Join the Madness

Friday, October 26, 2012

Carry On...

I've been working on the house all week.  I'll spare you the gory details and just get to the point.

I broke a bookshelf tonight.

We were already short of shelf space, so to lose the biggest book case is a huge deal.  Ugh.

So while I figure out how to fix the damn thing, you can enter to win....


In the spirit of Halloween, I have arranged to give away a 

$60 value

If you're interested, leave a comment.  I'll choose a winner at random on October 31st.

More details HERE (scroll to bottom). 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to Avoid an Untimely Death

I've decided to quit being so dagummed nice all the time. Why?  It's a hazard to my health and safety.  Don't believe me?  Read on.
A recent news story online about a woman's mysterious disappearance contained a handful of quotes from friends and family affirming what a nice woman she was - how she had a heart of gold and always helped everybody.
It struck me that they ALWAYS say that about anyone who gets murdered, dies in a tragic accident, or succumbs to a fatal disease.  

Think about it.  Does anyone ever say, "He was a bastard.  We're better off without him." Nope.  That means only NICE people meet untimely demises and I'd rather not be one of them, so I'm going to be as cranky, difficult, and downright bitchy as possible.  My apologies in advance.  Errr, wait...I take that apology back.  (This might be more difficult than I thought)
Only one thing concerns me, though.  Whenever the police track down a serial killer or someone who has done heinous, unspeakable things what do the neighbors always say?  "He was a quiet sort.  Kept mostly to himself."
I'm a quiet sort.  I keep mostly to myself. 

So y'all better steer clear - might be my newly acquired bad attitude becomes a hazard to  your well-being.

On another semi-related note - there was a news story today about the death of a teenager.  Now I missed whether it was illness, accident, or violence that was to blame, but from the tone of the story I'm voting for the latter.  Tragic, to be sure...but they zoomed in on a makeshift memorial where people were leaving messages to the deceased and his family.

Almost every one of them signed off with YOLO (you only live once) which, under the circumstances, seemed highly inappropriate. Isn't YOLO intended to be an encouragement to go ahead and take a chance on something not something you say to a friend's grieving family?    

Your thoughts?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mock Me Monday - The Car

I was wracking my brain tonight - trying to come up with a mockable moment to share...I know there are tons of stories left, I just don't remember a lot of them until something happens to bring it all rushing back.

I asked my kids to remind me of stupid things I've done - to embarrass them or whatever - and they (bless their hearts) came up empty.  Maybe they were being nice since I was running on 4 hours of sleep, I dunno.  I really thought they could deliver something I could use.

Anyhow, daughterling #1 was waiting for her date to come pick her up -- a first date -- and wondered if every car that went by was the fate would have it, the neighbors on either side of us got visitors right about that time so her hopes were raised and lowered repeatedly.  Poor thing. (He did show up and off they went s it had a happy ending)

It reminded me of a time when I was 16 and getting ready to go babysit for a new family.  I sat on the sofa watching out the window and waiting, waiting, waiting.

But nobody came.

I'm a if-you're-not-early-you're-late kind of girl, or at least I was before I had kids.  Anyway, I jumped  every time a car went by - and there was a stop sign a house away so the cars would naturally slow as they passed - playing evil tricks with my head.

And then I took another look at the truck parked outside.  I thought it was just a phone company truck - but what if I was wrong? What if the new family I was sitting for worked for the phone company and he was sitting out there fuming because I wasn't coming out?  He'd been there a good 15 minutes - about the time I was supposed to get picked up.


Convinced I was now the one who was late, I ran out of the house to the truck.  I think I may have even tried to open the door.  Meanwhile, the phone guy looked at me like I was an alien and I knew he wasn't my ride.  Oh God.  I ran back in the house and prayed for the Earth to swallow me up whole.  

He drove off a few minutes later (gee, I wonder why?) and the real ride showed up soon after.  On a completely unrelated note the father of this family looked exactly like Johnny - the old announcer from the original Price is Right...remember?

Leave a comment HERE if you wanna be entered for a free tarot card reading.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Giveaway


In the spirit of Halloween, I have arranged to give away a 

$60 value

If you're interested, leave a comment.  I'll choose a winner at random on October 31st.

More details HERE (scroll to bottom).

Friday, October 19, 2012


Not only am I writing again, but my creative juices are flowing all over the place.  My husband is taking the two older kids on a road trip next weekend, and I decided I'm going to redo the living room and dining room while they're gone.  I haven't done anything to the living room in years so I'm excited to get started.  

One of the things I'm looking for is new wall art.  A couple of my pieces can be re-used - like this collection of pics from my trip to New York...

