Monday, September 27, 2004

100 Random Things About Me... Part 2

26. I collect "pigs"
27. I still sleep with a big plush pig named Hampton that my husband gave me when we were dating.
28. I hate feet (except tiny pink baby ones).
29. I collect anything "Precious Moments" by Enesco
30. My favourite male vocalist is Steven Curtis Chapman
31. My favourite female vocalist is Rebecca St. James
32. My favourite musical group is Avalon followed closely by Newboys and Smalltown Poets
33. I would be a Scorpio if I believed in astrology and horoscopes
34. My favourite color to look at is blue
35. My favourite color to wear is wine/burgundy.
36. Sometimes I keep watching the cartoons even after my daughter has left the room
37. I'm glad that Care Bears, Rainbow Bright, and My Little Pony have made a comeback
38. I can only eat pb&j sandwiches with apple jelly
39. My favourite ice cream is vanilla with Hershey's syrup
40. I like Blue Bell's Rocky Road if I'm feeling adventurous
41. I'll try just about any crafts related project at least once
42. So far cross-stitching is still my favourite.
43. I love to take a long bubblebath with a good book
44. I have been known to occasionally fall asleep in the tub
45. I think everyone's personal vehicle should have a name...mine is "Tory"
46. I love to cook...if someone will help me clean up afterwards
47. I love the way everything looks really green right after a hard rain
48. I like the smell of burning leaves or a woodburning stove in the fall/winter
49. I'm not all that fond of swimming...
50. I'm more likely to remember your phone number than your name.

100 Random Things About Me... Part 1

1. Autumn is my favourite season
2. I prefer to spell "favorite" the Old English way "favourite"
3. My birthday is the day before Halloween
4. My favourite cake is yellow with milk chocolate frosting and little mellowcreme pumpkins on it
5. I no longer actually EAT the mellowcreme pumpkins..don't ask me why..I dunno
6. I consider myself a romantic
7. I love Shakespeare...and anything related to it...books, movies, etc.
8. I love to read.
9. The longest book I've ever read was Gone With the Wind...well over 1000 pages.
10. I read Gone With the Wind in about 6 hours and then proceeded to read the sequel..Scarlett.
11. I am allergic to cats
12. I love dogs..especially when they are puppies!
13. I have a black and tan mini dachshund
14. I can only drink coffee if it's cold out or my throat hurts
15. I LOVE Starbuck's French Vanilla Cappuchino
16. I cry when I'm sad or watching/reading a sad movie/book
17. Sometimes I cry when I'm really happy too
18. I love baseball.
19. I'm a huge Atlanta Braves fan.
20. I collect baseball cards.
21. I sell Avon
22. If I wear makeup, I like it to look natural.
24. I cut my own hair
25. I like my pizza with ham, pineapple, and mushrooms

Impatient in Alabama

Ok. So I'm attempting to breach the land of Leadership in Avon. So far...I can't claim total success. I just had my first recruiting appointment last Monday and it went really well. I mailed the signed contract to the Atlanta branch leadership office on Tuesday. A week ago. Now I realize that today's snail mail (while not as trendy and lightspeed swift as email) is still an improvement over the Pony Express. Maybe I'm just getting impatient. Ok..alright..I'll admit it. I passed impatient already, but you don't understand. I NEED to get this contract confirmed. My recruit NEEDS to be able to place her first order. I NEED my recruit to have at least a $50 order, and I NEED to be able to sign up at least 2 more recruits in the next 2 weeks! My life would be so much simpler if I just knew when and if that stupid...albeit very necessary contract had been or will be processed and when my online MANAGE page will be updated with my link allowing me to process those lovely, wordy, pain in the you-know-what contracts online, rather than relying on the little slug to carry it from my small town post office, through heavy traffic, dodging squealing car tires along the the branch office in Atlanta! *whew!* Thanks for letting me vent. I feel somewhat better (well, other than the impatience gnawing at my stomach and pressing vice-like on my chest making it oh so difficult to draw in that precious oxygen). Fellow Avon ladies...Leadership members...someone...anyone...feel free to comment! Really! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bouncing Back

