Thursday, December 31, 2009


Fun, fun, fun. We started off the New Year's Eve at a party at the Morton's with hosts Sue, Joe and Heather - tons of people, tons of laughs, tons of food. We made some new friends for the new year and did the east coast 10 o'clock countdown with party number one. On to party number two at mini Rock (our lovely hosts - Laura, Neal and Cali)

with more people, more laughs and more food, oh my. If the new year is anything like tonight, we'll be lucky in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I must have been dreaming, because when I woke up at 3 I thought I was in the middle of a bowl of crab lump au gratin.  There was a place in Norfolk/Virginia Beach a lifetime ago that had it - thick, cheesy, tons of big, sweet lumps of crab. Newly married and mostly left standing alone on the pier as Shawn the sailor boy floated away, I had to wait for some visiting relative to take me to the way over my budget restaurant on the water to get my fix. Maybe it was because I was scheduled to have lunch with one of those relatives today at noon, my Dad (Old Wildcat to you blogger friends), that the crab lump au gratin came up. It's the only thing my unconscious could come up with to describe my sleeping situation. Ever since Lotus got sick, the middle of the night activities around here are totally askew. Last night, Lotus took Cali's old spot above Shawn's head and Lulu settled in by my feet, as usual. But when I tried to turn over at 3, Lotus was smashed into my head, big-heavy-not-gonna-move-lump. I moved my foot and felt an even bigger lump, Lulu, then, thinking maybe I could flip the other way, I felt something between my knees. I separated my head from Lotus to look down and spotted the third lump, Cali. Everybody's sleeping but me.

Now I'm crabby.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Movie Madness - Nine

We survived the holidays with our nerves, brains, livers and credit cards intact, so snuck out of life to see Nine. Rome in the 60's, swanky. Lots of singing and dancing and fooling around. Dreams, flashbacks, imaginations. Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole, Penelope, Kate and Fergie, oh my.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mama Mia

With only one kid, I like to keep track of Shana's friends. She's got so many and they're all great. Her oldest compadre is Megan, been around for over a decade. She's spent the night more than anybody else, been on more family vacations with us and been more like my own daughter to me. I don't have to fake it around her. I don't have to sugar-coat anything, she knows my faults, she know I'm a bit weird

she's seen me without make-up. I know that Shana will be okay as long as Megan's around. But with Megan off at a different school, Shana's been talking about someone new. Someone I don't know and it's freaking me out. Her name is Jordan and due to the whole boyfriend happens to be named Jordan, too, she calls her "girl Jordan." She says they're like two peas in a pod. They had every single class together this semester. They study together. They hang out. I realize that eventually Shana will have a really good new friend that I don't know. I'll have to deal with that somehow. But tonight we're taking girl Jordan with us to Zoo Lights. Walking around in the dark with the Sullivans, what fun. But first, breakfast with Shana. And Megan, too. She's in Shana's bed,

 snuggled up and sleeping soundly after some late-night party with the old high school gang.

I hope she can come tonight, too.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Class Reunion

It's all because of Facebook. The old gang has gotten back in touch and planned a mini-reunion. We met at the Salty Seniorita for some margaritas and laughing about the old times. The remember whens. The my mom says hi. The I can't believe you don't remember thats. Except now there are husbands and wives tagging along and we talk about grown up stuff like kids and jobs and the economy.  Oh well, at least there's still the alcohol - no fake ID's required.

Cookies and Cocktails - Bad Santa

We got two postcard invites to holiday parties this year. One was Cookies and Cocktails, tame, children, yeah a bunch of alcohol, but mostly cookies, cookies, cookies (photo above by Sophie S., age 6). Then there was the Bad Santa melee. I was supposed to dress up like an elf. Strippers, pole dancing, whatever else. I just couldn't do it.

Maybe next year...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh God

Once I year I go to church. It's really beautiful. The candle light service, the stained-glass windows, the incredible choir, everybody all dressed up, freshly combed, well-behaved kids, men in robes - love it. But hasn't it been proven that Jesus was really born in the summer, but 12/25 worked so much better with the Winter Festival? And then there's the Jesus is Jewish thing, nobody ever seems to mention that. But what really makes it hard is when I get to the whole Immaculate Conception, walking on water, rising from the dead stuff. It all sounds so Fox Newsie.

I haven't been converted yet. Maybe next year.

