There are parents, teachers, grandparents et al. Our family was different. Let me talk about grandparents. My father’s Dad died a few weeks before I was born, my two grandmothers died before I was a year old. Papa was left and with us part of the year until he died in 1984 when I was a wet-behind-the-ears legislative person who could have used his assistance!

I got my first grandmother in ML, who smothered me with kisses and had the first Texas accent I’d ever heard. She was always the life of the party and it was a joy to go to the place in San Antonio where she and her sister used to dance as teenagers. Not that kind of dancing, I can assure you.

Her husband B, was more introverted. During one of my aunts’ parties he could be found outside on a bench near the gardens. I’d get out of the fray and we’d talk a bit then he’d ask what’s wrong? Oh, the girls at school are being mean to me. He’d advise and the next time I saw him everything was OK. They’re both gone now.

I had an “interview” with my husband’s grandmother, Nanny, before we married. It was brief and she asked me to make sure her grandson worked for the same company for fifty years and got a gold watch. No, ma’am, I cannot promise you that as the software industry is fluid and changes every day. I cannot promise you fifty years. Life, hopefully, eternal employment, no.

She then made me an honorary “Grand” which is truly an honor as there are only five immediate descendants from her five children (many younger since that post that original comment as she now has greats and great-greats). Her and our uncle’s welfare are first and foremost these days. Nanny deserves a platinum watch, for lovingly watching over her family so many years. I love grandmothers! Dee



I don’t remember the name, but it was an Italian dive restaurant downtown in our small village that served pizza when I was a kid. It started with a C, Cimino’s I think. I doubt my younger siblings would remember it, and my parents are gone now so they are of no assistance. They also had one of those electric bowling machines I got pretty good at, at age six, enough to beat several guys at a pub at college years later.

When I visited home during college, Mom started making pizza from a quick bread mix with sauce and everything in the package. I think she was still using the green can of so-called parmesan cheese back then.

Now I go to a beautiful Italian market and buy OO flour, full-fat mozzarella which we grate at home, and have them slice pepperoni to order. Only the best Parmigiano Reggiano will do.

I’ll never forget my college roommates. When we moved from dorm to college-negotiated apartments with a free bus to and from campus every 20 minutes I was named the cook. I stretched every cent. Noodles with meat and tomato sauce, brownies, you name it. We had $10 per week per girl and other neighbors would happen to stop in, “oh, it’s dinner time?” Come on in, I made enough. You’ve only done this all semester.

My roomies were astounded that I could make things like pasta or brownies, from scratch. They grew up thinking everything came from a box or a can. For two years I never cleaned a pot, set or cleared the table. Shopping was a different matter. There were supposed to be six of us living in a three bedroom apartment. Then there were nine. Then there were neighbors who conveniently arrived for dinner and a game or two of Uno.

I sent the girls with an extensive list that after menu planning, I had painstakingly listed by supermarket department. I asked for a 50# bag of potatoes, knowing it would be gone within a week and not grow eyes. They returned with canned potatoes, because they were only $.20 per can! Do you know how many raw potatoes I can get for that money? From then on I pushed one cart and asked the rest of them to grab things for which I asked.

To this day I shop at least every other day, not weekly, or monthly as my mother-in-law does. I look for what is fresh in produce, meat that’s on sale for chili and stews, and stock up on dried pasta, rice and Israeli couscous and broth (for the dog) as needed.

Back to pizza. Thin crust. I normally do not use tomatoes. Perhaps I’ll make two this afternoon, one with tomato, mozz and pepperoni (perhaps sausage as well) for my husband. One with par-cooked (by me, not canned) potatoes, a bit of mozz, fresh rosemary and a sprinkling of Parm. There should be plenty to go around for the staff here, as they’re always hungry. No, not personal staff.

Heaven forbid I’ve that many folks helping me out in our household! It’s small, just enough for a husband, wife and dog so they’d be tripping over each other. They do appreciate my food, which got much better after I quit the NYC rat race and spent my life savings on cooking school, even sold my car to make that dream come true. It was a dream since age eight, and Mom didn’t want me in her kitchen. She certainly didn’t want me anywhere near a knife. I think her knives were so dull they could have taken off my arm.

Now I’ve a hardware store and a butcher in walking distance who can sharpen anything. The butchers love me because I buy, create and bring in tastings. Hey, I’m the only customer that brings food into a grocery store. Hardware, I help choose for the culinary and pet departments (as a retiree) and that keeps me in good standing with the owner. It helps that I spend money.

Now when my husband is posted for a few months to a foreign land and I accompany him, when our tiny apartment has a glass cutting board and those “laser” knives that never need sharpening, I store the junk and go to the nearest housewares store and buy the real deal. Before we fly home, I make sure that our new friends have the good stuff.

Here’s to pizza! I watched a show early this morning on Netflix, created by Chef David Chang of Momofuku, about pizza in Brooklyn, Connecticut, Tokyo and elsewhere. Brooklyn chef says only sourdough crust, sorry but I love the smell of regular (not rapid rise) yeast proofing and baking. And the point of my story is…….

I moved to NYC, worked in mid-Manhattan and found a nice place to live, by myself, in Brooklyn. All the shops were closed both when I went to work and slogged home at night. I had guests coming for dinner and they loved pizza. It was 1987. On Saturday the Italian deli was open so I went in to ask for some cheeses.

