March 02, 2007
So I survived the Academy Awards. By the time it was over my roots got longer but I thought Ellen did a really good job. I imagined myself up there hosting, okay paralyzed by fear in front of a hundred gazillion people, and I can't imagine surviving a gig like that.
I was in a coffee shop this week and our waiter was a big fan of the show and told me that I helped him get through a personal issue. This 6'5" (formerly) 570 pound man had lost 300 pounds! You go Lee!
March 09, 2007
I am so sad to hear that my all time favorite regular guest on the Jenny Jones show has died. Roy Little, who we knew as "Tornado" as well as "Big Daddy Woo Woo", passed away on February 22nd from cardiac arrest. He was just 50 years old and had suffered a stroke 3 months earlier. I didn't want to believe it at first but it's true. I was always excited when I heard he was going to appear on one of our shows. He was so loveable he brightened our studio simply by walking in. And the audience adored him. He even entertained the audience during commercial breaks when the cameras weren't rolling. He was funny and warm and it was clear to me that he was born to entertain. I hope his family knows how much joy he brought to the world. I will always miss you, my friend.
March 20, 2007
Denis and I went to Vegas last week to visit my stepmother, Roula. I played some Blackjack and won $100.!! I hate to gamble more than $5. at a time and it's impossible to find a table that cheap, so I had to spend $10 per hand. Not sure when we'll go back - so many people and so much traffic. Not like the old days when I lived there and you could drive anywhere in ten minutes. I missed my home cooking.
March 30, 2007
I had lunch in Hollywood this week with "Jen" and we caught up on some of the old Jenny Jones Show staffers and where everyone is working. On the way home there was a huge fire in the Hollywood Hills. I could see flames near the Hollywood sign and helicopters dropping water. Just one of the hazards of living in southern California. But I wouldn't trade this beautiful weather, not after growing up in Canada. I still love Canada, I just don't want to be there in January! My committment to walk 30 minutes a day is so tough to keep up but I do my best. Sometimes it takes a new song in my iPod to motivate me but whatever it takes. Today it was Gnarls Barkley.
April 6, 2007
Easter is coming so I decided to do something special for our housekeeper. She likes my baking so I decided to make her a Bunny-bread, which was a bunny-shaped egg bread. I had never done it before so I needed a plan. I sketched out several designs on paper and eventually had sketches all over the kitchen. I finally decided on a simple design using 4 pieces of bread dough: a round body, a round head and two big floppy ears, with raisins for the eyes. This way she could see right away that it was an Easter bunny. I baked it last night and wrapped it up with a shiny bow.
This morning I was waiting to see her expression when she opened it up and saw this cute, edible bunny. She opened up the wrapping and practically jumped with joy when I said I baked it myself. "Egg bread!" she said. "I have to try it!" She ripped off the head and started eating it. "Wait! It's a bunny," I told her, trying to intercept the destruction of my art. "Oh, it looked so tasty I didn't notice." We then re-attached the partially-eaten raisin-missing head to the body so she could see what I had made for her. It looked more like a possum at that point but we were both laughing so hard it didn't matter.
April 15, 2007
I can't find my black sweater! It's the really good one I got on sale three years ago. I called the cajun restaurant to see if I left it, searched everywhere and have finally given up. I wish I had put some i.d. in the pocket. Oh well, it's either sitting in a lost & found somewhere or (I hope) whoever has it really needed a warm sweater. I had the evening all to myself last night and decided to go through some old boxes I had stored away. Wow, I found some great stuff, like photos of me with Lou Bega (one hit wonder) Coolio, and even Deidra Hall (Days of Our Lives), all of whom appeared on my show. Then I found a bunch of flyers and photos from my 25th anniversary tour with Engelbert Humperdinck when I was his opening act. And I found my GED certificate from ten years ago - it's going right up on my wall.
April 20, 2007
Had a meeting today with Jen and Robert about my website. We're going to be doing lots of new stuff, like adding video, lots more photos and other new changes. I can't wait for the new additions. Since we met at the house I baked a coffee cake for them. Jen was being good and had one small piece but I had two because I love this cake. So I'm sharing the recipe below.
