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What I Learned This Week – 10/5/14

This week I learned that taking in a hand-me-down couch & thinking “Oh, we will upgrade in a few years”, can totally turn into 10 years before you can blink an eye.

This gives you a little taste of our old couch.

This gives you a little taste of our old couch.

I knew our couch was old and worn. I had sewed it up myself on several occasions. It regularly had 2 dogs on it. No amount of Febreeze gets rid of that.

I was just always waiting for tax return time to buy a new brand new couch (we had never bought our own before). But then the money always went for something else. Maybe next year. And we went from having an infant who oozed all sorts of substances, to a toddler who was more mobile with his food. It just seemed silly to get something new that would just be old again instantly.

On a whim, we found a good deal & got a new couch Sunday morning.

It is very weird to sit down on the couch and not sink down into it a good 12 inches.



Only after we got the new couch did we realize how much our old couch bothered everyone around us. No less than 3 people close to us had very strong reactions to our old couch. None of them live in this house! One never even comes over!

My mom, especially, could not say enough bad things about the old couch, now that it was at the curb.

Which, I had worried about having to call the garbage men and make special arrangements to have it picked up. But then some kind stranger loaded it into his pickup and it was gone. Actually, getting the new couch home in my husband’s car had been much less troublesome than I would have imagined.

I guess the new couch was just meant to be…

How Living With A Pointer Is Like Living With A 2 Year Old

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I present, the POINTER

I present, the POINTER

1. You do things for “their own good”, but they cannot comprehend that.

2. They cover their eyes when you turn on a light while they are sleeping.

3. They snore.

4. They pee on the floor if not wearing a diaper.

5. They have selective hearing, and sometimes choose to ignore you.

6. They have no regard for their personal safety.

I present, the toddler

I present, the toddler

7. Don’t understand how lucky they are to be alive.

8. Both don’t realize that whining about something only makes you angrier and makes you want to withhold the desired item more.

9. Both will be entertained by walking through my bathroom with the two doors while I am using it. Over and over again.

10. Both respond to treats.

11. Both have NO patience.

Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime

What I Learned This Week – 12/8/13

This week I learned the hard way to put the customer’s purchase in the bag first, then the freebies we are supposed to give away.

At my retail job, if I were to do it as my boss does, I could easily ask someone 9 questions in a single transaction. NINE! Also, we have items we can give away to our customers. Sometimes these are flyers with the sales going on today or the designated charity info. They might also be free samples.

By the time I did all that, and remembered to check for the appropriate security features on his credit card, I completely forgot to put his purchase in the bag. And he didn’t even realize it til the next day, what with all the freebies in the bag INSTEAD of his purchase. I had his name. I notified other staff members. He got it back the next day.  I still feel terribly guilty about it.

Lazy Hippie Mama is always reminding us how servers/waiters/waitresses in restaurants do so much for us, even if in the end our meal still may come out from the kitchen wrong. I have noticed customers are getting grumpier with me in direct proportion to how soon Christmas Day will arrive.

I am not asking for tips (because that would be against the rules). But if the cashier at your store seems a little frazzled, cut them a little slack. They are not only trying to get your transaction right, but they are also getting slightly sweaty in the armpits as they are watching the line grow behind you. And the clerk is trying to be pleasant to everyone. If you decide that day to go off on the lack of electric scooters available, well, you are just making the clerks day a little bit worse. Ask for a comment card, fill it out, and be on your way.

A little peek at how all the magic happens...

A little peek at how all the magic happens…

This week I also learned that once I am done writing and editing my five book trilogy (Don’t ask, because I won’t explain it to you. Yet.), I do not want to get it traditionally published.

This week my asbestos friend and I went to a free program at the Ann Arbor District Library Traverwood Branch by Dan Johnson on how to revise and get your writing published. I had to take M, my three year old son with me. I was shocked and delighted that he played nicely and stayed quiet for the whole two hour PowerPoint program! When I told him he couldn’t talk because the man up at the front of the room was and a room full of people were listening to him, M would reply, “I want to talk.” But he seemed to understand and would be quiet for the next half hour until he started to make train noises again and I had to remind him why he could not.