Nonna said no. She asked why I wanted the Bufalo Mozzarella. “You’re not going to make any of those Yuppie pizzas, are you?” “Of course not.” That day I made three. One with potato and rosemary, another with spinach, goat cheese and roasted garlic. I forget the third. It was probably a pure Brooklyn pizza with tomato sauce, cheese and basil. Cheers and make your own dough! It’s fun, especially when you make 17 toppings and have families over with little kids as it shows you what they’re going to grow up to be. Adventurous or timid. Pizza is a window into a soul. Buon appetito! Dee


Drop What?

Oh, I forgot Sweden. I learned to make Kottsbullar (Swedish meatballs, to us) from a neighbor. In turn I taught him to make a true Texas Chili. We were supposed to test each other on our lessons without assistance but he met a gal (yea!) and moved elsewhere. I spent a couple of days with his dad who flew in from Sweden, he was a peach! At dinner with father and son I told my husband I did things with G’s father that we’d never done. It was a bad turn of phrase I realized immediately. We went to the art museum, saw eco-gardens and drove by historic homes, for heaven’s sake! It’s not anything you’d like to do. You’d rather see airplane engines.

Now we have a company and it has a book and there is nothing in it. We have a certificate of good standing. Where is it? Dropbox. Drop what?

We need printed papers in these corporate filings for articles and bylaws, dear. They’re online, you just don’t have access. We’re equal partners in life as well. I need to print these papers in case anyone who has the right to see them can see them, including me.

I think he may be slightly embarrassed that he let Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws be drafted by someone else on the fly and not by me, or even read by me and that’s my job. Print them and ask me to place them in the book, review and edit and we can vote on the results.

There is no rift, it’s just that he is away so much we only talk by phone when he’s on the road, and I don’t want him to get into an accident even though he has ear buds. I’ve come up with a supposed schedule so we can get work done in an hour then enjoy our weekends together. I’m thinking art museum this weekend. He’s thinking NOT!

Ah well, that’s the way it goes with old married folks, Dee


Hello USA, Nigeria, Germany and Ukraine!

I’ve been calling them, reading them, absorbing them all day until I was too tired to even cook myself dinner.

Then I got the best number of my day, 156. As I ate half of my sauteed mushrooms and toast and sipped a beer (keeping the rest for an omelet tomorrow morning), not the one beer, I deserved that, I was given a ceremonial membership key to my favorite neighborhood eatery.

Aunt Dee is here and hopes to be so with Miss Zoe if she’s still with us when the patio opens, Ms. Dee doesn’t like to be known by number but is known by name and I’m trying to get local businesses to work together toward greater good and reward. Let’s hope it all works. Cheers from Dee, excuse me, #156.



Mentally, I am giving her permission to go when she wishes to do so. Zoe has always followed me everywhere within two minutes. That is no longer the case.

Thinking of “next” is difficult and it must be because if there’s a pup to be saved it’s up to me to do so. Worker or herder? I’m getting older and have arthritis so may go to the larger docile breed rather than the smaller loving, smart, demanding and staring mutt we have now. I love her dearly and will miss her. Now her head is shaking. I hate to leave her home alone even to run a few errands for an hour because she stands by the door awaiting my return.

I will not bring a pup into our home until she goes with dignity, with me at her side as she is our girl and always will be our girl. I’m old and infirm and hope I’ve one pup left in me to raise, train and love, and leave to my husband. Herder or worker. Dee

ps I have to talk with my husband but I think smaller and smarter, I don’t mind being herded or care about excess fur, have dealt with both for many years, even before Zoe. She awakened just now after two morning walks, in the afternoon.


I have to go to bed now because there’s a lot of work to do.

Love is something I thought I never had. There are many I love and who have loved me back and many are gone now. Mentors et al, no-one was of a romantic nature.

Today I will give you only two. My father loved me. My husband loves me. OK, our dog loves us both and we love her as well. All for now, Dee



First, thanks to Mexico, Czech Republic and Brazil for reading. Also O Canada, my home and native land.

Sunday evening I went into our closet and found a basket of plastic flowers with a bunny, so I placed in front of our door until Easter. Today I walked out to do four neighborhood errands that lasted an hour, and I left the dog at home after taking her for another outing.

When I arrived home the arrangement was pulled away from the door, turned around and one “flower” snapped off and thrown on the carpet a couple of feet away. I know all my neighbors and the two other dogs who are nearly as old as my own.

There was a thief here a couple of years ago, sneaking into residences and stealing money, credit cards, cell phones, anything she could carry. There is video of her counting money. The D.A. declined to prosecute. Our residence was never invaded.

There was a robbery about 50 feet from our front door last weekend. I wonder if someone is stalking us once again. The gal used to use unlocked doors to get in when people took out their dogs, trash, recycling or went to get their mail and thought it was OK to leave the front door unlocked.

Yes, I now have a stick under the door to deter anyone from entering and double-check both doors, stove, oven before I lift the hip-less dog to bed. My husband says it must have been one of our dog neighbors but these dogs are nearly as old as Zoe (fourteen) and have no interest in plastic flowers. Someone is sending a message.

If I am being targeted because of disability, I have informed all who need to be concerned about my safety of a potential threat to all of us. I need to walk and my husband wants to assure that I can do so with Ms. Winnie, a three-wheeled cart with brakes my Aunts gave me over the holidays. It can hold a few groceries. Perhaps someone saw me leave with that and thought that I was an easy target.

Be certain that for years I have locked my door every time I leave and when I re-enter I add the stick. The hinges are inside, they’d have to make a lot of noise to get in here and I’d have time to call 911. Don’t worry, be happy! Dee