Christmas 2009

This Summer, I met my new love, Firefly.

We are all still alive so I’ll cover that update first.  I don’t know how Lille is still alive.  She’s fat, sleeps all day, and now has discovered that she can bark, so she does on a regular basis while we play twenty questions regarding what she wants.  I’m well trained though, because I’ve stopped asking all of the regular things first and just abruptly end the conversation with “Cookie?” which then gets much praise and adoration from the fat dog.  We did a slew of tests on her recently, but the real diagnosis is just an old and fat dog.

Speaking of medical wonders, we’ve had a great year maxing out our medical insurance deductibles and having our premiums rise accordingly.  We were golden by April after my chin decided to meet the pavement of the French Quarter in New Orleans at 2 a.m. the night of the 40th birthday fiesta of John, as I was getting out of a cab and my heel caught the hem of my dress.  My camera survived the fall.  I was stunningly bloody gorgeous in the ER – so glamorous in fact that they put me in a pediatric examination room immediately in order to quarantine me from the “other” patients visiting Tulane than evening.  12 stitches later, I swear I had a chin lift.  I’m still going deaf in my right ear but the dizziness has stopped so I’m no longer a threat on the road driving my kids to their numerous activities.  What did you say?  Huh? You have to talk to my left ear.

Ashton also spent some time in the hospital this year after discovering that he could jiggle his brain by playing “dizzy lizzie” in the basement by having his head come in contact with the wall two days before we were supposed to go on a cruise for Spring Break.  Since the concussion caused him to vomit for 24 hours, we were admitted to the hospital until he could break the pattern and smuggled him and his black skull on the ship.  I still don’t think he’s right, but maybe it’s because he’s 7.  As the Neurologist stated, “boy, you really rang your bell!”

Jack, on the other hand, also had a slew of tests and the result was that he is allergic to Atlanta.  Dust mites (carpet), Lille, Mohammad’s weeds, our grass, mice, oak trees…. The kid sneezes all the time, and in the midst of the Pig Epidemic, he wasn’t achieving popular status with the teachers.  So, now he and I go twice a week to the allergist’s office for him to get a series of shots in order to build immunity for the NEXT FIVE YEARS.  Each visit takes about forty- five minutes.  Brilliant.  Thank God for online games on phones.  I’m a Poker shark now.

I’m really trying to figure out how to swing the tummy tuck into this year’s medical plan and get an insurance sponsored Mommy Makeover, but I’m not smart enough.  Mignonne had a bout of Fifth Disease followed up by the swine flu before it became famous.  John has been relatively healthy this year, but that’s because he’s been busy and keeps away from us with his office door closed.  But really, the kids are great, John is fine, and I’m alive.

When we last wrote, I was having a love affair with alcoholic grape juice of the red variety.  This summer, I met my new love, Firefly.  Nothing can be finer than some Sweet Tea, it’s a beautiful thing, and I highly recommend it to those that like something a bit more special than an Arnold Palmer in their water bottle 😉    We have been spending the last few summers in my most favorite place on earth, Daufuskie Island.  It’s heaven, and if you haven’t made up an excuse yet to come visit, you can now say you want to experience Firefly on the Calibogue and give us a call as you are heading towards South Cackalackie.  This year however will go down as the Year of the Mermaid.  Over the years, I have had my eye on this piece of artistic beauty, named Ethel Mermaid.  She’s a 7 foot, blue tailed, iron sculpture by the only artist I’ve ever proclaimed my “groupie” status about.

This past summer, I gave up on waiting for her to arrive as a gift, so I went into business for myself and started crabbing off the bridges and beaches of Daufuskie Island.  I became one with the crabs.  Our guests even got into the action, and since I hang out with a bunch of smart chicks, each one perfected our process with a bit more precision and grace…Tonging, Wellies, Net Sizes, Types of Chicken, net placement, times of the day to go…these became trade secrets.  I would check the tides on a daily basis, don my Wellies, and tie a piece of chicken wing onto a piece of string, tie it to my boot strap, and then cast it into the water and wait for the big one to take a bite, then slowly lure it into my net where it would be masterfully placed inside my bucket for the big crab boil later that afternoon.  I became The Crab Whisperer.  My Daufuskie Deviled crab became a hot item at the local farmer’s market each Tuesday morning.  I’d mix up a batch of the crab, stuff the shells, bake them, and wrap them in foil, put them in my cooler, and head on down to the dock in the six seater golf cart to sell to the locals…some days I’d be done in three minutes, other days it would take thirty to sell out.  I became “the crab lady”, and was a regular at the farmer’s market.  If I was running late, it wasn’t ever that terrible.  They’d just say, “Oh, she’s always late, she’s got the three kids, and plays tennis on Tuesday mornings.”  Ten weeks of sales and I made enough to buy the beautiful mermaid.  I’ve never worked so hard for something in my life, and the precious time spent with my kids trying to achieve something that I’ve wanted, well, I hope they got it.  Wrapping her up and driving her across the island in the golf cart with the three kids before getting her home in the minivan with a summer’s worth of treasure – absolutely the best feeling ever.  She now rests prominently in my bathroom over my tub, with three little fish, and one big fish.