April 29, 2007
Earl came over yesterday. I still say he's the best makeup artist on the planet, although he also did my wardrobe for the talk show. We had a chance to catch up and I always love hearing what the old JJ-staffers are doing now. We had breakfast (I made apple pancakes) and then we took our cameras and went outside to take pictures of my roses. The best picture was of a rose called Soaring Spirit.
Click here to see it
May 3, 2007
I am so freaked out! We found a rattlesnake in the front yard! Yikes! It was a baby and I just heard on the news that baby rattlers are more dangerous than adults because they can't control their venom so you get a lot of it if you get bit. Luckily, it was the gardener who found it and he killed it with a shovel, but it was very close to where I was sitting down on the grass just yesterday. Now I'm afraid to even walk around out there because he's dead, and what if his mother is looking for him?
May 15, 2007
Denis and I went biking on Mother's Day. It takes longer to put the bikes (and rack) on the car than we spend actually biking but he does it without too many complaints. We biked around Balboa Park and watched people operate remote control airplanes nearby. Then I called my stepmom, Roula, to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. She always reminds me that she's not my REAL mother but in fact, she was always more of a mother to me than my "real" mother.
May 22, 2007
Homeownership is a full time job! In the last 10 days I've seen the plumber, handyman, carpenter, painters, and gardeners. This is my life. But I can't complain with the gorgeous home I live in. My biggest worry is, "Will an earthquake crack the paint job they just finished?" I think I need to get out more. But we did drive to Santa Monica last Sunday to Montana Avenue. It's a great shopping area and after 2 hours of looking around, I bought a pillow.
May 25, 2007
Four coyotes! I couldn't believe it. Driving home last night around 9 pm I was just 2 houses away from my driveway and right there, on the street in front of my car, four coyotes. And they didn't run from the car either. They just stopped, looked at me, and kept walking. I made a U-turn and shone my high beams on them and they sure looked like they had a mission. Now I know why people never allow their cats outside in this neighborhood. We're close to a huge hill so now I know who lives up there in the bushes, besides the deer that eat everything that grows. With full grown deer and German Shepherd-size coyotes, I wonder which one is the threat.
June 1, 2007
I'm a coyote magnet. Yesterday morning-back yard-another coyote walking up the hill. I'd never seen one out in the daylight so I raced into the house to get my camera. He started digging a hole and I quickly took 4 shots - dirt flying - great light - zoom lens - he even looked at me once. As soon as he left I went straight to my computer to see what I captured. What?! No card in the camera?!? How could this happen? I vowed I would always leave a card in my camera. I have four for God's sake. Lesson learned: NEVER leave the camera unloaded. You never know what you might miss. I looked for him all day yesterday but he never came back. I even staked out the hill today but all I saw was two baby deer with their mom.
June 7, 2007
Happy Birthday to me. And what better gift could I have received than the news this morning that Paris Hilton is out of jail! My birthday wish came true! All I wanted was for her suffering to end, and a new set of spatulas, and I got both. I even tried sleeping without a pillow and turned up the a/c so I could experience her pain. But I have my limits; eating a baloney sandwich was out of the question. I've been there and jail sucks, but so does the judicial system. Hey, look what I saw in my back yard yesterday...click here to see it.
June 12, 2007
It was a beautiful, balmy evening so I said, "Hey, let's eat outside!" I got a table cloth and napkins and set us up on the patio. I was roasting vegetables and made salmon patties so we just needed a plate and a fork. Simple. No fuss. What a relaxing way to enjoy a nice, healthy dinner... you'd think. I wasn't halfway through my food when I noticed a big fly nosing around. I kept eating, fully prepared to swat it with my napkin, but as it came closer it wasn't a fly it was a bee. Okay, I can do bees. They're always in the garden and we don't bother each other. Then it started getting more aggresive which was unusual for a bee. Wait. It's not a bee. It's a Yellowjacket! They're nasty. And he wanted my salmon, racing around inches from my face. I didn't know what to do. If I ran inside with my food, he'd come in with me. So I carefully put the plate down and slowly backed away into the house. Denis didn't panic and brought my plate inside. Too bad. I'll miss eating outdoors because I'm not going back. I still like bees, though. They're fun to photograph...
click here to see my photo.
