April 10th 2012 2:05 pm
[ View A Comments (1) ]
A very big thank you to all my wonderful furiends for the beautiful Easter Eggs and Easter gifts you left on my page.
I hope I have thanked all of you individually, but if for some reason I have missed you it wasn't intentional.
So, once again a very big Thank You from me and my family for our precious gifts.
Love and doggy kisses, Holly. x x x
December 30th 2011 3:17 am
[ View A Comments ]
The most delicious flavor of Southern Ocean Blue Cod served on a bed of mashed sweet potato and mushy peas filled my mouth with great delight as I reached for my glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Howie had decided that as we were childless for a few days it was a great opportunity to travel to St Moritz for some fun in the snow and relaxation.
We were sitting at the dining table on our private jet KKC001 eating our dinner. He was working on some business deal on his laptop, and my thoughts were back home with Howard Jr. I wondered if I should have written Lexi and Zak a list of instructions to accompany him, like I had always done when he was a baby.
"Do you think..................?" I breathed as I looked up at Howie across the table where he was just finishing his huge rare Texas T Bone.
"Howard Jr is just fine Holly," Howie interrupted as he placed his paw on mine, and then added with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, "I've sent Zak 50 texts since we left home and he is giving me a running documentary of Howard Jr's progress - Howard Jr just visited the bathroom, and yes, he washed his paws after the event!"
I sighed as I looked away from him and took a sip of my glass of Sav. It was obvious I was not going to get any sympathy from my husband concerning my motherly worries.
"I booked an appointment for tomorrow at The Women's Spa with Joyti," I said as I decided to change the subject.
"Whatever did you do that for?" Howie asked as he gazed at his PC screen. "I didn't book us into The Kempinski. I've booked us into Badrutt's Palace."
"Howard you know I only like staying........." I gasped in absolute horror. It was too late. I had fallen hook, line, and sinker for an obvious tease, and now Howard was laughing at me like never before.
I ignored his laughter and sipped my Sauvignon Blanc, drifting deep into thoughts of how one day I am going to tease him about something that will make me laugh until my sides ache and tears roll down my cheeks. This hasn't ever happened yet, but I am sure it will one day somewhere in the future.
The fresh Swiss alpine air seemed to sting my cheeks as I walked with Howie from our Lamborghini up the front steps of my old familiar childhood haunt Kempinski Grand Hotel Des Bains. The beautiful snow covered lawns with the tall snow laden pine trees had a charming winter wonderland appearance. Happy childhood memories of this place always fill my mind whenever I return here.
"Miz 'Olleeee," a familiar voice instantly caught my attention and a smile spread across my face as I noted Valentino was still serving on reception, just like he always had.
As the bellboy closed the main door of our suite behind Howie and me, I glanced around the main room where we were, and thought of how the room still smelled the same, had the same bowls of beautiful white orchids that were there when I was a little girl. While Howie always likes far more modern things than me, I love tradition, and this place is a family tradition for me.
Howie walked over to the bar fridge, and a smile creased his lips as he looked inside.
"I suppose there's something to be said for tradition," he remarked as he took out a bottle of his favorite label beer and then sat in one of the comfortable leather chairs beside the fire, "they get it right everytime."
We ate dinner in our suite the first night we were there. The rack of lamb I ordered was so delicious, as were the grilled pears with mascarpone. Our early evening alone together was a wonderful start to our holiday in the mountains as we were both up extremely early the next morning to fit some skiing in before lunch.
My visit to The Women's Spa was everything I wanted it to be, and I wished Joyti could move back to San Fransisco with me and be my fulltime beauty therapist.
It was 8.00pm by the time Howie and I were seated at our table in the Ca d'Oro restaurant where we always dine when we stay there. A smile creased my lips as I gazed into my wonderful husband's eyes across the rim of my champagne flute and I thought of how there could never be any other Dogster Man in my life ever. I suddenly frowned as Howie scribbled something on the back of one of his business cards and whispered in our waiter's ear as he handed it to him. My thoughts went to who else was also eating in the restaurant and I gave a little sigh.
"Prince Fardog usually stays at Badrutt's Palace," I remarked quietly.
"He plays a mean game of cards," Howie remarked as the waiter returned from Prince Fardog's table with another business card that he handed to Howie.
Howie's eyes started to twinkle as he read a message on the back of the business card, and I knew exactly what was probably written there word for word.
"Darling I get the impression that you might feel like playing cards tonight," I commented as our soup was placed in front of us by our waiter.
"No, darling," Howie said as he placed his napkin in his lap. "I just merely thought of cards when I saw Prince Fardog sitting at the table over there." He placed his paw on mine and our eyes met. "I'd never abandon my beautiful wife for a cut throat card game where the guys just sit around wearing their sunglasses, smoking cigars and drinking Cognac."
As I dipped my spoon into my broccoli creme soup my thoughts went to my precious angel mama, and one of her sayings about how to maintain a happy marriage - "Sometimes a woman has to know when to graciously allow her husband the freedom he desires, so that she may enjoy him more when he returns to her."
Howie had not just merely "thought" of cards! He kept glancing over at Prince Fardog's table every now and then during our entire meal.
Finally I couldn't stand this obvious distraction any longer. I leaned back in my chair as the waiter took my main course plate away from in front of me. Howie was absent mindedly playing with the base of his water glass, obviously deep in thought about something!
"Darling I really don't feel like dessert tonight," I told him quietly. "In fact I just feel like an early night if you must know. Maybe you would like to see if Prince Fardog is playing cards tonight if you don't want to turn in just now?"
This brought an instant extremely predictable twinkle into Howie's eyes, and a smile to his face.
The view from the living room window of our suite was simply beautiful as I stood there an hour later gazing over the grounds around the hotel. A smile creased my lips as I turned around and walked into the entrance hall to answer the door. It would be my hot chocolate I had ordered.
"Valentino," I gasped with delight as the older man stood there holding the tray with my hot chocolate on. "I didn't know the senior hotel managers here did room service!"
"Miz 'Olleeee," he said with a beaming grin as we walked into the living room and he placed my hot chocolate on a small table beside one of the leather chairs that was beside the fire, "I only deliver to our most special guests, just to check that they are 'appeee with our service."
Childhood memories of this kind, gentle man flooded my mind as I studied the wrinkled lines of his face.
"Is there anything you wish us to provide for you?" he asked. "You know you only need ask, and it will be so."
My thoughts went to what I wanted right at that moment (apart from having my Howie back with me).
"I just wish I could go for a walk in the grounds," I told him as I thought of the immaculately groomed driveways and paths around the hotel. "The hotel always looks so magnificent late at night in the snow, but I don't think my husband will be finished with his business until real late."
"Valentino will take you then," he said as he gave a tiny bow of his head.
The snow crunched beneath our boots as Valentino and I walked along one of the pathways through the pine trees talking about the hotel, and all that had been going on there since my last visit. I gently pulled the hood of my fur cloak around my ears, it seemed so cold.
"You must miss your beautiful mama," Valentino commented as we walked along. "She was a very beautiful, gracious lady, who was loved by all."
