Friday, February 25, 2011

Heaping Coals

There are many moments in my lifetime that are poignant  life lessons. Some are humorous, while some are a little more serious, such as this lesson about heaping coals on the head of your enemy.

I was married at a very early age. That marriage was quickly followed by a baby, of course. My husband, Jim, was 18 and I was 16, with a baby boy , doing our best to make it on our own out there in this big, scary world. We had minimal help from family and the majority of our friends continued on with their child-free, single lives.

We had struggles, tender moments, laughter, stress, tears....we were living a real-life John Hughes story filled with teen-age angst. It is a storyline that always goes a little something like this:

Act One, Scene One:

Boy meets girl, girl is shy but interested. Boy acts goofy to win over the girl and they soon become an item destined to only last a week or two according to his best friend and the hopes of her best friend and the prayers of both sets of  parents. Boy and girl defy the odds and last longer than 2 weeks while discovering the highs and lows of teen-age love.

Act One, Scene Two

Fast forward to a year after this picture was taken and you'd see a baby in the arms of a tired new teenage mommy and a stressed out new barely-adult  father trying to make ends meet for his new little family. And everything is perfect, just like in the movies, right?


Flash Back:

There is always a hero or protagonist (Jim) and supporting character (me) and the ever-dreaded antagonist(that scourge of a woman in EVERY movie you see that tries to move in on the guy she can't, or shouldn't, have).

Now, while I admit that a movie with this type of script would be otherwise boring as hell without the drama of another woman trying to move in on a married man, I'd quite prefer to keep that scenario out of my life, thank you very much.

Public Service Announcement
But, I don't get to script my own life. If I did, everything would be perfect.....
All the time.....
And I'd never learn anything valuable.

Act Two, Scene One

Right around the time of our first wedding anniversary, Jim had started a new job in retail auto parts. His schedule was insane and he was gone all hours of the day, and sometimes nights, while he assisted in establishing and opening a new retail store in our area.

Stage Left, Fade In:

Enter our antagonist, Vickie ( I've changed her name for this blog)

Vickie was a bit older than Jim. She was pretty, confident, fit, and very aware of the affect she had on men. I instantly felt threatened by her and my self-esteem plummeted every time I was around her.

And despite the fact that Jim came home every night ( usually, but not always after he'd clock out) I still knew that this woman posed a threat to me and my family despite Jim's insistence that she wasn't. But the subtle signs were there; glances, laughs, a beer after work. And the not so subtle signs, like the puppy she gave him and the stolen kiss after work.

Act Two, Scene Two

But, as in all good chick flick movies, the guy makes the right decision, puts the potential  "other woman" in her place and professes his love for his wife and chooses his family.

 Intermission ~ Dramatic, yet romantic, music

I was relieved when Jim changed employment and I didn't have to be tormented by the "what-ifs" of their working together anymore. We moved out of state, taking the puppy with us, and forged on with our lives leaving that unhappy little marriage hiccup in our wake as we fled.

Fast forward another five years or so and we find ourselves back in the same town we had fled from. A little older, a little wiser ( not much), a couple more babies, a few more responsibilities and Jim working in a promising new career.

Act Three, Scene One

Everything was moving along just fine until one day when Jim says from across the dinner table,"You'll never guess who the new cashier is at work".

And he was right! I guessed and I guessed and I never did guess right! I guessed until I ran out of names. Jim must have anticipated what would be coming next because I saw him cringe a little when he said the name Vickie. I saw a mixture of red and green when he spoke her name; fury and jealousy raged within me. I was literally speechless and I think I clenched my fork to the point of bending it a little.

After some thought, and some time to digest my situation, I realized that  there was nothing I could do than fight this fire with fire, I made sure I was dressed to the "nines" when I went into his work the next time. I would make my stand, mark my territory, and just let that Vickie know that I am still the top alpha-female  around here and she'd best recognize her place!

Act Three, Scene Two

I made use of every visit to Jim's work to establish my place. In addition to shooting her dirty looks in her work place, one time I found myself at the great advantage of stumbling upon her and her date at the bowling alley one night. As I walked by her and, no doubt a married man, I piped off with some really hurtful remarks about her being a home wrecker and  having a cocaine addiction! The shocked look on both of their faces was priceless! I showed her! I felt so proud of myself; considered myself to be quite witty, really, as I had dissed her in the rhyme while I was at it! I loved it and really felt like I had gained the upper hand! So why was it that although I had won the battle, but the victories were hollow? Why did I feel like I was losing the war?

