Tag Archives: wine

Table Talk

Dining with friends  you wonder if you should soak in all you hear, times you don’t know if you should reply or not.  Then part of the conversation sinks deep into your mind causing a smile, your mind navigates what this business talk is about. Friend and business partners talking about the value of your knowledge and ideas …

“Today’s special is stew and you can’t get it this good anyplace, don’t know what or who cooks this but it’s the best I’ve ever had, better than mine.” Craig dialed Carla “We’re bringing supper, set the table for 3.”

“Howard is this talk going to be a mind blower for Carla,” he asked.

“Not really, just some clarification for her as to how this is going to influence your lives Craig,” Howard said.

“Oh, so we need wine too?” Craig pointed to the liquor store.

“That probably would help, get a big bottle Craig, Bordeaux works perfect with
the stew.” Howard said nodding his head as he pulled in the lot.

Carla had put out placemats and set the utensils and glasses out, not knowing what Craig was bringing she just set plates down. She went back to watching one of the Thin Man movies on TCM. Thinking to herself, I really should find something to be doing besides sitting here watching a movie.Howard hit the horn as he pulled up to the door; she jumped and said, “Be still my heart,” she said opening the door.

“Howard you scared the crap out of me” Carla said as she went to pick up the throw that fell to the floor when she jumped up.

“Ah, caught you napping Mrs. Jones,” Craig inquired.

“No I was watching William Powell in the Thin Man till you scared me with that horn. Now I don’t know, who done it!” Carla took the remote and switched the TV off, “So what’s for supper?”

“Beef stew, salad, fresh baked bread and Bordeaux. Carla Awlsport Café makes the best stew, let’s eat shall we?” Howard stated.

“Well then I better get some bowls for the stew,” Carla said grabbing the bowls and
soupspoons. The dinner conversation was about Howard explaining all the new things
to be in the life of Craig and Carla for the next hour . . .

Howard finished his train of thought “So to put all this in a nutshell for you two Craig you and Carla are just as important as CA and Judith were all those years ago. After a few more weeks, you will understand all of the material in that binder. We’ll all sit down with James at that time.”

“Then what happens, Howard?” Carla asked sipping her wine.

Howard looked over at Craig and Carla and said “The Mayor, otherwise known to me as Dad and you two as James, will tell us all what we have to do next. I’m not sure but, I understand that he has plans for Awlsport and Blackston Lake that he hasn’t spoken about yet to anyone.”

That night Carla had to pull Craig away from his desk, which he went to after Howard left.

Craig kept putting his thoughts down about the resort and golf course; something told him this was part of what Howard had eluded to over dinner. It was an idea that would not leave his mind.

“Craig it’s almost 11, come on up to bed. The papers will wait, like Howard and James both said they have been waiting for years.

“You’re right Honey.”

Now who’s the tipsy one?

        So let’s see how the party is progressing, everyone is in the lake, and the party is still going on and the wine is flowing. Anyone remember the fun beach parties … let’s have another glass of wine and see how things are a Craig’s Place?

Allan commented “Hey Craig, where’s your boat, we use to go skiing all the time. Wonder if I could still get this body up on skis.” “Well Allan she’s in dry dock, being trying to get the Mahogany Babe seaworthy,” Craig said.

“Yeah buddy and it’s not looking too promising at this time Craig, sorry” Howard admitted shaking his head as he put his arm across Craig’s shoulders. “So it’s that bad then, we haven’t really talked about it since we got home. We’ll talk later on that Howard.” Craig said shaking his head, thinking ouch how much would that cost now.

Carla thought how interesting it was that everyone got along and seemed to be the same, the only difference was the height and muscles. Allan had a muscular build in the chest, back, arms and abs. Marcus was just muscles everywhere. Howard on the other hand was the tallest about 6’4 and his muscles put the other men to shame, even Marcus did not have those arms, which undoubtedly came from the sledgehammer and iron he would sling when he is working.

“Penny for your thoughts Carla,” Nichole said. “Oops sorry I was just thinking about all the men that have come into my life in the past 6 months. Those 4 have been friends for a long time, and from the back, if you just looked at the heads they all seem the same,” Carla commented.

“Ah, sea monster” Carla hollered and started swimming but Craig caught her in his arms pulling her up to his chest. “Were you headed little mermaid? We have company but out here I can play a little, miss you.”

“Oh you know I don’t think I remember. I was lost in Blackston Lake looking for a resting place to put my tail.” Carla laughed as Craig just shook his head and said. “Well I just happen to know the perfect place, but we do have a lot of company and we better get back to entertaining. I’ll find a place to rest your tail later, if the gator doesn’t get you first” he licked his lips and kissed her, “Come my dear, we must entertain.”

When they turned around everyone was watching them out by the Jetty, laughing, Howard hollered. “Hey you two are you coming back to land, or should we send out the lifeboat? Oh I forget that you don’t have one do you.”

“Be right there Howard, need some more fermented fruit juice” Craig hollered as he took Carla’s hand “Race you.”

