The above two sentences might put me on the naughty list this year because I found out last night that I've been lying to myself and to others!
We were in a hotel and had already checked in when the little clerk said, "Oh, our Internet service has been giving us some trouble. The tech support is looking into it and it should be back very soon."
No, problem. I am not addicted to Internet. I can do without it for a little while. I will get all the components ready for my newsletter and do some editing. Besides it will be on in a little while.
Two hours later, my work was done, my brain was fried from edits and I wanted to check the numbers on my latest release to see if my publisher was going to kick me to the curb or buy more books from me.
I connected and got the message: No Internet Service.
So I took a nice long bath, rubbed in a little extra face cream on those pesky wrinkles and got into some comfy pajamas. That would do the trick for sure. My computer is not used to seeing me in "real" clothes. It only recognizes me in pajamas so I was sure the service would be up and running.
I sat down and hit the right buttons. Evidently, it did not like me in pajamas that night either. Maybe it was punishing me because I'd taken it from home without even asking if it wanted to go but I got: No Internet Service again.
Still no problem. I watched two reruns of Reba, ate both Twinkies in the package and didn't even think about the calories. If there is no Internet, there is no calories in my books.
Tried again: No Internet Service.
I still wasn't going to cave and admit that I was addicted. No sir! I just went on to bed an hour early and forgot about the thing.
I had nightmares about never having service again. When I woke up the third time sweating and crying, I hauled my fanny out of bed and tiptoed to the computer so as not to wake Mr. B...and checked it: No Internet Service.
By morning when the tech support still didn't have things fixed in that great computer chip room in the sky, not even the cute little Texas shaped waffles made me happy. I was ready to lay down in front of the hotel desk and pitch a pure old southern hissy, screaming the whole time that I wanted Internet. Forget about those lords a leaping and five gold rings. They could take them all back. Just give me the Internet.
So I was trying to find a parking place at the mall when I noticed a brand new automobile parked diagonally across two very choice parking spots. I fussed and fumed and said words that would guarantee me a spot on the "naughty" list. Finally I found a place to put my car and when I came out I found a smudge of black paint on my pretty red Chevrolet. Suddenly, that disrespectful and selfish driver looked pretty danged smart.
I was reminded of the story of Great Aunt Molly Jane. She was raised up during the depression and truly believed that when she bought something, be it a toaster or a pair of under britches that they should last forever. St. Peter did not allow people into heaven who did not take care of the things the good Lord gave them. (Her words and they were said so often they were engrained upon all her younger relative's little brains).
That being said, we were all amazed at what happened one hot summer day many years ago. It was the end of August and hotter than the furnace door in Hades. Summer sales were going on and Aunt Molly Jane was of the opinion that kids got too much for Christmas. She always bought summer clothing for them in a size bigger than what they wore--and they'd better take care of it and make it last all summer. Heaven forbid if they got a stain on the Barney T-shirt. (Remember this was years ago when that dinosaur was very popular.)
Her car was just a tad bit smaller than a shrimp boat. Her late husband bought if for her before he passed away, somewhere about 1959. She covered it with bed sheets at night even though it was kept in the garage, and there was no smoking, food or even gum allowed inside it. And your purse had to be wiped down before it was allowed to sit on the floor.
Anyway, she went Christmas shopping that hot July day and drove around the parking lot for fifteen minutes before she found a spot. She pulled her car up behind the lady who was unloading the supplies into the bed of her truck and waited patiently. Just about the time the truck got pulled out and Aunt Molly Jane put her car into gear, a little low slung sports car whipped into the spot that Aunt Molly Jane had been sitting in the heat waiting for. NOTE: You did not use the air conditioner in a car because is would wear the motor out!)
Aunt Molly Jane went to church three times a week and had the preacher over to Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. She preached about the fruits of the spirit and how that patience was a virtue. But I guess the fruit on her spirit tree withered up right then and there in the parking lot.
The young kid jumped out of his car and she got out of hers. He said, "Now that, old lady, is what youth and speed will do for you."
She nodded and crawled back into her vehicle, put it in drive and rammed into the back of the cute little red sports car. The young man was on his way into the mall when he heard the crash and from the story I heard, he put a six year old girl to shame in the screaming and weeping process. Before he could run back to his car, Aunt Molly Jane backed up a bit and let that sports car have another dose of her shrimp boat. Two more times and the trunk was sitting somewhere close to the steering wheel. And the kid was sitting on the pavement with his head in his hands, crying like a baby, asking, "Why, why, why?" between sobs.
Aunt Molly Jane got out of her car and patted the kid on the head. "Youth and speed won't ever stand up against old age and determination, son. Here's my number and my name. I don't expect my insurance will pay for the damage to your car since this was not an accident. I will pay for it in cash and next time tell your daddy to buy you something that will last. They just don't make cars the way they used to. I only have a few smudges of red on my chrome bumper and I can get that out with some polish and elbow greased. Now get up and quit actin' like a baby. Learn your lessons. Don't drive fast. Don't tick off little old ladies, learn to take care of what you have and go to church and learn some patience. And get a haircut. It's too hot to wear your hair that long."
She didn't blink an eye when she wrote her check for high risk insurance for the next three years.
It's a good thing that Santa Claus is not a self-proclaimed, life-time bachelor. Because I've got a sneaky little suspicion that Miz Claus has been taking trips with Santa since back when she was Miss Pole. She just lets everyone think she's staying home with her feet propped up in front of the fireplace and sips on tea, while she gets Santa's red long handles all toasty warm for him when he gets back from the toy run.
But she's really been right there beside him in that sleigh every year. If she wasn't, there would be no Christmas. After all Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal. That is enough to guarantee that a man could not pull it off all by himself. The only thing that makes gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling is the dinner and their favorite football team on the television.
And organized. Come on folks! Most fellers couldn't find a matched pair of socks in the dryer if they weren't pinned together. Finding Tommy a Nintendo, Christopher a BB gun, and Emily one of those Barbie Corvettes their brains out past the limits.
And the vast majority of the male population do not even think about gifts. "Here's the check book honey. Get a gift for everyone and keep each one under five bucks. And could you bring me another bag of chips before you go so I don't miss the next play."
Oh, yes, common sense tells us there is a good woman behind Santa and she's the one taking care of everything except eating the cookies and drinking the milk.
Another problem Santa would have is getting all across the world with his sleigh and reindeer--first of all the reindeer would be dead before time to hitch them up. Mrs. Claus is the one who either gripes at him to keep them fed or does it herself. Yes, ma'am! Mrs. Claus takes care of Rudolph and Dancer and Blitzen which tells me they wouldn't take a single leap in the air without Mama Claus right there in the sleigh with him.
