The Best-Worst Thanksgiving Ever ~ Turkey Trot Blog Hop

Thank you all for “hopping” on over here today as part of the Turkey Trot Blog Hop.

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This year, I am most thankful that I survived LAST Thanksgiving.

Last year, Thanksgiving was more like the Fortunately, Unfortunately Game.

My day started early–very early, with the release of my first official Mail-Order Bride book: Jessie: Bride of South Carolina. 

Jessie_BrideofSouthCarolinaTired of living under her father’s iron thumb of control Jessie Wilcox decides to do the unthinkable: run away to Montana as a mail-order bride. The only obstacle in her way: the one hundred miles between her home in Williamsburg County and the train depot in Charleston.

Joel Cunningham is in utter disbelief when the girl he once loved beyond reason is on his front porch asking him to disobey her father’s wishes and drive her to Charleston. Logic and reason scream no; his lips, however, say yes.

Will the one hundred miles ahead of them be enough to overcome the five years of painful regrets or will Jessie follow her dream for a new life in Montana?

This book is ON SALE for 99 cents from now until Nov. 28, 2016

Amazon ~*~ Apple ~*~ Barnes & Noble ~*~ Google ~*~ Kobo

After getting up at 2 am, my time, midnight PST, to make sure this released without a hitch and all the formatting looked great, I went back to bed for a few hours. Got up and made all sorts of goodies for Thanksgiving including: potatoes, a relish tray–complete with sliced turkey and a delicious from-scratch pumpkin cheesecake. I had it all out on the counter (uncovered of course) and ran up to my attic to get grab something from my attic i just HAD to have. Then this happened…

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Yes, I feel through the attic. Fortunately, I was able to grab a hold of one of those beams and my legs just dangled. But still.

Then I came downstairs to find this:

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Insulation had “snowed-in” my kitchen…covering all of my freshly baked/cooked goods!!

Fortunately, I was safe. Yes, my food was ruined and yes, this was going to be a costly repair, but I didn’t fall. Had I fall from my 12′ ceiling onto either those counters or on my concrete floor, I probably wouldn’t be able to write this today. So, I am so very thankful for that.

A little stirred–okay EXTREMELY shaken up–I went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and as I was relaxing just enough while watching Home Alone, I started drifting to sleep, envisioning I was falling through the attic again! Good times.

After going home, I realized insulation was still snowing down (I’d cleaned it all up before I left) so I decided to go get my drill and a ladder to screw the ceiling back together. (No worries, I didn’t fall from the ladder–thank goodness.)

For whatever reason, last time I went to my climate controlled storage unit, I was working on some project and left my drill there. So I hopped in the car and drove over and my code wouldn’t work to get past the security gate. I tried the code over and over and over and finally I called the number on the keypad. Thinking I was about to get in, I was in for a rude awakening when the lady on the other end of the line said “You didn’t make your last payment.”

“Impossible!” I scoffed. “My debit card is attached and you guys–like clockwork–suck my payment straight from my bank account.”

“Well, it didn’t happen this time. You don’t pay, you don’t enter.”

Just then I remembered…A few weeks before I had to get a new debit card because someone had stolen my number and was trying to create dating profiles for a dating site somewhere in Africa… So, no, indeed, I hadn’t paid and though I offered to write her a check for double what I owed if she’d come let me in, she was unwilling to leave her family and drive those two miles to come let me in. (I bet she was really down at Wal-Mart waiting in line to get it for Black Friday sales! Just a theory.)

And at that moment, I had the oddest sensation: burning eyes and moisture on my cheeks! I’m not a cryer, but I was just then. It was like the flood gates opened.

However, in retrospect, I am so thankful all of this happened because I had no idea I had missed that payment and as it turned out, if I had reached Dec. 5th without payment, they’d have auctioned off my storage unit which was full of all of my swag, books, costumes, props for trade tables, and all other sorts of “Rose” things. Things that aren’t easily replaceable. Nobody would want them, but I wouldn’t want to not have them.