Back on the seawall deck, everyone was drying off or dancing to the music. Allan had taken Mary Kate over on the beach dancing and had her in an embrace. Craig motioned to Carla and whispered, “He’s got the same bug as Marcus does now.” “Yes and I’m so glad it’s with my best friend my husband, I need a glass of wine please” She replied with a little kiss on the cheek . . .

Nichole walked up to Carla, “This is the first time I’ve seen Howard without his shirt. Ouch!” “Why Nichole my, oh my, you are blushing my friend.” Carla giggled, which brought a blush to Nichole “Must be the wine.” “Ok we can go with that.”

Craig put on more music and everyone was dancing on the patio and drinking their wine. Between the food, wine, water and dancing it was a perfect evening, complete with the big white house across the lake setting off fireworks. The wine was soon history everyone was mellow and happy, Howard sent Tommy home at 10:00.

“Carla we’re staying tonight if you have extra room,” Nichole asked. “Sure only its twin beds.” “That’s ok.” “I’ll get you a gown.” “Thanks Carla.”

“Hi partner, I’m staying buddy, this wine was way too good.” Howard was a little tipsy. “This is a first Howard, separate sleeping quarters or the same room.” “Same room I understand with separate beds got any big sweats.” “Come on with me, they may be a little short, oh wait I have just the thing for you Howard, see if these fit.” “Perfect, Craig thanks.”

“Carla you ok honey?” “Yes” “Where are you going Craig?” “I’m locking up, be right back?” Craig crawled in bed “OK, Good party Mrs. Jones, 100 percent occupancy and all lights out.” “This was a great idea Mr. Jones” Carla yawned, “Sleepy head, I have a promise to keep from this morning.” “Ooh . . . it’s the sea monster . . .”





 I can tell you that 10 AM wine isn’t necessarily a good thing for me, need to wait past 12. Anyway it was interesting, now let’s see what Carla’s results are.

Inside Costco, Craig was pushing the cart to the back for the wine “Carla, should we get Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Bordeaux, or Cabernet Sauvignon? Now where’d she go, oh hell we’ll drink them?” Craig was looking for his wife. He heard her giggle and turned the corner. “Howard still shopping I see.”

“Actually yes, Tommy’s got Carla over there, trying out his new camera!” Howard shook his head “She’s mighty perky for a Saturday morning Craig?”

“Yes, she is! Got excited about the first dinner party and she’s at least one up on me already” Craig shook his head, as Howard gave his sinister look “Really!”

“How about Tommy” Craig asked Howard. “Raging hormones this morning, got to have a talk with him.” “He’s how old Howard?” “He’s  16 going on 26! I’m sort of excited about the dinner party too, Nichole accepted my invite, and the one for your reception already, Carla knows her, works for Dr. M.”

“Looks like we’ll have plenty to drink, are we having anything else Craig?” Howard was laughing as he looked in the cart. “Yes, if I can get the raging hormones away from my wife. I bet Tommy reminds her of her brother Charlie. Tommy is getting some big sister affection Howard. I know how to get their attention.

Tommy Awls, what are you up to?” Craig said pulling his cart up close to Carla.



Silly Carla

    Ever have one of those days when you feel silly and start out pushing all the past few days out of your mind and grab a bottle of wine.  Thought has crossed my mind this morning as the rain pours … but let’s see what Carla gets into planning a party.

Craig had an idea after he talked to Howard, “Let’s just have a PJ Party, ask Allan and Mary Kate, and have Marcus and Maureen spend the night. I already asked Howard and his gal for dinner on the patio tonight. Our first big dinner party started off right with our true friends let’s have your Suzy Q potatoes, salad and steaks” Craig exclaimed with a big grin on his face.

“Yes that would be fun, carrot cake or brownies or would you rather have apple pie slices. Oh you better get a couple boxes of wine and we’ll need some appetizers—how about veggies and shrimp cocktail?” Carla was smiling and writing out her menu.

Craig grabbed his phone hit redial “Howard. Marcus is coming in this weekend. Weather is supposed to be great, thought about a cookout with my best buds & their ladies tonight, say 5-6 PM. Have a fun bonding day Howard.”

“Thanks Craig, I’ll call Nichole, we will see you later.”

She poured herself a glass of wine as she called Mary Kate. “Ok Craig, Howard’s on board and Mary Kate said they’ll be here with their jammies.” Carla exclaimed as she grabbed the wine bottle to pour another glass of wine. “Oops bottle is empty, want to share Craig?”

“Carla Marie Jones, we have to pick up groceries and Marcus and Maureen! The party idea sure got you energized in a hurry! We need to go to Costco, now drink this coffee. You can have all the wine you want later, you silly girl.” Craig just shook his head.

Carla rubbed up against Craig and planted a slobbering kiss. “Then we better get a quickie now, so we can get back here and have some more wine Craig.” Carla was really feeling that wine. She was as giddy as a school girl.

