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Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Through Friday Sale

Today through Friday, November 30  - 25% discount

Cyber Monday is great day to get holiday shopping accomplished in the comfort of your own home. No going out in the cold or braving the crowds or hunting for parking at the mall. With the click of the mouse, gifts are shipped to your house.


To receive the 25% discount, place your order following the PayPal directions below by midnight on Friday, November 30th for If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny and Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, or, even better, both. Each book arrives signed and dedicated to the recipient of your choice with a personal message to him or her. (Offer does not apply to books purchased from another online source or through a bookstore.)

If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny discounted to $11.21 (regularly $14.95) and
Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run discounted to $11.96 (regularly $15.95). 

Shipping is $4.50 for one book, plus $1.00 for each additional book. (Shipping to U.S. addresses only. Payment in U.S. dollars only.)

Directions for making a secure payment through PayPal:
1. Click on the PayPal link or go to
2. Hover your cursor over 'Buy' in the drop-down menu.
3. Click on 'Make a Payment'.
4. When the payment page opens
     a. In the 'From' box, enter your email address.
     b. In the 'To' box, enter my email address:
     c. In the 'Amount' box, enter the total amount of your purchase (books+shipping)
          - If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny $11.21 each
          - Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run $11.96 each
          - Shipping $4.50 for the first book, plus $1.00 for each additional book.
     d. Click 'Continue'.
5. If you do not have a PayPal account, you will be directed to a screen to set up an account. It is a very quick process. If you do have a PayPal account, you will be directed to a log-in screen.
6. After successful account set up or log-in, you will be taken to a page to 'Review your payment and send'.
  1. Make sure you have entered the correct amount (books+shipping).
  2. Make sure your shipping address is correct.
  3. Scroll down to 'Email to recipient' In the subject box, type 'Book Order'.  In the message box, include the following information
  • Each book title ordered and the number of that title ordered.
  • The correct spelling of the name of the person to whom you would like each book dedicated.
  • If a book is a gift for some other occasion than Christmas, please specify, otherwise I will assume it's a Christmas gift.

Both books are also available from in print and digital formats. And for the aspiring writer on your gift list this holiday season, the ABC Book of Literary Devices makes a wonderful stocking stuffer.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Do I Talk Funny?

As I always do on Sundays, I asked my husband to read the draft of my newspaper column for  next weekend's paper. I caught him on the way out to do his other usual Sunday activity: Lurking in a tree stand in the forest hoping to snipe a white tail or at least come home with a good story. Nonetheless, he obliged my request though it slowed his haste. He's a good man in that respect.

But in other respects he's absolutely confounding. Today, for example, he had the audacity to turn to me after finishing his compulsory read through of my article and ask, "What do you mean by 'Will it play in Peoria?'"

"What do you mean what do I mean?" I retorted, deeply offended.

He claims to have never ever heard that phrase before and assures me that if he hasn't heard it no one else has either. "Readers won't know what you're talking about," he accused.

The article, by the way, recounts a school-spirit induced traipse onto a rival high school's property to drop off a brief message for the student body. I of course defended my phrasing to my husband by pointing out that the complete sentence, Will it play in Peoria or land me in Sing Sing, provides plenty of context clues by which to decipher it (or to at least get a rough idea that it means something better than going to jail).

"You talk funny," was all he said. Then he put on his hat, grabbed his gun and exited stage left, leaving me wondering if he's right.

Am I the only person who has ever heard or used the line, Will it play in Peoria? Do I talk funny?


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guest, You are Welcome to Such as We've Got

The leaks in the roof,
The soup in the pot.

With the holidays peeking around the corner at me, this old verse that adorned framed handwork in the guest bedroom of my third cousin's Athens, GA home rolls on an endless loop in my head. Through the coming weeks I'll take turns being a guest and hosting guests, and I honestly don't know which is more stressful, particularly when I'm heavy on leaks and low on soup.

Fortunately, author Kathy Bertone is coming to the rescue of people like me. Having dubbed herself the Visit Wizard, she's doing her best to help me, despite the words 'Lost Cause' stamped on my forehead. Recently, she shared her expert advice with me for an article about holding your tongue during the holidays in the November 2012 issue of Augusta Family Magazine. In her book, The Art of the Visit, released in the St. Nick of time for my annual Thanksgiving meltdown, she gives sage advice on becoming the perfect guest and becoming the perfect host. And the cover is so beautiful, it can be strategically stacked on the bedside table in the guest room.

Here I am publicly admitting that I found the first half of the book, which dealt with hostessing, overwhelming and exhausting. In fact, I initially decided that I must be lazier than a two-toed sloth. Unwilling, however, to sit forever in a cesspool of my own making, I scanned back through the pages to check off what I already do well: I'm welcoming, I plan activities, I plan meals and purchase supplies ahead of time, I clean my house (it's cursory, it's mainly restricted to areas my guests will see, but it is done), and I'm extremely flexible. So, I'm getting there.

After reading the second half of the book, I realized that I was born to be a guest. I stop a hair short of being a guest in my own home, because, being southern, I simply can't stoop that low. What would my third cousin think of me?

Joking aside, Bertone has duly composed a comprehensive compendium of everything a person ever needs to know about visitors and visiting, and she has done it with wisdom, wit and sensitivity. She outlines specifics on how to prepare for and survive the visit from the moment the invitation is extended to the second the car pulls out of the driveway on the last day. And I don't just mean survive; I mean truly enjoy the time spent.

The Art of the Visit covers:
  • Creating a welcoming home.
  • Essential qualities of a great host.
  • Hosting children and young adults.
  • Hosting older guests.
  • Essential qualities of a great guest.
  • Hospitality in regard to pets.
  • And so much more.
The only thing it doesn't have is this:

Guest, you are welcome here,
Be at your ease.
Get up when you're ready,
Go to bed when you please.

We're happy to share with you
Such as we've got,
The leaks in the roof
And the soup in the pot.

You don't have to thank us
Or laugh at our jokes,
Sit deep and come often...
You're one of the folks!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mommy's Time Out Whine

This is how I feel the day after Halloween:
After handing out about 2500 pieces of candy one at a time, I'm exhausted. And, no, I do not exaggerate that number. If anything, I've underestimated. By 5 o'clock in the afternoon, itty-bitties beging arriving dressed like bumble bees and lady bugs holding out darling bags and buckets. By 6 o'clock, people are lined up on my walkway three abreast from my stoop to the street. Entire families - Mom, Dad, sister, brother and baby - extend candy collection containers toward me. At 9 o'clock we flee the madness, retreating to the security behind our locked front door. And still, the goblins ring the bell and thrash the door knocker.

To say the least, it's exhausting. Today, I think I deserve:
A few sips of Mommy's Time Out pinot grigio and I'll be good to go again. It's the perfect beverage - not too sweet, not too dry - for whetting my whistle and rejuvenating my spirit. After collecting all of the candy wrappers discarded on the lawn and tidying the Halloween sprawl of ghastly scenes across my front yard, enjoying a little restorative Mommy's Time Out will be well-deserved.

It will wash the sugar sweaters from my teeth, the cobwebs from my head and embolden me to face the onslaught of Thanksgiving. Plus, the raising of the glass will help loosen the sore muscles of my candy-handing arm.

Has Halloween left you feeling like this:
Then maybe you need a Mommy's Time Out wine, too: