Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 2, 2011

My mother told me this would happen.

I have GOT to stop trying to meet guys in bars. 

February 9, 2011

Our “FULLY BOOKED!” Celebration Video

I have no words to thank everyone.

So I’ll give you pictures and music instead.

Love and sequins,

January 19, 2011

Pursey Galore and the Wine Cellar

The ever lovely Nichole from In These Small Moments toted Pursey Galore around at the Napa In January Blogger’s Wine Event last weekend. The Purse raised $136 at that event in which I embarrassed the wait-staff by singing. But you can’t think of Napa Valley without thinking of really, really rich people. So then THIS story occurred to me…

She knew it was here somewhere.

She tiptoed through the dark.

She’d heard rumors of it.

And finally, she wormed her way into the house, and now she had to find it!

The party invitation was totally legit. It’s not like she’d swiped it from someone else. It came addressed to her – Nichole – and was her ticket into the 30,000 square foot mansion on the hill.

The one with the wine cellar.

That held the Lafitte Rothschild 1870.

At 15 grand a bottle.

Nichole held no nefarious intentions toward the bottle, she just wanted to see it. Her brief career as a wine marketer had given her a taste of the nectar, and once she learned that the family on the hill had one of the best stocked wine cellars in the world, and that they had a bottle of the Rothschild…well…she just HAD to.

The Black and White ball fundraiser was perfectly timed, her magazine scored her the invite and now her she was in her black ball gown with the snowy white sash sneaking down a staircase like Tom Cruise in a Mission Impossible movie trying to get into a rich woman’s wine cellar so she could take one look at the Holy Grail of wines.

Her sequined whispered softy as it swept back and forth across the silk of her dress. She carried her delicately heeled shoes in her hand as she crept quietly down the staircase.

She’d watched the house manager like a hawk as he disappeared and reappeared with progressively more dramatic vintages, and with an unerring internal compass had deduced the location of the cellar. Slipping quietly into alcoves or behind draperies as staff hurried to and fro, she’d made it all the way down to the oversized oak door undiscovered.

She pushed open slowly, the change in air pressure pulling a cool, earthy draft through the door that made her skirts swirl. She reached into her zebra-striped bag for her flashlight and clicked it on.

Now, she thought, if I were a $15,000 bottle of wine, where would I be?

The beam of light swept methodically along the walls and Nichole knew she was close. Just a few more seconds and…

“ACK!!” she squawked as the lights clicked on.  She spun around, blinking in painful confusion, to be greeted with the sight of her hostess standing imperiously on the threshold.

Nichole’s mouth went dry as she struggled for words to explain. “I…I’m sorry…I only…I…”

Verbs eluded her.

Her shoulders slumped as she realized there was no gracious way to explain herself.

“I’m sorry. I was just desperate to see the Lafitte.”

The woman nodded, but was clearly unimpressed. “I should call the police.”

Nichole’s heart thought about stopping.


“Or…?” Nichole squeaked.

“You can hand over that bag.”

Nichole looked at the outrageous zebra-striped sequined handbag on her shoulder. The one she’d selected only because it was the only black and white purse she owned.

Ththis?” She stammered.

“That’s a must-have,” announced the Matron. “It will freak the hell out of the wine committee at the Club.”

Nichole smiled and started removing the essentials from the bag.

Raising eyebrows and keeping her ass out of jail. Now those were worthy causes.


November 3, 2010

Made for Spanking

Poppy demonstrates the art of ad placement to the novices in the group.

November 1, 2010

An Ode to Gigi

Gigi, from Kludgy Mom, took Pursey Galore to her THIRD Bloggy Bootcamp. And her post was a priceless poem set to that Alan Sherman classic, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

Which inspired this.

There once was a woman in Texas,
(Twas not where she stored all her ex-es)
Her blog it was growing.
And the secret was knowing,
How best to skip pitfalls and train-wrecks. 

A blogger named Lori she met,
Not in person, you know, on the ‘Net.
A friendship soon blossomed,
Cause both were so awesome,
No more perfect a pairing you’d get.

Lori sent Gigi an email,
Read, “I’ve got an idea to unveil.
I’m giving a go
On raising some dough,
With a purse that’s so tacky it can’t fail.”

