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October 5, 2009

The Stratton Woods Book Club


Back Row L-R: Carey Chadbourne, Amber Badgley, Kelly Stiehl, Karen Kreider, Charlotte Kirkpatrick, Debban Dodrill, Erika Schroder
Front Row L-R: Amy Shaw, Ladan Madresehee & Baby Amira, Mary Rowland, Allison Wagner, Ellen Scheinfeld and Amy Shaw’s mother-in-law visiting from Wyoming, Margaret.
Member arriving late: Sue Huebsch (I don't judge, I just report.)

This notable book club has been meeting for four years. Why are they notable? Because your Queen says so, of course.

OK, OK. Why do We say so?

Many reasons. Here are but four:

1) One of the members is a Romulan. (She grew up in Romulus, in Upstate New York.) Which one? It's in the ears....

She could not understand why I had written in Queen of the Road trip, that when I asked locals about the Neutral Zone, we were met with blank stares. She said in high school, they were always teased about being Romulans by the rival teams. (Who surely must have been playing for the Klingons. And ladies, aren't you lucky not to have any of them in your group? The food alone....)

2) They sang Happy Birthday to your Queen.

3) (Not that I need another reason after #2, but here goes:) They were drinking your Queen's Jubilees.

And finally, as the hostess for the evening, Mary Helen, put it in her email:

4) "Reston, Virginia is part of the major metro area of Washington DC. We’re just down the road from Great Falls, Virginia, where you previously visited via phone with another book club. The Stratton Woods Book Club has been together for four years. We meet once a month at a member’s home for bites, beverages and book discussion. We select our books as a group, and try to keep our gatherings simple with frozen, boxed and bagged treats, along with a few treats in bottles. Last night we did enjoy some peanut butter, banana grilled sandwiches and some tasty jubilees. [They said it was in honor of our Elvis/Graceland visit.]

Our group ranges from professional working mothers, stay at home mothers and empty nesters. All the ladies are pretty active supporting their families and the community through numerous volunteer positions."

Told ya. I'll skip the nice things Mary said about Our "visit" with her club. (We have heard that modesty is "in" these days, although We can't imagine why.) Suffice it to say, We also enjoyed it immensely.

One correction, however: I told the club that we had traveled to Reston on our Queenly trip to see the mini-Graceland. In retrieving pictures of it for this blog post, I saw that, indeed, it was actually Roanoke, VA. Dear Stratton Woods ladies, when you get to be my age, you'll understand.... By this picture, you'll also understand why the mini-Graceland (in an Elvis' fan's front yard) was fairly forgettable. (And before I get angry emails, as I told the ladies, when we were asking for directions, the locals said, "It's really not worth it.")


On a more photogenic note, here are a couple of other pictures from Virginia, these from a campground we stayed at in Staunton:

Yes, it was off-season.


Thanks for the memories, ladies!

October 12, 2009

A Princess Returns as Queen

Last week, Tim and I went to New York to visit the Queen Mother and her consort, King Henry.

We did a couple of walking tours in various parts of Brooklyn. Here's my fave: Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge (we then walked around Brooklyn Heights - great architecture).


As soon as we got off the bridge into Brooklyn Heights, a group of college kids stopped us and asked ME where Grimaldi’s was. You must understand that only a few weeks ago, as Tim and I were walking near our home in Boulder, a car stopped to ask directions. I had never heard of the park the driver wanted to go and said so. Tim immediately informed the guy it was only a few blocks away. Let's just say this kind of thing isn't exactly a rare occurrence.

So now, asked for directions in the borough of my birth, Tim started laughing and was about to say, “Boy did you ask the wrong person, and besides, we're not from around here."


I had just researched the walking tour, so happened to know not only what Grimaldi's was (a famous pizza joint) but where it was.

"It's at 19 Old Fulton St., between Front and Water," I proclaimed.

The look on Tim's face was the best part of the entire trip.

October 19, 2009

Project Nerd 1, Bear 0.

It's not that we live somewhere in the country. Oh, no. We live in the City of Boulder. Doesn't seem to matter to the critters in these here parts, though. In just the past few weeks, we've seen fox (I know I owe you pictures. What do you want from me? Oh, pictures. OK), raccoon, a mountain lion and now, evidence of bear:


We've been seeing plenty other evidence of bear (if you get my drift), but nothing quite this dramatic.

Tim would like me to note that the bear is so smart, it didn't try to destroy the entire door, just the part around the latch.

Still, by the next day, it was no match for PN:


I guess that means he's smarter than the average bear.

Bring it on, Yogi and Boo Boo!

