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A blustery, biting Simi Valley night…holiday lights dancing…mellifluous wind chimes caroling…tootsies toasting in front of the blazing hearth.

What a perfect night for a double dose of hot chocolate:  rum-spiked Valrhona cocoa and a Rosewood marathon.



Honey, You’re in the Wrong Mall

“As long as you’re doing all your shopping in Simi Valley, you will continue to find nothing better than Walmart and Target. If you want Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, you’re going to have to hit the 118 and look outside this little box you call home.”

My daughter’s partner is a phenomenal project manager; she’s put herself in charge of managing my acquisition of a new victim husband. Over the best blackberry martini I’ve ever guzzled, she is mapping his route to my bedroom. I need all the help I can get; doing this on my own has been an abysmal failure. I tried the dating sites; twat solicitation is brisk on the internet. But in addition to what’s between my legs, there’s even more between my ears. Unfortunately, the latter is an electronic deal breaker. I’ve had some interesting introductions by friends. I think some 1950s mailman very generously sowed his wild oats; I’d swear my ex and all his ‘bros’ dropped like dead-ass leaves from the same slacker tree. So, I’ve spent the past year or so just doing the things I enjoy. My thought was that, at the very least, I’ll have had a good time. That route’s actually been quite fruitful; I have met some incredible guys. They’re like really good girlfriends…but with penises.

“Not only is the pool of eligible men in Simi Valley too small, it’s stocked with minnows not even worthy of your catch and release program. They’re looking for women who need them, who’ll make them feel like men. But you don’t need a man; you can take care of yourself.  You just want a man – one whose testosterone flows freely, one who already knows he’s a man. However, instead of shopping for Ferragamos at Bloomingdale’s, you’re scouring the shelves for them at the Dollar Tree.”

I suppose this is what’s meant by things coming full circle. It starts when our kids want to know where we’re going/with whom/when we’ll be home/if we’ll be sleeping alone. When my girls were younger, those were my lines; I miss them. I fear this is gently guiding me down the road to “Mom, let’s talk about nursing homes.”

“Considering that big fat check you send your last Kmart bargain every month, you might want to set your sights a little higher this time.”


“So, let’s get this show on the road. Why shop at Sears when you want Saks? Why buy at Big Lots when you deserve Bergdorf’s? Why knock around at the 99 Cents Store when Neiman Marcus is more on your level?

Now what’s your first step and by when will you take it?”

WE Do!

I'm Lilli

Bark-Bark! Bark-bark-bark!!

Oops!  Where are my manners?  You don’t speak Doxxie, do you? I’ll switch to English so you can understand. Sorry about that.

Hi, I’m Lilli (yes, half of the pair of “vicious guard dogs who can be bought for a good cookie or two”). I’m here with my brother Cliffie (the other half) to respond to last week’s post  — I Do!? — on the possible re-hubbing of our mom. Oh, and to set the record straight, we can’t be bought with just any old cookies — we’re very partial to dried duck breast.

As much as we love her — and, as you can tell, we’ve spoiled our Alpha Bitch completely rotten — she can be a bit selfish at times. Not once in that list of reasons did we hear the impact the addition of a man to our household would have on us. And we are two-thirds of this pack! So we’ve decided to share with you our reasons for approving — unanimously — this idea.

Reason #1 – More vacations! Of course, Mom and NewAlphaMale will want to get away more.  This is a win-win-win for us as our options are three. First option, we can go with them — and we love exploring new places (Cliffie is especially fond of new trees and fire hydrants). Second option, Grandma babysits (all the rules — especially that stupid two-cookies-a-day rule — go out the window when Grandma walks in the door). Third option, we go to doggie camp (we get to run wild and play with the other dogs; it’s a head-humping-heaven for me). Either way, vacations are nice.

Reason #2 – More doggie car rides!  We love it when we all pile into our car — Hans  — and go for a DCR.  It really excites me when the wind blows through my hair and makes my ears flap in the breeze; Cliffie just loves riding with his mouth open. But Mom doesn’t like to drive — she prefers to ride.  Adding to our pack a dog who loves to drive means we could take longer DCRs more often. Cliffie says he can already taste the bugs — nice, crunchy bugs.

Reason #3 – More cookies!  Seriously?  Do you really think Mom and NewAlphaMale will sit down and say “you give them cookies in the morning and I’ll give them cookies at night?”  Yeah. Right.  We’re talking hot and cold running treats here. We’d be too stuffed to beg. Oh, this would be nice.

Reason #4 – More butt-scratching! When we plop down on the sofa  to watch television, Cliffie sits on Mom’s right and I sit on her lap. She only has two hands — one for each of us. Now, you do the math.  Another lap comes with two more hands. And that means double the rubbies. Oh, oh, ohhhhhh yeah … Very nice.

