Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Epic Mom Fail

So...epic mom fail today,

In the hectic craziness of returning from Spring Break, playing a double-header in baseball on Monday evening, and losing power most of the evening last night, it escaped my attention that my DD's 2nd grade class is having their Easter party TODAY!

I was under the misguided notion that the party would be Thursday, and didn't realize the kids also needed a basket with 6 candy-filled Easter eggs.


A note - which DD did not give me - went out on Monday saying their Easter party would be this afternoon.

I did ask Monday evening if she had any homework or notes, and was told, "no."

I failed to ask the same question last night as we scrounged in the dark for flashlights, and ways to keep 3 kids from being bored out of their minds while the power was being fixed.

And I should have asked again this morning if there was homework or notes we had missed, but I forgot.

So this morning after power had been restored and children were off to school for a day of learning and running around with their friends, I was sitting on my couch, sipping tea and planning out my day when my sister-in-law called. My nephew was having his Easter party today and she needed someone to go with him and his class to the park for their Easter egg hunt. Could I go?

Sure. I have part of the afternoon free. No problem. And I asked aloud, "I wonder if DD is having her party today? She never said anything."

My sister-in-law didn't know about the other classes. At this point I SHOULD have called the school and asked the question. But I thought, no...it will be fine. Maybe they were just doing the park trip a day early.

So 45 minutes go by and then I get a call on my cell phone from the school.

DD is in the office, bawling her eyes out. Their Easter party is today.

She has no Easter basket.

She has no Easter eggs.

She isn't going to get to hunt eggs with the rest of her class, and life as she knows it has ended.

The secretary is very awesome as she is gently explaining to me, and aside to DD, that the party isn't until the afternoon, so maybe Mom can come up with something before the party starts.

And thank God I am a pack rat. I have leftover plastic eggs from last year, plus their Easter baskets from last year collecting dust in my junk room. I tell the secretary to hang tight, I will be there in 15 minutes with a basket and candy-filled eggs!

After hauling it down to the grocery store to buy candy and fill the 6 required eggs, I rush to the school and hurry to the office to drop off the basket.

I ask if I need to take it to DD's classroom, and the secretary grins. "That's ok. I'll just put it over here with the others and take it to her classroom later."

So apparently I wasn't the only uninformed by their child/forgetful parent today. But I am ever so grateful to the people working at the school for being so awesome for our kids.

Later!

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Arrival

So, this happened yesterday!

So excited!

Hopefully we will be having a book signing soon! I will post about it again when I have more details.

Have a lovely Spring Break!!!

Later!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

That Time of the Year

It's that time of year again. Baseball season is upon us.

My sons' start their first season of Jr. High baseball this afternoon, although as I write this post, I am listening to the rain pouring outside my window. So in all likelihood, their first game is going to be postponed and the season will actually start on Thursday.

Either way, I couldn't be more excited. Secretly, that is.

I will complain and moan to the other parents, to family, to friends and co-workers about the exhaustion...about the tedious schedule...about the cold/heat/rain/wind.

But deep down, in my heart of hearts, I love when my kids play baseball. Actually, I love when they play any sport. I love being at the field or in the gym. I don't necessarily sit with the other parents because I'm that mom. The "Yeller". I actually carry an enormous bag of suckers with me in the vain effort to stop myself from shouting.

However, keeping suckers in my mouth does little good. All I've managed to accomplish is make the younger siblings of the players happy by passing out candy, give myself a mouth full of cavities, and I still yell through 75 percent of the game.

I scream for every kid out there - whether they belong to me or not. I clap the loudest and the longest. I don't expect my kids to be the best players on the field/court. I just want them to try their hardest, to play their best, and hope they are able to contribute to the team....even if that contribution is only moral support for their teammates.

I love to watch all the kids play. See how they grow as players over the years, and how they come to together as a team as the season goes on.

