Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pleadings and Ramblings

Before I begin, thank you all for your sweet and comforting words yesterday. I am honored to have such wonderful friends.

It is one of the most deadliest killers in the world, and it cares not what your race, religion, or gender is. It strikes like a "thief in the night," completely ravaging the defenseless victim, and leaving a sea of despair in its wake. The menace is cancer, and every year it claims hundreds of thousands of lives world-wide..

Many of my friends have had this hated disease, and this year it claimed my aunt and my sister-in-law's lives. In an effort to assist in the continuation of the "cutting edge" cancer research, Much More Than a Mom--her father has cancer--has "created a line of merchandise and built an online store to raise money for cancer [research]."

Click here to go her online store.
Please take a minute and visit her store. She has a wonderful line of merchandise, and all proceeds will go to cancer research.

Also, please pass along this info to friends and family through email, word-of-mouth, or posting it on your blog. Let's all join together in stopping this killer.

On another note~~~~~

While visiting MUCH MORE THAN A MOM'S blog, I borrowed this meme from her. I haven't done one in a while, so here goes.

1. The book nearest me:
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg (It's hilarious)

2. Stretch your left arm, what do you touch?
A glass of chilled white wine. (Yeah, I know, "eww", but I'm out of red. I as cooking with it yesterday anyway. Food, not myself, I wasn't cooked on wine.)

3. Last thing watched on television?
Barney (Now you know why I'm drinking the wine)

4. Without looking, what time is it?
6 PM

5. What is the actual time?
6:13 PM (Okay, ya got me. I cheated and peeked)

6. With the exception of the computer what can you hear?
My toddler talking, TV in the next room, and the soothing strains of jazz

7. When did you last step outside?
Three hours ago before Judge Judy was on.

8. Before this meme, what did you look at?
A children's story I was working on.

9. What are you wearing?
Gray workout shorts and a women's blue tee. (It's mine, I didn't steal it from another woman)

10. Did you dream last night?
Yep. I dreamed I was chasing a chicken through my mother's house.

11. When did you last laugh?
An hour ago when I was chasing my toddler around the house and roaring like a lioness.

12. What is on the walls in the room you’re in?
wedding pictures, family pictures, a Norman Rockwell print, and a signed picture of Rocky Marciano. (the last one is John's)

13. Seen anything weird lately?
yeah, my reflection in the mirror every morning

14. What do you think of this quiz?
Somewhat interesting

15. What is the last film you saw?
Rose Red on DVD

16. Tell us something we don’t know.
I once jumped forty feet off the face of a cliff.

17. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you do?
Teach tolerance

18. Do you like to dance?

19. George Bush?

20. Imagine your first child is a girl
Why would I want to do that?

21. Imagine your first child is a boy.
Umm. He is

22. Would you consider living abroad?
Yes, I could live in Italia (Italy) or Spain for a short time.

23. What would God say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Let me double-check this and make sure there's no mistake.

24. List some bloggers to carry on this meme.
Anyone who wants to.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A ghost of the past

As we all know, one year ago today, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans like a straight-razor through cheap fabric, leaving a trail of incomperable destruction and despair in its wake. I remember staring at the TV in horror and thinking, No way, there's been a mistake. No way is that the "Big EZ."

Just a week prior to that, I had sipped margaritas and laughed the night away at my cousin's house near the New Orlean's levies; I had walked the street of the French Quarter and sipped coffee at the legendary Dumond, the joyous strains of jazz resonating from every corner. Now, the streets were as silent as a cemetary, and my cousin's house was destroyed.

Anxiously, I watched TV, hoping to see the familiar faces of family members. I wished with all my heart to see Uncle F's housekeeper, "E" who just the week before had smoothed my hair back from my face, kissed my ckeek, and said "Everything will be okay, child," as I sat in her kitchen and vented about the slowness of a publisher's response. But I saw no one I knew in the sea of upturned faces, faces filled with horror and unimaginable grief.

