Purple Nails, Sleeping Kitties & Ugly Sweaters… Life Is All Over The Place!

There is something I really want to write about, but I’m forcing myself to sort of stay focused.  There are some things that I need to close the loop by updating you about what has happened, and I’ve heard that loose ends should be tied up quickly before readers lose interest.

Uh oh.  I waited too long, didn’t I?

I could tease you like they do on the evening news, when they give you a little tidbit that seems interesting, and then follow it by adding “after the break.”  But I won’t do that because that’s annoying!  So I’ll get right to it…

In this post way back on October 24th, Timothy asked in a comment if I decided what color I was going to paint my nails.  I cringe when I look at the date and see that it’s taken nearly 2 months, but yes, Timothy, I have!  And a picture’s worth a thousand words:

My most favorite color- purple! Is it just me, or is "purple" fun to say? Never mind...
My most favorite color- purple! Is it just me, or is “purple” fun to say? Never mind…

In my last post, I previewed my ugly sweater creation, and a couple of you were curious about the results of the contest.  SO, for the two of you who were interested, or feigned interest, haha, here’s a picture (another thousand words… this post is getting long):

I won the ugly sweater contest and received a generous gift card. Now that I think about it, I hope the votes were just for the sweater and not my hair!
I won the ugly sweater contest and received a generous gift card. Now that I think about it, I hope the votes were just for the sweater and not my hair!

In this recent post, I stated that I was on a mission to find out how many pictures one could take of sleeping cats.  In the time since that post, I’ve added several to my collection (photos… not cats- yet!)  Here’s my favorite one:

This is how I feel as I wrap up writing this post. Nighty-night!
This is how I feel as I wrap up writing this post. Nighty-night!

There is lots going on, and so much more I want to write about, but I think this post has been random enough.  Until next time, have a wonderful week!

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Start-Up – The (Sugar) Highs and Lows

For months, we have gathered, sorted, stacked and organized – all in preparation for The Big Day.  The day arrived, and I’m happy to tell you that we survived our weekend community garage sale.  {Heaves a big sigh of relief}

My kids were looking forward to the big day, too.  They wanted to test their skills as budding entrepreneurs by selling lemonade and doughnuts.  My older son planned it all out – he would do the lemonade and my younger son would sell the doughnuts.

“How much will you charge?” I asked them

“25 cents each,” my older son said.

“Will that cover your expenses and give you a profit?”

He gave me a blank stare.

Yes, we had some work to do, but it’s the fun kind of work – so unlike cleaning the bathroom and mopping floors, which I detest.  (This is an obvious statement to anyone who has ever been to my house.  Since most of you have not (to my knowledge) been to my house, consider yourselves lucky to have been spared the trauma.)

My older son made a list of expenses (cost of lemonade, ice, cups, doughnuts, etc.)  He figured out the cost per doughnut, and I explained that he would have to charge more than that to make a profit.  I explained profit as the money they got to keep, so he decided to charge $1 each for a doughnut and cup of lemonade.

I wanted to stay out of their business, but I wanted them to have a little business.  “Well, $1 each would turn a nice profit.” I said.  “Would you pay that price?”

“No.  It’s too much money.”  He paused.  “How about 50 cents?”

Now, schooled in price setting and profit margin, it was time to tackle advertising.  He made a sign with their prices and even drew pictures.  I gave him one piece of advice:  don’t badger potential customers; ask once and say thank you even if they decline.  The advice I gave to my younger son?  Don’t touch the doughnuts with your fingers – use a napkin.

They learned that a start-up takes planning and money.  They experienced the kindness of strangers, as some donated but didn’t take anything.  They discovered that sometimes debt can be forgiven (and parents aren’t always mean.)

They lost money in this venture, but the learning experience was priceless.  Besides, “eating the loss” was easy when washed down with some lemonade 🙂

Boys were excited to have "losses"

Matthew 6:12 – Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.

