Sunday, September 27, 2009


*Hint: You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it so you can actually read the question.

I'd say the answer is yes, wouldn't you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Well, let me tell you, it's not easy! First of all they are wired shut from every which direction, starting with the wheels, then the doors, and then the roof. Even the fairy, yep, sealed off, impossible to get at--unless you happen to have a crowbar--or very strong acrylic nails such as I have!

What am I talking about, you ask?


It's a Fisher Price Fairy Carriage for children 12-36 months, in other words, a toy for babies.

Okay, I have one question. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO MAKE CHILDREN'S TOYS SO HARD TO GET AT? CAN I GET AN AMEN? I can understand why they put high security on things such as CDs, DVDs, electronic instruments, cameras, etc. I'm sure the retail industry has had its fair share of thievery in these departments. But come on, how many one-year-olds do you know that are going to walk up to a big boxed toy, pick it up, carry it down the aisle, and proceed to walk out the door with it? Besides that, they'd NEVER in a million years be able to play with it even if they did manage that impossible feat because they'd NEVER GET IT OUT OF THE BOX!!!!

Okay -- this is Thursday, baby-sitting day for Gavin, my one-year-old grandboy. (No, I did not buy the fairy carriage for him.) You remember my blog about the "burn circle" on my counter and how I tried to blame him for my absentmindedness in laying a hot skillet on the countertop? Well, TODAY I decided it might be good to get out of the house, go shopping, do things that wouldn't require my having to file an insurance claim. SOOOO, we went to Target. And, of course, when you have your grandchild with you, you absolutely MUST drive down the toy aisles, right? He pointed at everything because that was what he wanted Grandma to put in the cart. But I picked just one of things he pointed at -- a TRUCK, of course. But then I thought about my grandgirl, so we went to the "pink" aisle. And that's how I happened upon the fairy carriage.

Well, we got back home, sat down on the floor, Gavin beside me, and proceeded to rip, pry, cut, slice, and chip at the cardboard package holding the truck. THEN I had to turn the thing over and begin the process of unwinding one wire after another, each wrapped around wheels and everything imaginable. (I tell you, a stand-up comedian could have a heyday with this one.) In his impatience to get at his brand new toy, Gavin started screaming, and I started trying to reason with him. "See this wire?" I said. "We need to unwind it from this, and then we need to unwind it from that, and then we have to move to the next wire--and the next--and the next. And then in about one year, after I finally get it out of the box, you can play with your toy. How's that?"

Okay, so that process took a good 6 or 7 minutes, although I didn't actually time it.

While he played with his brand new truck, which incidentally did not move forward as it was supposed to (I refuse to take it back to the store, though, because that would mean I would have to open another one!!!), decided to unwrap Lexi's toy and time exactly how long it took me to free the little carriage, fairy, basket of fruit, and flower stem from its cardboard PRISON. So, armed with heavy-duty kitchen sheers and my acrylic nails, I started the job at exactly 3:55. I worked as fast as I could unwinding wires from these little plastic dohickees, pulling, and prying. I even cut my finger under the nail till it bled while trying to get a piece of plastic off the little fruit basket. OUCH! Do you know what time it was by the time I finally finished unwrapping this $15 toy? SEVEN minutes after FOUR -- which means it took me 12 stinkin' minutes to do the job!
WHAT IN THE WORLD? Is this really necessary?

I'm tempted to send this blog to the Fisher Price Company and ask their opinion on the matter. What do you think? Anybody else ever run into this problem? Granted, my hubby would probably have made faster work of removing the toy, but I dare say the majority of people removing these things are moms and grandmas.

How 'bout we organize a march on Washington, DC? (haha) Wrong place? Well, okay then, what's say we all meet in Fisher Price's parking lot, say, sometime before Christmas?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



It is called a 'burn circle'. Isn't it pretty? I thought so too. Not. It is on my countertop right next to my stove, and it is there because I had something termed, well, brain freeze. Yes, that sums it up nicely. Read on to hear my tale of woe....UNLESS, of course, you can't bear drama, in which case you might want to click your 'back' button NOW.

I babysit my one-year-old grandson once a week, so you can start picturing the fun any time now. I was standing at the stove at 8 a.m. this past Thursday making him pancakes when from behind I heard a great shout of joy and utter exuberance. I glanced around only to discover the little doohickie on his sippy cup had come loose, making it very easy for him to splash his milk in every which direction, which in my case meant all over the floor and cabinet doors. Milk. EVERYWHERE. (Are you envisioning?) Well, the pancakes were done to sort of a burnt stage, and in my haste to clean up the disaster behind me I picked up the hot skillet and laid it on my countertop. (WHY DID I DO THAT? I told you - brain freeze.) Well, I reached for the paper towel and proceeded to clean the mess when the pancake smell intensified. OH, CRAP! (I can say that because my pastor sometimes says it in his sermons!) I jumped up and moved the skillet back to a cool burner, and that's when I saw the "ring". Quick as a lightning bolt I reached for the scouring powder, the 409, the bleach, anything, until I realized the futility in that when I felt the raised bubbles. Ohhhhh. "Gavin!" I said, looking at my one-year-old grand. "Look what you've done." He laughed as if I'd just tickled his tummy.

