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.


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.


Monday, February 22, 2016

The Lucy Monster


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.