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Comment s’appelle-t-elle ?

I promise I will not turn this blog into a Westie Highland terrier wonderland. I will try to be restrained and remember not everyone is as excited about my puppy as I am. But, since you all asked. I thought I would answer your questions and I also have some questions for you.

Q: Sex?
A: Girly-girl-girl-girl.

Q:Is this the Westie Rescue puppy?
A: Nope. Those people had me fill out pages of forms, give references and write a check and they never returned my calls.

Q: So how did you find this darling puppy?
A: My fairy Godblogger, Fifi’s Flowers hooked me up to a wonderful woman who had the inside scoop on Westies. A million mercis to Fifi!

Q:How old?
A: 7 weeks.

Q: When do you get her?
A: She can leave the breeders on the 27th. She is presently in Missouri and she will fly to L.A. We will get her on the 29,30, or 31st. We can hardly wait.

Q: What is her name?
A: She doesn’t have one yet.

So, as many of you know this is my first puppy ever so I have a few questions for you:
1. Name suggestions. What would you name my darling puppy?
2. What advice do you have for this first time ever puppy parent?
3. Isn’t she the cutest thing you have ever seen?
4. And, where can I get her a tartan puppy jacket?

Both puppy and I thank you in advance. Oh, and if you cannot wait for my puppy to arrive di what I do and watch the following Youtube Westie videos and sigh audibly and talk in your baby cutesy voice.


Lunch with a celebrity

The first blog I ever read was Wardrobe Oxygen. I think I had Googled something like”essential+wardrobe+pieces+
every+woman+must+have” and I got to Alison’s fantastic blog. I spent hours combing through her archives and printed many of her fabulous suggestions. Prior to that search I don’t even think I knew what a blog was. I was a very low tech gal who didn’t know a html code from a ROFLOL.

Soon after finding Wardrobe Oxygen I found Style for the Stay at Home Mom and I was immediately hooked. Now, I get that I am not a stay at home mom but, 14 months ago I till had some hope that I might one day be one. And, if I was going to be a stay at home mom I wanted to be a chic one. Leah was and I was inspired by her commitment to look fabulous and not give into Juicy Couture sweats and mom jeans. I took notes and got inspiration from her outfits and from Leah’s personal mission statement, a quote by fashion icon Laura Bennett:”Get dressed everyday a little bit nicer than you would have and see if it makes a difference in your day. See if you feel better. See if people treat you better.”

Every morning after I checked my email I would check Alison and Leah’s blogs to see if they had posted yet. I was amazed how these woman I had never met or never would likely meet had started to feel like friends. Now, don’t be concerned, I got that we weren’t really friends but I started to care about them. When Alison was sick I was sincerely concerned for her and I would check in the next day to see if she looked like she felt better and when Leah had a challenge I felt as if it was if it was happening to a friend in the real world. It was sort of odd to me, this blogging thing, and uncharacteristic of me to grow so attached to strangers. Our relationship was very one sided. I was a committed lurker and didn’t ever dream that I would ever dare to leave a message. I was too nervous and felt that I had nothing important to add to the comment box and I wasn’t sure exactly how you went about leaving a comment.

Months into reading these two blogs there was a long weekend when neither Leah or Alison posted anything( I checked at least 10 times over the course of the weekend to see if maybe they had posted since I last looked). It was that weekend was when I decided to set up my own Blogger account. After setting up La Belette Rouge and writing a few uninspired posts I wrote a letter to both Leah and Alison to thank them and to tell them that it was their blogs that inspired me to start my own. Both women wrote me back very kind and encouraging emails that meant a whole lot to me.

The next day after hearing from Leah I visited her blog expecting to see her looking fabulous in a chic ensemble that could be worn to the playground or the streets of Paris and instead I saw the post, New Blog for Those Who Love Style and French Chic. Leah had written a post introducing her readers to my blog. Thanks to that post my blog had its first visitors and comments. I was ridiculously excited when I got my first comment and I called He-weasel at work to read him Leah’s post and the resulting comments.

