The Sami That I Know And Love

Background: My husband had major surgery yesterday afternoon.

How I know everything is going to be ok: At 10:00 am today, he was well enough to traverse the hospital hallway explaining to anyone who would listen why the diet they had him on was wrong.

Confirmation of evidence: He sent his first visitor today out to get him a decent cup of coffee.

UPDATE: all of you good people praying for Sami should be saving some for his nurses.

UPDATE 2: Actually he’s doing very well. Tilapia and carrot soup today. He’s just slightly less charming than he was yesterday.


1. I have erected my Cloak of Invisibility on the deck.

Give it your best, lookyloos. I’m invisible now.

Maybe later I’ll drive over to the other street to evaluate the degree of invisibility the mosquito netting is actually providing. I might have to go with my original plan of hanging shower curtains  from the gazebo. One way or the other, I will not have the stares of the lookyloos invading my private space. Whatever it takes, lookyloos.

2. We had our front stoop redone and when the guys were finished, they erected a tarp to protect the fresh cement from rain.

Now there’s  a charming blue light that shows through the front windows. It appeals to me so much that it made me aware of how little the color blue is in my life. Maybe I’ll hang the tarp from the gazebo when the stoop work is done. Take that, lookyloos.

Matt Wiener, You Are On Notice

My favorite TV show of all time is Mad Men. Me and a billion other cable viewers. One thing I cannot tolerate is Leftwing ideology woven into a storyline.  Matt Wiener already has two stikes against him this season.

  1. The gratuitous knock against Mitt Romney’s father voiced by a former Rockefeller staffer signaling lack of confidence and ridiculing the senior Romney’s character*.
  2. The OBVIOUS remark “Forward” from Don Draper when Sterling Cooper Draper Price is at a financialcrossroads and the fate of the company hangs on a new account. Don gives a pep talk to the downhearted employees and ends with that single word of encouragement.

Jesus God.

I am telling you that I am not going to tolerate another thinly veiled reference to America 2012 that favors Obama or knocks Republicans.

*The big thing the left hates is a decent relationship and/or respect for one’s father. Bush/Bush=bad. Clinton/Jefferson = good. Obama/Obama = jackpot.

Opening Day

Opening Day of the 2012 summer season was sunny warm and brutally humid. I hope this is not NJ’s fate for the entire summer -either rain or stultifying humidity. It makes the beautiful weather we had for the wedding all that much more special.

Did I mention that I had 9 days off from work around the wedding? What a price to pay when I got back to it though. I didn’t leave the house/home office from Monday until Friday. It was just a short trip to two local gardening centers but it was eventful.

First, some old coot rolled his rusty K car right in front of me in a steady stream of traffic. I was mesmerized by his bald monk spot surrounded by a halo of long frizzy hair until I saw his bumper sticker.

After I got over the near t-boning he intended for me, I found his whole presence quite charming.

Then AN IDIOT parked his big shiny truck at the garden center and left the windows open for his pit bull to get fresh air. The dog clambered out of the window, splat onto the gravel and then romped through the nursery dragging her leash behind her. You could see that the dog was playful as she led THE IDIOT on a happy chase through the fallow pumpkin patch – but what if she wasn’t? She was young and completely uninterested in “stay” or “come”. So THE IDIOT inflicts a powerful dog that he can’t control onto the general public. What is it with people bringing their dogs to the garden centers? I think it is so people will admire them because of their dog selection while the rest of us walk around with only our common sense to recommend us. After the pit bull was captured, THE IDIOT carried on with his plant selection and blocked the pathways while mature ladies walking with canes had to juggle their petunias to get past him.

Here is THE IDIOT putting his captured dog into the back seat this time where the window is only 2/3 open. Maybe that will keep the dog inside.

Gawd, it was hot out there on Saturday. There’s only so many hours in a day and so we had no choice but to work out under the blazing sun, a practice which I have successfully avoided until yesterday. It took me 2 hours to put together 8 flower pots. I don’t know. Between the heat and the garden center dogs and the general out-of-shapness around here, maybe I should just give it up.

R.I.P. you awe-inducing bastard.

Post script – In other vaguely-related-to-an-actual-garden news: I forgot to mention that the Deer Painter died. I feel nothing.

The Deer Painter is gone and the Painted Deer got smashed by a fallen tree. We’ll never see the likes of it again.


The Wedding Was Perfect

I have only a handful of photos at the moment but no bridal/DIL permission to post them. The happy couple is gone off on their honeymoon trip and won’t be back until next week to allow or not allow. What I can show you now has been posted by others on Facebook or taken from Sami’s video camera.

The wedding was perfect. In fact, all of the activities leading up to and following the wedding were perfect. Everyone was completely satisfied with the way things turned out.