My thoughts went to mama, and of all the happy memories I had of her at this place.
"Did you notice that your friend Prince Fardog is staying 'ere at the present?" Valentino asked quietly.
I sighed quietly as I thought back to the day Valentino picked me up from the bottom of one of the marble staircases near the reception desk, Prince Fardog having carelessly knocked me down about half a dozen of the stairs with his ski poles.
"I had noticed him in the dining room tonight," I replied quietly.
"He has just remarried for the fourth time," Valentino continued. "His new wife is a beautiful French poodle named Gigi."
My thoughts went to how Prince Fardog's father had been friends with my father, and of how our two families had sometimes gone on vacation together when I was young. The family seemed to have an obsession with holidaying on luxury yatchs in the mediterranean. Prince Fardog, somewhat older than me, had always had a different girlfriend almost everytime I had met up with him.
"The Prince has always had the most beautiful women," I remarked as I noticed a snowflake falling from the sky.
"True," Valentino agreed as he looked up at the soft flakes that were starting to fall from the sky, "but the most beautiful young woman of all was never meant to be his to have." His kind eyes met mine for a fleeting second. "You were the cutest of all little girls," he continued, "and you have grown into the most exquisitely beautiful young woman ever. Your mama was a very beautiful woman, but I think that your beauty surpasses even hers."
I blushed as we stopped walking and stood at the end of the long straight driveway that leads up to the main hotel entrance. It had a castle like appearance with it's blue window shutters, iron balconies and towers, as it stood amongst the flood lights in the falling snow. There was only one thing missing at that moment, and that was Howie. I so wished he had been there to slide his big muscly arm around me and place a tender kiss on my head.
"How is your family?" I asked Valentino as we started to walk down the long driveway towards the hotel.
When we arrived back inside the hotel we went and sat in one of the private lounges, drank the most delicious hot chocolate, and continued to reminisce on days gone by at the hotel, those who had worked there as well as those who visited. I think it was about 2am by the time I returned to my suite and went to bed after a most happy, pleasant evening.
The sound of someone stumbling through the bedroom doorway in the dark woke me up with a start, and I could smell the distinct aroma of cigar smoke.
"Howie, what time is it?" I gasped as I turned the bedside light on just as he sat down on the side of the bed.
"I think it's about 5am," Howie replied as he turned around on the bed to face me and started to pull his shoe off.
It was then that I noticed the sparkle in his eyes, and the huge grin of immense satisfaction on his face.
"I guess you won big at cards?" I asked as he lay down on the bed beside me and undid the buttons on his shirt.
"Did you know that you are now the owner of a luxury yatch, Mrs Howard?" he asked with a chuckle as he looked up at me with one of his charming schoolboy expressions.
"You won a boat?" I gasped in shock.
"It's a yatch, not a just a boat," Howie replied with a grin. "I tried to get him to bet his best luxury yatch, but he wouldn't. This is only his third best one, and it's kept at the marina in Montenegro."
I started to giggle as I thought of how Prince Fardog probably owns at least half a dozen luxury yatchs and keeps them in the finest marina's all over the world.
"I think my wonderful husband played some very good cards tonight," I told him as I ran my paw through his hair and studied his handsome face.
"Hmmmmm, I think I did," he murmured as our eyes met. "However, the whole time I was playing cards I kept thinking of how all I really wanted was to be with you going for a walk in the snow, and drinking hot chocolate beside the fire before we went to bed."
"Awwww Howie," I whispered as I placed a tiny loving kiss on his brow, and thought of mama's words of advice, "have I told you lately just how much I love you?"
Howie grinned as he took his cellphone out of his pocket and brought up pictures of the most beautiful luxury yatch in the marina at Montenegro.
"You can never tell me that you love me too often Holly," he said as he held out his phone to me. "Maybe you'd like to tell me a whole lot more if I extend our vacation so as we can go and check out this yatch."
A huge grin spread across my face and my heart started to race with excitement as I sat there studying the most beautiful luxury yatch I had ever seen.
"Do you think Lexi and Zak would mind if Howard Jr stays with them for another week?" I asked as I noted the jacuzzi on the top deck.
December 29th 2011 2:52 am
[ View A Comments (2) ]
This year's festive season seemed so different for me and Howard, remembering that Christmas last year was Howard Jr's first ever. Howard Jr was only a rather new baby puppy a year ago, and Christmas didn't even seem to register with him.
This year was entirely different and he was right in the festive mood from the beginning of December expecting Santa Paws to appear down the chimney of the enclosed gas fire of our penthouse.
Christmas morning arrived, as did both Howie's and my families at a very early hour. We all spent a very happy day together, eating, drinking and finally just on midnight all our spare bed rooms and sofas were filled with contented family members drifting off to sleep.
The next morning Patsy Marie, Kitty Kitty, Ashley and Angel were up very early to go to the sales. Crystal and Georgi were up next and they left for the airport to catch a flight to England where they were going to be staying at Alfredo's castle with him for the next month. Crystal invited Monnie to join them, and she did so with virtually no persuasion at all! Bubba managed to drag a very sleepy Xena out of bed next (with the help of some very strong coffee), and they left for Texas to spend the rest of the holiday season with his family. Teddy took Bubba's lead after that and managed to entice Jessi out of bed to catch a flight for New York where they were going to be visiting some of their friends. Simon and Ree Ree left next with Duke and Tony for a skiing trip to the mountains. Zak and Lexi finally left for Zak's ranch taking a very excited Roscoe and Howard Jr with them.
Howie shut the door of the penthouse after we said farewell to those last to leave, I had made sure that Howard Jr had packed his toothbrush, made him promise to shower everyday, change into fresh clean clothes every day, remember his manners at all times, keep his teeth clean and floss before I kissed him goodbye.
Howie's beautiful dark eyes met mine, and the silence in our home suddenly registered with both of us.
"Hmmmmm, it seems we are alone at last," he murmured as he glanced up at a large bunch of mistletoe and ribbon hanging from the ceiling above us.
A grin suddenly spread across my face as I noted the twinkle in Howie's eye.
"Hmmmmm, I could mull some of that beautiful red wine we have while I make a delicious turkey pie from some of the Christmas dinner leftovers," I told him as I slid my paws around his neck and gazed into those beautiful eyes of his. "I could make that left over Christmas Pudding into an Apple Strudel too, and we could sit and eat our lunch in front of the fire."
"That sounds just perfect," Howie told me as he placed a tender kiss ontop of my head.
The cold wind outside blew the misty rain against the window panes later that day, not that it bothered Howie and me. We were too busy eating Turkey pie, and sipping mulled wine as we sat snuggled up to each other in front of the fire reminiscing about all the wonderful Christmas Days long since past.
November 15th 2011 7:47 pm
[ View A Comments (1) ]
The rain was falling outside this past Sunday. The wind was driving the rain onto the huge floor to ceiling glass wall of windows and doors that face out onto the main balcony of Howie's and my penthouse to where our swimming pool and entertaining area is.
Howie and I were snuggling up in the pit infront of the fire sipping some mulled wine that I had made earlier.
