Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Note to my Bloggies re dishes

My husband loaded the dishwasher today.

For that I am thankful.

A Word to My Fellow Idiots

Dove (and others, I'm sure) makes a body wash with microbeads. I think they are for exfoliation. I don't use body wash. I'm a bar kind of woman. Call me crazy. (Not my point, as usual.) Dove (and others, I'm sure), when trying to get you to buy a new product, includes a little version of the big version of what they want you to buy "free" with another of their products. Dove did so with this beaded body wash. As I don't use body wash, and when I get a body wash "free" with bath bars or shampoo, I use the body wash in my soap dispenser.

DO NOT DO THIS if said body wash includes microbeads.

Microbeads do not like soap dispensers. Microbeads clog up soap dispensers.

Just in case you are like me and have idiot moments, let me save you on this one. Donate the microbead body washes to a shelter. Do not try to be frugal and use it in your dispenser. If you must be frugal, leave it in the Dove bottle and set the bottle next to the sink and use it directly from the bottle.

This has been a service message from itiots-r-us to save idiots from ruining their soap dispensers.

Thank you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

And for all the perverts who found my site because the word "gay" was in the post

You can keep your nasty sex crap to yourself and stay off my comments.

Really, get over yourselves and grow up.

In the continuing saga that is Princess and reproduction

This is a two part story.

Part one: My kids like to watch Amazing Race. Amazing Race always has the obligatory gay couple or two. My kids have, until this time, been clueless. Until Monday when Princess turned to me in the middle of the show and asked me, "Mom, what's 'gay?'" Ummmm....... (My explanation, which was very brief and lacking in most detail basically said they like men instead of women. 10 seconds later, when they introduced the lesbians, we had a similar discussion.) Her response? "How very sad. They can never have babies."

How does she know this? Do you suppose she's playing ignorant?

Part two: So, Princess get's Ranger Rick magazine. I handed it to her in the car on the way home from school. She's reading along while Eldest and his buddy AM are riding in the rear. "Mom! Listen to this! In seahorses, the mama seahorse has something called an ovipositor which she uses to deposit eggs into a slit in the daddy's abdomen where they grow! (Mom says "oh really? I knew the daddy carried the babies, but I didn't know how they go in there....interesting....."OH CRAP what are they putting in Ranger Rick these days what will AM's mother think about our car conversations please, please, please let it stop here!) Princess' response? I didn't know it was called an ovipositor. Hey listen to this....."(continues on with another page of animal bliss).

After pondering this conversation for several hours, I have come to this conclusion: I am ready for the talk now. "Remember how in seahorses the eggs are deposited by an ovipositor? Well in humans it's the same thing but in reverse. We call it a spermipositor."

In the Continuing Saga that is the cat and animals in general

Yesterday I went for two maintenance visits to doctors.

The first was to my dentist. An appointment that they wouldn't let me schedule for two weeks ago because six months would not be until yesterday. I think they assumed that I have insurance. They assumed wrong. You'd think they would see that in my chart. But that isn't the point. It rarely is. "IT" being my first rant. My point is this: I was in there for an hour while my teeth were scraped, polished, poked and examined by two different people. My final bill was $72 (after my pay day of service discount). They sent me home with two toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and a roll of floss. Complementary.

My second appointment was at the vet's office where Nonny the evil, who pees in my house and claws my new furniture, who doesn't want to go outside in snowmageddon so lives exclusively in my garage, had to have enough shots that I can allow her near my children. Length of visit: 8 minutes. Cost of visit: $114. They offered to sell me some expensive flea medicine that also counter-attacks something else--worms maybe? (I passed.)

There's just something twisted about that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Value Fiction for Your Spring Break

Colorado Springs, CO— Fiction lovers don’t need to budget to travel this spring break with Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s six full-length novels by beloved Christian authors (WaterBrook, February 16, 2010). At the low cost of only $5.99, these well-read “get-aways” provide quality entertainment at a price that any reader can afford.

Full-length novels offered include:

by Robin Jones Gunn - Jessica has moved to a new town to start a new life. But a friendly fire-fighter and a suspicious boss both want to know what she’s hiding.

by Deborah Raney – Daria Camfield is expecting her first child when her husband Nate is reported dead on the mission field. Devastated, she returns to the States and soon marries again. But two years later Nate is found alive in the jungle. How can Daria possibly choose between he two men who love her?

by Angela Elwell Hunt – Aidan O’Connor may be a poor barmaid but she’s also a gifted artists. When a famous cartographer takes her  on as a student, Aidan is swept into an adventure that will bring her back to her heavenly Father, and into marriage with the love of her life.