Philippians 2:4 – Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

7 Links Challenge

Nancy over at Spirit Lights The Way recently participated in the 7 links challenge and invited me (and twenty or so other bloggers) to join in.  I normally sit on the sidelines and enjoy reading others’ picks.  However, I’m procrastinating on a couple of projects right now, so I thought it was the perfect time to accept the invitation.  Hey, painting baseboards and writing an emotional short story will wait another day, right?

Last night, I read enough of my old blog posts that I have an even deeper appreciation for those who regularly visit and comment.  I don’t have the most relevant posts in the world, but I’m so glad you come back anyway.  Thank you 🙂

1)     A Beautiful Post:  Think Like A Child

Inspired by a school assignment my older son brought home, this post expressed my love of a child’s innocent and optimistic view of life and my own desire to think like a child.

2)     A Popular Post:  What a Caesar Salad Taught Me About Writing

Making a Caesar salad with horseradish and serving it to the owner of the restaurant I worked at ended up teaching me 5 things about writing (and life in general.)

3)     A Helpful Post:  You Talkin’ To Me? (Dialogue in Fiction) & You Still Talkin’ To Me? (More Dialogue in Fiction)

Last fall, I took a manuscript writing class.  In a pair of posts done in January, I shared some of the great information I learned about dialogue.

4)     A Controversial Post:  Lies We Tell Ourselves

The post itself wasn’t highly controversial, but I like this post because commenters disagreed and debated points *nicely* and ended up not with name calling, but a cyber-handshake.

5)     A Surprisingly Successful Post:  What Does Mortification at a Job Interview Have to Do With Writing, Anyway?

I got more than I bargained for when I shared the embarrassing story of my first job interview.  Meant to be a laugh for my handful of readers, it garnered a wider audience when it was Freshly Pressed.  It was a blushing good time!

6)     A Post That Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved:  Hidden Talent

This category proved to be a difficult one for me because I can’t say that any of my posts deserve attention.  I linked to this post because it was a fun one to write.  By the end of this post, you will have a clear understanding of who’s boss – me or my cat.

7)     A Favorite Post:  It’s (Not) All About Me

On the 1 year anniversary of my blog, I shared seven things I discovered about myself and my blogging journey.  It’s my journey, but it’s not all about me.

Your turn!  This is an open invitation to anyone who made it through this post.  I would love to see what you do with the seven link challenge.  If you only have time for a couple links, that’s good enough for me!

If you want to join the fun, choose posts you have done which fit into the above categories (or make up your own if they don’t fit.)  In your new post, link back to your selected category posts and leave a link to your new post in a comment below.  Don’t forget to name other bloggers you’d like to participate! (Or you can cop out, like I did ;))

A Dum-Dum In A Smartie World

There are times when I get a little smug and overestimate my intelligence.  I’m flying high, until I hit the inevitable brick wall of truth and realize that I’m not that bright after all.  Yep, the truth does hurt; it is painful when I realize I’m at the low end of normal, at best.

Regular readers of my blog may be a bit confused.  I can hear it now.  “We’ve never compared you to Einstein or anything, so where’s the big news flash?” and “Geez, you really are dumb if you thought you were that smart.”  <followed by uncontrollable laughter>

Here’s the deal:  Last weekend, I was faced with two situations that shined a 500-watt spotlight on the fact that I’m not nearly as smart as I (sometimes) think. 

First Not-So-Shining Moment:

My husband woke me up at 6:18 Easter morning and posed a question that made my heart skip a beat before leaping into my throat.  (Not in a good way, either.)  He nudged me and asked, “Did the Easter Bunny come?”

Those five words sent a panic through me and I suddenly felt like a six-year-old girl who just set the bathroom trash on fire and needed a way to hide the burned carpet.  (Oh…uh, hypothetically speaking, of course.) 

I hadn’t been out to the family room to check those baskets on the couch, but I was sure the kids had awakened at the crack of dawn and discovered the awful truth.  Even though I hadn’t gotten out of bed, I knew they were empty because I had inside information that the Easter Bunny had indeed skipped our house because the Easter Bunny had too much fun blogging and writing the night before and <gasp> forgot.