And just who would shove old Santa down the chimney and then give him a helping hand back up if it weren't for his sweet wife waiting patiently for him to scarf down those cookies and milk? It's a cinch Rudolph and all the reindeer together couldn't drag the fat man back up the chimney.
Then there's the fact that men folks can't pack an organized bag. Tommy would get a BB gun and whine all day because he's marched at school for gun control. Christopher would get a Barbie Corvette and throw it in the trash and poor little Emily would get the Nintendo and she hates video games.
We won't even talk about stopping to ask for directions when he gets lost!!! We won't even go there!
The gossip around the North Pole water cooler is that Mrs. Claus had to promise him a thirty day vacation in Florida to get him to wear that hot red velvet suit this year what with this global warming stuff. Then there is the issue of genes...it's not in the male specie's DNA to write letters, much less answer them or to make lists of who's naughty or nice.
So this Christmas when you put out the cookies and milk, you might remember to set out a sweet little cup of tea or maybe even a tube of hand lotion for the lady who really takes care of this whole holiday!
Everywhere we go there's Christmas music, from classical piano to chipmunks, piped into our ears. The mall, the grocery store, the car radio and even the restaurants--all falalalala and jingle bells.
We've heard it so long that we've become immune to the words, whether they come out in true chipmunk fashion, by barking dogs, chirping frogs or a fancy choir with eight million perfect voices harmonizing beautifully.
So there we were out shopping with kids, grandkids, a couple of great grandkids and even Great Aunt Gert. The song of the moment was that one about the partridge in a pear tree. The mall was jam packed full and everyone had a hold of a kid's hand so they wouldn't get snatched away. It wasn't the ransom we worried about but the poor kidnappers who would suffer at their hands before they could get them to break and tell them the addresses or phone numbers so they could bring the little darlin's home.
"Hey, what's a partridge in a pear tree anyway?" The orneriest kid in the lot asked Aunt Gert. "And why would a man give his true love a pear tree. Is a true love like your girlfriend? Yuk! I wouldn't even give a girl a dump old partridge, whatever it is. And ain't a pear tree something that grows outside in the yard?"
"Of course it is. It makes those little green things that we pick up of the ground and use for baseball practice. I sent one all the way over the fence." Another one answered.
"Every time I bat one, it explodes," a third one said.
"Not a one of you are getting a present from me. I make pear preserves out of those every year," Aunt Gert said seriously.
"And anyway," another one changed the subject. "A partridge in a pear tree is a new video game, I bet. I bet it's got something like an Angry Bird up in a tree that you shoot with a shotgun. Kind of like skeet shooting."
"You are wrong. It's a real tree like Aunt Gert's pear tree and a partridge is a beautiful bird. It is not a video game," I told them.
Big sighs of disappointment could be heard as the song started playing all over again.
"And that is the gospel truth," Aunt Gert said. More sighs! No one disputed Aunt Gert. She had been born on the day after God made dirt and no one, not even Methusalah, was as old as she was.
"What's a lordaleaping?" One granddaughter asked.
"It's a brand new line of jeans, right, Aunt Gert?" Another granddaughter looked up for confirmation.
Aunt Gert rolled her eyes. "It's three words. Lords A Leaping. The song was written at a time when little men in green tights and pointed hats made a young lady laugh as they danced around."
"You mean like that dancing show on television. I think it's boring," she said. "I'm tired of this song and I think you are kiddin' me. Let's go look at some Lordsaleaping jeans. I bet they've got lots of bling on them. And besides I'd rather listen to that falalalala song as this one."
Aunt Gert flashed one of her rare smiles. "Me, too. And if you find any of those brand new famous Lordsaleaping blue jeans, little girl, I will buy them for your Christmas present."
"For me, too!" Half a dozen other granddaughters forgot about the partridge and wanted to go with Aunt Gert into the clothing store.
"If you find them the answer is yes and I might even buy a pair for me if they come in plus sizes," Aunt Gert said as they followed her like kids behind the Pied Piper.
Christmas lesson learned: Never mess with the old folks!
Remember years ago when the Christmas catalog came in the mail a couple of months before the holidays. My brother, sister and I about wore the pages out looking at it but we treated it with the utmost respect. The only time a page got mangled was the year the tom cat sharpened his claws on the cover.
Mama pitched the cat out in the back yard and I don't think he got his ears scratched for a whole week as punishment. Then she turned around and gave his that look that said if we wanted to stay in the house we'd better take real good care of the Christmas catalog.
These days we get a least a catalog of some kind a day. Shop from your easy chair with a credit card and you never have to face the crowds, wear shoes or even fix your hair.
Since I'm not one for big crowds of noisy, rushing people, a few years back I decided to give this shop-at-home a try. I searched under the couches, in the magazine, on the back of the potty in the bathroom, stuffed down the side of the recliner, under the pillows on the bed, in the bottom of the sock drawer and on top of the refrigerator until I had ever catalog with Ho-Ho-Ho or a Christmas wreath on the front.
I did need a candy bar and a Diet Coke when I finished but everyone knows if you drink diet soda pop with candy, it nullifies the calories. Even with all that effort, it sure beat searching driving 25 miles to the mall and searching for a parking spot in the pouring down rain.
I lined them up on the kitchen table by age groups. This pile was for the grandkids who still played with toys. That one was for the men who wore flannel shirts or heavy jackets. This one for the family members who had everything under the sun--except for a little fountain to set on their entry table that had a cute little wheel barrow at the base. It took a while to get them all organized but an hour wasn't too bad. It would take that long to drive to the mall and find the parking spot...in the driving rain. And it sure beat rushing from one store to the other looking for a scarf or a fancy box of chocolates for Great Aunt Gert, who I was sure would love that little fountain.
I felt right smug when I'd turned down all the pages (shhh...don't tell Mama...even though she's enjoying Christmas among the clouds this year, I still have nightmares about that cat) and made my lists.
This fantastic catalog system was available 24/7. The operators on the other end didn't care if I looked like a bag lady with PMS and a head cold on a bad hair day. If I could rattle off my credit card numbers without turning any of them around, that's all that mattered.
I poured myself a cup of tea and dialed the first number. If I talked to someone it would be more like checking out in a store. Ordering from the computer just didn't seem personal enough for Christmas. After listening to the Chipmunks sing all the Christmas carols in the world while I waited for "the next available operator", it was finally my turn.
"This is Sue. Credit card number first." She sounded like Mama the day she pitched that cat out the door. How in the world did Sue know I'd turned down the pages in the Christmas catalog?
I rattled them off without stuttering one time.
"First Item?" She said and I read off the numbers to find out that toy had sold out a week ago. So was the next one and the next and the next. Finally, I told her that I had turned down the pages and she hung up on me.