June 15, 2007
I saw Tom Selleck at the nursery today. Damn, he's good looking!
June 20, 2007
Why am I so terrified by spiders? I saw one in the bedroom today that was huge. He actually seemed annoyed that I walked in. He kind of looked at me like, "Crap, what's she doing here?" I never know what to do. When they're on the floor I just place a glass over them and wait for Denis to get there. But this one was on the wall so I got out my new spider vacuum that has a suction cup that goes over the bug, you turn it on and they get sucked into a base cup. Then you can release them outside. So I trapped him in the suction cup and turned it. But he was so big he grabbed the edge with some of his legs and hung on. I kept the suction running but he kept hanging on, flailing in there like a wind surfer. After a while my arm got tired so I gave up. But not for good. I came back with a paper cup and scotch tape. He's still trapped on the wall, waiting for Denis to get back.
June 24, 2007
It took some time but I went through tons of boxes in storage to find some old videos for my web site. When I did standup in the 80s, I think my hair was funnier than my material. I'm anxious for Robert to include them in the site. I love the Photos Galore page he created and can't wait to see what he does with these videos. Denis and I went to Target yesterday. We were just stopping by to look for a curtain rod and it turned into an hour. I found some great measuring spoons and he bought some movies. When we got home I was hungry and headed for the plum tree in the back yard. I knew exactly where the ripe ones were, four on one branch. But when I reached up there were only two. I knew there were four this morning. They were dark and ripe and ready to be my snack. Who took my plums? Deer? Coyotes? Birds? I decided to do a stake out. I made some green tea and sat outside. Twenty minutes later I nabbed this mug shot. click here to see the culprit
July 2, 2007
When did jeans get to costing two hundred dollars? The last ones I bought were about eighty dollars so I need to get out more. My friend, Terri came to town and we went shopping at the Beverly Center. It seemed pretty simple. We were looking for a pair of jeans. Well, you might as well fill out an application: Boot cut? Peg leg? Cropped? Ripped? Washed? Low rise? And don't get me started on pockets. We were overwhelmed and exhausted but did find a great pair. Remember the squirrel that was eating my plums? I saw him sitting motionless up on a ledge today so I decided to investigate in case he was injured. I crept closer and closer but he still didn't move. Know why? He was sleeping! check out this picture! I guess there's nothing like a big meal followed by a nap.
July 13, 2007
Finally, it's good to see they're putting healthier snacks in schools. I remember my mother making me sugar sandwiches... a slice of Wonder bread with butter and sugar. Yikes. She really didn't know better but at least now I do. What I really don't understand is they are finally banning trans fats but smoking is still legal. Which one is more deadly? I've never smoked and I don't eat Wonder bread any more. In fact I bake my own bread most of the time. Today I made whole wheat because it makes fantastic French toast. It's Denis's birthday so I baked his favorite cake (orange with chocolate chips). We went out for Thai food and came back for cake. It's hard to buy presents for someone who still wears shirts from 1975, so I bought him some music.
July 23, 2007
Today was so much fun. I spent the day taping some How-To videos for the website. We taped them at home and I took a chance and did my own makeup and hair. I'll never be able to do what my team at the talk show did. Earl's makeup work was the best I've ever had and Ricardo is the only hairdresser who made my hair look fabulous, every single day. But I have to stand on my own now since the boys are in New York and Chicago, but they taught me well. The house was a mess by the end of the day since a lot of the videos involved food. I'm trying not to eat too many of the meringues I baked for the shoot.
July 26, 2007
It was pap test day so I can't say I had fun. Blood test, bone scan, probing and more probing and then after that, more probing. "Where is that uterus?" said the doc. I guess mine is tilted, or so I've heard. The good news is my blood pressure is great, as always, and my bones are unchanged. The bad news is I've gained 10 pounds since last summer! What!? "Let me take off my watch and step on the scale again." Still, 10 pounds more. Well, that got my attention. So that's it. No more cookies..... well, less cookies, and only the ones I bake. And only one gelato treat per week. I can do this.