We worried the most about Uncle F, a seventy-six year-old priest who was beginning to show his age. As the days past, we learned "E" and the family members had escaped; Uncle F, on the other hand, and faced his car into the storm and ventured to a hospital to assist the staff and administer last rights to the dying. We learned he was in one of hopitals that was nearly impossible to evacuate. A week later he was rescued, along with the other occupants of the hospital.

We thank God for everyone rescued and mourn those who weren't. New Orleans, like so many other parts of the South, will "rise again,"; but will it be the same carefree city of yester year? Sadly, no.

I hope it soon finds the one thing it's lacking, the one thing money can't be used for, peace.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Oh the sweet, smokey flavor

The land here is as dry as Melba toast, with no promise of rain in sight. The only thing that's thriving are the mesquite trees and the cactus. There's a plus to this though; it's now the time of year when the mesquite trees, shed their long finger-length seed pods, or beans, and this year there's a bumper crop.

According to the old timers, if a horse or cow eats too many of the sugary-sweet bean, they go "plumb loco" for a short time. Which makes sense, because if the bean has a large natural sugar content, the poor beasts are more than likely suffering from what we refer to as a "sugar high". As many of you living in the Southwest already know, the mesquite tree is a very valuable commodity. A few years ago, barbequing buffs tried using the wood of the mesquite in their pits, and loved the sweet flavor it gave the meat.

I personally found, that if you add a few dried mesquite beans to the fire before the meat fully cooks, the sweet smokey flavor is intensified.

The beans can be ground into meal, used in recipes, and has a high nutritional content; the Southwestern Native Americans discovered that centuries ago.

Here's a pretty good mesquite bean jelly recipe.

I gathered some beans yesterday; and so, after a lunch of migas and nopalitos, I'll throw the beans on the fire and smoke my chicken.

What's your favorite exotic food? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Growing pains

Here's an awesome link I received in an email.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your awesome stories!

School started this Tuesday, and for me it's a bittersweet time; my oldest "baby" started junior high this year. Seems like only yesterday the air was perfumed with the smell of baby lotion, now is weighs heavy with the smell of Old Spice, the odor of a young man. Toy trucks lay in a corner of the closet, forgotten like yesterday's news, and NASCAR posters have dethroned the cute puppy pictures that once proudly ruled the bedroom walls.

Reality jumped up and bit me in the rear the day before school started when Seth, Robert, and I met John in town for lunch. "Excuse me madam, but you gave me the wrong menu," Seth said politely, handing the blood-red colored menu back to the gum-smacking, bored looking, waitress. "I need the kid's menu."

"No one over the age of twelve can order off the kid's menu," the waitress said, handing back the menu.

Seth's face lit up at the idea of all the new food options, but my heart plummeted to my shoes; the menu was hard core evidence my child was no longer a "baby".

After the last crumb was devoured, Seth reached into his jean pocket and pulled out his blue nylon wallet, with Italia (Italy) emblazoned across the front, and clearing his throat importantly said, "I'll pay my part." He blanched when he saw his "part" was $6.50, but wordlessly took the money out of his wallet, and laid the wrinkled bills on the table. Already he was learning the cost of growing up.

There was a little extra bounce to his step as he left the restaurant; he paused at the door to give the young buxom brunette hostess a flirty wink Oh boy, it's starting already, I thought, rolling my eyes. To my surprise and irritation, the girl smiled shyly, and batting her eyelashes, said "Hope to see you soon."

Cool your engines honey, he's just barely a teen, I wanted to say. Instead, put my hand on Seth's shoulder and steered him out of the restaurant. In the parking lot, I instinctively reached for his hand. "I don't need my mommy to hold my hand," he hissed, jerking away and walking to the car.

He doesn't need me anymore, I sniffed, slinking into the driver's seat. Oh get over it, you knew this day would come, my inner voice scolded.

But not this soon, I argued.