Email Explosion

My email box has exploded. Every time I log on, there are twenty more holiday offers, coupons, last minute deals, free shipping, overnight delivery, not too late, still not too late, ok now it's getting close, but here's an in-store coupon, GET OUT THERE AND SHOP!!! Shop, Shop, Shop, Shop, Shop.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Wright Stuff

The Biltmore is all wrapped up with sparkling lights, a massive Christmas tree, beautiful colored water fountains and some amazing gingerbread houses. We celebrated our second annual Mother-Daughter Holiday Dinner with Carla, Robin and the girls at Wright's. Cheers!

Ronnie B-day

I don't know how she does it, but she just gets younger and younger looking each year, must be the long blonde hair. Birthday lunch today at Chelsea's Kitchen with the birthday girl Ronnie, Leslie, Jo and even little Chelsea.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In the bag


She's baaaack!

The little birdie flew back to the empty nest for almost a month. Gotta love that schedule. I remember one of my professors in college used to say, "The real world sucks, don't go." He was right. The long summer, all the three day weekends, the winter break, getting to start over again every semester, mom and dad signing the checks - the good life. But now my fun starts again - the house full of kids, the row of teens at Movie Madness, the shopping, the sleeping in, the somebody else to take out the trash, the snuggling and talking and getting the real scoop, not the shortened, texted, between classes version - the real deal. All mine for a month.

Golf Club or Blinder Girl

We all know one. A blinder girl. Somebody that looks the other way when hubby strays. Somebody that says she'll kill him, but never does. Somebody that says she'll whip out the golf clubs and let him have it, but then waits and waits and waits instead. Everybody says they're a golf club girl, even the blinder ones, right?

You're grounded

When you're grounded, you can rest.

Usually Mary starts out with a nice quote at the beginning of yoga, a little poem, something to sort of set the tone, give us something to think about for the rest of the class. But tonight, she skipped it. Just lit the candles, turned off the lights and started in. But somewhere near the end, as we were trying to balance like trees, she said it. When you're grounded, you can rest. Literally she meant, plant your feet into the mat, breathe, steady, don't fall. Metaphorically, screw your head on straight, use common sense, be reasonable and life will be easier, breathe, steady, don't fall.

As we were doing our last pose, the book came out and Mary gave us our wisdom, something about the Winter Solstice, our heart fire, the light within, the three sticks of wood representing the bad parts of the past, the future and hopes for mankind that we throw into the flame, blah, blah, blah. I'd usually be all over that, of course, but it was the unplanned, unread Mary quote that kept coming back.

When you're grounded, you can rest.

Better...Worse...or the Same

Maybe it's going back and forth between the florescent Costco lights and into his little dark office, but the optometrist has lost it. We've been going to him for years, no reason other than laziness. Costco has good deals on contacts, so I started going there years ago. Then I got my eyes fixed, Lasik (total miracle), and now Mr. Costco is stuck with Shana and Shawn. Here's what he says over and over again, asking Better? Worse? Or the same? Better? Worse? Or the same? But slow, kind of like Bb.e..ter, ww.oorrse oorrr ttthe ssaamme? Over and over. Over and over. We can't get out of there without cracking up. Poor guy. He goes through receptionists pretty fast, too. Even with a great 401K and health insurance, I'd only be able to make it a day listening to him. So it's back today. Shana will go in. We're even bringing fresh meat. Sister Amy, home for the holidays, wants to come out from behind the specs and get some contacts. I can hear her laughing already.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie Madness - Invictus

His people need a leader. He gave them a champion.

Nelson Mandela. South Africa. Morgan Freeman. Matt Damon

What a nailbiter. Incredibly inspirational film about the power of the people, led by an amazing man.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Times Square Angel

Nearly Naked Theatre. Fun stuff. Pretty raunchy, but you can take it. Up next is Times Square Angel and has cheap tickets - what's not to love!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Avatar - Opening Day

Wow. What a ride.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ohh...the babies

One of the good things about work is the babies. We've been around almost ten years now and it has been so much fun to watch our youngest patients grow up. We've seen some teenagers go off to college, get married and then bring in their new bebes to show off or to get some shots (I run out of the room for those, always wanting to be the good guy). Here's the latest, Little Lanie, two months old, gorgeous, blue eyes, smiled at me. I did the "can we get another one, honey?" dance in the hallway, but Shawn just kept on going. Oh well, mom says I can borrow Lanie anytime I want.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Louise, R.N.

She did it! Louise finished up her R.N. degree and we were there to celebrate with her. Her class selected her to give the commencement speech and she nailed it! She got "pinned" and the graduates came out off the stage and made a huge circle in the auditorium. The lights came down and they each lit their candle as the flame passed around and recited the Florence Nightengale pledge. It was very moving. She was surrounded by her family and friends - mom, kids, ex and even the infamous, one worded Bobshepard. The celebration continued at her house, champagne toasts all around. You go, girl!

