In honor of Arbor Day … my favorite kind of Trees … They are beckoning to me to come see them!
Would you eat it over top of peaches and pears …. Would you eat it with honey or apple butter stirred into it … or do you eat it plain with some black pepper on top? How do you prefer to eat Cottage Cheese? My husband and I don’t agree, so I am taking a “scientific” survey.
I think there should be naptime allowed in the work day …. We wouldn’t fight it, like children do!
“Isn’t that the sweetest letter you ever heard. He has such a way with words.” Corinne’s heart was glowing as she re-read the letter for the 3rd time. “He is so romantic.”
“Who is romantic? Logan?” Yvonne asked.
“Didn’t you hear a word I said? Not Logan, but Rinaldo. I love the way his name just rolls off the tongue.”
Yvonne shook her head, “Sorry, I can’t stop thinking of Logan. Did I tell you that he read to me the most endearing poem last night?”
“A poem that he wrote? Is he a poet too?” asked Corinne.
“Yes, and by far the most romantic poet I ever knew.” and Yvonne’s bright blue eyes.
“What a coincidence that we both have fallen for poets.” and they both smiled.
“Hey we should all go out together sometime? said Yvonne, and Corinne agreed.
“I will suggest it to Rinaldo tonight. I am going to meet him at 7 at an Italian restaurant. He said we would eat by candlelight.”
“Sounds wonderful! I was supposed to go out with Logan tonight, but his Mom is sick, so he was going to take her some soup and spend the evening with her. What a caring heart he has.”
“Isn’t it great that we both are so happy. I know we just met our guys recently, but its off to a great start! Who knows, maybe we will have a double wedding someday.” They both gave impulsive hugs to each other.
Corinne finished getting ready and Yvonne told her to call when she got home. Meanwhile she decided she would go home and soak in a bubble bath.
That night at the restaurant the food was savory and Corinne found herself lost in Rinaldo’s eyes. It was the perfect night as she floated home on a cloud. She dialed Yvonne’s number, eager to read to her Rinaldo’s newest poem.
“So what do you think? Doesn’t it give you goosebumps?” Corinne said, after reading the poem over the phone.
She was met by silence. “Hello? Yvonne, you didn’t fall asleep on me, did you?”
“I am here….” again silence.
Corinne was confused. This wasn’t the response she had been expecting.
“I…I…would like to read you one of the poems Logan wrote for me, okay?”
“Sure.” said Corinne, though feeling a little upset that she hadn’t spoke any words of admiration for Rinaldo’s poem.
Yvonne finished her poem and was met by silence.
At last Corinne spoke. “Why? Why would you have one of Rinaldo’s poems?”
Yvonne started reading another one and Corinne’s heart sank.
“Noooo! This can’t be, I knew he was too good to be true!” Suddenly her despair flared to anger!
They both fired words back and forth about Rinaldo also known as Logan, wondering what his real name actually was! How many other “girls” was he writing the same poems for?
“I have an idea!” said Yvonne after they were both lost in their thoughts for awhile. “Meet me at my house at 7 tomorrow.”
“What is your plan?” Corinne asked.
“You will see, believe me, after tomorrow Rinaldo Logan will realize how dangerous it is to mess with us!”
At 7pm the next evening Corinne showed up eager to know what the plan was.
“He will be here soon. I want you to hide in the other room and then come out when I call you.”
“And then what, we throw the cheater out of the house together?”
Yvonne gave a coy smile, not saying a word, and Corinne hid in the other room.
A few minutes later the doorbell rang.
Yvonne opened the door throwing herself into Logan’s arms. “Oh, darling. so glad you are here. Tonight is going to be a night to remember.” she said with a seductive look on her face. “Supper is all ready.”
Logan’s breath caught at how gorgeous Yvonne looked tonight. “I am not sure if I want to take the time to eat.” he said, kissing her around her neck, brushing her amber hair away with his hand.
Yvonne unbuttoned the first few buttons on his shirt, running her finger down his chest. “But I made such a special meal tonight, exclusively for you.”
He groaned as she led him towards the table. They both sat down and he began to drink the cup of tea in front of him. While he was drinking Yvonne sat and watched him intently. His eyes were fixed on her as well and then Yvonne saw his expression suddenly change as he took the last sip.