Since this has been our first year of Jr. High sports, it has been an interesting transition. Football was an anxiety-riddled rollercoaster for me. My sons are not as big as some of the other kids in their class, and they are definitely not as big as some of the Freshman players they could have been facing.

But our coaches are very careful about playing similarly matched kids against each other.

Basketball was the same story.

My guess is baseball will be equally matched.

I am looking forward to this baseball season with secret glee. And my daughter's softball season this summer. And the boys' summer baseball season as well.

If anyone needs me, I'll be out at the field, sitting away from the other parents but still yelling my head off to the great embarrassment of my children.

Play ball!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Just Another Day in the Life . . .

I went with my Dear Brother yesterday to help him move a tractor from our (my family's) ranch to my brother's house. It's about a 15 mile drive from my hometown to the ranch. I rode with him in the farm truck and then I was to follow him back to his house - located just outside of town - while he operated the tractor.

This seemed like an easy enough assignment.

While we were there, DB decided we might as well feed cattle, too.

So we pull into the lots and he starts honking. This signals to the cows that it's time to eat.

We wait a couple of minutes, with DB honking at 30 second intervals, but no cattle come ambling over the hilly terrain. DB decides they must be on the back side of the ranch, so he drives through a set of gates and we head out - to the west - on a bumpy, dusty trail to hunt down the missing animals.

We follow the fenceline on the far western perimeter of the pasture, watching for the cattle as we go. After a few minutes, we come over a rise and follow the trail as it curves to the east.

And there we catch our first glimpse of the cows - in a dead sprint toward the lots on the far eastern side of the pasture....of course.

So DB begins honking the horn in earnest; so much so that the horn begins to make a weird hrrmmmm sound.

Hooooonnnnnkkkkkk....hrrrrmmmmmm.

Hooooonnnnnkkkkk....hrrrrmmmmmm.

And still the cattle sprint for the lots.

Finally, the lead cow looks up and realizes they are going the wrong way. So she cuts across the pasture, headed toward us. This is good. More cows follow her and trot our direction. We are getting closer and can see that we are missing more than half the herd.

DB continues honking, but no other cows appear.

The tired, slobbering animals have reached the pickup by now and are staring at us.

Where's the food? their eyes seem to question.

But until we find the entire herd, no one eats. So DB puts the truck in gear again and we take off across the pasture to the far eastern perimeter and continue to follow the trail until we get to the very back of the ranch.

No more cows.

The only logical place for the others to be is in the lots. The cow we thought was the lead cow was, in fact, just in the middle of the pack.

We turn around and follow the eastern fenceline, headed back to the lots, where we had also left the gate from the road into the pasture standing wide open.

Not good.

The cows trudging behind us are not happy. They slobber and puff and grunt and glare. I swear they were glaring at us. I could hear the angry cow mutterings. "We were headed to the lots in the first place. You made us run across the pasture, follow you to the very back of the ranch, and now we have to follow you all the way to the front of this place?! Those cubes (cattle feed) are sooooo not worth it!"

But they follow us into the lots, where the rest of the herd wanders by the feed bunks, waiting for us to arrive.

Where ya been? their stares seem to ask.

The cows who followed us don't even bother with bovine pleasantries. They march straight to the bunks, shoving the others out of the way, waiting for DB to dump the sacks of cubes.

Once the cubes were in the bunks, they dove in - with gusto - and none of the others dared get in their way. Every so often one would look up and glare again, like, stupid humans.

I just pointed at DB and mouthed, it was his fault.

But the cows got fed, and the tractor got moved, and so life goes on in our tiny part of the world.

Later!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Girl Scout Cookie Experience

So, my DD (dear daughter) is in Girl Scouts this year. It is our first time, and so far it has been a tremendous experience for her. She loves it.

Recently, we began the interesting process of selling Girl Scout cookies.

