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.

turkey-trotbl-2

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. 

turkey-trotbl-2

The Tread Desk: A visit from the Draft File

As most of you know, blogging hasn’t been my forte lately. The long and short of it is that I’ve had a lot of things happen in my personal life since May 2014 and blogging was one area I’ve had a hard time keeping up with.

Don’t get me wrong, I have tried. I have REALLY tried but it just doesn’t happen. I’m finally to a place (or at least closer to it) where I genuinely think I could start blogging more regularly again–so much so that I’m even participating in TWO Blog Hops this month. The first one is a private one and the second one I am hosting. Yes, you read that right, I am hosting it. If you have a blog, please follow this link and sign up. The more the merrier!

While cleaning up my blog today, I noticed the draft file…Fun Fact: there are 122 blog posts that are in the draft file. That’s a lot of starts that didn’t get finished.

Here is one of my favorites, I started it back in Oct. of 2013. It’s titled, The Tread Desk.

As most of you can imagine, I spend A LOT of time sitting on my derriere each day. While I have no trouble sitting, and actually enjoy it, over the past three years, I’ve had one terrible side effect: I’ve gained some weight. Serious weight.

When I first married Bob, I was ninety pounds and literally could have blown away in the Oklahoma breeze.

Then I had two children.

That changed things DRASTICALLY for me. I no longer struggled to gain and maintain weight, but for the first time in my life, I was “sturdy”. I did fluctuate between the 120 and 130 range, but when you’re only 5 feet tall, no matter if you’re 120 or 130, you look heavier than that. Looking back now, I should have been THRILLED and embracing my newfound “luscious feminine curves” as they’re often referred to in books. But, I did not.

I started writing Intentions of the Earl in the spring of 2010, then in the fall wrote the two follow-ups, thus began my “secretary’s spread” as a friend of mine used to call it when I worked in an office job as a secretary. It’s where you sit on your hiney all day working, and because you’re eating at your desk (thus eating more) and not being very active, you start to spread.

I knew I was having some sort of issue with maintaing a stable weight when I realized that at the ripe age of 24, sweat pants were far more comfortable than jeans! Furthermore, I remember getting a slight wake up call in early 2012 when Her Secondhand Groom was picked as a finalist in a contest and I was going to fly down to be present at the awards dinner. In my excitement, I bought a green dress to match Juliet’s, and got some stern determination that I WAS going to fit in a certain size because I refused to buy anything larger and started walking and gave up soda. This unfortunately led to the horrific tale of me getting myself STUCK in said dress.

I can admit without reservation that the dress DID fit when I needed it to, but my good habits did not last. I was back to drinking soda and not walking soon enough, though I did continue to ride my bike. Slowly, but surely every ounce (and then some) came back and by last year at Christmastime, I came to the conclusion that if I didn’t do something, this yo-yo would continue.

This year, I’m doing much better. Am I super skinny and looking stellar? No. BUT, I’m working on it.

One such way that I’ve begun working diligently on it was by buying THE TREAD DESK.

This is as far as that draft got. Why? Probably because I even finished it I had found alternative uses for said tread desk. I wish I’d read this draft a few months ago before I did a major overhaul of my office because for ages I had boxes stacked up on the treadmill part and paper, fabric, and insanely high stacks of books piled on the desk part. Needless to say, that tread desk lasted about as long as this post.

Do I still have it? Yes. Do I use it? Absolutely! It’s a great conversation piece. Just like my stationary bike and my “shaker” (don’t ask). 

The Tread Desk, while sounding great in theory that you’re walking while typing, has one little flaw. (I should make note that the flaw is not in the product itself, but with ME.) My multitasking extends just as far as being able to chew gum and walk at the same time. I was always gripping the sides of that desk for dear life while I was on the treadmill, which defeats the purpose because I couldn’t type and when I did, I could feel my fingers slid right off  the keys. Good times. 

I know what you’re all secretly wondering: could she wear that green dress now? And the answer is….NO! Not a chance. I’ve physically put my body to the test for the past two years trying to stay healthy and somewhat fit. My arms and legs have slimmed down, but my middle has not. (Oh and I can’t even remember when the last time I had a soda was.) I have finally decided to take some advice I saw on Facebook the other day….

weight-loss-goals

Have a good afternoon! Oh, and today is the last day to enter my contest from yesterday and if you have a blog, go sign up for the blog hop!

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! 

A new career aspiration for school kids! 

I can’t take credit for the following photo. It came across my newsfeed on Facebook and I about died laughing.

  
Now we all know it happens. I have about 60 friends on my personal Facebook page–you know where I’ll post pictures of my kids and have the security so tight nobody can see squat. 

Of those 60 friends I have at least one friend who sells each of the following:

  • Essential oils–posts per day: minimum of 4–one for each way she used them that day. 
  • Mary K–posts per day: limited to 2x month when she’s ordering. 
  • Pampered Chef–posts per day: limited about one a month before an order  
  • Plexus–posts per day: 2, sometimes 3 one of which usually contains a picture of her daily “pink drink” either in a glass, or a new blender bottle or dumped in a slushie. 
  • Herbalife–posts per day: 2 minimum, 3 on a good day, and 5-6 on a very exciting day when someone lost two pounds!!!
  • It Works body wraps–post per day: countless!!! Last I looked it was hourly. As a bonus, this person uses all the little iPhone symbols and writes posts like this:

WHAT😱😱😱 the Bonuses💰💚💰💚💰 are Back‼️ I’m sharing this with You now!! 

I have been given the opportunity to *Start over* and build up another set of leaders. So that means I have to help you🙋🏻grab these bonuses😱. You will be personally enrolled and Mentored by me!!!💞 

I’m ready to help you‼️ All you need to do is to message me and we will start today😍

📲 text OR private massage me 💞

What makes me teeter-totter between laughing, gritting my teeth or just plain rolling my eyes is when I get tagged in these posts. Last I checked I didn’t go exercise this morning at 5:30 am and if someone thinks I did, or worse that I will, I have news for you! And for as much as $23,000 is an appealing amount for a bonus, I have some serious reservations as to the details here. 

It’s sad that 10% of my friends are there to sell me something. I must be a real bore. 😂

Feel free to grab the picture and share it if you need to deliver a subtle message to that one (or six) friend. 

(By the way, if any of you sell any of this, I’m not talking about any of you! I have one person on my Rose Gordon Facebook friend list who sells plexus and she goes about it appropriately. Yes, 1/650+ vs 6/60… That’s my lot in life.  Now if I could get the other 400+ authors to stop trying to sell me their books! 😝)

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?!