Randomness, Real Life

In the words of the sign on my front porch…

In the words of the sign on my front porch…

To those in the US have a great 4th of July. Please be safe and don’t forget to take time to remember the meaning behind today–Independence Day. So many brave men (and women–women were spies, offered medical help, harbored patriots, sewed uniforms and flags, and so much more that isn’t always remembered during that time) who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War and in many, many since then.
As a bonus, here is some useless trivia for ya, when George Washington have orders for what the militia uniform should be, he specifically asked the women to make the men tan shirts of lawn materials with very long shirt tails. The reason? Because the breeches were made of a scratchy material and when it got wet it very abrasive and he wanted his men to be focused on fighting off the Redcoats and not distracted by their itchy or chaffing groins! ūüėá You’re welcome for that tidbit.

Characters, Passions of a Gentleman, Randomness, Real Life, The Wooing Game, Updates, Writing

What I‚Äôm working on

What I‚Äôve been working on…

…and no, it’s not the railroad (although I do live waaaaaay too close to the train tracks, but that’s another complaint for another day).

I‚Äôve been a little silent the past few weeks. It‚Äôs been busy ‚Äėround here. The end of the school year is swiftly approaching which means track meets, awards banquets, photos, talent shows, auctions, spring colds, the list goes on and on.

Then there‚Äôs the writing front: Finished The Wooing Game! Writing full-force on Passions of a Gentleman. Nearing that ‚Äúmake a mad dash for the finish line‚ÄĚ point. As soon as it‚Äôs done and in the editing stage, I‚Äôll put it up for pre-order.

And once again, my blog has gone dead.

But I have an idea. Character interviews have always been fun. A few years ago, I did them on my early books and I think it’s high time I repost them as I had literally about 10 people reading them back then, so maybe a few more can enjoy them now. Also, I plan to intersperse some interviews from different authors/books so I don’t bore you all too much!

Family, I'm human too, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life

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.

Family, I'm human too, I'm the victim of myself, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life, Why Me?!

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! 

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

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!

I'm human too, Just for Fun, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life, Save me from myself!

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)

Family, Randomness, Real Life

Basketball AKA “Getting your butt handed to you” ball

[Warning: for a reason I cannot place, I have been on a tare all week. It could be my impending “officially old” birthday that is fast approaching… Nonetheless, I have been a little bit of a loose cannon this week. Be warned, somewhat of a rant and sarcasm fest straight ahead.]

My 10 year old son plays basketball–and I do mean plays. He’s not the worst kid on the team by any means, but that’s not saying much.

There are only eight boys on the team. Of these eight, only two have proven in a game they can make a basket and only about four¬†have made baskets in practice. Typically their games end with final scores of 2-34 or if it’s a good night 4-29 (meaning defense picked it up, too).

I know, I know, they’re ten and it might seem like I’m picking on them. But, I assure you, I’m not. Even at the game, I give my son and his fiends a big cheesy grin and even a high-five if they don’t think it’s too embarrassing to be seen with their mom.

But that’s the thing: they act embarrassed that to be seen with their parents…yet it doesn’t faze them a jot they just got their butts handed to them?! The other team is over there cheering and hooping and hollering at their victory (okay, this has died down a lot since the start of the season too as it’s become expected that they’re going to cream this specific school) and our boys finish and they’re not sweaty, not upset, nothing. Just chatting about Legos or the concession stand or a book or whatever. Anything except basketball!

And before anyone wonders, yes, my son WANTS to be on the team. I did not push it. He asked if he could and I made it work. Can’t speak for the other kids, but mine wants to be there. (Boggles my mind, too. ūüėÄ )

This week as I sat in the gym tapping my bootheels on the floor at halftime my mind drifted back to 16 years ago when I was in school and wanted to be on the basketball team. I was 13 and in the eighth grade. I went to a little church school of about 200 kids spread out from 1st to 10th grade (insurance and licensing costs go up drastically for 11th & 12th grades in private schools) and they had a boys and girls basketball team for 7 & 8th grade and a boys and girls team for 9th & 10th.

