Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stella hurt...

I imagine some of you, (my fellow Detroiters for sure!) have by now read or heard of the passing of Stella Paris, aka "Greektown Stella." Various newspapers printed her story and many Detroiters were interviewed about the subject of Stella. Here's what I remember....

Back in the late 70's, and 80's I'd be hanging around downtown after an event. Usually one of my 'city cousins' would have organized a concert or ballgame and then inevitably we would make our way into Greektown. Quite possibly we would have had cocktails at the RenCen where the "Summit" bar rotated around giving you a gorgeous 360 degree view of our glorious city. We sipped those $7.50 cocktail s-l-o-w-l-y to make it one full circle. How very glamorous! I have a few old pics somewhere depicting the events with smiling happy girls, holding a fancy drink with the backdrop of Detroit thru the window. Then it was off to Greektown. I loved the smell, music, food and lights these restaurants and shops that were so alive and always seemed open.

In that time, before Greektown Casino, there was Trappers Alley. You could watch those darling boys making fudge and singing harmonies. I loved the boutiques that were also housed in that very unique, old building.
But the real sight to watch for was Stella. My cousins had warned me that she would probably be somewhere around and hopefully having a good day. The first time I spotted her, she was sleeping in a corner. I was alarmed because up north, that is something you would not see. I innocently fretted about her and wondered where she would go when stores closed. I was assured that she was just fine and that is just how she lived.
The next time, I got a better look. Stella was so tiny and she must have had about 20 colored barrettes in her gray hair. I offered her my take out but she waved it away with a tiny hand, mumbling something in Greek. Seems the local restaurateurs kept her in food. So from then on, I gave her a few bucks and hoped she would be okay. Surely she was SOMEONES gramma!

Then years went by and I never again saw her. Her health failed and life on the streets was impossible for her. I've read she was given a full Greek funeral and burial.

So, rest in peace, Stella. Like so many good things about Detroit--you will be missed. xoxo

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Secret of Life.....

Life. Wiki definitions are so scientific that I couldn't even apply it to my feelings today. Along with the cold, grey Detroit weather, comes a feeling that matches it.

My friend Rose's dear Auntie, passed away Sunday after a short but courageous battle with cancer. It was said that She lived her life her way--fast and uniquely. It could be said that she died in much the same way. Auntie passed with Rose nearby--coincidentally on Rose's birthday. Or maybe not a chance thing. Auntie loved Rose and wanted her to always remember her. It may have been her last chance to exercise a little control of her life. Rest in peace--and sympathy for Rose and her family. xo Circle of life--well I guess so..

A teary call from darling friend, Kara explained how two dear friends of hers were in a tragic accident on Saturday that took both of their lives. As young adults passing before the prime of their lives, our hearts break for all that they were and could have been. But mostly the life they will have missed out on. With deepest sympathy we know that the good Lord is happy in their company. Those left behind must carry on as best we are able. Such is life?

The Haiti tragedy reveals new atrocities daily. The orphans and babies kill my spirit as they suffer injustice that is unthinkable to me. Atho an earthquake is a natural occurrence, nobody will say 'that's life' about this one. I am filled with joy seeing the orphan's arriving to thier new families. Let's hope their new life finds them loved and comfortable.

So what can I do to make the most of my life today? I plan to fix a great dinner, tell my loved ones that I love 'em. And take time to breathe, reflect and accept "life". xo to all of you and may the goods outweigh the bads! xoxo P.S. thank you to the ever special Walking Man (Mark) who I hooked up with for coffee and convo. Dude, you give the BEST bear hugs! Soon, again... xo

PPSS-Ben, go play Farmville or take a dumb survey!!!xo

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Put a little love in your heart...

Happy Martin Luther King Day to all. If you are fortunate enough to have a job that gives you the day off--enjoy. Or just be happy you have a job! If your children are off from school then persevere, Tuesday will be here soon enough!

But everyone, please take 5 minutes to read or listen to Dr. King's beautiful, idealistic speech and make sure the kids know what and who the day stands for.

Mostly, reach out a touch someone in the way Dr. King intended--with compassion, equality, understanding and love. xo

P.S. Bye Bye to the Grinches till next December!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So, what qualifies as a friend? I have many people that I see almost daily that I think qualify more as acquaintances really, than friends. I have many buds I see at the gym or Kroger checkout that certainly fall into this category. You know, you recognize each other, chat it up some and than carry on with your day. Subjects may include but not limited to the weather, the holiday, muscle soreness, etc. I have friends at work but somehow do not usually see them outside of the job. I have old friends from the salon that I joyously love to run into and catch up, but somehow never get together otherwise. I have friends I dearly love and miss, but again, do not find time to see. Also there are my cherished blog friends. Some that I have even met (Mark!) and hope to see again soon!

And then there is "facebook". People want you to "friend" them, so they can hopefully be your friend. While I do participate in the f.b. world--I do it reluctantly and sort of grudgingly. I explain that I really am more of a 'blogger' than 'facer.' It confounds me that someone who was barely a friend in high school NOW wants to be my friend. No offense, but I just don't know why they care. I love reading about my nephews and true friends and family posts. I HATE that I am forced to wade thru dumb game scores to do it. Who the hell cares about something called "Farmville", or "Yoville" or "Mafia Wars"? My 93 year young Gramma recently sent me a 3 page letter with all her news, and I intend to write her back. How cool is that? I prefer a little more privacy than an internet page allows. And I can't imagine that anyone is interested in the minutiae of my daily life. And I KNOW I am not interested in theirs!

So when my old friend, Stacey contacted me and set up a visit, I was (and am) thrilled to death! We hugged like not a minute had elapsed when in fact a few years worth of them had. It took alot of wine to keep our throats wet during 5 straight hours of conversation and laughs. You know you are with a good friend when that much time flys by like a minute! I loved it. It's very reflective to summarize 3 years of happenings to a convo that isn't boring or too self involved. And we did it well--I think.
It's also a great comfort to know that your friends are all right in this world. So much can go wrong in the times that we are living in. Truly a warm, fuzzy feeling if there ever was one.

As a person who is content at home, quietly enjoying time AND out of town alot, it is sometimes hard to maintain friendships. I thank all of you who patiently wait for me to answer a call, or to get together. Please NEVER stop! You are important to me. I think of you all often and fondly and don't mean to be an absent friend. Huge hugs to all of you and a BIG kiss to darling Stacey. Let's do it again sometime soon. And I mean it. This time I will bring two bottles!! xoxo

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Wonderland......

Hello Dearies! Suzy Chapstick here, reporting live from the summit. May I recommend a snowy weekend of skiing with a warm cocktail to heat up the belly! Lovely Michelle (Michelle's Spell) has honored me with my very own custom-created cocktail. I highly suggest you try it!


1 part hot chocolate
1 part Godiva white chocolate liqueur
1 part Three Cherries Vodka

* garnish with a cherry

It is delicious and even some others at the lodge were "spotted" enjoying said cocktail! Thank you darling Michelle for the special treat! xoxo Stay warm, be kind, and enjoy the wonder of it all!! xoxo