Howard Jr was very conspicuous by his absence, Crystal having taken him and Georgi to a children's matinee theater production.
It was such a peaceful, wonderful Sunday afternoon.
I smiled with contentment as I felt Howie's big strong arms around me and closed my eyes as I nestled into him.
"Just think," he said softly as he stroked my hair, "this time last year Howard Jr hadn't been born."
"Just think," I murmured as I breathed in his beautiful cologne and thought of how much I love him, "this time two years ago yesterday you asked me to marry you."
"That was a very special day," Howie remarked as he went to sip his mulled wine.
"Mmmmm," I murmured in agreement as I opened my eyes and stirred my mulled wine with my cinnamon stick.
"Last Thanksgiving was our very first Thanksgiving as husband and wife," Howie remarked as he gazed at the gas flames flickering in the grate.
"It was a wonderful Thanksgiving," I said as I took a sip of my mulled wine, "although I didn't enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner that much because I felt so sick with having Howard Jr."
I thought of how we had invited all of our family and friends to the penthouse to help celebrate our first Thanksgiving dinner as a couple.
Thoughts of how grateful I had been for Xena and Ashley also came readily to mind. They had both been so sweet in giving up the whole day before to help me do all the preparation, and then both of them had worked tirelessly from very early on Thanksgiving morning to late in the evening cooking and serving food virtually all day.
All our family had stayed over for Thanksgiving night and Howie had let off fireworks on our main balcony after dark.
Thanksgiving dinner last year had surpassed even my expectations of grandeur, especially as Crystal had flown in from Europe the day before with Georgi and Alfredo and they had insisted on decorating the apartment for the occasion.
Duke had insisted on providing cocktails for us all to enjoy as well.
"It will be my pleasure to contribute to the celebration," he had told me with one of his charming smiles.
"Do you remember Duke's cocktails he made last Thanksgiving?" I asked Howie as I watched the flames flickering in the grate. "I really loved that delicious "Indian Summer" one he made just for me."
Howie chuckled as memories of the day obviously came to mind.
"They were something else," he commented, "especially those "Cold Turkey" ones. I remember Zak telling him the "Pilgrim's Peace Pipe," made the hairs in his ears grow several inches, and Teddy was convinced the "Pumpkin Patch" had chilli powder in it!"
"Duke said they were all secret cocktail recipes," I commented as I thought of how he wouldn't tell anyone what he had put in them.
Ree Ree and Jessi had bought a small gift for everyone and lovingly placed them at everyone's place at our very long dinner table in the formal dining room.
"I loved those little gifts that we all received," I said as I thought of the beautiful porcelein pilgrim's hat ornament I had received that had "Our First Thanksgiving" written on the hat band in gold lettering. It now sits in the large china cabinet that takes up a whole wall at the far end of our formal living room.
Howie smiled, sighed and leaned back as his beautiful dark brown eyes met mine.
"Tony, Ashley and Xena had a whole lot of fun that night," he said with a grin. "The SingStar got a right workout."
I laughed as I thought of them taking turns singing and dancing in our livingroom like they were super stars.
"Jessi enjoyed it too," I added as memories of her singing Lady Gaga songs came readily to mind.
"She did," Howie agreed as affectionate thoughts of his sister came readily to mind.
I sipped the last of my mulled wine and thought of how wonderful a Thanksgiving we will have this year, of how we are so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends we have in our life. Howie and I are so thankful we have so many to be thankful for, and of how each precious one of them makes our lives all the more wonderful.
We are particularly thankful though for the fact that he and I love each other, and have Howard Jr to make our own little family complete.
October 4th 2011 2:30 am
[ View A Comments (1) ]
It was my furbrother Zak's wedding the Sunday before last and he married my good friend Lexi in the most beautiful ceremony on a beach at Chania Crete.
Lexi was my Maid of Honor at my wedding when Howard and I got married early last year, and I am so pleased that she is my new sister in law. We have been friends for a very long time. Lexi spreads smiles where ever she goes, and how could you not love someone like that?
Howard was Best Man for my brother and I was one of Lexi's four bridesmaids, as was Xena. Georgi was a flower girl along with sweet little Jazzi, and Howard Jr was the ring bearer. I must confess at having to cast a motherly frown at my son a couple of times during the wedding as he kicked sand over his cousin Georgi's feet during the ceremony. His father also gave him a fatherly frown on at least one occasion.
The whole wedding was simply divine with our dear friend Snoopy and his team doing the catering.
Everyone had a wonderful time, especially Lexi and Zak as it was their very special day.
Thank you so much to all our friends and family that helped make it such a wonderful day.
July 11th 2011 12:17 am
[ View A Comments ]
"How much longer is it?" Howard Jr demanded from the back seat of Howard's SUV in a very whining tone as we drove down the interstate highway.
"It's just around the corner," Howard Snr replied with a chuckle.
"Daddy you say that all the time," Howard Jr whined from his puppy carseat, "I know that this is a highway, and there are NO corners," he added in a very cross tone.
The conversation quite went over my head for once as I gazed in a very preoccupied state out the passengers seat window. My thoughts were on Howard Jr and of how he had become very unhappy with having to ride his pony on a leading rein lately. I had learnt to ride on a leading rein as a child and this had been a very safe satisfactory way that my father had used to teach me how to ride. My thoughts then went to my two horses Napoleon the huge warmblood and Magic my arab mare that were in our horse trailer behind us. Howard Jr's fat naughty shetland pony Buzz was in the front of the trailer too, and I thought of how the agistment staff at the stables where we keep them are continuously complaining about him. Howard Jr's pony can escape from anywhere and find the oat bucket it seems!
It wasn't so much the horses that were preoccupying my thoughts - it was Xena my sister!
Xena has fallen in love with Bubba, and Bubba's ranch in Texas was our destination. Bubba invited Howie, me and Howard Jr to spend a couple of days at his ranch in Texas with him and Xena.
As I think back Bubba and Xena have always liked each other. They have danced with each other at The Kit Kat Club dances for well over a year now. Bubba and Xena have been very good friends, and Bubba has always been so kind to Xena and supportive of her whenever things haven't gone right for her.
Bubba has always been there for Xena.
Bubba is an older, distinguished man, a Texas gentleman with a huge heart.
A smile creased my lips as I glanced at Howie and thought of how much I love him, and how he is so perfect for me - Howie being an older distinguished man.
Xena and Bubba were there to greet us when we arrived at Bubba's ranch, and in no time we were saddled up and ready to ride. Bubba and Xena wanted to show us around his ranch, and had planned an overnight trail ride for us.
"Why does Buzz have to have that safety rein?" Howard Jr complained as I fastened a safety rein from the top of Howard Jr's stirrup, put it over Buzz's neck and fastened it to the bit on the other side of his neck.
"To stop him trying to eat grass and buck," I calmly replied as I thought of how demanding Howard Jr had become just lately.
"Why do I have to wear this yukky safety helmet and this yukky vest?" Howard Jr complained once more and then his little face went white as I took a leading rein and clipped it to Buzz's halter.