        by Lisa Tawn Bergren – Tora, Elsa, Kaatje, and Karl face trouble, tragedy, and treachery across the Wast, Hawaii, Japan, and the high seas. These four immigrants from Bergen, Norway, each grow closer to God and learn afresh the value of faith, family, and coming alongside each other in times of need.

by Al and Joanna Lacy – The adventures of certified medical nurse and dedicated Christian Breanna Baylor continue as she travels by wagon train to visit her sister, Dottie, in California. Little does she know that her most dangerous encounter might be with Jerrod, her brother-in-law, who’s suffering from dementia caused by combat fatigue.

by Linda Lee Chaikin – Rogan Chantry faces danger from tribesmen, ruthless politicians, and his own family as he searches for gold in South Africa. In England, his beloved Evy is injured by a mysterious assailant. The greed and intrigue surrounding the diamond mines could very well drive them irrevocably apart.

A word from Chaos:

Waterbrook provided me with Secrets and The Golden Cross.  My feeling is that these six novels are re-releases. I KNOW that the three I've read are. The best news about that is that many (if not all?) of them have sequels which are ALREADY available. You can't beat that! I'm going to avail myself of them sooner rather than later.

Secrets is a quick and easy read with a hint of suspense, though you get the feeling right off that the danger isn't all that dangerous (making it quite a bit more readable by chickens like me). And I'm afraid I shouldn't say much more as most of my comments would provide a spoiler. It's a nice read with a bit of romance, suspense, and, um, jealousy. On my part. And that's all I have to say about that.

The Golden Cross was RIVETING. I'm not sure why. The suspense doesn't even start up until you are halfway through the book and it drains off pretty quickly. It might simply be that I want the underdog to win once. There are several quotes in there, too, that I have marked and will copy down for reference. Wonderful word usage. And, I'll tell you this; I will be on a seek and find mission for the rest of the series. Though it isn't necessary to read them in order, this is the second in the series, so you may want to start with book one: The Silver Sword.

(I've read Beneath a Southern Sky also and it was and is positively wonderful! I sobbed in the epilogue and for about three days following. LOVE feeling a book that strongly! And that comment was a freebie.)

Monday, February 22, 2010


I loathe doing dishes.

Loathe it. 

Of all the household chores, it is the one I most despise. More than cleaning toilets. More than mopping floors. Certainly more than laundry.

I would rather clean out the garage than do dishes.

So, would somebody freeking tell me why I am the ONLY ONE in this house that does dishes? Sees dishes? Thinks, man those dishes should really be done?

I'm tempted to ask my lovely husband, who has many wonderful qualities, not the least of which is never-asks-me-to-get-a-job-even-when-I-offer, if he has ever, EVER looked at a sink full of dishes and thought, wow, that's a lot of dishes, I'll bet Jamie would really like it if I did those for her (I would even allow for a continuation of that thought along the lines of maybe I'll get rewarded later...), but I'm afraid of the answer. I truly, truly do not believe he has EVER looked at that sink full of dishes and felt even a smidgen of responsiblity. Not even when we both worked. Not when we were both students. NEVER.

My kids don't either.

They actually had the nerve, THE NERVE, to say in response to, "you've destroyed the whole house"

"we didn't mess up the kitchen or the dining room."

Oh, you didn't, did you? You didn't eat that dinner? You didn't scarf those cookies? Those aren't your cups/plates/forks/spoons/bowls/lunchboxes/foodsmutz/animalcrackersgroundintothefloor? I guess you ARE right. You DIDN'T mess up the kitchen and/or dining room. That isn't your Darth Vader helmet there on the floor. I wore that while preparing your barbecued meatballs with seven side dishes. It makes me happy to do puzzles in between sheets of cookies, but I didn't get that 24 piece one done so I left it there on the floor along with my puppets. I did all that. Let me go clean that up for you.

And when I'm done I'll tackle the rest of the house you ungrateful little angels.

YES, I AM in a snit tonight.

Dishes do that to me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Hidden Flame

I found Janette Oke in grade school when I would spend part of my summer at Grandma's house. She didn't have cable, a VCR, or any toys to speak of. What she did have was The Price is Right every day at 10AM and Janette Oke books. My sister hid out in Grandma's guest room and read the entire Loves Comes Softly series, and eventually so did I. Though I preferred the Canadian West series. I read her on through the early to mid-90s, and then Broadened My Horizons as it were. (I went through a historical fiction (Civil War) stage, a crime novel stage, a suspense stage, a lawyer book stage, realized I wasn't sleeping as well as I used to and fell back to classics and Christian Fiction which had grown by leaps and bounds while I was reading blood and gore.)

