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Drs RX for Winter Doldrums? Flying Squirrel Feces!

It’s official. I am bored with winter as we haven’t even had our first Nor’ Easter. We Upstate New Yorkers don’t feel it’s really winter until the first big one hits. Otherwise, it’s just cold outside with nothing to compare anything to.

But hold onto your ski hats. We might get slammed this weekend, according to The National Weather Service‘s hazardous weather outlook warning residents the fast-moving system has the “potential for significant snow and ice” from Friday (tomorrow) until Wednesday.

AWESOME! Time to head north! Bellayre Mountain here we come!



I actually located matching gloves, dug the ski boots out of a basement closet and learned that I still fit into last year’s ski pants. At least I had that going for me when the girls announced they couldn’t go. One is in a play on Friday night and the other is babysitting Saturday night.

It seems to be the story of my life now that they are getting older. They don’t have time for family outings between school, sports and socializing nor do they necessarily want to hang out with me even if they are somehow free. I do insist on Sundays in the city although lately my enthusiastic adventures are met with more moaning and complaining than I find worth the effort.

I mean who protests being driven to the city to see art exhibits, find out-of-the-way restaurants and rifle through thrift shops for cool clothes?

Not me! I’ll take any excuse to get out from under the keyboard, going as far as to accompany my friend Lisa to a doctor’s appointment on 35th Street yesterday. And I actually wore makeup. It was such a treat to drive and park in a garage rather than take the train and schlep it on the subway, even if it was to someone else’s appointment. You never know what lies ahead is my motto! And I was right. All it takes is a little get up and go.

How cool that she introduced me to a Chinese herbalist there who explained what was in all of the jars, including Wu Ling Zhi, better known as flying squirrel feces. It’s officially called Excrementum Trogopterori and yes, it is really squirrel shit. He explained in all seriousness that the “five spirits fat” regulates and invigorates the blood and how it is good for the spleen and liver.

Only I couldn’t try it without needing it, he said in all seriousness. This somehow made me believe in the medicinal properties of all those smelly potions, even the one with a full bodied Gecko in it. (Look closely.)

jars I was slightly relieved at both outcomes and it gave Lisa and I something to laugh about over beautiful shrimp cocktails and asparagus at a restaurant with Red Grooms murals on the walls and a very nice glass of California Burgundy. We then popped into B&H to pick up some equipment for her husband’s music studio and got to look around while waiting for the order to be filled. All told, our little adventure took under three hours door-to-door.

That might be my big excitement for the week unless I find myself fantasizing a trip to the Venice Biennale this summer (a giant contemporary art show) and end up spending a few hours searching online for the perfect nunnery in which to sleep for cheap before renting a luxe villa in Spain for another two weeks as the snow falls on my quiet little house that I love.



  1. Lisa Gillespie says:

    Tell niceguyedc that it is stupid to have a page on an artist-Red Grooms- with none of the artist’s pictures available.

  2. Melissa Schoen says:

    Upstate New Yorker? *sigh*