Yippee, skippy news! I just won third place in the National Contest! This entitles me to $35 and bragging rights. I’m sure that all my writery friends are feeling jealous happy for me. Thanks to all my friends for your encouragement, and to all my readers for your overabundance of free time continued support. You can view my winning article by clicking on the link

The one with the most toys wins

In a daring attempt to economize on words, I’m going to try to combine the sweet afterglow of Christmas and welcoming the New Year in one brilliant blog. Barring that, there will at least be lots of pictures.

Not content to let my Christmas toys sit on the shelf, I’m incorporating them into my 2011 New Year’s resolutions.

For 2011, I resolve to:

Stay within my budget. Will work for recipes involving beef sticks;

We won't go hungry.

Figure out my favorite stations on my new satellite dish network. Now all I need is a crystal ball and a lucky rabbit’s foot;

I just want to watch The Deadliest Catch

Learn the finer points of using my new camera. This is the best picture I’ve taken so far;


Develop a cheap hobby—one that does not include robbing convenience stores;

Nobody breathe!

Quit smoking. Shock collar sold separately;

Shut up, it's bad for you. (Weeping)

Finish my book. Sixteen more how-to books, then I can start writing.

I hope there's not a quiz later.

Sadly, my husband didn’t get his padded toilet seat (sob). Fill in the appropriate resolution here:

Do your worst, 2011. I’m ready for anything you can dish out, as long as it doesn’t involve clowns, spiders, brussel sprouts, bleached underwear, or a Rolling Stones comeback tour.

All the best in the New Year to my virtual friends, family, and neighbors. I love you all (as always, in a strictly platonic and not creepy way).

P.S. Go Dawgs! (for my fellow UW fans)

Cold turkey

Imagine that a clown car rolls up, but instead of (icky) clowns pouring out, you’re greeted by a bunch of beards and broad brimmed hats. At a rest stop in Pennsylvania, I saw just that today: an Amish clown car. While I missed their exit from the car, I got the full act when I stood in the wrong spot as they swarmed out of the men’s room. I was swept up, a lone sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong!” surrounded by a sea of plain.

I paused outside the door to light a cigarette and was horrified to see every man around me doing the same. THE AMISH SMOKE?! I’m a Harrison Ford fan, so I’ve watched The Witness about twenty times, and never saw the men taking a smoke break while raising a barn.

The only old geezer in my adopted tour group didn’t even bother to put out his cigarette while he went into the men’s room (according to my husband). I honestly think the Amish make up rules as they go. You can have electricity going to your barn but not to your house. You can ride around Pennsylvania in a mini-van, as long as you have an un-Amish driver.

I know that when an Amish youngster comes of age he takes a year off from his community, going on Rumspringa to participate in evil debauchery like Jäger, heroin, and bull riding … but smoking?

Even their cigarettes were not plain. You would expect hand rolled smokes, but they had filter tips, which means that the Amish go to convenience stores! Will the disillusionment never end?

Women my age will remember the Marlboro Man. Rugged, outdoorsy, and handsome, he puffed his way into our wet dreams. These men were also ruggedly handsome, but I’ve never had a wet dream involving suspenders, beards, and cigarettes. Of course, I haven’t gone to bed yet, so I make no promises for future nocturnal fantasies.

After finishing their cigarettes, my newfound posse queued up in an orderly line to repack themselves into the clown car, presumably on their way to the strip club. I only hope the establishment has a smoking section.

Best foot forward

I clung to the door, but it was swinging wildly in and out, as car doors are prone to do. Meanwhile, I was reclining on a snowbank, up to my thighs in Jeep undercarriage. The only thing stopping me from an up close inspection of the exhaust system was multiple generous butt cheeks. Although I’ve suffered several highly comical pratfalls over the last few days, I’ve managed to avoid getting a concussion and ending up on the injured reserve list, barely. Continue reading

Stand up and be counted

Warning: This post is politically incorrect on so many levels. Sometimes, that’s not a bad thing.

One night, long ago, a weary couple arrived in a small town called Bethlehem. There was a convention with all the descendants of King David crammed together for a census, so that the Romans could decide where to build the best schools and aqueducts. Continue reading

Home for the holidays

Travel disclaimer. Before you decide that you can break into my home and steal my collection of authentic diamonelle pendants (which will get you nothing but scornful looks at the pawn shop), please be assured that I’ll have a housesitter while I’m gone. Matt is 6’3” and 200 pounds of pure steroids. My house is also protected by Rottweilers, tiger traps, anti-aircraft guns, an alligator infested moat, and ninjas. Continue reading

Making wood

From the time when man first realized that mastodon was easier to chew with his three teeth when it was cooked, the world got a little warmer. I never thought that building a fire was all that hard. I’m sure that MacGyver marches straight past the matches when he goes to the store, choosing instead to use three safety pins, a wad of chewing gum, and some pocket lint. Continue reading

Ox and Ass

Sometimes I can be an ass. Usually it’s unintentional, which only makes it worse. I’m afraid I’ve got some innate assitude in me. Get me drunk and I’ll insult my husband’s boss, incite riots, and have sex involving vegetables. This isn’t hypothetical, people. I speak from experience. It turns out that even in the basic food groups, size does matter. Continue reading

Bottoms up in a manger

“I’m teaching my kids the true meaning of Christmas.” I repeated to myself for about the 8th time. My daughters were 5 and 2, and I was director of the church Christmas pageant. Me. The woman whose children usually played under the pews during the sermon. What were they thinking? Continue reading

Help Me Up, Whippersnappers

I’m very excited to have KLZ from Taming Insanity posting on my website today! She brings a great sense of humor and a youthful perspective for my (ahem) older readers. You know who you are. You can catch me today at her website above. Hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!

I’ve never quite acted my age. I like to joke that I’m always behaving as though I’m 6 or 86. I can never seem to fall anywhere appropriately in between.

Which is why having a child is somewhat of a relief to me. I can get away with both pretending I’m walking across hot lava (I’m playing with my child!) and being crotchety enough to say things like “turn down that radio, it’s too damn loud!” (the baby is sleeping!) Continue reading