What I did next, after cleaning up the milk, was go to the phone to call my hubby. I needed to hear his words of..."Don't worry, honey, it was an accident." Foolish, living-in-a-bubble me. What I heard instead was, "You did what?" Then, "Honeeeeeeeeey, what were you thinking?" AND IN A NOT-SO-UNDERSTANDING TONE, either. Ugh.

"Do you think the insurance will cover it?" I asked.

Snide chuckling on the other end. "Uh. No."

"Isn't it worth a try?"

"I guess I could call them and say, 'Guess what my wife did. Will you cover it? No? Okay. Thanks anyway. Bye.'" He is already dealing with the insurance company and waiting for our agent to call back on some roof issues as a result of a bad storm. (Which also ruined part of our ceiling.) So, okay, I understood his being hesitant to bring up yet another claim, but couldn't he at least give it a shot? Nope. (Uh, also bear in mind he has been married to me for almost 34 years, so sometimes his patience tends to run a little thin, as I'm prone to doing things without thinking. Need I say more?)

"Give me the number. I'll call them," I said.

"No, I'll do it," he said in a relenting voice.

"How are you going to say it?" I asked.

"What? I'll just tell them what you just told me."

"You're going to make me sound stupid. Give me the phone number." At this point, I think he has the number memorized.

"All right, all right." He gave me the number.

Well, let me tell you, I happen to be very good with insurance agents, and I didn't even know I had that talent! I got a very nice, understanding, motherly type on the other end, and in my best storytelling voice I relayed exactly what happened.

"Oh, my goodness," she said. "Is your grandson all right? That's the important thing." I assured her he was absolutely fine even as I watched him try to figure out the nozzle on my Pledge Dusting Spray. "Well, let's start the claim process," she said. "That would fall under, hmm, fire."

"It would?"

"Yes. Here's your claim number. Do you have a pen and paper handy?"

And so it went. You cannot imagine how excited I was to call my husband and say, "Na-na-na-na-na-naaa." Just kidding, of course. (But, I did say it in my head.)

Incidentally, he's still waiting for a return call from the agent regarding the roof and ceiling situation and getting the royal runaround. In the meantime, I've already picked out my new Formica countertop!

I think it's all in the voice, don't you?

***Okay, I do have a bit of a confession to make in the midst of all this. The adjuster called me the next day to inform me they would only cover the cost of the damaged section. Huh? Which meant I had to try to match up my 12-year-old laminate? This is where hubby is G-O-O-O-O-D! He very politely called him back and said, "Uh, no. We've been given a claim number, instructed to obtain a full estimate, and you WILL replace all the countertop." Guess what...they ARE replacing everything, including island and telephone desk. So, like I said -- it's all in the voice.

And, no, you cannot babysit my grandson. I may need him next week to file another insurance claim!


Sunday, September 13, 2009


I LOVE book-signings because they give me the perfect opportunity to meet my darling readers, connect with old friends and family, and introduce myself to people I've never met. I hate when they look at me in awe, though, as if I were actually somebody other than plain ol' ordinary me! I am not good at sitting on pedestals. I fall off easily.

I love being a part of God's precious family. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. Isn't it positively INCREDIBLE to even think about? I have more than 5000 "friends" over at a WONDERFUL social network known as SHOUTLIFE! (Check it out sometime if you haven't already, and bring all your friends!). I also have more than 700 Facebook friends. I know, I know--it seems excessive because I can't possibly connect with all of them. But here's my philosophy on that: I figure the bigger the number the greater my opportunity to cross paths with someone who might need a word of encouragement or a prayer lifted up to the Father on his/her behalf. You would not believe the marvelous friends I have made ONLINE, one of which Cecil, my hubby, and I visited in England last year. She is one of my very dearest friends TODAY, and all because God orchestrated our meeting each other on SHOUTLIFE! SO...if you have a need for which you'd like some extra prayer, please feel free to ask me to lift a prayer up for you. It would be my HONOR.

And now -- ta-dah! -- Here I am just before a recent book-signing at Family Christian Stores! CLICK on photo to enlarge if you like! (And then you can see my wrinkles better!!!)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"The Premier Christian Fiction Conference"


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

SEPTEMBER 17 - 20, 2009

Bestselling authors, publishing industry representatives, and newcomers to Christian fiction writing will gather in Denver at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual conference September 17-20 to compare notes, learn from each other, and encourage one another in the pursuit of publishing goals.

This year’s conference theme , Standing Firm…Moving Forward, will especially inspire the full range of talent and dreams in the ever-changing publishing world today.

This amazing conference will feature representatives from major publishing houses like B & H, Guideposts, Zondervan, Harvest House, Barbour, Steeple Hill, Summerside Press, Bethany House, Waterbrook Multnomah, Marcher Lord Press, Tyndale House, and Thomas Nelson, and top literary agents who will meet with writers and identify promising proposals from both new and veteran novelists. Conferees will have access to publishing panels, professional critiques, and customized workshops based on skills and interests.

The keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author, Debbie Macomber, who has more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

To learn more about the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference, visit: www(dot)acfw(dot)com.