Looking back, I realize I must had looked like an incredibly ugly person to Vickie and the rest of the world. I don't know how Jim put up with me. My jealousy and insecurity were consuming me and I wasn't liking the way it was making me feel. Every day was lived with a hatred towards this woman and how she had tried to step in on my marriage years before. She wasn't doing anything against me now, but it didn't matter to me. The damage had already been done. All the painful memories of her selfish ways were boiling in my veins and rising to the surface and I was slowly, but surely, destroying myself . All the while hurting her really didn't make me feel any better.

Act Four, Scene One

One day, I confided in a friend of mine, asking her what I should do about all this jealousy and these hateful feelings! I didn't like the person I was becoming.  I just wanted to hurt Vickie and make her feel just a fraction of the pain she had caused me. But nothing was making me feel better.

My friend listened to me as I told her the history of my pain. She then provided me with her advice: "Ask her to forgive you," she said.

FORGIVE ME???? I was to ask her to forgive ME??? when SHE was the one that knowingly tried to break up MY marriage??? WHY IN GOD'S GREEN EARTH WOULD I EVEN BEGIN TO ASK HER TO FORGIVE ME !!!??? SHE was the one who had wronged me !

I was fuming and was about ready to leave my friends house in a full-on temper tantrum when she asked if she could explain to me why forgiveness was my solution.

My friend explained that, as stated in the Bible (dont' worry, I'm not going to thump you with a Bible here...but setting my references) Romans 12:20 "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  My friend explained to me that if I would ask Vickie for forgiveness, it would make her feel guilty and she'd not be a threat to me any longer. I was not buying this pile of kee-rap! There was no way this was going to work! Was my friend crazy? Even scarier, was I crazy enough to listen to her?

Act Four, Scene Two

Well, the very next day, I put on my big girl panties and headed off to Jim's work for the big showdown. This was NOT going to be an easy task. I swallowed the lump mounting in my throat and approached Vickie's counter. She had an exasperated look on her face like she knew I was going to belittle her again.
I took a deep breath, looked her in the eye, and asked her to forgive me. She was instantly puzzled at my request for forgiveness and her defensive exterior melted and she started to cry. (At this point, I am seriously wondering if I'm being punked, because it can't be this easy, right?)

Just as my friend said it would, Vickie was overcome with guilt and through her tears, she asked me to forgive her for all of the pain she had put me through years earlier. I was at a loss for words (which doesn't happen very often, folks). We exchanged apologies for all the past transgressions towards one another and I went my way and she went hers. I felt as though a weight had been lifted. Heaping coals on the head of my enemy had really worked !!! Amazing !!!


Now then, if this story ended here, I'd say I had learned a very valuable life lesson as well as a pretty good conflict resolution strategy. But, my schooling in humanity had only just begun....

With the coal heaping being a huge success, I was no longer obsessed with making an appearance at Jim's work to solely state my existance. A few weeks, or perhaps even a month, passed before I acknowledged Vickie again.
One day, from across the dealership floor I could see that Vickie was looking a little frumpy, minus her long, beautiful hair! I kinda chuckled out loud, like most jerks do, and said to Jim, "OH MY GOD, what in the world did Vickie do to her hair? She looks awful ( chuckle, chuckle, smirk, I am awesome and so observant..and now I'm prettier ).

Jim looked at Vickie, then looked at me without much of an expression and said, "Vickie didn't do anything to her hair. She has breast cancer and she doesn't want to wear her wig anymore."

Silence. Absolute silence as Jim turned back to the car he was working on and I stood there feeling like the biggest a-hole that ever walked the planet. I had been so consumed with my own issues, I hadn't even noticed that she had been wearing a wig the past few months. I hung my head, turned and walked right back to my car.

I did manage a smile and a wave to Vickie before I left that day. It's the last time I really remember interacting with her. She had moved on and another cashier took her place.

A few months later Vickie passed away. The victim of breast cancer at the age of 29. Her 28th year on this planet was filled with pain, fear, uncertainty..and a bully. How sad.

I sometimes think back to this whole experience; about how mean I was to her during her last year on his earth; I'm not very proud, I assure you. I acted poorly and hope to never be like that again.
I had been bullied as a child and reverted back to using that very behavior when I felt threatened. I admit that sometimes I still resort to some bad habits when I feel threatened or my self-confidence had taken a beating here and there. Remembering this experience usually brings me back to reality.