Lucky for the Easter Bunny, we were able to cover his little white cotton tail.  Yes, we placed the goodies in our plastic lawn chairs on the back patio and then crawled back into bed.  When the kids came in ten minutes later to tell us about their empty baskets, we assured them there must be a mistake.  We searched inside the house before following our older son’s suggestion to check outside.  We were unsure whether he knew of the Bunny-Gate cover up, so, we ate chocolate and jelly beans and no one spoke a word of it.

Second Not-So-Shining Moment:

Last year, Hubby got the crazy sweet idea to color Easter eggs with the kids on the day before Easter (while I spent a “girls’ day” with a friend.)  I came home late that afternoon to find a dozen brightly colored eggs.  I also discovered a countertop, two children and two sets of clothes dyed in the same hues.

Deciding that was a bad idea, my husband and I searched our brains for an alternative activity.  I don’t know which one of us thought of it, but someone suggested decorating cookies.  We both agreed that frosting and decorating cookies with colorful sprinkles would be a fun activity.

As the kids eagerly jumped into the art of decorating with sugar, we soon realized the error in our judgment.  Brightly colored sprinkles migrated from the waxed paper squares on the countertops, onto the tile floor, and then to the bottoms of my bare feet.  Frosting was not content with staying on the knife or the paper towels.  No, it snuck onto hands, clothing and cabinet doors.  (My neat-freak hubby made himself scarce during this debacle.)

Cookie decorating joins decoupage, finger painting, glitter art, pine cone decorating, and anything made with liquid glue in the “What Was I Thinking?” category.  Even with all of these messy choices, I still believe we will come up with a less-mess idea for next year. 

A Smartie would realize that this will never happen.  I guess being a Dum-Dum has its advantages 😉

Do you have any fun, but not-too-messy ideas?

I Smell A Rat

Co-Worker

On Tuesday, I discovered that some revealing photos of me had been seen by others in my office.  In these pictures, I’d been caught doing something I shouldn’t have been doing in the boss’ office.  I was aware these photos had been taken, but I trusted the pictures would not be shared with others.  Now, I’m doing damage control to protect my reputation, while working through the betrayal.  Yes, I’m attempting to convince my boss that I was framed and did not act alone in the April Fool’s Day activities.

What?  Did you think I had “skin” photos out there?  I can’t believe you’d think that about me!  I’m the type of girl who wears a knee-length t-shirt over her swim suit and opts for crop pants instead of shorts.  Just like permanent eye damage can result from looking directly at the sun, it’s not a good idea to see too much of my super-fair skin.  A daring photo of me would look less like a scantily clad model on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover, and more like this:

image via Wikipedia

The treason was discovered when I dropped something off on my boss’ desk and noticed his normally solid blue background on his computer screen was colorful.  I looked closer and realized that the image was of me standing on his desk with pens and tape dispenser nearby.  Yes, evidence had been passed to the other side.

It's not what it looks like....really!

I gasped.  Then I stammered, “You do realize those are, uh, doctored photos, right?”  Boss just laughed, so I tried a different tack.  “Someone had to snap those pictures, right?  That person knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it, so they are an accessory to the prank.”  Oh yeah, that was a serious accusation, but no way would I take the hit solo!

I pranked in trust and got burned; I got double-crossed by a sneaky rat.  I don’t know what I’m going to do about that yet, but one day this person will get an extra helping of payback.  It won’t be tomorrow or even next week.  No, it will be long after a normal person would have forgotten all about this and moved on 🙂

For those of you who think I am half-past nuts, I won’t try to change your mind (hey, when you’re right, you’re right.)  I did want to assure you that this “revenge” plot is all in good fun and there will be no physical damage to any person or property.  I cannot make the same promise about psychological injury, though 😉 Game on!

Do you have any clever, sneaky payback ideas?  If so, please share…It’ll be our little secret!