That night, I watched from the living room as Seth thumped around in his bedroom, packing and repacking his school supplies for what seemed like 100 times. "Hey Mom, come here a minute would you?"

"What?" I asked from the doorway.

Seth ran and jumped onto his bed, the mattress bucking like a horse from the impact. "Tuck me in and sing to me, okay?"

"Aren't you too old for that?"

"Never. . .I'll never be too old to have you tuck me in. You can even tuck me in on my wedding night."

Ooh boy. I bet your bride will love that, I snickered to myself.

"Take me to school tommorrow?" he asked.


"Because I'm not sure where I'm going and--"

"And what?" I coaxed.

"I'm scared and I want you with me. Happy now?" he grumbled.

Happy? I was overjoyed; my half-grown son still needed me after all.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The face of evil

After last week’s post, I’m sure you can tell what affect the paranormal sometimes has on me. Things that “go bump” in the night send me scampering under the covers, quivering like a bowl of Jell-o.

Unfortunately, I’m a fan of horror movies, the scarier the better. When I was little (9), one Halloween night, I sat frozen in Daddy’s lap as I watched the undead attack a house in the cult classic, Night of the Living Dead.

Late that night, I felt it was my mission to protect myself and my parents from the ghouls lurking in the dark just outside the front door. Quiet as a mouse, I slipped out of bed, and grabbing a baton on the floor, crept into the inky blackness of the hallway. I made my way to the front door, and was reaching for the knob when it swung open. There, in the doorway, was the silhouette of a person, or what was pretending to be a person.

Screeching like a banshee, I took a step forward, and swinging with all the strength I had in my young arms, struck the beast with the baton. It let out a strangled cry, then collapsed like a broken puppet to the floor.

“What on earth?” Mama demanded, breezing past me toward the beast.

“Mama, don’t!” I cried. “It’s the face of evil!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she snapped. “It’s your father,” she said, turning on the hall light.
I felt like I’d been on a roller coaster too long as I watched my daddy, flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water, clutching his wounded knee. The next morning he limped to the breakfast table and sternly announced my “horror movie watching” had ended for a while.

Now it's your turn. ;o) What was your funniest or scariest moment as a child?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fall is a'comin, and the devil might be after me

Today, as the wind shifted, it carried with it the promise of the arrival of Autumn. As I stood there and allowed the wind to caress me with its invisible fingers, my mind drifted to a Fall long ago.

When I was in kindergarten, I went to the Fall festival with my parents and two grandmothers. The entire school was ablaze with decorations crafted by the chubby hands of my schoolmates, and contributions from Mother Nature--in the form of autumn leaves--hung from the ceiling; even my family was swept away by the party-like atmosphere. Hot mulled cidar simmered in giant caldron-like pots, dealt out in paper cups by teachers dressed as witches, and candy apples were passed around like currancy; some costumed patrons sported bits of the candied treat in their hair and on their clothes, but for that one night, no one cared.

Each classroom held a different activity, and I eagerly ran from one room to another, clutching the few precious quarters Daddy gave me in my grimy little hands. My own classroom had a rummage sale, and rows of donated goods-ranging from slightly used clothes to fishing poles--lined the tiny desks and tables.

I fell in love with an Indian maiden, who was clad in leather as soft as chicken down, and beads more colorful than the rainbow. "Can I have this?" I asked Mama, holding the precious doll to my cheek.

"No," she sighed, "you don't play with dolls very often, and after you're bored with it, you'll just pull the head off like you do all the others."

I mustered a single tear, and willed it to stay poised in the corner of my eye, sparkling like a diamond. My granny--my father's mother--gently took the doll from me and turned it over in her work-hardened hands. "Do you really want this?"

I swallowed the marble-sized lump in my throat and nodded, wiping my eyes with my hand. A warm smile lighted her tanned, full moon-shaped face. "Then my love, you shall have it."

