Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mosquito Creek Way Side


I was fed up with the darkness that is Alaska. I was fed up with the cold. I wanted to move south. My hubby was missing his family as well and the Alaskan economy was in a temporary decline. The decision was made to move to Oregon. I was 3 months pregnant when we began planning. (Hint: important detail for later)

We started to build our modern day covered wagon. Scrounging plywood and paint, scraps of carpet and hardware we built a brown wooden camper on to the yellow truck. Knowing that we would be traveling through rugged country we took out the rear window and connected the cab of the truck to the new interior. Each of us crawled through to make certain we fit. Now if there were any bears or mosquitoes along the Alcan we could get into the truck to sleep without exposing ourselves to the hazards.

After packing the back of the truck up taller than the top of the closed tailgate, we laid our bedding out on top of our worldly goods. Selling everything else we headed off on our adventure. The truck was sitting way down on the shocks, as we drove down the Alaskan Canadian highway. I had never been camping in my life other than military exercises. So I figured, no sweat! (cue maniacal laughter here)

We began our journey pleasantly enough, with the second night stopping at a place called Eagle Creek wayside. Sitting in the truck we heard a low pitched hum. Looking at each other we sat quietly and listened as the sound began to grow into a thunderous drone. Alaskan Mosquitoes! These weren’t just any tundra blood thirsty vampires, they were Canadian cross breeds! Here is where our planning and preparation would pay off.

Deciding to skip a hot meal and have snacks we started to crawl in the back. Hubby crawled back through first and then I passed our oldest child through the opening. Now it was my turn. I started to enter the portal. “Uh ohhh.” I mumbled. “Whats wrong honey?” my man asked. “Ummm, I no longer fit through the opening!(It had taken three months to prepare for our trip) What are we gonna do?” The outside hum increased slightly in volume. I looked nervously out the window.

“Well you’ve got no choice. Jump out the door, slam it shut and run around to the back. I’ll be there and open the door. Just don’t let any of those blood suckers in!” Did I hear gigling sounds mixed in with the hum?

I sat very close to the passenger side door with my face pressed up against the window, waiting for a break in the swarm. At last my opportunity came. In one swift movement, (which was a marvelous thing to behold at six months pregnant) I leaped from the truck, ran around back and dived into the camper. Slam! went the camper door.

We sat quietly, breathing heavy and trying to hear if any of them had gotten in. We breathed a sigh of relief.

Outside the angered blood suckers bombarded our truck dive-bombing into it repeatedly. The truck rocked back and forth and we feared these mutated creatures would have can openers in their mouth parts and begin hacking our truck to pieces. We lay under our covers, back to back guarding each other.

Just as we were about to drift off we heard that dreaded high pitched hum INSIDE the truck! “DANG, honey you let one in!” grumped hubby. “Don’t blame me! You made the hole to small! You knew I’d get bigger! I can’t help it if you didn’t plan right!” I complained. “DUCK!” I yelped. We both dove under the covers. Oh mercy, we’d never get any sleep now.

Totally under the blankets, we knew we’d have to come up for air sooner or later. I could hear her zinging around inside our camper, licking her chops and rubbing those little insect legs together in anticipation. I grabbed a straw and tried sucking air from under the covers like a snorkeler. I fell asleep and nearly suffocated. I think she had stuffed a piece of paper into the straw. These were HUGE mosquitoes!

At 5 am the next morning we repeated the process, with me making a marathon dash to the front cab. We escaped this time with only a few welts. Going hungry till we came to the next town, we scratched. Here we recovered, doctoring our wounds and scraping dead mosquito bodies the size of small dragons off the sides of our truck. The place was renamed by us. Mosquito Creek Wayside.

After this event we figured the rest of the trip would be a peice of cake. (cue maniacle laughter again)

"I Think I Can't, I Think I Can't....."


You too can learn what ever you don’t want to in just nine, count em, NINE years! All it takes is resistance for the first eight, and total submission for the 9nth. It’s not effortless but as they always say, “No Pain, No Gain!”

Thus began my hubby’s personal mission to teach me to read a map. “Sweetie Pie”, he’d say as he periodically would try to corner me for my geography tutorial, just sit down and relax! “I’ve got a nice assortment of yellow fluorescent markers, some fresh maps, and a compass. “Whoopie”, said I.

Ignoring me he would begin in a monotonous tone, “Now let’s begin by finding where we are on the map.” He would shove the map over to me and grin hopefully. “Well, I said,” where are we?” “You do it, he said encouragingly, ”Find where we are at.” Looking at the squiggly lines, I fought down a growing sense of panic and frustration. Turning the map so North was directly in front of my forehead and all the words were right side up, I sat and stared.

“Well?” “I’m LOOKING!” “Try over in this quadrant.” “Well that’s real helpful to people who know what quadrants are! Quadrants are sections of peoples bodies, I don’t see any cadavers on this map!” “Quadrants are sections on maps .” “Well that’s helpful,” I said, “does a map have veins and arteries too?” “I don’t think you are taking this thing seriously, ” he said looking rather hurt.

Looking him straight in the eye I said, “I fail to see why I should learn something that causes me this much stress. Learning should be fun! I have a private pilots license, a degree in psychology, and a degree in art. Why in the world should I do this thing that makes my brain hurt?” He stared at me with his mouth open.

“How on this earth did you pass the test for your pilots license if you didn’t learn to read a map?” “Easy, ” I said. “First, I faked it.” Second most maps for pilots aren’t covered with a bunch of squiggly lines crossing and criss crossing over each other. Third you only have to score 70 on that test and I got a 72. Two points overkill. I didn’t have to get every map question correct and by flipping a coin on the multiple choice ones I had a 50% chance of getting it right!” And lastly they got a little gadjet called a VOR at each airport so all I have to do is dial it in and they tell me which way to go.”

He stared at me a long, long time. “Remind me, “he said,”to NEVER fly with you, it’s dangerous enough driving with you!” “Fine, ” I responded, ” But I’ve only gotten lost once and that didn’t count because I forgot to set my gyroscope every-time I landed. Besides power lines are fun to follow when your flying.” By this time he had his head resting on his maps. “Are we done? ” I asked.

“For now.” he moaned. “BUT, I’m putting this map up on the door so you can study it every time you go out.” “Sure go ahead,” I mumbled. Periodically when the map reading issue would come up I would rip the map down. He would follow me around the house with florescent markers and new maps thinking today would be the day he would make it click for me! I tolerated this reasonably well until the moon would exert its phase on my female body. Then I would turn into a horrible shrew, throwing anti orienteering tantrums worthy of any two year old. “You are MEAN! Why can’t you leave me ALONE! I have DOCUMENTATION about dyslexia! IT IS A REAL THING!” I ‘d rip down the map and he’d put it back up.

“Don’t feed me that junk,” he finally said. “I will not give up! You can fly a plane, then you CAN learn to read a map.” This went on periodically for 8 years. I felt like an old wild horse that someone was trying to break. I began to rethink my tactics. He obviously hadn’t learned what it said in the books about dyslexia. I had to show him first hand to convince him. Here was my new strategy. I would put forth a serious, concerted effort and spend whatever time it took with him, studying and trying to learn to read the map. Once he saw that something in my brain made this task impossible for me, he would give up on his own. It would make for fewer arguments anyway.

But a funny thing happened to me on the way to trying to convince him. In one year, I was reading that map. The lines no longer appeared to be just a tangled mass. I knew how to tell north, and south, east and west just from being outside and looking at the sun. I could orient myself by the stars! The man who would not give up on me glowed with pride at my accomplishment! I felt a new sense of power, of self esteem! I began to think there was nothing I couldn’t do or learn. There was no greater gift that he could have given me. Thank you Lord for my OC husband.

“Now”, he said “let me teach you how to make bread!”


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off Course



In Pittsburgh I am now told

Blue Men are there to behold

Ambassadors for the City

Also helpful and pretty

You’ll never get lost or rolled!


Apparently Pittsburgh has decided to help those of us who are directionally challenged. I wish they had these guys in Anchorage when I was first married. It would have saved me allot of grief. But then again maybe not.

One morning my new hubby asked me if I knew the way to the local lumbar yard. Informing him that I knew exactly where it was and had in fact been by there on many occasions, we jumped into the yellow pick up truck to buy needed job materials.

