Movies · Travel · Uncategorized

Nora’s New York


I am visiting NYC and here I am with Kate, best friend and traveling companion. We are sitting in Cafe LaLo.   Again, another beautiful, summer day in the City. The first thing I notice upon entering, is that the walls are painted in cheerful yellow and bright, colorful prints adorn the walls. You might recall Café Lalo from the movie You’ve Got Mail. Remember the scene where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is supposed to meet Kathleen, (Meg Ryan) only they don’t.. well that was filmed here.   In this very spot.   Anyway, There’s a full bar above a huge glass display of every delectable pastry imaginable. Again, the city of endless choices.  Adding to the ambiance, music that I know and love is blaring from speakers.  It’s my generation of music, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater, Stones, Lynard Skinner…who wouldn’t love this place?

Ok, so the young waiter in his muscle tee and rolled up jeans saunters over to take our order.  He doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in either us or our order, but no matter.  The menu is presented.  The mocha cappuccino is not the best I’ve tasted, and after perusing the menu, decide upon avocado eggs benedict. I am dissapointed in my choice.  Remind me to never mix eggs with salad ever again.  I guess I’m just a greasy, egg, bacon and homefries kind of girl.  However, The overall ambiance, with floor to ceiling windows cranked open to the street below, flooding the cozy cafe with warm summer morning light, the colorful poster-art filled walls and blaring music make for a happy atmosphere.  Breakfast over with, we call for the check. The waiter brings it over, suddenly all solicitous and smiles.


Ok, if I don’t see anything else in this fabulous city, I will return home a happy girl now that I have seen Apthorp. For anyone who is a Nora Ephron fan, you will know at once what I’m talking about. Apthorp was the NYC residence of the queen of romantic rom-coms. I’m talking when  Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle,  You’ve got mail. Yes, now you’ve got it…that doyenne of chick lit. The one, the only, the irrepressible Nora. I am channeling my inner Nora. Yes, I am starstruck…never mind that she passed away in 2012. This is Nora’s old stomping ground and I’m playing in her backyard.  She lived in the Upper Westside and I am standing outside the building she loved and called home.  It has an imposing ornate, wrought iron gate from where, if I crane my neck, I peer past the cobblestone entry and into the famed courtyard.  I see bright, spring flowers around a huge fountain.  This is the very building and courtyard she immortalized in her 2006 New Yorker essay.  Describing her new home, she wrote: “ten steps in and I said “I’ll take it.” She was in love.  Please take the time to read it.  Once you do, you will fall in love with her, too. I’m no Nora, but I sure am a wanna be.

Until next time, friends…

Animals · Rescue · Uncategorized

Cat Catcher Extrodinaire (I am not)…


I awake to the thunderous sound of hard rain against my bedroom window.  I bolt upright, for once not having to shake off a sleepy fog. I’m alert and already throwing off covers and jamming my feet  into tennis shoes. My thoughts are of whatever small animal has managed to get caught in the trap I set last night.  Poor thing! It must be drenched already, and I’m trying to remember if I had hidden the trap  far enough in the underbrush to protect whatever got caught.   I brush my teeth, don’t bother to drag a comb through my bed-head hair, and keys in hand, head out to my car.

All the while I’m driving in the rain, I think about Timmy cat.  I am half hoping that mission is accomplished and he’s been successfully trapped, and half hoping that NO poor, unfortunate animal has been trapped and is now, forlorn and scared, in a cage. Exposed to the rain. Mother Nature is not cooperating this morning.  It’s hard enough for me to scrunch up my courage to fight the thick underbrush, fearing poison ivy and all creepy crawlies….and to tentatively approach the trap in the dead of night with only a sliver of moon shining through deformed branches and eerie moss hanging from dead trees.  My footsteps crunch along a bed of dry, fallen leaves…magnified in the silence of a quiet night.  Any manner of wild creatures could hear my approach and there goes any chance of trapping Timmy.


My Timmy is Jack’s Boy…and that’s a whole story in itself.  Timmy, like Jack, just showed up in my backyard one day and I have been feeding him ever since.  No, I am not a crazy cat lady…but apparently I am a woman who can’t turn her back on a stray waif who is obviously hungry given their pitiful meows.  Oh no, I am not that woman.  So, after forming a mutually meaningful relationship and gaining his trust, we bond. (Believe me, that’s easy to do when the first time I pick little Timmy up for a cuddle, he wraps his small paw around my neck and oh boy, there goes my heart).  Welcome home I whisper into his soft fur as we snuggle.

