Two Tiaras and a Sword

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pea Patch Wisdom

We don't look ahead, we don't look across, and we don't look back."

This is what my cousin replied to the person picking peas next to her, who lamented about looking back and seeing some that they had missed.

Later, when I was writing a fun blog on our time in the country, I had planned on including that quote.  But as I typed it, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, and I knew I had to save it for a Pea Patch Wisdom blog.  Because, as good as that advice is for picking peas, it is also great advice for living  life.

"We don't look ahead."  We don't look ahead in the pea patch, because we might see that we have a lot farther to go before our row ends.  Like my husband, who was picking with us that morning.  We all grabbed our buckets and then started on the first empty row we came across.  As our rows came to an end, he looked up and saw for the first time that his row was longer than the rest of ours.  This of course was discouraging to him.  We had finished our rows, dumped our peas into the bucket and made good progress down our new rows before he finished his first row.

It reminds me of the verse Matthew 6:34 that says, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  God gives us exactly what we need for each day.  Just like when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness and He supplied them with manna for each new day.  He gives us what we need in order to complete today's tasks.  When we look ahead, we often become discouraged, or anxious, or fearful.  When we wake up each morning we should have enough faith to know that God will get us through that day.  He was there for us yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.  We know that tomorrow will bring its own set of troubles, but we also know that when they come, God will be there to provide what we need.  So don't focus on what's ahead.  Focus on doing your best to live for God today.  "We don't look ahead."

"We don't look across."  We don't look across in the pea patch, because then we might be tempted to reach across and pick the peas on our friend's row.  Those peas are not our business.  We are to tend to our own peas.  If we start trying to pick everyone's peas, we quickly become exhausted.

Lysa TerKeurst writes "I'm not equipped to handle what she has, both good and bad, and what she has is always a package deal of both.  In other words, I've been assigned a load I can handle."  Meaning, that sometimes we look across the rows of life and think that maybe someone else has a better deal.  But what we don't see is their whole package.  We see the beautiful wrapping, and the sparkly bow, and we think we would rather have their lot in life.  And we become discouraged with what we have, because we know our package deal inside and out.  The good, the bad, and the unlovely.  What we don't realize when we look across, is that every package contains plenty of both good and bad.  And although someone else's package may look great, their bad may be way worse than our own bad, and we just can't see it.  God has given me, and you,  and everyone else exactly what is best for us. We should not concern ourselves with the packages (peas) of others.  We just need to do our best to take care of the package that God has given to us.  Trying to keep up with everyone else, and compare our own package with the packages of those around us is just plain exhausting.

Or maybe what we see when we look across is someone making what we perceive as a mess of things, and we think that we could do a better job. When in reality, we would be biting off way more than we could chew.  We need to busy ourselves with the tasks God has assigned to us.  We need to do our best in those areas with our God given talents, and allow others to do the same.  We answer for what God has given us to do.  Not what we wish He has given us to do, or what we think we could do better than someone else.  "We don't look across."

"We don't look back."  In the pea patch, we don't look back, because inevitably we will see some peas that we missed.  And we will go back to pick them and we will find more we missed and then we will be that much farther from getting to our finish line.  If we press on and get the job done, by dinner that night we can be enjoying a delicious "mess" of peas, as my momma used to say.  Chances are, those peas that were left behind will still be there tomorrow when we come to pick again, or maybe someone else will be picking, and those missed peas will be a blessing to that person.

Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  If we are constantly looking back and wondering and worrying about what "might have been" or what "should have been," then we are not making progress.  We are spending time and energy on things that we can not change.  We can change today, though.  We can pour our time and energy into living for God, and serving others. Today.  We can make a difference.  Today.  But, if we are constantly looking back at chances and opportunities that we missed, then guess what?  We are missing out on even more opportunities today!  "We don't look back."

When we are anxious, worried or fearful, we need to stop looking ahead.