Now, I wasn’t one who had aspirations of making it to the WNBA, however, I could make a basket. Well, about one in two..or three. But it could be done. I showed up for basketball and did my laps and pushups and drills and all that crap. I looked around and thought, “Eh, I’m a shoo in.” I¬† wasn’t¬†that bad and believe me, there were girls there who made fewer shots than I did. There weren’t many of them, mind you, but there was at least one. Not only that, never in all the years I’d attended that school had anyone not made the team. Sure, a few girls had more play time than anyone else, but nobody didn’t make it on the team.

Until that year.

That year, I think some 23 girls started out in practices and after three weeks it was down to 21. Two got cut. I was one of those two.

Shock overcame me and I couldn’t voice my question, “How the heck did¬†Shari make it, but I didn’t?” Instead, I stood stock-still next to the other girl who was also being “excused from practice…indefinitely” ¬†and stared blankly at the man who’d just informed us. I knew I wasn’t going to make history in the world-wide game of basketball, but I didn’t expect to make it the basketball history at that school, either!

I don’t know about the other girl, but I was literally paralyzed in disbelief for what felt like a good 10 minutes. The longer we stood there, the more that “coach” (I’m using that word loosely–he was the father of my nemesis so I have a feeling that played a part, too) kept running his mouth trying to justify his decision until finally the stupidest reason¬†I’d ever heard for someone being cut from a middle school ¬†basketball roster came out:

“What it comes down to…” He rubbed his hands together. “Well, Rose and Michelle, you’re too short.”

I was flabbergasted. Yeah, good players are tall. But this isn’t the WNBA or even college. These are a bunch of 7&8th grade girls. We’re all short!!

Moreover, what exactly am I supposed to do about that? Walk around on stilts?

 

 

As that delightful memory came back to me the other night I had to laugh. I always laugh about that night, to be honest. It’s so stupid that it’s funny. But the other night it was even funnier. I grew up in a time when you were cut off sports teams for a reason that was totally ridiculous and even if your parent threw a fit, it didn’t get you back on the team¬†and only 16 years later, my son plays during a time when nobody is cut off for any reason no matter how they play¬†and they’re all given equal playing time.

I don’t necessarily agree 100% with either circumstance. I personally think kids who show motivation and initiative should be given a chance to play–even if they’re not the best. BUT,¬†that¬†shouldn’t mean that the whole team should just accept and celebrate that they’ll never win because everyone needs to have equal playing time.

Okay, there’s my story and thoughts for the day!

Have an awesome afternoon!

Real Life, Why Me?!

Why Me?!

Most of you have probably figured out by now that I’m a few things:

  1. A magnet for the crazy in life
  2. Have EXTREMELY bad luck when it comes the bathrooms
  3. My life is oftentimes stranger than fiction, thanks to #s 1 and 2

Well, it’s happened again. I have another bathroom story to tell–and this one, while funny (sort of…) now, was anything but, on Saturday morning.

To back up, about two weeks ago, I had a contractor come out and give me an estimate on a simple repair in my bathroom. While here, he came out and asked if he could use my bathroom. A little shocked that it couldn’t wait for the five or¬†ten¬†minutes it’d take get a few measurements, I said sure. When I went in there after he left, the strong cloud¬†of Febreeze choking the life out of me made it obvious that perhaps, to him, it couldn’t have waited. No big deal. The germaphobe in me wiped down the toilet with a bleach wipe and I went about my day.

On Friday, he came back to do the work¬†in the bathroom. My master bathroom has a set of french doors leading from my bedroom to the bathroom. They’re nothing fancy, just two small water-heater doors put on opposite hinges with doorhandles that don’t actually turn. You just pull them open to go in and pull them shut behind you. No lock.

So this guy brought his five or six year old child with him (which was fine, I’ve had to bring my little kids with me places, too). While they were working in there, I was working in the the kitchen and doing whatever. The guy comes out and says, “Hey, my kid needs to use your bathroom, I just want you to know so you don’t come in there.”

I waved him off. The kid probably could have peed undisturbed in the time it took for him to come out there and tell me that, but whatever.