So, needless to say, Timmy becomes part of our household. Did I mention that my household already has three other cats? Oh, what’s one more for a good hearted, cat lovin’ woman? Introducing a new cat into our home has not been without it’s challenges.  Especially when one of the other cats has been the alpha male.  (There’s actually another male, Boots, but since he’s much smaller, he had no interest in asserting his male dominance and is quite happy to chase butterflies in the backyard). He leaves all the manly cat activities to the big O.  (That’s  O for Orange cat in case you’re wondering). Things that Orange is actually quite adept at, stalking and killing squirrels being one of his particular skill set.  (And there’s a whole other story right there).


So back to my Timmy.  When he missed several days of free feedings at my house, I began to worry…soon worry turned to activity as I began to walk my neighborhood at all hours calling his name like a fisherwoman. When that didn’t work, I took to driving around in the car, banging his food bowl with a spoon outside the open window.  (Sorry, neighbors).  I expanded my searching by prowling around at all hours of night with only a small book light for a flashlight. (Why is there never a real flashlight when I need one?)  I ventured into places unknown and probably only ever inhabited by little woodland creatures.  I leave no bush unturned.


My dear and good friend Lorri came to help with cat reconnaissance.  Hence the Have A Heart trap.  We have spotted him and know that he’s hiding out in the yard at an abandoned house.  I have called and cajoled…he knows the sound of my voice but is too scared to come to me.  He is injured.  I saw his little body silhouetted in the glare of headlights as he was trying to run, hobbling along on three legs and holding his front paw up in the air, unable to put any weight on it.  I don’t know which is worse, to catch glimpses of him like this, knowing he needs help, or to think of him being vulnerable, and easy prey.  I long to capture him and make him safe.  I long to pick him up and assure him I will always keep him safe and far from danger.  I want so much to cuddle him and whisper welcome home.

Until next time, friends…




Beach · Friends · Hurricane · Lifestyle · Memoirs · Uncategorized

Thinking of you all…


We are all greatly saddened with the current state of affairs going  on in Houston and surrounding areas.  What we see on the national news is so disturbing, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel badly about it.  So sad to see how everyone has been affected by a Cat 4 hurricane.  We wonder how and why did this have to happen as we stare at the TV screen, and shake our head in disbelief.  As the world watches and feels helpless, I have to say God bless those who are donating and helping.  God Bless them all.

I’d like to add this quote:

“When you are going through hell, keep on going. Never never never give up.”

— Winston Churchill

Until next time friends….

Author · Beach · Books · Friends · Lifestyle · Memoirs · Uncategorized

Dedication: Susan Branch

Dedication: Susan Branch, (author), Kate (BFF) who always said I could, Ann (sis-in-law who encouraged my love of writing by her gifts of blank journals), and for the two E’s who will know their Zannah one day. 

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”…Anais Nin…

Don’t you just love discovering a book you can’t put down?  Reading Susan Branch’s 2nd book of her memoirs: “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams,” I ran to the library to get my hands on her other books.  I came home with both her 1st book, “Fairy Tale Girl,” and the last book of her trilogy, “A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English countryside.” She’s a true Anglophile and I’m British, so I knew what she was talking about when she described her travels to England.  While she was falling in love with all things English, and the countryside, I was falling in love with her writings and enigmatic illustrations, and, I guess, a little in love with her.

Turning the pages of her books, getting more and more involved in her life’s experiences, I thought, “why can’t I write like this?” We all have stories to tell.  My life has been crazy, too.  It has oftentimes been exhilarating and confusing with all the twists and turns I never expected.  Somewhere along the way of what I have experienced, I think you will see and feel some of the same things, too.  I never really set out to write a blog, but I was in the habit of keeping journals, (like Susan’s “diaries”), and I found myself wanting to share my own thoughts and feelings, most of them good, some bad, and some downright ugly.

“What’s the worst that could happen?”  I ask myself.  I’ll at least have a memoir that might, just might, interest my baby grandaughter one day.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  So, thank you, Susan Branch for your inspiration and to quote you from “Isle of Dreams,  page 193, “Lesson #1: To Begin, Begin.”  (please don’t sue me, Sue).

“It’s impossible” said Pride

“It’s Risky” said Experience

“It’s Pointless” said Reason

“Let’s do it Anyway” said the heart.

(Author Unknown)