Miss Sugar, as usual, out-did herself. She made about nine pies, including pecan, sweet potato, and apple pie, more than one of each kind. Plus, some of the guests contributed to the dessert table. Sugar made enough side dishes, such as potato salad, Oklahoma caviar (black beans with something good), baked beans with sausage, cole slaw, cornbread, deviled eggs, and corn casserole, to cover a long serving counter. I think she put out twelve different dishes that she calls “the fixins” when she invites our guests to enjoy Texas Bar B Que with all the fixins. She made her special Texas barbeque sauce. After last year’s party, she chose to not make three bean salad.
It was all pretty good, but what folks will likely remember is that I served the pulled pork by expertly dumping it onto their sesame buns. Although I am generally modest about my accomplishments, for historical accuracy, allow me to point out that I am the one who mowed the lawn and I am the one who put the chairs and tables out on the lawn. (I would also claim credit for putting up the open tent canopy thing for shade, but, to be fully truthful, I must report that Sugar showed me how to do it and then when it blew over, helped me raise it again. Then Mitch fixed it right. He also set up the stakes for horseshoes and provided the horseshoes.)
Oh, and another thing, before the festivities commenced, I put the dogs in a stall in the barn because, for reasons that should be obvious and will become more obvious, they were not invited to the party, especially the aspect of the party involving food.
We had over 50 attendees during the course of the afternoon. A good time was had by all, it seemed, young (a nine day old baby pictured with Sugar and his father) and older. Baby Colton is the only person whose age will be specified.
We even had live music provided by four talented musicians.
My father-in-law, Bob the Barkeep, served the adult beverages in addition to Miss Sugar’s sweet tea and her friend Jeanie’s lemonade.
The weather was perfect. That and the beautiful scenery was provided by God.
I said above that a good time was had by all. That was true until Beau, our exuberant Yellow Lab, joined the party.
Some folks visited Beau and Sadie while they were imprisoned in the barn. Miss Sugar was begged to let them out. After all, most everyone was finished eating and were just listening to the musicians. Yellow Labs are inherently “party animals.” Miss Sugar succumbed to the pleas. Free Beau and Sadie! Free Beau and Sadie! So she did.
Later, the story was told to me that as soon as Beau emerged from the barn, the cowboy hat of our friend, Mitch, blew off his head. (I know I said we had perfect weather. Really, we pretty much did.)
So I was sitting under the canopy with other guests, enjoying the performance on the back deck serving as an elevated stage, when Beau came running up to me with a hat in his mouth. Apparently, Mitch’s hat looks enough like mine that Beau confused it for mine and helpfully brought it to me.
As you can see, our hats are similar.
Perhaps as you read this you are thinking that Beau is a wonderful animal. Of course, if you read other posts such as Doggone Bad Dog Gone, https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/doggone-bad-dog-gone/, or The Usual Suspect, https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/the-usual-suspect/, or Jail Bird Dog, https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/jail-bird-dog/, you can surmise where this is going.
Okay, you do not have to surmise where this is going. I will tell you what happened next. Next, one of our neighbors who was at the party came over to where I was sitting, enjoying the performance, as I said, and told me to “Come quick.” So I did.
Outside of the courtyard area, I saw a woman laying on the ground. Just moments before, this very same nice lady had thanked me for inviting her and her husband, and then left to go to their car. We offer plenty of free parking, but we do not provide a parking valet. She probably had a good time at the party until Beau came running after Mitch’s hat and, in the process, knocked her down. She was easy to knock down because she already had one leg in a “walking cast.” So really she just had the one good leg, the one that Beau clipped, sending her into the gravel on the lane. Poor lady! Bad dog!
We hope she will recover soon. We haven’t heard how she is doing since her husband took her home.
Mitch’s hat is somewhat the worse for wear, thanks to Beau. We are praying that the lady’s leg comes out of her contact with Beau better than the hat did.
Posted in adventure
, animal stories
, Life in Colorado
and tagged barbeque
, cross creek ranch
, John Wayne Birthday Party
, yellow lab
The Answer Man
The premium for my private health insurance went up $150.00 per month. I learned about it when I called to pay with a “check by phone.”
Me: That can’t be right. My insurance has paid nothing for me this year. How can the premium increase so much?
Premium Collector: That is a decision made in underwriting.
Me: I don’t see the basis for an increase. Based on my health history and lack of claims, you are already making 100% profit on me. Please transfer me to Underwriting.
Customer Service (after a delay in getting transferred): Customer service. How can I help you?
Me: I was holding for someone in underwriting.
Customer Service: Perhaps I can help. What is your question?
Me: Why did my premium go up $150 per month?
Customer Service: That is determined by underwriters.
Me: What did they determine about me? I have had no claim. You have paid nothing. Even if I had a claim, I would have to use up my deductible before you’d pay.
Customer Service: That is out of my department. Have I answered all your questions satisfactorily?
Me: No. May I speak with someone in underwriting?
Customer Service: No. Have I answered all your questions? Would you like to participate in a brief survey to give us valuable feedback about your experience calling our office today?
Me: No. Please connect me with your supervisor.
Customer Service: Certainly, but first, would you like to conveniently pay your premium by phone, using the bank account information in our system, drafted from the account ending in 1234?
Me: No. Like I said, I want to talk to someone who can explain my premium increase.
Customer Service: Please hold while I connect you.
Supervisor: How can I assist you? It is our goal to provide excellent customer service.
Me: That is a wonderful goal. I hope that you can do that for me. I am wondering about my recent rate increase because nothing has been paid under my policy.
Supervisor: Pursuant to HIPPA regulations, I cannot disclose personal information about your health history.
Me: It is my health history. You don’t have to tell me about it. I can tell you that no claims were made or paid. I don’t smoke or drink much or go out with girls who do. I’m healthy as a horse. Why the increase?
Supervisor: It might not be you at all. You are in a pool of all other people, some of whom have very poor health, so we have to raise your rates.
Me: If I had poor health you would not insure me in the first place. Isn’t that why I had to apply and give you my medical history going way back to when I had my tonsils out 45 years ago?
Supervisor: Under the new health insurance laws we will not be able to exclude people and we are required to provide coverage for types of benefits that you might have not purchased in the past, such as maternity benefits.
Me: I’m glad you brought that up. Please do not charge us for maternity coverage. We are past that stage of life.
Supervisor: You must have maternity benefits in your policy. You have no choice.
Me: Just because some 92 year old in Paraguay had a baby doesn’t mean we will. She is in the Guinness Record Book. Do you charge people even older than us for maternity coverage? What if we were 70 or 80 years old?
Supervisor: Then you would be on Medicare.
Me: I can hardly wait.