Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goddess of Chaos: 1 ; Newton Family: 0

Ahhh, chaos! It reigns in my home so frequently, I wonder if Eris (Greek goddess of chaos), might have a summer home nearby. Every once and a while, she'll poke her goddess-head out of her window, raise one ethereal eyebrow at my Type-A ways, and bam! Here's how it began:

"Mom! Dad fell...and he's not getting up."

At first, I giggled. I know--real sensitive of me, right? But it sounded like that cliched commercial for those LifeAlert pendants. My humor evaporated when I saw my daughter's wide-eyed panic. Uh-oh.

Vaulting into action, I sprinted outside taking in the scene like a veteran cop: my kids: safe (although the youngest was running around screaming about Daddy's bloody knee). Neighbor kids: gawking from their side of the lawn, dressed in their full Laura-Ingalls regalia (They're Missionaries. More on them another day). My husband: laying on the intersection of lawn and driveway, and (from the look of him) the intersection of conscious and full-on faint.

Mike's hands clutched his ankle. "I was playing basketball with the girls. I went for a rebound and rolled my ankle. I heard a loud crack," he said, his lips the color of manuscript paper. He was in a cold sweat, pale and glassy-eyed.

My inner-EMT pursed her lips. Hell, no. He's not going into shock. Not on my watch.

Gently prying Mike's hands from his ankle, I exhaled in relief. No protruding bones. I gave him a reassuring smile. "It looks fine. We'll get you inside, get some ice, and see if we need x-rays."

Then, the Goddess of Chaos intervened. The *itch figured I was managing too well.

My toddler was the first to respond to Chaos' call. Peering at his unhurt (but bloody) knee, she managed to bang into the injured ankle. Mike hissed in pain, and my toddler gave him a chastising look. "S'okay, Daddy." She lowered her face to the abraded knee, flailing into his ankle once more. "It's just bwood, sweetieheart."

Mike's face got paler, and I (still calm) told my little one to watch out for Daddy's foot.

Meanwhile, my oldest began a screaming etiquette lecture for the gawking Missionary kids. "Go home! Don't you know how RUDE it is to stare? Go HOME!"

Wide-eyed, the neighbor kids hiked up their colonial-style garb and climbed a nearby tree, getting a better (and safer) view of the chaos.

Still trying for serene, I sent my oldest daughter to fetch ice, more to stop her yelling than anything else. Then, I helped Mike up, noting the cold sweat drenching him. God, let me get him into the house before he faints!

Blocking my toddler as she made another bee-line for the bloody knee (via the broken foot route), we took two gimping steps forward. My eldest raced back with an ice-filled towel, and promptly resumed her tirade at the now-arboreal (yet still staring) neighbor kids.

Before I could rein in my girls, Mike said, "I'm going down."

And he did. He didn't faint--it was more like a slow-motion swoon, except my husband is a muscled mass of a guy. Slowing his descent was like attempting to catch a falling freight elevator--I couldn't do much except use my body to break his fall. Sacrificing my left arm and leg, I crumpled gracelessly, half under him, to the hard concrete.

"Ice!" I barked, my pinned left side protesting.

My toddler snatched the towel-wrapped ice. "Lemme shake dis out." And with an expert flick of her tiny wrist, the ice scattered across the driveway in every direction.

The loss of her freshly-fetched ice provoked my eldest into another vein-popping screamfest. At the same time, my toddler--having shaken out the towel to her liking--used it to blot Mike's knee, laying across--what else?--the injured foot.

Mike gave a guttural groan, moving enough for me to finally wrench my arm out from under him. Grabbing up my youngest by the back of her shorts, I shoved her off his foot as gently as I could (one-handedly) but she fell and bloodied her knee. Her shrieks, combined with her sister's top-of-her-lungs lecturing to the treed neighbors, eroded the last of my calm.

Understand that I'm descended from a long line of loud, loud women. My daughters are mere acolytes in the art of bellowing. I am in full mastery of my vocal capacity. Pulling air into the lowest recesses of my diaphragm, I let loose.


My yell bounced off the driveway, stole the breath from my screaming children, deafened my husband, and scared the Missionary kids so badly they fell from the tree in their haste to retreat to the sanctuary of their house.

Eris' ethereal lips curved in a smirk--she'd won. Goddess of Chaos: 1 ; Newton Family: 0

This story does have a happy ending. While Mike did indeed break his fifth metatarsal, it was 3 cm up from having to have it in a cast. Thanks to that 3cm, he's in an ankle brace which--although painful--is a hell of a lot easier.

