Family, fun, funny, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life, things that make me laugh, Why Me?!

You’re killing me, Smalls!

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Sandlot. One of the best lines: “You’re killing me, Smalls”! I often find myself saying that to one of my boys. Last night, I said it to each of them.

Last night was their Christmas program (yes, they go to a public school and yes, the school called it that). We live about a mile from the school and along the way is a Dollar General, the only place within about 10 miles to buy food.

So, with those details in mind, here’s the story that transpired within less than the two minutes it takes to get from our house to the school.

As soon as we got in the car a funny smell wafted to my nose. *sniff, sniff* “What is that?”

“What’s what?” Henry, my youngest, asked.

“That smell?” I take another sniff and wrinkle my nose. Something does NOT smell right. “It smells weird, but I can’t place it.”

“Oh, it’s me,” cackled my twelve-year-old. “I put a dab of your pain relief cream on my hands.”

“Why?”

“Because I think it smells good,” he said.

“Seriously? Are you trying to tell me you want some cologne for Christmas?”

“No. I don’t want the girls all over me. I just like the way this smells.”

It smells like Menthol. That is NOT a good smell. Resisting the urge to bang my head against the steering wheel, I muttered, “You’re killing me, Smalls.”

About this time, my youngest goes, “Mom, I need to bring food for the party tomorrow.”

Now I want to bang my head against the steering wheel for a different reason. I didn’t bring any money. Why? Honestly, it was simply because it was so warm out that I forgot my coat at home that had my cash and debit card. Spotting, the Dollar General up ahead, I reached one hand into the cup holder and pulled out my spare change, shook my head and said, “You’re killing me, too, Smalls.”

The lady in Dollar General giggled right along with me when I apologized to her for buying not just one, but two bags of cheese popcorn with an array of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Seriously, I love my kids–as is obvious by my humiliation of buying snacks with sticky change–but sometimes I swear they’re killing me! 😀 😀

QUESTION: What have YOU done for someone you love that you never imagined you’d do?

Family, fun, funny, Games, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!, things that make me laugh, Why Me?!

Tenzi!

This past July I went on a small vacation to Branson, Missouri to see a handful of live shows and most importantly walk through the craft malls because I, Rose Gordon, am a Craft Mall Junkie. So much so, I actually have to set myself on a timer when I go in one so I make sure to keep walking. Even if I leave without buying anything, I am the sort who has to look at every single booth and think to myself, “Would I use/decorate/love/hate that?”

Branson has four, maybe five of these malls–all so large you could seriously spend half the day in each. I did not. I was a good girl. I kept moving to “beat the clock” and I even did one better by bringing along cash, knowing that when my cash was gone, I was done. (Yes, I went so far as to leave my debit card securely locked away at a different location so I wouldn’t be tempted.)

Final hour in Branson, I had done sooooo good. I hadn’t lingered too long in any single store and I still had money! I was on a roll!

Then, I saw it…

Tenzi. 

In every store I’d gone in–even ones that weren’t craft malls–I kept seeing these plastic square tubes full of colored dice. The first time or two I didn’t really pay much attention, but after seeing it for about the 10th time, I thought “Wow, these people sure do like their dice. Maybe this is like Vegas for the family oriented people.”

“Want to play?”

I nearly jumped out of my skin. “Play what?”

“Tenzi,” said the lady standing behind the counter. She pushed ten red dice at me. “Pick ’em up and roll ’em.”

Obediently, I complied.

“Get your sixes,” she said.

So I did.

“I want to play,” said this teenage girl.

The lady pushed her a set of ten dice and the girl took off rolling and separating them.

“What now?” I asked hesitantly. There’s nothing worse than be the person who doesn’t know what’s going on while everyone else does.

“Keep rolling,” the older lady said, rolling her color and moving her sixes aside.

“I just keep rolling and pulling out the sixes?” I asked, totally confused.