It was one of those cheerful Alaskan spring mornings and all was right with the world. We drove along happily chatting away. “turn right at the next light”, I said. Right turn executed we continued on. “Oh, turn left at this intersection.” Lumbering and bouncing along in our faithful truck we traveled for another full minute and I told him to turn right at the next stop sign. Then left at the next block and right at the next. “Now here is where it gets tricky”, I informed him. “At this intersection here turn left but then immediately get into the right lane and go one block where you’ll turn right again.”

By this time my spouse had ceased chatting with me and had a look of concerned curiosity on his face. Hmmm, he must be trying to memorize the route there. I had better not interrupt him. I sat back quietly and waited for the next turn. “There!”, I yelped, “turn left!” I had almost missed it. He kept glancing over at me and looking more and more curious.

“Are you sure….” he started to say and I interrupted him with, “Now turn right there!” “Honey”, he said in a very measured tone, “ummmm how many more turns is this going to take?”

“Ohhhhh, about 5 more, but I can’t quite remember though you can see the lumber yard from the next to last turn.”

As we completed the number of required turns, the lumber yard appeared in front of us. Grinning I said, “See? I told ya I knew the way!” He sat at the steering wheel staring out in front as if in deep thought. Then he said, “Sweetie, the lumber yard is only 10 minutes from our home and it just took us 45 minutes to get here with no traffic against us. Just how did you pick this particular route?” Hopping from the truck I proudly proclaimed that this was the public bus route.

“What?” he exclaimed. “Well sure,” I said. I’ve traveled this way for 6 years now. I know the route like the back of my hand.” “Don’t you ever use a map?” he asked incredulous. “OHHH NOOO! I Can’t read maps! I’m dyslexic.”

“What do you mean you can’t read a map? Anybody can read a map, you just have to put your mind to it. I can show you.” Looking him straight in the eye so I communicated my message clearly I said, “I can NOT read a map, I am dyslexic. I find other ways to get around, end of story.” “But..” “NO!” “I’m just saying that…” “NO!”

I walked into the store determined he was not going to stress me out trying to teach me an impossible task. He walked into the same store determined that with a little TLC and some patience he could teach me. Little did we both know that this event would take on a life all its’ own, constantly lurking at the back of our relationship and nipping at the heels of our contentment. Next blog be ready for : The 9 Year Long Map Reading Lesson!

Reality Sets In



The stage was set. The lines clearly drawn in the shag carpet. Hub went to work that AM and left me there alone with the liver. Opening the refrigerator door I gazed upon the cost free culinary delight. It had begun to thaw ever so slightly and was beginning to ooze red down the sides of the previously white butcher paper and draining into the bottom of the clear Pyrex 4 cup measuring receptacle.

This was not a sight that even an ardent liver lover such as myself would appreciate at 2 months pregers. I reached in and shoved this item farther back in to the fridge and decided to prepare other items on my menu. For a few days any way. Now under the best of circumstances I’m a rather spacey sort of individual. But being pregnant facilitated this state of being and I pursued other activities, forgetting the organ meat wedged between last weeks leftovers and a stale loaf of bread.

All but obscured from sight, the blob began to take on a life of its own. First a slight green fury film began growing along the red stained lines down the length of the butcher paper and into the bottom. Congealed blood mingled with green fur that almost pulsated with life.

At this point we both regretted that we would have to waste this food, (at least we agreed and feigned regret). I kept promising to “do something” with it. Each time SP reminded me of this need his voice acquired a change of tone that I found quite annoying. Every day I looked in the back of the fridge and my stomach rolled. Every day I closed that door just a little harder than I had intended to. Now I was growing angry at the liver and angry at my lover. The green furry obligation stared back at me from its semi-arctic repose. I swear it blinked.

Seven mornings later lover boy delivered an ultimatum. “Get that thing out of the refrigerator or else!” Knowing I could delay the task no longer I donnned protective gear and approached that white rectangular guardian of food with determination. Opening the door I reached in and grabbed the creature by the Pyrex handle while averting my head to avoid any oders. Holding it out at arms length I made my way rapidly to the kitchen door.