Today I am meeting Leah for lunch. I am more than a little excited. I am meeting a woman who changed my life, if that sounds dramatic and a bit overblown I assure you it is not. If it wasn’t for her I would not know all of you and so many wonderful things that have happened to me since I started blogging would have never-ever happened. I fear that words will fail me as I sit across from her. But, I hope I am able to articulate how much her kindness has meant to me. I sometimes wonder if Leah and Alison had posted that weekend if I would have ever started this blog and then I wouldn’t have met all of you and I wouldn’t have made so many lovely friends. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without your friendship, support, kindness and laughter. I will forever be grateful to her for introducing me to you. When I hear from a new blogger who is starting out I always think of the kindness Leah showed me and I do my best to be as welcoming and supportive to a neophyte blogger as Leah was to me.

Unhappily, Leah is no longer blogging and I miss her blog like I do an old friend. Today I am meeting an old friend friend for lunch that I don’t know.

Picture of lovely Leah comes from here.

Guess who’s coming to our house?

Four play

I got tagged by the very chic, fab, gorgeous and altogether brilliant Couture Carrie for this meme back when leaves were falling from the trees and Obama hadn’t been elected President and I didn’t know I’d lost my shoes, i.e. a long time ago.

4 Things I Did Today( Yesterday):

1. I drove on Rodeo Drive to get to Igor. I sat at a stop light between two mid-life crisis’, on my right a Ferrari and on my left there was an equally obnoxious sports car.

As I walked Brighton Blvd. I developed an even stronger desire for tall black leather boots with low heels and buckled detailing. I must have these boots. But where to find them? Ideas, ladies?

2. I literally ran into some super model Milano Italiano guy who got out of the elevator at Igor’s building and I was totally gobsmacked by this guys beauty. I am not a gal who usually loves extreme physical perfection in men. I usually find that kind of unattractive and almost bordering on the feminine. But, this kid, maybe 20, who looks like he swallowed the moon, the stars and an aurora borealis or two, I couldn’t stop looking at him and I got flustered and tongue tied when he said excuse me. He looked totally unsurprised by my reaction to him. It must happen to him all the time.

3. I saw Larry David and Eric Stoltz walking the streets of Beverly Hills( not together). It is not the first time I have run into Eric. Eric Stoltz and I looked at each other’s hair admiringly.

4. I had the most amazing dinner I have had since Paris: Seared Sonoma Foie Gras with organic blueberry sauce over Parmigiano-Reggiano crusted puff pastry and then I had the Crispy Duck Risotto with duck confit and risotto sauteed crispy with an herb salad and tomato and truffle oil. Words fail me in describing this bit of culinary heaven, suffice it to say that it was better than my brownie I ate for lunch.

4 Things On My To-Do List:

1. Find my inner athlete who longs to run, lift weights and do Pilates. I wonder if she is with my shoes that I lost.

2. Get everything done that I have been putting off for over a year and make a dent into my plan for making 2009 a year that does not suck.

3. Complete the outline, sample chapter and marketing plan for my book after I take out the trash. Before I empty the dishwasher come up with the catchy title that will make my book an international bestseller. “The Joy of Dawn” or perhaps “Electrasol nights and Cascade dreams.”*

4. Set reasonable goals and stop feeling overwhelmed.

4 Guilty Pleasures:

1. Botox. I feel mildly guilty for doing it. But, aaaah, the pleasure!!

2. Not cooking. I don’t really feel guilty for not doing this thing that should and on occasion brings me pleasure.

3. Peets French roast coffee, half and half, and sugar. I will not drink lesser coffee and I will not do non-fat dairy creamer and keep the pink stuff and blue stuff away from me.