That's when I took it to the computer. At least there, it would show me exactly if the item was in stock. Twenty two hours later, my eyes were blood shot and my fingers stiff. I found out that there were nothing on my list would arrive by Christmas. Not even that ugly afghan with sequins sewn on it and the little wheel barrow fountain would arrive!
What was this anyway? It was only eight days until Christmas. I could go to the store on Christmas Eve and buy things.
I toted all six hundred catalogs to the dumpster and tossed a bunch of coffee grounds on them to hide the turned down pages. I still don't like waking up from a nightmare about sleeping under the back porch in an ice storm.
I got dressed, fixed my hair, put on shoes and drove to the mall to search for a parking spot. To fight with the crowds and hustle around the racks and to wait in a line that stretched from the counter to the first red light on Main Street. At least the teller wouldn't tell me that the item I had in my hand was "sold out" or that it wouldn't arrive before Christmas.
Have you got your shopping done? It's only eight days until Christmas!
This is for those folks who are out looking at used ice cream trucks this morning.
I was looking at the pictures of the sweet tea on the top of my blog and another idea for the big people's ice cream truck came to me.
Our culture is moving slowly toward the east. I'm talking about southern sweet tea so if anyone in the northern part of the state has found a truck and is reluctant to make it into a beer wagon (I do like the idea of George Strait music filling the air) or wine, and you live in the north/north east areas. Think about making sweet tea for your new venture.
The way the folks out there buy tea in gallons at the grocery store, I bet you could make a fortune with a Southern Sweet Tea Wagon and you could play Dolly Parton, Josh Turner and a whole medley of country tunes as you drive around the neighborhoods.
I saw a cute little sign this evening that said there should be a margarita truck that rolled around the neighborhood playing mariachi music. Then when the adults heard it they could all run out to the curb with a fist full of dollars and buy one from the vendor.
It got me to thinking about that big people ice cream truck and what all it could offer. You know an ice cream truck doesn't only offer vanilla, but they've got those red, white and blue bombs, and orange sherbet pushups and those waffle cone things with caramel and nuts on the top.
So why limit it to margaritas and mariachi music?
Each hour it could serve up something different and play different music. George Strait coming down the road could be the hour that they serve up beer. Your choice of cans, bottles, lite or full body. Men would tuck their remotes into their hip pockets, hunt up stray pennies and stampede to the curb.
Then there could be a middle of the afternoon hour that means the wine truck is on the way. The little sign at the top could offer white, red, watermelon, blackberry or even those fancy French ones that I can't spell or pronounce. Believe me, if you'd make the driver look like the guys on the covers of romance books, the ladies would gather up all their spare change and be waiting in line at the curb. AND you could make an extra hundred dollars selling those little white hot flash pills for a dollar a pop with each glass of wine.
The sky would be the limit. All it would take was a few extra signs to put up to go with the music of the hour. The idea might be partly mine but I'll give it to anyone who wants to go into business.
For your weekend enjoyment I give you Welfare Recipient Blues, written by Mr. B, sung by Mr. B, starred in by Mr. B. Produced by our nephew, Ryan. Special thanks to Dennis Brown for supporting actor and for allowing his dogs to make an appearance. Also to our great nephew, Leland, for his cameo role.
So I found this little survey on FB and it made me both giggle and delighted me because under books the sweet lady had written "Anything by Carolyn Brown." Now that is an ego boost for sure, let me tell you! But anyway I decided to take the survey and here's the results:
➖Snuck out: No, ma'am. I was more afraid of my mama than Lucifer. ➖Broken a bone: You betcha. Mr. B. moved about a pint of air from the living room to the kitchen several years ago and I stumbled over it. My arm thought it could support me...it's not real smart! So it popped right out there and attempted to keep me from hitting my head and I wound up with a compound fracture! ➖Cried myself to sleep: Yes, I have. The first time I remember was when Mama said I could not go to the ROTC ball at Murray State College. I was devastated because I really, really liked that college boy who asked me. The last time was when they called me and said my sister had passed away suddenly as in talking one minute, falling and being gone the next. I cried until there were no tears and then cried some more. I don't remember sleeping that night at all. ➖Been arrested: No, but only because I didn't get caught. ➖Felt lonely: Few times especially the year that both my daughters got married the same summer and I had a bout of acute empty nest syndrome. And then for a year after my precious sister passed away, I felt lonely. She was my best friend and we told each other everything. I still miss her. ➖Been depressed: Not very often WHAT'S YOUR: ➖Birthday: My birthday is 10/22/48. I don't mind telling my age but only God and my primary physician's nurse know my weight and the nurse has signed an affidavit in blood that she will never tell Mr. B. ➖Dream job: Exactly what I'm doing right now, writing full time ➖Dream car: I have two dream cars. I want a 1963 Corvette and a 1959 Cadillac Convertible ➖Dream house: a cabin on a lake DO YOU: ➖Like someone: oh, yes ➖Love someone: For the past 49 years I've not only loved Mr. B but been in love with him. That does not mean I like him every single minute of every day but I've never stopped loving him. ➖Have tattoos: I hate needles. I mean I REALLY REALLY HATE them. ➖Have piercings: Refer to the above ➖Party: If that means treating my self to an extra Diet Coke and watching a movie while reclined back in my favorite recliner, then yes, I do party. FAVORITE: ➖Artist: Probably Thomas Kincaid ➖Movie: Steel Magnolias ➖Song: That changes by the hour but I will always love "Crazy" by Patsy Cline ➖Netflix series: Don't use Netflix but I do like Justified ➖Book: I have two...my Bible and Gone With the Wind ➖Color: Red
So there you go, folks! How many things did I tell you that surprised you?
Take a scroll through the books on my Amazon Author's Page and you'll find more than 20 of my books on sale for $1.99 through this month. The complete five book set of The Love's Valley series is up for grabs at only $1.99 each as well as the Angels and Outlaws trilogy, and many, many more. Some cowboys and some stand alone titles. So come right on in the doors rightHERE and pick out your December books!!
It's only two weeks and three days until The Wedding Pearls will be released. If you sign up for my newsletter you'll get a short prequel to the story that won't be available anywhere but in the newsletter I will send out on publication day. There's also a short prequel for Wild Cowboy Ways which will be sent on publication day, also. So move your little mouse over to my website photo to the right, click and enter your name and email address on the website. Easy, peasy and then you get an exclusive prequel to the stories.
Today I thought you might like a little snippet from The Wedding Pearls. This is Tessa and Branch's first meeting.
She’d only read a few words when the door pushed open,
bringing in a blast of hot muggy air and a tall, good looking cowboy. Tessa was
glad she was sitting down or she would have tripped over her own thoughts and
fallen right into his arms. He looked like one of those old Marlboro ads and a
CD cover of Blake Shelton all tossed in together. Her pulse kicked in a little
extra giddy-up and her heart did one of those thumps that only came along these
days on special occasions.