Stepping out into the winter evening I headed for the dumpster a few yards from our home. I had truely intended only to dump the liver out and bring the container back in and wash it out after pouring massive quantities of bleach over it. However halfway to the dumpster an Alaskan evening breeze blew past the outstretched cup and right into my nose! Pregnancy hormones took over and my body threatened to heave the entire days meals out in reverse. The foul aroma was dancing around me like the Aurora Borealis. Heaving and coughing I leaped back up the porch while simultaneously tossing everything, cup and all into the trash can on our porch. Slamming the door shut behind me I stood their gasping for fresh air. I decided to retrieve the cup later.

I had almost forgotten the entire episode and awaited my mans arival at home. When he hesitated to come in the house, standing far too long out on the porch, I suddenly remembered the Pyrex cup. That expensive container that I had when we got married. The one he had admired. Now I had not only wasted food, but I had thrown away something of great value.

Walking carefully into the home in slow motion, cup held out as if in supplication he looked at me and spoke in a tone of voice that was not only entirely new to me but very ominous as well. “Since when can this family affored to just throw away valuable cooking utinsels?” I began to sob, and attempted to explain about the smell and etc but now at the end of his long day and rope, and not having collected money owed from a client he displayed a rare but effective communication style.

“Do you really want to throw this away?! ” he demanded. Taken aback by the new volume I said nothing. “Well by golly lets just do it right then! I’ll make sure it gets thrown away for good!” He flung the offending cup out the door. Expecting a soul satisfing shater as it hit the road he waited for the noise. But instead of that sound he heard the distinct ping, ping, ping, of pyrex bouncing across the icey surface. Deprived of his revenge the focus of his anger now became Pyrex. He ran outside after the item and snatched it off the ground. Running up to the dumpster he flung with all his might and hurled it into the metalic abyss. Ping, Ping, Ping it sang out richocheting around inside. It didn’t break. My man stood beside the dumpster, winter breath whirling around his head. Looking upward he said, “God, are you trying to tell me something?” Hanging his head momentarily, he climbed INTO the dumpster, emptied the contents of the cup and brought it back into the house, straight to the sink. Without flinching he washed it out with hot soapy water and disinfected it. Placing it upside down in the drainer he walked by me and kissed me lightly on the forhead. Sitting down to read the paper he mused, “Any thing that can survive that deserves a permanet place in our home.” I never fed him liver again. Ten years later. Count em! Ten I was standing beside our 3 foot tall kitchen counter and bumped this exact container off onto the soft linolium floor. It shattered into a million shards of Pyrex. We looked at each other. Close curtain.

DING Round 1



sighed a maiden both tender and true

I’ve done plenty of dreaming of you

for I’m in the habit

of eating welsh rarebit

and there’s no telling what I will do!

author unknown

I remember watching an old Andy Griffeth show where he said, “What looks like fighten to some folks is waltzen to others.” The following is a description of a beautiful ballet performed by a newly married couple.

We wasted no time starting the work on that 3rd member of our family brood. Our marriage had come complete with two 5 year old girls. One from his side and one from mine. Ahhhh but now the “bean in the pot” would help to blend the flavours of this newly mixed family stew!

Two months into the pregnancy I was quite content because I hadn’t yet thrown up and all appeared to be going well health wise. We were tight financially, (still) and I accepted all food donations where ever they came from. Since we lived in Alaska, naturally some one had extra moose liver on hand. I loved liver! Wouldn’t my frugal and thrifty hubby be proud!

“I hate liver.”, he said trying not to grimace. Distraught over the realization that I was not going to impress him and suddenly awash in pregnancy hormones, I couldn’t stop the rush of tears that welled up in my eyes. My lips trembled. “You.. you hav’nt had liver the (sniff) way I make it!” I said.

“Sweetie Pie,” (he always starts any disagreement with this phrase) “my mother has prepared liver as many ways as there are in this universe and it still makes me throw up!” My lower lip twitched and another tear worthy of an alligator slid down my cheek. He groaned. “Honey Bun,” (now I knew there was no convincing him because he had used the second pre argument phrase) “when my grandmother invited me over for supper with the rest of my family, she served the best tasting liver I’ve ever had in my life and I still had to spit it out into my napkin! It makes me sick!”