August 1, 2007
I'm back in Chicago again and boy, is it great to be back. It's hot and muggy but I don't care. This time I'm here as a tourist along with my housekeeper, Antonia. It's her first time in Chicago so we went sight-seeing to all my favorite places, including Michigan Avenue, Navy Pier, and then what I thought was the old Marshall Fields downtown but it's now Macy's. From there we took a Trolley back to Water Tower Mall. I sat next to a nice guy named Eddie who filled me in on local goings-on. After that, I drove Antonia past the NBC studios where the Jenny Jones Show was taped. Chicago has the nicest people. No wonder so many talk shows come here. And you don't have to go far out of the city to see fantastic wild life. Look at the young deer we saw: just click here
August 8, 2007
There was something I wanted to write about today but by the time I logged on, I forgot what it was. Oh well.
August 9, 2007
We had an earthquake, so I'm definitely back in California. It was around 1 a.m. and the bed thumped and then shook, slowed down a bit, and shook again. The scariest part is not knowing if it's "the big one." Even though it didn't last long, I kept waiting for it to start back up. Luckily, it was only a 4.5 but it still scared the bejeebers out of me. How can anyone sleep after that? I had to find something to do to calm my nerves so I got up and vacuumed.
August 16, 2007
Another earthquake! Damn! This one felt like a truck hit the house. It was a sharp jolt and then it was over. I put the tv on right away and it was reported as a 3.5. After the disastrous quake in Peru, this one sure scared me. You always wonder how bad it's going to be. l'm still waiting for aftershocks.
August 22, 2007
It's too hot for my morning walk but I did go to the mall last night and that included walking. Whenever I go to a mall I make it a point to walk the entire mall just for exercise. By now I was pretty sure I had lost a pound or two. Since I don't keep a scale at home I found one at the mall and weighed myself. No change. What!? What do I have to do? Stop eating cookies? What kind of life is that? I have to go now. I'm going walking.
August 22, 2007
(an hour later)
I walked and it wasn't that bad.
August 25, 2007
I just saw the biggest, nastiest, heart-stopping spider I've ever seen...EVER...anywhere in my entire life. In the house! In the kitchen! It took my breath away. I just stood there for a few seconds, afraid to move. I was alone and contemplated calling the fire department. They are just up the street and if there's no fire emergency maybe they'd come over. But I couldn't wait that long. I decided to get the bug spray. But what if it didn't work? Maybe he was too big for bug spray. He was almost 2 inches across. I had to do something so I decided on the spray. Oh, no. The spray is in the pantry and the spider is right in front of the pantry. Getting desperate, I made my move. I stepped over the spider, into the pantry, grabbed the spray, and stepped back out, afraid to look down. What if he was gone? I'd have to go to a hotel. He was still there and I swear he was looking at me as if to say, "Just try it, bitch." That was all I needed. I sprayed him like he was a bee-hive hairdo from the 1950's. When the mist cleared, he came walking out and started going down the hall. I panicked. I grabbed an empty jar, followed him, and as I closed in I squinted my eyes so I wouldn't have to see him too clearly. Hoping I wouldn't miss, I quickly popped the jar over him and backed away. I could see him trying to get out but there was no way. I'm going to go back now and see what he's doing. (gone to the kitchen) I'm back and he's dead, curled up like a little hair ball. Who's the bee-och now?
August 31, 2007
It's unbelievably hot today. About 100 degrees, so we don't use any appliances in the afternoon. I've been checking the pantry area every day in case there was a Mrs. Spider out looking for her wayward mate. Luckily, I think he was a bachelor. Denis and I had our teeth cleanings today. I always book us together because if I didn't, he wouldn't go. They always say married men, or those in relationships, live longer than single men, and now I know why. Because if I didn't book his dentist, or doctor checkup, there would never be one. And I got him to get a colonoscopy by getting one myself first. A non-event. I can't get a prostate exam so he may never get one of those.
September 3, 2007
The thermostat in my car read 108 degrees when I drove into Sherman Oaks today. It's too hot to walk, too hot to barbeque, too hot to swim. When I got home, I wanted to take pictures outside but I could only stay in the back yard for five minutes at a time, then in for some water. It wasn't too hot for one praying mantis I spotted in a shrub and photographed. See if you can find him in this picture.
September 6, 2007
Another rattlesnake! What is going on?? The gardener came down from the hill behind my house dangling a baby rattlesnake. It wasn't very big but it could still send you to the hospital. I took his picture next to a quarter. Wanna see?
