She does know the proper spelling of the word plum, a fruit produced by a tree of the same name. I recognized the mistake, shortly, before I saw it in newspaper print.
I realize that the word plum was spelled incorrectly, even after a 24-hour rest of the article and more than one or two critiques by yours truly. Shortly before press time was too late to change it.
This may be unbelievable, but it is true. After I submit my articles via computer to "The Brazil Times," I keep thoughts new on my mind, until I see them in print again. I almost know the piece of writing by heart. I review the material until that time.
I was trying to stop an annoying noise occurring in a ceiling fan in the spare bedroom last Thursday evening. I reached up to pull the chain on the fixture and noticed a blade needing to be tightened -- another loose screw.
While on my stepstool, waiting for a screwdriver to be brought to the repair site, I pulled on the metal chain to temporarily turn on the light overhead. The chain with the fancy knob on the end was swinging back and forth and then settled down. I thought of a plumb on a string that we used to hang drywall and wallpaper straight.
Out of nowhere the article boldly tumbled from my store and appeared before me. I saw the word on that screen.
I finished my task, stepped down and brought up the article immediately thereafter. How did Mary Lou spell plum, as in jelly? Obviously, wrong was the right answer to my rhetorical question. I uttered words, "OH, NO! My readers will think that I am that dumb!"
Two friends of mine and faithful readers of "Brazil Buzz" set my mind at ease. I stopped being tough on myself, until next time.
Well, the cake that I made last week was delicious. I heard that it was the best applesauce spice cake and creamy icing that I have ever brought together. I was proud.
The jelly was almost a disappointment. That juiced-up jelly seemed to pass the batch test, but failed to set. Due to a short supply of fruit that the tree dropped up to now this year, this jelly maker decided to add a small amount of apple juice instead of water to the red plum's extracted juice to reach the exact measure needed for the recipe. I measured the sugar and introduced the Sure-Jell to the mixture, as per instructions.
The hot liquid reached the correct temperature and passed the batch test, I thought. Did I measure the sugar accurately or was something else responsible for the failure? My mind ran rampant. I was working hard to make it happen. I was about ready to drop the apron and pitch the ladle or a fit.
Could the mistake be tracked to the jelly lover and Ms. Tootie, the chatty and attention-seeking onlookers.
This country girl has made a lot of jelly in 55 years of marriage and helped at home. I could blame my failures on Jerry Sandusky's trial. CNN reporters were discussing the case, loud and clear, on the TV above the refrigerator. Everyone was waiting for the jury to report their result.
Paul told me to start a fresh batch when more plums were available.
If I agreed, we would destroy the first. I thought my helper discarded the contents of the jars and washed and stored them away. Then, tonight, I added a fresh dozen of eggs to the bottom shelf of our extra refrigerator.
What else was there before these happy old green eyes?
Those little shiny jars of perfectly set red plum jelly lined up for inspection were looking back at me.
Paul and time took care of our problem. With a smile, I opened up a small jar and spread a dollop of jelly on browned bread.
My toast time buddy gave me his lip-smacking seal of approval and all is well!
I am, as Gabby Hayes used to phrase it, after a hectic week, "Plumb tuckered out!"
We are going to the Fourth of July celebration. Paul and I look forward to seeing you in the crowd. I will be the "lady in red wearing a grin." I will be with the youthful, older gentleman that I live with.
Maybe he will stop by the carnival and throw another stuffed bear into my arms again.
Paul went all out and spent $25 on a few soft balls and won a stranger that cherished bear, in August of 1957.
Sailors do that to impress girls. Yep, they will do most everything, short of headstands. He parted the crowd that day so long ago and found me. The rest is history.
The panda was the prize that became a treasure enjoyed by almost all of the children of my family. Fred is 55 years old now. He looks a little rugged now and every so often, his eyes pop out, but he lives on.
I am sure the old fellow and his friend "Bennie Bear" would enjoy a little company. It is my hope that the well-preserved bear and other meaningful mementos of our past will be around for future generations of family to enjoy long after we are gone.
This writer could go on and on during our weekly visits, but I must close for now.
Thanks for the e-mails and phone calls last week. God Bless!
I can be reached by phone at 812-446-4852 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.