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fall 2008

Howdy Folks,

I don’t know if Shirl mentioned it or not; but back in July, she, Carol (her childhood buddy and former collaborator) and two other gal friends went on a gal’s-only-vacation.  Guess where they went?  They spent eight days at a Kentucky horse farm, a stud farm.  Now, just how weird is that?

Friends would ask me, “Where’s Shirl?”  And I would reply, “On a girl’s-only-vacation.”  They would say, “Aw, that’s nice.  Where’d they go?”  And I would mumble, “Scuba diving over the Great Barrier Reef.”  How could any husband say that his wife and her female buddies were vacationing on a stud farm?  What kind of impression would that give, especially since she’s a romance writer—and I’m her collaborator?  What other sorts of questions would I be asked?  God help me if I became more specific and said a horse stud farm!  I can just imagine the “EEEUUUs” I’d get, or the speculative, sidelong glances I would receive, especially from the women.  All right, so Carol is horse crazy, Thoroughbred racehorse crazy, but did the women have to go to that kind of racehorse farm?  Doesn’t Kentucky have mare farms?

All the husbands paid for that bizarre vacation with chagrin; but it almost did in Carol’s husband Ken.  I guess, to be fair, I should say that his eating habits and their fridge almost did him in.  You see, Ken and Carol keep their fridge at about 75 degrees.  I suppose they don’t want to shock the stored food with any sudden temperature changes, such as from room temperature to cold.  Maybe, it’s also so warm in the box because it is so stuffed. They pack that sucker tighter than a drug dealer’s van crossing the border.  Once, when Carol was pulling out a big pot of leftovers to heat up on the stove, one of the cats snuck into the vacant spot and got shut in.  When the fridge was opened a couple of hours later, the animal was almost dead from heat stroke.

Anyway, a couple of days before she got home, Ken discovered some raw chicken livers that had been left in the fridge.  Carol figures they had been percolating in there for about a week.  He sautéed them rare for a snack.

When she got home, she discovered him in what genteel folks would call “severe gastric distress.”  He told here that he probably had the flu; but when things sort of kept gushing out of him; Carol dragged him to the ER.  It was either that she said or have his upper and lower seals caulked.  Now, Ken had to be very sick indeed; because, for him, the only reason to go to a hospital is because something vital has dropped off your body and refuses to be reattached with Crazy Glue or Duct Tape.

During the ER exam, he accidentally burped and a nearby nurse swooned, fell, down and hit her head.  The doctor switched from a surgical mask to a gas variety and took blood tests, which they are probably still examining at Los Alamos.  Turns out, his system was loaded with some really vile toxins.  Ken ventured, “Well, I guess it could have been the chicken livers.”  The doctor replied, “Either that or you’ve been eating nuclear waste.”

Ken’s back home now, on antibiotics and not feeling so chipper.  He still is not eating or drinking much (as in martinis), which, of course, means the man had to be near death.  Oh yeah, and to make matters worse, that ER nurse is suing him for an olfactory assault  and the EPA is considering filing charges against him for the unlawful discharge of toxic fumes.

But I don’t blame Ken.  It was that lousystud farm!

Take Care,

Jim

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Jim in front of a classroom, teaching during his tenure on our local school board.


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Jim posed for the River Nymph book cover, chose the lady with the cards model and created the basic design from which Kim Killion worked.


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