The Crown, Alexa, and Marital Disagreement

We’ve been watching the Netflix series, The Crown, so I am typing this with a British accent. I also am drinking tea. When someone comes in the room, I give a royal wave; but I don’t speak with commoners while in the writing mode. This is all to put me in the proper state of  mind to tell my story.

This series has brought up a serious difference of opinion between Bob and me. After over four decades of marriage, you’d think this sort of thing would roll off of me. (more…)

Dear Marion Winik

I just returned from a weekend of laughter, inspiration, education, and a tad bit of humiliation at the 2018 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.

There were seven workshops spread over two days. Each time slot had multiple classes from which to choose. Narrowing down which to attend was like Sophie’s Choice. I made my choices though, several times. My decisions were based on what the workshop topic would be, as I’m not good at remembering the names of the speakers/authors.

Friday morning, I settled down in the Memoir Boot Camp, ready to take my personal essay skills to the next level. Our speaker introduced herself as Marion Winik and proceeded to captivate us by reading some of her own essays. For a brief moment we felt all warm and fuzzy, and then it was time to get down to business and do some writing of our own. (more…)

Stream It! – Part II of my Book Signing Fun

Wouldn’t you, like to buy a book, from me?

It was a beautiful day for my first book signing. Bob and I were joined by our friend and Prevail Press publisher as we set up in front of the Barrel of Books and Games in Mount Dora. I wasn’t nervous, I’ve sold things before, but this time it was like I was selling myself. (You know what I mean). For years I was a Tupperware lady. That is a lot like being a stand-up comedian who specializes in food freshness. You engage people and make them laugh until they realize that, not only do they like that bowl, but they must have it. It translates – yesterday a bowl, today a book.

We barely had my books on the table when an extremely friendly woman literally ran up to us saying that I had been chosen as one of two that she was going to stream live. She was using all the right wording to make me believe that she was a sweet Christian lady and probably worked for the Chamber of Commerce. We all looked at each other in that way you do when you can’t quite believe you’ve found such good fortune.

But, soon we realized that we had indeed found something, and it was a far cry from good fortune. (more…)

Happy Meal, Happy Writer, Famous Author – Part I of my Book Signing Fun

I woke up on Friday with a list going through my brain. Tomorrow would be my book signing. Today would be errands – Post Office, Target, Lowe’s, Costco. It was going to be a run-around day. By the time I crossed the first two places off of my list, I knew I needed to get lunch before braving Costco. You can’t always depend on those samples to see you through.

Since my obsession with Chick-fil-A (click here for an explanation), I have been very neglectful of McDonald’s. And, seeing as it’s right across the street from Lowe’s and Costco, and since I had heard that Snoopy is in the Happy Meal, I stopped in.

At this point I need to tell you our family secret and our great family shame. (more…)

Family Game Time and The Streak

Game-player genes are strong in my family, especially on my mom’s side. My childhood memories are full of badminton and croquet in the backyard and epic Monopoly games complete with outlandish trades. As I grew older, Scrabble was added into the mix. My mom was always part of those games – well, maybe not Monopoly. What homemaker has time for a board game that becomes a three-day event?

There are no other people in the world that I would rather play games with than my family. We are a competitive bunch, and this month as we gathered together to celebrate my mom’s 90th birthday, she led the way to the game table. She loves to play Scrabble and she plays to win. It is from her that I get my love of words. As a matter of fact, during one game my mom received a phone call and continued playing as she talked. Without batting an eye, she managed to accumulate two triple words while we just stared in disbelief. She is amazing.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

This trip, most of those Scrabble games were played with Mom, my sister and brother-in-law, and myself. We played a lot, and everyone was victorious at least once, except for me. It was getting embarrassing. Not because I couldn’t win, but because I couldn’t stop winning. I was on fire. I hate to toot my own horn, but since none of them have a blog, I am left with no other choice. Not only that, I don’t think my brother-in-law is talking to me.

Seriously, I was one with the tiles. The letters seemed to rearrange themselves on the tray and lift themselves effortlessly onto the scrabble board. Two games in a row I used all seven of my tiles. In the next game, my mom did something I had never seen before when she got a double/double word. It was amazing and we knew she would win the game, until once again I used all seven of my tiles and chalked up another victory.

I knew I was in trouble, but I was on some kind of bizarre scrabble streak and, even though I felt a little bad about it, I was loving it. I also knew it wouldn’t last. Streaks are made to end. The real challenge was to get them to keep playing and not lock me out of the house. The last several days of our time together were spent at the beach, where I continued my reign of terror. After my last victory there, everyone got away from the table for a little while. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I’d leave them a note to let them know that my heart was heavy and that I felt bad, but I didn’t want to sound condescending. Plus, we were almost out of paper, so I improvised.

