Family, funny, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness, Real Life

Texts from my mom…

It’s Monday morning and as such, we are all in need of a little laugh to kickstart our week. What better way to do that than with a few texts my mom has sent me…

  1. A little backstory, she’s awful at math. So bad, it’s only college algebra that stands between her and a degree…
    IMG_3402
  2. If there was ever any doubt she loves her grandkids…IMG_3403Doubt solved. And yes, I’m a meanie… “Just delete it.”
  3. And finally…the very best way to say Happy Valentine’s Day to your daughter…IMG_3354IMG_3404

If ever you wonder why I’m so scandalous, I think that speaks for itself!

Have a wonderful Monday!!!

 

 

I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

Walmart woes…and whoas!

I live in a smaller town and the closest store that has both food and clothes is Walmart. Yes, I could fall into the redneck category–but don’t you dare call me a hillbilly!

However, for as small town/redneck as I might be even I am amazed at times when I go into Wally World. I do try to be polite and keep my head down when I walk through the aisles but sometimes the kid wearing wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt finds you. As does the man dressed like a chicken. Or the woman with the bungee cord holding her pants up, yet her very…uh…generous middrift is in full sight. Of course a trip isn’t complete without at least two toddlers having a meltdown (no judgement here, one of my boys provided that ambiance more than once). 

Oh, Wally World wherever would we be without your low prices, temperamental cashiers and a clean up on aisle 4 that’s been there so long it’s become part of the floor?!

In case you can’t tell, I only go when I must. Yesterday I had to. Remember that flyer I posted up a few weeks ago, the one my boys thought would help them better with sports? Here’s a reminder:

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Well, on the backside was a coupon for a free box valued up to 6.99. This might be tmi but my pride only goes so far. Like most women I don’t enjoy having to buy these. Moreover, they’re rather expensive–especially when you consider what they’re used for. 

I digress. 

The coupon had an upcoming expiration date, so I decided: “It’s now or never”. My wallet screamed, NOW!!!! So I made a little list and off I went. Hey, I might be screwing up my courage to use such a coupon but that isn’t the only thing I’m going to the register with!  I grabbed my items and and headed to the register, but not before seeing theses:

  
Seriously?! It’s January!!! And 25 degrees and they’re displaying (and selling???) bikinis! Again, it’s Walmart. With that such reasoning, I start to look for a register. We have the self checkouts and I typically prefer to use those so I don’t have to deal with the crabapples who run the others, but I wasn’t taking a chance on the machine not scanning my coupon and me having to wave someone over to explain what’s going on. My luck would be that she’s be deaf and not know what to do and call a CSM over–and while waiting 20 minutes for one to meander over, she’d insist on carrying around my tampon coupon to every other station she helped. Then, when the CSM did show up, the lady would have no tact or volume control when she said, “That lady wants to use this here coupon to buy her fancy tampons but the machine is…blah, blah, blah…” Of course this would be followed with, “Ma’am, I’m gonna need to see your tampons…”

NO THANK YOU!

Instead, I walked down the row of cashiers and looked for one who looked to be a female who was older than me, but not my grandma’s age. When I found the right one, I stood in line and waited while she scanned the groceries in front of me. Then it was my turn. She scanned it all and gave me my total. I said, “I have a coupon, too.” Then handed her my strategically folded massive coupon so the bacode was visible but thr picture was not. She scanned it–then her eyes got huge. She unfolded it and started looking it over on both sides. “This just came to your house?”

I nodded. Yep, my address was right there on the back. 

“I gotta check the mail when I get home. I need this for my granddaughter.” Then, the unthinkable happens. She opens it fully and shows it to the lady behind me! “Isn’t this cool? She just got a free box of tampons.”

Without missing a beat the lady behind me goes, “Oh cool, those are the kind I use too.”

And at that moment all I wanted was my receipt and a getaway car! 

