I’m so very sorry…

I apologize, deeply, to those of you who heard the news via WordPress this morning.  It’s not that I didn’t want anyone to know, it’s just that I am still trying to process it, myself.  I didn’t want you to find out about my health issues via a horrible blog post like the one you read.

I started a new, anonymous blog, where I could connect with others with Breast Cancer and sort out my feelings.  Wordpress forces you to keep all blogs under one account if you use the same email.   I posted late last night and mistakenly used this account.  I caught it within a minute, erased it and put it where it belonged.  It never occurred to me that there were some of you still linked via email.

I know I’m going to be okay.  Really I do.  But in order to get past something you have to go through it and that’s the scary part.

I have an amazing support system and I thank you for being part of it.



Socialite Attends Her Own Wake With a Cigarette In One Hand and a Champagne Flute In The Other


A new standard has been set for funeral swagger. Socialite Mickey Easterling passed away at 83 last week, but that didn’t stop her from attending her wake as she would have attended any other party on her roster: with a glass of champagne in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

According to New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO, Easterling had a strict set of rules for her funeral arrangements, including stipulations that her body be propped up on an iron bench. Easterling looked over the proceedings while wearing a bright pink boa and rhinestone pin that read “Bitch.”

Tom Sawyer, you are no longer impressive.


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You terrify me.

You scare me…more than you will ever know.

You see, today was a “shit-awful day”  We buried a friend,  So phuckin’ sad.  Then I went to rehearsal and got beat up a little.  Not that big of a deal, I deserved to be slapped around but I wanted to write about it.

I used to blog anonymously and could bare my soul without worrying about seeing you the next day at the theater or a baseball game.  I would have gone into detail about my grief and the problems I’m having with my part.   I would have let off some steam…waxed poetic about my feelings…blah, blah, blah. Now that I’ve taken the leap to publicize on Facebook,  I find myself self-editing.  I’ll start to write about a subject, then think about looking into your eyes afterwards and know that those words are NOT for public consumption.

So forgive me if I post sporadically.  I’m just trying to figure out how much of myself I can comfortably share with you.







Still Cruisin’ After All These Years…

We have a unique holiday celebrated by many in Detroit called The Woodward Dream Cruise. It has an actual date (August 18 this year) but antique addicts are too excited to wait, so the insanity begins around the beginning of August. Classic car buffs from all over the world beautify their “Baby’s” to drive up and down Woodward Avenue. People set up their lawn chairs on the side of the road so they can “ooh” and “ahh” over their favorites. The streets becomes so congested that those who live in the area complain they can’t get to and from anywhere during the month of August.

We have a 61 Ford Galaxy. My husband, Mike, bought it on-line, from California, just before people began doing stuff like that. I thought he was insane. I could not believe we were spending that kind of money on something we hadn’t actually seen! Of course, as usual, I should have trusted him. Although, I call it my third child’s college education, “Baby” is a welcome addition to our family. We are just about finished with the mechanical restoration, and are ready to begin what my husband calls the “wow factor”, ie; painting, new wheels, etc.

Every year the actual cruise day draws millions of people. Literally. This year there were an estimated 1.35 million cruisers, watchers, mini-vanners getting in the way’ers, attending the event. It’s insanity. August in Michigan is usually really hot. Old cars with old radiators, bumper to bumper traffic jams and hot weather are not a good mix.

So Mike and I have “a day before the day” tradition. He takes it off of work and we hang out, walk through the various exhibits and do most of our actual cruisin’. The streets are already really busy, but there isn’t the “move an inch a minute traffic” that you see on the next day.

After a great Thai lunch, we walked through one of the Ford exhibits, acting silly and having a great time. He received a head massage from his “Boo” and I talked a stranger into sharing his french fries with me. Then we ran into a photographer for The Detroit News who took us up on our offer for a “cruise”. He snapped photos like crazy from the back seat of our convertible.

(This picture was in The Detroit News’ gallery of Woodward Cruise photos)


As we dropped him off, we heard someone yelling our name, and ran into a friend who didn’t hesitate to hop into the newly vacated back seat. And so went our day…


Yes, of course this is a cat wearing goggles in a stroller.