So in a way, it was the best-worst Thanksgiving ever and I want to thank all of my loyal readers for always being there for me. The ones who who have read this story before and the ones who sent me good vibes and thoughts.

Okay, okay, enough emotion, please leave a comment below telling all of us about a time when something great came from something you thought was so horrible to be entered to win a copy of Jessie: Bride of South Carolina.

Then please click the following graphic to go hop on down the list. Please remember, the more blogs you visit and comment on, the more chances you’ll have to be entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. 

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Crafting it MY way

I don’t usually discuss my crafty side because well, I really don’t have one.

Don’t get me wrong, I try very hard to be crafty, but alas, I belong on one of those “pinterest fails” websites.

Lately, my DIY itch has involved a cheese grater. Yes, a cheese grater. I’m weird.

This is what I had in mind:

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I’ve seen these all over the Internet lately and they look just weird enough for me.

The problem is, NOBODY has posted a DIY tutorial for this. I know, I know, you can just look at it and get a basic idea of what to do, but the question to me was: what is holding the cheese grater to the board? Did they hold the drill just right to screw screws at an angle through it? Did they thread wire or zip ties through the little holes in the back then drill two holes in the wood and just make the wires/zip ties THAT tight so it would hold?  Nobody shared how they did this, so I’m going to. I’m sure in the next 24 hours I’ll have 15 people email me to let me know that they did a step-by-step DIY tutorial on this or they found one on xx site. Well, I hate to tell you this, but you might want to tweak your SEO because I’ve looked tirelessly for about a week and couldn’t find your site.

So…here goes.

What you need:

1 Cheese Grater
1 Board–size depends on how much you want it to show around the grater, I’d use at least 1/2″ thick
6 1/2″ screws
Paint or Stain if desired
Drill
Drill bits
Jute String or ribbon (optional)

Steps:

  1. Clean your cheese grater–nobody wants come over and see dirty food hanging on the wall!
  2. Find a board:
    I grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the corner of the garage.

    I grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the corner of the garage.

     

    3.  Paint or stain board if you wish:

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    I used “antique white” so it wasn’t too bright and I just quickly brushed it on, I didn’t want the store-bought look.

     Also, I didn’t think to snap pictures until about halfway through so my holes are already there. 

    4.  Put holes in your cheese grater–no, little zip ties do NOT work. Don’t ask how I came to this conclusion. Just take my word for it. For this you could use a drill with a wide drill bit or if you have one a cropadile. Who knew.

    This is a Cropadile. They're sold at all major craft stores. My parents bought me one for my birthday or Christmas years ago to use for scrapbooking and I've used it for all sorts of things. The thing can cut through just about anything--even cheese graters.

    This is a Cropadile. They’re sold at all major craft stores. My parents bought me one for my birthday or Christmas years ago to use for scrapbooking and I’ve used it for all sorts of things. The thing can cut through just about anything–even cheese graters.

    If you don’t have one, I don’t know that a regular hole punch would work since this thing is “spiked”, but it might. I’d use a drill with a 1/4″ drill bit if you don’t have a cropadile. 

    You can’t really see my bottom set of holes, but there are two in the top and two in the bottom.

    5. Put the grater on the dried board and mark where the holes are:
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    6. Remove grater and drill pilot holes:
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    7.  Screw grater to wood:

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    I had to use a screwdriver to do this as my drill was too big to get close enough to screw the screws in straight.

    8. Decide how you want to attach it to your wall. You could either screw it straight into the wall/cabinet as it is (but I would use screws longer than 1/2″ to do so). I opted not to screw the board into my cabinet because my few years as a realtor makes me cringe when I see things screwed into anyone’s house. In my state, anything screwed in is now considered part of the house and when it comes time to sell…it goes to the buyer. If you do unscrew it and set it aside before showing the house, you’ve just created some nasty holes. The other option is to hang it from a nail. Here’s what you do:

    9. On the back screw  one of those 1/2″ screws about half way in, then tie a string, ribbon, chord, wire, etc, around the screw, then screw it the rest of the way down, making sure to screw the ribbon down with it. Repeat on other side.