After our yard sale a few weeks ago, we decided to use some of our proceeds to get my oldest daughter the new carseat she had been needing for several months. "1" had outgrown her baby seat and was ready for the next step up which unfortunately for her, "3" was still inhabiting. So after the yard sale we purchased a new youth booster seat for "3" and gave "1" her hand-me-down carseat. Worked out well for both girls. "3" was really proud of her new ride. The first time she "test drove" her new seat, it was nighttime. "Mommy! It's WONDERFUL!" she exclaimed. "It's SO pretty!" This was the commentary of a child who was discovering for the first time all the street lights, traffic signals, and buildings lighting the darkness from the new perspective of her mobile world; having been previously unable to see out the side windows of our car. Today however, my husband and I made an unfortunate discovery. Somewhere in all the excitement of the new carseat and extended view, we had forgotten some vital information. As children, both my husband and I suffered the malady of motion-sickness. To be more This thought never crossed either of our minds until we were on our way to my husband's doctor's appointment in a town about an hour from home. We started our journey alone..just the two of us this morning, as my mother had come to babysit. Alas, "3" chose today to have a separation anxiety attack and so we opted to allow her to accompany us while "1" stayed home and entertained her Nana. Up until now, "3" had only been in the car for short distance rides: to the grocery Nana's...downtown...etc. Once again, this never crossed our minds UNTIL...we were about 10 minutes from the doctor's office. The ride had not been a smooth one. We traveled at greater speeds than usual, for longer distances than usual, around more curves and turns than usual, with apparently more ignorant drivers than usual. (We were cut off and nearly run off the road twice). All of the occurrences in combination obviously did not sit well on "3's" stomach. With no warning, 3's latest snack of chocolate milk and teddy grahams came back with a vengeance spraying the back of my seat, covering her clothes, and saturating a completely horrified stuffed "Nemo" fish. I flashed my ass to the downtown metro world as I dove head-first over the front seats in an effort to catch the geyser in the ever-ready Walmart sack I found floating around the floorboard. It was over as soon as it had begun and with the imperturbable attitude of a small child, "3" announces in a calm voice... "My tummy feels better now." I wish she had hinted to me that it didn't feel well in the first place. Oh well. Live and learn.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Ivan the Terrible

Hurricane Ivan came roaring through this past Thursday with an angry demeanor, leaving destruction and despair in its wake. I believe it was still classified as a category 4 hurricane when it reached landfall near Mobile, Alabama. The eye passed over Mobile, but the areas on the left side of the hurricane received the brunt of Ivan's force. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach suffered large amounts of damage, as 90% or so of the beachfront condo's (including one owned by a cousin of my family) were flattened. Dolphin Island reported 100% decimation. By the time Ivan reached us here in Central Alabama, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm but it still showed fierce intent to wreak havoc where it could. Many old/large trees either lost big limbs or were uprooted completely...crushing whatever had the misfortune to by lying in their paths: cars, buildings, homes, churches. The roof on a local business was peeled back to the ventilation system, and several storefront windows were shattered by flying debris. This is to say nothing of the hundreds of locals without power due to damaged or fallen lines, exploded transformers, and blown fuses. State wide the number of people sitting in the dark reached well over one million. Our power was just restored this morning about 7:45 a.m. The day that Ivan made it's appearance in our town, my husband was working. I packed up my kids, a few pieces of clothing, diapers, water, non-perishables, and flashlights with new batteries and headed for my grandmother's much sturdier brick home where I rode the storm out in comfort with my grandmother and mother. My husband popped in and out when he could to dry off, grab a bite to eat, and report on any damage our town had suffered thus far. Afterwards we returned home to assess the damage and were pleasantly surprised to find only a scattering of small tree limbs and other debris strewn about the yard. The house was fine other than being hot due to the lack of power needed to run the air-conditioning. None of my family had any power, but some friends of ours did and we spent the night and next day with them. Our 95 degree home was just too hot for my babies to stand. Especially "A" as she was running fever as a side-effect of some booster shots she had the previous week. Last night it was cool enough in the house with all of the windows open, to return to our own beds. This morning I awoke to the sound of chainsaws clearing streets and powerlines of fallen limbs...and then I heard it. The wonderful beeping of alarm-clocks and various other electronic devices throughout the house signifying that our power had been restored once more. I glanced up at the ceiling where the bedroom fan was slowly starting to come to life after 4 days of hibernation. Time to get up. There was a refrigerator to be cleaned out and chores to be done. It was going to be a long day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

