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December 2009 Archives

December 2, 2009

A Passel of Princesses



This book club in Plainfield, CT is all decked out in pink princess finery. Adorable, no?
(The Prevost Princesses they're drinking ain't half bad, neither.)

And, I even learned something about yet another potential benefit of travel, Letterboxing. I'm not really sure I understand it, but it sorta seems like a country-wide treasure hunt. Since there aren't actual prizes, I'm a little stumped about the whole thing. I mean, unless I can win something like that fabulo pincessy cowboy hat...

Anyone out there heard of it or doing it?

In honor of this lovely CT club, I thought I'd share some pictures from our QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip, taken from their neck of the woods:


OK, so this is from neighboring, ME, in Acadia National Park. What do you want from me?

Of course we discussed how lovely the fall foliage is in the northeast. Here's some proof:



Thank you, ladies!

December 7, 2009

Come On PN, Light My Fire

How much wood could a boychick chuck if a boychick could chuck wood?

Sometime during the renovation of our house, Tim decided we needed to install an energy-efficient stove in the fireplace. He was all excited that it would "burn clean" - whatever that means.

I did warm to the idea, however, when he said it would allow us to burn wood all winter and heat the house to levels not allowed me since before our marriage.

Oh, the deprivation!

I have to admit, the stove, plus the extra roof insulation we put in, really does the trick. In fact, since I have a home office and can deduct utilities, after sending off the info to our tax guy, he told me to recalculate, "unless you're sitting in the dark and cold all winter."

I'm sure if Project Nerd had his druthers...

Anyway. I wouldn't have agreed to the whole stove thing if I had known I was expected to participate in the wood-gathering process.

Tim got a permit to chop down (dead) trees for wood on BLM land. He asked if I wanted to come.

D: Why would I want to do that?

T: We could spend time together. Outdoors.

D: Why would I want to do that?

T: Well, there is the part where I cut my leg off with the chain saw. So, it sure would be nice to have company.

What does he want from me? Our cell phones don't work out there, I don't know how to drive his truck, and didn't he remember I'm a shrink?

D (in case of accident or injury): Gee, sweetie. How does it feel to have your leg severed?

After he agreed to treat me to lunch, I agreed to go. He seemed surprised.

D: (Magnanimously) It's the least I can do.

T: Oh, so you've done the calculation?

What a guy.

Once we got up to Nederland, the nearest "town" to the area we were headed (and even weirder than Boulder. Doubt it? How about the annual festival to Frozen Dead Guys?) Tim announced he wanted to stop at the grocery store for donuts. He figured he needed the sugar for fortification. It's apparently part of the tree-cutting ritual. Who knew?

The woman at the check-out was quite impressed that he'd actually written the price and number of donuts on the self-service bag. She said she could tell he wasn't from around there.

Since Tim was driving, I needed to nagavate... er, navagate. Needless to say we missed several turns, undoubtedly because he insisted I use the BLM map. Let me tell you, those forestry service people have about as much conception of forests as I do. What's with all the squiggly lines? While I was busy trying to read the thing, Tim employed one of his favorite tricks and turned into exactly where he wanted to go, saying "Let me pull off the road, so I can help you with the map." By the time I look up to growl, "I don't need your help," I realize he doesn't need mine.



He actually looks like he knows what he's doing.


This is the part where pretending I'm doing something really important and can't be disturbed comes in handy.


Upon hearing that I had accompanied his son, Bob wanted to know, "Did Doreen help you put the logs in the truck?"

Oh, dear readers. Surely you know me better than Bob does.

Yes, indeed, I stayed in the truck the entire time. Just like I stayed inside while Tim was trimming the tree just outside my office window the other day. Note the rope and chain saw:


Tim explains: I was cutting down a dead limb on a steep hillside, so before I cut the limb, I tied a rope to one end and tied the other end to a big tree in the yard so that when the limb was cut loose, it wouldn't tumble all the way to the bottom of the hill.

Yeah, get all Newtonian on me, with your precious Physics for Majors and lofty Law of Gravity. I prefer Newton's First Law. You know, the one where a body at rest stays at rest.

December 14, 2009

An International Incident

That's what I nearly caused when I called into this book club in Santiago, Chile last week. Can you blame me?


It was during the horrendous cold snap we've been having. Now that the temps are moderating a bit, all is forgiven, ladies.

This book club consists almost entirely of teachers at an international school (one member is the wife of one of the teachers). They're on assignment from one and a few years and have lived/taught in such far flung places as South Korea, Trinidad, Pakistan, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia and Paraguay.

Is it any wonder that when they said my book inspired them to want to travel more in the U.S. I was utterly tickled? (That, plus the fact that they're drinking my Jubilees. Oh, what do you want from me?)

And, under the "It's a small world" catagory, Michelle, who arranged the call-in, actually went to the same high school - Great Neck South - that I did (although, ahem, just a fewl years later).

Best of all, Michelle emailed me this afterwards:

When we hung up, we embarked on a hilarious and revealing recounting of our own road trips from college on - the triumphs, the disasters, the romances... We did this while drinking martinis and eating a chocolate pecan pie I had made - referencing chapter seven. All in all, your experience resonated with us and gave us the vehicle for lovely, lively, and intimate discussion.

I love hearing that I've sparked eating, drinking and oh, yeah... discussion.

Viva la Reina! (Which, unfortunately, is about all I've retained from my five years of high school Spanish at Great Neck South. Forgot to ask if you had Mrs. Pakel for Spanish, Michelle. She was young then, so who knows? One of my faves.)