“But before I set forth on this mission,
I’d sure like know your position.
On using this bag
Which was really a gag.
Can I bring this whole plan to fruition?”

Gigi replied in a moment
And said, “Hey, that idea is potent!
And you’d best count me in,
Cause I’m as eager as sin
To forward the cause on the homefront.” 

The world thought the purse was quite funny,
As it traveled the land to raise money.
And since Gigi had tossed in
Her lot down in Austin,
The purse headed south amidst much glee.

Gigi was going to BootCamp.
Where the Purse had before put her own stamp.
Cause that pretty girl Tiffany
Had had an epiphany
For a clan that could be a blog’s launch ramp.

So Gigi and Pursey met Laurie.
And Jessica told a good story.
With Holly she lunched.
But the day was so crunched
Cause the program had great inventory.

Then Gigi wrote Pursey an ode
As the words from her fingers they flowed
She published the post
It was read coast to coast.
Then the bag and her bling hit the road.

And each time a friend tells her tale
Of her time with that bag, without fail,
I’m choking back tears.
Causes in all of my years,
I’ve not had such wind in my sails

Gigi and Jessica (from Bern This) with Pursey Galore in Austin.

September 15, 2010

And the winner is….

I had to then go count down the comments…and the winner of the Mug o’ Martha Points is….GIGI from Kludgy Mom!

Gigi is going to be brining Pursey Galore to Bloggy BootCamp in Austin, Texas next month.

Probably the mug will not be going with her. She’s going to be lugging a big ol’ sequined bag around with her after, all.

Thank you to everyone who entered and promoted. The next giveaway is later this month. A gorgeous picture frame courtesy of Hannah over at Peggy Ann Design.

September 13, 2010

Pursey Galore and the Philadelphia Spy

The fictionalized versions of the Purse stories continue. Something about Megan’s shots suggested this scenario to me. And, if you know Megan, you so know that this could hapen. So while she all told us that she was at Bloggy Bootcamp with the SITSGirls, and claims to have photographic evidence to prove it, it’s possible that this is what really did happen, but if she told us about it, she’d have to kill us all.

She waited.

She looked like a person waiting to catch a flight.

This was what she was supposed to look like.

Just a young woman, a stunning beautiful young woman, yes, but just a young woman nonetheless, waiting to catch a flight.

That was what everyone was meant to think. But she had no interest in flights, no interest in the planes, no interest in arrivals or departures.

She had a hand off to make. That was all. Then she would be gone.

She sat, relaxed and still,  by all appearances reading her magazine, the picture of nonchalance. But her mind was anything but still or relaxed. Three people at the magazine stand, the man in the blue suit clearly in charge…Two young women who ran out of money before they ran out of vacation…undercover airport security doing a terrible job of being undercover…a bag unattended for four minutes before the family who realized they’d forgotten it hurried back to retrieve it… The perpetually observant part of her mind catalogued her surroundings unconcsciously. But the very conscious part of her mind was ticking minutes by.

Where was her contact?

At twenty minutes past mark, she stretched, slung her bags over her shoulder, and checked her watch. A casual observer would think her bored, at the airport far too early for her flight. She pouted slightly and looked around. The she meandered lightly to the first class lounge, clearly wanting to drown the travel tedium with a cocktail.

Inside she was anything but bored, she was irritated. This was bloody unprofessional.  She scanned the lounge without seeming to, decided that her contact hadn’t make it to the back-up drop site either and sat down at the bar to order a drink.

Her brain continued to count minutes. The arrangement was twenty minutes at each possible hand-off site. One more attempt after this one, and she would leave. Not just the airport, but the country. If contact wasn’t made, then something was very wrong. Something had been compromised and no place was safe. Despite years of training against panic, she let herself settle into “mildy concerned.”

At two minutes left before heading to the third and final potential drop site, a subtle movement to her left told her the seat next her had been occupied.

“Nice purse,” said the soft female voice.

“It would go with your shoes,” she replied.

“I might have to buy it from you.”

Refusing to let her irritation show, the first woman sipped her martini. “You had two minutes left before I moved.”

The slight shape moved in what might have been a shrug.

“Turns out finding shoes that might actually go with that bag is a lot harder than you’d think.”

To be fair, thought the woman sipping the drink, finding anything that might go with the bag had to be a stretch.

“Well, you made it. But I think you get to pay for my drink.”