To Make a Long Story Short(er)... Part 2

I knew he promised to come back to me, but it was more than I could hope to believe at the time. But he did. He got home late Friday night/early Saturday morning -- threw everything he could (in order of importance) into the back of his little pickup, called work and quit his job, then at the last minute told his family he was leaving. They were shocked. (To this day I still thing some resent me for his decision to move 800 miles away). When Alan called me on Sunday, he said he had a surprise for me. 5 minutes later, he was on my front steps. I nearly died. I laughed...cried...tears of pure joy. A weight had been lifted from my heart and I could breathe again. I was back in Alan's arms...where my heart knew I belonged. He moved in with his aunt and uncle until he could get a job and find a place of his own. They are like second parents to us now...we both practically lived there that year. Alan was hired by a local police department and enrolled in the Police Academy. That was difficult because we were separated for a while. He was there, and college had resumed for me too. Six months after we met, on December 23, 1999...Alan asked me to marry him. Six months later on June 23rd, our wedding was held in my grandmother's home infront of our immediate family. It was short, sweet, simple and completely perfect. I was 19 when we got engaged...20 when we got married....21 when our first daughter "C" was born, and 23 when her baby sister "A" made her entrance into the world. We've been happily married for 4 years, and as I think back on it two 8 year old little girls managed to keep in touch for over 13 years is more than amazing. It's an act of God...the God that brought me my now and forever best friend.

To Make a Long Story Short(er)... Part 1

I finally realized the chapters in that last post could go on and here is the "Reader's Digest" version of the ending.

Alan and I spent the entire weekend together stealing precious moments together while we helped his brother's family move into their new house. He stayed with his grandmother for the following week and we were together 24/7. Somehow, my curfew at home magically dissolved, and my Mom stopped waiting up on me to come in. Alan and I would spend the day together, go out, come home, eat dinner, rents some movies and fall asleep together on the couch in his g'ma's living room. Then we would wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and he would hurry to get me home before my parents realized I hadn't made it in yet. (Later I realized that they knew perfectly well what time I got home each night...but wonderfully decided not to make an issue of it). Getting out of his truck after only our second date, I told him I loved him. (Something I had never said to anyone else). I didn't want him to feel like he had to say it in return so I jumped out (hitting my head on the door) and ran into my house. He called me within five minutes...his only words... "I love you too." Our week of bliss passed much too quickly, and before I realized it Friday had come. It was time for Alan to return to Texas. To his family...his job...his life without me. As we stood in my driveway in a pathetic attempt to say goodbye, something happened. The wind changed....the mood shifted....and I was questioning my own hearing ability as I heard Alan promise that he would come back to me...for me. Letting him go was to this day the hardest thing I have ever done. My heart broke and tears poured down my face as I watched his little purple truck round the corner at the end of my street and drive forlornly out of sight. I cried myself to sleep that night, and didn't want to get out of the bed the next morning. Nothing mattered. He was gone.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 8

