Friday, June 29, 2007

Does It Come Fully Loaded?

As appalled as I am about the foiled bombing in London, I have to admit that one small detail of the story SHOCKED me:

“The witness said the large silver saloon car was being driven "erratically" before the minor crash. The driver was not stopped.”

Saloon car? They make such a thing and I didn’t know about this????

Red White and Blasted

I know one person who DEFINITELY should stick to desserts!

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Sorry, RSM, we couldn't make it as pretty as yours. Especially since we had to drink our mistakes. I think this was Try#15.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I'm Number 6 on Google for "facial splatter".

Grandmotherhood and Potty Training

I am very lucky that I get to see my granddaughter on a regular basis. The Eldest Son, The Heiress and I will usually have Wednesday night dinners together since he doesn’t have class. Last night The Girlfriend came over and had bought The Heiress a Barbie cheerleader outfit.

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Sorry for the stringy hair- it is REALLY humid. I think I will have to go clothes shopping for her. She hasn’t discovered Bratz dolls that I know of, but I certainly don’t want her dressing like one.

Which just goes to prove I am getting old and Grandmotherly.

How old? I stood The Heiress up to the kitchen wall and marked her height with the date on it. Did your gramma ever do that? Mine did. Now I realize, too late most likely, that I have set a terrible precedent for writing on my walls.

And this whole potty training thing? I would gladly ask for some advice here, because it just ain’t happening. Last night I set her on her Barbie seat on the pot and I sat on the tub. We were in there a good ten minutes and I KNOW she had to go. Nuthin’. Until she got her pull-ups back on. Are these pull-ups a good idea, do you think? The Heiress is 2 ½ and has NO interest in potty training. I wonder if pull-ups make it too easy and comfortable. Granted, it has been over 20 years since I’ve done this, but I always felt that accidents in training pants kind of made the point to a child WHY you wanted them to use the bathroom. Any thoughts on this? I feel archaic at this point.

Well, I am off to find a pearl chain to hold my glasses and lavender sachets for the dresser drawers. Ta-ta!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Look At The Dust!

It really bothers me when I can't post everyday. See, if I wasn't so busy right now I could be regaling you with stories of how my green beans are starting to bloom and how big the tomatoes are getting, or my new flower beds, or the ongoing battle with creepy-crawlies wishing to co-habitate in my space.

Fascinating stuff, I am sure.

The truth is, I have my suitcase still half packed and it will remain that way since I am leaving for Ft. Hood in 10 days. My furniture hasn't seen Pledge in weeks, although I have been pretty diligent in vaccuuming up dead bugs. I'm still working 11-12 hours a day (with two hours commuting) so if you see marbles rolling across this blog, they are mine; please pick them up.

Now, add to this:
1)I am treasurer for the Ladies Auxiliary at my Post. I have never done this before. I am having nightmares that I don't even remember how to balance a checkbook.
2 I am Chaplain for the 6th District. I have never done this before.

HEY! YOU IN THE BACK! I can HEAR you laughing, so knock it off! I'm as damn spiritual as the next S.O.B.!
3) I am the Patriotic Art/Voice of Democracy chairman for the State of Illinois. Thankfully, I do have a little knowledge on this one, just not in the big leagues.

Oh dear, I do so need some office space. I think my dining room will be going the way of the dinosaur.

Monday, June 25, 2007

In Other News

I have a blue star banner with three stars that has hung in my living room window for several years now. I kept thinking I should get a new 2 star banner for the past year, since Son #2 has been out of the Army, but never got around to it.

Now I don't need to.

While Old Sarge and I were in Peoria, Son #2 enlisted in the Army Reserve. He will be going to school as a medic (he was a Bradley driver before) and will be with the Reserve unit in Rockford.

What Happens In Peoria

Should definitely STAY in Peoria!

Hey, we’re back!! We had a very good convention, got a lot of ideas for this coming year AND, since cocktails (for me) were few and far between, I didn’t have any morning after apologies to make.