When we are dissatisfied with our life, or we judge and think we could do a better job than someone else, we need to stop looking across.

When we are not making progress, because of past failures or mistakes, then we need to stop looking back.

I am praying that this sticks with some of you who needed it as much as it has stuck with me the past week.  Praying that we take this advice to heart and live for God and do our best for Him today.  And tomorrow.  And the next day...

Now, go forth, whether in the pea patch or life...and remember, "We don't look ahead, we don't look across, and we don't look back." Charge!

Friday, July 11, 2014

4th of July in the Country Part 2

Okay, so I'm a little mixed up on the order of things...when we are out there, the days sometime seem to run together.  Before we went to bed Saturday night, we spent some time playing games.  We played several hands of "out of date" UNO first.  It was a Christmas edition deck, with Christmas trees, snowflakes, bells and such on them, and J kept saying that he could not play with them because they were "out of date".  Then we picked up the pace with a family favorite - Taboo.  I love playing Taboo.  The Youngest Princess and Unka just helped everyone in the guessing.  I love how people get in a hurry and make funny mistakes...Like how at one point in the game I used to own a puddle when I was little (the word was puddle - the player was thinking poodle), someone else had us going to the Hickey Chip for dinner (the word was hickey - the player thought it was hickory) , and someone else wanted us to "just quiet!" (the word was quiet - the player thought it was quit).  After the games - what?  Who won you ask?  That's not really important.  But I do usually say, if you want to win, you need to be on my team (wink, wink).  After the games, Aunt T passed out tickets and drew for prizes.  The Oldest Princess won a makeup bag.  The Youngest Princess won a jar with a chalkboard label.  The Young Prince won an Army pocket knife.  My prince and I won nothing, so we both got a $5 bill.  That works for me!  The Youngest Princess traded with me, so I could have the jar to use in my classroom, and she could have the $5.  That works for me as well.  Then we went to bed.

Sunday morning we all woke up and got ready and out of the door in great time, with none of the usual mishaps that usually accompany a Sunday morning.  The Prince and I and the Young Prince and Oldest Princess rode in our car, and everyone else rode in Unka and Aunt T's car.  We were following them, and the Oldest Princess made the statement that between us and them, we were owning the road.

When we got to the church, the Young Prince and I were the only two to get out on the right side of the car.  Everyone else came out from between our two cars.  The little man driving the golf cart tram pulled up to ask if any of us needed a ride.  I told him we were all okay, and as everyone else poured out from between the two cars, he had the funniest look on his face and said, "That looks like one of those clown cars!  People just keep pouring out!"  To be fair, he may not have seen the first car pull in, and there were 10 of us...

We amazingly were able to find seats for all 10 of us together.  As we were sitting there, L asked the Oldest Princess to look at a man and tell her who he reminded her of.  She was thinking of George Younce of The Cathedrals group, but all she could remember was George.  So she was saying, George...George...trying to think of his last name, and the Youngest Princess piped up with...Washington!

When church started, they had a tribute to the military, and they had a man from each branch of the military in his dress uniform come forward and salute while the song for that branch was being played. At about the fifth note of the first song, I became emotional, and cried the rest of the way through.  As each man came down the aisle and turned to face the congregation with his salute, the men in the congregation who were also in that branch would stand and salute him back.  It was very moving.  I thought I was the only one crying, until we left and started talking and it turns out it touched us all. Made me miss my Daddy as well.

When we got home, we had a wonderful brunch, complements of the Smoke Alarm Cafe.  M and J had to pack up to go home, and Sadie was still not feeling well, so we had to say goodbye to them that afternoon. So happy to get to see them, so sad to see them have to go.  You would think that J's boss would let him have an extra day off, but I hear the man is drill sergeant.  Not that I would know or anything.  After they left, we played a few games of washers, and some of us took a Sunday afternoon nap.