Yeah, I'm such a name dropper, but I actually did meet Yogi on our QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip, in an RV park in South Dakota:


(He's as nice in person as he seems on TV.)

October 21, 2009

The Biggest Little City

The members in this lovely Reno book club know each other from high school and have been meeting for two years.


Top row (left to right) Tara La Casse & Karri Hurwitz
Bottom row (left to right) Lindsay Anderson, Lindsey Gray & Jennifer O'Harra

If I had known how adorable they all looked, I might have gotten out of my pajamas while on the other end of the phone. Or, at least put on some make-up.

Yeah, I know. I don't believe me, either.

The night they discussed QUEEN OF THE ROAD, they were at the Grand Sierra Resort which, they informed me, has free drinks on Ladies Night, several nights a week.

Oh, really?

As soon as I got off the phone, I demanded of Tim, “How come I never heard of that hotel where ladies drink free?”


He informed me that not only had I heard of it, but we’d stayed in its RV park when we visited Reno, his hometown, on our Meltdown Cruise. Score another one for my fabulous directional/location sense. (I can't imagine they did the free drink thing then, can you? I mean, I'd probably still be there if they had.)

In my defense, it was called the Reno Hilton at the time. And, it was our very first RV park, ever. If you recall, we had spent the first night of our trip in WY at a community college's parking lot on the way to Reno, after several disasters. (Let's see: Tim almost ran me over while backing up the bus, the door flew open at 60 mph - with me attached, and a horrendous hail storm had us and all the truckers pulling over. Am I forgetting anything? Oh, I really hope so.) We spent the next night in Reno:


October 24, 2009

Bear 1, Project Nerd 1 (Talk About Fatal Attraction!)

Dear Cindy Bear,

As Yogi's girlfriend, you were always so prim and proper. What happened? Fine. I suppose I shouldn't have told you and yours to "bring it on," after the tear-the-shed-door-off-its-hinges incident. For that, I am truly sorry.

When Tim and I heard a rustling outside our bedroom last night, little did we know you and your two cubs (they're Yogi's, right? They look just like him) were trying to get into the garage.


Tim says this is going to be much harder to fix than the shed door, because of all the raking and chewing you did. How about just knocking next time?

I'm also very sorry we scared you when we opened the bedroom door, screaming and banging, trying to get you to stop. We won't bother you, again. The noise you made very clearly illustrated how much you value your privacy.

That's why we were surprised when you returned 30 minutes later.

Tim, deciding you're no average bear, said we should store our garbage in the furnace room in the basement, but I was afraid you'd take that as an invitation to enter the house. No offense, but after what happened between Yogi and me, I just don't trust you around my husband. So, I did some research and feel it's only fair to warn you that we're placing ammonia-soaked pick-a-nick baskets in some of your favorite spots this evening. Please don't get mad, again. It's just that... we kinda like our doors. Seems you do, too. (Did you know our neighbors have even nicer, tastier ones? Promise! I wouldn't lie to my all-time, absolute favorite cartoon character.)

Speaking of Yogi, this isn't a jealousy thing, is it Cindy? Look, I know while at Jellystone, I slipped away from Tim whenever I could, so Yogi and I could be together...


But, Yogi loves YOU. It was just a fling. I don't mean anything to him. Tim's gotten over it. Why can't you? What do you want from me, already? (In addition to my doors.) I'm also sorry I posted this:


I didn't mean to rub your impressive nose in my muzzling in on your den. I'll make a deal with you: I'll destroy the picture, if you leave me, mine and our doors alone. I'll just have the memories. (And, what memories they are!)

If it makes you feel better, you should know that back then, I was two-timing Yogi with my own beast at the park:


On the bright side, this entire episode finally provided an answer to something that's been puzzling me: Why we're seeing so many more critters of every stripe and spot this year than we ever have before. Well, after researching how to disuade you from coming around, I realized that this is the first fall we've spent at the house since Miles died two years ago. He used to pee all over the yard. Ammonia. Who knew he was a working dog?

Or, that you'd be afraid of poodle pee.

Wishing you a restful - and long - hibernation,

PS - You carry those extra pounds you're having to pack on this time of year quite well.

October 27, 2009

I Don't Go To Bed, I Experience Bed

I'm still laughing about that line said to me by one of these lovely Wisconsin book clubbers:


From left to right: Tricia, Kathy, Terry Jo, Margaret, Lee and Debbie.

Wine AND martinis, ladies? You're in the running for top book club!

Thanks for the very enjoyable discussion, and for continuing to make me laugh!

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About October 2009

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

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