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May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

Early Birds

Lori knew she was asking me to meet at an "unqueenly time" as she put it. Indeed. But, her book group of "mainly moms of 12 year old boys" (!) meets in the mornings, right after the moms drop them off at school. Personally, I would head right back to bed, but not the supermoms in this group. (Although at that hour of the morning, I must out them and disclose that they did forgo martinis. Really ladies - one must keep up one's standards!) Fortunately, since the Royal Castle is in a slightly later time zone, the meeting was not too early for me to call in to.

This was only the club's second meeting, so once again, the pressure was on. It seems that we all discovered at the same time that there were many East Coast transplants in the group.


Front row: (L-R) Amy Cima, Lisa Vondle
Middle row: Sandra Novack, Lori Parks, Tracey Brandon (host)
Back: Coral Teza (photographer/graphics guru - surely anyone familiar with this blog knew the adorable art on the photo had nothing to do with me), Joan Martinez, Joni Laura, Julie Ames, Leslie Kneeshaw

Some additional tidbits:

Amy's husband says she's a JAP, although she herself doesn't think so. (Amy, I didn't think I was, either.)

Tracey is taking an Alaskan cruise this summer. As I told her, if we had just gone to the interior, we would have missed the best part. Bon Voyage!

Coral drives her kids cross country every summer in a minivan without her husband. They get to the pick the destination by looking on a map. (Personally, I would white out a few states before giving them the map to choose from.) They've been to every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Leslie is from Canada and took exception with my "aboot" jokes in the book - although a few of the gals interjected, "Oh, she does say that." No comment from moi - We Royals take our diplomatic duties very seriously.

Lisa has a 34 ft, purple RV which she and her husband take to the National Parks. (I wanted to paint our bus pink, but Tim wouldn't let me. See? He's not as great as you all think.)

When Joni met her husband, he was living in an airstream. Her condition for marrying him: He sell it. Needless to say, he was happy she was reading QUEEN OF THE ROAD.

Sandra was only one of two native Californians in the group, and has only traveled to Mexico and Hawaii. I hope reading QUEEN has whet your appetite to see more of North America, Sandra.

Joan is the other native Californian. Her friends call her "Five Star." I'm stealing that. Look, between my last name and my... habits, I'm sure it fits me even better.

Julie is married to a retired Navy Admiral - but she's the one who loves to travel. I have a few friends who are married to retired airline pilots - same thing. I can see if you've been traveling all your life, you'd want to stay put. So, what was my excuse?

And, last but not least, the gal who got me to get up early to call in (obviously a woman of many talents): Lori, who publishes history books. When she sent the above picture, she very sweetly wrote: "You’re an inspiration to me for stepping out of your comfort zone and opening your mind to new possibilities."

Oh, my. Being an inspiration is such hard work. Off to bed for me!

May 7, 2009

Main Line Newcomers Evening Book Group

Regular readers of this blog surely know Annette Baesel from her comments and Traveling Baesels Blog. (She also has a Flicker photo blog. Obviously, the woman has much more energy than I.) We first "met" quite by accident: She was standing in line at a Borders and happened to see QUEEN OF THE ROAD on their book club display. Since she is quite the traveler (again, much more energy), she picked it up, immediately started laughing (with me, not at me, right?) and bought it.

Annette and her hubby, Jerry, travel all over the place - and I mean all over the place. I simply can't keep up. (Although somehow, she manages to keep up with me - like the time she was in Cambodia and heard about an earthquake in Eureka, CA, knew our bus was parked nearly and emailed to ask if we'd felt it in the middle of the night. I had, but didn't know it was an earthquake until she told me. Yeah, I know: I need to get out more. What do you want from me?)


I knew Annette has a lovely family (she has emailed me for signed bookplates - something I'm always happy to do, by the way - then given my book as gifts to several of them who have subsequently friended me on Facebook), and now I know she has a lovely book club. They even made up their own martini for the occasion, the "Lets-clear-out-Annette's-liquor-cupboard-before-she-moves"-tini. (She is moving from PA to FL shortly - at least I hope her move is imminent, either that or that they really didn't clear out her liquor cupboard.)


