In the Doghouse

Chompyface is in the doghouse today and he doesn’t even seem to realize it because he just keeps looking at me and wagging his tail. His tail wagging tricks and soft half floppy ears won’t get me this time though.

Last night he was up to no good. When we first got him he couldn’t be trusted around food at all. Anything out in the open seemed like fair game to him, but we’d since trained him out of the habit of trying to eat our food or at least I thought we’d trained him out of it.

Last night’s dinner was suppose to be a delicious combination of salmon cakes with chipole mayonnaise, black beans and rice, and lemony roasted broccoli. I’d broken up the salmon in a bowl on the kitchen counter then left the room to look up a mayonnaise recipe on my computer. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. That’s right, somebody whose name I won’t mention, but he is white and brindle and walks on four legs, decided to jump up on the counter and help himself to the salmon.

I didn’t catch him, my husband did. “What happened?” I asked.

“He was licking the salmon,” he said.

“Are you sure because I thought he didn’t do stuff like that anymore?” I said.

“I’m sure.”

“What should I do? Should I make it anyway? I’m sure cooking it will kill the germs.”

My husband scowled at me. “I’m not eating that after his tongues been all over it.”

“But it was going to be so good.” I picked up the bowl. “Should I give it to him. It’s perfectly good salmon.”

“You can’t reward him for jumping on the counter. Throw it away.”

… and so I threw away the salmon. That was such a waste that it made my heart ache. It made my taste buds ache too because I was looking forward to those salmon cakes.

Toothpaste, Cake Mix, and Live Worms

I don’t use toothpaste. I assure you that I don’t have dragon breath so don’t run away yet, hear me out. I don’t use toothpaste because I make my own tooth powder at home. I have two recipes that I use. I could share them with you if you like. I also make my own moisturizer and deodorant. I’ve been thinking about learning to make soap and shampoo bars too.

Yeah, I’m one of those people. You know the kind that avoids prepackaged foods, ferments vegetables, and filters the fluoride out of her drinking water. I consume raw dairy, feed my family organ meat, don’t store my food in plastic, and talk about the virtues of a wide palate. In short, I’m weird. I think some people call it being crunchy. I just call it being me.

I’ve been living this way for so long that I forget that it’s not normal until a situation arises that makes me realize how abnormal I am. Recently, I decided to try a new business venture that relied on me being normal. Let’s just say that it didn’t work out.

I was going to sell things on Amazon via Amazon’s Fulfillment program. There are plenty of people doing this and making really good money at it. Two of the best categories to try to sell in are the grocery and person care categories. Selling products that people need and buy regularly gets you more sales. The problem was that I didn’t really think this whole thing through.

When it came down to it buying a bunch of buy-one-get-one-free cake mixes from Winn Dixie to sell to people went against everything I believe in. Buying toothpaste from the Dollar Tree (one of my most hated stores) that is full of chemicals you really shouldn’t be putting into your month and selling it at a higher rate on Amazon was just too much for me to handle.

If any of you are interested in selling things on Amazon using the FBA program I encourage you to look into it. You don’t have to sell groceries. You could sell toys or books or live worms. It’s not for me right now. I’m already spread too thin and when I really think about it, I’d rather sell my own homemade personal care line on Etsy … one day … in the future … once I figure some things out … and get my act together … which might never happen.

Note: I’m thinking about starting a worm farm because who doesn’t like worms and farms?

I Got a Smartphone

smartbabyI always said I’d never get one. I was too cool to be constantly connected. I needed my space.

Okay, I only said that a couple of times, and it was just to make me feel like I wasn’t missing out on anything. In reality, I was constantly saying that one day in the future I would get a smartphone. My phone would be the smartest of all smartphones. I would be able to use it with ease proving once and for all my truly advanced intellectual abilities. Well my friends that day has come.

On February 1, 2014 I walked right up to a phone kiosk in the mall and after having a lengthy conversation with the man behind the counter about earlobe stretching got myself my very own smartphone. I set my prepaid dumb phone aside and starting living the cosmopolitan life. I suddenly became smartish.

That’s right, now I can use my phone to do important things like check Facebook, tweet, and upload pictures to Instagram. Life has never been better. I can make sure the traffic is clear on my way to my destination and I’m constantly aware of the weather conditions. All I have to do is figure out how to answer it when someone calls me and I’ll be set.

Photo by Dave Lawler

Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela

mandela

I’d already written something else to post today, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I couldn’t let the death of Nelson Mandela pass unmentioned. As a college student, I studied South Africa extensively. If there was a class offered about South Africa I was always in it. I read numerous books about Apartheid and the struggle against it. I also read numerous books about Nelson Mandela.

In 1993, I signed up to spend a semester studying in Cape Town, but the program was cancelled after the assassination of Chris Hani. We ended up studying in Zimbabwe instead, but I was still constantly following what was happening in South Africa.