The clock finally struck 5:00 pm. Closing time. My heart was pounding so loudly inside my head that I was sure Alan could hear it too, as we walked in silence out the front doors to the street where his little purple (yes, I did say purple) Chevy S-10 pickup waited patiently by the curb. Alan finally spoke up, breaking the tension like a baseball hit through a glass window. "You look nice" he said. " do you." I replied. When we reached his truck, Alan opened the passenger door for me. (Score 1 point.) When we got in and fastened our seat belts, Alan reached into the center console and handed me something. "I thought you might like this" he said. It was the new Avalon cd and two baseball cards from his personal collection in a plastic collector's sleeve: Chipper Jones and Tom Glavine rookie cards. "He knows me so well already" I thought. (Score 10 bonus points). A cd by Smalltown Poets was playing as we drove in silence. There are not any good places to go on a date in our little town, so the nearest metro area is about 45 minutes away. I don't think I even asked him where we were going. It really didn't matter. I was finally with Alan, and instinctively I trusted him from the beginning. He ended up taking me to Macaroni Grill for dinner. I had never eaten there and it was great. I love Italian food, and they had every kind of pasta imaginable. I had some kind of chicken, mushroom parmesean fettuchini. I don't remember what Alan ordered. But I do remember that the place settings were served ontop of this huge sheet of paper and there was a basket of crayons along with the condiments in the center. I was too nervous to put much effort into my artwork, so while I drew the typical "girlie" doodles...hearts, flowers, smiley face sunshines..etc, Alan amused me by drawing cartoon characters while we waited on our dinner to be served. After dinner we went to the theatre where we decided to see the first of the new StarWars movies: Episode I. It was one of those great theatres with the removable armrests, so we sat close together -- Alan's left hand holding mine in his lap, his right arm around my shoulders. It was perfect, and the movie was great. (Later he bought me the DVD). We sat closer together on the way home than we had on the drive up, my knees angled towards him, his hand holding mine except for when he had to shift gears. (Dang and blast stick shifts anyway). I don't remember what we talked about now. Everything and nothing I'm sure. We got back to his grandmother's house where he was staying about 10:00 that night. (I had to be home by midnight). There were still lights on inside, and we hated to break the mood by going in, so we just sat for a while in his truck listening to the radio. Finally, by some non-communicated agreement we must have decided it was time to go in before someone came out to see why we were still sitting in the driveway. To this day I still don't know who made the first move. Whether he leaned over, or I leaned in...I guess it doesn't matter. "I wish the same for you...a chance for love" lilted in the background as we kissed for the first time. How can I describe it other than sheer perfection? It wasn't very long, nor all that intense, but it was perfect. And in that moment I knew with sudden clarity.... that this was the man that I would marry. This was my future husband. (To be continued).

Friday, September 10, 2004

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 7

That delicious voice was the first thing I heard every morning and the last thing I heard every night from April 12 to June 5th. By this time I was home for the summer and working at the local public library. Alan and I had been planning to meet in person back in May, but unforseeable obstacles kept popping up, blocking our path to each other. I wrecked my mom's new car and totalled it out (not my fault..thank God!). Alan's truck broke down and he injured his neck while working on it, and that ultimatly is what delayed our union. I can imagine it would not be easy to drive 800 miles with a stiff, sore, aching our meeting had to be delayed two weeks. On June 5th, he told his family that he was coming here to help his older brother (the one married w/ kids) who was getting ready to move the coming weekend. (But we know why he was REALLY coming.... ME! haha) It's about a 14 hour drive from Houston to my hometown, and Alan got to his grandmother's home (where he was planning to stay) very late the night of the 6th. He called me to let me know that he had arrived in one piece, and made arrangements to pick me up from work the next afternoon. Despite the state of contentment and bliss his phone calls always left me with, I was unable to sleep. I had that anxious nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Only this was so much bigger...I was going to meet the man I knew I was destined to be about 16 hours. I made it through the next day only with maximum effort and concentration. The "old ladies" I worked with, who had finally coerced the story out of me, had been teasing and taunting me all day. Finally the end of my workday was drawing to a close, not unlike the invisible vice that was slowly tightening around my chest, making it difficult to breathe. I was a wreck. I didn't know whether to run for the door or the bathroom to be sick. I was replacing the last cart of books in the stacks at ten 'till five when Alan arrived at the already locked front doors of the library. Guessing that he was my mystery date, the ladies let him in. When I returned to the front desk to gather my belongings...there he stood, smiling at me. My mind exploded into a thousand random heart stopped beating...I forgot to breathe...but thank God I did NOT forget to smile back, though I'm sure my blush could have lit the deepest, darkest cavern. (To be continued...)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 6

