• Poppy Grady

Friday, January 3, 2020

Updated: Jan 5


How much do we love Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper hosting New Year’s eve on CNN? EVERYTHING! And that's all I have to say about that.


On New Year’s Eve, my mother almost set my house on fire.

I had asked her to come over to watch my son while I ran to the grocery store and Kohl’s to return an Amazon purchase.

Side Note: If you haven’t returned anything to Amazon via Kohl’s yet? You’re not living. It is so simple. You go to Orders in your Amazon account, make like three clicks, and they send you an email with a QR code (the little black and white busy square you use your phone to scan).

Then you go to Kohl’s with the item (no packaging needed, or even a packing slip). Hand the item to the customer service person and show them the QR code to scan, and within about 30 seconds (no lie), they hand you a receipt and a coupon for 25% off in their store.

So, at first I wondered if this is worth the trouble for Kohl’s. I mean, it’s a huge undertaking. But you know what? So far, every time I’ve gone to return something, I buy something on my way out. So. Yeah. Totally working for them.

Anyway, my mother came over for a couple of hours while I ran errands. I was late getting back (my son and I were due at a neighbor’s house for dinner). I ran in shouting directions at my son to get dressed (he was still in pajamas) and carrying in grocery bags, frantically trying to put away the cold stuff.

While I was gone, my mother had tried to create a coffee station in my dining room (that’s another story I’ll tell tomorrow). So my dining room was a mess and I was trying to answer her questions, put away groceries, yell at my son, and go pee. My mother got somewhat shuffled out and we ran across the street to my friend’s house.

About an hour later, while I’m sipping champagne and Grand Marnier with my girlfriend, my phone rang and it was mom. Since she knew I was socializing, I thought something might be wrong, so I answered.

“Oh good, hi.” She said very calmly.

“Hi. What’s up? I’m at Chelsea’s.”

“I know. Listen, I left a burner on at your house. You should go turn that off.” She said very calmly. Like, too calmly.

“What? Are you serious?!” Chelsea and her husband stopped talking and looked at me. “Oh my God!” I told my friends why I had to run home and of course, they agreed. I hung up on mom just as she was saying something like, “I had just put some oil in the pan.”

"And there’s oil?!" I thought as I ran home in a panic.

When I walked in the house, it was full of smoke. Like and idiot, I had recently removed the batteries from the fire alarm because it was doing that thing where it kept tripping? You know? Even though you change the batteries, and gently blow on it, and everything seems fine, and then it goes off again because, I don’t know, a knat flew by?

Anyway, I dealt with the pan and burner. No flames. I ran through the house and opened every door and window. I turned on all the ceiling fans. I turned the heat down to 60 degrees so my radiators weren’t screaming while the house chilled down.

And then I went back to Chelsea’s. Why not? The house wasn’t on fire and merely needed a while to vent.

Eventually, all was well and the house doesn’t smell like smoke.

So, what the heck was mom cooking at 4:30 in the afternoon when she knew we were going over to a friend’s for dinner? Nothing.

“I just wanted to get that pan ready. Those cast iron pans, you know, they need to be oiled and seasoned. That’s what makes them great. You don’t just put meat on them new.”

“Mom, that pan isn’t new. And, and, so many other things!”



Back on the Keto wagon!! I had Keto waffles this morning that are so yummy I couldn’t tell the difference between those and the real thing. And for lunch, Keto lasagna. Yes! Dinner will be steak and green beans. Yum. Yum.

NOVELLA IN PROGRESS: A novel by me, being written here, piece by piece.

Trapped On Acker Island

Chapter 1

Harper and her bakery staff carefully placed the five-tiered wedding cake in the back of the van, headed for a place called Acker Island, a small island off the coast of Maine. Harper had never been there before but heard stories that it was a beautiful and strange place. It was named after a family from many generations ago and people who don't live there would refer to its residents as Wackers to blend the island name with their oddities. Harper would always hear things like, “If you’re born on Acker Island, you never leave, and the people are stranger for it.”

Harper wasn’t afraid of strange people. In fact, she was generally intrigued by them. And they usually liked her, too. She had gathered her fair share of weirdo friends and acquaintances over the years. Eccentrics, stark intellectuals, spectrum, socially awkward, alternative lifestyles. You name it, she knew them.

The problem was that she was easy-going and accepting of others. She appreciated the oddities that made some people stand out. Instead of stepping back, she would step closer towards them merely to figure out what makes them tick. But the process of peeling away their layers would take a long time and, instead of a mini psychology exercise, she would end up with a friend. Or sometimes, just an acquaintance who would become a nuisance but whom she couldn’t drop out of fear of hurting their feelings. For some of these people, she was their only friend.

“Are you sure you don’t mind going alone?” Liz asked. “I just can’t.”

“It’s fine! Don’t even worry about it. I’m sure I can get a nice guy to help me unload the cake. Maybe I’ll even make a love connection.” Harper answered with a sly grin.

“Don’t even joke like that. You have enough weirdos in your life; don’t go picking up any more of them. Especially from wacker Island.”

“Alright, alright.” Harper smiled and started the van. “I’ll text you later.”

About an hour later, she started across the long bridge to the island and noticed the island appeared covered in fog at the edges. And it was quiet, like a fresh snow, but it wasn’t snowing. Nearing the end of the bridge, there was a Security guard and a gate.

“Are you here for the Levi wedding?”

“Yes, I have the cake.” Harper answered.

“Okay, let me just check the back then?”

“Huh? You want to look in the van? It’s just a cake.”

“Ma’am, we get a lot of people trying to come here for all sorts of odd reasons and we have to be careful, so if I could just take a look, please.” His face was stern.

Another security guard slowly emerged from the other side of the check in station. They were both armed and she could tell they meant business.

“Okay.” Harper agreed, suspiciously. As suspicious of them as they were of her. She walked around to the back and opened the doors.

The guards saw nothing more than a wedding cake. “Alright then, free to go. You’ll follow the cliff along the water until you see town. Then take your first right to go directly to the town center. The reception is in the building marked J. Acker Hall. Thanks for your cooperation, ma’am.”

Okay, so they were very protective of their little town, she thought. It’s not really that strange. There are neighborhoods all over with Security guards. Though she'd never known them to be armed and search your car, but she was willing to overlook this because she simply had a delivery to make.

Harper got back in the van and started on her way. As soon as she cleared the bridge, she seemed to break through the fog, almost like it was a ring around the island, and the island was suddenly basking in late afternoon sun. She rode along the steep, tall cliffs. Majestic. Lush with green on top of the harsh rock cascading into the sea.

The view from the cliff road was unbelievable. The ocean was the most beautiful she’d ever seen, with soft waves that caressed over the rocks peeking out the top and breaking on them with white foamy caps. The clear sky gave way for the sun to dance off the water and it sparkled dark blue. There was a beachy cove below and a few colorful sailboats gently bobbing with their moors.

She opened the window and took in a deep breath of salt air. The warm summer air blew back her long chestnut hair. A wave of peace came over her. Her mood suddenly lifted and she'd never felt better. Happy and free of all worries. She couldn't make sense of this because she had plenty of things to worry about. But she was suddenly happy. Elated. A large smile took her by surprise as she saw the right turn approaching. After turning right, she could see the town in full view.

It. Was. Stunning. …

(check back for more of this novel, currently being written.)


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