Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner Was Great, BUT Afterward...

My daughter sprang a birthday party surprise on me this year, which was much fun and a couple of my coworkers attended, but most of the other party goers don't know me all that well. So when we were playing a guessing game--others were trying to guess the card in my hand that was Thanksgiving, and I said, "Hornets," for the clue.

My coworker, fan and friend jumped up and shouted, "Thanksgiving!"

And of course everyone wanted to know how hornets came to be related to Thanksgiving.

It was a cold, sleeting, stormy Thanksgiving (in Central Texas, we rarely get that kind of weather),

but my daughter, mother and I had a delightful Thanksgiving dinner.

Afterward, we were planning on watching a funny new Jackie Chan movie and my daughter turned it on while I started a fresh log in the fireplace. You know, one of those kinds that burn for 5 or 6 hours.

The movie is starting, the fire is catching hold, we're all getting ready to curl up on the sofas and watch the show when I see a groggy hornet fly out of the fireplace. Actually, they were red wasps. I'm thinking, uh-oh, there are going to be more...and more...and more. A whole nest of them.

My daughter is terrified of hornets, wasps and bees since when I had taken my Girl Scout troop to the zoo in Tulsa when I was a leader, and in the petting zoo, a mad swarm of bees stung several of the girls--my daughter 21 times.

So she's running to get the hornet spray.

I'm shouting, "No, it might hit the fire!" I'm not a chemist, but I'm envisioning an explosion of volcanic proportions.

My mom's swatting groggy wasps in the air with my handy-dandy flyswatter, and I'm vacuuming them up either in flight, or on the carpet, or clinging to the brick fireplace.

It gets worse.

The smoke from the fire is pouring into the house. The vents are open to the outside, but the smoke is beginning to grow into a white fog. So I race to the back door and open it, and holler to my daughter to turn on all the ceiling fans, open all the windows, while the ice storm is raging on.

The wind is so strong from the north, it's blowing straight through the front to the back door, and the air is clearing. But the 5-6 hour log is still burning away! I've got to get it out of there, but where is the fireplace can? I douse the log with water. More smoke. Lift the smoldering, smoking log into a plastic mop bucket, sparks are flying off onto the carpet and burning it, and I hurry the still smoldering, hotter than blazes fire log outside in the sleet.

Then I filled the bucket with water, and returned to the house, cleaned up the once beige carpet, found a floor fan, and tons of blankets, and with the doors and windows wide open and the fans all blowing, we snuggled to watch the movie, erupting in giggles throughout the show more about our wasp adventure than about the movie.

The problem was, it was all in Chinese. We had to read the subtitles. "Are you sure you put it on the right setting?" I had asked my daughter.

"Yes, that was all there was."

So at the end, we had to watch the outtakes as they're always hilarious. And they were all in English. LOL!!! So my daughter had set it for Chinese instead of English. It just seemed appropriate for our Thanksgiving entertainment that night!!!

So why the smoke in the house? We'd had straight line winds that had torn up the roof a few weeks earlier. The chimney cap had ripped away, but no one told me. So the roofers covered the chimney with a piece of roofing material. The heat from the burning log had eventually burned a hole in it, but not enough to allow the smoke to escape.

And that, folks, is one of our most cherished, wild, and memorable Thanksgivings to date!

What does Thanksgiving mean to me? Hornets!

Or technically, red wasps.

This year, my stove is out (which occurred in the middle of cooking turkey for Christmas last year, and replacing the oven is out--I'll have to replace the counter and everything, so it's been put on hold a while longer and since I'd had flooding and had to replace my carpeting, I just haven't time to do much else!!!)

All I have is a small counter top convection oven, and my AC is out, which means no heat pump for emergency heat, so my daughter is making the turkey dinner for her and her boyfriend and me the weekend before at her apartment, and we'll play games and have a blast. I'll be going to a book signing right before that, so it'll be a special Thanksgiving in a different way.

Have you had a wild and exciting Thanksgiving dinner that you could laugh about later?

Anyone raising their hand to come to MY feasts???

They're sure to be something you can talk about forever. Just think of Mary Tyler Moore parties. :)

Next up, Wolf Fever's release and the blog tour starts right after Thanksgiving.
This is my FIRST review for Wolf Fever and I'm ecstatic!!

Wolf Fever by Terry Spear
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (399 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Wolf Fever is another winner of a story that kept me on the edge with its unique master storytelling and plot. There are villains of different flavors and degrees that prevented me from guessing which way Ms. Spear was going to go. I enjoyed the brisk dialogue and the insights it gave me as I read. I liked Carol and Ryan as a couple and Ryan’s sister is a hot ticket. The quality of writing is as strong as ever and a must read for paranormal wolf fans who enjoy a romance laced with humor along with great suspense. It sure made it a hard to put down book. For me, I didn’t want to stop reading, even when it was time to go to bed. Who wants sleep when they’re in the middle of reading a story by Ms. Spear? Her writing is pure entertainment.

And I received an email from a fan last night, WOLF FEVER is being shipped!! Woohoo!

Happy TGIF!!

"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."


  1. Wow, Terry. I'm allergic to bees and wasps. I think I'll pass on the invite. It sure seems like you have very memorable Thanksgivings.

    Enjoy your celebration with your daughter. It sounds like fun.

  2. Yikes, Robin, how horrible. We promise the only kind of entertainment we're going to have his regular kinds of games. Nothing wild and exciting like smoking out wasps and us! :) We will have a great time!

