My Name Is Sue! How Do You Do? Now You’re Gonna Die!

The One Where Suzette Pays $25 For A Single Day Lily  … and then wakes up to find that her husband has helpfully pulled a weed except no actual weeds got pulled in fact nothing else at all got pulled only the  single $25 day lily. bella-lugosiHe’s done this before and every time I have escalated the intensity of the shit fit I throw to be sure he understands that he must not do it ever again. Last summer, when he did this to a 5 foot tall sun flowerish perennial covered with flower buds about to open, it was a mighty scene let me tell you. I though it made a lasting impression on him, but me and Bela Lugosi are here to tell you that apparently, it did not. I went out to that area early this morning to pull some actual weeds in preparation for the lavender I was planning to put in today. I saw a hole where the centerpiece of my new bed used to be. This bed is 98% plain dirt and this plant was sticking up, bright green growth about 4″ tall, near the driveway border. I should have known better, but I sent him on a mission that put him in near proximity of the bed. I asked him to measure it so that I could plot out my plantings on graph paper before I went out to buy what I needed. Like sending an alcoholic into a bar. He could not resist. He did however manage to resist the few scant weeds in that bed and also a common wild day lily coming up 12″ away from the Bela Lugosi. It’s like he’s got a detector for which green growing thing would I miss the most if it was gone. And you know, when I saw the hole, I had a feeling he was responsible so I walked over to check my garbage can to see if it was in there. But it wasn’t and also the neighbor’s trash can was tipped over so I thought okay maybe it was a raccoon. So I came in the house and I couldn’t sit down so I went back out with the measuring tape to see for myself and there it was on the driveway, next to almost under a stack of mulch he brought home yesterday. The leaves were pulled off of the tuber so it must have given him a fight, but still he persisted until he got it out. Well, what’s done is done. Can’t change the past. Here’s my recovery plan:

  • replant the tuber and hope for the best
  • remain calm, maybe take a relaxing bath
  • wait until he gets out of bed
  • grab an axe and bash his brains out

 UPDATE:  He got up. We had a discussion.He is not dead. I insisted that he take an oath that this will never happen again, but frankly I know that must live out the rest of my days dreading that it will. Over and over again. Anyway, here’s what I have planned for that little bed. p.s. I just ordered two new Bela Lugosi’s. Take that, Sami.

plant legend in size order from tallest to shortest



Sami was able to patch the tusk.


There was this blue elephant, see? I wrecked it and I am feeling very, very bad about it.

It was harvested from a curbside trashpile many years ago and spent most of its time in the garage, ignored and buried under our own junk. The top has a deep depression in it so it’s probably a planter. Maybe a base for a glass topped-end table. It came into the living room last year so we could look at it and ponder if it (a) could benefit from a spray paint makeover or (b) should go back to the trash. Believe me, nobody ever wanted to trash it. It has great detail in terms of elephant wrinkles, toenails and tassels that hang from the howdah and the deep aqua glaze that stuck in those details and made it all the more compelling.

Finally its day in the sun came and it was decided that it would go Glossy Ivory and move to Philadelphia where my daughter, the curbside harvester herself, would incorporate it into the decor of the apartment she’s moving into this weekend. This morning I picked it up to test how heavy it was and if I could carry it out to the deck myself or if I had to wait for Sami to do it. It was surprisingly light and manageable. I thought all along that it was concrete but it turns out to be made of plaster. I walked it through the kitchen on the way out to the deck but I misjudged how wide it was as I carried it.

You know, when I was getting near the kitchen table, I thought maybe I should put it down and regroup for the rest of the trip. But I was so pleased with how I was managing and proud that I didn’t need any help to do this so I kept on going. So funny how life changes in a flash because right then is when  I crashed it into the side of a chair as i passed it.


Severe tusk damage. Sad face sad face sad face. SAD FACE!  I tried gluing it back together and it will probably be okay if I just find that one last piece. Maybe Sami can patch it up. He’s pretty good with holes in drywall maybe he can fill this. He thinks he can.

My daughter took the news very well. “It’s ok. At the end of the day it came from the garbage, right?” she texted back to me. I offered to spray paint the faded garden gnome hoisting a foaming beer mug for her but she declined. She’s really not upset about it but I feel terrible. I was the guardian of the blue elephant and I failed.


UPDATE! Sami was able to patch the tusk and also an area on the butt that we didn’t see before. Apparently, the plaster body has a slip coat over it and that is where the glaze was applied. That slip coat is no thicker and no stronger than the hard candy shell on an M&M. The elephant’s butt had an irregularly shaped 2″x 2″ section where the glazed shell fell off. Sami patched that too.

I sprayed a light test coat of Krylon Gloss Ivory on one side this morning and at the first pass, it became obvious that the entire shell is crazed. But I’m moving ahead anyway. It is my destiny to prop up imperfect things that are temporary and preserve them and share them as long as I can.  Vintage redwood patio furniture that rots and crumbles, mid-century dinnerware that chips and smashes, even The Painted Deer which seemed indestructible but was felled by a hurricane.

There’s a lesson in all this I guess. Something about how all things are transient, or don’t get too attached to material things. Or maybe just you are a weirdo stop wasting your time. But how can I stop? And why should I? This thing is going to be magnificent. For as long as it lasts.


RIGHT? Maybe if I use enough spray paint it will strengthen the crazed shell and prolong the life of the elephant. Maybe.