    Yes, I did foolishly think to cheat and use a staple gun on the jute string to keep it down. Trial and error. (And yes, Mom, I removed the staple.)

    Yes, I did foolishly think to cheat and use a staple gun on the jute string to keep it down. Trial and error. (And yes, Mom, I removed the staple.)

    10. Hang it up!
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    Now, I can hear the grumbling already, that is one ugly dish towel rack, but it does have some other function:

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    Put a small jar inside and let it hold fresh flowers. (Or in my case, grab some fake ones and some tissue and shove it in there.)

    Or…


    Again, put a jar or something in there to hold them or they’ll all tumble out the bottom. 😳

I’m sorry, what?!

I personally do not like being sung to for my birthday by a whole restaurant (or anyone for that matter). However, my kids, like most kids, do. I have all sorts of pictures of my kids at various restaurants wearing sombreros or crowns or holding a scepter or some other trinket to signify they’re the Birthday Boy.

Recently it was that time of year again and I was a little (okay, very) disappointed I didn’t get to go to dinner with my baby this year who is entering into his last year of single digits! (Yes, I’m officially old.) Instead, my parents took him and his brother out and sent me a picture of him with a cookie about as big as his face–no joke.

When he got home, I realized it was fate’s working that kept me from being able to attend because I’d have made an ass out of myself had I been there.

“Mama saw that huge cookie! Did you eat it all?”

“Yep, every bite,” boasts the child as he bounces off the walls.

Great. Now he’ll never sleep. “Mimi just sent me a picture of the cookie–” shows him the picture on my phone– “was this when they sang Happy Birthday to you?”

“No.” Shakes his head wildly and bounces around a little more. “They didn’t sing to me.”

“They didn’t?!” I purse my lips and give him a look that I’m sure of disbelief. This kid LOVES attention. “Please, don’t tell me you didn’t want them to.”

“No, I wanted them to. They just said they they don’t sing to kids for their birthdays because it makes all the other kids in the restaurant jealous and they get upset.”

Excuse me, what?!?!?! Had I been there and the waiter/waitress had said that to me, I’d have spouted some very unkind words. That is utterly ridiculous. Life isn’t fair. We all have one birthday a year. The other 364 days of the year are NOT ABOUT US. Deal with it. For a place–a family pizza parlor at that–to have instated such a policy is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, seriously? I hate to tell on myself, however, I think in our efforts to validate everyone’s feelings about every little thing, we’ve neglected not only common sense in some situations, but are taking away the very things that will  help our future generations learn how to function in a society.

This just amazed me and not in a good way.

Are you man enough?!

Eddie aka Kindergarten Casanova is now in 4th grade!!! Crazy how time flies, huh? 

Well, as it would happen he has a gal pal again this year. Shocker! He is quite smitten with this one and is always asking to invite her places. In turn, she is always extending invitations his direction, too. 

We first knew love was in the air when she came to his 10th birthday to play laser tag. Since then, it’s skateboarding on the bike trail. Weekend showings of Disney movies. Picnics at the parks. You get the idea.

On Friday they have a field trip and he reallllllly wants to sit next to her on the bus. I mean this attraction is so strong he’s strategizing four days out how he’s going to pull this off. I suggested he ask her earlier in the week and secure their seating arrangement. His solution was just to stand real close to her at line up. Bob suggested what we were all thinking, “if you hold her hand while lined up, you’ll definitely not be pushed out of the way.”

To which he replied, “I’ve already proved to her I’m man enough to hold her hand!”

“Huh?!” I couldn’t contain my curiosity. 

“Yeah, she held out her hand said I could hold it if I was tough enough to and I did.”

Oye. 

As I write this I have one child cackling as he tries to read it over my shoulder and the other one threatening if I post this on the internet he’s going to lock himself in his room and not come out for 100 years! 

Ahhhh motherhood! 