“Fair enough,” replied the soft voice.

The beautiful woman took one last sip of the martini, and, leaving the sequined bag on the bar, turned without another word and left the lounge.

Despite her beauty, no one noticed.

The sequined, striped bag on the bar was all anyone ever really looked at.

August 21, 2010

Next Stop: San Francisco

“Oh frabjious day! Calloo, Callay!” She chortled in her joy.

Today is Pursey Galore’s first trip. Off to the City by the Bay.

Is she nervous? Heck no. How can you be nervious when you’re covered in zebra-striped sequins? Can’t happen!

PG will be hanging around today at Bloggy BootCamp San Francisco with the SITSGirls and some amazing blogging women.

Then later she’ll be partying hard at Slide, a swank nightclub.

*I* may not belong in the swank nightclub, but Pursey Galore? She was born for this.

So stay tuned for pictures and highlights of the debut come Monday.

I may even include a few facts for fun.

August 15, 2010

The Gift

One of the things that I wanted this project to do was to give a voice to people who have suffered at the merciless hands of a stroke. It is such a devastating thing, and sometimes we need to send those stories out into the world so others can offer love and good thoughts, or to teach people what we have learned.

I am honored that people are choosing to share their stories here. They are hard stories, but it is so important that they be told. Today, Molly from Life with the Campbells tells her husband’s story. It is amazing, and painful, and wonderful.

We have all read about people who have survived disaster and triumphed. I always thought that those folks were strong, heroic and fine. I admired and applauded them. But I never suspected that I would be called upon to join their ranks. I had no faith in my abilities to overcome adversity.  But in one second, my life turned upside down.

The phone rang in my office at four in the afternoon. I was wrapping things up, getting ready to go home, but I wasn’t in a hurry, because my husband Charlie was golfing, and on those days, I didn’t have to cook dinner. At the other end of the line was our minister. A member of Charlie’s foursome, he was warm and low key, but he informed me that he was at the emergency room with my husband, who had “fainted” on the course. But just in case, he thought that it would be wise if I got over there immediately. Just a “precaution.”

On my way over, I knew in my gut that something horrible was happening. I arrived in the ER and was ignored as docs and nurses scuttled around. Charlie looked normal on the gurney, smiling and saying to everyone the same thing, over and over: “Hi. I am fine.” He was obviously NOT fine, but I still knew nothing, and no one offered me any information. I felt like a bystander. But then one of the docs said to another something about “Stroke,” and I felt as if I had been shot.

Finally, someone took notice of me, the wife. A doctor turned to me and confirmed who I was. His face softened, and he informed me that Charlie had had a Stroke, and that they had called in a neurologist. They were rushing Charlie up for an MRI or CAT scan or something. I was in such a state of shock, I don’t really remember.

From that point onward, I was surrounded by a chaplain, who in her heart of hearts wanted to help me, other doctors, and some kind of “spokesperson” for the whole group, who tried to ease me into my new world of decisions, pending tragedy, and the need for strength. I was urged to get on the phone and call my family. I was told to get my daughters around me immediately.

In a daze, I called somebody. I still don’t remember who I called, or in what order. I remember trying to reach my daughter in Los Angeles, who was starting a new job that day. Her old employer told me not to worry, and that they would get her home to me. I then thought of my other child, a senior in high school. How would I tell her? How would I help her? How was I going to keep on functioning?

The next hours were filled with decisions about Charlie’s treatment. A new drug called TPa was available for strokes caused by clots, and Charlie qualified. His clot was completely blocking his carotid artery. I had forty minutes to decide whether to use the drug. TPa is a miracle drug, but has very high risks associated with it. By this time, with my younger daughter clinging to my side, we had to make a decision which might help Charlie, might not, and might even kill him.

We decided to go ahead. The drug was administered, and Charlie went immediately into the intensive care unit. Friends began arriving, and the rest of my life began.

Charlie’s stroke had been brewing for a long time. The clot that blocked his artery had been growing probably for years. The week before the stroke he had a blinding headache, which I now realize was a harbinger of the stroke to come. The damage to his brain was massive, and Charlie’s language and comprehension centers were gone.