There will be no blogging today due to my extreme grief caused by a clueless  husband on the loose with a hedge clipper in his hand who thought he was doing the world a favor by stepping over the little border fence at the edge of my flower bed trampling the iris leaves to hack down a giant cluster of perennial sunflowers that i have been cultivating for 12 years and  it was just about the only thing that was thriving in this stupid summer of copious rain alternating with blazing heat and not just hacking it down but digging it out by the roots and claiming that he thought it was an enormous weed with yellow buds about to open on it even though he is completely unbothered by any actual weeds around here and this isn’t even the first time his superpower to misidentify a highly valued plant as a weed and annihilate it has rendered me inconsolable.


The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Preface

The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Fini

The Leader Of the So Far Still Free World


I wonder who had the job of waking him up for the Boston bomber press conference last night?

Does anyone else think he was wearing his pajamas under that suit?

Did you ever see a more mournful expresssion on a  US President making a statement of national interest ever? Ever?

  • Harry Truman tells America about the bombing of Hiroshma:

They have been repaid many fold.

  • FDR declaring war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor:
Roosevelt Declares War

A date which will live in infamy.

  • LBJ and a dozen other mourners after the Kennedy assassination:
HIstoric Images From The Amercan 20th Century

I do solemnly swear …

  • Barry Sotero pulled out of bed and forced to compliment the (stupid) Boston police during a pitch-perfect speech that he obviously had nothing to do with creating:

To paraphrase Uncle Ruslan: “Being loser!”

Slowly Coming Around

Truth be told, I had to take to my bed for a day after the election. I’m slowly coming back around. America, this America of low initiative, reduced morals, ridicule and condescension is where we live now. Last night I was killing time by watching Two Broke Girls on TV. One of the roommates walked into the bathroom and surprised the other one, who was busy masturbating with the shower head. Much was made of that, and the references to it continues for several minutes. Who do I complain to about this? Is there anyone else who thinks this contributes to the diminishment of society? Or is this a symptoms of the diminishment that has already happened?

The barn door is hanging open, isn’t it?

I turn for inspiration to Dorothy Parker, a wise-cracking hard case who I think would have understood me if we lived at the same time. Sorry for this alteration of your work, Dorothy but the underlying sentiment is the same for both of us.

Canada bores you;

England is damp;

Singapore canes you;

Mexico – uh oh! cramp!

Gaza isn’t lawful;

Austria is gray;

France smells awful;

You might as well stay.

Day 13 – I’ve Got The Power!

happy dance

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes because sometime during the night, the power came back on in our house.

List of immediate actions:

  • head for home
  • turn on the heat
  • make ice cubes
  • go shopping

We all have our priorities.

POST-SHOPPING UPDATE: Home Depot was selling stuff the likes of which I have never seen before. All I really care to comment about was a Martha Stewart 2-pack of Christmas picks in the garden section. Plus they had these cute little solar powered realistic looking colonial-style candlesticks. On tall stakes. For outdoor use. I’m still trying to work how how that is supposed to look when installed.

Not too many people there making a claim. I chalk it up to brand confusion, I’d be looking for a red and white tent and maybe that guy with the voice.

Here’s the All State Claims Center set up on the Home Depot parking lot. Blue tent, not red and white. There was another bus with tables at the opposite end of the lot but I didn’t see what it was. The “Tide Loads of Hope” washing machine bus was in the Lowe’s parking lot. I find this all very comforting. I am of the opinion that if Paul Ryan could have gotten the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile to swing by, it could have changed everything.

What we really need around here are more dog pictures. Here is everything you need to know about the weather in NJ.

Can we come in now? How about now? Now? Can we come in? Can we come in now? Now?

Stedman and Rocco pretty much ignored each other for our week-long stay at our son’s house but they were united in their opinion that they both belonged on the inside of that door and not outside where the snow and the cold dog butts are.

Soup Chat. Any Chat Except Disaster Chat.

I’ve caught a few glances of TV ads for something quite intriguing: Progresso Light Chicken Pot Pie  Soup 100 Calories Per Serving. So many words that don’t belong together in that sentence. Historically, I’ve been Team Campbell’s all the way but I do like a good pot pie. However, I am afraid that this will be nothing but some anemic chicken chunks floating around in a milk-like liquid. People who are attracted to chicken pot pies are not necessarily interested in 100-calorie serving sizes.  They’ve also got a Light Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese Soup 100 Calories Per Serving. Now you tell me.

[Okay. A little disaster chat. But it's new disaster chat, meaning the new nor'easter disaster, not the old hurricane disaster or the older creek running through my basement disaster, or the older yet bullet in the wall of my childhood home. I suppose I didn't mention that last one to you before. Sorry - it got pushed down the list as each new disaster burst onto the scene.]

Hurricane/Nor’easter update:  Day 12 without electricity. Fortunately, the area where my son lives went back on the grid. Here’s a joke:  so we relocated there just in time for a nor’easter to knock a tree down on top of my car. Here’s the punch line: all tree services are still busy with hurricane cleanup.  It’s 3 week wait.

If I had an orange car, you’d be able to spot it here more quickly.

UPDATE: the Homeowner’s Assn landscaping crew came around and freed my car from its bancheous prison. Don’t feel sorry for me – feel sorry for the tree. That thing was a double flowering crab apple and it was magnificent.