“You can come out now.” she called and Corinne came out of hiding.
“Hello Rinaldo!” she said placing her arm around him. He jumped. ” Corinne!” His face turned pale as he looked at her and then down at his cup again.
His eyes filled with horror,”You didn’t!” he yelled at Yvonne. She stood up and came over to him. “You really should be careful who you play with. Play with fire and you get burned!” Within minutes his head hit the table and Corinne noticed the teacup, her eyes widening with shock!
Cara was singing on her way to work. She felt so refreshed after an amazing vacation at the beach. The weather had been perfect, she was with Bard and it couldn’t have been any better! She owed Mason a big Thank you!
“Good Morning!” she called out when entering the coffee shop. Mason was wiping down the counters and he looked up with a smile.
“Welcome back! How was it?”
“Wonderful!” Cara replied, with a dreamy look on her face.
Mason stood at the counter trying not to laugh, as he looked at Cara’s bright red face! “Was there a lobster look alike contest at the beach?”
Cara rolled her eyes, “I may have fallen asleep and forgot to re-apply my sunscreen.”
“But watch what you say for I did bring something nice back for you! ”
Mason made the most innocent face that he could and said, “How kind. Thank you!”
“Bard will bring it by later today, its a surprise. But I also got you a bag of gummy worms. I know how you like them.” Cara said, handing him the bag.
There wasn’t any more time to chat for customers started coming through the door, ready for their morning coffee.
Cara was glad to see Jake and Joshua at their normal booth. Jake always liked sitting at the same one. She was smiling as she walked over to them.
“Hi guys! How are you?”
“We are fine, really fine, now that you are back! Between you and us, Mason was running himself ragged with you gone! He said he didn’t realize how hard your job was!”
Cara rose her eyebrows and looked at Mason headed their way.
“Oh so tell me what else did Mason say?” she asked, loud enough for Mason to hear.
“Hey Jake, what tales are you telling on me? I know the tall tales you tell.” Mason told him.
Jake chortled, “Nothing at all!” and he winked at Cara. Cara laughed patting Jake on the shoulder as she walked to the next table.
It was great talking with all the customers again. Some of the rumors she was hearing though made her wonder what all happened when she was away!
Tippner had been seen putting stickers of Unicorns on his car? She would have to ask him about that when he came back to town.
The lady who usually dressed real modestly had a short skirt and was overly hyper. Cara could never remember her name but she couldn’t imagine her in a too short of skirt. It wasn’t just her either, apparently a lot of the townspeople were extra hyper, after trying Cara’s new coffee drinks. They had loved them!
The drinks were a definite hit, which made her happy. Cara was sure to pour herself one on her break.
Hmmm…Cara had tried one before leaving on vacation and she thought it had been a lot sweeter. Maybe she had forgotten.
Later that day she poured herself her favorite Salted Caramel Latte. Was something off with her taste buds, this drink didn’t taste quite right either.
By the end of the day Cara was tired and looking forward to a relaxing supper with Sarah.
She was emptying the trash when she saw something that caught her eye. Big empty 5 pound bags of Sweet and Low! Why would they have big bags? They usually had little packets of it for those who wanted it but the only 5 pound of bags they had were of sugar. Cara used them to mix up her special…
Oooh he didn’t! Did Mason use Sweet and Low in her coffee mixes? Thats why they weren’t as sweet! Did he really think she could be that easily fooled!
She was shaking her head in disbelief when Sarah came in the door.
“Hi Cara! Welcome back! Are you ready to go?”
They hugged and Cara said, “Yup, I will dump this in the dumpster as we leave. Sarah what all happened when I was gone?”
“Oh girl! Do I have a story for you! Did you notice anything different about your coffee drinks?”
“I knew it!” said Cara!
“You know there will be trouble when Tippner and Mason conspire! I overheard them and will fill you all in.”
Happy Tuesday! I am ready to go out in our backyard soon. Enjoy the beautiful sunshine, while lying on the porch swing, before going back to work. I hope you are finding a way to enjoy some simple pleasures today. Keep Smiling!
Sully opened his eyes and saw the stream across from him. He went to stand up but his legs felt wobbly, and he sank back down onto the grass. He felt dizzy and his stomach didn’t feel quite right. What was going on? He didn’t want to close his eyes again for he had really strange dreams before, but Ohhh he really didn’t feel well.