What a difference 3cm can make. (At least, that's what I always say, *wink-wink*). the end we all did live...
Happily Ever After,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scrap Challenge Day 7--Completing the Layout for "Day in the Life of Mom"

If you've stuck with me, you already have a gorgeous two-page layout featuring YOU, the Mom, on Mother's Day. Finally, you've made a guest appearance in the scrapbooks you create!

Today's double-page layout is about a day in your life--just an average, everyday, day. As much as you think, "Oh, I'll remember my schedule," five years from now, you won't. It'll be different. And when you flip through the scrapbook containing this layout, feel free to email me and tell me how much you appreciate the challenge this week!

This may take a bit longer than the other challenges, depending on how fancy you want to get with it.

  • Pictures printed from Day 4 of the challenge
  • Ephemera gathered
  • Journaling pen
  • Adhesive
  • Trimmer
  • White gel pen, if desired
  • Pictures of a clock--this can be stamped, a big clock chipboard (like the one I used), or go to Google images, type in "clock face" and print one of the hundred or so there. I used a cut piece from a piece of patterned paper for the one on the right side of the layout.
  • Stickers, frames, clock hands, rub-ons, bling, etc.--amazingly, I didn't use any flowers on this one, but you could easily incorporate that.
1.   I printed most of my pictures in wallet, which allowed me to fit more onto the page. But I did print two in 4x6 (punching bag pictures, and the one with my girls playing outside that I ended up trimming slightly to fit).
2.   Lay out your pictures and memorabilia in a ray pattern from the clock at the center. If you want to split the clock in two (half on the left side of the layout, and half on the right), that would work, as well. Basically, this will depend on how many pictures/ephemera you are including on the layout. Here is my layout before embellishments:
3.   I used number and letter stickers in each photo, and then journaled the rest of what was happening at that time of the day by hand. I hate my handwriting, but is is mine. And the layout is all about me, so I figured it was appropriate for once for me to write longhand.
4.   Find a title that works for your day. Since my layout is all about my favorite day of the week (Tuesday--the only day I don't have to take kids into school and have more time to write), my title was "I (heart) My Tuesdays."
5.   I tried to go through my stash of mismatched things to use on the layout. So I have a felt scroll-work embellishment that was a leftover from a past layout, clock hands from a broken clock, and miscellaneous bits and pieces I've held onto when the rest of the pack was gone. Use a mixture of number and letter sticker fonts--great way to use up letters and numbers you have leftover from previous layouts.

That's it! My only other advice is to tell it like it is. One of my favorite parts of the day is when the kids go to bed, and my husband and I have time together. Not a great "Mommy" thing of me to say, but true nonetheless. We have so little time alone together that these few minutes are precious.

Good luck and thanks for sticking with me during this week of scrapping YOUR life as a Mom...

Happily Ever After,

Are you just joining in? Here are the links to the previous Mother's Day challenges--you're not behind! We'll wait for you to catch up.
Day 6: Completing the Mother's Day Card Layout
Day 5: Journaling about YOU from Your Kids
Day 2: Journaling Pros and Cons of Motherhood
Day 1: Mother's Day Challenge

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rockin' Date Night

For Those About to Rock...Please Puke the Other Way

My husband and I love rock concerts. Heavy Metal, Hard Rock--we love music where the bass is so loud, it pumps your heart for you. Where mosh pits offer up more chipped teeth than an NHL hockey game, and the band will actually call you out if you happen to sit at any point during their face-melting onslaught.

Mike and I have attended rock concerts together for over two decades.  (Full list at the end of this blog.) Together, we've seen over 25 bands--some of them multiple times.

We have enough concert tees to make at one kick-*ss (and all black) tee-shirt quilt.

Recently, my husband bought us tickets to the 98 RockFest in Tampa, cleverly supporting my goal of injecting more fun into our date nights together. And because I want you to rock your  Happily  Ever After, I have compiled these concert rules from my years of attending rock concerts. You're welcome!


1. Wardrobe: Wear black. Preferably a concert tee from the band to show you're a real fan. However, don't buy the tee-shirt there, and put it on over what you wore to the concert. Because then you look like you're trying too hard. And you're so not fooling anyone.
  • Stripper clothing is a rock concert staple. Seemingly for every body type. I've seen fishnet stockings restrain massive amounts of cellulite--it's like beholding a wondrous concert night miracle.
  • Only wimps wear ear protection. Part of the rock experience is partial deafness. If you don't have a few hours of tinnitus after the show, you didn't rock hard enough.
  •  If you have a tattoo or piercing (besides your ears), it is expected that you will wear something that reveals that body part. Just to show how bad-*ss you are. 
2. Smart Phone Musts: Bring your cell so you can take your picture at the concert and immediately post it to Facebook. Before you go, upload the flashlight app,too. That way you'll  find your freaking keys when you drop them trying to get your phone out so you can update your Facebook status.