The most important lesson I learned through this experience was the power of forgiveness.
I had asked Vickie to forgive me and  in turn, that provided her the opportunity to forgive herself for meddling in my marriage, maybe not one of her finest moments, and the opportunity for me to extend my forgiveness to her as well.

But when you really stop and think about this story, I realize that if my friend had not been so adamant that I heap some coals on Vickie's head and find freedom from my consuming hatred, Vickie would have died without my resolving my issues; without my forgiving her. Vickie would have died with her guilt and I would have, to this day, harbored those feeling of hatred towards her.

In heaping coals on the head of my enemy, I did, indeed, set myself free. What a gift she gave me on that day when she asked me if I would forgive her. What a life-lesson. Thank you, Vickie, for that gift.

RIP, Vickie.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Love Is...

Do you remember the back in the late 70's,early 80's, there was a cute little couple who were always reminding us what love is...  ???

As a teen, I remember seeing this cute, albeit naked, couple on everything from greeting cards to coffee cups, stationary to figurines. I would get my hands on anything I could that would afford me the "feeling" of what love would be...

This past Valentine's Day, some co-workers were expressing some concerns about the fact that Jim had not participated in the time-honored tradition of bestowing one's loved one with flowers, and chocolates, and jewelry, and proclamations of Hallmark-induced mushiness.

Jim defended himself  by ensuring our coworkers that he does things for me on an every day basis and how he doesn't need to buy me flowers once a year to convince me or prove to me (or anyone else)  that he loves me. I don't think the ladies were impressed...or convinced!

But you know something? He's right! He does things for me every day that most men don't do for the women in their lives. And as we were driving home, I starting thinking of all the wonderful things he does for me on a regular basis; without complaint... because he loves me. Yeah, we've had our tough times. But for the most part of the past 30 years, ours has been a journey of life lessons and love.

I posted a few of these redeeming qualities on facebook and I received more positive comments and replies than any other post of late. So, I thought I'd share some of what I consider to be my personal "Love Is" moments...

There are hundreds of "Love Is" moments in my life with my husband. 

Here are my Top Ten...
  • Love is....watching The Notebook with me and then driving me over 400 miles for a surprise visit to see my  mom....just because you want to be my Noah
  • Love is...knowing that you're already late for work, but you take the long way into town because you see the child-like wonder in my eyes as I see more than 20 hot air balloons take to the skies for Valentine's Day. Not only do you drive towards the pull over to the side of the road, turn off the car and just soak it all in with me.
  • Love is...every morning, without fail, you wake up and make me coffee. Fresh, sometimes french pressed and ALWAYS with flavored creamer! And even when I sleep in, you always have a hot cup ready for me when I groggily slide out of bed to greet you and my day.
  • Love is...every morning, before we leave for our commute into work, you go outside into the chilly morning air,  start the truck, and you turn on my seat-heater so it won't be so cold when I climb in.
  • Love is...every day you tell me that you love me, you greet me with a kiss each morning, you send me off to sleep with a kiss each night...and you always make sure I get my favorite pillow
  • Love is...whenever there is danger, I KNOW that you will protect me. I've witnessed it those few times when we've nearly been in an accident and you instinctively swerve the car in the direction that protects me, placing yourself in the path of an oncoming car. That is can't fake that instinctive reaction.
  • Love is...supporting me through my personal journeys in life, Whether they be journeys of self-discovery or self-destruction, you are my rock, my coach, my partner.
  • Love is...knowing that you never have, and you never will, raise a hand to me in anger. 
  • Love is...going along with all of my crazy schemes, even when they involve the the words "tandem" and usually end up with you driving me to urgent care
  • Love life together as best friends, parents, grandparents.....soul mates

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    What's In A Name...?

    I've always been intrigued by people's names.

    I've wondered  what prompts parents to name their children as they do. There's  history,  tradition, a story behind every person's' name. But, I also wonder where and how we come up with some of the nicknames we have accepted in society over the years; some nicknames so widely accepted that parents skip the formal name and just assign the nickname at birth. Why name your son John and call him Jack when you can just eliminate the additional step. Name him Jack, sign the birth certificate and take little Jack home.