I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

Because it’s Monday…

Because it’s Monday and we all need a little pick-me-up (and because I love you all so much I had to share this, of course), I’m posting this.

Like most kids, my boys like to check the mail. Usually, they’ll bring it in and sort it into two piles: Mom and Dad. To them, there’s no junk.

So, they’re sorting through their stack and my husband walks up just as they find the following:

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On the back is a coupon.

Before he could say anything to them about what to do with this piece of mail, Henry in all of his eight-year-old innocence says, “Look! These help you with sports!”

There’s just nothing to say to that. However, in case you, too, want to improve your athletic ability, you can order your box here and have it delivered to your home in a discreet package.

Now, I’m going to try to get about my day without laughing every time I look at the counter and see that stupid flyer.

Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

Don’t Poke the Bear–the Mama Bear, that is.

As I was happily blogging away about my oh-so-wonderful experience last night, I came to a screeching halt when I realized that in order to understand part of my inner struggle as a parent, you needed to know a little background information.

So here it is…

For anyone not keeping up with all the important details of my life, my boys are now 10 (Eddie) and a sneeze away from nine (Henry)–and yes that makes me feel old because when I first started blogging they were 4 & 5…

This year, they’re into sports. Naturally because life is never simple they don’t want to play the same sport. Eddie is into basketball and Henry likes wrestling.

Great.

Not so great is that they both lack something very important: athletic ability. I try to be positive with them, but I’m also a realist. When we talk about how great they are, I try to stick with things they really are good at: Your dribbling was awesome today! or Good passing! I try to steer clear of praising his shooting because frankly, I don’t think the boy has ever made a basket. And that’s okay. We’re not all good at sports, and the team needs someone who can dribble the ball down the court–half the kids can’t.

With Henry, it’s different. Wrestling is a one-man team. You either beat your opponent, or put up one heck of a fight losing. He does neither. He loves to go and the child is taller than average and as strong as an ox, but for whatever reason–mainly due to lack of proper technique–he rarely comes out the victor.

I dated a wrestler in high school so I tried to give him some ideas of what to do. He wasn’t having it. He only wanted to hear what the coaches told him to do, not his mom. Most of what they’d told him to in practice was to let some of the other boys do a 2-legged take down on him because of his size compared to theirs. Fine, I get that it’s practice, and in practice in order to learn technique you have to let your opponent win. What they didn’t say was when he could STOP allowing the other boys to beat him. (In defense of the coaches, my child has some genuine hearing problems, so likely, they did and he just didn’t hear it.) So his first few wrestling sessions, he lost every time because he didn’t put up a fight and he wasn’t learning to use the technique OR what could block it.

Unfortunately, all the others kept progressing and he didn’t because of this so when they’d do free wrestling, he’d almost always lose. Well, one of the boys there goes by Reynolds. Now, Reynolds is about the same age, just a little smaller. Of the four boys Henry has ever won against, Reynolds makes up a quarter of them. Now Reynold’s dad has a chip the size of a Ruffles Potato Chip on his shoulder because he saw Henry get taken down by several of the other boys in their age/weight division and told his son he wasn’t allowed to wrestle against Henry anymore that he wasn’t good enough.

When this news traveled back to me that this was said, the coaches honored his request and now my child had to stand out a few rounds to wait for other partners, I reacted like any other mother would: I Facebook messaged an old wrestling friend of mine (not my old flame, I’m not that crazy) and said, “Can I hire you to come teach my son how to wrestle–specifically, I want him to be able to pin this other kid’s ass in front of his dad over and over again?”

Judge me if you want, but hell hath no fury like a Mama Bear!

Banks Brothers' Brides Series, Behind the Scenes, Books, Gentlemen of Honor, Groom Series, Just for Fun, Officer Series, Scandalous Sisters Series

Reviving some old blog features–cast your vote!