3. Head-Banging: I've never been a very good head-banger. Some people thrash their heads around and look cool doing it. Me...not so much. Do it in front of a trusted, sober friend before trying this at a concert.

4. Being Groped &/or Cat-Called is part of the experience. Apparently. Happens to me every damn concert. You'll just be winding through a crowd of people and bam! Someone grabs your *ss. I used to get really offended. But now that I'm over 40, I try and take it as a compliment. Oh, I still turn around and try and catch the offender, my ninja hands up. But now I keep in mind that the alternative--when nobody wants to grope you because  you're too old and gnarly--might be worse. 

And finally, the most important rule of them all...

Age doesn't matter on this one. At 98RockFest, a 60 year old in front of us had 12 too many brewskis. He'd already broken so many rules, I should have known he'd make this last infraction something of a finale. He wore a plain, dark blue tee-shirt that covered up most of his faded upper arm tat, and jeans so crisp, you could smell "Eau de WalMart" rows away.

Clear infraction of Rule #1.

He had no cell, and his head-banging looked more like he was slowly agreeing with a silent conversation. Which, considering his state of intoxication, was probably the case.

Rule 2 & 3--broken.

I gotta give the guy credit for Rule #4, as he was ardently groping his girlfriend (gaggingly his younger by a good 15 years). But I could've misconstrued his lascivious intent. He may have been searching for a hand-hold as he swayed on his geriatric feet, and her *ss provided ample leverage.

And Rule #5. He waited until Shinedown's ballad, "45" for that one, the old romantic! Lucky for the  SweetTart he was with, he gave her one last butt-squeeze, and then leaned over the seat in front of him. Shinedown was loud enough to drown out the retching as he yarked his guts out.

His girlfriend turned to us, grinned and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "It's a rock concert. Whaddya gonna do?"


The puke cascaded harmlessly down the two empty blue stadium seats in front of him--incidentally, the only two empty seats in that row. Another rock concert miracle! And the guy kept the most sacred of all rules:

5. For Those About to Rock...Please Puke the Other Way.

Rockin' my Happily Ever After,

Want to see another amazing Date Night Idea? Click here for Date Night/Fight Night.

Curious to compare your rock concert attendance with my own? Click on the "more" below and check out previous date night concerts we've attended.

Scrap Challenge Day 6: Finish Mother's Day Card Layout

In Day 5 of our challenge to incorporate more of YOU into your own scrapbook, you had your children answer some questions about you as a mom. (Aren't the answers precious?!?)

Today, we're going to incorporate that into the second half of our Mother's Day Card layout we started on Day 3.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Cardstock and scrap of patterned paper you set aside from Day 3.
  • Corner rounder
  • Trimmer
  • Adhesive
  • Questions from your children (mounted on color cardstock if you prefer)
  • 2 or 3 photos of your children/you, if you prefer (otherwise, you can mount your kids' answers instead)
  • Embellishments (flowers, ribbons, brads, tags, bling), if desired
  1. Using the large patterned piece leftover from the other half of the layout (@11"x9"), round all four corners with your corner rounder or scissors.
  2. Take the questions your children answered in Day 5. If they are small enough, adhere them in an artful way on top of the patterned paper.
  3. But, if they are too big (like mine), then find two or three photos of your kids and/or you, and arrange them on top of the patterned paper. If you use photos on top, simply make a pocket of the patterned paper by laying down a strip of adhesive on three sides, leaving the fourth open so that you can remove the best part of the layout--what your biggest fans have to say about you!
  4. That's it! I embellished with flowers in the corner, some ribbon, a bit of that accent paper leftover from the first layout, and some bling (gotta have bling!!), and voila!!
You now have a 2-page layout, all pretty and color-coordinated...and best of all, it features YOU! :)

Tomorrow, we're going to work with those pictures and memorabilia from the "Day in the Life of Mom"...
Thanks for joining me, as I scrap...

Happily My Ever After,

Are you just joining in? Here are the links to the previous Mother's Day challenges--you're not behind! We'll wait for you to catch up.