"Not the leading rein," Howard Jr wailed as he burst into tears. "I'm too big for the leading rein."
I was so grateful when Howard snr slid off Napoleon and walked up to Howard Jr and promptly laid the law down to him. The safety helmet, vest with shoulder pads and built in back protector, plus the leading rein were all for Howard Jr's safety after all.
Howard smiled as he placed a gentle kiss on my forehead and helped me mount Magic.
"Bubba and Xena sure are in love!" Howard remarked as he glanced at Bubba and Xena sitting on their horses side by side, gazing into each other's eyes.
"They sure do seem to be!" I remarked as I looked up and noticed Bubba giving Xena a passionate kiss.
Howard just shook his head, got back on Napoleon, and away we went riding out of the corral. Howard rode beside Bubba, and Xena rode the other side of Bubba. Bubba had a packhorse with all our gear on a lead rein behind him, and I rode beside the packhorse with Howard Jr and Buzz on the leading rein.
It was a beautiful summer day without a breath of wind and I enjoyed riding along through the green grassy meadows of a very big valley. Howard and Bubba were talking about the ranch as we rode along. Xena and Bubba kept giving each other loving looks, and Xena was riding her horse so close to Bubba's they were holding paws!
My patience as a mother was being tested to it's limits however, and all I heard was a barrage of questions from Howard Jr. I never realised just how painful questions starting with "WHY" HOW" WHEN" and "WHERE" could become, and then there was the continual complaining about what he was wearing and the leading rein.
"Why can't I wear a cowboy hat like everyone else?" he whined. "Why can't I not have the leading rein so as I can ride beside my daddy? I want to ride with my daddy."
There would be a short sulky silence and then it would all start over again. I decided that I was just wasting my time trying to reason with him!
We stopped at a beautiful little stream and enjoyed a delicious picnic lunch under the shade of the trees.
Howard Jr was very pleased to take his protective riding gear off and play in the stream.
Xena lay with her head in Bubba's lap, and I lay with my head in Howie's lap as I kept a watchful eye on Howard Jr.
It was such a lovely day, my eyes closed for just a moment and Howie woke me up by gently shaking my shoulder.
"Sweetie, you fell asleep," he told me as he helped me to my feet. I yawned as I stood up and saw that everyone was getting on their horses, except for Howard Jr who was sitting on Buzz wearing his small stetson and no protective riding gear - the leading rein was gone and was nowhere to be seen!
"Howard!" I gasped in shock as I looked up at him with immense concern.
"Bubba and I had a talk about things," Howard told me. "Howard Jr is a good little rider, and we both think he will be OK if he rides with us off the leading rein."
Xena rode up beside me with my horse and handed me the reins.
"It's our turn to ride with the packhorse," she said with a smile.
"OK," I said reluctantly as I glanced at Howard Snr, Howard jr, and then at Xena. I mounted Magic and we all rode off down the trail once more.
"Howard Jr was always going to be highly independent with you and Howard for his parents," Xena commented as we rode along.
"I was never demanding when I was young," I told her somewhat indignantly.
Xena chuckled at this as she shortened the pack horses leading rein.
"Holly, mama used to say that you were the MOST demanding ever!" she said with a grin.
I decided that as this conversation was going nowhere I would change the subject immediately.
We rode single file up a steep rocky trail up a hillside and then when we got to the top there was a beautiful wide open meadow with some trees in the distance to the left.
"That's where the cabin is," Xena told me as she pointed to the trees.
I was just about to reply when there was an almighty squeal from Howard Jr, and my heart froze.
Buzz all of a sudden had reared, bucked and then bolted into a frantic gallop out into the open meadow with Howard Snr and Bubba in hot pursuit.
"OMD!" I gasped tearfully as I watched Howard Jr and Buzz become a little brown dot on the horizon.
"He'll be OK," Xena said calmly. "I never fell off any of my ponies when they bolted. It just made me a better rider." She leaned over and took one of my reins and led my horse alongside hers. "Bubba and Howard will catch him and he'll be OK. We'd better get to the cabin. light the fire and start cooking the dinner before it gets dark."
I tried to wipe my tears away as I thought of Howard Jr on his bolting shaggy pony. I just knew he would be terrified and would want me, and only me, his mother.
We arrived at the rustic log cabin that was in a clearing in the trees. A small stream meandered slowly though the trees out into the clearing.
Xena and I set about sweeping it out, lighting the fire in the big wood stove and unpacking the pack horse.
The cabin consisted of a main dining/kitchen area with a large bunkroom on one side and a smaller bunkroom and a bathroom on the other side. The water came from a pipe that went out into the stream further up, and the hot water was heated by the fire in the woodstove.
Xena unpacked a huge pork belly and smiled as she got two big roasting pans out of one of the cupboards. She prepared the main course while I made one of mama's old fashioned recipes for dessert, caramel dumplings with stewed apples. Howard Jr seemed to weigh heavily on my mind, and I wondered if he was alright as tears filled my eyes. I looked at the apples that were left over after I had made the dessert and left it on the kitchen table ready to go into the oven when the roast pork and vegetables came out. Applesauce goes perfectly with roast pork, so I started to make some while Xena was out getting some more firewood.
The apples came to the boil and then I added the butter and sugar.
"Mmmmmmmmm, applesauce," Xena said as she walked into the cabin with a basket of firewood. "Do you remember mama's poem?"
"Of course I do," I replied as I tried to wipe my tears away.
"I love you more than applesauce,
than peaches and a plum,
than cherry tarts and chocolate hearts,
than berry bubble gum."
I didn't realize it, but when I looked down at the pot that had the applesauce in it, my tears had fallen into it!
"OMD!" I gasped. "I've been crying into the applesauce and now it will be ruined!"
Xena took the pot from my paw, quickly stirred it and put it back onto the top of the wood stove.
"It'll be fine," she told me as she took the roasting dishes out of the oven. "It's just applesauce made with real love, that's all."
At that moment Howard Jr burst through the cabin door.
"Mama," he squealed as he ran up to me and threw his arms around me, "I had such a pawesome time with daddy and Bubba."
Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks as I hugged my precious son ever so tightly. He was safe and sound, and all my worrying about him had been for nothing.
We all sat down to a most delicious meal of the tenderest roast pork with lots of crunchy crackling, roast potatoes, pumpkin, yams and steamed broccoli with gravy and applesauce as Howard and Bubba told us how Howard Jr had stayed on Buzz as he galloped in a panic across the meadow. A bee had landed on Buzz and stung him on the rump which had made him rear and buck with fright.
Once Buzz had calmed down they all had a most enjoyable time riding around the valley - Howard Jr even finding some cattle to herd!
"Mama may I please have some more applesauce?" Howard Jr asked as he reached for the jug. "This applesauce is the most delicious I've ever tasted."
Xena smiled as her eyes met mine and she poured some more applesauce onto Howard Jr's plate.
"That's because your mama made it," she told him, "and it was made with lots and lots of love, along with a special ingredient just for you."