Cruise Day, 2012 dawned bright and clear with a forecast of sunny and mid 70s. What a relief! Last year it was stifling hot and late afternoon the cruise was prematurely ended by a typhoon (well, high winds and heavy rain).

We belong to the Galaxy Club, who reserves a lot right at the epicenter of the cruise. For $100 we get parking, a shaded place to put our chairs, food all day and bathrooms. It’s the best $100 we spend all year! When we arrived at 9am, the streets were already busy and the sidewalks crammed with chairs and pop-up tents.


The air was full of the smell of exhaust and burning rubber. Open headers growled, radios blared, idling cars went rumpty-rump, tires squealed when muscle cars spun their wheels.

We saw old cars…




We saw new cars…


We saw big cars…


We saw small cars…


We saw a lot of weird cars…



Any form of transportation was fair game…




And what classic car parade would be complete without an appearance by “The King”?

This truck is almost exactly like the one Mike was driving when we met 26 years ago!


When we got home after dark sunburned and smelling like exhaust we were tired and content. It was a most fabulous day.

And the absolute best was when the reporter sent us an email letting us know that one of the pictures he took made the front page of The Detroit News!


And that about sums it up…especially as Mike and I are about to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary in a few days. Still Cruisin’ after all these years!

Last of the pictures

Mood music in a underground tunnel by Lake Geneva.


Our last Shabbat Dinner in the Kupperman’s room.  Almost all of the students had left, the remaining few felt like we were left to clean up after a huge party.  Susanna and Pagan made an amazing dinner.  Everyone else brought whatever odds and ends were left in their rooms.



Homemade Challah bread by Susanna Hapgood





John’s daily breakfast.  He was totally in love with their crust-less white bread!


A random pig we met in Annecy. You know me, I’m a sucker for some pork  (did I just say that outloud?)


Seen on the streets of Annecy…



The streets of Annecy…



Here is the fountain at John Knox, the “hotel/dorm/whatever you call it” we stayed at.  This is where we filled our water bottles, washed our few dishes, etc.  If you turned the cold water as high as it could go (a trick we just learned this year!) it would actually get cold!


John trying to get an internet connection in the lobby at John Knox.  Note the ever present Nutella jar.


The front door of John Knox.


The Fleury (I don’t think I’m spelling it right), but it’s a building that holds both large classrooms and apartments.  The graduation was held here.



The Chalet.  This is not just A chalet, but it is THE chalet.  Supposedly, it is the original Swiss Chalet from the 1800something World Fair.


No words are needed.  And no, we didn’t buy it.



Friday, many students either went home or took off for places like Paris, Rome, etc. so Gary, the kids, Alyssa  and I, decided to spend the afternoon messing around downtown for the last time.

*Alyssa is one of the other teachers’ babysitters.  Her job was over so she had a few days on her own.

First stop was a sushi lunch. I had tuna and mayo wrapped in rice. Very….um, interesting.


Then, we went for a final run thru Jet D’Eau.  I also had some of my absolute favorite Straccitella Movenpick ice cream and my 6th trip (this visit) on the Ferris Wheel. I’m not sure if I broke last years record.

Our days in Switzerland were drawing to an end, so we knew we had to purchase our “take home” chocolate on this trip. I’m too embarrassed to tell you what Gary, Alyssa and I spent between the three of us on candy The empty suitcase I brought is now full. We actually got a Toblerone bar that will not fit in the actual suitcase.   It won’t fit because it weighs 158,73 ounces (or almost 10 lbs!)  I wish I had a picture to show you!

Needless to say, you will all receive chocolate when I get home!

Saturday, we rented a car and drove to Annecy, France. We had visited the charming tourist town last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. One of the students, Winona, joined us.

It was an absolutely beautiful day, warm and sunny, and the town was bustling!

We shopped for a while, thoroughly enjoying the unique shops.



Then we decided to take a very relaxing two hour boat ride around lake Annecy.