“Yes,” the older lady said at the same time as the little teeny-bopper shouts “TENZI!!!” right in my ear.

I looked over at her dice and all ten showed the number six. Her face showed a smug expression.

“Sorry,” her mom said, poking her head around the side of her. “My kids played all night last night.”

I nodded slowly.

“It’s not really fair that I beat two old ladies,” the girl said.

Her offhanded response struck a nerve. I’m not old! I might be 31, but I’m not old! “All right, girl,” I said in a voice I barely recognized as my own. “Game on.” I pushed my hair behind my ear then grabbed my dice.

The girl started giggling and it sounded like she said something akin to “Yeah right.” She picked up her dice. “Shall I go easy on you and start back at sixes?” Her mocking tone stoked my competitive fire, but let me know that I didn’t fully understand the rules!

I looked at the older woman who’d first trapped me into playing this. “How do we play?”

“First round, everyone starts out looking for sixes. The first person to get all of their dice to read six, they say, ‘Tenzi’ and the round is over. The next round whoever had their sixes starts working on their fives and everyone else continues to roll of sixes. There is only one winner per round…”

“I think I have it.” I nodded to the girl who was staring at me like I was a moron. “GO!” I tossed down my dice and started frantically looking for sixes. I scooped up the remaining numbers and rolled again, and again, and again, each time moving aside my sixes. “Tenzi!” I hollered, trying not to laugh at the shocked look on the girl’s face. She’d had nine fives and was trying to roll her tenth.

She grabbed her dice. “GO!”

The next six minutes were the most satisfying six minutes of my entire trip as I trounced a sixteen year old girl in a game that solely consists of rolling dice. I know, I know, it was immature of me to challenge someone to a game. But let me tell you, there is an inexplicable euphoric feeling at whooping the butt of a cocky teenager–even if it is just in rolling dice. (Even her mom seemed to be reveling in the moment!)

I am so immature in fact that I whistled all the way to the checkout with a my very own package of multicolored dice.

Here’s what it looks like:

I’ve been told you can find it in certain toy stores or I found it on Amazon. It’s super easy to play and my kids LOVE it. (In fact, they beg to play it.) You can play it at the table, on the floor, coffee table, etc. Anywhere with a flat surface. I mentioned the easiest way to play. But someone has written a book with 77 Ways to Play.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What are your favorite boardgames?
  2. Have you ever stooped to my level to act immature in order to prove your point? (Come on now, I know some of you have!)

 

 

 

 

 

fun, Giveaway, Just for Fun, Randomness, Real Life

Happiness is…

Ever have a “Plan B” day? For whatever reason (weather, traffic, mood, kids misbehaving) your original plan for the day gets scrapped and you decide to do something else? That’s a Plan B day. (The something else, might or might not be better, no guarantees.)

I have these days quite frequently. In fact, some days it’s more like I’m on Plan Q by lunch. Anyway this past August, I was sans kids for a few days decided to take a little drive to Pawhuska, Oklahoma. I’m sure the majority of you will be wondering why in the world would I want to drive to a city with such a funny name and a percentage of you will know immediately: the Pioneer Woman has her mercantile and restaurant there. For those who have never heard of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman and her claim to fame, you’re not alone. I wouldn’t know who she was if it wasn’t for my mom and some lady at my church being so obsessed with her and her dishes. She has (or had??) a cooking show where she prepares down-home, comfort cooking. She’s written several cookbooks and even has a line of dishes and kitchen accessories that you can find at most Wal-Mart stores–which I will admit, I do like her turquoise dishes. She lives on her husband’s family ranch near Pawhuska and in town she owns a general store and deli that has been devoted to showcasing her design line and recipes.