Much later as I snuggled down into my sleeping bag beside Howard I nestled up beside him and smiled as I lay my head on his chest and listened to his heart beating.
"You really shouldn't have worried about Little Howie," he whispered as he stroked my hair.
"I suppose I just can't help it," I said as I thought of how Howard Jr was tucked up fast asleep in his sleeping bag on one of the mattresses nearby.
"You are such a wonderful mother," Howard whispered as he placed a gentle kiss on the top of my head. His big strong arms folded around me, and before I knew it we were kissing each other longingly, snuggling so close.
"Mama, I'm cold," a small voice suddenly echoed around the room. "I'm cold, and I want a drink. Can I sleep in your sleeping bag with you?"
Howard sighed wearily and rolled over in his sleeping bag as two tiny icy cold paws pressed against my cheeks.
I unzipped my sleeping bag, climbed out, put Howard Jr into it and then dutifully went to get him a drink, all the while remembering a very special, precious poem;
"I love you more than applesauce,
than peaches and a plum,
than cherry tarts and chocolate hearts,
than berry bubblegum."
June 27th 2011 12:50 am
[ View A Comments (2) ]
The sensation of someone gently shaking my shoulder this last Sunday as I dreamed I was in the sky sleeping on a soft fluffy cloud seemed annoying to say the least.
"Holly, wake up," Xena's voice softly intruded in my dream.
Ever so sleepily I grabbed the robe she handed me, and staggered into the penthouse living room leaving Howie and Howard Jr sleeping peacefully in our bed.
I sighed as Xena sat me down at the small dining table in the kitchen nook, took the cup of coffee she handed me and looked outside into the herb garden courtyard.
A mass of empty bottles sat on the kitchen sink bench, both of the dishwasher drawers were going, and Xena was spraying sanitzer and cleaning everywhere.
Howard's sister Jessi had gotten married the day before, and Howard and I had hosted a huge afterparty at the penthouse. This combined with my having to look after Howard Jr who got a stomach ache from eating too much cake at the wedding all night had quite deprived me of sleep.
"Where is everyone?" I asked Xena as I glanced at the time and noted it was nearly 4.00pm.
Xena chuckled as she leaned against the kitchen sink bench and sipped her coffee.
"Patsy Marie, Ashley and I cooked a huge brunch and woke everyone up at 11am," she replied with a grin. "Everyone had left by about 1.00pm. Ashley and I changed all the sheets on the spare beds, cleaned the bathrooms and tidied all the spare rooms for you," she added as she untied her long black hair from the ponytail she had it in. "We filled 4 bags of sheets and towels for the laundry."
"Thank you sweetheart," I said as I stood up from the table and hugged her. A tiny tear filled the corner of my eye as I thought of what a wonderful, kind sister Xena is. She is always so thoughtful, and family means everything to her.
"Can you please wake Howard Jr up and dress him?" she asked as she glanced at her watch. "I've got tickets to take him and Georgi to the dinnertime movies, and then I'm going to take them to The Puppyland Diner for supper. Crystal and Alfredo are flying to Los Angeles for a Gala performance tonight, so I told Crystal I'd have Georgi and Howard Jr for a sleepover at my place."
I smiled as I went and woke Howard Jr, got him ready to go out and then kissed him goodbye as Xena and he disappeared out the penthouse frontdoor.
Howard's big strong arms folded around me as I stood there in the penthouse entrancehall.
"Happy anniversary baby," he whispered in my ear as he placed a gentle kiss on my neck.
"Howie, you remembered we were married 15 months ago today," I squealed with delight as I slid around in his arms and gazed into his gorgeous dark brown eyes.
"Would I ever forget?" he murmured as he reached over to one of the entrance hall tables and presented me with a Van Dogg dress box.
"For me," I gasped as I opened it and lifted out the most exquisite red silk evening gown.
"And these are to match," Howie said as he held out the most beautiful pair of red satin Jimmy Choos.
An hour later I was sitting beside Howie in our limo. He was talking business with a fur on his cellphone - as always, and had Duke on visual conference at the same time.
I wondered where Howie was taking me to dinner, and noted that the limo was taking the route to the airport. Maybe we were going to be joining Crystal and Alfredo at the Gala performance in Los Angeles, or maybe we were going to fly to our special romantic city of Rome.
We drove into the airport, past the big KKC hangar where Howie's 3 jets were parked, to the helicoptor area of the airport.
This filled me with confusion as to our dinner destination as Howie helped me into a helicoptor.
A smile of immense satisfaction creased Howie's lips as he reached under the seat and pulled out a pair of my gym shoes.
"Sorry darling, but the Jimmy Choos will have to be replaced for our dinner destination," he told me.
I wanted to ask him where we were going, but knew he would only laugh and not tell me, so I took my beautiful new Jimmy Choos off and put my gym shoes on.
The sun was just setting on the horizon as the helicoptor landed at our destination which was the top of a very flat hill. The sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean in the west, and the rocky mountains dominated the skyline to the east.
Bamboo torches formed a circle around a small dining table for two, a grand piano complete with pianist, a string quartet, a dinner buffet, and two waiters dressed in formal attire. I noted another two helicoptors in the fading light that were over the far side of the bamboo torches.
To say that I was totally speechless would be an underestimation of exactly how I felt as Howie stepped from the helicoptor, took my paw, gazed into my eyes and started to sing to me as the pianist played the opening chords of a very special Lionel Richie song "Lady."
"Lady, I’m your knight in shining armor and I love you
You have made me what I am and I am yours
My love, there’s so many ways I want to say I love you
Let me hold you in my arms forever more"
Howie led me by the paw over to the table where he pulled my chair out for me, and the wine waiter was there instantly pouring Dom Perignon into the exquisite crystal champagne flutes on the table.
Howie's paw slid across the table ontop of mine as we gazed into each other's eyes, the musicians continued to play "Lady" in the background and our champagne flutes gently touched together.
It was such a perfect evening. There wasn't a breath of wind, and the moon rose above the rocky mountains into the clear starry sky above us. Scented candles flickered on our table for two and the musicians played the most romantic music softly in the background.
Hot fresh dinner rolls were the perfect accompaniment for the thick creamy seafood chowder. The raw oyster and blue fin tuna entree was so succulent I wished for more. How more perfect could the main course of the Alaskan salmon served on a bed of spinach and couscous with the most intoxicating sauce have been? Never a real fan of seafood, Howie had a massive T Bone steak. The Creme Brulee was simply divine, and by the time the cheese board was placed on the table I simply couldn't even look at it.
Howie gently took me by the paw, and as I stood up from the table I found myself in his big strong arms dancing so close on the hilltop under the clear starry sky.
The piano and string quartet instantly started playing Lionel Richie's "Lady" once more as we danced so close, so slow together. Howie sang to me as he held me in his big strong arms. I nestled my head against his big strong muscly chest and closed my eyes as he sang "Lady" to me. I thought of how I love him more than anyone or anything - so totally lost in him and his love for me. Could anything ever have been so romantic, so perfect as this evening?