The Youngest Princess wanted to pick wildflowers and take them to put on my grandmother's grave. Aunt T had noticed some the day before, so she went with us and we picked some on our way to the cemetery.  It was very sweet, and I was glad that she had it on her heart to do it.

Back at the house, Aunt T knocked down some dirt dauber's nests, and folks, just let me tell you, nasty stuff comes out of a dirt dauber's nest.  I was utterly. and. completely. grossed. out. ICK!

We were at the pool again when my cousin called to say that they had gone back to the house to see if there were any trails in the powder.  Sure enough there were trails everywhere, and her daddy had the snake cornered in the hall but needed backup so to be sure it would not get away.  So my Prince, the Young Prince, and Unka all go over there.  L decided she would go as well, and after even more begging, I decided to let the Youngest Princess go with L.  This round went to the hunters, and the snake will not get in the house anymore.  They cleaned up the powder and put fresh powder out.  And I am happy to report that to this point there has been no more activity.  I stayed at the house with Aunt T for the third round and helped to clean up the kitchen.  I had finished washing dishes and grabbed the sink sprayer to rinse out the sink, when I sprayed water all over myself.  Their sprayer has the button on the front and every time I go, at least once, I grab it and give myself an unexpected shower.   Ugh! Then everyone wants to know why my shoulder is all humiliating!

The kids did a little night swimming, and a lot of fighting swarms of flying ants.  They were everywhere.  They were even in our hair when we got back into the house.  We were picking ants out of each other's hair like monkeys.  Only we didn't eat the ants.  Some of the folks, including the Youngest Princess who was VERY excited, went armadillo hunting.  That lasted all of about 10 minutes.  When they saw no armadillos, they came back to the house. Then we decided to play some more games. We played Catch Phrase this time, and we all found out that T believes that my Prince has no...sense.  We laughed and cut up and had fun.  My prince invented a new snack combining peanut butter flavored Captain Crunch and Hershey's Kisses.  I do not recommend you try it yourself.  We laughed at the habits people have when they are under the pressure of a timer.  The Young Prince lets you know you are not on the right track by saying no seven times in a row, really fast.  L gets louder the more excited she gets.  T uses her hands - a lot.  The Youngest Princess and I get right down to business.  This is serious.  No playing around on our turns.  It wastes time and loses games.  And we are not about losing!  My prince has to slow down and think things through, which can really be bad if you are after him in Catch Phrase.  Chances are the buzzer will go off on you, because he takes so much time.  And for some reason rigor mortis was a theme that kept coming back time and time again.

We found out Uncle H did not bush hog the last of the peas, and one of my cousins wanted to come and pick the last of them.  So we called it a night, and headed to bed in order to be able to get up early the next morning.

Pea picking take two.  Only this time, everyone else slept in except for Unka, Aunt T, myself, and the Youngest Princess.  She made it down one row, and then headed for the cab of the Gator.  Where she refused an offer by my cousin to take her bucket and promptly slept through the rest of the picking activities.  I was glad to be able to visit with my cousin and my uncle for a little while during the picking and shelling.  My sweet aunt brought me twelve 1/2 pint jars of her delicious mayhaw jelly. YUM!

My uncle told us the story of how he would take fried cornbread for lunch each day.  There was a boy in his class who loved it and offered to buy it from him.  So everyday, my uncle would sell his fried cornbread to the boy, and then buy a Nehi drink with the money he made.  Both boys were very happy with the arrangement.  I wish I had asked him how much money he sold the cornbread for each day, but I didn't. Cousin C if you are reading this and you know, please let me know, or if you read this and don't know, would you ask him for me?  Thank you in advance.  There were no pictures or car washes this go round.

Unka took a morning dip in the pool, and Aunt T made a breakfast biscuit for him.  The Young Prince delivered his drink, and I delivered his meal, and he enjoyed his breakfast while floating in the pool. The rest of us took our swim of the day after lunch.  And a couple of my cousins joined us.  We enjoyed watching little P, who is not yet two, show off her basketball defense stance and how to dribble, dribble, dribble jump and shoot.  She is adorable!  And the Young Prince had her laughing out loud before they left.  So sweet!