The Rehearsal There were two Friday weddings and two rehearsals that had to be done so our rehearsal was done on Wednesday. Sorry to say that I missed most of it due to rush hour traffic. I went to pick up my sister and brother in law with plenty of time for a visit and early arrival at the church. The trip for the hotel to the church was only 17 miles but those knowledgeable with NJ’s roads and highways understand that distance is measured in time, not in miles. Gaze upon that map and tremble. It’s the dreaded Rt 3 at rush hour.

The Rehearsal Dinner  Luckily, Francesco’s  is in the same town as the church so it wasn’t too traumatic to get from one place to the other. This dinner was only 45 minutes shorter than the wedding reception. We had 5 ultra delicious courses where everything we were served was even more scrumptious than the previous thing. In the end, everybody had to burp, groan or fart so … big success.

The Wedding Prep  Thursday was a day of disaster. Broken down cars, errands undone, uncooperative printers, misplaced florist orders, tasks abandoned. All of the cumulative wedding stress balled up into one day. Not me though – remember my wedding favors that I started so long ago? I finished them early Wednesday. Technically under the wire. This was good though because all of the bullshit got handled on this day and the day of the wedding itself was clear sailing.

Wedding Day! We rented a bus to pick up the out of town guests from two hotels in Jersey City and then take everyone to the church. When we did that route on Wednesday for the rehearsal, we hit rush hour traffic. This time, we all trundled off into FRIDAY rush hour traffic. But that’s what the bus was for. Instead of all those people in their individual cars being stuck and aggravated, we were all getting to know each other and having snacks. We did have a few folks coming in cars from the other direction and they were trapped and aggravated too, but they had no snacks.

The Wedding Ceremony The ceremony itself was beyond touching. It was very beautiful and filled with symbolism. To say that the church is ornate is to understate dramatically. It’s round with a double dome and stained glass windows set high so that natural light is always pouring down through the vivid stained glass.

And that’s the part that faces away from the altar! I’m trying to figure out the video editor I downloaded so that you can get the full eyeful. We had two people with video cameras who both stayed after the ceremony to capture the 360 tour of the place. Most of the guests, I believe, were in sensory overload by the time the whole thing was over.

The Reception The bus was 30 minutes behind schedule arriving at the wedding venue but they were nice enough to extend the evening by an hour past the agrred upon end time. As we stepped off the bus, we were met by servers bearing flutes of Kir Royale  and escorted to the cocktail hour which was set up on the terrace.

The person who took this picture was standing in the gardens with his back to the skyline. Those are our actual guests cocktailing it up on the terrace.

The view was so beautiful and as the sun set behind us, it was reflected back by the skyscraper windows across the river. All the Californians were disoriented by the direction of the sun set over the water.

NYC is never so beautiful as when you don’t actually have to be in it. FYI – the tallest building with the cranes on top is 1 World Trade Center, still under construction. All of our hotel guests had this view from their rooms.

A smooth jazz combo was playing near the giant outdoor chess pieces and  enormous outdoor fire pits were lit while the servers kept plying us with the hot hors d’oeuvres. Then it was time for the belly dancer! I wonder if she thought she’d be performing alone?

She was the best belly dancer ever. Authentic Egyptian style dancing.

Sami adorned himself with a shawl and wiggled out onto the floor in sheer happiness. This still is from a video someone took and it will have to do until I can figure out how to insert some video here or get hold of an action photo.

The view at all hours of the day or night is just dazzling. This shot really needs to be clicked for maximum appreciation.


The Day After The day started at 5am. We ferried our new inlaw to Newark Liberty Airport for an early flight back to California and then picked up my sister and her husband for a Day of New Jersey. They had already made several trips over to NYC but now we gave them our customary deluxe visitor’s package of Pork Roll Egg &Cheese for breakfast, Mt Mitchill Scenic Overlook in Atlantic Highlands and Sandy Hook right out to the end of Ft. Hancock and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. We ended the afternoon behind a couple of buckets of beer at Jakeabob’s and then another run up to the airport so they could wing back to Georgia.

Then we turned brown at the edges and just laid there.

The honeymooners are gone off to the Caribbean and we are now alone with a lot of free time. 

parking lot of the kennel

Post Script: A Sad Note While the humans were off having a good time, there was one  instance of collateral damage. We broke the dog.

We kenneled him overnight in the same place we used to take old Bob The Actual Corgi. It’s a lovely place that also has the contract for keeping the working dogs from Newark Airport. Except for Stedman, the other dogs were bombs sniffers, drug detectors and K9 attack dogs. As soon as we walked in, they started a racket like they just found 10 kilos of cocaine. Old Bob was  an alpha male and far better equipped to handle that kind of neighbor. I’m sure he was all “Screw you – here’s a volley of high pitched hysterical barking right back at you.” Stedman’s reaction was to piss himself and go catatonic.

He was definitely PTSD when we brought him back on Saturday morning.  It took a full day for him to show even a single sign of his old self. He was just sitting and staring. No joy to see visitors, no noise making, no interest in his critter.  Even now, when we take him outside, he sits and licks the storm door until we let him back in the house.