I’d like to say they graciously accepted my apology, but they just reinforced what I already knew – Scrabble is not for lightweights.

Loss and New Obsessions and Why I’m Going to Dayton

I am gearing up for a trip of a lifetime – this is bucket list kind of stuff. On April 5, I’m going to Dayton, Ohio, for a long weekend. DAYTON! I know you’re envious, but I have dreamed about going to Dayton in April for sometime. Something very special happens there every two years. Something worthy of the trip. It’s the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, her alma mater. (more…)

DST – It’s Not a Disease

Every spring it’s the same thing. DST arrives and it messes with me. It sounds like a disease. Yes, I am experiencing Daylight Savings Time even as you read this.

To be fair, switching back to standard time also messes with me. I am easily messed with, just ask my children. Every time after the time change, it takes me a few days to get in the swing of things like a weird, non-travel jet lag. (more…)

Postpartum Post

My baby book is one month old now! I thought I’d give you a little update.

The gestation period was extremely difficult and terribly long and drawn out. Sometimes I wasn’t sure I would deliver a healthy book. The last few weeks before the birth were sprinkled with anxiety, and I had trouble sleeping. There was so much on my mind. Would everything go okay? How was my life going to change? Had all of the characters developed properly? (more…)

My Calendar is Driving Me Crazy

I live with the constant realization that I have the capability of messing up my calendar – writing in the wrong date or forgetting to write something down. That is why I use both my iPhone and a paper calendar which hangs on my kitchen wall. They back each other up. Or do they?

When I looked at this week and saw that on Friday, I have something on my iPhone calendar that I didn’t enter, it made me wonder – am I keeping my phone too close to my bed at night? Maybe I did enter something and I just totally messed up the entry? Finally, it came down to the big question: Who or what in the world is Holi?

Yep, “Holi” is listed as an all-day event for this Friday. If I’m supposed to participate, I sure don’t want to miss it or her or him. What if he, she, or it is important? What if they are relying on me? What if the fate of the entire free world lies with me participating in this?

What if I take it down a notch and use google? Of course, the answer is always right in the palm of your hand. And this time the answer is: my phone is trying to convert me to Hinduism. Holi is the Hindu holiday known as the Festival of Colors which is observed in India and features colored powder covering everything and everyone in celebration, I believe, of spring, among other things.

I’m not sure why my phone thinks I’m open to converting to other religions. Maybe I haven’t had enough Christian events on my calendar. Maybe it doesn’t recognize the initials that I use, like CG for our church Community Group or Peggy means Bible Study (don’t try to figure that one out). Maybe I confused it by going to see The Book of Mormon last year. I don’t know.

Next in my investigation I picked up my phone, clicked on the event, and discovered that Holi is part of US Holidays. What? Now I’m really confused. When did this become a US holiday? Is this simply some app-maker’s idea or could it be part of a larger iPhone plan to unify the world? I don’t know. Maybe it’s due to the fact that my phone was made in Southeast Asia. What I really want to know is – who included this day as a US holiday? And, more importantly, do they know how that messes with me?

It wreaked havoc with my week. I was afraid to plan anything for Friday in case there was something I had forgotten – had to keep it open for Holi or whatever I really meant to enter on my calendar. So now Friday is just a blank spot – nobody to see and nowhere to go. A veritable waste!

Wait a minute, that’s a win-win for me. Now I have a free day to do whatever I’d like! That’s awesome! I need to celebrate. You know, do something colorful and festive – go all out – pretend it’s a holiday! Want to join me?

This is the color I enjoy!

Cherish is the Word

Do you remember this song by The Association? If you do, you’re going back to the year 1966. I loved the song, especially the first verse:

Cherish is the word I use to describe
All the feeling that I have hiding here for you inside

New Marriage Book Available Now

Well, that was 52 years ago. At that point I didn’t know what cherish meant. Maybe it’s a fuzzy word for you. Either way, let me introduce you to my friends, Tom and Debi Walter, who write a wonderful blog dedicated to caring for your marriage. The Romantic Vineyard, their blog, started ten years ago, and it has helped cultivate strong marriages around the world.

This week they are releasing their new book, Cherishing Us. It is a wonderful resource and full of inspiration to keep your marriage healthy. In fact, it is all about a healthy marriage, offering 365 healthy marriage tips and a whole lot more. Won’t you consider ordering it today?

Here’s a link to their blog so you can read more about it – simply click here to read their blog. Or, just click this link and go straight to Amazon to order on paperback or a digital version. #cherishingus