"Lady, your love’s the only love I need
And beside me is where I want you to be
’cause, my love, my love, there’s somethin’ I want you to know
You’re the love of my life, of my life, you’re my lady
you're my lady."
June 16th 2011 4:27 pm
[ View A Comments ]
Howard had decided that it was long over due that Howard Jr catch his first ever fish, and learn to climb a tree.
I must confess I had severe reservations about this as his mother, and quietly expressed this as we drove to a log cabin beside a lake up a picturesque valley.
"What if he gets dirty and catches a chill?" I asked Howard while I pulled a little cotton travel rug over Howard Jr's legs as he slept in his puppy car seat. "What if he falls out of a tree and gets concussion?"
"That's highly unlikely," Howard chuckled as he shook his head and grinned at me. "The boy needs to learn to be a real boy, that there is a whole world of mud, trees to climb, and excitement outside of our penthouse and the city."
I frowned as I sat back down in the passengers seat of Howard's SUV and thought of how it was obviously no use discussing things any further with Howard as to what I felt was right for our son. He really had his mind set on spending the weekend at a log cabin by a lake where we could go fishing.
We spent our first night in the little log cabin which would have fitted into our living room at the penthouse with room to spare! It seemed a little cold and rustic to my way of thinking.
Howard and Howard Jr were up early, and went and hired a boat and some fishing gear down at the lake while I made a picnic lunch.
I was horrified to see the state of Howard Jr's clothes when I walked down to the lake jetty to where Howard was loading the fishing gear into the boat.
"What have you been doing?" I gasped in horror as I tried to wipe some of the mud off Howard Jr's trouser knees.
"Just playing," Howard Jr replied.
I sighed as I started to rub some more mud off his trousers, and that was when I noticed there was a lump moving in his jacket pocket.
"What do you have in your pocket?" I asked as I stared at it.
"Just something," Howard Jr replied as he glanced at Howard. "Daddy said I can keep it for the day."
"Get onboard sweetie," Howard told me as he held his paw out to me.
Howard Jr and I climbed down onto the boat and in no time at all we were heading out across the lake in the little boat.
The sun was shining above us, and the water was like a mill pond as Howard put the boat anchor down over the far side of the lake near the reeds.
Howard Jr seemed most fascinated by a tin of very smelly worms that he and Howard Snr said was the bait to catch the fish.
"I got you some plastic bait sweetie," Howard told me as he held a pink fishing pole out to me. I took the fishing pole from him as I stared in horror at Howard Jr trying to put a wriggling red worm onto a fishing hook and thought of how dangerous it looked. Howard took over and put the bait on the hook for him.
It was such a lovely summer day. I looked over to the hills that were covered with rows of grapevines, and thought of how I would much rather be sitting in the garden of a winery restaurant than in a small boat with a smelly can of fishing worms.
Howard was showing Howard Jr all the basic points of fishing, and it wasn't too long before Howard Snr. caught a huge fish.
The heat of the sun made me feel rather sleepy, and I felt my eyes closing under my sunhat.
A shrill squeal woke me up with a start and I opened my eyes to see Howard Jr holding a small wriggling fish on the end of his line.
"Mama, I caught a fish," he squealed as he held it under my nose.
"That's nice darling," I replied as I gently pushed it away.
"We'll get the fur at the fishing shop to put it on a special board so you can hang it on your bedroom wall," Howard told him.
I glanced at the fish bin and noted about half a dozen good sized cat fish in there that Howard had obviously caught.
Howard went to put Howard Jr's fish in there after he had taken it off the hook.
"No daddy!" Howard Jr screamed in alarm. "Don't put my fish in there. I want to hold my fish."
"OK," Howard relented, and so Howard Jr sat down and started to play with his fish.
I glanced at the winery up on the hill and thought of how it seemed even more attractive. They have safe, clean puppy play areas at winery restaurants!
"OMD!" I gasped as I looked back at Howard Jr. He was eating the fishing worms!
After we had eaten our picnic lunch Howard Jr went and lay down on the seat in the boat cabin. It seemed as if he wouldn't be parted from his fish! I placed his rug over him and felt grateful that he was having an afternoon nap.
Howard sat on the seat at the back of the boat eating a piece of cake, and I felt grateful that we were going to be going back to the jetty where the hire boats were once we had finished our lunch.
"Isn't this the life?" Howard asked as I handed him a cup of iced tea. "My dad used to take me fishing when I was young, and they were some of the best times ever."
"Do you think we could have lunch at the winery tomorrow?" I asked trying to change the subject.
"Of course sweetie," Howard said as I sat down beside him.
I glanced at my pink fishing pole and felt a sense of immense relief that I had been spared catching a fish, as I packed the picnic basket up.
I took my fishing pole and went to wind in the line. It felt like it was caught on something, but then I felt it move.
"Howie, there's something wrong with my fishing pole," I told him as I stood up. "It feels like it's stuck on something."
"It might be a fish," Howard said with a grin as he slid his arm around me. "Reel it in sweetie."
"Can you please?" I pleaded as I turned around to face him.
"No," Howie said with a grin. "The rule is you reel your own fish in."
I just looked at him in horror, as I thought of some live, wriggling fish coming over the side of the boat towards me when I got it out of the water.
The task of reeling my fish in seemed extremely hard as my fishing pole bent over the side of the boat into the water.
"I don't think it's a fish," I said as the thing on the end of my line seemed more like a dead weight.
"Maybe it's just a log from the bottom of the lake," Howard suggested as he leaned back against the side of the boat and soaked up the warm sun.
My intense wish that whatever was on the end of my line being a log diminished as I felt it try and swim away towards the reeds.
Trying to reel whatever it was in was so hard as the thing on the end of my fishing line seemed so heavy. Finally I could see something big and black coming up towards the top of the water. Howard got the fishing net ready to scoop the fish out of the water.
I let out the most frightening scream as all of a sudden a huge, long black slimy thing with big black eyes flipped past the fishing net into the boat.
"Howie, what is it?" I screamed in fright as I jumped into his arms and clung to him as I shook like a leaf.
"It's an eel," Howard told me as he grabbed it with the fishing cloth and took the hook out of it's mouth.
"Mama I like catfish and french fries," Howard Jr said as we sat at the dinner table in the log cabin that evening.
The fire was crackling in the living room and the whole cabin felt warm and cozy.
"Mama always cooks the best food," Howard said as he reached for the ketchup. "She caught the biggest fish too."
"That thing isn't a fish to my way of thinking," I remarked as I thought of how the fur at the fishing shop put my eel in the smoke house to smoke it for us, along with mounting Howard Jr's first fish on a trophy plaque so that he could hang it on his bedroom wall when we went home. Howard Jr had cried terribly when he had to hand his fish over at the fishing shop, but seemed to have recovered now.
A frown creased my brow as I watched him get down from the dinner table and run over to his jacket which was lying across the arm of a chair in the living room. He had a piece of french fry that he slid into one of the pockets.
"Why are you putting a piece of french fry into your jacket pocket?" I asked curiously.
"To feed my pet," Howard Jr replied as he glanced at his father.