While lying on the grass in misery he remembered something his Mom had warned him about several times. She had said to be careful of eating wild berries. Sully’s heart sank as he thought about the sweet, juicy red berries he had enjoyed earlier. Why couldn’t he have remembered his Mom’s warning before! It didn’t do him much good now! Sully groaned, it looked like he was going to learn lessons the hard way on this trip. First the “stinging monster” and now the berries that may taste sweet at first, but they won’t make your stomach feel sweet!
Poor Sully hoped his stomach ache wouldn’t last long, but at least he had found a comfortable place to rest.
After resting some more his stomach felt like it was settled and he was able to stand on his 4 feet without feeling dizzy. He walked down to the stream for more water and then skipped a little, being glad that he felt much better. Onward to more adventures, thought Sully.
He had been plodding down the curvy dirt road, feeling in awe of the mountains around him. They were gigantic, compared to him. Sully felt pretty small until a fly started buzzing around his head. Now the fly was tiny, but he was becoming a pest for he kept buzzing in his ears. It sounded like he was saying “I am Superfly, the fastest fly around!” Sully replied back, “I am Sully, and I eat flies!” In a flash Superfly was gone.
After walking for another hour, he found himself out of the mountains and in a more wooded section. Sully began to wish that he hadn’t scared Superfly away. At least he could talk to him. Sully was beginning to feel lonely. Then he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was sitting by the side of the road, eating something.
Sully stopped and said “HI!” and the woodchuck nodded his head for his mouth was full. What he was eating didn’t look appealing at all. At last the woodchuck stopped chewing and said, “HI! What are you doing?”
“I am on an adventure!”
“Where to?” the woodchuck asked.
“I don’t know.” Sully replied.
The woodchuck cocked his head at him. “Well would you like to stay with me and help me chuck some wood?”
Sully didn’t think that sounded too exciting. He politely said No and wished the woodchuck a good day while continuing on his way.
What was that? Perhaps that animal would like to walk with him and be his friend. It was small, but much bigger than Superfly and it wasn’t chewing on yucky wood. It was standing in some wildflowers. Sully decided to go over and say “Hi!” Its black and white color was a deep contrast compared to the bright, yellow flowers around it. Sully thought its fluffy tail was pretty cool.
Sully called out to the black and white animal but it didn’t reply. So he called again. Thinking that maybe the animal didn’t hear him Sully walked closer to him. Then the animal turned his back on Sully. Well that is rude, thought Sully, and he yelled again at him and dared to get closer.
Sully’s eyes stung and he could barely breathe! What was that horrible odor? He ran but the odor followed him. He kept running until he began to get out of breath. The pungent smell was still overwhelming. What was he going to do? This was the last straw! Sully was going back home. He decided that he had enough adventures for now!
He had been bold and brave and showed his siblings that he could go out on his own, even if he was little! But now all he wanted was to go home, and get rid of this putrid smell. He started running and loudly brayed, “M-a-a-a-M-a-a!
Sully, the little donkey, was anxious for adventure. He wanted to go exploring and see what new things he may discover. Finally the day he had anticipated came. Early one morning, feeling an air of confidence, he ventured out.
The morning passed by quickly and Sully was totally enjoying himself. He stopped and played tag with some prairie dogs. Trying to tag them when they poked their heads out of their holes. They were quick, little things!
After playing with them for a little while Sully bid his tiny friends goodbye and plodded on down the dusty trail. He saw something new to him up ahead. It resembled a green bush, but it had weird things sticking up from it. Being the curious donkey that he was, he walked closer to it, bending down to take a sniff.
OUCH! Sully jumped back! That stung and it was still stinging. He rubbed his nose in the dirt until finally the stinging sensation subsided. He still didn’t know what that thing was, but he would be sure to never get close to the stinging monster again!
The sun grew hotter as Sully plodded along and he hoped that he would soon come to some water. Not only was his mouth getting dry, but the water would probably feel good on his nose too. He kept his eyes pealed for water but all he could see was sand!
Ahh! Up ahead there looked like a nice pool of crystal clear water. His steps were quicker, feeling eager to get to the water. He was really close now. Wait! Where did it go? He was sure it had been right here, he had seen it with his own eyes! But here he was standing where he thought the pool of water had been. It was like it suddenly vanished.