“Hello, is Tessa Wilson here?” he drawled.
She closed her book without using the book mark. “I’m Tessa.
What can I do for you?”
He nodded toward a chair and asked, “Mind if I sit?”
“Honeymoon?” she asked.
“No, ma’am.” He removed his hat, laid it on her desk and
raked his fingers through thick dark hair that feathered back perfectly. She
could read people and this man was damn sure nervous. Maybe he was married and
planning a trip with his mistress. It didn’t matter; her job was to put him at
ease and work a little magic to get him a good deal. Who or where he went
wasn’t a bit of her business.
He inhaled and let it out slowly. “I guess I am planning a
trip but not one that you can help me with. I’m here on official business.” He
slid a business card across the meticulously clean desk toward her.
She picked it up, glanced at the name and looked up into the
sexiest green eyes she’d ever seen. He looked far more like a rancher than a
lawyer. Dark hair, green eyes, square face with the perfect amount of chiseling
and a perfect sized cleft in his chin. She held her hands in her lap with her
fingers laced tightly together so she wouldn’t reach out and touch that little
Holy crap! She didn’t let clients affect her like this. It
had to be that the steamy sex scene in the romance book she’d been reading that
set her mind and hormones into overdrive. She glanced down at the cover of a
cowboy with a bare chest, hip slung jeans and a cowboy hat in his hands. It was
exactly like the black felt hat setting there between her and the new client.
She undressed him with her eyes and decided that he wouldn’t look so very
different than the model on the novel. She quickly closed her eyes and willed
the wicked thoughts away and then opened them again and glanced down at the
card one more time.
“Branch Thomas, what can I do for you?” Her throat was dry
but she was afraid to uncap the water bottle on her desk for fear she’d drop
the thing and make another mess.
His eyebrows knit together into a frown. “I’m not sure how
to put this in words and it might come as a shock. I guess the only way to say
it is to blurt it out. You’d think this would be easier since I’m a lawyer.”
“Spit it out,” she said.
“Okay then.” He nodded seriously. “I’m here on behalf of
your biological mother and grandmother. They would like to meet you. And that
trip I was talking about, they’re leaving on Tuesday for a month long road trip
around the perimeter of Texas and
they would like for you to go with them so y’all can get to know each other.”
His words tumbled out so fast and she was so intrigued with his eyes that they
didn’t sink in for several seconds.
“I’m sorry we don’t usually plan trips like that but if
you’d tell me how far they want to travel each day I could maybe work up some
tourist sites and hotels.” And that’s when she clamped a hand over her mouth.
“What did you say?”
He picked up his hat and laid it in his lap. “You did know
you were adopted?”
Any minute he was going to bolt and run. She could see it in
his eyes. “And you did know that you had a biological mother somewhere?”
Another slight tip of the head without losing eye contact
with him. “I’ve always known I was adopted. It didn’t matter and I’m
comfortable with it.”
“The rest is pretty self explanatory. Your birth mother and
grandmother would like to meet you this weekend. They live in Boomtown, Texas,
a few miles east of Beaumont.” He
looked at a travel poster on the wall behind her left shoulder as he talked. “It’s
about a three hour drive from here. They are willing to come over here or if
you wouldn’t mind the drive, they would like for you to come to Sunday dinner
to discuss this trip.”
Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all! I'm thankful today for family, friends and health and for all you folks who read my books, my blog and visit my website.
I'm one of those cooks who couldn't possibly tell anyone how to make my famous baked beans or many other recipes because I cook by taste and by smell just like my grandmother did. And one thanksgiving back in 1967 that got me into big trouble.
In 1966 I married Mr. B and the first year of our marriage we lived in south central Pennsylvania. In those days a Tex/Okie did not need a passport to travel to that foreign land but when Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I questioned the fact. I was in a foreign land where they did not make cornbread dressing. They'd never heard of sage and didn't even put it in their sausage when they butchered hogs after the first freeze.
When in Rome! I ate their stuffing and it wasn't bad but it was not cornbread dressing.
The next year, 1967, we'd moved to Oklahoma for Mr. B to go to college and Thanksgiving came around. I was as happy as a new born piglet in a hog wallow. And then Mama said she was making a sugar cured ham and there would be no dressing.
My world crashed! No dressing. Could a southern girl survive two years in a row without the proper Thanksgiving dinner?
Only one thing to do! I would make chicken and dressing. I'd watched Mama for years and it didn't look so difficult. So I made the cornbread and the biscuits, sautéed the celery and onions, and everything was looking real good.
Back up here. When I went to the grocery store to buy sage those big bottles that hold about a cup was on sale so I bought one of those rather than a little two ounce bottle.
Now move forward. Dressing has everything but the chicken broth and the sage. I added the broth and it looked a little too moist. Mama's dressing wasn't runny; it was just the right texture. So I crumbled two more biscuits and another two cups of cornbread. Then it was time for the sage. Mama always measured out a little in her hand so I did that and smelled it. No way was I tasting it with raw eggs in it. I didn't want to go talk to the feller on the other side of the Pearly Gates the day after Thanksgiving and admit I'd poisoned myself with raw eggs.
It didn't smell like Mama's dressing so I added a little more sage. Still not quite right so I poured quite a bit into the palm of my hand and threw it into the mix. Stuck my nose down close to it and it still didn't smell like Mama's. So I dumped all of what was left in the bottle into the bowl. Now it smelled like Mama's.
We could have shingled the house with what came out of the oven but the bio-hazard folks would have probably put the whole family in prison for having it on the property. It smelled wonderful and taste...
Well, Poppa took it out to the hog lot and they hugged the fence on the far side of the pen until he took it away. It wouldn't burn so he buried it in the back yard. Grass never grew again in that spot.
Several years ago I found a wonderful crock pot dressing recipe and that's what I make now. And I measure every single ingredient down to the grains of salt!
This is not Dr. Seuss. It is the gospel truth according to Carolyn Brown. Sometimes I think my body has an agreement with the universe. When it gets tired and worn down, then the universe zaps it with something that puts a complete and sudden stop to everything.
I did not even see the stop sign coming.
I did not even hear the train whistle blowing.
I did not even feel a little sneeze.
Until it hit me like a ton of bricks a week ago today. Sore throat. Muscle aches. Head ache. And yet there was a deadline looming ahead and characters yelling at me in my head to tell their story. My body was saying to take a pill (I am very drug sensitive and an aspirin knocks me on my fanny for hours) and I knew if I did, the characters would waltz through my dreams in the most bizarre ways (I do not write science fiction but romance so that would not work at all, no sir!) Then the sneezes started and the tissues started building up in the trash can.
When I was a child, this thing was called a cold. Then as I got older it was called the flu or sometimes it was just the allergies acting up. But whatever it is, I have sent it on the way to the nearest hypochondriac. I hope that person loves it and treats it well and keeps it the rest of the winter.
