Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

English: Corner view, Marine Air Terminal, LaG...

English: Corner view, Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally, quiet and at peace, sitting on the hotel bed watching the News.  If you’ve never watched the News in Florida, you don’t know what you’re missing! Every car crash, kidnapping, murder, robbery, hate crime and jaywalking is reported in glowing terms, vivid color and dramatic overtones.  Ahhhh

Of course I digress, what I learned today at LGA – LaGuardia Airport to those of you who do not live in New York.  It all began a few weeks ago when my daughter informed that she and family were spending the holidays in San Diego with her brother.  Not having them around for Christmas was a bummer but to top it off, she said they would fly from San Diego directly to their new home in Florida!  The movers would come on the 19th and 20th and empty the apartment and they would spend two nights in a hotel before they took off on the 23rd for San Diego and they would arrive in Florida on January 2nd.  “OH” I said.  “What will you do with the cat?”, I wondered.  “THE CAT” “OMG”, she shrieked.  Did she think she could leave the cat in an empty apartment for 12 days?  Someone could come in and feed it? GEEZ I hope not.  Mom to the rescue-I said I would find someone to take the cat and I would bring  Pasha (the cat) to Florida with me when I went to help her set up her new household.

Just a bit more digression….I found someone who said yes they would and my daughter was going to pay the person and of course provide for all of the cat’s needs and since he was de-clawed, he hopefully would be easy to house.  TWO days before the woman was to take the cat, she knocked on our door and said she couldn’t and Peter didn’t tell until about midnight.  OMG now what??  I literally had one day to find the cat a home before it spent a night in a vacant apartment.  Mind you this is a Siamese who talks and I could only imagine how his yowling would echo through the empty rooms.  YES we found a second willing soul to keep the cat.  Poor Pasha saw all the furniture in his house dragged out by strangers, then his mother put him a cat carrier (not his) and brought to my apartment where he sat cowering in the crate while my two resident cats hissed and stared at the intruder.  Then he went to his foster home where he had never been and with people he never saw or smelled before!

Fast forward to today;  I had called the cat keeper last night and said I had to pick him up at 12:30pm.  She informed me that she wouldn’t be there, but her Dad would.  I asked her if she would make sure he was there, “yes’ she said. What do you think?  NO ONE was home at 12:30!  Frantic phone calls and 1/2 hour later, we were able to scoop him up, shove him in sherpa bag and hail a cab to catch a 2:30 flight.

 Lesson One-Check and then double-double check that everyone is on the same page about the time.  Also I specified that all of the equipment and supplies could be tossed or donated but instead they were piled outside the door!

Lesson Two – Always check (somehow) which terminal your flight departs.  Apparently Delta has 3 terminals at LaGuardia!  We instruct our cab driver to go to Terminal D.  Upon entering the terminal I am SHOCKED! There are hundreds of people in line to check in AND I have to check in because I have two suitcases to check and a live cat with me.  I feel myself getting warm because although I’m headed to Florida, I am still in NYC and so I have a couple of layers on and carrying two MAC computers, a handbag loaded with stuff including a Kindle and a 12 1/2 lb. cat in the other. I had no idea where to go and thank God, I literally blocked the path of one of those airline facilitators who wander around the perimeter of the roped off line area.  He noted I was traveling with a friend as he referred to the red bag hanging from my right hand.  Oh so I can go to Special Services check in and he tells me to follow him as he leads me to a line that is miniscule but then he inquires as to where I’m going.  West Palm?  Oh well in that case, I should go back out and get into the blue bus and it will take me to Terminal C!  Not to worry, he says, plenty of time as I protest that the cat has to be checked in as well as baggage.

Lesson Three – Not a good idea to attempt to go through security with TWO computers, a handbag, a blazer, running shoes, a computer case AND a live cat who most apparently was NOT given the holistic calming tidbit in the morning as instructed ALONE! I methodically filled 3 bins and was inching the cat in the bag towards the X-ray machine.  I was waved over to a metal detector arch and told to remove the cat from the bag.  Easier said than done as Pasha had decided it was safer to stay in this cosy bag than to come out into a huge space filled with hundreds of people and SO MANY smells-NOT.  Hissing at me I yanked him out and reluctantly went to the metal detector.  Reluctantly because now I have lost sight of both computer and my handbag.  Pasha and I sailed through BUT then were told to wait here.  WAIT, is she crazy? The cat is squirming and wiggling and twisting and turning and trying to jump out of my arms as I stand there barefoot struggling to hold onto him. I announce I cannot stand here because he is going to jump and run.  I was lucky, a kind TCA agent took pity on me and called me over to a cubicle and snatched Pasha’s bag off the rollers and I put him in.  Now why was I in this cubicle? Because she had to do my hands!  I had no idea what she meant as she swabbed my hands with some pad.  I asked if this was some random thing but no, anyone bringing a live pet with them has this done to them because they are checking for residue.