Mandela was one of my heroes. He is a prime example that the work of one person can make a profound difference in the world. He will be missed.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Photo by Celestine Chua

The Nebulous Mooch Black Friday Sale

All this talk about Black Friday has made me realize that people really like sales. I don’t blame them. Who doesn’t want to get something for cheap? Well … besides me.

I avoid sales like the plague because I associate them with crowds of people standing  near me while I’m trying to shop. How can you decide whether the white tank top or the cream tank top is better suited for your complexion when some annoying person is standing a foot from you clanking hangers around on the clearance rack and doing all that gosh darn breathing? Why does everyone have to breathe so much? I just don’t understand it.

I avoid sales in the shops, but recently I realized that I can happily buy sale items online, and the only breathing I have to hear while doing it is coming from Chompyface. Even though his breathing was an issue for me at first, I’ve gotten used to it now.

The other day, I realized that have the power to have a Black Friday sale myself. So starting today my novels, The Box and Flying Lessons, are on sale across all platforms for a $0.99. That’s right! So get them while the getting is good. The sale will end on Monday at midnight.

Flying Lessons

finalcover1s

Henry and his daughter, Chandra, are stuck. Haunted by the past, they sleepwalk through life until unexpected relationships shake up their perceptions of reality. Henry’s new friendship with a neighbor blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead, and Chandra starts to see possibilities she’s never noticed before.

What people are saying …

[Flying Lessons] is very well written, the story line moves along seamlessly and culminates beautifully. The characters are well developed and it is easy to identify with them. The author shows great talent and I look forward to reading her other books. The book was truly unputdownable for me and I read it in one sitting … Joana James from Book Wormz

It’s always nice to step away from a book type and experience something different. I have found that amazing difference in Flying Lessons … Melissa Ringsted from There for You

Get it today for $0.99

Kobo
Smashwords
Barnes and Noble Nook
Amazon Kindle

The Box

TheBox_SmllWhat’s in the box? Indy would sure like to know.

When Tom offers Indy two thousand dollars to transport a mysterious box across the country, she reluctantly agrees to do it. She doesn’t really need the money, but could use some adventure in her life. Accompanied by her ex-boyfriend, Koji, and flower child friend, Eve, Indy embarks on a journey that is bound to be anything but ordinary.

Not too long after their trip gets underway, they come to the realization that the box holds a force beyond their control. Will they make it to their destination? Will they lose their sanity or maybe even their lives in the process?

Get it for $0.99.

Amazon
Kobo
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

Happy Thanksgiving folks:)

This post appears in the Hump Day Hook Up.

A Mother Life

Blackeyes, Turkeys, and Amazing Savings

So it’s Monday and you still haven’t bought your Thanksgiving turkey. That could mean only one of three things:

  1. you’re a vegetarian
  2. you’re not an American
  3. you just don’t like turkey

I guess it wouldn’t have to be one of those three things. I’m sure you could have any combination of them going on. You could be a Cambodian who tried turkey once when you were a foreign exchange student in Michigan and thought that it was so awful that you became a vegetarian right there on the spot.

I just thought of a fourth thing to add to that list. You could be me. I’ve chosen to ignore all holidays because they only mark the cruel passage of time. Instead of gorging myself on holiday delights until I can no longer button my trousers, I’ll be training for the professional shopping that is the other holiday tradition. I’ll knock your turkey-and-pie-eating behinds over to get to that ridiculously low priced HD television. Forgoing the traditional holiday turkey will leave me just hungry enough to be extra ruthless.

The good thing about this shopping tradition is that it requires no cooking and there’s no mess to clean up in the kitchen afterwards. You may get pushed, punched, trampled, tasered, or maybe even stabbed, but isn’t it all worth it for the terrific savings?

Last year, I lost my left eye in a scuffle at Best Buy, but I did get an iPhone for a hundred bucks. That’s a steal. I hardly ever used my left eye anyway.

That story isn’t completely true. I don’t have an iPhone and though I do like to wear an eye patch to formal events I still have both of my eyes. While I’m confessing, I guess I should also admit that I’ve never been shopping on Black Friday in my whole entire life. We don’t have a turkey though. That much is true. I don’t plan on getting one. I might make taco salad on Thanksgiving.

notturkey

 

Storms are Scary

This weekend has proved, yet again that my fear of the weather is completely justified. Storms sure are getting bigger and more destructive. As someone who lives in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes, I sympathize with people who have experienced the destruction Mother Nature can unleash. In reality, it could happen here anytime. Sobering, isn’t it?

typhoon

The devastation in the Philippines is truly shocking, so instead of my usual silly post, I’m asking that you donate what you can to the relief effort. Here are two links you can send donations to:

The Red Cross

Unicef

Photo by mansunides

Just This One Thing

You know how I provide you with so many opportunities to laugh at my craziness, and I never ask you for anything? Well, except for that one time when I really needed your help with that really important thing, I’m sure you remember. Anyway, today is the day when I’m asking you for a favor … again. Don’t run away. I swear it’s an easy one this time. I wouldn’t want to put a strain on our relationship or anything.