Life 101

It sucks when work gets in the way of life. Shana got a job a few months ago to help out with the fun money fund. It's a great place and they adore her and she only works on Saturdays, 10 - 3, perfect. The only problem is that it's a toy store and, of course, it's Christmas. Last week she found out that she had to go back to Tucson on 12/26 to work, no exceptions, busy day, we need you. Since I hate when life gets interrupted, I told her I would get up early and ride down with her, putz around Tucson while she works, bring her some sushi for lunch, have a fun trip back to Phoenix. Then today her attempts to get out of working this Saturday fell through. Nobody could cover. So instead of heading home Friday at 9am right after her last final, the poor kid has to wait another day to get started on her vacation. We worked through the whining. Mmmoooommmm! I want to come home! I'm losing money on this deal. It's not fair. Then she took a deep breath, accepted it and said, "see you Saturday." Ohh. Lessons. Lessons.

Life 101  -  A+

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hay Hay Hay - Book Club - The Help

"You're the hay in my manger."

It's amazing what Little Baby Jesus inspires. Our book club doesn't have a lot of rules. Mostly it's just show up once a month. Or not. Read the book. Or not. We're not picky. But the one requirement we do have is to, once a year, pass around our old White Elephant Christmas tree ornament, the Little Baby Jesus (is he Asian? Polynesian? Posing for Vogue? Did somebody paint his nipple?) One by one, we talk about our year - the ups, the downs, the Thank Gods for the book club, for the girls, The Divas, the friends in the cell phone you can dial until somebody picks up to say my husband and kids are driving me crazy, I hate my job, do I look fat in this thong, or I can't believe I slept with him again. We circle the room stating the obvious.

 We're lucky. We know we're lucky. Shana was in first grade when I joined this clan, that's thirteen years. Thirteen years of 156 book clubs. And birthday parties. And happy hours. And girls' trips. That's a lot of hay. Hay in the manger that surrounds us, makes for a soft landing when we fall and also a fun place to play, to snuggle on the couch, to toast accomplishments.

The specifics: December at Laurel's, The Help (go get it, read it - incredible), sparkling new doublewide remodel - didn't even have to move the pool,  Santa, Santa everywhere, skewering the blue cheese dip, cranberries in the wine, holiday apron with the tag still on, princess flats, silver-spiked pumps, high-heeled boots, slouchy suede boots, Frye boots, metallic gladiator looking for a penis stilettos, these are not lesbian shoes but how do you like my reindeer head piece, glamorous coin poncho, vintage Cabi coat accessorized with light-up necklace. The presents - happy face scarf, Mexican Twinkies, ornaments - hot dogs in buns and the cowboy-themed complete with chaps collection, hair "Bump-It", the totally cheeky Hobby Lobby actual White Elephant, microwavable bunny slippers, Vicki Cristina Barcelona and I'm forgetting some, but last but not least, a book for the book clubbers, the Sarah Palin spoof - Going Rouge. There was the catching up, the holiday plans (karaoke New Year's Eve, anybody?), the second half of life new Cabi career, the toast to the new nurse graduate, the red-scarfed Euro Diva moving to San Francisco, the upcoming petite ya ya wedding in Southern Cal and all of the '09 seniors (wow - 5? 6? the kids are growing up).

Ho Ho Ho

Hay Hay Hay

Monday, December 14, 2009

Movie Madness - Me and Orson Welles

Great flick! Set in the 30's in New York - good look into Orson Welles, amazing acting, wardrobe, fun to walk down Broadway and get caught up behind the scenes

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Night at the Opera (well, sort of)

I've never been to the opera, always thought it was for the older crowd, so a combo mini opera/dinner at one of my faves My Florist Cafe looked like the perfect introduction. The lovely Louise - who is saying yes, yes, yes to anything these days since she just finished her nursing degree, joined me and Shawn - who always says yes, yes, yes to me since it makes life oh so much easier, for a fun night of opera trivia, spine-tingling singing, incredible food and wine, wine, wine. It was so impressive that we will be getting dressed up and going to see Madame Butterfly at The Orpheum on 2/12. Anybody wanna go?

Just say yes, yes, yes....

Phoenix Opera

My Florist Cafe

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Well, at least the President around here...Shawn...he just keeps getting better and better!!