I do not want the dang thing back.
I do not want to sneeze again.
I do not want to take more pills.
I am however thinking serious of putting some money into stock in the toilet paper company. I ran out of tissues the first day and developed an close and there are many of those little inner rollers testifying in my trash can about how much of a cold/flu/allergies I have had. This week I am feeling almost human again. The bathroom scales say that I have fed this cold very well and that I gave it the strength to go on to that afore mentioned hypochondriac.
Tessa Wilson’s life is all over the map. She may be clumsy, but this time she’s stumbled into a pickle by choice, not by accident. She’s agreed to take a month-long trip around Texas jammed into a ’59 Cadillac with a drama-loving teenager, two elderly spitfires, and—oh, yes—her biological mama who gave her away at birth. And the ride gets even crazier when hot-as-sin cowboy Branch Thomas crosses into her lane. They don’t call him the sexiest man in the Lone Star State for nothin’.
As the miles pass and sparks fly between Tessa and Branch, her grandmother starts dropping hints about family wedding traditions. And as Tessa discovers the power of her budding friendships and the unbreakable strength of her newfound family of strong Texas women, she wonders if she’s also on the road to the biggest adventure of all: true love.
After only spending two nights in my bed in the past two weeks, I'm more than ready to hang my hat on a nail inside the back door. I'm always ready to go on an adventure but there is nothing like coming home, even when it takes a whole day to catch up on the laundry.
What about all y'all? Do you like to get back to your own warm, comfortable little rut or would you rather just travel forever?
My sister has been gone for two years now and sometimes I still go to the phone to call her. Or when I'm out shopping and find something that I think she'd like, I grab my cell phone to call her. She loved Christmas so I really do miss her at this time of year and I hate to even shop without her.
Yesterday, the universe cooperated and things fell into place for me to do some shopping with my youngest daughter who wallowed around more in my sister's DNA than she did mine. She had an appointment with her allergy doctor so we decided to make a day of it and find shoes for her to wear to my grandson's wedding on Saturday.
Nothing to that little job...right?
The first store that we went into didn't have shoes but it did have the cutest little dress with retro bell shaped sleeves. Black crocheted lace over silky cream colored lining and it fit her like it'd been tailor made for her. Perfect! Right? Nope, wrong again! Not just any old shoe would go with the dress so the shopping trip became a mission.
Second store. OMGoodness! The sign in the window advertised a big clearance sale. Forty nine thousand styles and only fourteen matched her dress. Thirteen pinched her toes and the last one flopped on her heel. But I did find a pair that I liked so it wasn't a total bust!
Third store. Nada. Nothing. Nil. Forget it. Everything had a six inch heel and a duck with ingrown toe nails would look better walking in those things that we would.
Fourth store. Not a thing but by this time we'd decided to look for a black bra since the lace on the top of her dress wasn't covered by that silky lining. And that's where all my sister's DNA rose to the top. We chose about a dozen black bras and toted them into the biggest dressing room in the whole store. Come on now! You know which one I'm talking about. That one that families take their little kids to so they can corral them so they can't get away while they're trying clothing on them. Where mamas go because there is a nice bench to sit on while their daughters try on a gazillion bras to find the right one for that cute little dress.
The dressing room was a time machine, transporting me back to those times when Sister and I tried on ridiculous "brand new" styles that would never look right on our bodies. Sister, Daughter and I are all vertically challenged but we make up for it in width so leggings are not our friends anymore than Spandex or short tailed skirts. And bras? Oh, sweet lord! They were definitely designed and created by men because no woman would make something as uncomfortable as those torturous things. I don't care if that little plastic thing that holds the strap in the back is shaped like a cute little heart...it still bites our fat cells. And that one that said ultimate comfort? Yeah, right! Maybe if the lady putting it on wore one of those things with a 32A on the tag and who didn't have a single extra little fat cell in her body. The only ultimate comfort in that expensive chunk of molded stuff was the moment it came off in the evening.
There was my daughter, trying to find the perfect bra for that dress and we were laughing so hard that I could feel Sister's spirit right there with us. I swear I even heard the mirror laughing and it didn't even shut up when we glared at it.
That got me to thinking about mirrors! Had Sister and I been in this same dressing room a couple of years ago? Did it remember us and had it missed her? Was it happy to see Daughter so it could have a few giggles to ease the pain of showing women who fussed and fumed when something didn't fit?
I hated to leave the dressing room but not one of those crazy bras fit and the store manager wasn't about to let us borrow a couple of pillows and a blanket and have a slumber party in there. So we blew kisses at the mirror and went on our way.
At the very last store we did find the perfect pair of shoes. And I swear I felt Sister smile!!
Cleaning closets and dresser drawers gives me hives so I don't do either nearly often enough. Clothing that hangs in a closet for more than one year is guaranteed to shrink at least two sizes, shoes get all that fuzzy stuff (I think it's called podiatrist dust bunnies...PDB for short) in them and don't even get me started on the spiders in the boots. Dresser drawers hold intimate things and believe me the closets have no monopoly on the ability to shrink clothing, be it skirts, shirts or under britches.
So I was cleaning with my bottle of Calamine lotion right handy to use at the first hint of an itchy place. And I ran across a little linen dress with lace sleeves, a fitted waist line and evidence that it had been too long because it had been hand hemmed.
My wedding dress!! I hadn't taken it out of that drawer since the last time I cleaned which was that day I had lunch with Columbus when he took a wrong turn and found himself steering his boat up the Washita River south of Davis, OK.
Mr. B's father took a few photos of us on the day I wore the dress but alas, the place where he took them to be developed sent back a whole packet of folks in a bowling tournament so there are no wedding day pictures of me in that dress. However, one year later on our anniversary, we did have one taken and I do have proof that I could zip the dress and the belt fastened around my waist even if it wasn't in the same little place as it was the day we said "I do." In the photo, Mr. B's suit still fit him, also. Picture a toe sack hanging on a broom handle!
On our second anniversary, child number one was four weeks away from making his entrance into the world so there was no need at all to try to fit that cute little linen dress around my "watermelon" shaped body. The next anniversary got away from us without evening remembering what day it was. We had a son who could scale a glass wall on a rainy day and tear up an army tank with a feather and a rubber band. I certainly did not have the time to drag out the dress and try it on.
Another year went by and it was "watermelon" time again. This time we had a beautiful blue eyed daughter who was going to grow up and wear my dress, maybe not to her wedding but to one of the affairs surrounding it.
A few months later, I did run across the dress in the drawer and tried it on. It almost zipped all the way which meant if I lost only ten pounds it would still fit like a charm.
Oh, BTW, Mr. B's suit still fit very well.