Ahhh, the joys of black and white.  

I wanted to do a something with our name.  Originally I planned to frame individual letters of our last name and hang them kinda wonky on the wall, but when I went thrifting (never pay full price for frames) I found this large frame that I knew would work:

So I took it apart, flipped the picture over and lined it with black textured scrap booking paper

I'd picked up a pad of decorative paper and daughterling picked out the colors/patterns.  It was tough - there were so many cool ones to choose from.

I printed out giant letters on the computer and traced them on the back of the paper then cut them out and fastened them to the back ground.

I love love love how it turned out.  Can't wait to paint the walls so I can hang this puppy up.

Then, I wanted to make some decorative balls for a dish I've yet to acquire.  These are so easy and fun to do.  I got a pack of these mini styrofoam balls at the dollar store (for a buck...but you probably figured that out on your own).  I also got a butt load of brass thumbtacks for (you know) a dollar.  

I panted the balls first, just in case there was a gap between tacks.  Didn't want any tacky white showing through.

Then I just pushed in the thumbtacks.  Mine stuck really well, but depending on the styrofoam, the tacks might not fit snugly enough, in which case I'd coat the ball with tacky glue before pushing in the tacks.  Look at the finished product:

I've got 4 of these so far, but I'm going to do more (just ran out of supplies).  I'm going to experiment with getting different finishes on them for variety sake.  Will let you know how that goes.

What have y'all been up to?  Got any cool project ideas you'd like to share?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For the Birds

My husband turned on The Birds last night before he went to bed.  Impossible as it may sound, I had never seen it before, so I stayed up to finally put that Alfred Hitchcock classic notch on my movie-watching post.  

I was underwhelmed.

First -- how stalkerish is the initial premise?  Woman has a chance meeting with a man in a bird store, she doesn't know who he is, so she copies down his license plate and has her daddy look it up.  So then she sneaks out to his weekend house, interrogates the small town residents -- including the school teacher -- to get the name of this man's little sister.  This didn't raise any red-flags with the locals!  Okay, I get it was another time and all of that but even back then if some strange woman starts asking a lot of questions about where a particular man lives and then a bunch of questions about his one thinks that's weird?

That's just the start of the Too Stupid To Live moments.  Said little girl begs strange woman to come to her birthday party.  Ummmm...what 11 year old would ask a stranger to come to her party?  Seriously?  Then, at said party (and I apologize to any of you who haven't seen the movie, but if you haven't seen it by now I'm doing you a favor) the birds attack for the first time.  What do the children do?  They all run around the yard and the adults have to corral them into the house.  I'm sorry, but doesn't the average 11 year old know that the house is the safe place?  Wouldn't it be natural for a kid at that age to run for cover inside?

Ok, let's assume that the kids were complete nitwits.  That doesn't excuse the adults from being TSTL.

Woman goes to the school to pick up girl because her mother is nervous about the bird attacks.  The class is in the middle of something, so she waits outside!  Hello...if I've been attacked THREE TIMES by birds already, and a neighbor has been KILLED am I going to (a) drive across town in a convertible?  (b) care that the class is in the middle of a song?  or (c) wait for them to finish by waiting it out on the playground?  Hell no.

If you get past THAT, then tell me why on earth you are going to send a school full of children OUTSIDE when the birds have congregated on the playground equipment and are giving them the eye?  Shocker, as soon as the kids go outside, the birds go crazy.  Who would've seen that coming?

So woman takes shelter in the local restaurant.  While the birds are going berserk, these brilliant residents GO OUTSIDE AGAIN.  Okay, you morons, you deserve to have your eyes poked out.  Seriously.  Crazy woman is one of the boneheads who runs outside -- and she takes shelter in a phone booth.  The birds are dive bombing it, so what does she keep doing?  OPENING THE DOOR!  In true 60's form, a man comes to save her.

And all that brings us to the climax.  After enduring a harrowing attack on the home, genius blonde chick hears something upstairs.  Does she alert the others?  No, she investigates on her own because clearly all of her decisions up to this point have been stellar and she can handle this.

The birds have pecked their way through the room and have invaded the bedroom.  She's attacked (go figure) and barely makes it out alive -- thanks to Big Strong Man who rescues her yet again.

I normally like Alfred Hitchcock.  I like the supernatural twists - and he's brilliant at creating tension without being too graphic or obvious.  This one, though, should be left for the birds.


In the spirit of Halloween, I have arranged to give away a 

$60 value

If you're interested, leave a comment.  I'll choose a winner at random on October 31st.

More details HERE

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Giveaway Reminder...