Day 5: Journaling about YOU from Your Kids
Day 3: First Page of Mother's Day Card Layout

Day 2: Journaling Pros and Cons of Motherhood

Day 1: Mother's Day Challenge

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mom's Life Scrap Challenge: Day 5--Homework for your Kids

If you've followed all of my scrap challenges from Day 1, you've got one side of a two-page layout done, pictures taken for another two-page layout, and ephemera saved from your "Day in the Life of Mom" challenge on Day 4.

Yay, you!

So today, it's time to assign work to someone else for a change. Namely, your kids. Today, you're going to get your children to answer some easy questions about you. If they are old enough, have them write the answers themselves (no coaching--they should be from your kids). If you have little ones, you have license to make up their answers yourself! :)

This one came from my youngest daughter's preschool. (And for the record, I'm not 10, and I rarely make soup. But she was right. I do look the best with my hair done, and I'm always harping about cleaning up your own mess. Out of the mouth of babes, eh?)

Feel free to copy these questions, and ask your kids, or come up with four or five of your own. Here are some ideas:
  • What are four words you would use to describe me?
  • What's your favorite thing we do together?
  • You're the best Mom because....?
That's it! Make sure you print your pictures from yesterday. We'll be making our second page to the Mother's Day card layout tomorrow, and this weekend, we'll be doing the "Day in the Life of Mom" double page layout.

Thanks for joining me as I scrap...

Happily My Ever After,

Are you just joining in? Here are the links to the previous Mother's Day challenges--you're not behind! We'll wait for you to catch up.

Day 3: First Page of Mother's Day Card Layout

Day 2: Journaling Pros and Cons of Motherhood

Day 1: Mother's Day Challenge

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Scrap Challenge Day 4: Document one Day in Your Life

Of all of the photo albums I've seen over the years, the one most precious to me was done by my mother when she was 16 and hospitalized after a car accident. Some relative gave her a scrapbook to help ease the tedium of 33 days in the hospital, and she recently gave it to me to act as caretaker to the now-disintegrating book.  When I opened the front cover, I was transported back to 1966.

Recovering from two surgeries, the teen version of my Mom used her scrapbook to chronicle her experience. She taped up remembrances of the good days, like when a boy from school brought a flower when he visited her in the hospital. And she taped up the bad, like Christmas cards from relatives she wouldn't see that holiday, because she wasn't yet released. In between the good and the bad are remembrances of her life--hall passes from school, her hospital wrist band, the front cover of the TV guide (featuring her teen crush, Ben Gazzara).
Paging through my mom's scrapbook from those harrowing weeks, you see the optimistic, vivacious, sometimes introspective teen--the girl she was before. Before children, before marriage, before she began the 'work-make dinner-work-drive kids-work' cycle that would define the next four decades of her life. I never knew that 'before' girl...but in paging through that scrapbook, I feel like I do.

That's my challenge for you: Document your day--the good, the bad, the ugly. Years from now, your kids will page through and laugh, or grimace, or just think, "How in the hell did she do all that?"

(Or maybe they'll say, "Oh, no wonder she was such a crabby-*ss *itch all the time.")

Either way, it'll be your moment in time, in all it's multi-faceted glory.

It's easy. Here's what you need to do:
  • Take pictures of your day. From when you get up to when you go to bed, document the high and low-lights of a typical day in the life of YOU. We'll be scrapping many of them, so take enough pictures that you can pick and choose what you want to represent. Try to include at least one of yourself! This page is about YOU, after all!
  • Grab the ephemera of this one day--receipts, labels, the tiny flower your daughter picked for you--the flotsam of your everyday that might normally be trashed. We will scrap these, as well.
  • Finally, document your day. What time did you wake up? What did you make for dinner, or did you order out? What's something funny your kids or husband said when you told them what you were doing today? Songs on the radio? What book are you reading? You get the drift.
At the end of the day, gather it all into a pile. Print your pictures, or send them out for next-day printing. We're going to use it all when we begin our next 2-page layout.

Thanks for joining me as I scrap...

Happily My Ever After,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Scrap Challenge: Day 3--Begin 1st Layout

Today, in only 15 minutes, you're going to start creating your first of two double-page layouts in our seven day challenge. And you'll finally be in your own scrapbooks. Woo-Hoo!

First, print out your picture from the Day 1 challenge in 4x6 format. Gather any cards or ephemera you have from Mother's Day (tags from clothes, receipts from something you did that day, etc.), and grab your journaling list from the Day 2 challenge.