4. An excessive amount of lipsticks. I will never reveal numbers.

4 Random Facts about Me:

1. I wiggle my nose like a bunny when I am thinking hard.

2. I am a good listener.

3. I have JCrew’s 1-800# on my speed dial

4. I have to have smooshy pillows and there must be three of them and the temperature must be no higher than 70 degrees and I have to have my disapproving bunny and one foot must be out from under the covers in order for me to sleep—and even with all that I still may need Ambien.

4 Bloggers that I’m Tagging:

1. Hidden in France

2. Yes and yes

3. Motherhood in NYC

4. Charmed Silver Shoes

Even if I didn’t tag you would you please tell me four things about you? I’d love to be infourmed. Get it, infourmed!

*Joy, Dawn, Electresol and Cascade are all dish washing detergents.

Christmas is for children

So, you know, I have been actively working on hating children and I have gotten much better at it. Where my first impulse used to be to coo over oncoming babies now I sneer at them. I used to play peek-a-boo with toddlers and now I ask to be moved to a part of the restaurant that is kid free. All was going well until stupid Christmas showed up and Santa, Rudolph and all the other reminders that we are permanently kid free. For the last two years we have not celebrated Christmas because we had been going through relentless rounds of IVF and I didn’t have the emotional energy to do anything but get injections, go to doctors, and be a hormonal egg producing lump of bloating, longing and crying. No tree, no cards, no gifts and no ho-ho-ho of any variety.

This year we have no advent calendars of ovulation, festive progesterone shots, merry Follistim, or the always delightful yule tide pelvic ultrasounds to mark the season so we have decided to go with the more traditional tree, a few presents, and some eggnog. We even watched a few Christmas shows that did not have me sobbing by commercial number two that we don’t have a baby and we will never have a baby and that we are cursed, so that was good.

It all changed when I was sitting and blogging and He-weasel started flipping channels and he landed on PBS and they were playing an old Andy Williams Christmas special and then he had to go to the bathroom and left me alone with Moon River man waxing nostalgic about his days when he sang with Donny Osmond. That is the last thing I heard until I heard Andy talking about how Christmas is for the children. This is when I started to sob. I was sobbing the kind of sob where my chest was pounding and my neighbors heard me. I sobbed a sob that made He-weasel run out of the bathroom with his pants down.

“What’s wrong?” He asked avec drop trou.
“Christmas is for children.” And then I wailed.
“No it’s not.” He argued.
“Yes it is.”I countered.
“No it’s not.”He begged.
“Yes it is.”I screeched in an escalating tone.

By the fourth time of yes/no ping-pong I think I left the room and went into the bedroom slammed the door behind me and I actively planned on projecting all my disappointment onto He-weasel and being mad at him instead of being mad that we don’t have a stupid baby.

Because he is a good and kind weasel, he came in and apologized for trying to take away my feelings. Because I am not a good and kind weasel I stayed mad at him and I broke the rules and I went to bed angry at him and I punished him for my pain. Nice, huh?

I am feeling a little better now. I am trying to be careful about what Christmas shows I watch and I stay away from the Santa section of the mall unless I can really channel my inner Grinch and walk by with a bubble of protection that comes from pretending I hate all the mothers and their stupid kids and tell myself that I can buy Prada shoes and drink champagne while the mothers are changing diapers and cleaning up baby shit and having to go stand in line at Toys R Us. Pampers, pablum, and prams or, parties, Prada and La Perla? If I had a choice between the two I know which ones I would choose.

Writing in Valencia: Part Six

I took a particularly dreadful class in my freshmen year in college with a teacher whose name that I would love to share with you for a number of reasons:

  1. To warn people against ever taking his classes.
  2. To let him know he needs to up his game.
  3. He has a really funny name and if I told it would you it would make you laugh.

Nameless man’s class was a filler class called “learning strategies” and all I really remember of this class was learning to speed read which is a skill I didn’t really need as I was already one of those annoying students who could read so fast that I would not just read what was required but I would also read everything on the suggested reading list.