We got dressed and went "to town" (yep, that's how far out in the country we were y'all!).  We did some shopping, and the nice young lady checking us out at Old Navy gave us every discount she could think of, which meant that it took her a looooooong time to actually check us out, but we were very thankful for the savings, and only Unka complained.  We then went on to another store, where the Young Prince was so happy with his finds that he came out dancing every time he tried on something new.  And we found out that Aunt T really liked the shorts he had been wearing all day long.

We then enjoyed a wonderful Mexican dinner with "white gravy" on the side.  Unka wanted to give us a special treat, so he declared that we all not eat another bite.  We loaded in the car and headed for a cute little pink and green place with a frog on the sign.  Everyone enjoyed their frozen yogurt immensely.  We were sitting by the window when the Oldest Princess was the victim of a drive by flirting.  Some boys in a red truck drove by waving at her, and my classy girl simply looked the other way.  Then they parked and we thought that they might come in, but maybe the thought of facing 7 of us to get to talk to her was a little intimidating.  So after a few minutes, they decided to move along. We left with our bellies much fuller and two stuffed frogs richer, and some cute pictures to prove we were there.

On the way home the Young Prince made us all laugh by declaring that he "couldn't help it if he could not control his spastic drumming."  Yes.  Indeed.  Speaking of, the next day, he turned Unka into an impromptu drum set, using his belly as the bass, and the brim of his cap as the high hat.  He definitely keeps us all laughing.

At home, the kids put on a fashion show so we could all see their new clothes.  Unka and the Young Prince both came away from that shopping trip more of a "hot dog" than ever before.

The Oldest Princess spent some of her spare time bagging ice for Unka, and he told her he would pay her for each bag if she used the money she earned for a mission project that she had started raising money for this summer while she was in the Dominican Republic.  I think she earned a  little over $100 for her project just bagging ice.

I finally got R to break out the WD-40, and oil some creaky hinges.  I told him that I knew because he is his father's son, that he had a can of it somewhere, as well as a roll of duct tape.  My daddy thought if it couldn't be fixed by WD-40 or duct tape, that it couldn't be/didn't need to be fixed.  The Young Prince would add dental floss to that list as well.

The Oldest Princess received a history lesson on Carpetbaggers from Unka.  But, he had them in the wrong time frame, and my Prince had to set him straight.  The rest of us could not remember, so after a quick Google search, my Prince was right.  As much as he hated to, Unka had to admit he was wrong. That doesn't happen often, so the rest of us reveled in the moment.

Unka passed out hugs and kisses and parting gifts, and loaded up and headed back to H-town, and the rest of us cried for hours because we missed him so much.  "July!" you say again.  And you are right. We were so happy he was taking the grumpy dog with him that none of us cried.  But the kids did send him off in style, and I have a video to prove it.  The rest of our day/evening was pretty uneventful.  We played another couple of rounds of Catch Phrase and the Youngest Princess played "by herself" with a little help from L now and then and surprised us all with her playing abilities.  I told them she gets it from me, and everyone totally agreed.  Okay.  Not everyone.  But I'm telling y'all, the girl is good!  She guessed the word smuggler.  Like a pro!  I made everyone get dressed up so Aunt T could take some family photos of us, and they were totally thrilled.  NOT.  It had just rained, and it was almost unbearably humid, but we got some pictures that I will treasure for life.  L may have some photographer in her, because she recommended some great poses.

As you can tell, we had a blast.  And as always we felt as though time flew while we were there.  We had another uneventful trip home.  I think the kids were absolutely exhausted from all that fun in the sun and country air.  The Oldest Princess was feeling very sick in the car, but got home and got still and felt much better.  We are thankful for a wonderful, safe trip.  And thankful for those here at home who stood in the gap and filled in for us while we were gone.