Some time in this beloved mess of a story I Became A Writer and my writerly friends would scoff at "prairie romances" and their "formulaic" plotlines and "predictable" endings. And I, being a follower of the worst sort thought there might be something to what they said. After all, most of the prairie romances I read, I read in middle school.

So it was, I confess, with a little trepidation that I took up The Hidden Flame by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke. I honestly don't even remember requesting it, though it came in the mail, I presume for review (and I probably did request it). What have I gotten myself into? I asked myself. I don't have time to read this. I don't have time to read anything. But if I did request it, I needed not only to read it, but also to tell you, my lovely readers about it. What if it was a formulaic prairie romance re-written to look like a first century church historical novel?

I needn't have feared. Mercy me, it was scary good. Scary good. The kind of good that makes you want to give up sleep to read it. (Which I believe I remember doing with the latter Love Comes Softly books. Maybe my writerly friends were getting too big for their britches?) And, OK, maybe I say this too often, and maybe God is working on crud in me, but this book really struck a few spiritual nerves in me, too. Made me want to strive to trust and obey. And re-read Acts. And read this book's predecessor The Centurion's Wife. It was rather most excellent. So, if you are hankering for something new and different and historical and spiritual, you have found your book. Though you may want to start with the first in the Acts of Faith series.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Food Hates Me

 And it has turned my stomach against me, too.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Incoherent Blather

It's snowing. Again.

I just came off a 24 hour stomach bug. I feel like I have a massive hangover. Can't move. Head aches. Dehydrated as all get out and can't find anything my stomach will accept. A seven pound weight loss is so not worth it. I do NOT understand bulimia.

I finished reading The Secret Garden with Princess on Sunday night during the Super Bowl halftime. Have you read that one? In it Colin is a self-declared invalid, certain he will die before adulthood, goes into hysterics because he feels so bad. Yesterday, as I waited for the hours of nausea to pass and I didn't stand, I could understand Colin. I don't know what lead him down the road to staying in bed (sickly toddlerhood, I guess), but once you've lain abed for more than ten hours, everything hurts. My hips ached so badly I couldn't lie down anymore. My head ached so fiercely that I didn't want to be horizontal. I ended up sleeping upright on the couch. Which worked until my neck protested. Sickness is awful. I hope to not repeat it very often.

Because 34 year old mothers of four are apparently carriers of the plague, we are rarely invited to super bowl parties. Because we are rarely invited to the parties, but still want to participate, we have our own parties with our four plague carrying children. I stocked up on plenty of fatty foods, laid out a picnic blanket on the living room floor and gave my children permission to go at it. By the second quarter, when they kept asking if they could have XYZ, I gave them the following lecture, "Go ahead. Eat whatever you want. But make sure you stop before you make yourself sick. When you are a burping, farting, puking mass of diarrhea on the bathroom floor, don't come to me for sympathy."

Two pieces of pizza and a reasonable bowl of rotel dip followed by an orange. Really. That's it. But at 2:30 in the morning, while camped on the bathroom floor and begging God to just let me puke and be done with it, I wanted some sympathy. I got none.

Justice. That's what that is.

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

 Hey ya'll here's a good book with some Texas flavor you will love:

Kai Miller floats through life like driftwood tossed by waves. She's never put down roots in any one place--and she doesn't plan to. But when a chaotic hurricane evacuation lands her in Daily, Texas, she begins to think twice about her wayfaring existence. And when she meets hometown-boy Kemp Eldridge, she can almost picture settling down in Daily--until she discovers he may be promised to someone else. Daily has always been a place of refuge for those the wind blows in, but for Kai, it looks like it will be just another place to leave behind. Then again, Daily always has a few surprises in store--especially when Aunt Donetta has cooked up a scheme.
1. How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for this book?
Some book ideas you search for, and some just blow in on the wind. For the past several years, dating back to Hurricane Katrina, we in Central Texas have been the recipients of massive hurricane evacuations. These massive exoduses of people, pets, and belongings are frightening, frustrating, challenging, and at times oddly wonderful. When so many are on the road seeking shelter, the worst, but also the best qualities of humanity come to the surface. Hurricane evacuations truly provide times when we ask the question, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" In answering that question, we’ve enjoyed amazing moments of friendship and fellowship, family reunions, and chances to share a food and space with strangers from other parts of the country. We’ve traded stories and recipies, laughter and tears. 
One thing we’ve learned about hurricanes, living here, is that the paths are never predictable. Storms waver, hesitate, speed up, slow down, and sometimes change course unexpectedly. Evacuations needs can change and develop quickly. What better way for the beauty shop girls to find their inner strength and to show Daily hospitality, than for their cruise plans to land them smack in the middle of a sudden and chaotic hurricane evacuation?
2. Almost every author puts a little of themselves into their stories—what did you put of yourself into this one? (personality traits, life events/jobs, settings, characters based on people you know, likes/dislikes, etc.)
There’s a bit of me in the setting, of course. I love Texas, in all its variety of cultures and landscapes, but, living in a small town, I have a particular affection for little bergs like Daily, where the coffee’s always hot, and a good slide of pecan pie can cure most ills. Having watched our little town mobilize to take in hurricane evacuees several times now, I’ve been reminded that sometimes the worst things that can happen bring out the best in people. Given the opportunity and faced with the need, regular people can rise to the occasion in amazing ways, as do the citizens of Daily in the book. 
Some members of the Wingate family might also claim to recognize themselves among the citizens of Daily, Texas. I would offer the disclaimer that any resemblances are completely unintentional, but that would be a bald-faced lie. When you come from a family of great storytellers and colorful characters, there’s nothing to do but make use of what you’ve got.
3. Did you encounter any interesting challenges while writing/researching for this book? Please explain if so.
The most difficult part of working on Never Say Never was researching and reliving the devastation left behind on the Texas gulf coast last year after Hurricane Ike. While interviewing family members about their experiences during the evacuation and return, we shared laughter and quite a few tears. For those who have lived in southeast Texas all their lives, talking about familiar landmarks, heirlooms, and old family places that were washed away forever, knowing some things will never be the same, is both difficult and devastating. For those of us who have so many memories of family gatherings and vacations there, it’s hard to believe we’ll never visit the old places again.
4. Why is this book/story relevant today?
Despite our best-laid plans, we all experience storms in life—whether those storms be of a weather-related nature, or due to an illness, death, or in recent months, job loss and financial misfortune. When the parameters of life and our ability to control fate suddenly change, we’re confronted with our own helplessness and need to rely on other people and God. In a culture that values independence and self-sufficiency, it’s important to remember that we all have a common need and a common responsibility for each other and that without faith we really are alone in the storm.
 Leave a comment for a chance:
Grandprize Drawing
Donetta and Imagene's Texas Road Trip Basket (approximate total value over $150)

Take a Texas road trip, without ever leaving home!


The Daily Texas Series by Lisa Wingate:
Talk Of the Town
Word Gets Around
Never Say Never

The Blue Sky Hills Series by Lisa Wingate:

A Month of Summer
The Summer
Beyond Summer (a special advance copy not available in stores until July 2010)

Road Trip Snacks (Straight from Texas, of course!)

Wrap it all up with a fuzzy, fleecy Texas throw blanket for those cold nights on the road (or curled up with your books!)

 Lisa Wingate’s
How to Talk Texan
Road Trip Tutorial
A couple dozen phrases that'll keep you from lookin' like you don't know gee from haw.  You can hang your hat on it!
Hey, y’all!
If you’re planning a road trip across Texas, well, my friend, you’d better get your trottin’ harness on, I’ll tell you that right now. 
This state’s wider than a woodcutter’s pile. You’ll be so busy here, you’ll think you’re twins. You might even meet yourself comin’ and goin’ or travel so fast you’ll catch up to yesterday.  
One thing’s for sure--there won’t be any grass growin’ under your feet, especially if it’s summer, because it’ll be hot as a nanny goat in a pepper patch. Don’t let that trouble your mind, though. 
Seeing the whole state might seem about as easy as tryin’ to saddle up house flies or put socks on the rooster, but here’re a few phrases that’ll make your trip just as smooth as a calf’s ear. You’ll find this little bit of Texan talk just as handy as a pocket on a shirt. With these phrases, you’ll be right at home in jig time, and happy as a pig in sunshine, I promise. 
Folks’ll think you’re just as fine as frog hair split four ways. Why, you might even find yourself a Texas gal who’s cute as a bug’s ear or a fella who catches your eye like a tin roof at noonday. Even if you don’t find love here, you’ll run across lots of folks who’re so friendly, they’ll add a cup of water to the soup and tell you to get your sittin’ britches on. 
Some of them might be full of wind as a corn-eatin’ horse, but you’ll be welcome ‘till whenever you figure it’s time to put the chairs in the wagon and turkey-tail it toward home. 
When you do, we’ll keep a light on and a hitch out for ya, just in case you miss us like a west Texas farmer misses rain. You’re welcome to darken our door any old time. Long as we got a biscuit, my friend, you got half, and if that ain’t a fact, well, then I’m hip high to a horned toad. 
Y’all come back now, y’hear!
--Lisa Wingate (and the REST of the folks in Daily, Texas, too!)
For stories with Texas flavor
and fun, come see us at
About the Author:
Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Talk of the Town, Drenched in Light, A Thousand Voices, and A Month of Summer. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.