As a result, Charlie had what is called “aphasia,” which has many forms. Aphasia is a general term for language loss. Charlie had more than one type of aphasia, and cumulatively they had two results: Charlie could say words very clearly, but they made no sense when strung together. He couldn’t understand what was said TO him, either. He was locked in a jumbled world in which everyone around him spoke a foreign language, and he could not make himself understood. He also could not recognize people, except for very close friends and family.

The doctors were of two minds. The TPa had not affected the clot, but it also had not killed him. One group of docs of gave up and told me to prepare myself for a life of care giving and learning how to interpret Charlie’s needs. Another group was very reassuring, telling me that in six months, no one but I would know that my husband had suffered a stroke.

With such polar advice, I was torn. I was battered. I was dead inside. This had l transpired over a period of 48 hours, and my mind and body were reeling. It was at this point that my daughters and I sat at the kitchen table, and I wondered if it would have been better if Charlie had died. I was fifty. He was fifty seven. How would we both deal with the years ahead of us? How could life be worth living if my husband couldn’t communicate? I thought about my charming Charlie, who loved people, loved “schmoozing,” and loved life, reduced to needing me to translate even the simplest things.

My twenty-three year old daughter said, “Mom, this is a gift.”

I clung to that. Through the weeks of rehabilitation in which Charlie and the speech therapist hacked their way to new pathways in his brain. Weeks in which Charlie used the “F” word more than any others. I held on to the “gift” through worries about finances, mounds of medical paperwork, and all the errands I had to run. The “gift” never seemed to materialize during those days of grief for the husband I had lost. For Charlie was gone. In his place was a guy I didn’t know, and sometimes didn’t even like. This man had no sense of humor, no gleam in his eye, and no depth.

The optimistic doctors were right, though. With extremely hard work, Charlie’s brain rewired, and speech and understanding returned. By six months, he could speak almost normally, and he could track conversations, although it took all his powers of concentration to do so, and he was exhausted by his efforts.

I was not prepared for stage two of the Stroke. As Charlie recovered and began to realize that his life was indeed not at an end, he experienced a transformation. He became giddy with joy, childlike in his appreciation of the world, and he literally bubbled over with enthusiasm. This manic personality was offensive to me, drawing attention to us in public, causing me embarrassment, and widening the gulf between us. I felt tremendous guilt. How could I feel this way? Why couldn’t I embrace the new Charlie? Instead, I lapsed further into mourning for the husband I had lost. I became hostile at times, depressed at others.  But in the back of my mind was the “gift.”

It took about four years of therapy. I had to consider my own needs, and contemplate a life without Charlie. Charlie had to decide if he wanted to work to regain part of his old “self” while holding on to his newfound joy in living. Our commitment to marriage was stronger than the Stroke, and we fought our way back to one another.

With friends, therapists, family, and our own fortitude, we made it. Charlie will tell anyone who will listen that if you can survive a Stroke, you can get your life back. I tell anyone who will listen that the “loyal wife and helpmeet” is often a myth, and that tragedy brings a load of negative emotions with it. I hated every minute of the journey. I was not always positive and supportive. Caregivers often despise their roles.

But now that we are ten years out, I know that there was a “gift.” We now understand each other better than we ever did, pre-Stroke.  Charlie does only the things he loves doing, and he is busier than he has ever been. I emerged at the end of the tunnel as a writer. Life doesn’t hurt any more. We have perspective. We have wisdom. But we didn’t always believe what that twenty-three year old girl knew: this whole journey was indeed a “gift.”

August 9, 2010

The Basics

Project:Purse and Boots
A tour of an outrageously tacky purse to inspire women to take a night for themselves as way to raise money for The American Stroke Association. Each stop The Purse makes earns money by way of pledges.

How it Works:
Sign up for a Purse Party and invite your best friends to a Women’s Night out. Take pictures. Send them to me. Mail the purse to its next destination.

Or be a Donor!
The raising of the funds comes from businesses who are happy to support a bunch of women raising awareness for stroke preventions and raising money for the ASA.

Dress Up:
Get out your highest heels. Don’t like heels? Grab a feather boa. Don your loudest jewelry and your blingiest bling. The Purse sets the bar on trashy pretty high. DON’T GET OUTDONE BY A HANDBAG!

Make Noise:
Blog and tweet  your Purse Party. You have to Out-Loud the Purse!

Scroll down to read the Project: Purse and Boots Blog!