    Did I ever mention the time when my daughter had just been born, so my in-laws came to visit and my mother in-law who hates to cook prepared the turkey, upside down? :) Hey, it's edible right side up or upside down. But my father in-law was sure mad. It makes for funny pictures. :)

    And then there was the time...

  3. Oh Terry, what a funny story. It's probably funnier now than it was then. And the upside down turkey...too great.

  4. Yeah, I think I'll steer clear of your turkey dinners, Terry! Have fun at your daughter's place!

  5. Anita, truly we laughed throughout the movie, half at the wasp saga, and half at the movie! I couldn't uncover the mystery of why we had the smoke until the next morning though. :)

    Ah, come on, Cheryl! Where's your sense of adventure??? :)

  6. Mercy! That's a Thanksgiving story! Is there a special recipe for upside down turkey? Do you have to make upside down dressin'? And what about the rest of the meal? How does one make upside down cranberry sauce?
    Enjoy your day with daughter and her feller ... and win all the games.

  7. Hi Terry, I was laughing hysterically at your story!

    Years back we had gotten a new oven just before Thanksgiving and hadn't tried it out til the day. We couldn't figure out why the turkey wasn't getting brown, why there were no terrific smells, and hours later gave up. Figured something was wrong but not able to call anyone til the next day we figured Thanksgiving was a bust.

    A couple friends came over later in the day and when they heard what happened invited us to their place for their leftovers! So we did have turkey that day just not made in our brand new oven!

    While nothing like yours with hornets, smoke and sleet, it was one we won't forget!

    Looking forward to your new book!!!


  8. Terry, that post made my morning! Sometimes when things go wrong it makes for the best stories. I've been wracking my brains to think of a Thanksgiving story for you all, but my dad does Thanksgiving PERFECT - which is maybe a story in itself.
    I hope you delivered a nice bag of wasp corpses to the roofers for Christmas!

  9. What a story, Terry! Still laughing.

    I'm happy to say nothing in my Thanksgiving past even comes close.

    But how wonderful that in the end, you, your daughter and mother all looked back, not in horror, but in laughter.

  10. Great post Terry, but your Thanksgiving Day is too exciting for me.

  11. Hi Terry! One of my foster puppies for stung by a hornet recntly and her whole face started swelling.... one eye closed like a prze fighter boxer! Scared meto pieces! Isn't it wild how one little buzzing bug can cause such chaos?! ;-) (Puppy is fine now, btw!)

  12. I certainly can't top that story. Bless you for getting through it and having a nice day despite it all!

  13. Carolyn, I've been told the turkey is really better upside down--all I've got to say is it didn't hurt the dinner none! It was delicious!

    Ohmigosh, Cat, sounds like what happened to our Christmas dinner. That's another story! Did you get your brand new stove to work? It sounds like the time I had a bunch of Army officers over for dinner. All were married couples and I was single. I was making steak. Or at least I thought I was making steak.

    I had never used a gas stove before, so had the steaks in the oven, not in the broiler drawer. My co-workers were like, "That's taking awfully long to cook steaks." Plus there was no nice steak aroma coming from the kitchen. LOL

    Thanks on Wolf Fever, Cat! :)

  14. Joanne, it will probably never be topped by any Thanksgiving after that. I thought we'd die laughing over the Chinese movie after that--when it should have been in English. :)

    My parents had parties all the time, and I helped them out when we moved nearby. But one time after doing this, I went home to bring the kids to the party, and my dad called and said, "We've had too many people show up who weren't supposed to and you can't come."

    We laughed about it because it was just like a Mary Tyler Moore party. I scrounged up more food in my freezer and hauled it over so they'd make due with the meal. And the kids and I were happy to do something else with our evening. Then I went back over to help them clean up afterward. But he was always the perfect host, never made mistakes and he's desperately calling for more food, which made it all the more funny. We live way out, so going to a store isn't a possibility!

    MM--it was just too funny. I'm glad we had a Jackie Chan movie that are funny anyway so it just made it all the more so. :)

    Ah come on, Amelia! You ought to give one a try! I think of Christmas Story, and the neighbors dogs taking off with the turkey. But at least we did have a delightful no problem dinner! :)

    Ah, Catherine, poor puppy! We had a snake bite my standard poodle. The whole side of her face swelled up. We figured it was a copperhead since we had them so bad in OK. But the vet said she'd be fine, just keep her calm. She slept.

    Thanks, Shana. We did have fun...and we'll always cherish the memories. My mother is gone now, but we will always remember that day fondly!

  15. Wow - what a story! I bet you'll never forget that Thanksgiving! Congratulations on your release- sounds fabulous!

  16. Like Robin, I'm allergic to bees. I still have the heebie jeebies after reading this. What a crazy Thanksgiving you had. Did you learn any Chinese? LOL!

    And congrats on the upcoming release, Terry!

  17. Hi Terry, I loved that story. We've made that mistake before with the language setting on the DVD player. Too funny! Congrats on the great review!

  18. Thanks, Amanda, yes, definitely memorable!!! I AM thrilled about the new release! :)

    LOL, Olivia, my daughter knows Japanese, so it didn't really help! :) Thanks on the release!

    Woohoo, Sara, I'm glad we're not the only ones! :) Thanks on the lovely review! :)

  19. Great story, Terri! And what a wonderful review. Bravo!