Sully’s heart sank in disappointment. “Stinging monsters!” and now “vanishing water”, what kind of place was this! He was beginning to doubt himself in having ventured out on his own. But he was the Little Donkey that Could! His older siblings would tease him saying he was too little to do anything, so he had decided he would show them. No, he couldn’t give up and go home. He thought of how he could tell his siblings that he bravely fought the “stinging monster”, watching their shocked expressions. Sully smiled, he would continue on.
Seeing red berries on a plant, Sully tried them. They were sweet and the juice from them brought relief to his parched tongue. He continued on a little more and found himself no longer surrounded by sand. Now he saw mountains in the distance, and the best sight of all was a flowing stream.
Sully walked right into the stream, the cool water felt so refreshing and he felt like he couldn’t drink fast enough.
He was feeling tired, he was a little donkey that still needed his naps. Finding some green grass, he laid down. Sully closed his eyes, dreaming of the adventures awaiting him.
Ryan impatiently looked at the flights lit up on the board one more time. Nothing had changed. It looked like he was going to have to face the fact that he would be leaving on a jet plane a lot later than he had planned. He sighed as he took a seat in the airport. His flight was delayed by 3 hours, what was he supposed to do in that time?
He was from Chicago and flying to Boston. This was his first time ever getting on a plane. His Dad had said, “Its Easy”, nothing to flying, but so far Ryan was not having an easy time! He had got lost on the way to the airport, the GPS got him all screwed up. It was the first GPS that he had heard with a male voice, and when Ryan followed its directions he ended up hopelessly lost.
The one cool thing that happened when he was lost out in the middle of nowhere is that he saw some Eagles flying. That was something he didn’t see every day. After watching them he noticed the diner down the street and Fortunately the young waitress there gave him clear directions on how to get back on the interstate. He left her a extra nice tip.
Since he was late getting to the airport he thought he had to hurry so he ran through the airport. Only to get to the gate and realize that his flight was on a 3 hour delay! Sighing he leaned his head back on the chair and closed his eyes.
A few moments later a sweet, faint fragrance made him open his eyes. A young lady with honey blonde hair sat down next to him.
Straightening up he turned and greeted her, “Hi! I’m Ryan.”
She gave him a soft smile, “HI! I’m Kim. Where are you headed too?”
“Oh are you flight 1266 too?”
“Yes.” replied Ryan, starting to feel that perhaps this wasn’t all bad having his flight delayed.
“My flight from Kansas City was delayed and so I thought for sure I would be late in making this flight, but was so relieved to find out that I wasn’t.”
They kept talking, and surprisingly Ryan felt himself enjoying the conversation. It just seemed to have a natural flow to it. Before they knew it 3 hours had elapsed. He wasn’t ready for the conversation to end.
“What row are you in?” he asked.
Kim glanced at her phone to view her ticket and it turned out she was in the same row as Ryan! Was that Ryan’s imagination or did Kim’s cheeks flush a little, when realizing they were seated next to each other on the plane?
Ryan had always prided himself on not losing his head when it came to women, but there was something about Kim that was taking his breath away.
As they stood up to board the plane, Ryan felt excitement growing. He may be crazy, but he felt like he had more than a feeling that this first flight of his could be one that he would always remember!
When you leave your worries behind …. and embrace the moment!
You can’t eat only 1 potato chip and you can’t eat only 1 Oreo!
Thinking about songs from the past … and this one popped in my mind … Remember driving down the road with friends… headed to the beach… with this playing on the radio … brings back carefree feelings! What old songs come to your mind?
Loralei enjoyed being out in the bayou in the morning. A perfect way to start her day, rowing peacefully and sometimes letting the boat be still. Immersing herself in the solitude of the golden morning. It was therapeutic to her. She needed something to help her get over the betrayal of Carter. Should have known that he was a snake. Trying to dig up a fake fortune. He had fallen for the trap that her Dad had set.
Her Dad had suspected that Carter wasn’t who Loralei thought he was and so her Dad set the whole thing up. He typed up what looked like an official document from a lawyer. It was describing a fortune that had been left for him in the Will of his eccentric grandfather. The letter told exactly how to find the fortune, stating that it would be under the tree that had a gold tassel on it.