Lesson Four – Make sure you look at BOTH sides of your Boarding Pass so you can find out what gate your headed to instead of walking in the wrong direction while carrying two MAC computers, a handbag and a cat while wearing a cashmere sweater under a wool blazer and a silk scarf around your neck.

Lesson Five – Do NOT attempt to administer sedative pill to cat who is already quite disturbed, just before boarding. The instructions are to give the cat the pill at least 45 minutes prior to boarding.  By the time I got to the right gate most everyone was already on board.  I realized the futility of my attempt and so I went up to the desk to get on the plane. Thank God it was cool in the jetway.

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lesson Six – Smile and be charming to your seat mate while the non-sedated cat continue to thrash around and cry.  Have you ever hear a Siamese cry?  They sound just like a baby and don’t we all love to  be on a plane with a crying baby?  Irwin was a delightful seat mate and LUCKILY no one was seated in the middle so with his agreement I moved Pasha up to the seat once we were in the air.

Lesson Seven – Once you realize that the cat is NOT going to settle down, muster up your courage and stick you hand down the cat’s throat and drop the sedative down his gullet!  Then hold his mouth shut so that he’s forced to swallow it and then once you have wiped the sweat off your forehead, order a cold drink from the Flight Attendent!

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Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Could it really be forty-one years ago that I drove myself from my home in Avon CT to Hartford for a doctor’s appointment and then to St. Francis Hospital?  Apparently yes, because today is my son Joel’s birthday!  When my parents and grandparents would tell me how quickly the years go by  and at this point they’re flying, I, like every other young person ,didn’t really get it.  Well I get it now.  Joel is 41 and Chiara is 35 and now I’m a grandmother myself.

Last year I wrote what I thought was akin to a mother-son love letter so I’m not going to repeat it again. All of it is true and I hope he reads it again because it is full of love and appreciation for who he is.  Posted last December 17th, Happy Birthday Dear Son!

3000 miles and 3 hours earlier often gets in the way of communication although as any mother knows, if there’s a will, there’s a way.  This Christmas, like last year,  my daughter and her family are headed west to spend the holidays with Joel and we will be here on the East Coast. I think it would be wonderful if we could all be together, however, my feeling is that the kids like it the way it is.  I have a Norman Rockwell Christmas in mind and they are thinking along the lines of what I heard referred to as Westivus.  Apparently, some friends from Boston are also flying out to celebrate with them.

I hope today has been joyful for Joel.  I wrote a Happy Birthday greeting on his Facebook wall – aren’t I just the 21st Century Mom and called him this evening.  I hope to see him in the near future to give him the real hug I sent virtually.

So Happy happy birthday Joel, I love you very much and wish I could spend more time with you.



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The new The Food Emporium logo

This evening the kids were here and had dinner.  To define kids: I’m referring to my daughter and her husband Tom, my son Joel who is visiting from San Diego and my nephew Justin, who is home from Japan for a visit and his mother, Juanita.  With Peter and me, that makes 7 and besides not being sure how to stretch my pre-planned dinner, I wasn’t sure we could actually get 7 people around the table – this IS a New York City apartment you know!

I planned on making Chicken Paprikash and Spaetzle and needed a vegetable and a salad.   Chiara was assigned the dessert, Juanita would bring some wine.  So during the rainy afternoon I ventured out and walked up to the German market, Shaller and Weber, one of the few remaining vestiges in this neighborhood which used to be known as Germantown.  I bought some spaetzle there and headed to the Food Emporium for broccoli.  It’s been weeks since the vegetable vendors have been out on the street with all this bad weather and I forgot what great deals you can get from them.  I love buying 5 bananas for $1. but the thought of buying broccoli for for close to $3 per lb in the store was ugh!  I settled for a pretty good size cauliflower which cost $4.50 and two heads of iceberg lettuce for $2.49 each.  Why am I telling you how much these items cost?  Well first of all the title of the blog is Dinner Under $10 and by the way, that only refers to the main dish.  And I’m used to shopping in New Jersey and certainly not paying those prices for fresh produce – hey it IS the Garden State.

The menu: Chicken Paprikash, Spaetzle, Roasted Cauliflower(see prior blog) BAKED WHOLE CAULIFLOWER and Iceberg Lettuce wedges with a Blue Cheese Vinaigrette (see prior blog) Tasty Tidbits Tuesday- A Light Summer Supper.

Chicken Paprikash

4 chicken leg quarters, cut in half at joint (about 3lbs)

coarse salt and ground pepper

2 tsp. vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced lengthwise

3 garlic cloves roughly chopped

2 Tbs sweet paprika

3 Tbs flour

1  3/4 cups chicken broth

1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes

1/2 lb egg noodles or spaetzle

1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt

Season chicken with salt and pepper in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high.  Cook chicken skin side down until golden brown, about 6 minutes.  Flip chicken and cook another 6 minutes. Transfer to plate.

