Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My House

My house is lovely when it's clean.

My house is only ever clean if I've spent a minimum of six hours cleaning it so that strangers can walk through it and reject it.

I'm thinking about just keeping it.

Not that it would ever be this clean if I did.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gentle and Quiet

My amazing friend Beckie opened her gentle and quiet mouth and spewed wisdom, as she so often does and I felt the need to share.

I expressed no small measure of exasperation, again, regarding the gentle and quiet spirit expected of Christian women, indicating myself and "all this--the antithesis of gentle and quiet" when she asked, with a sweet, puzzled look on her face, "Does the Bible say gentle and quiet countenance? No? It says gentle and quiet spirit."

I'm not sure I qualify, yet, but it gives me something that could be feasible...someday.


Mommy! Why is it waining weaves?!

Wook! It's Daddy's favorite movie....feetball!

If you die, you're out, OK Mommy? That's the word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's a Mean, Mean, Mean, Mean World

I recently heard a woman speaking about how very mean the world has gotten and I'm right there with her.

Driving through a parking lot and see someone walking stop abruptly because you're coming, you slam on the brakes, smile and wave, mouth sorry? No return smile, just a dirty look.

I had someone throw a ham sandwich at my car at a four way stop once. I still have no idea why. I let him go first.

If you live in a city larger than 5000 and someone is making eye contact and smiling at the library, what is your first thought? Creepy, right? I have to force myself to not break eye contact. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they were raised in a small town.

Don't make conversation with the cashier. She doesn't want to be there and won't pretend for your sake.

What happened to customer service, in general?

Totally OFF topic, but still kinda on. Last night on the news I heard someone interviewed at the grocery store where the guy was shot and he said, "It's a nice, neighborhood store. Never any problems." I've been shopping there for more than ten years. The managers are nice. I think they recognize me. And, in general, I would use the same words to describe the store IN COMPARISON to other city stores. But, no. I've shopped at nice neighborhood stores. This is a pleasant city grocery where people rarely give you trouble, but are pretty much going to ignore the fact that you are present. On that stream, engage someone over the age of 80 in conversation and you might get a response.

But today....TODAY I was insulted by someone I'd never seen before, had made no judgments about, would frankly had no thoughts regarding her AT ALL had her bumper sticker not screamed at me "I may be fat, but you're UGLY and I can DIET."

I found my blood pressure actually rising. She's judging me. She's assuming that I'm judging her without giving me the chance to perform above her expectations. And she's going to skip right to rudeness rather than give me that chance.

And before you get all "it was supposed to be a joke" on me, since when is it funny to insult a perfect stranger? Is that how we are supposed to treat our fellow man? I mean, I'm not perfect. I have no illusions. I catch eyes and drop them as much as the next guy, but I do try to practice common courtesy. I "please" and "thank you" and "so sorry" and "excuse me." But my patience is wearing thin with people who act like I'm invisible and their story they are telling another person in the Walmart aisle about their daughter's cousin's boyfriends next door neighbor's arthritic cat is more important than my kid's triaminic. Hello! I'm here! And I really, really, REALLY need something just behind your butt! AND I'VE HAD NO SLEEP LADY! THUS THE NEED FOR THE COUGH MEDICINE!

And no, I don't think the lady in the Triaminic aisle affected my response to the bumper sticker at all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twisted Day

The good news: we had a showing and even though my beloved was indisposed and couldn't help me clean, I got the house ready with nine minutes to spare.

Thoughts: If we had a showing every three to four days, I don't think it would ever get incredibly messy. On the flip side of that thought is the fact that I walk trough the house like a crazy woman on a rampage scooping up plates before people are done with them and end up doing twice the dishes. That and I screech a lot when I walk into a room that has been put into disarray. I don't like this.

The bad news: A guy was shot four blocks away DURING the showing. (In the leg and drove himself to the hospital. I take it that means he's fine.)

Thoughts: here's hoping the gun had a silencer and the people who looked don't watch the news.

And that is all, for my brain is fried with cleaning product fumes and adrenaline.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Get Together

What to do when you have promised to have a game day get together the day you return from vacation?

Well, first, you have to get together with some low key people so you don't stress.

Doesn't hurt if you leave your home "show ready" so you come home only to the mess you bring through the door with you.

It certainly helps if you find someone else willing to provide the site--that has a TV much larger than yours. (This was a complete and unexpected turn of events that MADE MY DAY.)

And Chex Mix is a must.

The daddies and a few boys camped in front of the giant screen.

The mommies never quite made it out of the kitchen--NOT because we were cooking, but just because that seems to be where mommies gather.

The kiddos ran the place over and since it was lovely out, they were outside as well.

We all snarfed the the Chex Mix.

The mommies picked out our favorite (Turtle). One mommy picked the gluten free items out of the bag (she isn't celiac, she's just watching it, otherwise I'm not sure she would have gone for it. I'd have had to make Rice Chex Mix if she had been).

The kids dumped Original, Turtle, and Sweet and Salty together and ate it all at once.

The daddies came through and cleaned out what was left.

This, my friends, is the way to have a party.

(Note: I"m still not certain whether the invitation to watch the game at their house was a true one, but they were gracious hosts.)

All I had to do was show up and bring the Chex Mix, plates, napkins, party bowl and disclaimers with coupons (All provided by General Mills).

Every one was happy.

It was a great Game Day Get Together.

Sorry, no photos. Don't know what I was thinking.

And Chex wants you to know this:

"We also would love if you shared information about the The Ultimate Chex Mix Game Day Sweeps! For a chance to win $10,000 in cash and prizes to make your place the ultimate Game Day spot, visit the Game Day Sweeps tab on the Chex Mix Facebook page to enter!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page. 