    But what I REALLY want to know is how in the world these nicknames came to be in the first place! The name John is nowhere remotely close to the nickname Jack. How is it that Richard translates into Dick? and Margaret into Peggy?

    DO parents who name their child Richard in this day and age consider that the nickname for that baby will someday be Dick? Or that Charles will end up being Chuck? I did a little research and found some answers that explain these name transformations.

    Lets start with Jack.

    It seems that at some point, way back in the middle ages, there was a need to start making some small distinctions between all the Johns out there.

    "Hi John"
    "Hey, John. How ya doin?"
    "I'm good, good. Have you met John and his friend John?"

    Confusing, right? I don't know how they did it! Well, something had to change.

    The "O" would change here and there to an "A" or an "E" The suffix -kin or -in  or -cock would be added; resulting in the name Jankin or Jenkin or Johncock. Over time, the name shortens a bit and ultimately, you end up with Jack! Other names that have survived this process and may be how we ended up with names such as Frank (Francis), Hank (Henry)

    Some nicknames have a rhyming feature with no real reason other than plugging in a new first letter. William was shortened to Will and, just for fun, let's discard the "W" and tack on a "B" ....just because I feel like calling you Bill....
    but only when wearing my blue dress

    Is your name Robert Nester Marley? Shortened to Rob, but again, I like the letter "B" so much (and I'm just soooooo relaxed after those brownies you gave me),  I'm gonna call you Bob now, OK?

    OK.....back to our History lesson.......

    According to, the Norman Invasion of England in 1066 changed the language as well as the naming pool as we knew it.

    The Normans introduced many new sounds into the language that the native populations had difficulty with. The "r" sound was one of these, which led to it being dropped or changed in many diminutive forms of names.

    Barbara became Babs ( I always wondered about that one). Dolores became  Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola.

    Dorothy became Dolly. Mary generated many changes including Molly and Polly. Margaret is a busy name, giving us Maggie, Meg, Meggie, Peg, and Peggy !! Now I know where we get Peggy !!! It's all because of the Norms!

    Now, during this time, I've discovered, the "ch" was pronounced with a hard "k" sound. Richard was pronounced Rickard and, just because somebody had a hard time with their "R"s they thought a "D" was a little more appropriate and now we've got Dick.

    A trend came to light at some point after all of this name changing. That trend being to add the term "mine" in front of names. Again, the shortening of the name took place and we ended up with gems like Edward becoming Mine Edward and then shortened to Ned. and then Ed. Helen became Mine Hellen which somehow became Nellie.

    Fast forward to present day and we like to add the "ee" sound to any name that will stand still long enough to allow us to nail a new ending to it. Andrew becomes Andy. Ann becomes Annie. Lawrence becomes Larry. Susan becomes Susie. And, heaven help us, Richard becomes Dickie.

    Pop Quiz.....Do you know who this is?
     Yep, you guessed it! The guy is REALLY known as Winston Thaddeus Poohcock, aka, Winnie The Pooh

    After this short study on name evolution, we can now see what a genius Michael Jackson was.

    It is now apparent to me that Jacko had first considered naming his child Brandon. But, he had some difficulties enunciating his "R" sounds ( which is why he was always improvising while singing, throwing in all those "Eeee-Heeee's") Brandon became Blandon, shortened to Bland,  add -kin and you get Blandkin....shorten reverse, lather, rinse, repeat, and you get Blanket ...add the pet "ee" sound to the end and there you have it, Blankie! Jacko just skipped all the steps avoiding the real possibility of embarrassing and/or endangering his child.

      "Hi fans! My name is Brandon, er,Bland...ummm Blandkin? My real name is Blanket, but you can call me Blankie"

    We find ourselves as a society, in the throes of another name evolution. Parents are choosing to bestow different and unique names upon their children; creating their own trend. No more Johns or Marys.
    My own grandchildren have names that they'll not soon find on a key chain or a coffee cup at a gift shop in a theme park.

    But, this grandma's got it all figured out! Aurora is Rory, Azalea will be Lea and Avalahn will be Lonnie ...Anthony will be Ant and Chad will be Ch...with a hard "K" sound. Smart, right?
    No history or research needed's just because that's what this grandma wants to call them when she's too tired or has consumed too many brownies.

    And that, my friends, is how we get nicknames...some of them anyways. The next time someone tells you that you don't know Jack, you just tell them that you and Jack go way back...all the way back to when he was called Johncock Squat!