I had to end it...and fast. My tender sensibilities would not allow me to continue my relationship with "Phil" when all I could think about night and day was Alan and when I would get to chat with him next. He consumed my every thought and action. I was completely obsessed. Luckily for me, the obsession seemed to be mutual, though I will be the first to admit it was stronger on my end. But then I knew something that Alan had yet to realize. I will explain about that later. I decided to be completely honest with Phil. Yes, I cared about him deeply. I loved him....just not the way he wanted me too. I just came right out and told him that there was someone else in the picture to whom I found myself inexplicably drawn. It was more than that really...I felt as though God had sent me a message in the clearest form... like being zapped with a lightening bolt. When I came to, all I could hear was the voice in my head saying "he is the one" and then my own inner voice who said "better not screw it up!" Being the Godly man he was (and still is) Phil understood, though I know I caused him pain. We didn't speak for over a year because put it frankly, he wasn't over me yet. I talked to him again several months ago, and though he has moved on now... at age 28, I am still the only person he has ever kissed. (At least I know his first and only kiss was a good one! haha) Enough of that, now back to Alan. I couldn't believe how fast things seemed to be if I could actually feel the Earth rotating on its axis beneath my feet. It had only been three days since we had begun talking online and I was already well on my way to being in love with this guy. And then came April 12th -- the first time he called me. Knowing that he was about to phone, my stomach was churning. More pteradactyls than butterflys, I almost felt sick. Then it rang. Once... (let it ring) Twice...(didn't want to seem TOO eager)...Three times....(third time is the charm right?) I reached for the receiver with trembling fingers... "Hello?" I said. "Hey Baby" came the reply. Oh God that voice! As smooth and rich and soothing as homemade vanilla icecream on a hot summer day. As sexy and irrestible as that ripple of choclate syrup swirling around the bowl. (To be continued...)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 5

In April, my prayers and messages were answered. I found JJ again, and we began chatting online...catching up on all that we had missed in the time that had passed. She had just gotten married to a guy 6 years her senior in January. (I knew she was engaged but didn't know about her wedding until we talked again.) The sad thing is, that I discovered that we didn't have very much to talk about. I know that I had changed, but so had she. The watercolor painting of the person I had thought of as my best friend for so many years was no longer an accurate portrayal. However, to my surprise and delight I had discovered a new friend. Yep, you guessed it -- her brother, Alan. We met nearly every night between 7 and 10 pm. to chat online. There was a strange kind of bond forming between us that was astonishing to us both. We already knew a great deal about each other, because of our past familial ties, yet words cannot even begin to describe the immediate connection we shared. Somehow I was able to sense when he was online. I could be in the middle of a phonecall, class, or meal and just KNOW that Alan had signed on. And THAT's where the trouble began. I was getting seriously addicted to this guy. Not just any best friend's brother. And I had another problem. I had just begun a new relationship with a guy from another school -- an extremely sensitive...extremely religious guy...who at the age of 24 had never been kissed...until me. Oops. (Too be continued...)

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 4

I was surfing... the internet that is. Scrolling through hundreds of "white page" entries in search of my childhood friend who went MIA on me. As I had no current address, I was forced to enter her father's name and the city where she lived last. I had two problems: 1) Houston is a big ass city with millions of people 2) JJ's father was unlisted. I was just about to give up hope and shut the computer down, when out of nowhere a message popped up on my screen! Guess who it was?!?! No, not JJ, but it WAS Joy! She had found me through a people search on AOL's Instant Messanger program! AND she had all the information I needed to get back in touch with JJ. She even had a screenname for her that I could use to find her online and chat with her like Joy and I were doing at that very moment. I quickly plugged JJ's screenname into my "buddy list." She wasn't online, but according to Joy, her older brother was. "Alan" was the brother I had never met. Oh, I had spoken to him on the phone once or twice while attempting to call JJ, but he was six years older than JJ and me and I wasn't even sure he still lived at home. For all I knew, he could be married with kids and living in another state. But what did I have to lose? I entered his screenname into my buddylist as well and continued with my quest to get in touch with JJ once more. I sent Alan a message telling him who I was, and not really expecting him to answer. After all, I was just a friend of his kid sister. Why would he want to talk to me? I don't know...maybe he was just bored that night, but he answered that message...and many many more. (In the famous words of the infamous Birdie... TO BE CONTINUED...)