The Movies and Memories Giveaway from Sarah Sundin!

Sarah Sundin presents The Movies and Memories Giveaway in honor of book 2 in the Wings of Glory series. A Memory Between Us is available for purchase wherever fine books are sold. From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


To celebrate Sarah is giving one lucky winner A Movie and Memory Prize Package! One grand prize winner will receive:

* Make-your-own-photo book from (Capture your own Memories)

* Netflix Subscription (New or Nostalgic Movies delivered right to your house)

* Starbucks gift card (To keep your engine revvin’)

*Gourmet chocolate (A favorite in the 1940’s and now)

* British specialty teas in carved wooden box (Timeless tradition)

* Miniature model of a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber & C-47 cargo plane (Everyone needs a few toy planes)

*Big Band music CD (Break out your dancing shoes)

* WWII authentic poster playing cards (Cards – a perfect game for two)

* Keep Calm and Carry On (Uplifting sayings WWII, a boost for troubled times)

To enter simple click on the icons below (contest runs 9/27 - 10/17!)

One of the worst feelings a Christian person can have is the one that accompanies seeing an ambulance pull up in front of her agnostic neighbor's house.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Inane Car Games (and the subject that won't go away)

One of the great joys of having pre-teens is re-living those awkward years all over again. This time more indignant and hopefully wise, but unfortunately, meanwhile, being the recipient of the eye roll and the you-don't-understands.

It also means your kids learn inane car games from their friends. It started with "Bingo" (which means "yellow car"). Which, of course, becomes "red car," "blue car," "white car." And is, at that point, rendered pointless.

So I taught my kids "beetle bop" also known as "slug bug" in some areas of the country. But with all the PT Cruisers and Mini Coopers floating around these days, also is confusing. At least to start. Now it's just three car games in one. Or four when you throw in Bingo on top of it. (Beetle Bop Bingo, being the ultimate in winning calls.)

Our average car ride conversation sounds something like this: Mom? Yeah? Mom, I want a....BINGO!...I want a.....CRUISER RED!....a new....BEETLE BOP GREEN!.....a new folder for my....MINI COOPER STRIPED!...for my....FUNKY CAR!(I forgot this one....any car with a paint job or body worthy of mention)...BEETLE BOP....NO...CRUISER SILVER! Uh, Mom? Yes? I forgot. BINGO!

All while Charming is screaming "beetwal bop gween" whether or not there is, in fact, a green beetle bop. There may be a green CAR. And there may not. And if he calls it, you must respond "stinker" because Eldest will call anyone who calls a car before him "stinker." And if you now call a beetle bop with Charming in the car, he will, in fact, holler, "Stinker! I was cawing that!" So, in the midst of the aforementioned conversation, insert Charming's speech. Because if I wrote that all in, you're mind would overload.

And, because it has become so insane that Hubs and I can't even talk in the car anymore, I started a new game called SILVER VAN!


Hubs is not amused.

Actual Conversation That Took Place in our Silver Minivan a Moment Ago

Me: Boy, if those B12 I'm taking are supposed to give me more energy, I'd hate to think about how I'd be feeling without them.

Hubs: Feeling pretty drained, huh?

Me: I just can't make myself care.

Hubs: Pretty sure the bottle doesn't say, "Cure for the common apathy."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Proud Mama (a.k.a. The Healer's Apprentice)

Five years ago, September, in a hotel lobby in Nashville, I met a lovely young lady by the name of Melanie Dickerson whose soft southern drawl appealed to me almost as much as her humility. She was there to promote her semi-autobiographical "missionary story" at the same time I was trying to promote my semi-autobiographical "infertility story." Neither one sold, mind you. I don't know what our first clues were: the agents panel saying they don't do missionary/issues books, or the authors saying anything semi-autobiographical won't sell. (Though we both met just enough published authors who were the exception to the rule to give us hope everlasting.)

We both went home from conference, continued to work on our doomed books, subbing them out and getting rejections, critiquing each other, subbing, getting rejections, crying, sympathizing (bored! she actually used the word BORED! sniff.  Bored? What book was she reading?) And then one day, Melanie shot me something totally new and fresh and alive. A loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty that she called The Woodcutter's Daughter. Something that hadn't had the life critiqued out of it. Something that had kept her up, her mind wild with ideas, and I said, (in case you wondered) "Melanie, this one will see print!" Chapter one was that good.

That beginning, however exciting it was, bit the dust at some point. But that's beside the point.

I'd go through my day, thinking about "this great book I'm reading" and then remember I couldn't just go pick it up at will, and I'd harass Melanie for another chapter. She started feeding us (our motley crit group) a few hundred words at a time.

I was glued to my computer.

Well, the other day I got my bound copy in the mail retitled to be called The Healer's Apprentice which, incidentally, is an even better title. I found my name in the acknowledgments. I cried. And I sat down to read the final version of a labor of love by my sweet, humble, friend. And I confess, I didn't read it in one sitting (kinda knew where it was going), and I could put it down (again, kinda knew where it was going), and I spent most of my read playing find-something-in-here-I-haven't-seen-before and oooooo-that-added-a-lot! But mostly, my friends, it is the same book I couldn't peel my eyeballs from when I was reading it on screen. I was actually quite surprised at how very little changed in the intervening re-writes, and critiques, and edits.

And, let me tell ya, she has one that is just as stinkin' good on her harddrive that is a better version of Beauty and the Beast, so nag her and her publisher about it, K? Of course, not until you've read The Healer's Apprentice.

A bit about the book (from the back cover):

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportinity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen fr her--a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders is he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.