Reason #5 – More walkies! There aren’t many things in the world to love more than walkies. Patrolling our territory, staking our claim, sniffing out invaders — and what they ate before they arrived — is a joy you hair-challenged dogs don’t appreciate nearly as much as we do. Oh, don’t feel bad.  We think it’s because your noses are so far from the ground.  Totally not your fault — it’s just the way God made you, poor things. That lap we mentioned earlier? Well it comes with two more legs as well.  And that means double-dooty-duty!  Yaaaaay for us! Nice!

Reason #6 – More snuggling! This one could be a little tricky.  Right now, once we get all comfy on the bed, there’s just barely enough room left for Mom. She’s a big girl, you know. We’ll have to super-size to a king bed. That way, NewAlphaMale could fit on the bed too and he can take over the cold night mom-warming duties. Of course, it means that occasionally we’ll have to sleep in our own beds but, unlike a certain selfish someone else we know, we’re more than willing to make a sacrifice or two. How nice is this?

Reason #7 – More leftovers (this one deserves two exclamation points)!! Mom’s a fabulous chef, so when she cooks there are no leftovers. However, sometimes she goes out for dinner just so she can bring home a white-box for us! NewAlphaMale will take Mom out for dinner a lot.  More dinners out for Mom mean more white-box goodies for us! All four paws in the air! Very, very nice!!

Reason #8 – NewAlphaMale will leave the toilet seat up (Cliffie insisted I add this one). Now, I’m perfectly happy with Mom’s Evian.  But Cliffie? He likes the City of Simi Valley toilet water.  Yuck — of course, Cliffie also likes the kitchen trash.  And Alpo. Because he has such short little legs, the extra width of the toilet seat makes it hard for him to get his face in the bowl (he’s really funny when his fat little butt tips over and he falls in).  If the toilet seat is up, however, he can get that face of his all the way down in there!  Ugh, boys!  Only Cliffie says this is nice.

Unless we’re missing something here, we don’t see a downside for us. While Mom howls and whines about what she’ll have to give up to expand the pack, we give the acquisition an enthusiastic two tails up!  In fact …


Wait, Cliffie!  I’m still typing!


What? Two bunnies and a squirrel!? A trifecta!


Sorry!  Gotta run!  New squeaker toys in the back yard!  

Oops, so excited I almost forgot about Mom!

Sunday Silver Singles?

Where do we sign her up?

On Gratitude — Long Past Due

I once ‘failed miserably’ as I tried to complete an exercise in which I had to list ten – just ten – things for which I was thankful. It only took a few seconds, but then I couldn’t stop!  Like the Energizer Bunny, I just kept going – and going and going.  Days later, I was still adding to the list. I even discovered a few oh-my-Gods that were marvels in disguise. In fact, I was so focused on the things about which I was happy, I forgot what misery had driven me to take the course in the first place.

I strongly suspect that was the speaker’s objective.

Another of the things I discovered was that in all my gratefulness, a few things got short-changed. Yes, I love that which resulted from them, but the original catalysts deserve their props as well. Following are my top five.

Thank heaven for blind dates. Had it not been for that fateful one back in 1987 or thereabouts, I’d still be one of LA’s invisible millions. Instead, I live in Simi Valley, the sometimes-safest-always-the-most-beautiful city in America, surrounded by some of the most incredible people in the world. And despite the bitterness of that fateful first dinner — and the jackass who needed my credit card to pay for it —  the wonderful aftertaste lingers on my tongue and continues each day to amaze and delight me.

Oh, I am so very grateful to the banking industry! Now, now … I know you’re not very happy with the rat bastards right now. But I thank them for my exile from their ranks; I’m especially grateful for the generosity with which they compensated my departure. Now when I tell my boss to kiss-me-where-the-sun-don’t-shine, my only lament is that I’m not double-jointed enough to actually do so.

As much as I adore bacon, I am very thankful for my brief visit to Vegetarianville (that was during my super-‘fro-tie-dyed-livin’-off-the-land phase). Without it, I wouldn’t have experienced the shortest pregnancy in history.  By the time I figured out that it was my second daughter – and not the absence of red meat from my diet – that was the source of my nausea, I was in labor.

Major gratitude is due my hot pink suede bell-bottoms! As I wriggled across the dance floor at my first frat party, two ginormous  red and white pompoms and their matching Sly hat very smoothly cut in and cut a rug. Later that semester I married the engineer under that disguise – the love of my life. I’m chuckling now as I realize my very chic don’t-open-the-front-door-unless-perfectly-coordinated-and-properly-accessorized older daughter is learning that she is the product of that fashion catastrophe.

Finally, I am eternally thankful to Walgreen’s.  Had they been open when my mom decided she didn’t have a headache after all on that snowy night half a century ago, I might not be here thanking anybody for anything. Thanks, Mom, for saying yes. Thanks, Dad, for being unprepared.  And thanks so much, Walgreen’s, for being closed.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friends.