"Oh thank you Granny!" I flashed Mama a victorious smile, while she, in return, gave me one of her patented wait-till-I-get-you-home looks. I ignored her, and with the spirit of a wild foal, raced off to the next room with the doll, my new best friend; I didn't know how quickly the friendship would end. Even back then I had the attention span of a gnat, and I laid my precious doll down, not remembering it again until it till it was too late.

Daddy and I went from room-to-room, looking, but it was all in vain; someone else had walked off with my dolly. Heart broken, I wept real tears. "I knew this would happen," Mama hissed. "She's too irresponsible."

I know now why Mama was so upset; the doll cost two dollars, a lot back then to some. My grandfather supplimented his ranch with a crop of farm-raised tomatoes. Each bushel of tomatoes took almost an hour to pick, and sold for around $2. I had thrown both my granny's time and money away when I lost the doll.

Back to the story. . .

Granny knealt down and embraced me in a bear hug. "She couldn't help it, she's still a baby ," Granny told her. She took a white hankie, embroidered with roses, out of her pocket , and with a touch as light as an angel's kiss, wiped away my tears. "Now, what can we do to make you feel better?"

All night, I heard kids talking about the spook house. "I wanna go to the spoof house," I lisped excitedly.

Daddy shook his head vigorously "I don't think it's a good idea."

"Why not?" Granny demanded.

"Debbie has never been, and you know she's a little high-strung--"

"Pish posh," Granny interrupted. "I'll take her." She grabbed me by the hand, and we headed outdoors in fog as thick as pea soup to the rambling Colonial style house, doubling as the spook house. The evening air chilled our bones and painted our noses a bright red as we stood in the back of the line, awaiting entrance into the house.

Finally, as timidly as mice, we all crept across the red brick porch, and went inside, the heavy wooden door creaking in protest as we entered. We jumped as the door slammed shut. A chap dressed all in red, with eyebrows as fuzzy as caterpillers, grinned at us; a pair of goat-like horns adorned his head, and he held tightly to a pitchfork. I remember feeling extremely uneasy as he tried to shake my hand.

'Who's that?" I asked Granny.

"It's the devil," she said, laying a protective hand on my shoulder.


"Yes baby. He'll leave you alone. Let's go on."

In the next room was a man, dressed in a tux, his face as white as plaster, laying in what I thought was a black funny shaped bed with a lid. Standing on my tip-toes, I leaned over into the "bed" and screeched, "Hey mister, better wake up! The devil is gonna get you!"

Never losing character, the man sat up, and smiled, displaying a mouthful of sharp teeth. "Vank you," he hissed.

"My name is Debbie and I think you need to see the dentist."

"Vank you again," he chuckled, shaking my hand. "I am Count Dracula."

"Nice to meet ya," I called as Granny dragged me away. Near the end of the spook house was a long tunnel, contructed of industrial strength, extra large, packing boxes taped together. Dropping to our hands and knees, Granny and I began crawling through; we were halfway done when a male voice called, "Run, the devil is after you!" Everything from that point on is a blur, but I remember my tiny heart racing like a jet plane as I scrambled like a crab over the backs of everyone in front of us. I emerged as the leader at the end of the box, and my feet had wings as a I raced back to the school, leaving my granny behind. I didn't stop running until I found my parents and my other grandmother.

'The devil has Granny!" I said, sobbing hysterically as I threw myself into Daddy's arms. A few minutes later, Granny walked in laughing, and wiping tears from her eyes. "She heard the devil was after us and off she went," Granny gasped. "The guy playing the devil had to help me to my feet."

That occurred more years ago than I care to remember, and haunted houses still give me the shakes; I rarely go in, you see, the devil might be there again, waiting for me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Gentlemen. . .start your engines". . . if you can

I've done it! For the past several weeks, I've campaigned to rifd ourselves of the giant white albatross, the GMC Jimmy. It was the last staw, in my book, when the blasted thing refused to start up at the post office. As I trudged down the street, a very grouchy toddler in tow, I looked back over my shoulder and for a brief instant thought the darned thing smiled and winked at me (no, not really).I started my JIMMY BE GONE campaign that night

"The truck is on its last legs, we need a new set of wheels, or at least a better used one." The Jimmy's exterior is in GREAT shape, but its engine is going to pot.