December 16, 2009

Westerville Literary Society

When Christa first emailed that her book club in Westerville, OH, had recently upgraded to a literary society after meeting for four years, I was surprised they'd chosen QUEEN OF THE ROAD. After all, one thing I've never been accused of is being literary. But then, she told me she's a psychiatric nurse AND has a car phobia, so I understood.

Actually, several of the women in the group are nurses. And, let me tell you, nurses know how to have a good time. Can't you tell?


Front row: from the left (on chair): Cynthia Franzman, Julie Smith, Vicki Driver (with Chelsie on lap), Paula D’Auteuil, Mildred Stevens.

Back row: From the left: Ginny Chapin, Keitha Eckles, Christa Newtz (in her Queenly shirt!), Jennifer Beistel, Valerie Marburger.



That's Chelsie, Christa's 13 year old shi-a-poo. (She said she'd let me figure out what that meant.) As she put it: I also want to add a disclaimer that the beverage in the martini glass is NON-alcoholic. (I don't blame you, Christa. I have some awfully er... rabid readers in Boulder, which, after all, is the home of the city ordinance proclaiming that all pet owners shall hereby not be refered to as owners, but as "guardians." But, that's another blog entry.)

Regular readers of this blog know how sick I am of hearing about how "wonderful" Tim is all the time from the book clubs I call in to. My own fault for putting him in the book in the first place. Believe me, I considered skipping him entirely, but then you all would have wondered how I'd gotten around. Or eaten. Or wore clean clothes.

So, my favorite part of this fabulo book club was when one of the members said, "Tim seems so great because of the loving way you portray him." Oh, yeah. I'll take the credit.

What do you want from me?

December 20, 2009

Turtle Book Club


Back row: Brenda, Carol, Kathi, Kris, Kathy
Front row: Caroline, Susan, Linda, Sheila
Missing that night...Deb and Jill

I think I've lived in Boulder (you know, the place Nesteled Between the Mountains and Reality) for too long, because when Brenda told me how her book club in Omaha, NE got its name, I had no doubt the karma gods were in full force.

I'll let her explain:

Our club's name, The Turtle Book Club has a funny story behind it. Three of us started this book club in May 2006 partly because we were all raising boys and spending all our time at baseball, basketball, and football games. We felt we needed something just for us women! I hosted the first book club. We had developed some "norms" if you will. One norm was to keep it simple...no fancy appetizers or drinks; just something easy to munch on. Well, I discovered Turtle Chex Mix and thought we should try it out at our first meeting. Our first book was The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd which has a reference to a tortoise shell in the book. Carol and Kathy, the two other "starters" of the book club had to drop off our 3 sons at a baseball game on their way to my house for book club. As they are driving down a fairly busy street near a lake, a very large turtle was meandering in the middle of the road. They felt compelled to pull their car over, pick up the possibly diseased turtle, put it in Carol's van, and drop it off at a pond near my house. When they arrived at book club that night, they told this hilarious story about the turtle; then discovered I had bought Turtle Chex Mix and we discussed the tortoise shell reference in the book. The Turtle Book Club was born!!!

Ladies, I'm so sorry I couldn't join you for your discussion, but I guarentee, with those Secession Swizzle martinis, I was there in spirit.

December 23, 2009


No, this isn't a late Halloween post. (I know you think I'm lazy, but really.)

Our neighbor sent us this Christmas card this year featuring her adorable Beagle, Boo:


Boo is short for.... ???

Oh, come on. Remember we live in Boulder....

Alrighty then: Boo is short for Buddha.

Boo frequently leaves her yard and comes into ours. I'll know, because I hear her barking at some squirrel or fox. Haven't ever seen her catch anything, though. Whenever Tim and I walk to town past her yard, she'll start with the barking, run right up to Tim and flop down on her back, exposing her belly for him to rub.

In other words, Boo's a slut.

Back to another Boulder puzzle for you: There is a significant Jewish population here. We recently even got an eruv. (Oh, come on. Click on it and impress your friends with Jewish trivia at your next holiday party.) There is also a significant number of Jews here who have converted to Buddhism and Hinduism.

Know what they called themselves? No more hints this time....

BuJews and HuJews.

And, on that note, Merry Christmas, everyone.

December 28, 2009

Youngest Book Club Member - Ever


From left to right Kathleen, Emilie, Addison (her first book club) and Ellen.

As the host of our book group, I selected your book upon recommendation by a friend in Denver. I am now ready to travel or least have a lively book group discussion with my friends.

This was only the 2nd meeting of this club and several members just couldn't make it, so as you see, Kathleen brought in at least one ringer!

Notice, they're all in PJs in honor of Your Queen.

The club consists of daughters of retired librarians in the same district, so have been friends for over 30 years. Their mothers have been in a long time book club, so inspired them to start this one.

Sugar Land is near Houston. Another book club I called into near Houston the week before (also arranged by a Kathleen - go figure!) had never heard of the Orange Show which I mentioned in Queen of the Road:

In a residential neighborhood on a small lot, we stumbled across the Orange Show, which, depending on your point of view, is either a whimsical or insane (we’re professionals and we couldn’t even decide) homage to all things orange, in all possible permutations and combinations. A former postman spent twenty-five years collecting, well . . . junk, in honor of his favorite fruit, to form this suburban maze of sculpture, balconies, and outdoor theaters. After his death in 1980, a nonprofit was formed to not only preserve the Orange Show, but to promote creative thinking and the making of art more accessible.


Queen (and Princess, Addison) On!

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About December 2009

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

November 2009 is the previous archive.

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