Other Supplies:
  • 2 pieces of 12x12 cardstock to match your picture or card (you can easily convert to 8.5x11)
  • 1 piece of 12x12 patterned paper to match
  • 1 large scrap of another pattern of paper to match (about 6 x 8)
  • Corner rounder, or scissors
  • Paper trimmer
  • Embellishments (flowers, bling, tags, whatever you have that matches)
1. Take your patterned piece of 12x12 paper and cut a strip 12 x 3" from it, then trim 1" so that you have two strips (one is 11 x 3" and one is 1 x 3"). Put the rest (12 x 9") aside, as we will use this later in the week to do the other half of the page.
2. Using a corner rounder, round all four edges of the 12 x 3" strip, and adhere about a half inch from the left side of the page.
3. Take your picture from Mother's Day, and adhere this to the inside of your Mother's Day card. Don't cover up any precious artwork or signatures, though!
4. Take your large scrap (about 6x8"), and trim it to frame and fit around your Mother's Day card, leaving a little extra frame at the bottom to allow room for embellishments. Round the bottom edge, if desired, and adhere to the long patterned piece on your page, about 1" from the edge.
5. Run an adhesive line along the top, folding edge, and bottom of the back of your Mother's Day card to create a pocket on the right hand side. Stick this to the large patterned scrap.
6. Insert your journaling list from the Day 2 Challenge in this pocket so that the edge hangs out.
7. Take the 1" strip, and adhere it to the bottom right side of the page, about .5" from the bottom edge. Here is what the page looks like before embellishments:
8. Embellish with ribbons, flowers, bling, stickers, etc.

There! Now your Mother's Day card, and your thoughts about being a mother are preserved for your kids...and you finally appear in your family's scrapbook! Keep the scraps, as we will use these later in the week to finish the other side of the two-page layout.

Tonight, charge up your digital camera and set it out where you'll remember it in the morning. Because tomorrow, you're going to photographically document a typical "Day in the Life" of Mom. Tomorrow's post will be ready for you bright and early!

Thanks for joining me as I scrap...
Happily My Ever After,

Forgot to do your Day 2 journaling? It won't take you long. Click here for directions.

Did you miss Day 1 of the Challenge? Don't sweat it--you're not behind. Just click here for that Challenge. We'll wait!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Scrap Challenge Day 2: Pros and Cons of Motherhood

 Now that you have a picture from yesterday (click here to go to Mother's Day 1 Challenge), today's challenge will be to journal about your feelings as a Mother.

Wait, don't close this window yet!!

I know you're thinking, "Ugh. I hate journaling,"  but this is easy, and I even have a handy-dandy template to kick your journaling muse in her whiny, little *ss. I may be a writer by profession, but journaling in my family's scrapbook often finds me with my pen in hand and my mind an absolute blank.

That's why I cheat--I use lists in my scrapbooks.

For this page, we're borrowing from the king of list-makers himself: Ben Franklin. Franklin would take a piece of paper, fold it in the center and list the pros on one side, cons on the other and after careful, intelligent introspection, would decide on the problem based on which list was larger.

You don't need any intelligent introspection for this one.

But you will need:
  • A piece of paper roughly 5.5" square. You can use cardstock, lined paper, a page ripped from your day planner (that's what I used)--whatever you want.
  • Black journaling pen (or color of your choice--use a pen if you want), and a highlighter.
  1. Fold your paper in half, then use a black journaling pen to trace over that line (or just use a ruler to draw a straight line--rulers and I don't get along, so folding works for me).
  2. Write a title at the top, or borrow mine: "Pros and Cons of Motherhood", and write the Pros on one side, Cons on the other. Be creative, be serious, be silly. Hell, be intelligently introspective if you can manage it (and then post what you wrote so I can borrow it for mine!!). Doesn't matter what you write, just spend five minutes writing from the heart.
  3. Make sure your 'Pros' list is longer than your 'Cons' list. :) You might have to think a little longer, but I know you'll manage. (See below for inspiration).
  4. Take a highlighter (any color) and circle the 'Pros' side of your list.
There! Challenge completed!! Tomorrow, we're going to take our 'journaling' list, our photo from Day 1, any Mother's Day cards or ephemera we have and begin our first scrapbook layout.

Here's to scrapping our Happily Ever After,

Need inspiration for your Pros and Cons list? There's a cute article on .

Did you miss Day 1 of the Challenge? Don't sweat it--you're not behind. Just click here for that Challenge. We'll wait! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scrap Challenge : YOU as a Mom...Day 1 Assignment

In my quest to document my family and our life together, our scrapbooks are filled with layouts I've done documenting major holidays, kid's activities, etc. but I notice that I rarely focus on the simple things. Like Mother's Day, and little details about living my life as a mother (and wife, friend, writer, chronic list maker, etc.) that are my every day.