Our first event was a booth sale in front of a popular convenience store in a nearby town . . . if that is vague enough for you. My daughter is not shy and she was excited to be a sign holder near the road, announcing to the passing cars that we did, in fact, have Girl Scout cookies for sale at that location, for a limited time.

And she thoroughly enjoyed jumping up and down, waving the sign, and shouting to the world at large to "Come and get your Girl Scout cookies!!!"

I am a terrible mom. I sat in the shade, sipping iced tea, and chatting with the other moms while my daughter jumped and sweated in the sun, telling her it was a good learning experience for her.

And that's when the stories began. Apparently there was a recent article on Facebook by a Girl Scout mom from another troop in another state, talking about the fierce nature of selling cookies. I started laughing, thinking they were joking.


No one laughed with me.

I stared. Were they serious?

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"Completely."

The article likened selling Girl Scout cookies to being a small time drug dealer. And again, I started laughing. No way were they being serious.

But they were.

"Oh, just wait," they said. "Wait until you're getting calls late at night from a customer desperate for a cookie fix."

"Wait until you're getting stopped in the grocery store parking lot, asking what kind of cookies you have on you today. Any Thin Mints? Got any Samoas left?"

"Or wait until it's late at night, and you're doing cookie deals from the trunk of your car, waving other cars along like, 'nothing to see here, keep it moving'."

And they were RIGHT!

I did get a call from an angry customer, demanding to know why I hadn't contacted him about selling cookies. Granted, it was my brother and I told him to shut up and we'd get to him eventually, but still...

And I did get stopped at the bank, asking what kind of cookies I had with me that day. Of course, the ones I had were already sold and I was just delivering, but still....

And I did have to contact the troop leader and do a late night cookie deal from the trunk of her car, in front of my house, waving other cars along while we sorted through boxes of cookies to make sure everything was correct.

I had no idea Girl Scout cookies was such a cutthroat enterprise. I'm tellin' ya!!! Drug lords could learn a thing or two from the Girl Scout moms who are out there wheeling and dealing, and defending their territory from encroachers.

This year has definitely been a learning experience. Interested to see how next year will compare.

Later!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Lucy Monster

Hello!

So, last Friday a friend found out he has the flu. He has been under quarantine since then.

I have been checking on him regularly during this time, and it was decided on Saturday that his large, adorable monster dog, Lucy, should come back to my hometown - he lives 20 minutes away - to have a playdate with my mom's dog. He wasn't feeling well enough to play with her, and she is an extremely active dog who has massive amounts of energy to expend.



My kids, my mom, and I all loaded in the SUV to run errands in his town, and made sure the back of the vehicle was cleared out and a blanket in place for Lucy to ride on the trip home. After our tasks were complete, we stopped by his house to bring more food and medicine, and load the Lucy Monster into the car. At this time I was also informed that Lucy is shedding her winter coat, and my friend demonstrated this principle by running a hand down her back and a cloud of fur puffed into the air.

So, duly noted, Lucy is shedding like crazy.

All went according to plan as Lucy excitedly jumped into the back of the SUV, and began the process of sniffing everything in the car to acclimate herself to her surroundings. She settled in, happy to be going for a ride, and off we headed for home.

About 5 minutes after we started driving, Lucy remembered that she doesn't actually like to go for car rides and began to whimper in the backseat. 5 more minutes into the drive and she is pacing the small space in the back. The kids are sitting in the middle seat and all talking to her at once, telling her she's a good dog, petting her head, trying to keep her calm.

And this is when Lucy realizes that if they can reach her in the backseat, surely she can reach them in the middle seat.

Over the top she goes.

Huge dog lands on all three kids in the middle seat in a cloud of fur.

The kids are yelling and moaning as Lucy settles across their laps, as content and happy as she can be. Every time she wiggles or the kids touch her, more hair puffs into the air . . . all over the kids and all over the seats.

Every few seconds a kid yells, "Oh, good Lord, it's everywhere! It's getting all over me!"

