Two books in 30 days? Yes, LOVE ME, I DARE YOU, and now TEXAS MAVERICK – I’m either bat-shit crazy or I have some type of death wish. Or maybe I’m trying to cram as much living in the time I have left as I can, I’m not sure. Since I’m self-employed, the writerly type, I have to buy my own health insurance. Now, my goal is not to run out there and get a lot of preventive care and unnecessary tests done (I swear I think some folks love to go to the doctor) – oh, no. My goal is to stay out of trouble by having insurance and then not to use it at all. This nice woman called last night from Humana and asked if they could send a nurse out to take my blood pressure and listen to my heart and weigh me and she seemed so excited about it. I said, is this mandatory? (I think that means necessary) and she said no, this was complimentary. I told her not only, no – I told her, hell no, and hung up. I’d rather go to the dentist and have all my teeth pulled. Why can’t they just let a person live and die in peace? Yea, I’m in a mood. Anyway, I rode out to Bastrop on Sunday morning to get some fudge, but mostly to get out of the house. It was so, so hot, like 110 degrees and I had to travel east from my beloved hills to the flat piney woods. Yes, it was only 20 miles, but it’s night and day topography wise. I made the mistake of taking the dogs. Abby is nice, but that boy dog of mine is as bat-shit crazy as I’m purported to be – he whined and hassled every inch we traveled. So, when we got there, I was completely worn out and wanted nothing more than to just get them out of the car and walk around. There were two things that drew my attention at the SUGAR SHACK – the first was this fourteen-foot squirrel. Yes, there is a huge squirrel statue because the Sugar Shack is owned by Berdoll Pecan Farms and I guess a squirrel and nuts go together. Well, he was interesting and the dogs weren’t intimidated at all. They left him a little gift in the grass. Next…I found a swing. Which I wouldn’t sit in. Now, let me tell you the rest of the story… When I was a teenager, there were two things I loved. One of them was reading Harlequin romances and the other was a guy named Mike – no relation to the Mike in my family now. This was a younger guy, a good four years younger, which would’ve put me in the robbing the cradle area if he would’ve given me the time of day – which he didn’t. Mostly, it was all in my mind. But our paths did cross frequently. There was this little lady in town who we all would go to visit and her name was Mrs. Watson. I loved to go visit for two reasons – well, three – one reason was that she had boxes and boxes of Harlequin romance paperbacks (and she was in her late 80’s, women!!) that I could read, two was that she made the most wonderful tea cakes and THREE, Mike mowed her lawn, shirtless. So I would go over, raid her book box, get a tea cake, then go sit in this swing and watch Mike mow the grass. I would pretend to read while I lusted after my young Lothario. Well, one day – and this is burned in my memory…Mike got over there to mow before I arrived. Now, he was a kid and didn’t mean any harm and he, honestly, had no idea I was coming over – which made this sort of worse, because he could have killed that old woman! He was mowing, stopped to drink some lemonade Mrs. Watson made him, and flopped down in the swing. Now, Mike was a big, tall boy and when he threw his full weight on the swing, he tore one of the screws out of the porch ceiling and the whole thing came crashing down. Now, instead of telling Mrs. Watson, he was ashamed and he just stuck the screw back into the ceiling. Now, what happened next, was a blessing – – for Mike and for Mrs. Watson, not necessarily for me. Because if Mrs. Watson had sat in the swing, the fall would have probably broken her hip and Mike could have been sued. But no – – here I came with a Janet Dailey novel, two tea cakes and a huge crush – and plopped myself down, unfortunately with one leg under the swing and BAM! I want you to know there were several things injured that day – my leg was one, and my ego was another. I had enough going against me, I didn’t need to be known as the girl who’d broken the swing. Especially in front of a guy that I lusted after. But that was what happened – I was mortified. I was fat enough to cause a swing to fall, then I had to confess to Mrs. Watson that I’d broken her property. She wasn’t happy. AND I had to watch Mike turn red-faced and snicker watching me try to get up off the porch with my broken cookies and paperback romance novel bouncing around. It was a couple of weeks before Mike’s mother told my mother than he had confessed to breaking the swing and putting the screws back up. Later, as he grew older, we became better acquainted. Like I said, he wasn’t mean, just foolish. I got over my crush and our families were friends until I came out as Sable Hunter and then they all turned their backs on me, I wasn’t fit for decent folks anymore. BUT – all of that came to mind when I was at the SUGAR SHACK, in the heat, with the dogs. To say the least, I didn’t sit in their swing. We got back in the car and turned the air up, while the others went in to buy fudge. Then, we came home and now, I’m writing again, avoiding calls from the Humana insurance woman. Ha – try TEXAS MAVERICK, I can promise you – it’s a better story than this one!