Pawhuska itself is a very small, quant town with those old brick buildings all throughout the streets of downtown. You can’t argue that driving around you feel transported back to a much simpler time until you turn the corner and see this massive line of people that (no kidding) is a block long all standing in line chatting with friends or texting on their smart phones. Apparently people come from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY to go there, not just those who live a few hours away. Not only could I not find a place to park, but when I finally did and walked the four blocks to the entrance and inquired as to how long the wait would be I was told at least three hours. Um, I am sure the restaurant is delicious and I DID drive two hours to get there, but I don’t want a sandwich or whatever else is on the menu (I never saw it) that bad.

So I started back to my car and when I saw a little boutique on my left, I formed a Plan B. Here I am in a town I’ve never been to and likely won’t visit again, it has a beautiful downtown with plenty of other stores and things to see and do. Let’s do this! 

I am so glad I did. I didn’t find too much that needed to come home with me. In fact, I think I only bought one thing besides a jar of BBQ sauce that was locally made. Other than that, I just enjoyed looking around at their old buildings and neat old junk from yesteryear in some of their antique shops.

What I find that I couldn’t live without was this:

It’s a little hard to read but it says, “Happiness is like jam. You can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself.”

I just love this because it’s so true. I don’t know how many times I have gone to do a task or volunteer to do something that I wasn’t super excited about at first, but after I started seeing how people responded and their happiness, I was just as happy and excited as they were. It’s contagious and in a world that seems so cruel and bleak at times, happiness is something we can all spare to “catch” or smear and get covered in!

I have a series of books to give away (either my westerns or my Banks Brothers’ Brides books–winner’s choice) for a random commenter either here on my blog or on my Facebook Page who comments to share either A. their favorite “Plan B” experience; B. what happiness is to them; or C. a picture of their favorite sign/saying/picture in their house.

 

 

funny, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, Randomness, Real Life, Why Me?!

Death (wish) by Summer Sausage

[WARNING: you might want to skip this post if you have a weak stomach–or at least wait until you aren’t eating.]

I love summer sausage. Nay, not love. I LOVE summer sausage.

Summer sausage, however, doesn’t love me…

Around this time of year, my local Sam’s Club will sell have a display full of about 300 logs with a label: “Yard ‘o Beef” slapped on the front. I cannot force myself to walk past the display without my mouth watering and my fingers itching to grab just one…OK two.

And so it was in October I came home from Sam’s with six feet of beef (these things are about as thick as the business-end of a baseball bat). It was all I could do to wait until I got all of my groceries put away before sawing into one. Then, I did a few more chores and I cut off a few more thin slices. I sat down on the computer to do emails and check book sales–grabbed a few more slices for the task. Dinner time came, I wasn’t so hungry so I cooked for my boys and just snacked on another couple of slices. Played a game with my kids and spent an hour of us all doing some clean up. When they went to bed, I decided to watch an episode of Switched at Birth (I just discovered this show and it’s really good). Anyway, I was feeling hungry now so…you can guess where this went, I grabbed that blasted summer sausage log, a knife and cutting board and headed for the living room.

By the time I was ready to head for bed, I realized that in the course of the afternoon, I’d devoured approximately half of that log! Yep, that’s about 18″ of a slab of densely packed beef.

Gritting my teeth, I shoved it as far back in the refrigerator as I could so I wouldn’t have a repeat performance the next day.

I soon found out, that step was unnecessary when an hour later I was awakened with the most painful stomachache I’d ever experienced.  Followed by a taste in my mouth so foul my nose and eyes watered. I rolled over to get more comfortable and the situation intensified. Immediately, I shot up. I need to get to the bathroom! It wasn’t a far walk, but alas, the trip was made for naught. Nothing was budging either way. In fact, it just made me sicker. I slunk back to my bed and crawled in, another round of the noxious gasses filling my mouth. Blech. I laid on my side and a HUGE air bubbled filled my stomach. Groaning, I rolled back onto my back and in all of my infinite wisdom, I tried to push my stomach for relief. Nothing.

Sweat started t0 dot my hairline and my stomach roiled and burned with pain as what felt like a ball of broken shards of glass started to move in my intestine. I thought I was going to die.