This is the basket we raffled off for Young SGT. It was full of Bears, NASCAR and grill items:

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A man by the name of Digger from the 10th District won it, and he was ecstatic. Note to Young SGT- a VERY nice check is coming your way.

Now, usually at Convention, it is Old Sarge and our friend Tom who dress up and go to the different Hospitality rooms. We were spared that, but some others took up the mantle. This is our 6th District commander and President:

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A proud moment for the 6th District to be sure.

And I have no idea what District in Chicago Pauly is from, but he makes one hell of a woman:

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He and Squidward made a lovely couple.

Now as you know, Young SGT had his surgery last Thursday. I talked to him on Friday morning to get the lowdown, and couldn’t have been happier. It seems that all that they replaced was his PCL- no eight different incisions or other major repair work. He doesn’t understand how after his exploratory surgery and all the doom and gloom of THAT diagnosis that things could turn out so differently.

I do.

Young SGT made the comment that he knew a lot of people had been praying for him, and that they had surely done a great job of it. I have no problem whatsoever putting this in the Miracle category. Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm Leaving

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go...


Ah well, there's always tonight and the morning.

Be sure to stop by Young SGT's and wish him luck on his surgery tomorrow.

Sidenote to Young SGT and Beloved DIL- my flight is booked for July 7th!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Train Wreck Day

Stupid truck drivers- dime a dozen

Running into power lines with your trailer in the air- thousand$

Getting to call that driver "Peniswrinkle"- priceless

Good Deeds

If you been around here long enough, you know at times I can be very critical of the VFW. Believe me, there is much to find fault with. And yet, there is so much good that happens because of very dedicated and caring people that it far outweighs the negatives.

My post made me very proud last night. In fact, they made me cry.

I had asked our bar manager if she had any leftover raffle things that we could part with. My idea was to put together a basket to take to convention and raffle it off for Young SGT. And I will admit, I felt a little guilty for doing this- my little angel on one shoulder was asking if that wasn't sort of selfish, but the devil on the other shoulder poked her in the ass and said Hell No, we do it for everyone else! Let me say, did I ever get hooked up. FOUR Bears shirts. Three ballcaps. A couple of NASCAR shirts and jacket. A Bears clock. A grill pack for tailgating. Lots more. I was so overwhelmed that I damn near lost it. Old Sarge and our friend Bill took it all out to our car, and Bill asked what it was for. I explained, since he will be at convention with us too.

We're not a wealthy Post by any means. With such a large (old) building, it's a struggle to get the bills paid most months. So imagine my surprise after our respective meetings last night when our commander told me they were going to send some money Young SGT's way.

Talk about doing the right thing at the right time.

And yes, I cried like a baby.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Warp 10, Mr. Scott

Remember in “Star Trek” when they were engaging warp drive, and all of a sudden the stars started speeding past faster and faster? Did I just reveal what a geek I am?

Regardless, that is life as it is coming at me this morning. I have my 3’ x 2’ box of promotional material packed for Convention, and am realizing I do not have near enough handouts for the Program Fair. I need a haircut and an oil change-scratch that, the Exploder needs the oil change, there is some packing to do, I have a VF*n*W meeting tonight at which the Treasurer’s books will be turned over to me for the ensuing year (GAH!) and I am not even sure I will be able to do this because I’ll be gone in July.

AND I’m looking for a ticket to Killeen for the first weekend in July that DOESN’T involve 20 hours of traveling. Shit, I could drive it in that if it wasn’t for that whole bridge/panic attack thingy.

Now, remember, Young SGT has his surgery on Thursday. So much is riding on the success of this, it is unbelievable. You know what to do.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pity Party

I woke up about 2:30 this morning to start some laundry. Black ants were having a party on my kitchen counter and an earwig was trying to crash it. I. Just. Fucking. Sprayed. TWO. DAYS. Ago!