An hour or so later, they come out and said they’re all done and I can put all the contents back into the cabinets under my sink when I’m ready (he’d taken every single thing out to work on this project). Eager to see how it looks, I zipped into the bathroom and my eyes immediately fell on the toilet and I froze.¬†Seriously?¬†Is the bright silver lever on the upper lefthand side of the toilet a mystery? Oh well, realizing the guy was right behind me, coming in to explain what all he’d done (minus leaving me an unwanted gift in the commode), I quickly put the lid down and turn my attention to where he’s showing off his handiwork. I will give him this, he does a good job and I let him know that and said, “All right, let me get you a check.” Since he was closer to the door, I let him go first and I quickly flushed the toilet!

About halfway across my bedroom I heard that sound that can make anyone’s stomach fall to their toes: The Gurgle. You all know what I’m talking about. We’ve all heard it. The toilet cannot choke down the task it’s been given.

Dread overcame¬†me and I hurried to give him his check, then run back to the bathroom, praying the floor–and consequently all of the stuff that belongs in the cabinets under my sink–is still dry!

Clutching my nearly-bursting heart, I sigh with relief when I see there isn’t water flowing over the side of my porcelain throne. Then I cringe. I should probably lift the lid and see what’s going on. Grimacing, I close one eye, hold my breath and tentatively reach forward to lift the lid…

THEN JUMP BACK!

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even more than about a thimbleful of water in the bottom of the bowl. Blinking like Alex Banks, I craned my neck to see behind the toilet. Did it hide back there, or something? Surely, I am not lucky enough to not have to deal with this.

Nope, nothing.

In a state of numb disbelief, I reach for my container of bleach wipes and disinfect every surface in the bathroom. Twice.

A few hours later as I was getting ready for bed, I tiptoed into the bathroom as if there would be a monster waiting for me, then took care of business and cringed again. That blasted gurgle! But nothing. Not even water. Odd.

Nothing else to do, I went to bed.

Then 1:30 am rolled around…

Half-asleep and cursing myself for insisting I need to drink 100 ounces of water a day, I go take care of business. Then it happens: gurgle, gurgle, gargle, GARGLE! GARGLE! 

Fully awake now, I flip on the light and shriek. Yes, I shrieked. Everything was coming up with no sign of stoping. Frightened and panicked, I grabbed the plunger and clad in¬†my favorite nightgown plunged–and shrieked some more–like a madwoman.

Why does this crap (literally) always happen to me?!

 

Behind the Scenes, draft file, I'm the victim of myself, My own craziness, My readers rock!, Real Life, Save me from myself!

Random Ramblings…

This is one of those “pulled from the draft file” posts.

The Date: November 13, 2013.

The reason for the post: I have no idea! Just rambling.

The reason I didn’t post it: Again, no idea, probably because I got severely distracted and totally lost my train of thought.

So without any further adieu…

Consider yourself warned, this is an updating sort of post that rambles. (Yes, that was my original opening line!)

If we ever meet in person you’ll know right off that I’m odd. No, no, really I am. There are a few regular commenters on here who I’ve met in person and I’m sure they all had some sort of shocker moment that still haunts them. Such as the reader I shared a hotel room with when I forgot my pajamas and to make matters worse I had to wake her up with the news that the toilet had just overflowed. Another reader totally shocked me when out nowhere¬†at a book signing, she just popped right up in my face and said, “Hey, I know you!” I’m certain my eyes nearly popped out of my head as I stuttered through an introduction. Or the first reader I ever met. She¬†walked up to me in the airport while I was looking totally bedraggled after a sleepless conference and holding a giant sea sponge and said, “I think you’re who I’m looking for.”

Of course there have been a few who I’ve met when I was prepared that I probably still totally freaked out with me just being plain old odd me.

I’m okay with that. Really, I am. It’s why I like to pretend I’m Regina Banks and fade into the wallpaper if I can. It’s probably also why I write stories. I live in my own world a lot when I can.

I say all that to say that for those brave enough to have already met me in person, they’ll know that I really DO live in my own little world where sometimes I ramble. Much like I’m doing right now.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

I'm human too, My own craziness, Randomness, Real Life

Adulting‚ĶI 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?