September 20, 2007
Between Larry King and Nancy Grace, I hardly have time for anything else. If I'm not checking on the Phil Spector jury, I'm trying to understand the fiasco with O.J.'s cast of characters. Who could write a script this bizarre? A fallen sports hero, gangsters, felons, guns, stolen goods, secret tapes, a heart attack, a victim jailed, the Palace Station in Vegas! I can't stand it! I went outside to unwind from it all and saw this butterfly in the back yard. I'll miss all my backyard critters with rain coming tomorrow.
October 6, 2007
It's 4:30 am and I'm heading down the St. Lawrence River on a cruise ship. The strong winds and 8-foot waves have been bouncing us around all night so I gave up trying to sleep. But until today it's been great to finally see New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and especially Prince Edward Island. What a beautiful province. We left from Boston a week ago and our next stop is Port Saguenay, Quebec and then on to Quebec City and Montreal where I get to meet up with my sister, Liz. This was supposed to be a fall color vacation but so far, the leaves have not turned. Everyone's blaming global warming.
October 13, 2007
Finally home! It's still the best place to be. What I missed most was my own cooking. The oatmeal on the ship resembled a sort of glue-sand-wallpaper paste combo. So I made a huge bowl of real oatmeal for breakfast, cooked the long way for all of six minutes. I may be the only person to lose weight on a cruise but the food was just too fru-fru for me. Here are a couple of items off the menu that explain why:
*Sauteed Escalope of Fioe Gras with Roasted Apples
*Mousseline of Chicken Liver with Sauterne Jelly
*Foie Gras Torchon, Quince Compote with Hazelnut Brioche
Is it just me? Where's the meat loaf with real mashed potatoes? Where's the roast chicken? Well, I guess some people like fancy fare but not me. I lost 3 pounds. We only saw autumn color in one spot and it was the best place on the trip - Saguenay, Quebec. We occasionally got Headline News on our TV and the news was always bad. Some guy was holding another guy's leg hostage, and Britney lost her kids. I had to stop watching to not be sad. The visit with my sister was fantastic. We went to see the old house where we grew up in Montreal, got a vip tour of the whole city, and stuffed ourselves senseless with Italian food.
October 16, 2007
I bought a new camera today and I'm so excited. I got a great deal from a man named Fred at the camera store, who also happened to be a fan of my show. Now I have a really cool lens with an image stabilizer so I can finally get a good hummingbird picture. I can't wait to use it but I have to charge the battery first. Thank goodness the old camera made it throught my cruise and I know I got my money's worth since it also took all the photos for my cookbook. I must have taken 50,000 pictures with the old one, something I would never have done before digital. If I had children, I'd be saying, "When I was your age, we had to actually buy film and then take it to a place with big machines to get our photos developed - a hardhsip you've never known."
October 21, 2007
Fires are burning all over the L.A. area and Malibu is especially bad. I'm about 25 miles away but I can smell it if I step outside and I can see the smoke hanging over the whole city. It was unbelievably windy last night and on the news they said we had 108-mile an hour gusts. That's what sends embers all over the place to start new fires. It's so sad to watch the news and see people's homes going up in flames. What would it be like to lose all your stuff - pictures, clothes, your favorite chair, the curtains you sewed for the kitchen...? I can't imagine.
October 24, 2007
The air is not good to breathe anywhere in L.A. Outside, the color is sort of pink and hazy and you can smell the fires. I went walking with a mask on today but I could still taste it. I think I'll skip my walks for a while. The winds have died down some but there are still a dozen fires burning. Some firefighters haven't slept yet. I'm in the hills and every time a helicopter flies over, I'm afraid there may be a new fire right here. It's just surreal, and to think that someone did this on purpose is beyond understanding. I can't think of a punishment severe enough if they are caught.
October 31, 2007
I went to the mall today and the saleslady was wearing a clown nose and a bright red curly wig. Then I went to Whole Foods and stood in line behind a guy in a vampire cape. Stopped at the bank on the way home and the teller had coconut boobs on his shirt. I vote for an age restriction on Halowe'en costumes, or at least a regulation so you can't decorate yourself until the banks close.