I looked at the free package of meat that represented to me, a stretching of my grocery money and turned around slowly. More slowly than usual because the speed at which one turns when one is pouting is directly proportional to how much sympathy one generates. It is a carefully orchestrated maneuver. Just as my body was at a 3/4 turn from my beloved I let go with a barely audible sob. This strategy would never have worked 5 years later but he was new to the game as was I and well, this skirmish was mine!

He agreed to try MY liver! Happily I began preparations for the best liver meal he had ever eaten in his life. When I had finished cooking this, not only would he LOVE liver, he would beg me to prepare it this way at least once a week! I was so going to impress my man!

As we sat down at the table I failed to notice the slight green tinge around his face. He forced a week smile. No problem though. All that reluctance would change as soon as he tasted this gourmet fair. I served him a heaping plate full of steamy liver strauganoff. I sat and waited. He stared at his plate with knife in one hand and fork in the other. Trying to set a good example for him I sliced and stabbed a fork full of the delicacy. “Mmmmmm”, I murmured and cast hopeful eyes in his direction.

Five minutes had gone by and he was still slicing his liver. The chunks had begun about the size of good beef stew size meat pieces and now he had reduced each morsel to a sliver. “Sweetie Pie”, I said. (oh no! Now I had used the SP word!) “Why haven’t you even tasted your meal yet?” The green tinge had crept a little further up his face. He ever so slowly lifted that fork of shredded meat to his mouth. Actually placing it in his mouth he began to chew, and chew and chew. He finally came up for air and downed his entire glass of milk. Clearing his throat he said, “That was absolutely the best liver I have ever eaten and I still don’t like liver! That tasted exactly like my grandmothers! “

If he had looked closely into my eyes at that moment he would have seen one phrase in each eye that read, “web page unavailable right now”. Regaining my internal composure, I contemplated his words. I had invented this recipe! No one else had it! What did he mean just like his grandmothers?! Not wanting to appear to start an argument I sat there festering and feeding a growing resentment while he headed rather rapidly I thought, to the bathroom. Well I sighed, no accounting for some peoples tastes and pretended not to care while I cleaned the kitchen.

That evening there came an unexpected knock at the door. Grinning from ear to ear my best friends’ husband dropped off a huge wrapped package of moose liver. He jumped into his car waving a friendly goodbye. Hubby sat in the living room staring at the unwanted but free groceries and leaned his head back on the couch while muttering something under his breath. I stared at the unmanna like package wrapped in its’ fresh butcher block paper.

“Well”, I said with nervous laughter, “this is frozen through completely so there’s no need to cook it right now. It’ll take a while to thaw so I’ll just place it in this giant Pyrex measuring cup and let it thaw out in the fridge for a few days.” “Wonderful”, was the only thing he said. Half of me was angry but the other half was really worried about his green pallor. I placed the liver filled Pyrex cup in the refrigerator and decided to sleep on it. It being my resentment.

Threshold on Hold


Definition :connubial\kuh-NOO-bee-ul; -NYOO-\, adjective:
Of or pertaining to marriage, or the marriage state; conjugal; nuptial.

I had developed into a hacking, mucous snorting, feverish and infectious bride. Connubial relations were put on hold. Not that I minded really. It is terribly hard to remain romantic when the kiss begins well but the middle ends with a smothered cough trying to erupt down your mates throat.

My man had to carry me over our threshold due to my illness and not his sense of tradition. Ahhhh, but the water bed felt so warm and comfortable. I had purchased this item several years before and it had never given me one moments problem. I should have remembered the omens at the wedding.

It was a King sized monstrosity. We thought he could sleep on one side and I on the other in order to keep all of our germs in their proper places. I think they must have invented the water filled tubes model the year after making this one. Probably due to law suits. Just as we had settled down for a much needed rest the bronchitis once again took over my body. A coughing spasm sent tidal waves washing across the surface, rocking and rolling my man back and forth just as he was drifting off to blissful sleep. Stuffing my pillow into my face only resulted in a muffled cough with more hang ten type waves. I tried to leave the bed by rocking my body up and over the edge. By this time he was already on the opposite side and the resulting tsunami sent him washing up and over the side right out of the bed. “Sorry “, I said between spasms. I ran to the bathroom and chugged more Robotussin. Back to the marriage chamber I eased my fatigued body on to the waters warm surface as best I could. A few more half hearted coughs and we both began to drift off in to a deep and much needed slumber.