It’s not like I’m asking you to dog sit for me or count all of the pennies in our multiple penny jars. I’m just asking you to go to a little website and click one tiny little button. It would take a minimal amount of effort on your part. It doesn’t even require the movement of very many muscles maybe 27 muscles at the most. Compared to the 642 muscles in the entire human body that’s practically nothing.

My husband is applying for a small business grant through Chase, but in order to get through the first round of the application he needs 250 votes before the 15th of this month. If he gets the money he’ll be able to make more goofy songs for this blog like this one ….

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

He’ll also be able to help other people record their songs. You need the proper equipment to do all this stuff and right now he has the improper equipment. (Yes, I know that was the incorrect usage to the word, but it made me laugh.)

If you like music, or know someone who likes music, or have ever heard any music ever in your life, I think you should vote for him. All you have to do is click the link below and then click the vote button on the page. I think you need a Facebook account too. It doesn’t matter which country you live in. Every vote counts. Click here to vote.

Five Surprising Things I Learned in Korea

I taught English in Korea for about six years way back when I was in my twenties. I was so adventurous then. Somehow I managed to curb my anxiety enough to be able to fly halfway around the world alone to do a job that requires me to stand up in front of people and talk. That’s nearly unbelievable to me now.

I learned a pile of interesting things while I was in Korea. Unfortunately how to speak fluent Korean wasn’t one of them. I had to settle for speaking pretty good broken Korean.

Anyway, living in a foreign country for a few years can teach you a lot. Here are the five most surprising things I learned while living in Korea.

korea

1. Sometimes Spam tastes good. There are a couple of Korea dishes that involve Spam. They harken back to the days of the war. There were a few occasions that I found myself in a restaurant saying a phrase that I would’ve never thought of saying before, “Could you pass me more spam please?” or “That Spam sure is good.” or “They didn’t put enough Spam in my soup. I’m complaining.”

2. Canadians really do exist. I’d heard of these magical beings called Canadians before and how they pronounce words like about and refer to Kraft dinner, but I’d always thought they were the thing of fairy tales, like elves. Then I went to Korea and a majority of the English teachers were Canadian. When they like you they like to say things like, “You seem more like a Canadian than an American to me.”

3. I can sleep on the subway. In my bed, I struggle to get a good night’s sleep, but once I find a seat on a crowded subway I’m out like a light. There’s something about the gentle rocking of a subway car that lolls you to sleep. I’ve even seen people sleep while standing up on subways in Seoul.

4. Drinks named after bodily fluids are delicious. Who ever thought that I would seek out the peachy sweetness of Coolpis or reach for a can of Pocari Sweat after a workout?

5. Kimchi makes everything better. I’d used kimchi to play a particularly cruel trick on someone in college once. I won’t go into that because I have my angelic reputation to uphold, but when it came to eating the fermented cabbage I was lukewarm. It was good sure, but it certainly wasn’t a necessity. Then I went to Korea and started to expect kimchi with every meal. I got to the point where a meal wasn’t complete without it. It’s so versatile. You can have kimchi soup, kimchi fried rice, and no hamburger is complete without a little kimchi on top.

Twenty Years

I remember when I turned 20. It was way back in 19??. I’ll let that date remain a secret because I don’t want to ruin the mystery. Anyway, recently I’ve been thinking I should start lying about my age. If I up it by 10 years I’ll probably get a lot of compliments. “Oh, you look so good for your age.” But, what if I don’t? Then I’ll just feel bad, so maybe lying about my age isn’t such a good idea.

Anyway, 20 is a funny age. You’ve finally passed through the fire of adolescence only to find that you still feel exactly the same as you did yesterday. Isn’t every birthday like that though?

My stepson turned 20 yesterday. That’s right. He’s all grown up now. When I first met him he looked like this …

m

Those where the good old days of grasshoppers and tarantulas. Okay, they weren’t really so good. I’ve never liked tarantulas.

Gone are the tarantulas, thank goodness. Now he wants an outfit like the one Gaddafi used to wear and looks like this …

SONY DSC

We haven’t gotten him the outfit yet, but I’m sure Gaddafi wore jeans and a t-shirt sometimes too. Only one of the individuals in this picture was in big trouble for digging a giant whole in the backyard. I’m sure you an guess which one it was, but I getting off topic.

Time flies, as they say. I hope he had a good 20th birthday and has many more to come. Maybe not. Turning 20 every year forever would probably get a bit boring, like Groundhog Day without Bill Murray. I hope he has many more birthdays to come of various numbers in whatever order he wants … 35, 22, 54. It’s good to mix things up a bit sometimes.

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