A couple of months ago I wrote that my husband had bought a propane grill. Red Ruby. And since that article I've not been allowed to be with Ruby by myself.

Something about being jealous, my husband said. Something about the possibility of a not-so-accidental mishap that might render Ruby missing a burner or, dare I say, a broken porcelain grate. And, I have to say, I'm offended. I'm not that type of woman. I learned a long time ago that if you hurt the other woman, that just sends him deeper into her arms, leaving you cold and limp like the celery in the refrigerator that you thought you would eat days ago and never did.

But events unfolded at the Adkisson house recently that led to my husband's letting his guard down, and trusting his wife with Ruby. Alone.

A few weeks back, the stove inside the house decided it was tired of being part of the family and quit working. Ruby was thrust into the spotlight. There were no dress rehearsals and certainly no understudy. If we were going to eat, it was up to Ruby.?

For the most part, until a replacement stove could be found, the Mister did all the cooking. He and Ruby. They were quite the pair.

And then I concocted a plan.

See, I know the best way to knock the other woman out of the picture is to distract him until she's a distant memory.

"Before the new stove gets here, let's remodel the kitchen this weekend." I said. "There will be power tools involved. And I promise I won't freak out about the huge mess we will make in the process."

Not one to give up an opportunity of a lifetime like this, he agreed.

Like shooting fish in a barrel.

I spent the weekend coyly plotting my plan. Then my opportunity hit. I waited until he had a nail gun in his hand, standing on a ladder and had a growling stomach. He was weak.

"If you start Ruby up, I'll make dinner. We're having fajitas," I said, knowing the fajitas would only sweeten the deal.

He hesitated. Felt the grumble in his gut. Looked at the nail gun. And climbed down from the ladder to prep Ruby. He chose a power tool over Ruby.

It was hard for him. And I've seen the look he gave me before. My mother used to own a daycare. When she would take on a client who was a new mother, there was always the, "Please don't hurt my child. Please be kind to it. Hold it when it cries. Feed it when it's hungry. And, most importantly, love it like I do," look.

"Be kind to her," he said as he handed over the tongs, hid his face from me and went inside the house.

As I was standing in front of Ruby for the first time, all alone, her flame bright red and warm on a November afternoon, I smiled. A little bit later I heard the nail gun go off. Total domination.

Shana Adkisson 366-3532 sadkisson@normantranscript.com

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