really special place.

I also tried my hand at bread pudding. I took Jerry’s cinnamon swirl bread from Jerry’s on Sanibel. I toasted it, buttered it, crumbled it up in a little individual white ceramic cooking dish, which name escapes me. I poured a mixture of milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and 2 eggs beaten over the top and cooked them for roughly 25 minutes. I sprinkled powder sugar on them. They were good but not great. After they left, I warmed my partially eaten one and then drizzled maple syrup on it. It needed the maple syrup!

I was going to tell you some of the shenanigans happening here but maybe I will share some tales next time.

Until we meet again…

Enjoy! Eat, travel, laugh…often….

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