Craig just shook his head. “Carla I’m driving you’ve started drinking and it’s not even 10 AM, what’s up? Is something wrong honey?” “Nope, just felt like wine today, and its 5 O’clock somewhere” she kissed his cheek, “Carla out the door now please.”


There are times were it feels like everything in your world is loud, so loud you can’t think. Trucks, backhoes, hammers, add a light fog or rain and it’s amplified. I can say been there and done that, living by two railroad crossings which go through the small town, blowing their whistle at odd hours of the night and drag racing. . .  I won’t say any more let’s see how Craig and Carla handle that.

Wednesday’s 10 AM tee-time in La Porte had them off at dawn, before Tim arrived. Stopping for breakfast, they made their tee time at Briar Leaf for 18 holes of golf and an enjoyable lunch at Portofino’s before heading home. “It’s been a perfect day for golf and the quiet was worth the drive. You know Carla we could play somewhere closer to home, but I’m starting to like this course really well. Think it’s the countryside.”

“Tomorrow may be noisy too Craig, do we need to go somewhere?” Carla giggled as Craig started to laugh, “I’ll let you know where we’re going when I wake up. We may be playing golf or walking on a beach. We’ll see what the day brings, but for now I would like something real sweet and spicy!”

Craig pulled Carla into a hug and dipped her back with a deep kiss “Ooh my . . .”

Thursday the fencing was put in and required Craig’s attention and at times, so did the garage construction. Silence was non-existent between the builders and fencing people, it was like the madhouse they endured during the passageway treasure hunt months ago. Carla made a special lunch with warm brownies to soothe the frayed edges.

“Can we run away for a few minutes Craig, I need silence?” “Yes my dear,” they ran down the road Craig started to laugh shaking his head. “Honey only silence we’re going to get is after 5 when they shut that post hole digger off, we’re almost a 1/2 mile down the road and I still hear it.”

“Ok so tonight only wine, a crackling fire, and my boyfriend, you know the crazy and insatiable one!” “Miss Sharp, what are you suggesting?”

Friday, they hit a driving range to help rid them of their frustrations of the past few week events and then off to the drive-in for their last summer burger and milkshake. “Carla did I tell you about Marcus’s call?”

“No, but I saw the note on the fridge about Saturday. Is that what Marcus called about?”

“Yes their coming for the reception and to take care of some other things, I offered to pick them up at O’Hare.” “Great that’ll give us a break from our ho-hum week,” Carla giggled.



Secret Treasurs web pg 4.18.13 book cover  412796_XL

Howard is an intricate part of Craig and Carla’s life, but how important.

Howard has been hounding Craig for years about his importance in the town of Awlsport and the business that he is involved with. Now Carla wants to know as well, since every time something is wrong Howard is right there.  How does all this fit into her new life as Mrs. Craig Jones.

“I’m just amazed at all your company does Howard?” Craig exclaimed with a smile on his face, showing his amazement.

“Actually no Craig, I have a partner, and hope to have another partner as soon as he gets off his butt and talks to me about all this stuff. I’d like another glass of this wonderful wine Craig, is it from the cellar stash?” Howard said as he touched on one of the main issues he needed for Craig to grasp and understand.

“Howard, I’m the one who needs to get off my butt don’t I?” Craig said with a grin.

Howard hosted his glass up, yelling, “Hallelujah, it’s finally sunk in!”

“Did I hear a Eureka moment over here Howard? Tommy’s finishing up his work now?” Carla said smiling walking back in the room.

“Thanks Carla and yes Craig has finally realized his importance. God it only took me 5 years of hounding it into that thick skull of his.”

Howard ran his fingers through his hair. “Howard that’s twice in two days you’ve run your fingers through your hair here at this house. Are we that much trouble?” Carla asked.

“No Carla, actually that’s just a habit I have. Craig, I will need a few days to get all my supplies to install the house security and get all the measurements for the property fencing. In the meantime, lock up and keep ‘Betsy’ close by. But I don’t think you need to worry. Oh can I call Tim in to help on the fence installation?” Howard asked.

Craig smiled “Of course, I still need my garage and some other things done. Tim’s not fired he’s just cooling off. I sort of put him in time-out.” Craig grinned saying, “Good night, and thanks Howard” Craig locked the door and checked the lakefront as well, turning off lights.


Secret Treasurs web pg 4.18.13 book cover  412796_XLHoward and his son Tommy are coming to dinner at Craig and Carla’s to talk about the security.

“Hope we have enough room here. What floor plans do we need, Howard?” Craig asked.

Howard answered his question, “Tommy’s photos will provide me with the information I need what you have here is fine.”

Howard inquired, “Craig was yesterday morning what brought about your decision for installing the security system,” as he accepted the glass of wine.

“Howard, it took 2 bottles of Bordeaux and lots of talking to realize that we need this,” Craig stated.

Howard nodded his head in acknowledgment. “Ok, so we’ll start with the house and work on the rest later.”

“Yes, that’s my main focus now,” Craig replied nodding his head in agreement.

“Dinner’s ready gentlemen,” Carla announced as she began dishing up the food. . .