I’m thinking to bring back some old blog days: Story Sample Sunday, Wicked Wednesday, Fun Fact Friday, Meme Monday, and maybe a few new ones. My question to all of you, what scenes would you like to see posted? It can be from any book I’ve written.

Please note, I don’t plan to feature ALL 19 of my books one week at a time again like I did last time, just kind of hit and miss on each of these features.

Also, if there are any other features I’ve done in the past you’d like to see come back, let me know!

 

Behind the Scenes, Bob, Characters, funny, I'm human too, Just for Fun, Liberty for Paul, Scandalous Sisters Series, things that make me laugh, Wicked Wednesday

Antique stores–not just for antiques anymore!

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a quaint older town that still has a historic downtown which consists of a main street with massive turn-of-the-century buildings that contain some items as old (or older) than the buildings.

The buildings are old. The floors creak and groan when you walk on them. Some (okay, almost all) of the stores have a…er…aroma when you walk in that seems to get stronger when you pass by specific areas.

I love it!

But what makes these stores interesting is that they’re not antiques all owned by the store owner, but rather the store is divided into sections or booths and it’s like an indoor, year-round flea market. And, what’s also neat is it’s not just limited to antiques. Sure, I’ve found some totally awesome antiques in some of these shops: vintage typewriter, candlestick phone, wall-mounted crank telephone (with guts), ice tongs, cotton scale, 50s style milk bottles–and the carrying crate; I’ve also found plenty of new items that are either made to look vintage or they’re just plain modern, but obviously people (including me…) are buying them or they wouldn’t be putting them in these booths any longer. Some of these include: bath salts, candles, salsa, custom made signs, CDs, tapes, records, DVDs, VHS tapes, greeting cards either handmade or a package of unwanted store-bought cards, soap, fancy mirrors, miscellaneous silver pieces, crayons, mis-matched plates, etc. You name it, it’s in there somewhere. I once half-jokingly told my husband Bob that it’s like some of these people are having a garage sale without the garage or the need to actually bother with running the drawer themselves. If/when it sells, it sells and if it doesn’t, they just go collect it all when they’re ready to stop renting space.

It’s truly a wonder (and I bet you all have at least one of these little treasure troves near you).

About once a month, I go troll through the row of stores. Yesterday was my January “run”. Some months I just go and look and try to keep my jaw hinged. Other times I buy something in each store. I don’t plan it that way, but it happens. I go in. Something calls my name and I have to take it home. I actually save up each month for these trips.

Yesterday only one thing called to me, and oh, did it scream! Now, it’s probably not what anyone else I know would have walked out with, but it had my name written all over it and shows you that I, too, can be just as scandalous as any of the Banks sisters…specifically Liberty. 😉

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So of course, I had to hang it above the door to my laundry room although I doubt anyone will…

IMG_3198

 

(Oh, hey, look as an added bonus, this falls on a Wicked Wednesday!)

I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness

New Year’s Confessional

Okay, I must come clean…

But before I go any further all I can say is, don’t judge me–you know you’ve either done it or at least contemplated it.

I have two boys, one is 10 and one is a sneeze away from nine. Neither are what anyone would consider night owls. Sure, they CAN stay up late,but it makes the next day totally miserable. (I’m sure those of you who’ve done this know exactly where this is going…)

Yesterday, prior to kickoff of the Oklahoma/Clemson Game I announced that from now until midnight it was family time and there were NO electronics and asked my kids to go bring me their Kindles.

And then it happened…

While engrossed in the Sooners vs Clemson game, I may have…uh…moved the clock ahead after the first quarter in the name of getting more snacks. At halftime my kids marveled at how long this game was to which I said, “Yep, it’s the big one!” Then hurried them on to make their New Years’ Hats.

This game was SO big in fact that after it got dark, I might have…well, I moved it ahead again!

And then, for good measure, just as it was wrapping up…I moved the clock ahead by an hour ONE MORE TIME.

Longest game ever. Started at 3pm ended at almost 10pm! (As a side note: for my husband it truly was a long game and not because of my maneuvering of the clock.)

