954. Mystery Solved


My niece Julie’s birthday is tomorrow and we are required to celebrate it for a month, like Ramadan. Today is Birthday Eve.

With all that we still go about our business (as long as we acknowledge the countdown to…you know)

This past week my other niece Cheryl and her two daughters, Sadie and Lily, came to visit.

We did the town. They are so sweet and beautiful that even our waiter wanted to have a photo with them.


But that’s beside the point.

The other day I sat down on my couch to talk to Cheryl when I noticed a strong odor of pee.

I knew that it couldn’t be Ray. If you remember I leave to terrace door open for him 24/7 so he never has to suffer.

I’m a bit of a detective so since the only new element in that part of the room was Cheryl sleeping on the couch I delicately brought up the subject.

“Did you pee on the couch?”

She denied it. I had to believe her because the couch is an L shape and the stink came from the side that she didn’t sleep on.

Then I started thinking. Maybe it isn’t pee.

“Maybe there’s a dead mouse under the couch.”

City dwellers are familiar with that sweet rancid odor but these girls did not take it well.

Cheryl got a broom and a flashlight to look under the couch. Nothing.

To tell you the truth Cheryl’s over the top assistance put her back on my short list of perpetrators but I kept that to myself.

Finally we gave up searching since they were going home and I planned to avoid the couch.

The next day I was speaking to Julie congratulating her of her 4 days before her birthday when I mentioned the smell problem.

“It’s your plant. Remember you told me your plant doesn’t smell good?”

Since I barely remember to put my shoes on it didn’t ring a bell to me but I went into the living room and smelled my plant.

Yep that was it.

The plant is a group of succulents that spent the summer on my terrace so the blooming roses overpowered it’s natural odor.


Soooo…. Anyone want to buy a beautiful plant? It’s really lovely and it doesn’t smell anything like piss or rotting corpses.

At first I thought it did but then I realized that the bad smell must have come from Cheryl’s perfume.

The plant itself gives off a gardenia type mist.

Best offer.


953. Bummer

Everything was going along swimmingly until last Friday but I’ll get to that later.

I have every reason to be happy.

Today Susan and I are going to my cousin Tracy Burtz’ art show.

Tomorrow  my niece Cheryl and her two girls  are coming to visit and we’ll laugh and hug.

My sister is coming next week to celebrate Julie’s birthday.

And biggest of all I’m having 11 sleepover guests from Israel for Thanksgiving. That’s right my nephew Yitz is bringing 9 of his kids and one of his grandchildren plus most of the rest of my family is coming to my house for the holiday.

I will be feeding 40 people a strictly kosher dinner this Thanksgiving. Every where I look I will see someone I love.

You’d think I’d be happy and I was until last Friday when I farted in physical therapy.

This isn’t the first fart set back I’ve had in my life. If you recall in the fifth grade I sneezed and farted at the same time in assembly sitting between Richard Sheslow and David Gillis.

Maybe that was worse. But this was no picnic.

I was alone on the table doing my stretches when it happened.

My therapist Ricky, remember I told you he was my new friend (well that ship has sailed), pretended he didn’t hear but all hopes of that being true left when the woman he was working on turned sharply to look at me .

I just looked around whistling hoping that she thought it was just a sour note but I could tell that she didn’t buy it.

I mean she didn’t hold her nose with one hand and use her other hand to whisk the air around her away but she did furrow her brow.

Anyway there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not looking forward to going back to PT. I hope that woman isn’t there. Not that I would recognize her. I think I blacked out when it happened.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll get over this. After all I got over that sneeze/fart thing in only 62 years.

At least I thought I did.

952. I may have a new friend

I go to physical therapy twice a week because my knees aren’t great.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re lovely, they just don’t do everything I want them to do without my screaming.

My therapist is named Ricky. He and I have a very unusual relationship.

I guess it started when I told one of my mean jokes and he was the only one who laughed.

We speak about racism and ageism more honestly than I’ve ever spoken to anyone.

He’s biracial. I know that’s the proper term because when I used the word mulatto to describe someone he cringed and told me never to say that again. I thought I was being politically correct.

I just found out he’s 30 which is such a stupid age to be but he was a winner on Jeopardy so I guess he’s smarter than his years.

I’ve always considered myself a real free thinker and somewhat of a militant in my youth but after spending all this time with him I figured out that what I was was a militant coward.

I demonstrated plenty but as soon as I realized that I could get hurt I laid low. I love all my brothers and sisters but not enough to get a boo boo.

I used to dread physical therapy because who likes being bent in ways that your bones don’t want to go but I look forward to it now because I’m at least guaranteed a few laughs.

I just had an epiphany.

I think Donald Trump obliterated racism in a large part of this country. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an “us or them” country but the “them” has changed.

Oh yeah, by the way, PLEASE VOTE

951. Another beautiful NYC story

I was walking Ray in the rain this morning.

As I came around the corner of 59th and Third I noticed a beautiful young girl on crutches standing under an eave. She had a broken foot or something, nothing permanent.

I looked at her and put my bottom lip out as if to say “Awww, you poor thing”

She half laughed and said “And do you believe I can’t even get a fuckin’ cab?”