    Do you, or a friend of yours, have an interesting nickname? If so, I'd love to hear it. Feel free to share my link with your friends on facebook or comment here.

    ~ Ali ( aka Alicia)

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    This One Time At A Mexican Whore House

    Do I have your attention now???

    Well, my elderly mother certainly had my attention when those words came spilling out of her mouth like verbal vomit one heavyhearted evening in 2009.

    Up until that point, the topics of discussion that day had been very somber as I was at my parent's home engaging in one of life's unfortunate realities that we all must face ~ the pending  death of a parent.

    As my dad lie in his soon-to-be deathbed, not ten feet from where my mother and I sat watch , my mother took a deep breath and found the strength to open a dialogue and share with me a secret that had burdened her for over 40 years; a secret I had anticipated for most of my life. My mother was about to reveal to me that the man in the nearby bed was not my biological father...she was about to relay the identity of my biological father and the related details of my existence.

    Although I had never let on to my mother that I knew my dad wasn't my biological father, it was, in fact,  something that I had known for a very long time. From a very early age I had always felt that something was missing; that I somehow didn't always "fit" in the overall picture of our family unit; like a square peg. Not to mention the fact that once I was old enough to calculate the gestational period of a typical pregnancy, I realized that my parents knew each other a mere 7 months when I was born.

    The truth was inevitable... I realized it was only a matter of time before someone spilled the beans. But nothing...years and years of nothing until this very moment.

    My mother started to relay the story of "ME" with bits of nostalgia; like the moment when she woke up in her hospital room, she asked my dad about "the baby" and my dad told her that they had a beautiful baby girl. About how much I was loved and wanted. How my dad felt that a baby needed a name, a father, and that was why he had married her.  How he was adamant that he was my father and the secret of my biological father's identity or existence was never to be revealed.

    But she also told me of instances where I would approach strange men in church and asked them if they were my daddy; a practice that became a regular habit from the early age of three and would continue through my formative years. A child doesn't just do something like that unless they sense something is amiss.

    During my adolescent and teen years I had my rebellious stages where I wished my dad wasn't my dad; but he remained a strong presence, despite my ever-growing hormonal-fed attitude and disregard for parental boundaries.

    After she'd laid the foundation for her story of how my dad had loved me even though I wasn't really his, there was a long pause. And then she took me with her on a journey back in time. Back to 1960-something, when she had been forced into leaving her job as a nurse in Las Vegas and had ended up in Texas. She had been "deposited" in a little town just north of the Mexican border while going through a divorce from her first husband, who thought that after a year without him and his less than desirable ways, she'd gladly take him back; faults, girlfriend, and all.

    She found a job as a private care nurse. Made friends who helped her care for my two older brothers so she could work. She was barely surviving on her own, but somehow, she made it work. And at some point, a year later, her prospective ex returned to salvage his broken family and reinstate  them to his idea of a state of grace. Or so he thought...

    Little did he know that my mother had been involved in a love affair that would stand it's own against the likes of The Notebook! She had experienced what love really was and she wasn't quite ready to go back to her husband... or was she? He'd been gone for a year, still had his girlfriend on the side, and had apparently experienced no personal growth during their separation, yet when he came knocking on her door, she opened it and let him in.

    While she's recounting the events leading up to the crucial pinnacle of her story, the identity of my biological father, she's looking at me with tired eyes. Eye's that are nearly completely blinded from a brain injury, each eye setting their own fixed course, making her just a tad bit cross-eyed; a trait I've grown to love and appreciate in an odd way only a child can appreciate. She just keeps looking at me,  with tears welling in her eyes, and I'm on baited breath to learn how I came to be. She's going to say a name, a moment, her secret...

    ...and it was at this exact point in her story that my poor mother's brain took a detour. Without warning. No segway from one story to the next. It's like her brain was experiencing something similar to channel surfing and just when you get sucked into Steel Magnolias, someone hits the button on that remote and switches the channel to Three's Company! This is something that happens often since her brain injury and subsequent brain surgeries, and although I can generally salvage and interpret the mixed signals , this time I was just at a loss.

    Just when I think she's going to reveal to me the  name I needed to hear, she tells me about how one night long ago, when her husband had come back to Texas to get her....(long pause)

    ...and after my brothers had fallen asleep, my mother had been coaxed into a late-night drive with her ex. It was well after midnight and they were on a lonely little highway (another long pause and it is at this point that I logically conclude that I must have been conceived in a car...under an overpass ...Boy, was I wrong !!