At “10” (or to everyone else in my timezone 7) we rushed to finish our hats and so we could start a movie to watch until midnight.

To help assuage my guilt, I offered to make some milkshakes–and yawned a few times for good measure.

By 10:25 the movie was on and by 11:50 the movie was over and it was go time.

Rushing around like maniacs, we all donned our barely dry party hats and grabbed a cup of confetti. I set the timer on the stove and at midnight we tossed the confetti and cheered. When the cheering ceased, I heard the words, “Wow, it’s already midnight, I’m not even tired.” Followed by, “Yeah, I didn’t even yawn once!”

Tamping down my guilt, I promptly sent the children to bed and went to my room where I sat anxiously in my bed for who knows how long waiting for one of them to barge in and declare I’d tricked them!

Fortunately, nothing came of it and I must have fallen asleep because at the real midnight, I was awakened by some fireworks and crept to the kitchen to fix the clocks.

It’s sure a lot of work being devious, I should really give Lady Olivia more credit than I do…

Okay, now that I’ve come clean it’s y’all’s turn!

(By the way, as I’m typing this, my kids are running around and I’m typing this in a 2″ window so pardon any typos, I’m too scared to go back to the top and re-read…)

 

funny, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness

*Facepalm*

In order to protect the guilty (and unbelievable), I will omit the name of the store where this happened…

For Christmas I decided to make a photo album for someone as a gift. I know, I know, printed pictures are outdated. But for this person, it’s the best way. So anyway, I spent several days filtering though all of the pictures on my phone and uploading them online to have them printed. My grand total was nearly 150 pictures spanning back about 18 months. I had no idea it’d be so many, but nonetheless, I thought they were all good choices and submitted them to have them printed.

Taking into account that they’d be ready on Christmas Eve, I took a deep breath and planned my day accordingly.

First step, call the store and ask what time they’ll close so I know when I need to be there.

*ring, ring*

“This is blah, blah, what do you need?”

Lovely greeting. “Yes, I’d like to know what time–”

“Doors close at 7 o’clock.”

“What about the photo lab?” I know this might sound like a stupid question, but what if it closes earlier? Some stores are 24/7 but their pharmacy and photo lab closes sooner so to me it seemed like a legit question.

WRONG.

“Lady, the whole store closes at 7 p.m. That means everything!”

Well, alrighty then.

After thanking her as nicely as I could, I hung up the phone and decided I’d swing by there before going to my father-in-law’s for lunch just in case the photo area did close sooner.

I go in with the expectation of collecting my pictures and I leave in a state of utter disbelief.

The lady in front of me pays for her order and the guy behind the counter decides as soon as she’s done checking out, that he’s done, too. He sees me, but he wanders off to go chew the fat with the two other lab techs about their Christmas plans.

So I do what any mature woman of my age would do: seethe.

Behind me, the lady in line says, “It must be nice to be paid to chat about Christmas plans while the line builds.”

Trying not to laugh, I jokingly parried with, “Think they’d notice if we jumped the counter and found our own prints?”

This seemed to grab the attention of one of the two ladies who were chatting with our wayward clerk. She lumbers on over and asks my name. I give it.

Humming, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, this woman who can’t be less than 50 years old starts digging through the drawer of photos–grunting every couple of bars.

“What’d you say your name is again?”

“Rose Gordon.”

“Can you spell that?”

“G-O-R-D-O-N.”

“And Rose?”

Seriously?! Straining to keep a straight face, I spell it.

“Not seeing them…” She looks up and taps her lips with her finger. “Do you have any other names?”

“No…” Well sure, there’s my maiden name, but what reason would I have had to have used that at the photo lab?

“Hmmm…” She digs through the files a little more. “I don’t see it.  When was it supposed to be ready?”