"Pet!" I gasped anxiously as I glanced at Howard Snr. who promptly looked the other way.
"Yes, his name is Sammy," Howard Jr told me as he ran up to the table with something long and thin in his paw. "Sammy the snake."
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah," I screamed as Howard Jr promptly placed a little green snake on the table by my dinner plate.
"It's OK sweetie, it's only a garter snake," Howard Snr told me. "I had one when I was young and they are..............."
I didn't hear the rest of what Howard was saying as I had just fainted in shock and fallen off my chair.
May 29th 2011 6:20 pm
[ View A Comments ]
The feeling of lying snuggled into Howie's huge muscly arms seemed like absolute bliss as I drifted into the most peaceful sleep after our wonderful romantic evening in Rome.
My blissful sleep was suddenly shattered by Howard's cell phone ringing!
"Yeah," Howie drawled rather sleepily as he answered the call.
I sighed as I sat up and looked at the time. It was midnight and I could tell that it was Duke's voice on the other end of the call. This would only mean one thing - work for Howie when we were trying to get away from everything to be alone together.
"How would you like to do some shopping in Hong Kong sweetie?" Howie asked as he sat up, turned the light on and went to get out of bed.
I sat up and tucked my legs under my arms under the white cotton sheet.
"But............" I started to say.
"Honey it's like this," Howie said as he sat back down beside me and folded his arms around me. "If I don't keep making money there will be no Kit Kat Club, no private jet, no luxury penthouse, no designer wardrobe, no limos and Ferrari's, and I don't know who will pay for Howard Jr's education."
It was just after 6pm at night when we arrived at our suite on the 26th floor of our hotel. I felt grateful that Howie and I had both managed to sleep most of the 11 1/2 hour flight from Rome. I quickly opened my suitcase, pulled out a long black gown, and started to get ready to go out to dinner with Howie to the Happy Valley Racecourse where he was meeting Mr Xui Xin the Shar Pei he had come to discuss business with.
While I waited for Howie who was on a conference call to join me I called housekeeping.
"Please send these to the laundry," I told the maid as I handed her a bag of Howie's and my laundry.
"Me send Wishy Washy," the maid told me.
WISHY WASHY! I frowned as I closed the door and wondered if that was what furs in Hong Kong called the laundry.
I was most surprised to see on the way to the racecourse a huge laundry on the ground floor of a building that had "Wishy Washy Laundry" in bright lights above the door.
"Howie, there's the Wishy Washy!" I gasped in surprise. "It's a real place!"
Howie just smiled as he glanced at me as he talked to Duke on his cellphone.
I thought of how hard my gorgeous man works and snuggled up beside him.
Happy Valley Racecourse has to be the most unbelievable race course in the whole world. It ooozes wealth of the most unbelievable kind, and the money bet in one evening more often than not exceeds all the money bet at a racecourse for a whole year in the western world.
I felt so nervous as Howie and I were escourted from a lift into a huge expensively decorated room where there was a dining area, huge balcony, and lounge with lots of TV screens where you could see the horses racing and a betting counter. The men all wore what seemed to be identical suits, and most of them looked as though they were clones of each other to my eyes.
However, the women were all different. They were immaculately dressed in the most expensive designer gowns, and bedecked with jewels to Africa.
I glanced down at my Stefan Van Dogg creation that I was wearing, and thought of the diamonds I was wearing. My diamonds seemed smaller than the women who I was going to be spending the evening with, and all of a sudden I felt inferior to them.
"Howie, I don't feel as though I am dressed well enough to be here," I whispered in my gorgeous man's ear.
"Nonsense sweetie," Howie whispered back as his eyes met mine and he gave may paw a gentle squeeze. "Their diamonds might be bigger than yours, but yours are the most expensive a man could ever buy his lady, and you are the most beautiful lady in this room, believe me."
Mr Xui Xin welcomed us, and I tried to remember my Asian etiquette my mama had taught me as a young child. He asked me how my son was, so I showed him a picture of Howard Jr that I had in my clutch purse.
"You are a very fortunate man," Mr Xui Xin told Howie. "You have lots of money, the most beautiful wife, and a very handsome son. The spirits of your ancestors have looked favorably upon you."
He then introduced us to all those in the room.
The food and beverages we enjoyed were the most expensive, and the hospitality was amazing. There seemed to be a waiter individually at one's beck and call all the time.
It was very obvious that the men sat in one part of the lounge smoking Havana's as they bet huge sums of money on the races, while the women chose to sit in another part of the lounge.
I felt grateful that all the women seemed to speak English, but their conversation seemed very reserved around me. I longed to be home with my furiends at The Kit Kat Club, where we would all be laughing and enjoying each others company.
I sat sipping champagne and mineral water while all the other women bet on the horses - they were betting vast amounts of money such as I never imagined anyfur would ever bet on a horse.
"You bet, you bet?" they kept asking me as a waiter placed a PC notebook on the coffee table in front of me that translated all the racing information into English.
My heart froze as I thought of how I knew nothing at all about horse racing.
The women all went into a flurry as one of them had her horse win the race that was being run.
I glanced over at Howie as he sat with the men smoking Havana's, betting on the horses, and generally having a good time. Howard always seems to fit right in with anyone.
I wished that I was the same, but decided that the women I was spending the evening with sort of frightened me. All I felt I could do was just sit there ever so demurely sipping on some champagne. Glancing down at my clutch purse I felt my cellphone vibrate with an incoming text message.
It was a message from Howie.
**I'm winning too much money, and I don't know what to do.**
I grinned as the women around me started placing their next lot of bets.
**Just pick a random horse, without looking at the info about it.** I sent my reply to Howie.
The next race was run and my cellphone got another text.
**That horse won!**
I smiled as I sent another text back to Howie.
**Just pick a number then - it's sure to lose.**
The next race was run and I got a reply.
**That horse won too! I don't know what to do. It's getting really bad over here sweetie because I am winning a whole heap more money than these guys I'm supposed to be doing business with tomorrow, and it isn't a good look.
Can't you come over and help me out?**
I felt extremely awkward as I thought of how there seemed to be such a clear division between the men and women in the room. However I didn't want to disappoint Howie, so I excused myself from the women and went over to where Howie was sitting.
Howie seemed so pleased to see me as I sat down on the edge of the big plush chair he was sitting in.
"Here sweetie," he said as he folded my paw around all the tickets from his winnings, "you take these and win some shopping money." He then turned to Mr Xui Xin. "Women always need shopping money," he joked. All the men laughed at this and started joking about their wives.
Howie promptly ordered another JD and leaned back in his chair to talk to Mr Xui Xin.
Mr Xui Xin's associate Mr Xing Xing the Pekingese smiled at me and pointed to the betting counter.
I walked over towards the betting counter and stopped to watch the horses being walked around the parade circle before the race. A lump formed in my throat as I glanced down at the winning tickets Howie had given me and totalled up the amount of money I was being asked to bet on a horse.
"OMD!" I gasped as I thought of how I didn't know a thing about horse racing, or even how to place a bet!