At some point during the night I was awakened to hear an indistinct mumbling. I couldn’t quite figure out where it was coming from. My back was warm, and on some dim level I realized I had all of the covers. That’s when it occurred to me that my feet were braced against the side rail where I had been lying. My back had gotten cold, (odd in a heated water bed) and I had shoved my new groom all the way over against the oposite side rail, having wedged his face in between the rail and the cushy mattress. Why were we having such a hard time waking up? In my hazy fog I pressed harder with my feet to get as warm and close as I could to this man who was the only source of heat. My teeth began to chatter and I was shaking violently. It was not due to fever. We were both suffering from hypothermia! Somehow the heater in the bed had gone out. I shook my husband out of his stupor and told him what was going on. We both sat there bleary eyed, and teeth chattering. Looking at the bed, but too tired and cold to investigate, we dragged all the covers down onto the carpeted floor and snuggled together for dear life, germs or no germs. After about 45 minutes of shivering and teeth chattering we began to warm. Both of us let out little sighs of contentment, and began to drift off. I coughed.

Over The Thresh Hold


Once the issue was settled the pastor finally walked in and began the ceremony. (Please don’t let me cough I prayed silently.) The rest of the service wore on and I only cleared my throat a few times. Afterward I escaped to the powder room and threw a hacking fit. Hubby taps lightly on the door asking if I am ok. Staggering into his arms I declare that I think I am coming down with something. Just the words that a celibate and new husband wants to hear from his bride before their wedding night.

After the formalities were dispensed with we climbed in to “Old Yellow”. This was the family hand me down pick up truck that had been through various members of his clan. We hadn’t even had time to wash the truck befor the family decorators had gotten access to it during the wedding. So adorned with dirt, toilet paper, traditional tin cans and frozen shaving cream, we drove to downtown Anchorage for a fun filled romantic honeymoon night of coughing and hacking.

It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. It was a dark, cold and the roads were paved with icephalt night. That’s the second type of road pavement they have in Alaska. Asphalt in the summer and icephalt in the winter. Those are also the only two seasons they have up where we lived. It was a long dreary winter, and a magnificently beautiful summer, all three weeks of it.

We drove to the first motel and grabbed our suitcases out of the truck. Walking up to the desk, we asked for a room with a jacuzzi. “I’m sorry”, said the night clerk “but we don’t have any rooms with working jacuzzi’s”. My new husband cast a worried glance in my direction. I was leaning against the wall and hacking away with a cough spasm. He started to sign for the room when I gasped out a laboured, “NO! I’ve got to soak in a jacuzzi!” I was sweating profusely and my groom was wondering if we shouldn’t be spending our first night in the emergency room instead.

We left to drive around Anchorage looking for the needed therapy of a jucuzi. To obtian such a room we would have to tap into the rent money that we had gotten as gift from the money tree. Robbing Peter to pay Paul we found our next likely retreat. Hubby left me in the truck with the heater running as I was now seized with cold shivers. He tried to come running back out to me with a huge grin on his face indicating he had located the right place. However said grin disappeared rapidly as he slipped on a piece of icephalt and glided effortlessly straight into Old Yellow. I opened the door as he was trying to extricate himself from under neath the truck and smacked him right back underneath.

Gallantly he pulled himself up into a standing position and slid around behind the vehicle to once again pull the luggage out. We were given a room on the second floor and my sweetie pie turned the water on to warm up while I undressed to climb into the tub. Sweetie was bringing the luggage into the room just as I prepared to sink my hacking, coughing self into the steaming hot water. Reaching over to turn the dial for the theraputic bubbles I craved, aggravation mingled with feelings of fatigue due to the fact that nothing was happening. I began to sob, and cough, then started laughing hysterically. Hubby was getting really worried now.