I tell her and she can’t believe anything would be ready on Christmas Eve (yes, because they’re all closed up…). So I dig out my phone and bring up my confirmation email. After LICKING HER FINGER, she starts scrolling on my phone. “Hmmm. Well, they should be here, then.” She went back to the drawer and started looking again. “Aha, we have a Louisa Gordon. Could these be yours?”

“Um, no.”

“Well, do you want to look at them to make sure?”

“Not really.”

Slamming the packet of pictures on the counter, she says, “Well, lady, all I have is Louisa Gordon’s pictures. So you can either buy these and go home now or you’ll need to resubmit.”

Stupefied that this lady wanted me to BUY someone else’s pictures, I left the store.

People never cease to amaze me.

Contests, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun

A Day in the Life: Mom Fail! (And giveaway)

As most of you know, I’m a mom.

As ALL of you know, sometimes I fail.

Today I failed. Big time.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make this stuff called Malt-O Meal.

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hated it. It was nasty. Especially the chocolate flavored kind. I was so happy when she quit making it and heaved a sigh of relief when I moved out of the house and knew that ugly box would never grace the shelves of my pantry ever again.

But then it happened…

Yesterday morning while at breakfast my kids voiced complaints about the cereal I’d bought for them: Shredded Wheat. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it doesn’t taste as great as Apple Jacks or Fruit Loops. But it’s good for you! That’s a good argument, isn’t it? At our grocery store, we have this point system that rates all foods on a scale from 1-100, 1 being totally unhealthy and no nutritional value and 100 being optimal nutrition. Shredded Wheat is like a 91 on that scale. No other cold cereal comes even close. Most hover in the 20-40 range. So if we have cereal, it might as well be a healthy one, right? But alas, my kids don’t love it and have complained (and yes, I’ve eaten it, too, and really it’s not that bad).

Well, yesterday was the final straw for me and I did the unthinkable, I bought Malt-O Meal.

If they want to complain, I’ll give ’em something to complain about!

So this morning, I crept out of bed and with a little chuckle to myself, I grabbed the box of Malt-O Meal I’d hid and whistled as I cooked it up…

Now, let me pause for a minute to add this disclaimer–I’m not a mean person. I know, Shredded Wheat and Malt-O Meal makes it sound like I’m evil, but really, I just want my kids to eat right so they don’t have so many health problems later. With so much junk out there, it seems that if you want to eat healthy that you’re being tortured! They do get treats, but they’re restricted to a 3-4 times a week, and I don’t think breakfast is the meal to ingest tons of sugar. Believe me, when you homeschool, you want a few hours where they’re not bouncing off the walls!

So back to the story–the Malt-O Meal is all cooked up now:

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With a deep whiff of my childhood filling my nostrils, I poured some into three bowls (my husband positively refused to eat any of it) and brought them to the table. Yum, yum!

The kids sat down where they usually sit (of course my dear husband had to make a gross comment about what the contents of our bowls looked like) and the kids stared at it… I lowered my head to hide my grin. Gas to the grocery store: $2.99; One box of Malt-O Meal: $3.59; Never hearing your kids complain about eating Shredded Wheat again: Priceless.

I’ll admit I felt like a bad Christian as I smiled and bit my lip–hard enough to draw blood–to keep from giggling during prayer. The excitement was just too much!

Then it was time to eat…

Both of my kids poked the hardening, clumping mess of brown slop in their bowls with their spoons. “Do we have to eat this?” Eddie asked, blinking.

“Yep. Eat it up. It’s good for ya!” I replied as I mentally prepared myself for what I was about to eat. Then, before I could think about it and change my mind, I ate a bite. It wasn’t delicious by any stretch, but it certainly tasted better than I remembered. (I’m assuming the ingredients have changed because I highly doubt I’ve acquired a taste for such.)

After about my third bite, I hear the words I never expected: “Can you make this for us again?”

What the heck? “Wh-what?”

“I like it,” Eddie said between bites, “can you make it again tomorrow?”