We spent our seventh anniversary in the hospital with our third child, the second daughter, who I was sure would want to wear my dress to something in the future.
There was no time to even think of the dress after we brought her home. Three kids in less than five years kept us both really busy. Our son was still plunking feathers from big-eyed vultures that were terrified of him so he could tear up army tanks. The middle child was embracing the terrible twos with an attitude of getting an A in the class. The new baby was a night owl who wanted to play all night and sleep all day.
Besides the mirror said that there was no way in the great green earth I could put my body into that dress again. The mirror did not say rude things to Mr. B so I threw it out in the yard.
We moved twenty one times in the first thirteen years of our marriage and that dress and suit moved every time with us. The last time we packed them both away and forgot about them. Then as I was cleaning, I found the dress!
I grabbed up my dress like a long, lost friend and wondered if I could get into it. Mr. B fetched his suit from the old army truck and slipped on the pants and coat right over his jeans and T-shirt. Yep, still fit about the same. Pleading modesty, I took my dress into the bathroom.
Linen does not stretch. It does however shrink two sizes for each year that it lies in a dresser drawer. The mirror chuckled when I unzipped the dress and pulled it up over my knees. It laughed until dew drops formed at the top and streamed down to the vanity when the zipper broke. It got choked and shut up when I shook the hair brush at it and reminded it of what happened to the last mirror that had the audacity to cross me.
"Let me see," Mr. B said from the other side of the locked door.
I didn't say a word. I just folded it so the broken zipper didn't show, marched out of the room and put it in the trunk with his suit. Old army trunks do not shrink clothing. Old army trunks might even let them grow a size or two with each passing year.
On our 75th wedding anniversary I think it might have enough time to age into a lovely dress to wear to our party!
I'm cruising this week, signing books aboard the Princess Regal and meeting lots of wonderful folks. While I'm out to sea, I thought y'all might like to have a free book to read. So for today, Friday, Nov. 6, only I'm giving you Honky Tonk Angel! Right HERE will take you to the Amazon site where you can download it for free!!
And...(don't you just love that word? It means there's even more on the way) The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop is a Kindle Daily Deal which means that for today only, Friday, Nov. 6, you can buy it for only $1.99. If you already have it, it would make a lovely gift for a friend! And if you are on the Princess Regal, I do believe there is a copy of the book in the ship's library for you to borrow! If you were one of those sweet fans who stood in line yesterday to get a copy of the book, I'd love to know what you thought of it when you finish visiting Cadillac, Texas.
And...(there's that word again that we love) Cowboy Boots for Christmas and The Cowboy's Christmas Baby are on sale for the next few days for only $1.99 each!! They might get you in the mood to do some Christmas shopping! So that gives all my awesome readers some reading material while I'm away. When I get home I'll post pictures of this totally fantastic cruise!
Now that it is November I can say that I have not one but TWO books coming out next month! On December 15, The Wedding Pearls will be published and one week later on Dec. 22, Wild Cowboy Ways will hit the shelves. And they are both priced at only $4.99!!
And I'm going to run a couple of contests that will have these two items as prizes...
For The Wedding Pearls, a pearl and diamond necklace since a strand of pearls has a big part in the story. And since Wild Cowboy Ways will be the 75th book and that's the diamond anniversary, I'm giving away a double heart diamond necklace.
The details are still in the works but it does have a lot to do with preorders so save your proof of purchase from wherever you buy either book. I've got a goal of 4000 preorders from Amazon on Wild Cowboy Ways and right now I'm not even half way there. And the goal is the same for The Wedding Pearls.
There will also be a little contest going that concerns those who sign up for my newsletter and doing that might get you an extra ticket in the pearl and diamond contest. But it will definitely get you something extra on the day the books are published in the form of my newsletter. So that's what I know right now. If you want to get your name in the famous red boot, preorder The Wedding Pearls right HERE and Wild Cowboy Ways right HERE and save your proof and sign up for my newsletter on my website...which you can get to right HERE.
Wild Cowboy Ways is on preorder sale for only $4.99 and will be out Dec. 22, so today I'm going to treat you to an excerpt. Hang on to your preorder proof from wherever you order it because there will be a fantastic contest beginning in a few weeks to celebrate the publication day and you might need that proof!!!
So here it is folks...never before seen footage of Wild Cowboy Ways!
Katy Logan popped her hands on her hips. That gesture
usually brought all three girls to attention but since Fiona was in Houston,
only Lizzy and Allie sat up straighter in their chairs. “No one ever lasts over
there at the Lucky Penny so promise me that you won’t do any more than fix his
roof. I heard he’s pretty damned handsome.”
Allie put up both palms, fingers splayed. “For God’s sake,
Mama. I’m not going to marry the man. I’m going to put a roof on his house and
Katy pushed her dark hair, with streaks of white starting to
show, behind her ears. “Your grandmother said he looked at you like he could
eat you up.”
Allie took down four plates from the cabinet, put the
silverware in the top one and started setting the table for breakfast. “Hell’s
bells, Mama. Granny was so busy talking about Walter that she didn’t know who
she was or where she was. And I smelled like pine oil and ammonia. I don’t
think he wanted to bite into that. He flirted with me to get me to say I’d fix
his roof. His kind isn’t interested in women like me.”
Her youngest sister, Lizzy, whipped her dishwater blonde
hair up into a pony tail and went to the pantry to get several bottles of
syrup. “Why can’t you find a good decent man like my Mitch? He wouldn’t have to
be a preacher but he needs to be a godly man.”
“I had a man who went to church. I fell in love with him and
gave him my heart and he broke it so no, thank you, not just to godly men but
to any man. I’m going to the Lucky Penny to put a roof on the house, not have a
fling with the new cowboy in town,” Allie said.
Lizzy plopped the syrup on the table and went to the
refrigerator for the butter dish. “If you go over to the Lucky Penny, you can
bet you’ll be in the gossip spot light even worse than when you left Riley.
Besides every unmarried woman in ThrockmortonCounty probably is layin’ out plans
to get to know Brian. I heard that Sharlene was making a Mexican casserole to
take to him. You know what that means.”
Allie popped Lizzy on the arm. “His name is Blake and I did
not leave Riley. He left me and that was seven years ago. And yes, I know that
Sharlene expects something hot in return for her hot Mexican casserole.”
“Mama, she hit me,” Lizzy said.
“I barely touched you,” Allie protested.
“Don’t get all pissy with me,” Lizzy said. “I’m trying to
make you see that this is a bad idea. You can’t stop gossip and it’s been a
long dry spell in town for good rumors.”
“Bullshit!” Allie brought out butter and a bowl of fruit. “A
roofing job will only last a week. What can happen in a week?”
Since our small town (population less than three thousand) has a Halloween parade and carnival on Saturday night, tonight has been designated as Trick or Treat night in Davis, Oklahoma.