So here I sit in Bedrock on a Saturday morning, with over sixty hours in (and in case you're interested, that's not including two hours commute everyday) and Old Sarge is taking everything out of the cupboards trying to find where the little bastards are coming in. Oh golly gee, I just can't wait to get home.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beware the Ides of June

June is halfway over already, can you believe it? I have visions of sitting here in two months wondering where the summer went and why in the hell I didn’t get anything done. SO much going on right now.

Young SGT has knee reconstruction surgery next Thursday, June 21st. You all know the routine. Heck, I don’t even pray so much any more as much as BEG! He has a new post up, and believe me, some words of encouragement would go a long way. Those kids deserve a break!

The State VF*n*W Convention also starts June 21st. Despite wishing that I was going to be in Texas with Young SGT, I am looking forward to it. My only real firm obligation is to present the Patriotic Art/Voice of Democracy program Friday afternoon. It’s great to hook up with friends that you only see a few times a year, and to get your batteries recharged, so to speak, for the upcoming year. But most of all, I’m hoping I can spend some quality time with Old Sarge. This is such a tough time of year for him, always. I’ve posted on this before; even eleven years later, it is still a hard time for him.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday!

You look GREAT for 232!

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Here's to many more.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This Excites Me

I didn’t have time to post a damn thing today, but, for those who were at the Rockford Airfest and missed their A-10 fix like I did, there’s this:

As Old Sarge says, serious wood.

Monday, June 11, 2007

VF*n*W Weekend Chronicles

There were many sad faces this past Friday when biscuits and gravy were not forthcoming. I’m afraid I’ve set a bad precedent by feeding the truck drivers. However, I did tell the guys that I would be cooking breakfast at the VF*n*W on Sunday should they venture west.

The thing with all the cooking at the Post- we are all volunteers, so you really can’t get to pissy if someone is doing things a little differently than you would. We all have to work together, and nobody is getting paid. But the last few times I have done breakfast, Ralph has shown up.

I do not know much about Ralph. He is not a VFW member, but he comes in on occasion to help out with dishes when we have a meal. Or, that’s what he’s supposed to be doing. Yesterday, he helped himself to four plates of food that I saw, and ran maybe three racks through the dishwasher before, get this, getting out his recorders (flutes) to serenade the diners.

I was mortified.

And it wasn’t that he was awful or anything, but, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! Folks come in for a good breakfast and conversion, not some crazy old man walking around playing music! I’m surprised he didn’t pass the hat!

At any rate, I am tolerating this, barely, when some of my drivers and their friends walked in. They were out on their bikes for the day and decided to drop in for my biscuits and gravy. Now, please understand, I love these guys. When they are out on the Harleys with all the trappings that go with riding, they LOOK like bikers. They ARE serious riders. You don’t mess with them.

The guys and gals get their plates full of good hearty breakfast and sit down. I took a break and sat down with them, and up comes Ralph and his damn flute. Playing “You are my Sunshine” to people in black leather and Harley gear.

“Ralph,” says me, “I think I am about to find a new home for your flute”.

Hammer, JB and Stupid Brian are exchanging looks and laughing, because they know what’s coming.

“Freebird!”, says Hammer.

Ralph kept on playing.

“Seriously, Ralph, take it somewhere else or I will stick that flute sideways up your ass.”

He took the hint. He didn’t do another dish all morning, but he stayed the hell away from me.

We Got Royalty??

Shout out to Young SGT and Beloved DIL:

The living room is a little skimpy on family photos at the moment. I don't have the boys' service pictures up due to the long anticipated appearance of drywall, but there are still a few. One of the Eldest and Young SGT at his graduation from basic, both in uniform. And one of Young SGT and Beloved DIL at their wedding reception. Our granddaughter loves to point out her daddy and uncle in the first picture. We asked her who was in the other one. She got "Unko Dan" right, but when we asked her who else was in the picture, she said, "That's a Princess!"

Thought that might make your day!

Disturbing Moment

There are things you never really think about, that are normal for YOUR life but can be completely alien to others. I never think about being a military family, although we surely are. It’s just the way our lives are. And apparently it’s an insult to some folks that we are damn proud of it.