Gripping my spoon with all my strength so it doesn’t fall and chip one of my dishes, I looked to Henry who was also eating the crap without complaint. Yet. (He later admitted that it didn’t taste so good because he didn’t eat it fast enough and it made clumps that were gross!)

Overall, if they liked it, I think I just had a mom fail. Sure, I just found a meal they’ll eat, but it didn’t serve the purpose I’d been after. Oh well. Live and learn.

So my question is, for a chance to win ANY eBook from my backlist, what has been your “fail”. It can be a mom/dad fail; co-worker fail, sibling fail, etc. Something where things didn’t go as planned–for you!

(Open Internationally. Winner will be selected at random Friday at noon CST.)

Just for Fun

Another hodgepodge post…with a story!

1. Today the third and final cover is being revealed in my Gentlemen of Honor Series. You can check it out at Buried Under Romance. (Right link this time!)

 

2. I completely forgot to post a picture of my Turkey Day Turkey! I’d mentioned that I was going to go prepare it and I did…

Veggie Turkey
See any other animals in this picture?

Strangely enough, I live in the middle of Cattle Country and I’m a vegetarian. So I made my own kind of turkey this year.

3. The theater story…

Yesterday, Bob and I made a trip to our nearest metropolitan city: Tulsa, to see a movie.

Why drive so far? Because there’s a really AWESOME theater in Tulsa that has two leather recliners pushed together with a moveable arm rest–so really it becomes like a little loveseat. There are only about eight couches of two seats on a row and about five rows in the entire theater, with about a three or four foot “walkway” between the seats and a little half wall of glass that divides you from the next row down. It is extremely comfortable (and snazzy) and matinees are only six dollars. Score!

The problem is, they do assigned seating so one person can’t have a whole set of two seats to themselves by sitting in one of the seats while their buddy goes off and does the same thing, thus taking up four of the 40 seats. I understand that. So when you go to pay, they show you this screen and have the rows and sets of seats taken and what’s available for you and your companion(s) to pick from. My husband doesn’t like sitting on the very last row, but on the fourth row. The theater was virtually empty when we selected our seats with five minutes to showtime so we selected the fourth row, and in the middle. Great. We run to the bathroom and go to the auditorium and get settled. Just as the previews begin to roll this older guy (mid-60s it looks like) comes waltzing in with his giant drink and popcorn. As I said, there are 40 seats in this place, and only two are occupied–which he already knew because he had to select his seats at the ticket counter just like we did. Where did he choose to sit? RIGHT NEXT TO ME! Of all places. He had to sit right there in the seat on my right?? He saw there were all these other seats available, and he had to pick that one. He didn’t even have the courtesy of sitting on the other side of the loveseat, he picked the chair right next to mine. Then he put his drink in the cup holder and begin crunching his popcorn in my ear.

Then it happened.

He stopped crunching and started clearing his throat in this deep, phlegmy way. He coughed and hacked a few times, making my skin crawl. Then he started making that disgusting noise again, except this time he was doing it through his nose. You know that feeling/sound when you have something in your nose and you’re breathing in really hard to try to clear it? He was doing that and whatever it was in his nasal passage got stuck in his throat and he coughed again–and the spittle went flying! Oh, and where does it land? No, not in a napkin he’s holding in front of his face, because he isn’t. Therefore, I got sprayed on my bare arm with his spittle.

Yes, I did.

I was SO mad, I got up and left the theater and the show hadn’t even started yet. My husband really wanted to see the movie and I wanted to spend the day with him, so after scrubbing my arm in the bathroom I had to go to the ticket counter and ask that they move us seats. Of course the guy wanted an explanation and I tried to give one without losing my lunch or making him laugh at me. I’m sure they’ll be telling this story in the break room over there for a while, but it was worth it to get a new seat.

There you have it, the final confirmation that I am indeed a magnet for the strange, odd and just downright disgusting! Have a great day!