Mom and I are laughing so hard in the front seat, we've got tears rolling down our cheeks.

And Lucy is perfectly happy. She rode that way to mom's house, and had a fantastic time playing in the yard with mom's dog once we got there.

The return trip was much more calm, as she had played herself out and was fine with riding solo in the backseat on her blanket.

Hopefully next time she comes over for a playdate, my friend will be bringing her in his pickup, or Lucy will not be in the process of shedding her winter coat. And she will be happy to remain in the backseat.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rhinestone Cowgirl

It's official!!! Rhinestone Cowgirl now available!




















What could make a city girl fall for a country boy? Debut author Denice Christensen invites you to find out!

After her big-city relationship goes sour, Tory Thompson is looking for a new career, a new location, and a fresh start. The last place she expected to land--or find love--was back in tiny Wheaton, Oklahoma. Without the windfall her grandmother left her, Tory would have nowhere to go when her life in the big city goes wrong. But the will stipulates that Tory has to work with her childhood crush, Dane. And that's a disaster waiting to happen...

Dane Eckland has a new landlord for his leased farmland—but Tory's not what he was expecting. He's already had his heart broken by one Thompson woman. All he wants is to keep his head down and work the land. But working with Tory stirs up emotions he'd thought long buried, and he can't resist the city girl's brand of charm.

Then Tory's past comes calling, and she has a new goal: prove she's a small-town girl, after all.






Thursday, February 11, 2016

Death by Donut

Good Morning.

So, in addition to being a single mom, working, being a writer, and the various activities of daily life, I have been on a quest - like 75% of the women I know - to lose weight.

I have focused on eating in moderation - because let's face it, I need chocolate to keep me sane. I have also been walking regularly, drinking a daily vitamin supplement, and trying to cut down on my sugar intake.

However, one of my sons has been sick for the last couple of days. Cough, congestion, sore throat, stuffy nose. I believe allergies to be the culprit, but they have him down to the point where he's exhausted and can't really get out of bed. So this morning he requested donuts for breakfast because he hasn't wanted to eat much of anything the last two days.



This sounded like a good idea to me. I haven't eaten a donut in a few months, so I thought . . . why not?

Got everyone in the car, off to the local bakery we go, and everyone got to pick out the donut of their choice . . . including me.

Get two children to school, Sicky and I return home, and he returns to his bed after devouring his donut in three bites (he is a junior high boy, so this is his regular eating pattern). I am more leisurely in my donut consumption, and enjoy every single greasy, sugary bite.

Until about 10 minutes later when said donut is sitting like a stone in my stomach, all that greasy goodness mocking me and threatening to return to say "Hi!".

After an hour of sipping herbal tea and resting in a semi-upright position to allow the donut and my stomach to work out their differences, I am finally able to move again without fear of the donut's messy return.

So the lesson I learned this morning was that after months of moderation, diving head first into something as dangerous and decadent as a whole donut needs to be reconsidered. Perhaps something more along the lines of a muffin, or possibly a scone, should be attempted next time.

I miss donuts, there's no doubt, but in my pursuit to be healthier I believe the sacrifice will be worth it in the end.
Especially if my stomach has anything to say about it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome!

Hello!

My posts are probably going to be pretty lame for a while until I re-figure out how to do this social media thing. I have spent several years away from the writing life, but am now reconnecting with my inner writing nerd.

And that is probably one of the first facts I will admit about myself . . . I am definitely a nerd! I've seen the new Star Wars movie 3 times, and I really wish it was about 10 more than that.

But on the flip-side of the nerd coin, I also admit to being a tech-no-nothing! I have zero technology skills. So my posts may be odd, or messed up, or just plain wrong until I get accustomed to blogging again.

Lastly, I have a book coming out with Redbud Press soon, a romantic comedy with cowboys and hometown antics and hot pink boots! Be sure to check back for more details as they emerge.

So, welcome!