I laughed with her and went on my way.

It wasn’t until I got upstairs that I realized what an insensitive shit I was.

Why didn’t I get her a cab?

She was even standing on the wrong side of the street to hail one because that was a ‘right turn only’ lane. She’d be waiting there for a long time.

I gave a great deal of thought to this whole incident.

That was a true New York story because New Yorkers make short extremely close contact with strangers and then go back to their own lives. So I was behaving true to form.

Or I would have if what I wrote above was exactly true.

In fact I was only about 20 feet past her when I asked myself why I hadn’t offered to get her a cab and I just shrugged and said to myself

“Who am I Mother Teresa? It’s pouring’ out here. Let’er get her own fuckin’ cab”

950 Dog Sittin’

This summer I rented our Montauk house to what I thought were 3 couples and turned out to be 10 to 15 thirty somethings.

Monday my sister and I went out to see if my house was still standing.

It was and except for leaving a bikini that wouldn’t cover anyone’s tushie hanging in the closet , everything was fine.

I think I’ll deduct $10 from their security for that.  Maybe not. I’ll probably wear it so I can work on my tan.

Since Miss Liz was home from Santa Fe and Marcia and I wanted to ” do the town” (I think that’s the term the kids use) I asked her to mind Ray for me.

As her way of thanking me for giving her the opportunity to really get to know him she kept me apprised of how he was doing.

Email #1

Lil’ F*cker (our pet name for Ramon) had grilled ribeye steak for dinner and he’s about to have his walk. Lots of naps and farts.

Hope you and Marcia are having a lovely time.


Lil’ F*cker almost ate a Yorkie! I was so embarrassed I dropped the leash and walked away. “Nope, never seen this dog before in my life.”

It’s taken us an hour to walk around the block and still no poop. He seems unable to make right turns. We’ll go left around the block in the morning. Yes, he’ll sleep in his bed in my house.

Re: Where’s Lil’ F*cker’s canned food?
He had steak last night. I gave him some fancy Whole Foods gourmet canned dog food and he’s turning his nose up. He’s VERY high maintenance…just like a little redhead we used to know and love. xoxo
(She meant her dog Rupert)
Re: He ate the fancy stuff
While I wasn’t looking. 🐒
We just had a lovely walk and Ramon made a nice doody. He almost took out a cute Westie and a sweet puppy. He just loves other dogs, doesn’t he? He stands on his hind legs baring his teeth and waving his paws in the air. I was asked several times if he was friendly. Really?! They can’t tell?!
We’re having lots of fun. It’s cocktail hour and it’s time for yank the rope.(SEE NOTE) Get your mind out of the gutter! To be honest, I think he might be happier sleeping at your house because I put him in there when I went out to lunch and found him later sound asleep under your covers with the tv on. I take him out first thing for his walk and get my first cup of coffee from the cart across the street. Then I drag him down the street, trying to avoid the PETA patrol. I can’t believe that I’ve even taken to reading a book during our walks. Now, I understand.
NOTE: Ray brings his toy, a rope with knots in it, drops it at your feet and barks incessantly until you pick up one end so he can pull your arm out of the socket by yanking on the other end.
BTW: I wasn’t happy about him spending the night alone so….
Ramon is fine. We left the terrace door open for him and he slept on his bed in our room. He had a long walk this morning and now he’s snuggled under the couch pillows.
If you have good help you can have a relaxing time on your vacation.

949. The political climate is puzzling me.

This morning I read that the dislike for Hillary is equal to the dislike for Trump.


This scares me more than Trump’s crap. How can you compare the two?

Is it because she’s a strong woman? Even Bill doesn’t get that level of vitriol aimed at him.

It can’t be because she’s a Democrat because if you mention Joe Biden there is none of that venom. That’s also true of any other male Democrat. Well maybe not Obama but we all know why he doesn’t fit the mold.

It’s really a puzzlement.

I decided to interview David, the only Republican I know well. I’m hoping he can give me some insight into this.

To tell you the truth I’m not hopeful. He’s really smart yet he’s embraced stuff that only the stupidest people believe.

Obama isn’t American.

Obama will go down as the worst President ever.

Obama is responsible for the racial divide in this country.

And his stupidest, that Obama pronounces Koran the way a terrorist would.

He’s also says Hillary is a crook and a liar.

I’m waiting for him to call back so I can pin him down on some facts to back this shit up.

He called back.

He’s almost too much of an idiot to quote.

He says Obama is responsible for the division between the parties. Not the religious right, Obama.

The Clinton Foundation is a fraud.

He was stuttering trying to come up with why Hillary is such a crook. According to him she’s in bed with the Ruskies. I guess via emails.

I finally asked him.

“Doesn’t the fact that she’s been a dedicated civil servant as an adult and even as a young girl worked to better the lives of others soften your stance on her at all?”

“Mattie, you know my answer to that. Of course not”

In the plus column he feels Trump is crazy and he won’t vote for him.

At least that’s what he says.




948 Nuts and Bolts

I had an appointment with my shrink yesterday. She’s not really a talking shrink she’s more of a mental patient pill shrink.