From left to right: Sue, June, Karen, Cheryl, Annette (in back), Eileen, Hallie, Gerry and Jean Marie

And, of course, the shoes:


When Annette emailed me afterwards, she said our discussion sparked a lot more discussion after the call ended (I love hearing that), specifically: Who could spend that much time with her husband? (In the interest of marital harmony, in case any said husbands read this blog, I shall not divulge the names of who could not) and... who should play me and Tim if a movie is ever made. Of course, being women of impecable taste, they completely agreed with me that Angelina Jolie is the only possible choice. (And no, I'm not insulted when people laugh when I say this. I know what they're thinking: Well, Angie'll have to lose some weight first.) As for Tim, several of the women apparently thought Hugh Jackman should do the honors.

You're right, Annette: I'm not telling him that. That's what he gets for not reading the blog.

Ladies, thank you for a lovely evening!

May 10, 2009

The First Annual Mother's Day Book Club

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

And, what better way than to celebrate with a Mother's Day Book Club?

Truth be told, this group met the week before. But, get this: The gals have been meeting for some time, and decided that they would invite their moms for a special Mother's Day Book Club gathering!

I think that's a fabulous idea, don't you?

The moms came from all over the East Coast, to meet with their New Yorker daughters and guess which book they chose to discuss?


Yeah, well. D'ya think I'd be posting this otherwise?

So, even though I wished all of you a Happy Mother's Day last week, once again: Happy Mother's Day and thanks so much for the lovely discussion of QUEEN OF THE ROAD!

As for my own, Queen Mother: She's traveling overseas today. Hope you're not too jet-lagged, mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 14, 2009

Hate Her Because She's (Now Even More) Beautiful

One of my fabulous readers (and fellow "damn bus" gal), Francine, recently traveled to Savannah. How could she not remember what I wrote about Joseph's Salon?


"...what most epitomized our trip to Savannah, and perhaps the entire genteel South, was my visit to Joseph’s Salon. Look, I can’t help it; I’m shallow that way. (What do you want from me?) Still, bear with me here, for Joseph has coiffed the ladies of Savannah for years in the downstairs of his lovely townhouse and I’ve never had my hair done in such a graceful atmosphere by such a master craftsman. As the scissors flew in his hands, the “darlin’s” and “suga’s” were flyin’ out of his mouth and back at him again by the waiting female throng."


Of course, she had to go. And of course, she had to rub it in by emailing me those pictures of her utterly fabulous experience, as well as this one of her fabulous self with the fabulous Joseph:


As Francine wrote: "Gee, thanks ... got my haircut, fell in love, and all under an hour ... now what?"

Now what? Well, Francine, you pine away for Joseph the rest of your life, lamenting the coiffs that might have been, just like I do.

May 21, 2009

Hedge Fund Wives


Awhile back, I commented that one of the best things about being an author was meeting other authors.

This was never truer than last night.

The ultra-fabulous Auna Jornayvaz invited Tim and me to a book launch party she was throwing at The Ritz in Denver with two of her friends, Karen Quinn and Monica Owens for their good friend, Tatiana Boncompagni. She's the author of the just released and couldn't-be-more-timely novel HEDGE FUND WIVES. I'd read Tatiana's GUILDING LILY when it came out last year (she's already started a third book and she has two little kids - why can't I even seem to start a second when all I have is a husband?) and absolutely loved it. I was so happy to meet Tatiana and discover that in addition to being such a talented author, she's also a sweetheart. Now, I really can't wait to read HEDGE FUND WIVES.


I met Auna after she wrote my favorite review of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for Denver Magazine ("Eat, Pray, Love - without the depression" - what's not to love?). She came over and Tim fixed her shoe. She reported last night, much to Project Nerd's delight, that it remains quite intact. As he told me later, "Of course it did. I used something stronger than the original shoe. Indeed.


Karen Quinn is the author of several bestsellers, including THE IVY CHRONICLES, which was recently optioned by Sarah Jessica Parker.


Chatting away, Karen and I discovered that she and my editor, the fabulous Stacy Creamer (I knew her when... she was Broadway editor-in-chief, but she's recently become publisher of Touchstone Fireside), are very good buds. (I knew Stacy is an accomplished runner, is a mom and beads, but I did not know she also weaves. Really. Why in the world such a busy, energetic soul wanted to publish couch potato me, I'll never know.)