The ball of broken glass only moved about three inches, then stopped. I clenched my eyes closed tight and repressed a groan, then flipped onto my stomach. Pressure! I need to put some serious pressure under my stomach. Let’s force this ball through! No such luck. Never in my life have I ever wanted to have gas, but at that moment, I’d definitely welcome it.

Gas! Perfect. Clutching my stomach and trying to blow out the nasty taste in my mouth as quickly as I could, I hobbled to the bathroom to see if I have any sort of GasX or PeptoBismol. No and no. Another eruption of nasty taste accompanied by bile surged up my throat and into my mouth. Instinctively, I clenched my belly and just knew 18″ of summer sausage was about to reappear. Nope. Not that fortunate. Nothing.

I glanced at he clock. It was barely past midnight which meant the Podunk dollar store about 1/2 a mile from me wouldn’t be open and my conscience wouldn’t let me drive to town to get the relief I sought while my kids slept. It was almost bad enough to consider waking them. Almost. Thoughts of having to hobble around Walmart at dark-thirty while clenching my stomach and groaning in pain kept me from going. What if someone thought I was on drugs and called the police on me?!

Another rush of pain shook my body and I flung my writhing, hot self up into the bed, waiting to die because surely this would be my last night on earth.

Obviously it wasn’t, but it went by slower than a UPS delivery when you know something’s coming. With each tick of the clock, I could almost hear “sausage, sausage, sausage, sausage, sausage”.

When morning finally came, I felt no better than I had hours earlier and had to take three breaks on my way up the stairs to wake up the boys. (A good old fashioned wake up call might have been a better idea.)

When at last I got them downstairs, fed, clothed and out the door to the bus stop, I flopped like a worm out to the car, climbed in my car and floored it to the dollar store.

“Pepto,” I croaked to the clerk when I walked in.

She blinked at me. “Pardon?”

“My stomach is about to explode,” I said through gritted teeth. “I need PeptoBismol.”

I can’t be sure, but I swear that clerk started giggling. I just followed her outstretched finger and with one hand groping along the racks to help keep me upright, I padded over to the far back corner of the store. Of course. I finally reached the back. My eyes raced across the rows of antacids, gas relief, laxatives. No Pepto or Mylanta. My eyes blurred with tears. No, this cannot be. It MUST be here. I looked again, this time using my finger to help my eyes stay on track. Finally, at the very bottom all by itself was one lonely, pink bottle. Grunting like a madwoman, I leaned so far forward I feared I might fall face first into the display (scarcely concerned about the laws of nature and that it would be this very minute that the glass bubble decided to exit–but secretly hoping it would just to relieve the pressure. Who cares if I’d be too embarrassed to ever shop there again. Relief was NEEDED.).

Making my way to the checkout, I noticed what I had in my hand was some cheap imitation. I didn’t care. it was pink and it was by the stomach relief items. That as good enough for me. I started pulling off the plastic that surrounded the cap and shoved it in my pocket. I got up to unoccupied counter and plunked my bottle on the belt. With a groan, I rang the bell, then twisted the cap off and in a move that would make my germaphobe mom shudder in disgust, I took the biggest key on my keyring and stabbed it through the foil seal on the bottle of knock-off Pepto. Vaguely aware that the cashier was now at the register and ready to scan my bottle of summer sausage antidote, I chugged about a third of that bottle.

Wiping the back of my hand across what I’m sure was a pink mustache dotting my upper lip in the most undignified way, I reached into my pocket and paid the lady, then muttered an apology, grabbed my bottle of serum and grunted back to the car.

Ten minutes later…

Everything was fine and I was contemplating breakfast (just no summer sausage).

And now, I have been cured. Just Sunday I was at Sam’s and walked past the display without having even a twinge of an urge to take one home. No, thank you!

QUESTION: What could you eat (or have already eaten) so much of you could make yourself sick? If you have overindulged, did it cure your hankering? Come on, let’s hear those stories!