This week I'm changing that. And you're welcome to join me.

For the next seven days, I'm going to help put a little of YOU into your scrapbook.

The assignments are easy (taking only 15 minutes/day), and by the end of the week, you'll have what you need for four scrapbook pages of YOU, with detailed instructions of how to duplicate these pages that focus more on content, less on scrap technique.

I promise you--and your family--will love to read these pages when you're done.


Take a picture of what you received today--whether it was gifts, a homemade card, breakfast in bed, or maybe it was the gift of time alone or with your kids, mother, husband, etc. Whatever it was that made your day memorable, take a picture. Mine is above.

And hang onto any Mother's Day cards you received. We're using those later!!

Tune in tomorrow for your next easy (and fun!) assignment...

Thanks for joining me as I scrap...
Happily My Ever After,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Unwanted Shower Guest

In the first scene of my novel, Despite the Ghosts, my heroine Nola has an unwanted guest join her in the shower--the ghost of a man who was thought to have committed suicide. Having a spirit materialize in the shower's steam would send the rest of us over the edge, but lucky for Nola, she's a medium. She's used to seeing ghosts, and her reaction was a mix of startled and annoyed.

Look who decided to join me in the shower this morning.

Just looking at it gives me a full-on body shudder. My reaction was a bit more over-the-top than my psychic heroine's.

It was mid-shower when I finally noticed my unwanted guest--who happened to be hiding on the back-side of the shower step. Performing a convulsive jumping jack, I scrambled into the far corner of the shower from the beast, shrieking like a banshee.

But spiders don't have ears. The beast was unfazed by my reaction.

It's brown, slightly hairy body was roughly the size and shape of a large almond, and with his splayed legs gripping the shower tile (*shudder*) the thing looked freaking horrifying. I screamed louder, which did me no good, as I was the only one home.

"Yeah. Got you cornered, *itch," the spider seemed to be saying, his multiple myopic eyes narrowing. "Watcha gonna do now??" 

Shampoo ran into my face. I flipped the water off, debating my alternatives. I couldn't kill it. Not naked anyway. What if I missed and he ran up my leg (**shudder **)? I could shower with him, and kill him when I was dressed and mentally ready. That was the mature thing to do, I reasoned with my inner arachnophobic. I was much bigger, and he was unlikely to rush me while I finished my shower.

He'd just be staring at me with all those eyes...planning his next spidey move.

Two seconds later, I karate-chopped the door open and performed an Olympic-sized long jump, hurtling over the spider, over the lip of the shower, over the bath mat until landing with wet feet on the tiles. I would have gone *ss over tea kettle, but my flailing arms caught the towel bar. I slammed the glass door closed, praying the eight-legged monstrosity couldn't climb the shower-wet walls and get out.

Streaking through my empty house, I finished my shower--on extra-hot to combat the residual spider-induced tremors. Then, like a medieval woman--when there was no knight to come and save her--I dressed, and prepared for battle.

NOTE: If you're one of those that prefers to "capture and release" the creatures that inadvertently enter your house, DON'T READ ANY FURTHER. 'Cause I don't roll that way. I leave dead carcasses outside my door as a warning --Abandon all hope, ye bugs who enter here!!

First, I grabbed my camera. Had to snap a picture of the thing for all of you. And let me tell you, zooming in on that thing will give me nightmares for a month (**shudder**). It took eight pictures before my hands stopped shaking and the picture was in focus. The lengths I will go to for my writing.

Then, I grabbed my weapon, and sprayed.

Death by Scrubbing Bubbles is not the most effective way to kill household pests. There was a lot more shrieking, foaming bubbles, and chaos before the beast finally succumbed. He was still. I had vanquished the interloper.

Plus, my shower tiles got a little extra sparkle. Dontcha love it when you can multi-task?!?

I had a moment of silence, respecting my dead foe. (Why, oh why couldn't he just have stayed outside where he belonged?) Then, I quietly closed the shower door, leaving the dead in peace. My husband would be home soon. He'd take care of it.

You didn't actually think that I would pick that thing up, did you???

And now I forge ever onward. One more obstacle removed as I quest for my...
Happily Ever After,

Want to read an excerpt from my novel, whose heroine is braver than I in the shower? Click here for my website, or just go ahead and buy the book (and read my 5 star reviews) on