Take clothing. I work in a pretty casual environment. T-shirts and polos are fine to wear. If I don’t have a company shirt on, you’ll see me in an Army, Air Force, Marine or VF*n*W shirt. I never think twice about it.

Then there’s my car. Since I have gotten the new Exploder, I haven’t replaced any of my ribbon magnets. The ones I had left had gotten pretty faded and since I haven’t found a “Keep My Soldier Safe” one to replace the one that was stolen, (that still has me seriously pissed off- it’s personal!) I haven’t put any more on. There are no “My son is in the Army” stickers, no “USAF Retired”, no Marine Corps. All I have are the Illinois Veteran plates.

That, and my Ft. Benning t-shirt, seemed to push some guy over the edge at the gas station this morning. I am in there almost every morning for coffee, smokes or gas; I know pretty much “the regulars” at o-dark-thirty. I was just opening my door to leave, setting down my coffee and purse, when some guy went AROUND my door and “accidently” shoved me in the back with his shoulder. I turned around and yelled HEY! and the guy spit at my back plate. Missed, thank God, and kept walking.

What in the world?

I went back in to ask the girls if they knew who that was; I didn’t get a good look at him. Neither one did. It’s not all that uncommon to have strangers around that time of morning. The county jail is just across the street.

I didn’t chase the guy down or anything. I’m still too…shocked! to be mad. The rage is coming, I’m sure, but in the meantime, where did I put those stickers?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars

There was some excitement last week in the little town down the road from Bedrock. Larry the Cable Guy was shooting some scenes for a new movie over in Virgil. There isn’t much to Virgil, but apparently the old gas station was a perfect location. Why, I even had some of my truck drivers ask for the day off to watch the filming! The nerve!!

Larry was keeping the spectators entertained- this poor lady is about to lose her Sears mail order teeth:

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Anyone who takes the time with little kids is alright with me:

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HEY! I did NOT say it was okay to have the day off! What the hell are you guys doing?

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Ah well. I would have gone if I could. I find Larry the Cable Guy extremely amusing, which should tell you a lot about my sense of humor.

He’s just smokin’ hot here in the sticks.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

That Black Cloud That Follows Me

It’s been one of those weeks. Thank goodness they don’t happen all that often.

But for the love of Pete…

I am not a peeler when it comes to sunburns, or I should say, I didn’t use to be. This morning, the skin on my forehead is parachuting onto my dark maroon polo. The effect is less than attractive.

My favorite capris ripped- at work. Unbeknownst to me. At first. Now, as I am a woman of size, I could see maybe a seam or, shall we say, a “friction” point. But noooo! Right between the pocket and the zipper! Damn it, my favorite baggy comfy britches! Thank you long shirt tail.

And apparently my dream of the other night is coming true. Since we have had so much rain, the earwigs are coming out in full force. I have not found a spray that will keep these little nasties out of my house.

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GAH! I HATE these things!

The roof on our house, which is all of three years old, is leaking. Right into the front room. ("it's raining in Gramma's house!") The ceiling tile is falling down. All in all, though, a nice accent for my broken plaster walls. (Yep, SIX months now and no drywall!)

I am NOT asking “What Next?”.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6, 1944

Sixty-three years ago, a world changing event was taking place in Normandy.

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156,000 Allied troops would land on the beaches that day. By June 11th, more than 326,000 troops had entered Normandy.

And sixty-three years later, we STILL owe these men a debt that can never be repaid.

Read of the Day

The more I read, the more I just want to hug the stuffings out of @WR.

Again, out of the ballpark.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sweet Dreams


I am not a good sleeper. For some reason, I wake up several times during the night. Once I wake up the first time, I will be lucky to doze for half an hour before I wake up again. You wonder where the "rage" comes from? I'm TIRED, fer Pete's sake!