Behind the Scenes, Books, changes, Family, fun, Happenings, Her Sudden Groom, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Just for Fun, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Polls, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!, Secrets of a Viscount, Swag, things that make me laugh, To Win His Wayward Wife, Why Me?!, Writing

Long time, no blog

For those of you who don’t know (or remember me :-p ) my name is Rose Gordon and once upon a time I wrote historical romance–mostly Regency-era.

Here’s a few visuals…

IMG_9757
Me at RT in Chicago 5 *gulp* years ago.

 

 

And when I wasn’t slaving away to write about unsuspecting fellows and their over-scandalous counterparts, I was on here blogging about nonsense like…

j-wglasses
Jezzie–the mannequin head my family and I pass around.

 

(The time I fell through the attic on Thanksgiving.)

 

(Crazy stuff I’ve found–and maybe bought…–at the fair or craft mall.)

I also shared on here about my failed attempts at crafts:

Held crazy votes:

 

Or shared stories about my kids:

(100 “signed by author” stickers, plus autograph for 100th day of school; and my kids fighting over a stuffed enema…)

So many of you supported me when I raised $10,000 for MS and looked like an idiot while doing it!

Let me share some seriously scandalous “swag” I’ve picked up at different conventions:

 

I had so much fun writing over 600 blog posts whether they were stories about the craziness in which I live, a man’s POV of my books, hosting contests and so much more. I have missed out on so much by not posting very consistently for the past three years. A fact I wish I could change–but some things aren’t things you post. Or at least not things *I* could ever post.

Many don’t know that about 3.5 years ago my world tilted on its axis when the happily-ever-after I believed I was living fell apart. I have gone through fire after fire since and in my own opinion, I think I’ve emerged a much different, and perhaps stronger person.

Am I ready to write romance novels again? No. Maybe one day, but not today.

Am I ready to start blogging about the craziness that I now face with boys who are 10 and 12 and have entered into their first year in public school? Oh, absolutely. (Funny sidetrack: on Halloween my kids left for the school bus 10 minutes earlier than they needed to. Why? Because they could and I was in the shower and couldn’t tell them, “Oh, hell no.” When I got out of the shower, I noticed I had received about 5 texts from my kids. “Mom, we’ve been down here for 5 minutes and haven’t seen a single bus. I don’t think they’re having school today. You know, Halloween is a holiday.” Oh, my poor kids who’ve always been in a church school or heaven help me homeschooled for an overwhelming year. I wrote back: “Wait for the bus. You left 10 minutes early. The bus doesn’t even get there until 7:40 and you usually leave at 7:30. Writing me at 7:25 to tell me you haven’t seen the bus and you think there’s no school in observance of Halloween will be posted to Facebook if you two argue when you get home tonight. 😀 Love ya!”)

So, if you’re up to following my blog to follow more about me and my shenanigans, my crazy parenting, unusual finds, ridiculous signs, craft fails, wild tales and other craziness where truth is stranger than fiction, than please stay tuned and subscribed. (After all, it IS called Rose Unscripted.)

If you followed my blog as a means to keep up with my writing progress and being informed of new books only, I will by no means be disappointed if you’d like to unsubscribe.

Again, I want to thank you all. Whether you’ve been a follower since I started blogging in Feb. 2011 or have subscribed recently, it doesn’t matter, I just appreciate that you’ve enjoyed my work enough to sign up!

blog hop, Contests, Giveaway, I'm human too, Jessie: Bride of South Carolina, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!, Why Me?!

