My mind has wandered back to years past this week. Probably because my youngest will be headed back to school this weekend. While it’s true that she comes home most weekends, the weeks tend to get a little long sometimes. So, I’ve been going through old pictures and old memories, just searching. I wonder if this is the same way Mary felt in the book of Luke when it says she “treasured these things in her heart.” There are many memories that I treasure.
This is one of my favorites….
The girls were young. Emily was 7, which would make Erin 3. It was a school night with the normal “Come on and start getting ready for bed!” craziness. If you have kids you know exactly what I am talking about.
We had a small 20 acre farm at the time, about 20 minutes from town. It was fenced all around with a catfish pond at the front of the place. We lived in a mobile home right in the middle of the 20 acres, trying to save to build a house. We had a few cows and a couple of horses. It was a good life and we were all happy.
If you’ve never lived in a mobile home, you have missed out on the whole “linear living” experience. Our kitchen and living room were at one end with the bedrooms and bathroom at the other end. This setup allowed me to work in the kitchen and keep an eye on the girls in the living room at the same time.
On this particular night, the girls had already had their bath and were winding down in the living room with their little dog named Katie Dumplin’. I don’t know where the Katie part came from, but this little dog absolutely loved chicken and dumplings, hence, the “dumplin'” part of her name. Katie was part shih tzu, and part poodle, which would make her a shih toodle or a poozu, it really doesn’t matter. What she was, was ugly. You know those people you see at WalMart and say, “Bless her heart!”? Well, Katie Dumplin’s heart had been blessed on numerous occasions by everyone that met her. But, it didn’t matter. We loved her and thought she was the best dog in the world.
As I said before, the girls had Katie Dumplin’ in the living room and were winding down with their “before bed” routine. Their dad was working late that night and I was finishing up in the kitchen, half-way listening to their conversation. I heard words like “breath” and “stink” and “OK, sounds good”. In the hustle of getting things ready for bed, the things I heard just didn’t register completely.
I finished putting the dishes in cabinets, then looked over at the girls and their little dog. Something just wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I walked the 6 steps into the living room, and my heart stopped. I began to laugh so hard that I scared the girls and the dog when I flung myself onto the couch. Katie Dumplin’ looked up and she was gagging and foaming at the mouth. Was it rabies? Was she sick? No! The girls had decided that Katie Dumplin’s breath smelled so bad – which it did – that they needed to brush her teeth….
With their dad’s toothbrush!
And we were too close to bedtime and too far from town to go and buy him a new one.
And he didn’t love this little ugly dog quite as well as we did…
So, what were we to do?
Well, I did what any good wife would do. I got a pan of water, set it to boil on the stove, and boiled his toothbrush. Then I put it back in his toothbrush holder. And told the girls never to speak of this again.
And now I have spoken of it. But, we are divorced now, which makes this story just a little funnier……
I hope he finds out!
I am not much of a fish eater, but I do love hush puppies. Here’s some of my favorites:
Vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil for frying
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
2/3 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7-ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers, drained or 3/4 cup fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
15 ounce can of creamed corn
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven.
In a 1-quart mixing bowl, stir the cornmeal, flour, onion, jalapeno, corn, and eggs, until blended.
Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd; leave room for the hushpuppies to be turned. Cook the hushpuppies until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
These hushpuppies are great by themselves. They are also very good dipped in ranch dressing.
This is Erin standing in our garden with Katie Dumplin’. Bless her heart.