What the…

My kids are crazy. They come by it naturally, however. 

The other day I went to get a loaf of bread from the freezer in the a garage and my eye caught on what appeared to be a plate in the freezer. 

My first thought was that someone was snacking in the garage (an odd place to snack, yes, but in my 10+ years of motherhood I’m not surprised by much anymore) and decided to put the plate in the freezer for safekeeping–then forgot about it. 

What greeted me instead when I pulled that plate out was…

  
A once half-melted Reese’s peanutbutter cup on a tea saucer in the freezer. 

I’ll admit I cringed and considered throwing it out. I mean YUCK!!! It just looks nasty. But I didn’t. I remember saving things (not just candy) and hiding them and whatnot as a kid only to have someone come along and find it and without knowing what significance it held to me…toss it out. 

So reluctantly–and with a shudder– I slid my plate back into the freezer. 

And it was a darn good thing! Just that night while we were watching a movie, my son got up from the living room and went somewhere. Then I heard him behind me in the kitchen, pressing buttons on the microwave. 

I asked him what he was doing.

“Microwaving a piece of candy.”

“The one from the freezer? Did it get too frozen for you?’

“Yes! It was melting so I put it in the freezer but now it’s too hard.”

“Yep, looked pretty solid when I saw it while getting  some bread out.”

“And you didn’t throw it away?”

Trying not to scowl or cringe or curl my lips up in disgust because frankly I was still a little disturbed about the whole thing, I sucked it up and said, “No, I thought it might be important to whoever left it there and they might come looking for it.”

“It was and I did!” Then he carried the plate to the family room. “It’s the last piece of myValentine’s Day candy. A Reese’s from the box  you gave me. I was saving it for last and it melted…”

I’ll admit I was flattered by his words and actions. To me, it was a melted Reese’s that should have hit the trash. To him it was a treasured piece of candy. 

I think this falls in the “don’t judge a book by its cover…” category. Except: “don’t judge candy by its state”
Have a blessed Thursday!

A random, somewhat disturbing thought… (you’re welcome)

Last night I had to use a public restroom. The germaphobe inside of me screams and throws a fit whenever I enter one, but sometimes you do what you gotta do…

As I entered the stall, my eyes caught on something shiny on the floor: a quarter. Cringing at the very thought of picking it up, I went about my business and soon realized, there were more coins on the floor.

I counted them up: one quarter, two dimes and a nickel; 50cents.

Hmmm, 50 cents. Do I take it or leave it?

Mentally, I weighed the pros and cons:

PRO–50 cents is 50cents, I don’t care how you get it. It all spends.

CON–It’s only 50 cents, is that worth touching money that’s been on the bathroom floor?

It was at this moment that I realize that if I don’t pick it up, someone else will. Thats just the facts of life. Someone will pick this up–and use it. Which further made me wonder how much of the change that was currently in my pocket had ever been on the floor of a public restroom–or worse.

I’ll let your minds decide the fate of that particular 50 cents (if it went home with me or someone else) and I’ll pose a question to all of you:

Would YOU have picked it up? It is money and it all spends and chances are you’ve unknowingly touched some with a sketchy past…

Or would you have left it alone?

If you’d have left it alone, how many coins would need to be there minimum to tempt you to pick it up?

(Okay, I wrote this very early this morning and my mind went in all sorts of wrong directions! LOL)

Adulting…I just don’t wanna!

I don’t know if it’s the weather or the stress from gathering all of these blasted forms and calculating my taxes, but today I’ve worked so much on my taxes that I just don’t feel like doing anything else that’s considered being an adult today AKA I won’t be making my word count. As disappointing as that is, if I look at a computer screen for more than another 5-10 minutes I just might go cross-eyed. Permanently.

So what am I going to do?

Well, I had a reader who raved on and on about her adult coloring book and how wonderful it is for stress and getting away from your screen. Do I like to color? Um, not really. But I’m gonna give it a whirl! I’ll keep y’all updated.

Question: What do you do when you need a break?