And now you know...the rest of the story.  Until we visit the country again...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

4th of July in the Country

We loaded up the car.  I mean, we LOADED up the car.  It is funny how much stuff we "think" we must take with us, along with a couple of things that we were delivering as well.  We were so packed in the car that there was not "mushroom" for anything else.  And then, we hit the road.

 It was a pretty uneventful 8 hour trip.  Except for the part where the kids decided to watch Frozen in Spanish...I guess that they have seen it in English so many times that they needed a change?  I still think that the Spanish version of the song "Love is an Open Door" should say, "You know it's funny -  how we finish each other's...Tacos!" instead of "sandwiches".  But that's just my opinion.  You are welcome for getting that song stuck in your head by the way.  That was absolutely free of charge.

After squeezing an 8 hour trip into almost 9 hours (not bad for having to turn around before we got even a mile from home - it wasn't for me THIS time - and stopping for gas twice and lunch once), we arrived at our destination.  A little piece of paradise in the country.  In the middle of nowhere actually. We STILL don't get cell service out there folks.  And the well...lacking to put it mildly.  So all effective communication with the outside world must be done by (gasp!) telephone over the land line.  But we love it!

As soon as the kid's feet hit the hot pavement, they were in their swim suits and in the pool, while we stood around and heard about the copperhead snake they found in the skimmer just the day before, and the snake they killed on the porch just a few days before that.  Ick!!  And the kids innocently swam on.

We enjoyed hanging out, while waiting for J and M to arrive.  L gave the Young Princess a beautiful magnet to go on her car.  Honestly, L could not have found a more purrrrrfect gift to give her.  We enjoyed watching the  four baby birds that were in the nest on the porch and how their mom would fly up and feed them.  When J and M were able to get there, it was late, so we talked for a little and met the new addition to their family (Sadie, a golden retriever) and then we all called it a night.  Sadie is adorable, and we loved her instantly.  She made us miss our Tex.  She also brings the dog total to 4.  Unless my cousin's dogs come down to visit, in which case the total is then 6, with one of the 4 being very territorial.  Which is important to remember.

The next morning we all woke up ready to celebrate.  Preparations were in high gear. Tables were set up, hot dog and hamburger fixin's were flying in every direction.  Soft drinks and waters were iced.  Dogs and kids were underfoot.  Table decorations were carefully placed.  Door prizes were aesthetically arranged.  Flags were flown, and lights were hung.  The youngest princess had already volunteered to be Unka's personal driver, so when he proclaimed that he needed someone to drive him to hang the flags on the fence post, she was already cranking up the golf cart.  I joined them so I could get a couple of pictures.  One of the flags had come unstapled from its stick, and another was falling through the hole.  So after my big brother and I put our heads together, we "McGyvered" those (thumbtacks and random sticks may have been used, but were not harmed in any way) and had them all in working order.  Meanwhile, my Prince and J were doing some "McGyvering" of their own to get the star shaped lights strung.  I have to say that the brother and I won the "McGyvering" contest, as only half of the lights worked after the hanging by the preacher and the engineer.  Meanwhile the kids swam.

Family began to arrive bringing every delectable dessert you can imagine.  Cuz brought some awesome red, white, and blue strawberries.  The stories were flying and the pool was hopping.  My Uncle H walked up telling us about 4th of July when he was a kid.  My Pawpaw would not work at all.   They would all go down to Big Creek and fish, catching little perch, putting them on a stick, cleaning, cooking, and eating them right there.  He said it was a big deal.  Those 4th of July celebrations.  I hope our children remember 4th of July as a big deal too.  I hope they know what a privilege it is to grow up in a country where we have freedoms we take for granted, that others only dream of.  It was neat, as always, to listen to the stories of days gone by, and how times change.  We also talked of what my Pawpaw would think if he were alive today.  I don't know that he ever saw anyone swim in anything but a creek or lake.  I wonder what he would think of the pool/outdoor kitchen if he could have been there.  My Momo would have probably said, "Well, now, ain't that just somethin!?!"  And then she would have giggled her little giggle.  Meanwhile, the kids, and some of the adults swam, and some of us played washers.