Nameless man also had enormously novel and helpful tips like “use highlighters when you read.” I also remember nameless teacher sharing stories about his romantic life that made me want to jump from the second story building so as to end my suffering. I liked to imagine the headline of the student newspaper reading: “Desperate student leaves a highlighted note that professor nameless’ class was so bad that it drove student to suicide.” I liked to imagine that he would be charged with man slaughter for teaching such a deadly boring class.When I didn’t have suicide fantasies I was calculating what I was paying for the class per session, hour, minute and second. These figures only heightened my pain and strengthened my death wish.

There was however something that I learned in this class, no thanks to the professor. Rather, it was from a late in life student, a peroxide blond in her late 60’s who looked like she either had a career in B-movies or she worked at the Pink Flamingo in Vegas, that I received a strategy that I have held onto for over 20 years. I hadn’t been paying attention in class, something that our professor gave a lecture on the importance of, so I am not sure what inspired the saucy 60-something student to share this tidbit of wisdom. Whatever it was I am glad she did.

Prepare yourself for the wisdom. She suggested that how she got herself to write a paper, or clean her house, or organize her Vegas pension fund paperwork was to turn a timer on for thirty-minutes and the she would tell herself that she only had to do it until the bell rang. I am not sure why I so valued this woman’s advice but it immediately seemed brilliant to me. I felt sure that it would stop the procrastination with my writing. I had on my to-do list everyday for years, “write.” each and everyday I would get everything done on my list but the writing.

When I went to grad school I had to write a 300 page thesis and I was not at all sure I could accomplish such a feat. I did two things. First I put the date in my Palm Pilot of when I wanted to have this thing done and then I had the Palm Pilot count for me how many days and hours I had until I had to have thesis turned in ( yes, it does seem that I have some mild OCD like behaviors) and then I went to Target and I bought myself a kitchen timer.

For 30 minutes a day, seven days a week I turned the kitchen timer on and I wrote. And I had absolutely no expectation of writing anything good. I just had to write for 30 minutes. I wrote any random thought I had about my thesis topic and when I couldn’t think of anything to write I copied quotes from books that were ideas that I wanted to integrate into my thesis. I did this until the bell rang. Over time I had over 700 pages of crap and it was crap. Seriously, it was a hot mess of randomness. But I had enough to start organizing and refining and figuring out what I was really trying to say.

What was really surprising is that after a while I no longer quit writing when the bell rang. I kept writing. However, there were days when i waited for that bell as I wrote. I waited for that bell like I had waited years before for the phone to ring after “he” had asked me for my phone number. On those days when the bell would ring I would run away from my computer as fast as my little legs would carry me.

I am not saying this is the best way to write a thesis or a book, it is a way and it is a way that worked for me. If I had started with an outline and had organized it so on Monday I was supposed to work on this part and Tuesday on another I would have NEVER finished it. Instead I just wrote and wrote and wrote and then when there seemed like enough to work with then I started organizing it.

Maybe you don’t want to write a book or don’t need to write 300 pages. Maybe you just want to write and you never do. Well buy a timer. Set it for 30 minutes and write, and then do it again and again and see what in time you have.

I no longer have to use the timer. But, there are days when I have to promise myself that I only have to write for an hour and then when the hour is up I usually find that I don’t want to quit writing. I’ve got to go, my 60 minutes are up.

About Me

My name is Tracey, aka La Belette Rouge. I am a psychotherapist and the author of Freudian Sip @ Psychology Today. I blog about psychology, my therapy, dreams, writing, meaning making, home, longing, loss, infertility and other things that delight or inspire me. I try to make deep and elusive psychodynamic concepts accessible and funny. For more information, click here .
These blog posts are informational only and not meant to replace individual psychotherapy, counseling or medical advice. If you are in need of help, reaching out to a professional may help you decide how to proceed or how to find the care you need. For a referral, contact

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