November 5, 2007
So we turned the clocks back and now it's dark at 5 o'clock. It sucks. I'm starving and it's not time for dinner yet.
November 9, 2007
I'm already working on my Christmas list and since I've been disappointed so many times in food gifts that are shipped directly, I decided to ship them to myself first. So next week I'm expecting my deliveries to arrive... caramel corn, almond bark... why not get my holiday weight gain over with now? It's a good thing I did my photo shoot last week while my skinny jeans still fit. Actually, the most I will likely gain is about 5 pounds but that's not bad considering that I'll be baking enough Christmas cookies for all the santas at all the malls, everywhere. A lot of people email asking when I will be back on TV but I am not working by choice. I do get offers but so far nothing has made me want to put on pantyhose and lots of makeup.
November 18, 2007
Guess what I did today? Check it out
Thanksgiving Day, 2007
Why did I have to eat that much? Why am I so sleepy? Isn't 9:30 too early to go to bed? But that was some great meal. I made it all from scratch: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh cranberries, candied yams, green beans, pumpkin pie, real whipped cream! My stepmom, Roula, came in from Las Vegas with her husband, Victor, along with friends Terri, Rick and Cheryl. I'd write more but I have to go to bed.
November 29, 2007
It seems like from Thanksgiving until New Years, there's a non-stop list of things to do. I actually went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. They must call it Black Friday for the bruises you get fighting the crowds. Since my stepmom was visiting, we also went to Farmer's Market and the Grove. I never get tired of going there, especially when the weather's good. Oh wait, the weather is always good here. I ate my last piece of pumpkin pie yesterday. Went to a lunch meeting yesterday about something pretty cool that I'll be doing on the website next year.
December 7, 2007
So I was having tea at Starbucks in Beverly Hills around 5 p.m. tonight and there were about eight other people there. Next thing I know, about thirty people came barging through the door, pushing, shoving, and yelling and I got scared. I thought we were being robbed. This was a tiny cafe and this crowd moved through like a single mass of bodies. Then I realized that each one had a camera and flashes of light were popping like 4th of July fireworks. "Cameras out!" I heard from behind the counter, although I couldn't see anything past the crowd. More people came in, more cameras, digital, video, flashbulbs, and everyone ignoring the orders to leave, even though a voice was heard yelling, "Get out! Cameras, get out!" Finally, the mass started heading for the door, continuing its onslaught of flashes with each guy bumping into the next. As they brushed past my table, I could finally see into the middle of the mass. Britney needed coffee.
December 14, 2007
All my Christmas shopping is done! I just have to gloat about it. There are still two weekends left plus the whole week going into Christmas, and I am done. I don't have to look for parking by slowly following someone with packages and keys in their hand. Then they cross to the next row where someone else is hovering. No fighting the crowds. No finding out the last good one was sold an hour ago. So I'm feeling pretty smug, except for one thing. I want it. The crowds and waiting in line are part of the experience so even though I don't need anything else, I think I need to be there. They're open late. I'm off to the mall.
December 23, 2007
I love to cook and bake, especially Christmas dinner. But this year, I'm also doing it by remote. My stepmom came from her home in Las Vegas for Thanksgiving and loved my turkey dinner, especially my dressing which I made from scratch. So she decided to copy my whole meal for Christmas. The thing is, she doesn't cook. She called me eight times today just to talk her through the gravy. Turkey dinner is a big undertaking, even for experienced cooks, so I expect to be on the phone a lot on Christmas Day. Since I'll be making my own dinner, I think I should wear a bluetooth headset for the day.
December 24, 2007
The meaning of Christmas has surely gotten lost in the way we celebrate it. It is a birthday, after all. So to remember His special day, I set up a nativity scene. But our housekeeper, Antonia, said you have to cover the baby Jesus because he wasn't born yet. So she tore off a little piece of tissue and placed it over the baby. I wonder if that's why people have been stealing all those baby Jesuses from people's front lawns. I also wonder why Caucasians don't name their children Jesus, but Hispanics do. A lot. Our gardener's name is Jesus. Just some things to ponder. My Christmas wish for everyone is to be safe, healthy, and that someone or something loves them unconditionally.