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This past week, one of my husband’s co-workers gave him a bag of Springerle cookies for Christmas.  They were made by some nuns, and in the bag was a little flyer, complete with pictures of the nuns busily baking.  One of the captions said something about the nuns making 1,ooo cookies in a weekend.  “Hah!  Amateurs!”  I thought to myself as I read it.

Ok, I know some of you are thinking I’m crazy.  One thousand cookies in a weekend is nothing to be sneezed at.  Well, let me tell you, I am crazy, along with the rest of the women in my family.  We are cookie crazy.  Every year before the holidays, we all get together and make Christmas cookies.  Hundreds of Christmas cookies.  Thousands of Christmas cookies.  Yep, this year we baked for three days and made four thousand cookies.  No exaggeration.  We keep track on a spreadsheet, so we know exactly how to split them up once we’re done.

And now you’re all thinking that we must be super organized to get all those made in a weekend.  Well, sometimes we are, and sometimes we aren’t.  This year, we did pretty well.  I think we only had to go to the grocery store twice, and only screwed up the nutball recipe twice.  One year we went to the grocery five times, and that was just the first day!  We also tend to get a bit silly – funnels for bras, doughball fights, floury handprints on everyone’s butts, etc. 

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See what I mean? 

A few of the bakers, whose names I won’t mention here, also manage to sneak off to TJMaxx for an hour or so, under the guise of going to pick up some necessary ingredient at the store.  We hand out silly awards on the last day, and take the usual picture of all of the bakers together in front of my aunt’s fireplace.

Then we go home and eat lots of cookies, because that’s the only thing we have room for in our freezers! 

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Hey everyone!  I was going to post a technique today, but T needs a few laughs, so I thought I’d share a story.  This one’s for you, T! 

Late one fall afternoon, as I walked into the apartment I shared with my boyfriend, a sense of dread and foreboding washed over me.  I knew instantly that trouble was a-brewin’.  Was it my sixth sense, my woman’s intuition?  NOPE.  It was the sight of my boyfriend, bending over his Li’l Smoky BBQ grill, getting ready to prepare the night’s dinner.

“Oh, are you grilling tonight?” I ask, hoping against hope that he’ll JUST SAY NO.

“Yup, sure am,” he beams, holding up some chicken and a jar of BBQ sauce.

“Great,” I say, trying hard to show some enthusiasm.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s great when the man in your life likes to cook.  The problem lies in the fact that said man is under the impression that he is THE GREATEST GRILL COOK EVER.  He was also under the impression that he was THE GREATEST SAILBOAT CAPTAIN EVER, and we all know how that turned out (see Sailing Vacation From Hell posts if you’re new to the blog).

As the boyfriend readied the grill, I heard a few select curse words waft in from the balcony.

“What’s wrong?”  I ask.

“We’re out of #%$$@ lighter fluid,” he replies.

“I guess we’ll have to cook it inside then,” I say, trying not to sound too excited.

“Wait!  I have an idea!” he exclaims, and runs into the bathroom, then dashes back out to the balcony. 

“I really think that’s a bad idea,”  I tell him.

“Oh no, it’ll work fine, just watch!”  he declares.

“I really, really think that’s a bad idea.”  I repeat.

“Trust me, it’ll be great!” he claims.

Five minutes later, flames are shooting up out of the grill and the boyfriend turns to me with a look of vindication on his face. 

“I told you it would work,” he says triumphantly.

“I wasn’t worried about it not catching fire,” I say.  “I still don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Thirty minutes later, the boyfriend appeared with a big platter of BBQ chicken, and we sat down to eat. I took a big bite of the BBQ chicken and immediately gagged.  I couldn’t get that chicken out of my mouth fast enough. 

 “What’s wrong with the chicken?”  he demands.

After rinsing my mouth out with a few swishes of Chardonnay, I asked him why people added mesquite chips to the coals in the grill.

“Anyone who grills knows that you put mesquite chips on the coals to add flavor to whatever you’re grilling,” he says indignantly.

“Well then,“  I say, “what do you think happens when you dump an entire bottle of Ice Blue Aqua Velva on the coals?!?!  You get Ice Blue Aqua Velva flavored chicken, you idiot!” 

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Well, the boyfriend just would not admit he was wrong, and ate the chicken anyway.  He got sick later that evening, but kept insisting it was the wine.  I’m sure it was the BBQ/Aqua Velva chicken.

My tastebuds have been forever scarred by the incident, and I haven’t had BBQ chicken since that fateful night in 1989.  

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Yes, dear readers, I’m going to ask you to make a decision, to cast a vote.  It won’t change the course of human history or alter the world’s political climate, but your vote will count!  I have a few stories to tell, so I thought I would give you, my faithful readers, the power to choose.  So, what’s it going to be?

 A tale about them:                                  

 

Or a tale about him:

               

Have I piqued your curiosity?  Have I given you enough information to make an informed decision?  No?  Oh well, it’ll be just like any other election then!  So leave a comment, cast your vote, and the winner will be declared on Thursday!