After we had eaten all we could possibly eat, more adults joined the kids in the pool.  And because we are not a competitive bunch in any way shape or form, there were only a few...little...friendly...competitions.  Okay.  I know.  You are thinking, "'July!'  You are a very competitive bunch!"  And so we are are.  And so some people may have come close to drowning or busting eardrums in order to have the title of "winner."  I believe the Young Prince swam away (a little clumsily perhaps and with a little assistance from J) with the winner title in most of the competitions.  It took several people quit, I mean quite, a while to recover from those competitions.  And for future reference, it's not a good idea to see who can do the most back flips in a row (without taking a breath - clarification for the Young Princess).

There may also have been a few diving lessons, and a whole lot of laughter.  Bless C's heart!  We love her, but we're not sure she will ever get it!  Good thing she is beautiful and can play basketball.  If B ever sends that video to AFV, you all will KNOW what I'm talking about.  And C, if you are reading this...everything that happens is fair game for the blog.  Maybe I should have told you that...before...
And on the bright side, Little B now knows how to dive and is doing a great job at it!

I think that everyone that came brought at least 10 flies with them.  No, seriously.  Either that, or the flies got wind of the fact that there was LOTS of food, and invited every other fly they knew.  Aunt T got the flyswatter out and proved that she has mad ninja skills with one of those things.  You have anything you need annihilated?  Call Aunt T.  She will arrive with her flyswatter, and your problems will be solved!

We cleaned everything up and then were told by Sarge that we would ALL (except for the Youngest Princess) join him in the pea patch bright and early the next morning.  So we all went to bed with visions of pea patches and drill sergeants dancing in our heads.

5:30 the next morning, we threw on anything we could find in the dark and stumbled out to the pea patch.  We were trucking along down our rows when someone said something about taking a picture.  I thought I had left my phone at the house (in my defense, it was was early, and I was still only half awake).  Cuz said that she had her phone in her truck, so she went running over the pea rows like an Olympic hurdler...wearing work boots.  She got her phone, took a few pictures of all of us, and then the Young Princess pointed out that my phone was in my back pocket.  Again, it was early, and I was half asleep.  And I really thought that I had left it in the house, because I didn't want it getting in my way in the pea patch.  So...I took a few pictures as well, all the while Sarge was complaining because I wasn't working.  And I'm glad I forgot that I had it at first, because if not, we never would have known how talented Cuz is at jumping work boots.

We took the peas to Aunt T's back porch and broke out the pea sheller.  My brother wanted a picture of me in all my pea picking glory, holding a bushel of peas.  So I obliged.  He then quickly tried to sell the picture to the first person that could get it to our church secretary and into the bulletin.  No problem, there were plenty of chances for me to take pictures and videos of him to use as revenge should that ever happen. With all hands on deck, we had those peas shelled in no time.  We even let the Youngest Princess shell a few by hand, just to have the experience.  And in all the shelling fun, Cuz got a free truck wash. Although I am not at liberty to tell you why.

The smoke alarm sounded, and we all, like Pavlov's dogs responding to the sound of the bell, assembled in the kitchen to enjoy a delicious breakfast.  I am pretty sure that for the rest of their lives, my kids will run toward the kitchen expecting bacon every time they hear a smoke alarm.  I must add that Aunt T is a wonderful cook, just for some reason when she cooks bacon in the oven and she opens the oven door to check the bacon, it makes the smoke alarm go off.  We tease her about it mercilessly, and she takes it all in stride and cooks breakfast for us again the next morning.  She is wonderful. Although, I am sure there are times that she probably wishes we would all "just quite!" I mean, quit.