"I don't want to be saddled with a car payment," John countered. "It just needs a little tweaking here and there."

Yeah right; a few Saturdays later, the truck tweaked John. He and the boys had embarked on a guy's day out to town. I was surprised when, an hour later, they returned, each wearing a different level of disgust on their face.

"What happened?" I asked.

"The truck started overheating. We're going no where." John snapped.

"I saw in the paper where the Dodge dealship was having a sale. If we hurry--'

"Not interested," John barked, as he sat pouting on the living room couch. Rental cars are hard on the pocket book, so last Saturday, John conceded and we visited a dealship. Like a shark sensing blood in the water, a dealer approached us before we were even parked. A well-dressed chap, the dealer--let's call him Tom--shook everyone's hand--the guys that is--but turned away when he came to me.

"Not a way to sell a car, buddy," I mumbled as we purused the parking lot. Like cattle, we were herded to a 2005 minivan with only 2000 miles. "How about a test drive?" Tom beamed a John.

"Oh awesome, " I chirped, looking inside the spacious vehicle. "How do I fold the second row seat down so my boys and I can sit in the back?"

Tom looked deflated. "Oh, are you all going?"

No, we're going to chase you down the road like a pack of dogs, I wanted to reply. Instead, I put on my brightest smile and said, "Of course, if that's all right with you." Wordlessly he nodded.

"How do I get the seat folded down?" I repeated. Tom stared mutely at me, not offering any help. Oh to heck with it, we'll get back there the best way we can. I plopped Robert in between in second and third row of seats. I thought that he, like a cat, would land on his feet, but he proved me wrong; he was wedged inbetween the seats and resembed a fold up napkin as he gave me a what-the-heck-did-I-do-to-deserve-this look. I tugged, but I couldn't get him out without hurting him.

"Umm, excuse me. Could you please tell me how to move the seats up so I can get my child out?" I asked Tom. Again I was greeted by a blank stare. Disgusted, I turned to John, who was staring at our son, still doing his impersonation of a napkin. "Could you get him out?" John tried, but Joseph was stuck too well.

"Oh for goodness sakes, let me try," Seth said, walking around the van. After a minute, he handed me a very relieved toddler. Jonathan chalked his sucess up as "teen power". After the ride ended, and we were getting out of the van, another salesman zipped by in a car and almost took out my whole family. We saw this as a sign our car wasnot to be found there, and left.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Black Sunday

Late Sunday afternoon, I felt the urge to be creative in the kitchen. John was running errands, and to show my appreciation, I planned to make banana pudding --from scratch--and chicken enchiladas. The tortillas were from scratch too.

The whole time I was in the kitchen, Robert constantly demanded my attention. He rotated from trying to be a life-sized necklace dangling off my neck, to a flying squirrel impressionist as he leaped off chairs. My hands full of tortilla dough, I asked Seth to help out by playing with him. Seth--typical teen, made a smart remark, then went back to watching television.

Minutes past, and all was quiet. . .too quiet.

"Would you please check on your brother?" I asked Seth. "I'm still busy with tortillas."

He mumbled something about "cruelty to children," as he peeled himself from the TV and wandered off. . A couple of seconds later, I heard Seth say "Oh crap. . .oh crap. . .oh crap." He walked into the kitchen carrying my wireless mouse which was dripping water.

"Where the heck did you find the mouse?" I demanded. "Why is it dripping water?"

"He threw it in the toilet," Jonathan shrugged. This was definately an Advil popping, give-me-strength moment.