The scenery was so lovely.  (see below, not above!)



We worked up quite an appetite so we stopped at maybe (and thankfully!) the only air conditioned restaurant in all of France and had a delicious Mussel dinner.  Each of us has a different type (roquefort, garlic and onions, ham and garlic). The servings were so large none if us were able to finish.


Oh, wait, except for John. He finished both his, mine and Gary’s , plus absolutely inhaled two helpings of fries dipped into the mussel sauce.  Oy…feeding a growing boy!


We had heard there were going to be fireworks in Annecy that evening, so as we were finishing up dinner, (and enjoying another cold beer!)  we sent John and Drew back to the car for a blanket.  About twenty minutes later, we started to wonder what was keeping them so we peeked outside and were astonished to see the previously empty streets jam packed with people!

We were relieved that they showed up a few minutes later and we set off to find the perfect spot to watch the firework show.

The advertisements were enticing.”The show is designed to be a visual and emotional voyage, a metaphor for a natural journey starting with the big bang. A violent shock between the primary forces of nature using 40 flame projectors ”

Wow! We were ready for Annecy to bring it on!

Well, we sat relaxing with the kids, on this little blanket for a couple of hours. We had Yatzy tournaments with a game on my phone, played a few word games, broke up a few wrestling matches between the boys…in other words, we paid very little attention to what was going on around us.  All of a sudden, Gary said, “OMG” and we realized we were sitting in this massive standing crowd of gazillions of people.  Apparently, they were all waiting to get into an (enormous) paid grandstand area, but it was pretty intimidating at first.
Poor Simon fell asleep just before the fireworks started.  I have no idea how he stayed asleep with all the BOOMing , BANGing and cheering going on, because this 1 hour and 15 minute firework display was PHENOMENAL!  It was done in various themes and styles and I have never seen anything like it.


It was well worth the wait!

When it was time to go home, we found ourselves in the type of crowd that I have only encountered before in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  The kind of crush of humanity where if you fell you would be trampled!  There had to be a million people trying to get out of where we were!  So we all grabbed hands and headed north.  Until Gary (and Simon and Drew)had to go to the bathroom.

This is when the highlight of my day occurred.  Yes, I had a wonderful day full of shopping, boating, delicious food, delightful company and fabulous fireworks, but my most memorable moment was when I saw this.


What, you might ask, is this odd looking thing?
It’s a pissuer.  An outdoor spot where men may piss.

And piss they did.  Four at a time, they slid down their zippers (or shorts) and whipped it out and whizzed.

I have never seen anything like it.
Gary and the boys waited in line for the port a potty.

Congrats Grads!


For the most part, as graduation day loomed, the students worked harder and later into the night. So when the “Big Day” finally arrived, the sense of relief was palatable.


The graduation itself was fabulous.
Each of the speakers was better than the next.


The speeches brought us to tears.


And made us laugh.


But most of all, made us proud.


It was a very casual ceremony. Pete wore his favorite pair of shoes.


Here’s a better look.


All joking aside, after an exhaustive 15 months of intense work, these amazing people all received their Masters of Arts in Education/Technology in Education.

Congratulations Cohort 3!


The kitchen staff outdid themselves with an amazing congratulatory dinner. There was a curried chicken dish and teriki chicken kabobs and garlic shrimp and cheeses and lots and lots of sangria. Of course, what celebration would be complete without ice cream cake?

Oh! Oh! Oh! I don’t know how I forgot the best part! Right after graduation, everyone was asked to pose for a massive “graduate and loved one” photo. During the chaos that occurred in trying to set this shot up, music began blaring and the students began dancing and they started a flash mob! (what’s the correct verbiage…do you begin or start or perform in?)

It was hysterical! They actually changed the lyrics to a song to make it relevant, but unfortunately, I couldn’t understand much. I did get this one part when all of the guys put on sunglasses and said something like “We’re gonna be cool like …Mansfield” and indicated John.

I need to remember to ask for a link to the lyrics!

People will begin leaving for home and other places in the morning. The students partied together long into the night not wanting to leave each other yet.