And I swear, I have the most God-awful dreams. Last night, in the dream, I had several pots of bacon grease boiling on my stove. Yes, boiling. The pots were all overflowing, running into the oven, down the side of the stove, on the floor. I was frantically trying to clean all this nasty grease from everywhere and moved the refrigerator out of the way. Cockroaches, scorpions and every kind of bug imaginable starts flying out from in back of the fridge. Cockroaches are flying in my hair, crawling up my legs and on my hands- I can't get them off.

For the record:
I HATE cockroaches.
This dream is NOT fading into oblivion today.
I am never eating anything from China House again.
I'd better spend all day Saturday cleaning the kitchen.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm

I found this article at the VFW website this morning.

I am not sure how to feel about it, but would love to hear from service members past or present in the comments.

VFW to Corps: Don’t Stifle Freedom of Speech

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2007--The national commander of America’s oldest and largest organization of combat veterans is taking issue with an apparent attempt by the U.S. Marine Corps to bring administrative actions against three former Marines for their anti-war positions.

“This is about First Amendment rights and whether the military can discipline former servicemen who are in the inactive reserves,” said Gary Kurpius, who leads the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.

According to press reports, two former Marines wore their unmarked desert fatigues on a mock combat patrol in Washington in March to protest the fourth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. One of them was also cited for making a disrespectful comment to a military officer investigating the incident. A third Marine was accused of making disparaging remarks about the president.

Though all three had been honorably discharged following combat tours in Iraq, the Marine Corps is contending that they still fall under military service regulations as members of the Individual Ready Reserve, which is an emergency manpower pool of former active-duty servicemen and women who are in an unpaid, non-drill status. An implied threat by the Marine Corps to lower their discharge ratings from honorable to general could negatively impact educational and other benefits they are eligible to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as future employment opportunities that require security clearances.

“We all know that people give up some individual rights when they join the military,” said Kurpius, a Vietnam veteran from Anchorage, Alaska, “but these Marines went to war, did their duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to say it,” he said.

“Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we’re trying to instill in Iraq is not what we’re all about,” he said. “Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus.”

Air Show Recap

We had made plans with another couple to go to the air show on Sunday. We have been friends for many years and live four houses apart. (Did I ever tell the story about going to bed with Old Sarge and waking up with Di? No? Good! Road trips are HELL!)
When we met up to head to Rockford, not only are Harry and Di going, but her mother and her husband. They drive us nuts! Her mom is really getting wacky, and the husband is just weird. For the past ten years, Di’s mom has started speaking in a Jewish mother accent. I want to shake her and yell, ”Mary Ann! You’re from Waddam’s Grove, for Pete’s sake! And you’re Lutheran!”

I’m only going to post a few pictures- mostly, I came up with nice pictures of clouds.

This is as close as I got to seeing the Blue Angels:
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Old Sarge was thrilled to see a B-52 from Minot.
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He was stationed at Minot when he retired. One thing OS pointed out to me, and the picture doesn’t show it, is the wrinkled fuselage. When these monsters are in flight, the fuselage is perfectly taut, but appears wavy when they are on the ground. I was astounded at the size of this plane. And grateful for the huge wingspan when it started to rain.

The Air Force also had some jet demonstrations.
This picture is from a simulated bombing run by an F15:
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Cool pyrotechnics! We could feel the heat even from where we were sitting.

There were some neat vendor booths there. One I will link to later, but they were selling Pocket Angels and some handmade angel jewelry. Old Sarge got some Welcome Home angels, and I bought an angel necklace. These folks were from Minnesota and were so nice to talk to. They’re even VF*n*W’ers! There was an older woman and a young couple. We started talking about Soldiers Angels, and the young man said he had received a laptop from them when he was wounded. That’s when I saw- he had a prosthetic right leg. I couldn’t speak through the lump in my throat, but Old Sarge had the presence of mind to say, “Thank you for your service”. And was thanked in turn.

We went back to our chairs after they dried out to watch a little more of the show. My phone rang, which surprised the hell out of me, and it was T1G asking if I was at the show. I told him where we were sitting, and he called back after a little while asking where I was again. I could see him, so I walked over and we visited. I eventually got Old Sarge to come over, so now he has met a Blogger and NOTHING BAD HAPPENED!
Contagion and Ktreva showed up a little later, so it made for an entertaining afternoon.