I was one of those over protective mothers when our kids were little. No way were they going to be encouraged to walk up to strangers' houses and take candy that might have poison in it. But when Lemar was six and Amy was almost four, I was managing an apartment complex in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and I reassessed the situation. I knew all the folks in my complex and if one of them did something stupid like give my kids tainted candy, I had the power to evict them.
So I agreed that they could go to the fifty apartments in our complex and over to their grandmother's place and aunt's and uncle's to Trick or Treat. But alas, I made the decision too late and there were no more costumes down at the store.
That was when I looked at my handsome son and decided he would be a Kentucky gentleman that evening. I slicked his hair back and put one of his father's fancy vests on him along with jeans and a white shirt and tie. He had a set of toy six guns so we added those to the costume and tucked a card in his vest pocket and he was not only a gentleman but a gambler.
Then it was on to his four year old sister. It was in the days of long dresses so I figured she could wear one of those and compliment his new status as gambler and gentleman. I pulled her long blonde hair up in a fancy do and put a little makeup on her face, reminding her again not to ever use anything but what came out of the bathroom. (She was the child who ground up poison ivy leaves the summer before until they were a paste and applied it to her face for pretend makeup. And yes, we did wind up in the emergency room!)
Lemar stood there and watched while I worked on my makeshift costume for Amy and finally drew his little dark brows down and asked. "What is she anyway, Mama?"
"I'm making her into a lady," I answered.
"You are making a lady out of that?" His eyes were big as silver dollars.
And that is one of my favorite memories! Do kids still come to your door? Do you have a favorite memory?
The AMAZING Sara Richardson is featuring Wild Cowboy Ways on her Author Page today on FB. There's a giveaway, an exclusive excerpt from Wild Cowboy Ways that you won't want to miss and lots of fun going on over there. Take a peek and be sure to like her page while you are there.
Click right HERE to go straight to the site and read the very first excerpt from Wild Cowboy Ways! Be sure to leave a comment on her page to be entered in the contest to win her newest awesome release, Something Like Love, plus a copy of Daisies in the Canyon!
I've been out of pocket with limited Internet for a few days. During that time my brother missed getting to talk to me on my birthday so he called today. I always love talking to him and we had quite the conversation and even solved one of the big issues of getting older. And that's why do lots of people have weight problems once they pass that big 5-0 birthday.
When we are born we have a head full of empty brain cells that are slowly filled up as we age. Filled with how to go from chewing on our hands as babies when we are hungry to chewing on a sirloin steak when we are older. Or simple things like how to walk, how to go to the potty (which just delighted our mothers when that brain cell went from empty to full), how to spell our name in school.
You got the jest there! We filled up brain cells very quickly through the next sixteen years. At that time we did lose a few to rebellious times. Burned through a few with reckless driving and a few more the night we smoked those cigars and drank chocolate root beers just to show the world we could and then a few more when we thought we knew more than our parents.
Then suddenly we were out on our own and learning things like the dishes in the sink did not magically wash themselves, the lawn did not mow itself...you know all those things that parents did that we thought were just done by unicorns and fairy dust. And boy, oh boy, did we fill up a lot of brain cells in those years.
Plus there was the training for a job that required billions of cells. It didn't matter if we were digging ditches or running a company, we had to learn how to do it. And that word LEARN was one of the main culprits in puffing up the old brain cells.
Then poof, we are at retirement age and our brain cells are all overflowing. So where do things go now? What do we do?
That's what my brother and I figured out this morning. All that stuff that used to go into brain cells now goes straight to our fat cells. It has to go somewhere and that's the only avenue left. Problem solved. You are welcome!
So today I got out the suitcases for another trip. The cats, Fat Boy and Boots, hate to see that happen. Usually Fat Boy crawls inside, curls up and refuses to get out. I guess he thinks he can go with us if he hides. Boots just pouts and give us the old stink eye.
It reminded me of another trip many years ago. We'd planned a cross country, from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, trip for months but things worked out so that we could go three days earlier than planned. No problem. We had three kids, aged 5, 7 and 10 who could help us pack in a hurry so we could be on our way.
I sent Lemar, the oldest, to fetch a red T-shirt from the dryer. I could wear it with three different outfits while we were there. And Ginny, the youngest, to find red socks for her cute little overall jumper. And so went the next hour. Amy was to go get underwear for the whole family. Seven pair of each.
I packed the small suitcase that we'd use at the hotel along the way and kept working on the bigger cases that would stay in the trunk until we arrived. We loaded it all up and away we went.
Like always the kids were fairly good the first couple of hours and since it was getting on up toward evening, we figured they'd sleep through the night. So rather than being out money for a hotel, Mr. B and I decided we'd take turns and drive straight through. I knew I should sleep because at midnight it would be my turn but at ten o'clock the kids got a second wind and decided to sing.
Mr. B pulled off at a roadside rest a few minutes until the Cinderella hour and everyone took off to the rest rooms. When we got back into the car, Mr. B propped a pillow on the window and was snoring before I drove out of the parking lot. Lemar claimed his half of the back seat and Amy got the other half. Ginny was so tiny that she fit on the floorboard. Two miles down the highway I was the only one awake.
Sleep, like yawning, is contagious. My eyes got so heavy that I wished I'd left that roll of tape in the glove compartment. I could drive as long as they were open, right? At two o'clock I figured out that I could sleep with my right eye closed and the left one open to drive. It worked real well until I tried to wake up the right eye. It was downright cantankerous but I finally convinced it to open up and let the left one sleep a few minutes. That worked about three times and then the shifting got me into a world of trouble. There is a time in between being wide awake like the left eye and being asleep like the right one, when neither one is doing a very good job of driving.
And that's when my tires went off the road and into the gravel. I managed to get straightened up and gave both my eyes a hard lecture. Neither one of them got to sleep anymore! No, sir!
When my heart settled down and the adrenaline rush bottomed out, I looked up and saw a beautiful sign flashing ahead. It said VACANCY!!! That was an omen telling me not to trust my eyes. I put on the blinker and pulled into a motel that most normally I wouldn't even give a second look. Mr. B awoke when the car stopped and asked me if it was his turn to drive.
"Nope, we're staying right here and when we wake up we'll make the rest of the trip," I told him.
No one argued with me. The kids were so glad to have real beds that they went right back to sleep and I fell into the bed and told both my eyes they could close. And they did!
But like Paul Harvey says, "And here's the rest of the story." We got to PA and I started to unpack. We had socks but no matching pairs in the lot. Ginny had twelve pairs of under britches. Amy had two and I had fourteen. There were three pair of Hanes for men in Mr. B's size and eleven in Lemar's. I had a red shirt but it was Ginny's size, not mine. When I asked Lemar about it, he said, "But Mama, I held it up and it looked like it would fit you."