Then. . .as I was still fuming over the mouse, Robert got a bag of lentil peas, ripped a corner of the bag, and strewed them from here to kingdom come, then, he took off his diaper and peed in the middle of them.

Well, I swept up the peas, then moped the floor with bleach water; I dropped the bottle of bleach and it spilled all over my leg. A few hours later, John came home, looked me in the face, and said, "What did you do today? Anything exciting happen?"

I could only stare at him blankly, then collapse in semi-hysterical laughter. If he only knew.

The mouse is working, and now I can see the humor in the situation. What they say is true, "what don't kill ya, only makes ya stronger."

Side note: Once again, I'm playing globetrotter as I wearily pack my bags and get ready to depart on a new adventure. This time I'm off to West Texas for a two day conference. Have a great one!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Our story continues. . .

After zipping around the house like a crazed hummingbird, I was definately ready for a vacation. I collapsed into a useless lump in the passenger seat of the minivan as John herded the boys into their seats. The ride in the minivan was pure bliss; there was no whining remarks of "I'm too hot/cold." from the peanut gallery in the back seat. Each boy has their own vent on the ceiling.

The excitement in the vehicle mounted when, two hours later, gentle rolling plains gave way to marshland. Giant white cranes rose in graceful assent on both sides of the road as if welcoming us back "home." We arrived in Rockport after seven, and our first stop was. . .you guessed it. . .The Big Fisherman; again, we weren' t disappointed. They served me a portion of fish that even the hungriest lumberjack would have a hard time finishing.

We stayed at the Sandollar Resort, in one of the large suites, which was about the size of three hotel rooms put together. There are really no words to describe the view from my balcony. Every morning I watched the sun rise over the ocean, as I sat on the balcony and sipped my coffee; and every morning I felt moved to tears by the shear beauty of it.

Here's a picture I took early one morning.

I was quite spoiled on this trip. Every morning, before we started our explorations of the day, my wondurful hubby whisked us off to Starbucks, to "start the day off right," he said. The Rockport Starbucks had a spacious patio facing the ocean, complete with over-stuffed chairs, and retro music (1980's. I felt extremely old)piped outdoors.

We never miss an opportunity to educate our children, and on the first full day in Rockport, we stopped by the Texas Maritime Museum. John and Seth viewed the exhibits at their leisure. I, on the other hand, saw the exhibits as a blur as I chased "Energizer Bunny" double, Robert, around the museum.

Wednesday, John gave in to the pleadings of the boys, and we made the trip to the beach on Mustang Island . My youth revisted me as Seth and I splashed in the waves, and I schooled him in the art of body surfing. I'm not that great, but we had a wonderful time until I felt something squirming up one of my shorts' legs.

My heart caught in my throat as my mind flashed back to all the Jaws movies. I envisioned myself walking back to the beach chomped in half, a split personality. I don't know where I found the guts, but reaching down, I gave the leg of my shorts a shake, and was astonished when a fish--the length of my wrist to my elbow swam away.

Dang, that could have been supper, I fumed. Like a pouting schoolgirl, I stormed back to the beach and told John the story. "Sorry to tell you babe," he said cooly, "but all the fish in the ocean have teeth."

Great. My butt was almost fish bait. Glad to know it's good for something.

There aren't any places to change on the beach, except behind the sand dunes, which were 100 yards or more from the beach-goers.. The dune I tackled seemed as endless as the Sahara desert. Gasping like a fish out of water, I reached the top, and half-ran, half-walked down the other side into a deep depression. Dunes rose up on all sides of me, and I payed I had the strength to escape my sandy prison. I also prayed the park police wouldn't come over one of the dunes and see me changing. Wouldn't that have been cute?