While at this swanky soiree, I could not resist snapping a few quick and surreptitious pics of some of the fabulous shoes in attendance. It felt rather voyeristic, in a I-wonder-if-I-could-be-arrested-for-this sort of way, but that's never stopped me:

A lovely lady named Laura was kind enough to inform me these are Manolos, when she could just as easily have called security.

Not sure what either of these are, other than stunning.

I think, in this case, I'll take the shoes and the bag.

OK. Enough with the name and shoe dropping. Gotta go start reading my copy of HEDGE FUND WIVES.

May 26, 2009

Little Foxes

The neighborhood slut strikes again.

Every year our resident fox has her kits. This year, she outdid herself. Six - count 'em, six.

Before our year-long, QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip, Tim and I lived in the mountains above Boulder, in the front range of the Rockies. We never saw this much wildlife. Who knew living in the city would be this Mutual of Omaha?

The kits come out from under our deck to play early in the a.m. (so I'm told) and after 3 p.m. So, without further ado, here are some kit pics:



Once they realized I would be staying inside, behind the window (which is how I prefer seeing nature, anyway)...


... it's party time!




No wonder mom needs a rest.


Hopefully, Tim didn't have plans for that glove.




Someone's as fascinated by me as I am by him:




Someone else, not so much:


Sorry toots, you're the one trespassing in my yard:


I had been calling them "pups" until my father-in-law (who lives in rural Arkansas, so I'll take his word for it) told me they're "kits." Makes sense - they actually behave alot more like kittens than puppies. One was getting into something it shouldn't right below our bedroom window, so I knocked on the pane. The kit immediately ran away, but then quickly returned, peering right in at me. It even jumped up on the ledge to get a better look (and promptly fell off. Haven't quite gotten the balance thing worked out, yet.)




I should be writing, I should be getting the house ready to put on the market. I should be doing a lot of things. Instead, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time observing these fox kits. Tim can't quite understand it: For someone with as much antipathy to the outdoors as I... But, with such incredible cuteness literally (and litterally) mere feet from our windows, I can't seem to get enough.

And they say Twitter 's a time-suck.

Update: I may just have been cured. One of them killed a squirrel and brought it back to their den. Yeah, I know, the whole Circle of Life thing. Fine, but I don't want to witness it. Isn't that why we have deli counters?

May 28, 2009

A Healthy (And Delicious) Book Club

I've called in to library book clubs before, but never one at health sciences center's library, so this one at St. Joseph Healthcare in Bangor, ME was a special treat. I found out only later that Wednesdays are Indian food day. Only healthcare workers would have had the compassion to keep that from me.

Front Row (at the table) from L-R: Linda, Gloria, Sandra, Kathy and Barbara
Back Row (standing) from L-R: Trisha, Linda, BJ and Cynthia

This was only the club's second meeting, so the pressure was on, especially when the librarian, Cynthia, informed me that they have five books to choose from every month and mine was a unanimous pick. Can you say "martini time"? Alas, they meet too early for martinis (in either of our time zones, so there was simply no way to rationalize it). Although... one of the members is a nurse practitioner, so could have prescribed me a little somethin' somethin'. If only I had known.
(Actually, I would have stepped aside for the member who had been an RN for 45 years. Now that's pressure - and hard work.)

Bangor, for those of you who don't know (which means you haven't read QUEEN OF THE ROAD, and what have I told you about that?) is a thoroughly gorgeous place. Of course, the ladies agreed, but they also commented how happy they were that Tim and I had not restricted ourselves to coastal Maine on our trip, as so many visitors do. They loved that we had also gone up to the Moosehead Lake region and Greenville. (As did we.)

You all know I'm not one for schmaltz. Yet, I did get a touch touched when Linda told me she and her husband had a camper, were getting ready for retirement and after reading my memoir, realized they don't need roots to come home to or to be happy in life.

Home is where you park.

Thanks, Linda! And, thanks to this lovely book club for choosing QUEEN OF THE ROAD and bringing back such fond memories of Maine. Next time we're in Bangor, I'll be sure it's on a Wednesday.

The view from our bus in our campground in Bar Harbor, ME

You can see why this was one of our favorites - for all of us. Well, OK. Maybe not the cats. The whole "Halibut Capital of the World" thing that was Homer, AK kinda trumped everywhere else for them.

Acadia National park, Bar Harbor, ME

And finally, the Moosehead Lake region:




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About May 2009

This page contains all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in May 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

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