There were lots of little treats throughout the day then din din at Fogo De Chao, pronounced Fogo De show, not Fogo De chow, but it is truly a Show of Chow. Adorable Brazilian guys with their cute accents wearing gaucho pants circle around in a theatrical way displaying their offerings - filet mignon, lamb, chicken, garlic beef, pork ribs, it just keeps coming and coming. My Atkins diet, meat-eating he-man even got dizzy from all the protein fogodechao and although a vegetarian seems pretty out of place in this place, the unbelievable salad bar, Brazilian mojitos and just watching Shawn get all Fred Flintstone made for one big happy, happy birthday show.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


We bagged the tea and headed for the wine bar instead. What a bunch of lushes - traded cucumber sandwhiches and scones for Chardonnay and Bruchetta. Got stuck in a cozy, dark downstairs corner for a little holiday cheer with the Divas, then headed out to the not-so-cold Carefree Christmas wonderland for some shopping and to give Santa the thrill of his life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nine Lives

And to think, I almost offed her.

The death squad was scheduled to come the next day, but suddenly, after one month of not eating and two weeks of needles and IVs and pills and paste getting pushed down her poor little throat, Lotus started to eat. I took it as a sign, along with a night full of hysterical crying and calls to my cat-loving friends and family, that maybe neither one of us was ready. So I canceled. And now she's back. Still skinny and scrawny, but back. For weeks she was out of it, totally disoriented, didn't recognize any of us and even seemed to have a hard time breathing. She didn't respond to her sisters playing with her or the 60 pound Sully walking by or even the vacuum cleaner. She was yellow, too, full of bilirubin which supposedly was clouding her brain and her ability to remember things, like "Where is the litter box, again?"

So, for now, we're looking good. She eats all the time. She cleans her fur and has her old "I deserve it" attitude back. She even likes to sit in the window and watch the birds again. The problem is that with most of the attention going to just one animal, the rest of the zoo is a bit off kilter. LuLu is pissed off all the time instead of her typical every now and then. She knows that Lotus has been getting the good wet food and special high calorie treats with "seafood essence." Lotus dethroned Cali and took her sleeping spot above Shawn's head. Once Cali found an alternative sleeping arrangement, Lotus moved in on LuLu's territory, displacing her as well. Sully got a new bone, due my guilt, even though I knew it would cause him to growl and bark every time anybody gets near it. 

It's been a tough couple of months, but it has brought us all closer together, making "Lotus time" a priority. She had a glorious Thanksgiving week with a five day revolving door of family and friends with nothing else to do than to pet her. She deserves it. Thanks for the sign, kitty. Welcome back.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A little yoga lesson

A little lesson from yoga...

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. 

To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Movie Madness - Precious

Wow. Incredible film. The other day I heard or read how some people congratulate themselves for getting so far in life, for hitting a home run and accomplishing something great. The only thing is - they leave out the fact that they were born on third base. Precious was born into a miserable life - constant abuse - physical, sexual, emotional, the works. I spent a decade or so of my life as a social worker, stomping around in the same kind of neighborhoods that Precious grew up in, talking to the people with the same mentality, saw the same abuse and the same disgusting cover-ups, no education, no idea how to raise a child, no interest in changing. But Precious (based on a true story) took charge of her own life and started swinging for that home run in a moving, digging as deep as you can get way. The acting was wonderful - even Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz! Thanks, Precious, way to go, girl.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How Cheesy

Ducked into the Melting Pot for a little fireside fondue with the folks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Generation Health Arizona - Lisa gets PUBLISHED!!!

Generation Health Arizona magazine

Pick up a copy of the December edition - check out the last page! It's ME!!!!

CVS, Fry's and other places FREE around town

Las Noches de las Luminarias

Walked around in the dark with the girls at DBG.  It was a cold, gorgeous winter night in the desert as we snuggled up in our scarves and gloves. The sunset was breathtaking as it changed the Papago Buttes into a postcard. We needed a little hot apple cider (with rum, of course) to keep us warm as we discovered a new surprise around each corner. There were jazz bands and country bands and a very cool guy (who said that he was recently nominated for a Grammy) that played instruments from all over the world. He even had one that sounded exactly like the ocean and depending how fast or slowly you moved it you could hear crashing waves or just a bit of water washing up on the shore. We discovered a tee pee with a Native American singer/storyteller outside and, being the well-trained Miraval ladies that we are, we ducked in to the tee pee for our own mini-sweat lodge, making a circle, saying a little prayer of thanks and finished up our walk singing Jingle Bells in perfect unison with a hundred people, accompanied by a hand bell choir.

Grabbed the last table at the bar at Eddie's House for Happy Hour galore. Can't wait for next year!