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…

img_6410

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:

img_6411

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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I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, Real Life

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:

IMG_5310

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:

    IMG_5291
    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:
    IMG_5299
    6. Remove grater and drill pilot holes:
    IMG_5300
    7.  Screw grater to wood:

    IMG_5301
    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!
    IMG_5309
    Now, I can hear the grumbling already, that is one ugly dish towel rack, but it does have some other function:

    IMG_5311
    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. 😳

Randomness, Real Life

Generation Gap o_0

For those who don’t know, I was 19 when my eldest son was born. What a surprise he was, born almost exactly 10 and a half months after Bob and I eloped! Being such a young mom (20 when my youngest was born), I’ve always had plenty of energy to “keep up” with my kids. When they were little, I was right there on the floor playing cars or Legos or boardgames with them. As they’ve gotten older, however, I’ve noticed it: the generation gap. Nineteen/twenty years doesn’t seem like that big of a generation gap. But it is for those of us born in the mid-80s when microwaves hadn’t quite yet become a common household appliance. I remember when I was about five my dad carrying this massive box into our apartment and how excited my mom was to have a microwave!

Last April while at parent-teacher conferences, my son’s teacher asked me to come and talk to her fourth and fifth grade English students about writing and help them with their biographies.

Oh boy!

I must admit, I’ve talked in front of hundreds of adults at conferences. It’s nerve-wracking. I don’t like being in front of people. It just makes me awkward. But kids! Oye, talk about a tough audience. Thankfully she scheduled it for only a week out so I only had seven days to agonize about what I’d say to a gaggle of children. Any longer than that and I’d have had a full-blown panic attack.

Part of what I explained to these kids was when describing their person in their report, talk about their childhood: did they go to a one-room school? Did they have a private tutor? What were their hobbies? This helps the reader have a better idea of the standards of the time period that they’re writing about.

Somehow, and I’m not 100% sure how because this is just how I roll, this launched into me explaining what MY childhood was like:

I learned to type at age seven on a computer that was a black screen with green letters because computers were becoming “all the rage” and had to learn binary code (a code written by a series of 0s and 1s) to write a simple program my first year in high school.

I didn’t have the Internet in my home until I was 11–and it was AOL (America On-Line). They were fascinated by how the Internet used the phone line and you had to buy minutes. Oh, and that SOUND! I’m a sound effect gal and did my best attempt at that keypad dialing followed by the ear piercing squealing and then the screaming bear trapped in a washing machine as it finally connected.

While they were amazed at how the Internet worked, one couldn’t wrap his little head around what I meant by it used the phone line and made the phone unusable. These kids didn’t understand a LANDLINE!

Here my little 29 year old self stood in this room and my jaw was unhinged in disbelief. Even when my boys were little we had a landline. They don’t remember it, but it was there.

Of course this launched into an explanation of a phone that had a handset and a curl chord that plugged into the base and if you could afford it you’d get a cordless phone so you could take the handset in your room and talk. This brought about more confusion. “There wasn’t a phone in every room?”

Um, no. There were like two in the house and it was rare for anyone to have more than one line.

And then came the question of how would you send a text?

I left that room feeling like an antique after explaining that texting is fairly new, only gaining popularity fifteen years ago and cost per text sent and received. Which of course caused more disbelief and an explanation of why acronyms such as LOL, RU not to be confused with “ur”, and TTYL came about.

My question is: where the heck are these kids’ parents?! Are they too busy playing on their own phones to explain the “olden days” to their children and leave it to the poor sap who agreed to come talk about writing? I know I’m not the oldest parent of the class. Good grief and I thought the biggest hint of a generation gap between me and my kids was that when kids come over here they always want to compare the size of the TV with theirs (we always lose–I’m not a TV watcher) and when I was a kid, the first thing my mom asked me when I walked through the front door was: whose house is cleaner–theirs or ours? (This always had a definite winner, too. You could do surgery in any room in my mom’s house.)

That’s my thought for the day as your kids are starting to go back to school. Educate them at home, too!  Describe to them that awful noise that rent the air while connection to the Internet followed by those words that made you dance with anticipation: you’ve got mail. Describe how great they have it with the ability to talk on the phone AND send a text AND look at Facebook all at the SAME TIME.