When Carter came over that night for supper, her Dad had called him into the office to talk about something. Then he excused himself for a few moments from the office. He purposely had left the letter lying on his desk, easy for Carter to see and read.
When Carter had called Loralei the next day to say that he had something that had suddenly come up that night, her heart sank. She knew where he was headed. She thought she would have a little fun at his expense and that was why she decorated both trees with a gold tassel. When she arrived he was digging furiously. It had been fun to catch him in the act, though it still stung sharply to know that Carter had been so quick to steal from them! That was it, she was finished with guys! Who needed them anyway.
She let the boat drift along some more. Some people thought the bayou was spooky, the big cypress trees and swampy mud, plus the gators, but Loralei wasn’t afraid at all. She knew the bayou like the back of her hand and knew where the alligators usually gathered at. Knowing how to look out for them.
Later that evening she was in her bedroom listening to sad love songs, when her Dad knocked on the door.
“Come in.” she said.
Curled up in her bed in her favorite pair of lime green sweats with an oversized t-shirt, she looked up as her Dad entered the room.
He looked around at the clothes scattered on the floor , and the empty quart container of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Taking seat on Loralei’s bed, he held out a present for her. It was a small box tied with a pink bow.
“Awh Dad! What is this?” Loralei asked, taking the little box.
“A little something that I thought may help to cheer you up.”
Opening the box, her forehead crinkled in confusion. “A cowbell?”
Smiling, her Dad said, “Yes, and not just any cowbell, this is a rare, special one.”
Loralei took it out of the box and looked at it. “No offense Dad, but really … a cowbell? What exactly am I supposed to do with it, I don’t own a cow.” she said.
“I will show you. Take my hand, and then shake the bell 3x.”
Shaking her head Loralei said, “Dad, are you sure you are OK? You want me to shake the bell 3x. Is this like Dorothy clicking her heels 3x? Am I going to be magically transported somewhere? Do you have some ruby slippers for me too?” Loralei asked, with a sarcastic laugh.
“Just take my hand and shake the bell.”
Rolling her eyes, she grabbed her Dad’s hand, and shook the bell. POOF! Pink and purple smoke filled the room.
Loralei picked herself up off the ground, looking at her Dad with an incredulous expression.
“What just happened? That was wild!”
“Looks like we are on a little vacation. I love the ocean!” The seagulls were calling while Loralei stood on the beach, not saying a word, as they watched the waves rolling into the shore.
After a few moments, Loralei said, “This is amazing, but I am so confused! How…?”
Her Dad bent down to pick up a sand dollar. “Lets take a walk along the water and I will explain the legend of the enchanted cowbell.
All thoughts of Carter vanished and Loralei was all ears.
A shadow emerged from the water, looked around and stepped into the woods. The white egret watched for a moment and then turned its head away.
The egret watched a young lady rowing a canoe down the bayou. Her long sleek black hair was tousled. A red hairband was loosely wrapped around a ponytail that was coming apart. Mascara left lines down her cheeks.
When the sun hit her hand just right, sparkles glistened from the diamond rock on her finger. Slowly the canoe glided across the water.
The man found the large cypress tree, right where he was told it would be. If he hadn’t been looking for it he wouldn’t have noticed the gold tassel hanging from a branch. He started to dig.
Loralei watched the beautiful bird staring at her as she rowed. She hoped that she was headed the right direction. Soon she came to the spot where she needed to get out. Stepping out her shoe sank into the mud. She pulled her foot up and watched in frustration as her shoe was swallowed by the mud.
Sighing, she started walking, trying to ignore the feel of the mud squishing between her toes.
He was sweating, from the heat and from nerves. What was taking so long, how far down would he have to dig?
Loralei watched him. How long would it be until he noticed her? He was so focused on digging that he never looked to the side, at the tree diagonally across from him.
After a little while longer, when the perspiration was soaking through his shirt, she yelled his name.
“Hey Carter! Looking for something?”
Carter spun around. His face a mixture of shock and confusion when he saw her.
“Did you ever think that perhaps you were digging at the wrong tree?”
Loralei was smiling and holding a small box in her hands.
“Its quite easy to hang tassels on the branches of any tree you know, ” Loralei said , with a smug look upon ber face.