She texted me the time and date of the appointment, 11 a.m. on Monday.

I got there a little early and buzzed to get in the building. No response.

When there was no answer at 11:15 I texted her.

“Are you on your way?”

She wrote back “I moved my office . It’s 3 blocks uptown.I forgot to tell you”

“Way to keep your clientele booming, telling nuts the wrong address. That should set them back a bit.”

I ran up to keep what was left of my appointment.

She always asks me lots of questions about how I’m doing. I always say fine but I’m not looking to work out any problems with her. I have my sister for that. I just want my crazy pills.

She asked me if the pills are working for me. I had to think.

I realized that I have no idea if they are working.

Then I gave it some thought.

I’ve been taking one or another of these pills since my husband said he was leaving and I was either frozen or I couldn’t stop crying.

Do I do that any more? No.

Does that mean I can stop taking them? I still dream of him every night which makes me think I’m still not totally over it.

I was married almost 40 years. Will it take that long to really move on?

If I stop taking them will I go back to feeling the way I did in 2011?  That’s a chance I don’t want to take.

I answered.

“Yes they’re working”.

947. NYC = Mayberry RFD

For the past month or so my dog Ray has turned into a rooster.

As soon as the sun comes up he starts barking and barking in my face until I get up.

I know what you’re thinking.. the poor boy has to drop a deuce.

Well those of you who’ve read this blog for any length of time know that I leave my terrace door open in all weather and if that was his problem he could easily step outside to this lovely haven.


The little prick should remember from whence he came. His previous owners thought so much of him that they dumped him in a kill shelter and I saved him from death row.

You’d think he’d show a little gratitude.

So grumbling profanities I get up, throw some duds on and sleep walk to the front door where he’s sitting with a superior look on his face.


When I pick up his leash, he prefers to walk me on a leash, he does a little dance and I have to admit that all is forgiven.

The other night I was watching either CSpan or Bravo when I get a call from my neighbor Jeffrey.

“Can Dominic come up and use your computer?” Dominic is  Jeffrey’s husband.

“Sure just let me put my pants on”

“No need.”

I ignored him because being a woman alone I didn’t want to tempt him and have that marriage go the way  of mine.

After Dominic did what he needed to do on the computer he brought up 9/11.

I did what all Jews do when attacked.

I rushed to the supermarket to stock up where  I bumped into Jeffrey and Dom. Dominic is Italian which is the same as being Jewish food wise.

I decided to buy a turkey and I told them to come to my house for dinner and bring our  friend Carol who lived on their floor.

I even invited my down the hall neighbor who hadn’t spoken to me in 2 years because I broke an ashtray in her house while I was minding her cat.

Obviously Lizzie was there. I’m not sure if David was in the picture yet.

We all huddled together for comfort.

New York was a very small town that night.

For the people who live here it always is.

Especially if you have a rooster.


946 New York, New York It’s a Wonderful Town

So I’m walking my dog this morning and I notice that the nicely dressed guy walking in front of me stops and picks up litter as he’s going along and putting it in trash cans.

He wasn’t nuts about it. He didn’t pick up every little thing, only the kind of big things.

I always have a running commentary going on in my head while I’m walking Ray. Usually it’s criticism of my fellow New Yorkers,

“So you tried that dress on in the store and said “This looks good on me. I’ll take it”?’

“Clairol didn’t have a brassier color you could use?”

“No one told you that your ass crack belongs IN your pants?”

But this time it was different.

“What a nice thing to do. Not only doesn’t he litter but he cleans up after those that do.

I’m not surprised that he’s doing this. He’s wearing nice clean clothes and he seems like a gentleman”

Then we get to the corner.

He keeps trying to cross the street against the light and every time a car comes he looks at the driver in surprise puts his arms up in wonder and says

“Fuck you. Fuck you What the fuck are you doing you fucking cocksucker?” or a variation of that.

Because it’s rush hour the cars are moving slowly so one or two of the drivers give him the finger but say nothing.

Finally the light changes and he gets across the street shaking his head in irritation.

Then he continues on his way making NYC a prettier and cleaner place for us all.

This, my friends, is why I never want to live anywhere else.



945. A Dog of Many Talents.

Ray is a city dog as I’ve said before but he certainly enjoys the country life.

We spent the weekend up at Stephanie’s house minding her animals. She has 2 horses, 2 donkeys, 4 cats and 2 dogs.

Obviously I do most of the care but Ray is a very active partner.He feels a certain responsibility for all his cousins and keeping the grounds safe from robbers and varmints.

Here he is guarding the door

ray at door


Here he is keeping watch outside.

ray examining the property


Here he is using camouflage to guard the inside of the house


Here he is having a frisky romp with his cousin Lucyrandl

Of course he knows how to use the city to his benefit even more .

Why just this morning I was walking him while engrossed in my book “The Children” by Ann Leary and as I got to the end of the page I looked down at Ray because I’m a wonderful dog mother and I noticed that he was licking vomit.

I wasn’t that upset though because I spotted the cut up fruit so it was clearly a cocktail of some kind.

I’m sure the alcohol killed anything bad in it, right?