I stood staring at the horses on the screen, and then I saw one that I liked. It seemed to be smaller than some of the others and it was throwing it's head around in a slightly naughty way as it jogged sideways.
I ran over to the betting counter as the siren sounded as a last call to place a bet.
"I want to put all this money on number 13 please," I told the counter assistant.
He took Howie's tickets and then gave me one ticket.
Howie smiled as I sat back on the edge of his chair.
"What horse did you bet on sweetie?" he asked with a grin as he sipped his drink. "This is the big race of the night you know."
I held up my ticket, and all the men grinned.
Howie just about choked on his drink when he saw it.
"Number 13 is Yureka," Howie chuckled. "I don't even know why that horse is in this race. She's fast, but very unruly, and she's a mare. A mare will never win this race. I don't think you'll be winning any shopping money for tomorrow!"
"I'm sorry," I apologised to Howie as I realised that I must have chosen the horse deemed by all the punters to come last.
"You're a wonderful wife," Howie told me as he gave my paw an affectionate squeeze.
I noticed that all the men suddenly seemed to be more relaxed around Howie, and left them as they started to talk business with him.
I went out and stood down the far end of the balcony and watched the fireworks around the center of the racetrack. As I glanced at my ticket I felt like throwing it off the balcony as it was obviously no good.
The fireworks finished, and then the race started.
Yureka sped out of the starting gate, but seemed to be fighting with her jockey to get her head near the back of the field.
I felt as if I had to watch the race as she settled on the outside near the middle of the field.
"Please don't come last Yureka," I begged under my breath. "I just don't want you to come last."
Yureka seemed to be keeping her position as the much bigger horses in the lead powered around the huge track flanked by majestic skyscrapers.
I felt positive by the fact that Yureka hadn't fallen back, and clutched my ticket tightly as I watched the race.
The horses ran around the final bend to the last straight and that was when they all started to sprint and fight for position.
Yureka started to gallop with all her might and passed the horse in front of her, and then another, and another.
"GO YUREKA," I was shouting at the top of my voice as I clutched my ticket tightly and jumped up and down with excitement. "GO YUREKA."
Yureka was galloping extremely fast now as she caught up on the outside of the two horses that were in the lead. The thin strip of finish line glistened in bright lights and I held my breath as the three horses all reached it.
There was a lull from the crowd as it was announced it was a photo finish.
At that point I felt a little deflated after such an exciting race, as I knew it was probably a miracle that Yureka would have gotten third place.
I walked back into the lounge. It seemed to be rather quiet and there was some chinese writing flashing on all the TV screens.
"Sweetie, your horse won," Howie told me as he got out of his chair and gave me a huge hug.
I felt stunned as I looked up at the TV screen. Sure enough there was the photo finish of Yureka with her nose just a whisker in front of the two other horses!
I decided that I didn't mind being there so much after that as Mr Xui Xin knew the owners of Yureka and he arranged for me to have my photo taken in the winners circle with her that night.
My winnings were rather more than I could have actually spent shopping in Hong Kong as Yureka paid out 34:1 for a win.
"You can buy us another couple of private jets," Howie had teased me.
He was extremely happy as he made a very lucrative business deal the next day.
"My beautiful wife always backs the winner," Howie told everyone. "Just look at me, I'm her husband."
May 29th 2011 2:17 am
[ View A Comments ]
Life is so busy, and there is so much happening now and in the future around Howie and me at the moment. It seems as if there truly is no time alone for us to be alone together.
The night at the Blue Lagoon was so special and romantic, but reality saw us back at The Kit Kat Club planning weddings and the Memorial Day BBQ in the park.
The Memorial Day BBQ was a huge success. Zak proposed to Lexi, and she accepted his offer of marriage. Everyone was so delighted as they make the most perfect couple.
As I watched Zak and Lexi from the corner of my eye, I thought back to when Howie asked me to marry him. I thought of how carefree those days seemed back then, and of how they seemed as if they were a lifetime ago.
"Holly, I want us to go away alone, just the two of us without Howard Jr," Howie whispered in my ear as he folded his big strong arms around me while we were dancing in the park.
"Howie, I want to go away with you," I replied. "I just want to be alone with you too."
The BBQ in the park ended and Howie and I were soon alone together on KKC001 chasing the morning across the Atlantic.
It was mid day when we flew into Ciampino airport.
Howie and I sipped some champagne as I nestled against him taking in the scenery as our limo took us to our hotel. A most happy feeling filled me as I looked out at one of my most favorite places.
I squealed with delight as Howie carried me in his big strong arms into the exact same suite we had the very first time we had ever visited Rome together.
We showered, changed and then we were both on foot sight seeing in the heart of Rome, the ancient Colloseum and the Acropolis. It seemed so amazing to think such a powerful civilization was now only remembered by pieces of stone and it's many paved roads. Wasn't there a saying once that "All roads lead to Rome?"
Howie and I had so much fun exploring our surroundings - I don't think we thought about anything else but us being alone together in such a romantic city. We snacked on slices of juicy watermelon, and bought souveniers to take home with us.
Our sightseeing saw us end up at the Trevi Fountain just as night was falling.
The lights in and around the fountain turned on and Howie folded his arms around me as he stood behind me and we stood and gazed at the water of the majestic romantic fountain.
It seemed like more than a lifetime since I had thrown three coins in this fountain and wished to become Howie's wife on our first visit here together.
"What would Mrs Howard like for her dinner?" Howie asked as he placed a gentle kiss on my bare shoulder.
I started to giggle as I thought of how he should have known what my answer would be.
"Lady and the Tramp spagetti please," I replied as I turned around to face him.
Howie's dark steamy brown eyes met mine with a twinkle.
"I suppose you want me to sing Bella Notte to you too," he whispered.
"But, of course," I giggled as he took my paw and led me off down one of the paved streets.
We found ourselves in the quaintest little cafe beside the Tiber River sitting out at a table in the cafe's secluded courtyard. Tendrils of ivy crept over the courtyard walls, the candle on our table flickered, and the stars in the clear night sky twinkled above us.
A huge smile creased my lips as I took a long strand of spagetti between my lips.
Howie sighed as he placed his fork into the plate of spagetti, and he shook his head as he glanced at me.
"I don't think I could ever eat spagetti without thinking of you Holly," he told me as his paw slid onto mine.
My eyes met his in the flickering candlelight and I smiled as I thought of how much I love him.
"I love you so much How," I whispered as I gazed into his eyes.
At that moment a rather round Italian stepped out into the courtyard accompanied by one much thinner that was playing the accordian and they sang Bella Notte to us as we ate our spagetti.
"Oh this is the night, it's a beautiful night
And we call it bella notte
Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes
On this lovely bella notte.
Side by side with your loved one,
You'll find enchantment here.
The night will weave its magic spell,
When the one you love is near!
Oh this is the night, and the heavens are right!
On this lovely bella notte!"
Nothing could be more wonderful or romantic than being with the one you love more than life itself, and that's exactly how I felt right at that moment being with Howie. It most certainly was a "Bella Notte" - beautiful night.
Sort By Oldest First
(What does RSS do?)