Telling me to stay in the hot water till he returned, he not so gallantly went back to the office desk to register our complaint. This time he went to the room first and checked to make certain the unit worked. Wrapped in a huge bath towel and supported by my man, I made my way to the next room. He left me there to get the luggage. I dropped my towel on the floor and stepped one leg into the tub. Unfortunately a wet rag had fallen and dropped into the water where my foot slipped on it causing me to fall and drop on one knee into the water. My other foot hit the metal track on the tub creating a nice gash on my little toe just as sweetie walked in to check on me.

I couldn’t read the look on his face as we had only been married a very short time but it was really interesting. I settled into the wonderful, steamy hot bubbles anyway. “You are bleeding”, he said as a small edie of blood whirled in the bubbles. “Yep”, I replied. “Don’t you want me to bandage that?” he asked. I looked at him very seriously and after wheezing a bit said, “I AM NOT MOVING”. He backed out of the bathroom and busied himself putting away the luggage.

It was 9:00 pm by this time so after 3 hours of alternately letting cold water out and refilling the tub with hot water I was ready to emerge. After drying and putting foofoo and sweet smelly stuff, (between blowing my nose and hacking) I put my frilliest, sexiest nightie on and sached, with a slight limp, over to the bed where my lover was watching late night news. He glanced up at his mate, wet hair, sultry smile, and hacking cough. He got up and turned the covers down on the other bed.

“What are you doing?”, I managed to wheeze because now I was losing my voice. “I have to go back to work in two days and I can’t afford to get sick. You are sleeping here until you are better!” he calmly stated. I don’t know if I ‘ll ever have the nerve to risk a second honey moon.

Wedding Day Signs


Now where was I? Oh yes! The wedding story. This is not a piece of fiction. There we were, pink dress, silver heels, and butterscotch corduroy suit.

The day prior to the wedding my future sister in-law took me on a marathon shopping tour all over Anchorage Alaska. That morning I had a fever and slight cough. I had also missed two nights sleep due to anticipation. As she dragged me all over town, to get this and that for the cheap…I mean financially downsized wedding, I could feel myself beginning to succumb to illness. NO! Not the day before my wedding! I bought cough drops, vitamin C, herbs, and a medicine man rattle just for good measure. I pressed on through the misery, confident in the knowledge that I was about to make a fine catch. I mean acquire an excellent partner for life.

Glowing with that well known bride to be radiance, or too much robotussin I ‘m not certain which, I walked as cautiously as a woman who had worn Army boots would be able to in high heels. Grace is not my middle name. Nearly spraining an ankle I waited at the alter with my beloved and prayed not to cough during the ceremony. The tickle was welling up in my throat like a volcano ready to erupt. This was bringing tears to my eyes which most of the folks there delighted to see, smiling as they knew for certain they were tears of joy! My future husband kept looking at me in a puzzled manner. I smiled and pretended to clear my throat trying to scratch that horrible itch with out actually coughing. I prayed I wouldn’t open my mouth to say those magical words, “I do” and just prior to saying them erupt with one of those horrible coughing spasms that had been seizing hold of me the night before.

The pastor was late and I was beginning to sweat from fever. Again those in the room smiled thinking I was just a nervous bride. The other future sister in-law let out some words under her breath that were not normally heard at weddings. Looking over, she was banging on her camera and looking rather panicked. Not a good omen. My then 5 year old daughter, was busy arguing with her slightly older and soon to be cousin over weather they actually had to hold hands walking down the isle. He said no because she was the flower girl and he was the ring bearer. She said yes because they were both all dressed up. He said he could fix that and a mild scuffle ensued.

Once the issue was settled the pastor finally walked in and began the ceremony. (Please don’t let me cough I prayed silently.) The rest of the service wore on and I only cleared my throat a few times. Afterward I escaped to the powder room and threw a hacking fit. Hubby taps lightly on the door asking if I am ok. Staggering into his arms I declare that I think I am coming down with something.

Just the words that a celibate and new husband wants to hear from his bride before their wedding night. I bet you can’t wait to find out what happened. Tune in tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Healthy Not Wealthy, Maybe Wise



Mr. and Mrs. Trump have now made it one whole year! Yayyyy!

Ratah taa tatah taaa taaaa taaaa ta taaaah tah! So what you say?

Big hairy deal! One whole year. Now wait, wait, wait! You’ve

got to understand the time lines involved here.