In the spirit of Halloween, I have arranged to give away a 

$60 value

If you're interested, leave a comment.  I'll choose a winner at random on October 31st.

More details HERE (scroll to bottom).

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mock Me Monday - Going to the Dogs

I remembered this incident last week while talking to a friend.  I don't know if I've ever posted about it before - I'm too lazy to scan through a year's worth of Mock Me moments to see if it's been used.  If I have, then I've just saved you 5 minutes of reading!  

Years ago (sheesh, I've morphed into that generation where all the great stories begin with 'years ago''s the new Once Upon  A Time...but I digress)

Anyhow, not long after I started working in a law office as a receptionist/assistant  one of the attorneys asked if I'd be interested in house/dog sitting for him while he and his wife were away for the week.

Sure, no problem.  I like dogs and I'm a bit of a voyeur - I love seeing how other people live and he had a beeeeeooootiful home.

His dogs were two black standard poodles - and they were still pups so I had to get up what seemed like every hour to let them outside to do their business.  Half the time they were more interested in playing than going which was a wee bit frustrating at 3 a.m.

One night I came "home" from work to find the dogs had somehow made it into the house during the day and had trashed the place.  On closer inspection, though, they had only trashed MY stuff...including nearly a whole bag of pads which they'd torn to shreds and scattered all over the house and yard.  I spent hours scouring for the remnants - last thing I needed was for the boss to come home and find part of a pad in a shoe or under their bed. (I'm cringing now, 20 years later). 

I was mortified, but I think I got it all...if he ever found anything unusual he never mentioned it, Thank God.

A lot of you have dogs...what's the strangest thing they've ever destroyed?

It's been a long time since I gave anything away here - and I have arranged for an AWESOME prize...and you don't really have to do anything to win except what you are already doing.

In the spirit of Halloween, I have arranged to give away a 

$60 value

This is NOT from Madame Serena as seen on TV at 3 a.m.  


This is from my sister who is a PROFESSIONAL.  She's done this as long as I can remember and I can tell you that she's good.  You will think you know who/what she's talking about today, but when it happens it's obvious...and your first assumption is almost always wrong!

If you're interested, leave a comment.  I'll choose a winner at random on October 31st.

All she'll need from you (if you win!) is your name, gender, and a question you're seeking to have answered (not something that can be answered with a yes or no).  The reading can be delivered through me if you'd like to keep your email anonymous OR it can be sent directly to you if you'd like to keep it private.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Here are the answers for the you-name-it's-daughter:

The Sausage Maker's Daughter (REAL)
The Cheese Maker's Daughter  (FAKE)
The Wine Maker's Daughter (REAL)
The Drunkard's Daughter (REAL)
The Priest's Daughter (FAKE)
The Bonesetter's Daughter (REAL)
The Shepherd's Daughter (CLOSE)
The Lawyer's Daughter  (REAL)
The Politician's Daughter (REAL)
The Missionaries Daughter (REAL)
The Ambassador's Daughter (REAL)
The Mason's Daughter (CLOSE)
The Bastard's Daughter (FAKE)
The Jester's Daughter (FAKE)
The Blacksmith's Daughter (REAL)
The Carpenter's Daughter (REAL)
The Wet Nurse's Daughter (FAKE)
The Carriagemaker's Daughter (REAL)
The Lace Maker's Daughter (FAKE)
The King's Daughter (REAL)
The Duke's Daughter (REAL)
The Pirate's Daughter  (REAL)
The Snake Catcher's Daughter (REAL)
The Peasant's Daughter (FAKE)
The Scarecrow's Daughter (REAL)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter (REAL)
The Doctor's Daughter (REAL)
The Gynecologist's Daughter (FAKE)

The Daughter

I've noticed a bunch of books lately with Daughter in the title.  I read the Demon Hunter's Daughter, but there are dozens more.  It seems to follow this pattern: The (insert archaic occupation)'s Daughter. 

So I created a bunch of titles following that pattern and cross-checked them on Amazon.  In order to qualify as "real", it had to have an exact match on the first page of results.   Can you guess which ones below are real books?

Hint: There were 18 Amazon Hits...and I'll post the answers later today.