After the breakfast dishes were cleared, and then kitchen cleaned (we work together like pros I might add) We headed to the pool for a day of fun in the sun.  Unka always made sure we had music to enjoy from his little pill shaped speaker.  One afternoon, we had a family sing/dance along.  People would probably think we were crazy if they didn't already know us and know that we are not.  Crazy, that is. But, there was the time that we were all sitting at the table making up our own dance moves, you know, things like: the chicken neck, sheer the sheep, milk the cow,  pick the peas, put on the sunscreen, belly crawl, see a snake, and float!, when we heard J and M coming.  We all decided to be doing one of the new moves when they walked in.  So they open the door, and we are all sitting around the table doing our various dance moves, and they just start talking like nothing unusual is going on.  I pointed out that it was a little unnerving that they did not even notice we were all being weird when they walked in.  Maybe because we are weird all the time, and they didn't notice anything out of the ordinary was going on.  So, I digress, maybe we are a little bit crazy.  And maybe it was just that they were worried about Sadie having an upset stomach, and what they should do to help her.

 We were relaxing in the pool when my cousin came over and said that she had found a snake in her house and that her daddy needed R to come and help to kill it.   So R and J and my Prince and the Young Prince all went scrambling to dry off and get on boots to go help kill the snake.  When they came back, they were all singing the Young Prince's praises.  Telling how he grabbed the snake by the tail and drug it a distance of about 12 feet out of the house so that it could be killed in the yard.  It makes for an exciting story, but a story is all it is.  My cousin had already killed it by the time they got there.

We had fresh peas from the morning's picking for dinner that night.  Along with fresh corn on the cob, crock pot roast and rice and gravy, fried chicken strips, homemade french fries, rolls, and a Boston Butt cooked by none other than the Big Green Egg souschef himself: Unka R.  It was all delicious.  And we were enjoying it immensely when there was the biggest ruckus from under the table.  People and dogs went flying everywhere.  We all just tried to get our feet out of the way and to safety.  L was trying to get to her dog which was getting the worst of the the wrath of the territorial dog.  Luckily, all people were safe, and L's dog came away with a small cut on her lip which healed quickly.  The territorial dog was banished to the bedroom, and dinner was resumed.  There were several more little incidents like this, over the time we were there.  L and J had mentioned that they were going to write a book of the sayings that their dad says.  I told them that one saying that they could not include in their book was, "I don't have a dog in that fight."  because every time there was a dog fight, his dog was in it.  If he had just gotten a puddle - I mean poodle - like I had when I was younger, then it would have been much more friendly and less territorial.

We were finishing up dinner when the phone rang.  It was my cousin saying that she thought that there was another snake in her house, because some picture frames had been knocked down that were not knocked down before.  So everyone but Aunt T and the Youngest Princess (who was BEGGING to go), all loaded up in the truck and drove over for The Great Snake Hunt Round 2.  The guys went into the house to try to find it, while the gals stayed in the back of the truck.  That snake didn't stand a chance!  Except that it was a than the guys hunting it, and it went under the house.  When one of my cousins suggested they go under the house after it, my Prince quickly pointed out that he had "simply married into the family", and "was not blood kin", therefore, he was exempt from the crawling under the house leg of this exciting adventure.  Sad to say that Round 2 went to the snake.  My cousin packed her bags to go spend the night somewhere else, and we were all loading up when my brother came up with the idea (or maybe he just saw it on a show about a family of duck hunters - but he is the one who remembered it at the time) of putting powder on the floor, so the snake would leave a trail, if it did get back in the house.  So they powdered several main areas, and we all went home.  Except my cousin, she went to stay with her grandmother.  I don't blame her.  Not. at. all.

We turned in fairly early that night, because we had to get up early in order to get ready for church the next morning.  And because this is going way longer than I had planned.  I will "call it a wrap" here too, and finish with part two another day.  So for today, that's all folks!