I hugged him five times and kissed his forehead even though he hated it. If he saw his mother as someone that small, be danged if I'd fuss at him.
I did the packing from then on and it was the last time we tried that "drive straight though" idea. But I still remember how funny unpacking those suitcases were that morning. And how much I loved my son for thinking I was model thin and not the chubby housewife that I was!
My first newsletter went out today! If you haven't signed up for it, you can do so at my website (which is located to your right here on the blog site). It's painless and free and only takes about ten seconds of your time!
These past couple of days I've been thinking of fashion. I do have twelve granddaughters so I have to keep up with these things. But it hasn't been girls' fashion that has caught my eye.
I've been noticing that there's a kind of blue jeans that seems to affect the men folks who wear them. They can be plain jeans, designer jeans, baggy jeans, stretch jeans or boot cut jeans. Style doesn't really seem to matter as long as this funny looking round circle is faded on the back pocket.
Men and boys who wear them have this strange looking lump on the side of their jaw that looks somewhat like they might have a terrible toothache. And they talk funny, like they wallowing a hunk of lumpy oatmeal around in their mouth.
Whatever it is that comes with those jeans must taste real good because the men would rather have it in their mouths than have a pretty girl hanging on their arm. It's a given that women folks are not interested in hanky panky when their feller's cheek is all swollen out like that. I've never seen a woman latching onto a feller in one of those passionate soap opera kisses when he's got a jaw loaded up with whatever it is that comes in those jeans.
It gives them a silly lopsided grin and makes their teeth turn a strange shade of brown. When they laugh they make a "m-m-m-m" sound rather than throwing back their heads for a full blown man-type fit of laughter.
Somehow the same symptoms can show up in a feller who is wearing bibbed overalls if there's a round spot on their hip pocket or even on the bibbed pocket of their overalls. It looks something like a denim ring worm.
I try to be very careful when I shop for the gentlemen in my family. I check really close to make sure there's not a faded circle anywhere on what I'm about to buy. If there is, I shut my check book, hide my plastic credit card and make a bee line for home.
My Cowboy name is: Cussin' Cathy "Absolutely Horrible" Bunnypopper...the woman who tamed Reno with her bare hands, her sobering wit, and her smoldering good looks! I'm going to run a contest today...everyone who puts their Cowboy/Cowgirl name on my FB page will get their name in the boot for one of my ebooks...Kindle or Nook. Your choice!
Last spring, two amazing authors, Barbara Longley and Heather Burch joined me
on an inspirational cruise with Princess Cruises in conjunction with Kindle
Love Stories. We each wrote a short story about a couple who fell in love on a
Princess Cruises ship and on November 3 we will go on another cruise to promote
our stories as well as our other works.
Starting today, October 13, To Catch a Bouquet is FREE for your
Kindle on Amazon. Click HERE to go right to the site and download it to your Kindle!
One Upon a Night at Sea by Barbara Longley and Kiss
Me Maybe by Heather Burch are also free.
Check us out at Kindle Love Stories Facebook, Kindle Love Stories Twitter,
kindlelovestories.com, and on Princess Cruise Line social networks. Happy
reading and we hope you enjoy falling in love with our characters as much as we
did when we were writing the stories.
TO CATCH A BOUQUET: A straight-talking redhead, a tried-and-true cowboy,
and a magical week on the high seas.
Annie Grace Thomas would rather be hauling hay than spending a week on a
cruise ship, no matter how spectacular it happens to be…at least until she
Clint McCall wouldn’t be on that ship if it weren’t for his parents’ wedding
anniversary and vow renewal—a family celebration he couldn’t possibly refuse to
join. But when a bouquet unexpectedly comes sailing through the air at him—and
he looks down at the cute little redhead who is holding the other side of
it—little does he know that his life is about to change forever.
No one just plain holds down a job, brings home the bacon and is a middle-classed person anymore. Everyone has to be something. After all, who wants to go to a ten, twenty or fifty year class reunion or meet an old flame's wife on the street and say that they are a waitress or a cashier or even just the grandmother of a dozen rowdy grandchildren.
Not that any or all of the above is beneath anyone's dignity. A job is a job and sometimes they're harder to come by than a dollar to buy a loaf of bread. It's all good honest work and brings on wrinkles as fast as "presidenting" the U.S. of A.
But it does not sound as good as a title with a fancy name. Everyone wants to be something high sounding and the more words the title has the better. It can stretch into a whole paragraph and that makes whoever is giving themselves that title very important and a great benefit to the community where they live.
And if they can't have a nice, long really rich sounding title then they want to be "into" something.
Take for instance Cousin Hortense. She's always been a "few French fries short of a Happy Meal" and we all had to help her or she would have never graduated from the Northside Elementary School. But nowadays she is the Assistant to the Head Director of Engineering in a local business. Which means she is the dishwasher down at Mabel's Bar and Grill located in the alley behind the dry cleaning place.
Remember Beulah Beth Smith who dated Bubba Buford in high school. Ask her what she's doing the next time you run into her at the grocery store. She'll tell you that she's into computers which means she runs the electric cash register at Bubba's Tire Shop down south of town.
And me? I smile and whisper, "I'm the keeper of coupons."
Everyone knows I'm a romance author but whispering that makes them think I've told them a secret. They can't wait to get away from me, pull out their cell phones and call all their friends to report. "Hey you remember Carolyn Brown from Tishomingo High School? Well, she's doing something for the government. I don't know if it's the FBI or the IRS but be careful what you tell her because she's the keeper of coupons and I bet she could get you locked up with a wink and a nod."
What the keeper of coupons really means is that I'm the tight wad who peels out a stack of coupons at the check out counter and make the cashier be sure to give me double duty on anything under one dollar. It's posted right out there on the outside of the entrance door so I fully well expect to have full credit for my coupons. Or I could call the IRS or the CIA or maybe the WGAD agency. That last one stands for Who Gives A Dang but shhhh...it sounds important.
There is a contest going on over on my Author's FB page. Check it out and like my page if you haven't already. All you have to do is comment on the post with the cowboy boots to get your name in the drawing for a signed book...drawing happening tomorrow morning.
Scrub potatoes and cut into chunks. (I leave the skins on
because it gives the potato salad more color)
Cover with water in a large pot and cook until done. Do not
overcook or the potatoes will turn to mush when you stir in the other
While they are cooking, chop the green onions and cook the
bacon. Mix those with the other ingredients and gently stir into the cooked
potatoes. Refrigerate several hours before serving.
large heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat.
Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls
away from the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Beat in eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each egg.
in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees F
(200 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Cool completely.
make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk and beat until
smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until thickened. Spread over cooled shell. Top
with whipped topping, and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.