The Sausage Maker's Daughter 
The Cheese Maker's Daughter  
The Wine Maker's Daughter 
The Drunkard's Daughter 
The Priest's Daughter 
The Bonesetter's Daughter 
The Shepherd's Daughter 
The Lawyer's Daughter  
The Politician's Daughter 
The Missionaries Daughter 
The Ambassador's Daughter 
The Mason's Daughter 
The Bastard's Daughter 
The Jester's Daughter 
The Blacksmith's Daughter 
The Carpenter's Daughter 
The Wet Nurse's Daughter 
The Carriagemaker's Daughter 
The Lace Maker's Daughter 
The King's Daughter 
The Duke's Daughter 
The Pirate's Daughter  
The Snake Catcher's Daughter 
The Peasant's Daughter 
The Scarecrow's Daughter 
The Memory Keeper's Daughter 
The Doctor's Daughter 
The Gynecologist's Daughter 

So, what do you think?  Which ones are real?  Have you read any of them?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I have my limits

I am an avid thrift-store junkie.  

There's nothing I love more than getting a bargain.  Second-hand stores get a bad rap -- and most of it is undeserved.  Sure you run into a lot of granny's basement "treasures" smelling faintly of kitty litter, but you also find a lot of NEW merchandise, tags still attached. 

I go thrifting almost every weekend. It's all about keeping an open mind and being patient.  Sometimes I find all kinds of cool things to add to the household decor or my wardrobe and sometimes I return empty handed.

One day recently, I ran smack-dab into a boundary I never knew existed. I discovered that I have limits, that there are some things that I absolutely positively cannot buy at a thrift store.  

And here is a prime example:

I don't wanna know where these came from or who wound up purchasing them.  I'm going to keep purchasing my feminine hygiene products at the grocery store, thank you very much.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Perfect Timing

I got the most lovely surprise when I got home from work yesterday - there was a box on my counter all the way from New Zealand!  The lovely and generous Nicole MacDonald from Damsel in a Dirty Dress sent me a care package.  I was blown away - SO much fun stuff it made my day!

I just have to share, so sit back and relax and prepare to be envious.

He sings - I just can't get the video uploaded

My son is dog crazy - he's gonna love this

SOOOO need these. Winter is coming!

A calendar of Nicole's area - soo cool!

YUM chocolate and pineapple!
coolest pen EVER

mmmm lip balm

Chocolate.  This won't last long

Earrings - so pretty!

Cool notebook / journal

Inside has cool pics every so often. LOVE LOVE LOVE

Another NZ Calendar - so pretty.  I'll use this at work

Fur nipple warmers - didn't know such a thing existed :)

I missed a lotion, but am too lazy to grab my camera after all of that.  Suffice it to say she blew me away and made my day.

Two more pics for you.  It's my birthday today and so I'm sharing the best birthday card EVER:

If you can't read it, it says: I wracked my brain to come up with a birthday gift that was very personal, that I knew you needed, that I was sure you'd wear, but that wasn't too expensive...
but then I thought, you probably buy your own tampons. 


Don't know about you, but it's gonna be a GREAT day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blah-Blah-Blog Tours

I was thinking about how blogging has changed for me over the last few years, and then I read Creepy Query Girl's post about Blog Tours losing their promotional "oomph".  Her original post his here - read it.  She says so much that I agree with, and it'll save me from retyping it here.

While typing my comment to that post I blathered on a bit much so I hit delete and decided I had enough to say for my own post.

I do believe that people have to work harder on blog tours, interviews, etc. to keep the content fresh and interesting.  But I'm not necessarily ready to point the finger of blame at the blog tour itself.  I think it might have a lot to do with our metamorphosis as bloggers.

Lemme explain.

A lot of us started blogging roughly about the same time.  Our blog rolls contain many of the same blogs.  We have effectively sorted ourselves into a "class" of bloggers.  

I think in the beginning it was all new to us.  When one of our buddies got published, we wanted to be part of the excitement and help them any way we could.  But as time went on and we participated in more and more launches, the shine wore off a bit.  Oh, we're still excited for our bloggy buddies but now instead of one request to help with a blog tour we've got five or six...or more.

I wonder if the new bloggers on the block - the 'freshman' are having better luck with tours since it's all still new to them?  


Monday, October 8, 2012

My memory is not what it used to be. (I almost wrote momory which I think is appropriate since I never had this problem BEFORE I had children.)

Anyway, one fine Monday morning before I woke my children for school, I prepared myself a lunch.  It'd been awhile since I brought lunch to work, and I was tired of eating out.  Not only is it expensive, but it winds up being way more calories than I need.

It's important to note that I was congratulating myself, feeling organized and in control having my lunch assembled before the kids got up.  Normally I just throw a couple things in a sack as I'm dashing off to the garage to go go go. Which is why I often end up just eating out.

So, I unzip the bottom pouch of my lunch box to slip a granola bar in, but something catches my eye, so I flip it open all the way and see THIS:

The grapes I'd forgotten about had rotted into a gooey, furry mess.  I took one look and tossed the whole lunch box in the trash.  No WAY I was cleaning that up. EWW

Friday, October 5, 2012

MORE Cody Quotes

Cody, "what would happen if Dora tried to flip a house in this recessive economic climate?"
Me: I don't know.
Cody: she fails.  Bankruptcy then ensues.