It’s just like dog years versus human years. Wealthy celebrity

types pay a heavy metabolic price, (this is real science here) for

having to cope with all that fame money and notoriety. They

are actually living the equivalent of 7 years for every one of ours.

We in our sheltered little, unknown lives, have no idea of the

terrible cost these people must endure due to their high society

ways. Just look at all the pomp and circumstance, the glory,

money and adulation! It stresses me out to just think about it.

What a awful burden dealing with all of that!

Compare their wedding and first year of life to mine and my

husbands. None of the stress involved with dealings of high

finance. We started our marriage on a shoe string. Actually it

was more like a piece of dental floss. Used. All we

had to worry about was how to invest the $300 that had been

given to us on the money tree at our wedding. The rent due

on our first home was $375. Problem solved! And the wedding

itself was a masterpiece of low finance!

First came the dress. My best friend helped me by actually

purchasing my little pink beauty on sale at Montgomery Wards.

What to do about shoes and being broke? I had a pair of silver high

heels that would go nicely. One problem, my fiancee was 5′4″ and I

was 5′5″. Four inch heels made us look rather like Napoleon and Josephine.

We decided he would just have to stick his hand inside his coat..

His suit was taken out of moth balls. It was a corduroy affair, butter

scotch in color. He knew that purchasing rather than renting

his High School prom suit 18 years prior, would end up

being a wise economical choice. After all, a handsome debonair man

who can still fit into his high school prom suit so many years later was

bound to be a wise choice for a mate. A thrifty and frugal provider as it were.

When financial choices are limited, as are frugal mates, there

is soooo much less stress. And with less stress you live longer!

See how much less rapidly you age! I so don’t envy the

Trumps! Tune in tomorrow to find out how this Cinderella Type

tale ends.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Star Bucks Needs This One

Slug Latte’

With such a small apartment we didn’t do very much entertaining. My kitchen was a cute little cubicle the size of a closet. There was a long hand hewn counter top for the table. The living room was on the other side of that. We slept in the living room on a fold out couch and our daughter slept in a small alcove bedroom.

My husband often indicated exasperation at my lack of hospitality when folks came over. Instead of a what can I get for you type of persoanlity, I often conveyed a get it yourself type. However, wanting to please my man I often made attempts at appearing hospitable anyway. I loved to visit, or I loved to serve, just not both at the same time. I have a tendency to hurt my self when I try to do more than one thing at a time. One fine afternoon a long time friend of my husbands came over for a visit and to meet the new bride. I offered to fix us all coffee.

Hubby had found one of our few coffee mugs outside sitting upright on a fence post. Inside said cup was a huge, gross, slimy pulsating slug. He dumped it out and walked upstairs placed this cup upside down in the sink. About this time the coffee had begun to perk. I walked over while he was chatting with his friend and grabbed the upside down mug. (In the home where I came from an upside down mug meant someone had washed it and left it to drain in the sink. Apparently the same gesture in my mans home meant a dirty cup please wash) I grabbed the mug without looking inside and poured a steaming cup of brew in to it.

Guess which mug I served to my new friend? We were enjoying our coffee when I noticed my man had gone quite pale. Odd. I kept glancing from our friend, (who was very much enjoying his coffee) and back to hub. Usually up beat with our friends he kept quiet this time. There was a look of horror on his face. I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with him.

We said good by to our friend and went upstairs. “What on earth is wrong with you?” I asked. “Did you wash that cup you gave him?” he asked. “Noooo, why would I wash an already clean cup?” I asked. “BECAUSE everyone knows you wash cups that are in sinks!” “Well everyone in my family knows that upside down cups are CLEAN!” “I CAN’T believe you didn’t at least LOOK!” He yelled. “Well I can’t believe you didn’t wash it out yourself!” I yelled back.

Sitting on the couch with his hands covering his face, he moaned, “I’ll NEVER be able to face my friend again!” “Why?” I asked, “He clearly enjoyed it, slug slime or not. Just don’t tell him!”

Their relationship was never the same. Every time my husband visited with his friend, visions of coffee slugs danced in his head. It really put a damper on the conversation. I don’t know though. Since he clearly enjoyed the flavour, perhaps we’ve stumbled on a new coffee shop recipe.