Before going out to dinner, we saw the Big Tree at Goose Island State Park. I was in awe as I stared at the giant who had withstood over 1000 years of hurricanes. Cursed with a sense of adventure, I strayed off the beaten path and wandered toward the dense woods. I heard the rasping of dead leaves as an unknown creature raced toward me. I grew up in the country, and animals don't alarm me; but when they run right across my foot, well, that a "horse of a different color." I screamed like a banshee and danced on one foot as a squirrel --I swear it was the size of a horse, really-- galloped across my foot. A few months ago, my friend Perpetualchocoholic posted about learning an orphaned baby squirrel needed to be "peed"; that darned squirrel almost peed me.

"Hey Mom, you looked like a giant crane dancing around." Smart alek. He would have run off like his pants were on fire.

"Hey, the squirrel is pretty smart. He knows a big nut when he sees it," John quipped. The next day we loaded up and headed home. All too soon our time of magic and wonder ended.

Friday, August 04, 2006

And they're off. . .

Little sidenote here: I feel like we're all family too.

It’s my philosophy every day is a new adventure, that life gives us just enough excitement to leave us “sitting on the edge of our seat” wondering what will happen next. This past Monday was no exception. It started like the middle part of a horror movie; there was not a drop of coffee in the house, causing John and I to shuffle around like mindless zombies, and the children to run away in terror.

To make matters worse, our Jimmy, in a premeditated plan of rebellion, broke down in the driveway. It was the fourth time in three months the blasted thing had conked out on us, and I was thinking seriously of “going Western” on it by taking my trusty Smith & Wesson revolver and putting it “out of its misery”.

After making a few calls to local car rental places, it was Enterprise, emerging like a knight on a white horse, to sweep John away back to their office to sign the papers. Time crept by like a hundred year-old man until a vehicle turned in the drive and zoomed toward us, leaving a thick, choking plume of dust in its wake. The boys and I swarmed out the front door, and watched in shock as John stepped out of a gunmetal gray Ford Freewind minivan.

Looking like the Cheshire cat, John explained Enterprise had made a mistake in their reservations; they were unable to give us the standard size car we reserved; instead, they gave us a mini-van for the same cost. Score!

Then, a tender look on his deeply tanned face, he took a Styrofoam cup out of the cup holder and handed it to me. “I had it specially blended for you,” he said, handing me the cup. “It’s peppermint mocha java; I hope you like it.”

Like it? It could have been muddy water in the cup, and it still would have tasted sweet and smooth to me. The fact my hubby loved me enough to go to the trouble of bringing me the coffee, made me almost bawl like a baby. He’s like that though; he knows little things mean the most to me. When my uncle died suddenly, he wiped away my tears and held me while I wept. Later that day, he disappeared and returned an hour later, holding a bouquet of roses. “I thought you might like these,” he said. My wonderful, sweet hubby.

Anyway, I got off track. . .back to the post.

The kids hopped like bunnies into the van, and feeling I was “on top of the world,” I drove the van into town to do the grocery shopping. I was in an extremely good mood, and in an even better one when NOTHING HAPPENED at the store. Can you believe it!

Not even the arduous task of unloading the groceries from the van when we got home was enough to dampen our spirits. “Well, I planned a road trip to Rockport,” John grunted as he heaved the bag of dog food into the food bin.

“Really, when are we leaving?” I asked.

“Just as soon as we unload the groceries, eat lunch, and pack.”

I stared dumbly in shock at my hubby, and recovered just in time to keep the carton of eggs from hitting the ground. “Today? We’re going today?” I croaked hoarsely. I ran my hand through my hair and glanced frantically around the living room; it looked like a disaster area. Bags of groceries sat on the floor, and an overflowing basket of laundry sat on the couch, waiting to be folded and put away. “Let’s get busy then,” I commanded.

The house was a beehive of activity as I directed family like a traffic cop, and ran around like a disgruntled goose. Don’t ask m how I did it, but in an hour, dishes were in the dishwasher, children and pets were fed (the kids were thankful I didn’t mistakenly give them kibble) clothes were packed, and we were on the road for yet another adventure!

Tune in tomorrow when: Deb screams like a banshee in the woods.