Discard all but 1 tsp of fat from pot and reduce heat to medium.  Add onion and cook stirring frequently and scraping bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon, until beginning to soften, 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook stirring frequently, 3 minutes.  Add paprika and flour, season with salt and pepper, and stir constantly until mixture begins to stick, 1 minute. Add broth and whisk till smooth.  Add tomatoes and bring to boil over high. Return chicken to pan in single layer, skin side up, and reduce heat to medium.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions.  Drain noodles, divide among four bowls; Top with chicken.  Stir sour cream into sauce, then ladle sauce over chicken and noodles.

Recipe from Every Day Food

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It’s only Saturday morning and already this weekend, I am struck by the assortment of friends and acquaintances I have in my life and the different world we all live in.

First and foremost because of the gravity of the situation, there’s my friend, Josh.  Josh called me (actually woke me up) this morning with a phone call and one sentence, “Turn on CNN and call me at the office!”.  Groggily I went into the den, and tried to remember what channel CNN was on.  OMG what a horrible shock – an MAJOR earthquake in Santiago, Chile.  Josh’s partner and my friend, Ricardo lives in Santiago.   Josh had spent the holidays there and was expecting to meet Ricardo in Prague on this coming Tuesday.  Thank God, Ricardo called Josh’s cell phone at 3:00 am and had left a message that he was safe as was his father who lived even closer to the heart of the city.  No further communication from Chile; you can’t get through on the phone, you can’t reach LAN airlines, the airports are closed and since Ricardo is a chief resident at the hospital, we can only assume he is there.   Please keep Chile in your prayers, it is so upsetting that this event is following so closely on the heels of Haiti.

ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE – My nephew Justin, lives in Japan and I have just tried to reach him thru Facebook because I’m not sure how close he is to the epicenter of the earthquake that struck there.  Apparently that quake hit offshore and the major concern is a tsunami – I know he surfs so he must be somewhat close the shoreline.  As I type  this and listen to the CNN minute by minute coverage in Chile, I am learning how quickly a tsunami can spread from shore to shore, country to

The volcanic Ring of Fire

country and even continent to continent – especially if the country is in the Ring of Fire (see photo). Do I have to worry about my own surfer son, Joel, who lives in San Diego and lives well within tsunami wave range?

Closer to home, several of my friends are clearly living in worlds apart. Last night I took Peter and his lifelong friend Murray out to celebrate their joint birthdays.  After a delightful dinner at Compass, a restaurant on the Uppper West Side, we went to see the show, BAWDY at the Triad BAWDY is an old time burlesque show; complete with bumps, grinds and tasteful striptease.   The show is headlined by Jesse Lutrell, a very talented, very energetic and very gay performer.  He is a gifted young song and dance man and he sings in a story-centric style, so reminiscent of the cabaret and nightclub acts dating back to the American birth of vaudeville.  SO how did we happen to be at this show?  In two words; Grace Gotham.  It so happens that Grace Gotham a/k/a Sarah Liston is a friend of ours.  We hadn’t seen Sarah and her husband, Dave in quite a while and were we ever surprised to learn that our friend, wife of an Episcopalian  Deacon and member of our local Community Board, was actually performing burlesque!!! Well why not? Sarah is a published writer and you can read all about her journey into burlesque in an article published in the magazine, Marie Clare which I have published on this blog.  She’s a hoot and very good I must add – and yes she really can make her tassles twirl.

Then this is the weekend that The Glen Beck show airs where my sister-in-law, Juanita is in the front row of the audience.  She sent an email blast to all of us with the air times.  I told you she wasn’t a blood relative!! So I am DVR’ing this program (with explicit promises to Peter that we will only just see her and shut it off) at a time when I’m sure it won’t interrupt another really important show I might be watching like Grey’s Antatomy!! LOL Now we know she is in another world.

Next, my dear friend and mentor, Joyce is in the hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery.  She is in her mid-seventies and has the body and muscle tone of the someone 20 years younger but any surgery as you get older is serious.  I’m happy to report that she seems to have come through it very well and may even be home tomorrow.  And then rehab starts.

Lastly, we are leaving in an hour to get out to Port Jefferson, LI to attend a surprise birthday party for my daughter’s mother-in-law.  Because of the misery of the snow, our car is snowed in and this being Manhattan, even if we dug it out (good thing we bought that extra shovel last week!), we would never find a parking place when we got home.  The streets in Manhattan are very messy because when they plow, all the snow builds up around the cars.  We have to take the LIRR and to board that train, we have to go diagonally across town to Penn Station.  Believe it or not, we will be leaving our apartment at about 1:55pm and should arrive in Port Jefferson Long Island at 4:40pm.  In that amount of time, I could have driven to the Jersey Shore and back or to Connecticut.  And then we have to come home again.  It’s going to be a long day….

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