Mr. Johnson talked about how you love the book you have created. And the people who might read it someday will love it. But all the people in between, such as agents and publishers, just see your creation as business.

And he recommended joining a writing group, where people could critique your writing and make it better. He said you should re-read your writing hundreds of time. You should cut scenes.

I have a weak soul. I can’t take a lot of criticism. I believe everything that I write is great on the first try (Yes, I realize I am delusional). I also try very hard to add in as much as possible to make my stories as long as possible. Why would I want to go back and cut that out?

Going to the program made me realize my end goal: To have my books out in the world for people to find and read, and to have a hard copy in my hand with my name on it, to feel a sense of accomplishment.

The first can be accomplished with an ebook. The second can be accomplished by ordering one or two boxes of my own self-published books. And it may end up not costing me anymore than an author would have to pay for self-promotion if they got a publishing deal with a small publisher.

I also figured out what the motivation was for my mean character to be mean. So that is good.

After a very depressing two hours, he ended with the statement below. I think maybe he should have started with it.

Write for love…or because you can’t not write.

What I Learned This Week – 6/23/13

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This week I learned that my kid is naughty. Now, you are probably saying “Duh! He is 2.5 years old, of course he is naughty.” But I assure you, for 2 1/2 years old, he is actually very well behaved. He is less maintenance than my German Shorthair Pointer.

Several people have been babysitting for me lately, which I am eternally grateful for. In households with other kids, he blends in. I am sure he does a few naughty things, but he gets welcomed back, so it can’t be too bad.

At my mom’s house, he is the only child there. Therefore, he becomes the naughtiest kid in the house. Or rather, smallish apartment. With nothing to compare him to (except me 35 years ago when I was that age), my mom thinks she has her hands full. And she does. But I am sure there are other kids out there that would be way worse.

What else did I learn this week? Here is a great snickerdoodle recipe I got off of Facebook. I have made it twice now. Both times I think I should have baked it longer to have a more stiffer cookie. You make it. You be the judge.


My Snickerdoodle result

My Snickerdoodle result

Originally found at Lovin’ From The Oven
Visit original recipe here:

An even better snickerdoodle!

Yield: 16-18 cookies


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For rolling:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees while you let the dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes in the refrigerator.
5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the topping.
6. Take about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and roll it into a ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press it onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining cookies.
7. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes and no more. The cookies may seem undercooked, but will continue to develop after they are removed from the oven. When the cookies have cooled they should be soft and chewy in the middle.

What I Learned This Week – 5/19/13

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This week I learned that my son finds it very amusing when my mother swears.


Now, just to fill everyone in, I learned after the birth of my son, M, that if I took him with us when I took my mom for her weekly shopping, we would both stay in a better mood.

I had to take my mom shopping on Thursday night. I had worked all day and had a rough time completing my shift end paperwork, so I was in a very foul mood. My mom was in her usual “all negative” mood.

I took her shopping at Walmart, which is usually not her regular store. So, she had no idea where anything was. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but I did pick up some large items, such as dog food and a multi-pack of papertowels.

When we loaded up my Pontiac Aztek, my mother complained, as she often does, that my car is not big enough. Now, mind you, this a car that I once used to transport items for my first-ever garage sale. I had the first 25 years of my life stacked floor to ceiling in the Aztek, and it all fit. Now, with the back seats in, there is less space. And a child seat takes up half the backseat. But, trust me, there is still oodles of space in that car. And there should be totally sufficient space for her WEEKLY shopping. That woman buys more in a week for herself than we do for a family of three.

At this time, since it was after I got out of work, it was very late and M was now in a bad/tired mood as well.

When my mom was trying to get the last of her stuff out of my backseat, the plastic bag ripped and she had trouble trying to catch her 2-liter pop bottles as they rolled under the seat. She started to swear up a blue streak. She was sooo p*ssed off.

Then M, who had been crying and whining up to this point, started to giggle at her. And he has a totally adorable 2 1/2 year old giggle. This, in turn, made my mother laugh.

It was very amusing that he found her hissy fit so entertaining.

It also reminded me why we take him along with us.

And maybe why she is still around when the doctor told her she should be dead in 2007.  For moments like that.

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