During the Olympics:
I have an appetite for Jamaican girls 


Said on vacation this summer in Chetek, Wisconsin:
Put me on a heart monitor - I swallowed my heart a true story


Also from vacation.  After a particularly painful round of miniature golf, he lays on the couch, pretends to lose his memory and then says:

I have a pulmonary embollism


I think this one is from bedtime...
I cant find a relaxing place for my feet.


Cody: Mom, do you know some people live to be 100? 
Me: How old do you wanna be? 
Cody: After im dead I want a coffin


Colon left parenthesis equals frown
he's right! 


Cody: What did I do? 
Me: I dunno. 
Cody: I turned my head in a very frightening way


Commercial: Call for a free consultation...
Cody: Did he say to call for free constipation?


No idea what inspired him to say this one...

Do you wanna see my puppy?  I'm a puppalina


Cody told a girl at school (ahem, he calls them hotels)
"You're prettier than a puppy."


Not sure when he said this one, possibly on the long drive to the cabin for vacation...
"What could possibly be more boring?"


ME: You can open a game store and --
Cody: NO 
Me: ...and sell the games you make --
Cody: NO 
Me: ...and I'l work there 


Cody: When pigs fly, Codyish will become a real language.
Me: When will that happen?
Cody: When they sprout wings or learn to buy airplane tickets.


Cody likes comborants - Like a Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in the same building so we renamed them Taco Hut and Pizza Bell


Earlier this summer we all went out to eat.  They seated us way in the back corner by the windows.  Apparently they knew we looked like trouble.  Cody started to get restless, and stood up looking out the windows behind him, barking at the people passing by.
I thought it was hysterical, but his sister was mortified.


We have launched a 7 step program for Coders to get a dog.  He has to do lots of challenging things along the way including trying new foods (very traumatic for him, not kidding).  I recently made a breakfast pizza on crescent roll dough with scrambled eggs on top.  He took a bite, but then said it rated a "Diagonal Down" (not quite as bad as a thumb down)

He wanted to spit it out, but I told him if he didn't swallow it, he would not get credit for trying something new.

He spit it out.

And then had to rinse with copious amounts of water.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Let me just say out right that I don't drink enough water.  I'm always looking for new ways to trick my palate into chugging more of the liquid necessity.

And so, one day while I was at the store I saw this bottle (sorry it's sideways, I'm being lazy).  See the pretty purple swirls?  And it's berry breeze flavored - doesn't that conjure up images of lying in a hammock in some exotic, tropical paradise?  

Not anymore.  No sirree bob.

I brought this home from the store and my kids were immediately attracted to the swirly label the same way I was.  I warned them it was MINE - and they stomped off, pouting.

So the next day at work, after eating my salad, I remembered my berry breeze in the fridge and ran off to retrieve it.  I took one swallow and UGH.  It tasted like fish.  Gross.  Who in their right mind would sell fish flavored water - where was my berry breeze?

Then I read the label - 100 mg of Omega3 aka fish oil.  Blech.  I read the labels now.

Do yourselves a favor and do NOT buy this unless looking at fish aquariums make you thirsty...

Monday, October 1, 2012


I don't know if I'm an overgrown child or whether maybe I have deeply rooted psychological issues (perhaps both?), but for as long as I can remember, I am compelled to make animal sounds whenever I pass by said animal.

If I see a dog, I woof at it.  If there's a cat, I meow.  Cows get a moo, sheep get a baa, you get the idea.  (Maybe I'm just waiting for an adult to praise me like they did when I was 2, I don't know.)

This condition tends to be problematic in Iowa where, thanks to our abundance of wide open spaces, there are a plethora of animals around.  Ask my kids, I sometimes sound like a Tourrette's patient the way I spew out animal sounds at random.  I just can't help myself.

Well, as luck would have it, I have another problem.  Whenever I see a train, I say "choo choooo".
No big deal you say?  It hasn't been up to this point.  Usually the only time I see a train is when I'm in the car with the family.  They already know I'm nuts, so I don't even think they hear me half the time.

The issue I have is that my new employer works in the rail industry so there are trains EVERYWHERE in this office.  Pictures on the wall, model trains in offices and cubicles, and trains used as screen savers.  Just this morning I saw a picture of a train used as the back drop on one of the guys' computers and the "Choo-" slipped out before I clamped down on my tongue before the rest could escape.

It's just a matter of time, my friends, before they figure me out.