    She continues to tell me how she was driven across the border into Mexico, where she was taken to a MEXICAN WHORE HOUSE!!! Yep, you heard right,  a MEXICAN WHORE HOUSE !!!

    My mother, who I've always viewed as a SAINT, who never drank or smoked or did anything remotely naughty in her life, is not only telling me how she ended up in a whore house, but also reveals to me the services that were offered by the proprietor!  I'll let you use your imagination here but it more or less involved any number of men, women, or combination thereof  that would join you in you hotel room.
    (insert 1978 porn music here)


    Now, one thing you should know about me is this: I deal with stressful situations through humor; generally inappropriate humor, and I must admit that although completely shocked, I did manage to ask my mother if they had offered a donkey. She looked at me with a look that was a mix of shock, amazement, and curiosity. She was speachless. Just looking at me with her little crossed eyes. I pipe up, "What, no donkey on the menu?" My mother was completely taken aback by my continued comment on the subject and said, "Do they have that? Really?"
    I thought I was going to die! Not only am I having a mind-blowing discussion with my mother that I'm sure less than a handful of people have ever experienced (show of hands out there...who's had a discussion with their mother about a night in a Mexican Whore House??? one...two...OK, yeah, just two of ya), I am also reeling with the thought that my father may be Juan, Paco, Frederico, or heaven help me, Pepe the Mule!!! As my head starts to spin,  I conclude that I may NEVER know who my father is !!! Donde` esta mi padre, por favor!

    Another long pause, and as quickly as she had gone off on that little detour south of the border, she returned to her original story without a she'd never taken the detour in the first place.

    She returned to her time in Texas and told me about how my father was a man she had carried on a wonderful love affair with; a man she had worked with in Las Vegas. A love affair that began as a long distance relationship and had survived the distance between Texas and Nevada, necessitating occasional secret rendezvous in Arizona from time to time, involving hitch-hiking, nights of drinking wine together and love.  It is my fervent belief that they had been each others true love. But, at some point back in 1966, their story took a detour, much like my mother's brain.

    It was a wonderful story, and I was totally engrossed. All the while I kept one eye on my mother, one eye on my father, and blindly typed the info she was relaying into my phone, just out of her failing eyesight. The setting was one that I had never envisioned, never fantasized about when I was younger; wondering how the news of who I was would be revealed.

    Some people question my mother's timing in telling me the identity of my biological father. They view her timing as cruel and heartless. I don't. I  know it was a difficult thing for her to do., especially with her husband of almost 43 years slipping away with every tick of the clock within an arm's reach.

    Even more difficult, I would imagine, would be  to carry that secret for so many years. I can't fathom how heart-wrenching that must have been for her. She told me that there were many times she had wanted to tell me, but my dad would dissuade her.

    So although some question my mother's motives, I know that  what she did that night was give me an incredible gift. She gave me the opportunity to mend the "holes" I felt regarding my relationship with my dad. She softened  the rough edges of this square peg...and I now knew who I was and how I came to be in this man's life. When nobody was around, I was able to lean over his bed, embrace him, and whisper in his ear what was on my heart about his role in my life. I thanked him for being a part of my, and my mother's, life.
    (The story of my mother, my father, and my dad is a story I'll share's a good one).

      That night, my mother gave me the gift of resolution. Not more than twenty minutes after my affirmation to my dad about his place in my life and in my heart he passed away while I  washed his face with a warm washcloth; a memory that still makes me cry.

    But on that night, my mother also gave me the gift of the identity of my biological father whom I now am blessed to have in my life, along with an uncle and three amazing cousins, and a rich family heritage...

    ...and she shared with me a great story about a trip to a Mexican Whore House !!! (It is at this point in my story that I must restore my mother's virtue and report that she spent that entire evening at that house of ill-repute sitting in the corner, crying, while her husband was entertained by his guests that evening. He was actually upset that she didn't participate and enjoy his "gift" to her. But, she just wasn't raised that way. I think a box of Russell Stover's Chocolates and a break-up letter to his girlfriend might have been a better choice, don't you?)

                                      My Dad ~ Chicken Wings were his favorite
                                      RIP ~  CL Tucksen
                                     12/26/1926 ~ 9/27/2009