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 3

That heartwrenching letter was the first in a long series that spanned 13 years. JJ slowly became adjusted to her new environment, new school, and new friends. We wrote letters back and forth constantly, either sending or receiving one each week over the next two years. Then the frequency dropped to one letter each exchanged per month for the next 3 or 4 years. We exchanged friendship bracelets, school pictures, and stories by the dozen. Stories of school and family, first crushes, first dates...all the things two now teenaged best friends should tell each other in confidence. We formed our own club (several times). Then we added a third person to our intimate circle. "Joy" was JJ's best friend in Texas whom I got to know through letters and pictures (and by this time, online chatting had developed as well). One summer JJ came back to visit with family here for a week, and JJ's oldest brother (who was married with a little boy) took us to the movies to see Batman Forever. It was the only time in our 13 years of correspondence that we actually got to see each other in person. Eventually the letters that had begun weekly, then monthly drifted farther and farther apart. I would receive a letter every 4-6 months. Then just on special occasions, like my birthday or Christmas. Finally...the letters stopped coming completely. Two years passed with no word from JJ, and since she and her family were known for frequent moves, I had no idea how to contact her. By this time I was a sophomore in college, and quite familiar with the "world wide web" so I decided to go online and try to find her through the People Finder white pages...then something wonderful happened that changed my life forever!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 2

It was summertime. The days were long and full. So much to do and so little time to do it before school started back in the fall. The summers seemed much shorter then. But that summer..the summer after third grade was probably the longest of my life. "JJ" and I talked on the phone at least every other day. About nothing and everything all in the same breath. (She usually called me because my mom was stricter about telephone usage. I wasn't allowed to call but maybe once a week). It was about the second official week of summer vacation and suddenly I realized, she hadn't called me in three days! Three days stretched to five...five to seven...a whole week had passed with no word from JJ! I couldn't begin to imagine what had happened. Mom tried to tell me that maybe her family was on vacation, but I knew better. She would have called to tell me where they were going, her little voice full of excitement over the prospect of a new adventure, and promises to bring me back something special. She was NOT on vacation. And then it came. The letter. "Private!" it said on the back. For "English's eyes only!" For me? From Texas? I didn't know anyone in Texas, and I never got letters. What was happening? Only one way to find out. I opened it. I read it once...twice...three times, still not comprehending. It was from JJ. A blurred, tear-stained letter full of a child's anguished disillusionment and pain. Without any warning JJ's parent's had packed up the kids and as many of their belongings as would fit in their stationwagon, and moved more than 800 miles, from our small Alabama town to Houston, Texas - leaving everything else behind... including me. This was the beginning of the end...or was it?

My Best Friend - Then and Now... Part 1

I liked her pigtails. It was that simple. She was sitting in the corner by herself - the new kid - wearing bright pink oshkosh overalls and a pink, purple, and green striped shirt. But it was her hair that I really noticed. She had the most beautiful long, blonde, cornsilk pigtails that ended in curls. Being the daughter of a tomboy who never played with dolls and never learned to fix hair, I was envious. I hated my hair...dark brown, chopped off at the ears, with uneven, unruly bangs that separated into a V in the middle. I just had to talk to the girl with the pigtails. Her name was "JJ" and we played together on the playground. We discovered that since we were almost identical in height and weight, we could sit level, perfectly balanced on the teeter totter at recess. Well that sealed the deal. We were meant to be friends. Through the end of 2nd grade and all through third, we were inseparable. She's the first person I ever called on the telephone. The first person I ever wrote notes to, or rode home from school with. She was more than a friend, we were sisters. We signed letters like everyone else at the time... "Lylas" (love ya like a sister). Only we meant it. And then came the horrible summer after third grade...and many tears.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Twas the Day Before the Yard Sale...

I am hot, sticky, tired, and probably not smelling like an Avon rose right about now. Tomorrow is the first day of my weekend yardsale that I have been planning for about six months. My poor little garage is so jam packed full of stuff that there is no room to move anything! I can only go out there to "work" while my kids are napping, and when I do, I have to tell my husband to call me every thirty minutes or so. This serves two purposes: 1) Give's me an excuse to stop and rest a minute, and 2) If I don't answer he knows there has been an avalanche and he needs to come dig me out! LOL Only I'm really not kidding. There are boxes piled almost to the ceiling and more garbage bags full of clothes and toys than I can even count (I stopped counting at 30!). I have a friend coming over around 5:30 to pull out some 12mth and 6-9 mth. winter clothes for her little girls, if I can locate the right bags. My only hope is that Miss Hurricane Francine doesn't cause me any grief. Much too much work has gone into this stupid thing for it to be rained out. So keep your fingers...legs...toes...eyes...crossed for me please! :)