On the 6th Day of Christmas….

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Excerpt from The Butter Pecan Diaries

   Thought I’d relax with one of my Christmas gifts as I started this tome. Do ya like my shoes?

The year has shot by and I have the powder burns to prove it. To herald in the season and brighten the spirits of all my coworkers and WalMart shoppers, I’ve liberally applied iridescent peacock sparkles to the scorched areas of my Rubenesque hips. I am quite a fetching sight, but am festive in a shimmery, flower-child sort of way!

The house is not yet decorated, but we all know what time of year it is. I don’t think 140 sq yds of icicle lights will make a difference. Besides, I went on the “Holiday Tour of Homes” in my neighborhood. I now feel like the “before” picture in Extreme Home Makeover. I had not realized how closely my piece of the planet resembled a slightly upscale crack house.

We’ve been in our home for just over a year and settled in nicely. Just to clarify – I don’t count the garage and attic as part of our home – just immediate living space is tallied.

The craft room/third bedroom is not considered living space either. Okay, if you really must put a fine point on it, we have two bedrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen that are relatively habitable. I do not remotely consider the pantry as part of anything that needs to be straightened!

I am confident I will have the rest of the boxes unpacked by 2020 so plan your trips accordingly.

It was a relatively quiet year in comparison to say…locusts, floods and dung beetle infestations. The IRS was strangely quiet, however the Commonwealth of Virginia has been the active little burr under my broad, leathery saddle. They sent a lovely note indicating we had never submitted our 2001 taxes (right on top of things aren’t they?) and would we mind sending them a check for $5,560?

After hours on the phone and countless copies from our accountant they said, “Oops, you did submit, our bad!” A second holiday note now indicates they can’t find where we paid the $665 for the 2002 tax bill. So, with taxes, titles, tags and the inevitable penalties they would like us to send them a check for $1,800?

Yessiree, I’m looking for my checkbook right now! I absolutely want to support the Virginia Chapter of Tammany Hall.

Jerry has acquired a new nickname – Titanium Ted. He had surgery on his neck last Halloween and now sports a titanium plate and six screws that do a heroic job of holding up his graying head. His newly implanted neck material is a stunning adjunct to his titanium knees, which were jammed into his leg bones on Halloween of 2000. Forget about the Ides of March – Halloween makes me fret.

He is also quite versed in pain medications – Vicodin vs Morphine vs “I don’t care what it is – just push it in the IV.” And with this new partnership with pain meds he has become a wild and crazy late night infomercial shopper. He just knew I’d always lusted for the Ronco Egg Spinner.

He remains a force to be reckoned with at work and is becoming manually multilingual since pointing is his primary means of communication. This works exceedingly well in Spanish, Russian and Hebrew.

Rosie has enrolled at Smith College studying economics. I thought French cooking presented a language barrier. Take a look at her recent email . . . “if the average is 7, and 4 of us have scored 15 or better, who is scoring lower than 7 to bring the average down. Statistically speaking I could find the standard deviation of the sample population and see if, as a family, we fall more than 2 standard deviations from the mean. If we did, an argument could be made that . . .” I gave up and did not finish her email – go ahead – ask me why?

She will be with us for Christmas and I am frantically exploring recipes that do not use wheat, dairy or meat. A dazzling array of formulas featuring tofu, cardboard, blow fish, rice and more importantly Capucijners blue pod heirloom peas, seem to be my best bets. You can order those peas pretty reasonably on the Internet.

Scarlett published her first book and it has now sold an astonishing 817 copies with a bullet – eat your heart out Grisham! What more could a babe from the South Bronx ask? I’m now working on Scarlett’s Letters II –Night of the oops I mean – The Butter Pecan Diaries. Do ya think Spielberg might have interest? Nah, probably stand a better chance with Stephen King.

Wynonna remains in our hearts and we think of her every day. We miss her terribly and know she watches over us. She is probably sighing deeply, shaking her head at me and exclaiming “Mother! You can’t possibly still be using that juvenile email program – real emailers use DOS.”

Love ya, Scarlett



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