In other matters, I have been chosen by my sparkly gal pal Margot to receive the Thinking Blogger Award!  What was she thinking????  Check out this post to see.  I am honored that she enjoys my blog enough to nominate me.  Thanks Margot!   Don’t worry everyone, this will not go to my head!  I will not start discussing quantum physics or the theory of relativity.  I think Albert pretty much covered that a few years ago.  I will just try to deliver a well-crafted, humorous story.  As my friend Kriss will tell you, I’ve got a million of ‘em!

For those of you involved in the pocket/card swap, the pressure’s on!  Jan has already sent me her beautiful cards, and g’s has pics of her fantastic pockets and cards posted on her blog:  http://gloriafroese.typepad.com/.    I can’t wait to see what the rest of you come up with!

copyright 2007 Rebecca Peck

Pure unadulterated joy ran through her being as she watched the sun rise, a glowing orb ascending from the water.  Her heart raced at the thought of a new day dawning.  What was it about this day that made her radiate with bliss?  It was the last day of The Sailing Vacation From Hell !!!!! Oh yes, dear readers, I was dancing with happiness that morning, because I knew I would be getting off of this stinkin’ boat by the end of the day!  All we had to do was navigate out of our little cove, hit the open waters, and sail back to Windley Key.  Simple enough, eh?  Ha!  You should know by now that nothing is ever simple when Moby Dickhead is the captain.

After acquiescing to my wishes last night and actually following the chart when we entered Jewfish Cove the night before, this morning Moby Dickhead decides that he is infinitely smarter than the mapmakers.  He is not going to go the long way, he’s just going to sail across that expanse of shallow water and head right out to sea.  I once again point to the tiny numbers that tell us there isn’t enough water for the boat, and he just shrugs me off.

“We can make it, I know we can,” he says.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” I reply.

Well, things go rather smoothly – for all of a minute.  Yep, one minute we’re moving, the next we’re not.  We are firmly stuck in the soft, mucky mire that is the bottom of Jewfish Cove.

Lesson #9:  In many instances, dolphins and most other life forms are smarter than men.

“Well, expert captain, any ideas?” I ask.

“Oh, we’ll just wait for high tide to float us off,” he says, a dead serious expression on his face.

“I hate to tell you this,” I say, “but according to the radio this morning, high tide was an hour ago.  Any more brilliant ideas?”

“I know!’ he exclaims.  “There’s a flag in the drawer down there, let’s run that up the mast.  Maybe some other boat will see it and stop to help!”

I go below and get the flag; he runs it up the mast.  We sit.  We wait.  A motorboat goes speeding by.  We sit some more.  A sailboat sails by.  More sitting.  More waiting.  More boats going by.  After about an hour of this, Moby Dickhead decides on another course of action.  He is going to swim out in front of the boat with the anchor and line, drop it, swim back to the boat, and use one of the winches to pull the boat along the line.  Amazingly enough, it works.  Of course, he has to repeat this procedure about ten times, but we are finally free of Jewfish Cove once and for all.  The bottom of the boat is also finally free of all that nice new paint.

As we sail along on the way to Windley Key, we notice a few speedboats racing across the ocean up ahead of us.  As we get closer, we notice a few more.  All of a sudden, they are blasting across the water in front of us, mere inches from our bow.  It is then that we notice the lovely ESPN helicopter hovering over our heads.  Yep, we have sailed smack dab into the middle of a speedboat race, and we are wreaking havoc on the course.  Speedboats are racing across our stern and bow, trying to avoid us as we putter along.  I am sure if you go to the ESPN archives, you can view some lovely footage of us.

Finally, finally, we manage to get off the course and are heading down a canal back to the marina.  We pull in and tie up, and the nice couple comes out to meet us.  Do they ask us how our trip was?  Hell, no!  The first thing they want to know is why the quarantine flag is flying on the mast.  Moby lies and tells them he thought it was the diving flag.  Of course, it’s stuck up there and we can’t get it down.  He also wants to leave without telling them he lost the anchor and the boat hook. 

“Don’t you think they’ll notice there’s only one anchor left, you idiot?” I ask.

“I guess you’re right,” he says.

He heads to the office to tell them, and before we leave they manage to find a used anchor that will only cost us 125 bucks.  OUCH!  He never mentioned the boat hook.

We get back in the rental car that’s been parked for a week (a colossal waste of money), and find a motel for the night.  Moby wants to drive back to Miami the next day, sightsee, and take me out to dinner for my birthday.  We end up driving all over the Miami area, mostly in parts you don’t want to be in after dark, because Moby can’t make up his mind about the restaurant.  We finally end up eating at a restaurant at a mall, and then he asks me to pay the bill because he has no money.

Finally, Lesson #10: Never, ever go on a sailing vacation, especially on your birthday. 

Epilogue:  For several weeks after the end of our vacation, Moby Dickhead was constantly wondering when he was going to get his $500 security deposit back from the nice couple at the marina.  An envelope came about a month after we got home.  It was a bill.  It seems we had caused damage in excess of the paltry $500 that he had given them. Surprise, surprise.  And yes, there was a $23 line item for a boat hook. I hope all of you have enjoyed my story, and yes, every word is true.  How could I make something like this up?