By the time the Blue Angels were supposed to perform, Old Sarge was surveying the mass of humanity surrounding us, and decided we could probably see just as well over by where the buses would load after the show. About another two hundred people had already had that idea, but I am so glad we didn’t wait. We got one of the first buses out of there to the parking lot.

As for the Blue Angels, well, they were awesome; anything that powerful that can go so fast, so precisely and with so much noise is great. But…it wasn’t quite the experience I had been anticipating. Still, all in all, good.

Next year…Sunscreen!!

VF*n*W Chronicles

Friday night is “Date Night” at the VF*n*W in my hometown (which is not the one I belong to). Old Sarge and I will occasionally meet up with another couple that goes out to dinner every Friday night, religiously. To say that they are in their late 70’s is generous. They are very sweet folks and we enjoy their company a lot. Wally is a small, wiry man who doesn’t say a lot, but when he does, has a very dry wit. His wife Lois, well, where to begin. Think Gloria Swanson. I have never seen her dressed casually. Oh no. Her hair and makeup are always perfect, her clothes are beautiful, lots of shine and sequins, BIG jewelry always. Gold lame` shoes. And it isn’t tacky on her, it is elegant. They are very much in love, you can tell.

Lively discussion usually ensues after a few cocktails. This week’s topic was the disparity of pay between professional athletes and professional soldiers. Lois says she will no longer watch sports, that she is sick of them being made out to be “heroes” when most of them are terrible role models. At the time, one of the news stations had a film clip of A-Rod escorting a woman not his wife. Point in case, said Lois. When did catching balls for a living become more “Heroic” than dodging bullets?

On Saturday, I had to work a wedding at my Post. This is the equivalent of a year in Hell. And may I say, should you find yourself in need of catering, do NOT call Portillo’s. At least the one in Sycamore. They were an hour late, and their Italian beef required assembly. I guess I am spoiled by one of the local caterers- they are always on time, and all that is needed is to set their food out. At any rate, with one minor accident, (a guest tried to “help” lift an empty pan put of the chafing dish, which resulted in au jus all over the table, floor and one of our workers) we made it through it and headed for the canteen for much needed liquid therapy.
A couple that frequents the Post regularly was discussing their upcoming fishing trip to Minnesota. Dave was trying to convince Linda that she would have to put her own leeches on. Linda said she would bait her own hook with anything BUT leeches. The conversation went downhill from there, ending up at who was going in the lake first, Dave, Linda, or Dave’s $100 pole.

At which point the bartender and I made up a sheet with dates and times, labeled the “Drowning Pool”. VF*n*W’ers live for gambling, in case you didn’t know.

The pot was up to $50 by the time we left.

Is It Hot In Here?

Or is it just me?

Oh, it's me alright!

We had a GREAT weekend! I will be forthcoming with details, starting with a new VF*n*W Chronicles and ending with the airshow. Old Sarge even met a blogger and didn't spontaneously combust!

As for me, all I need right now is claws and a pretty fantail and you could serve me up with drawn butter.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Little Things In Life

I am Queen of All I Survey this morning. Seriously!

I honestly have very bad impulse control. An idea will get ahold of me and Katie bar the door, I must act on it. Once in awhile, with good results.

So, this morning I don’t have a gazillion drivers in because of the rain, just 10 or so of the regulars that I hire. As they were all filing in my office, I waited until they were all there, and gave them their jobs for the day.

RM: Oh, by the way, there’s a little something for you guys behind the spare desk.

Driver #1: Is that…?

Driver #2: Biscuits and gravy???

Driver #3: Did you make that??

RM: Of course I made it. From scratch no less.

Driver #4: No way! Outstanding!

RM: I even left a few lumps in to make it look good. Eat up!

Now my brokers are all fed and happy and they think I walk on water. Of course, they all invited themselves over to my house for breakfast on Sunday morning.