Archive for the ‘Club 17’ Category

Club 17, December

December 17th, 2008 at 3:15 am » Comments (12)

i know! you have a thousand things to do because it’s DECEMBER 17, but just make a quick little addition to the to-do list.  Feel around and make sure you’re lumpless, as you should every month.  It’s a BSE (breast self exam), and it’s THAT quick.     For doing so, and leaving a comment on this post, you’re eligible for an EXTRA lovely prize, just because it’s gifty season, and you were so together you stayed with me even now when you’re so busy. i’m busy!  can you tell?!  does it sound like i’m not even slowing down to breathe or think or edit because I’m NOT there just isn’t time!   

Was that the longest, silent drumroll ever?

December 3rd, 2008 at 4:41 am » Comments (6)

Yeah, okay, SORRY!  I disappeared.  I’ll get to that.  (And a fantastic husband story. No – not a ‘fantastic husband’ story. A fantastic story about the husband. Not that he isn’t.)

Club 17 Winner!   Tiff! (and go visit her, say hi, and vote for her precious niece “Bella” who is having a bit of a rough time to put it mildly)

Honorable kudos to Tracye  for joining in for the first time!


So I always take my computer when we go out of town. But I didn’t. And I didn’t miss it. Then…. I just didn’t really turn it on for a few days when we finally got home, either. My online life stalled. To be fair, it had been sputtering a lot lately anyway, but you’ve probably noticed.

A peek into a Mars/Venus marriage incident:

Mike came into the bedroom last night where I was reading and said, “Um… do you ever know that something happened, and you SHOULD have said something, but then you DIDN’T say something…. and um…?” At which point, I’m trying to decide if this is a bizarre preamble to why he’s mad at me for something he’s only just now about to tell me about. But no. It’s much better than that.

He went to get his hair cut. The stylist very quickly combed through and buzzered off the excess of his right eyebrow. This was a bit of a surprise for him. And then the hair cut continued.

When Mike left, the left eyebrow… had been left untouched.

My mouth was HANGING OPEN by this point. “MIKE! How in the world did you not say anything?!”

And the answer was adorable. Mind boggling. But adorable. “I guess I thought that the left eyebrow was probably fine, and that was why it got left as-is.”

FYI, the left eyebrow mighta ‘been fine’ except the newly buzzered, sleek right eyebrow made it look like a long haired chihuahua by comparison. And a quick glance into the big mirror at the hair place… probably woulda cleared that RIGHT on up.

And can you imagine going to get a manicure (not me, i hate them, but go with me here) and the person just does one hand? And you assume that your other hand must look great already, and don’t say anything?! GAH! NO! Of course you can’t imagine that, because you are a woman and we would not ever in a million years think! like! that!

Y’ALL! I just don’t GET men sometimes! As if that isn’t bizarre enough…. he was TOO BUSY to go back today and say, “Excuse me. Symmetry would be appreciated.”

I know he’s a busy guy. But there is no meeting that i would not cancel in a heartbeat so that i would be at the salon when the doors opened. Priorities!

How can it possibly be more important to hold appointments with clients when your fur is off kilter like that? You know that every one of the women in those appointments, at least subconsciously, was going, “Hmmm. I don’t know about this guy. Something just seems…. off balance … about him…. what is it…? i should probably figure it out before we let him handle our life savings…” BUT THAT’S JUST ME. I’m sure.

I happen to have the world’s most observant mother. She would have taken one look at him and thought, “Huh. He has one groomed eyebrow and one not,” then invented a myriad of entertaining theories to explain it, and then called LaLa and myself to explain about the asymmetrical financial planner she’d met that day. We would have voted on which of her theories explained it because we do that kind of thing (and y’all – not one of us would have assumed the guy walked out KNOWINGLY AND WILLINGLY, oddly convinced that one eyebrow JUST DIDN’T NEED IT. GAH!!! That GETS me!) – and then we all would have agreed she would have been right to walk away and find another financial planner.

Which is insane. Mike is brilliant at what he does. BRILL. IANT. Not even to be questioned. Furthermore, he dresses himself and coordinates ties with shirts all on his own. I am not the sort of wife who does that stuff. Not necessary. He’s clean, dresses well, and he even has a sense of style to him that leads one to believe that he has got the basics down and then some.

But the wonky eyebrows! The eyebrows cast all sorts of doubts that he just doesn’t deserve!

I considered wearing makeup on just one side of my face to demonstrate my point. I didn’t follow through, because it would be pointless to go to the trouble for any woman. Any woman at all would get that absurdity from half a mile away.

But Mike, sweet and presently unbalanced, Mike – probably wouldn’t even notice, much less get my point.

I know. I’m taking him to the salon myself first thing in the morning if I have to. Eyebrow Intervention, scheduled. I’ll keep you updated.

Club 17 (yeah – already!)

November 17th, 2008 at 4:26 am » Comments (12)

Is it just me, or were we just doing this a few days ago…? 

Every month on the 17th I bug y’all to do self breast exams.  You leave a comment on this post saying you did, you wonder if this is the month you go for the cute blog button about Club 17, and then maybe you win the prize.  Last month I think I gave the flowers from Proflowers that benefitted breast cancer research.  I’m good at prizes.  Really.   

So!  Any questions?  Are you new?  No problem.  It’s all here. 


October 24th, 2008 at 1:58 am » Comments (4)

Random Number Picker Type Site selected Amy N. as the winner for this month’s Club 17. Yea, Amy!

I’m falling asleep as I type. There are reasons. It’s not even 9 o’clock. But I’m too tired to list them in an entertaining way, so I won’t bother.

Have a great weekend! I’ll be in Utah, but I’ll write more when I get back.

Club 17, October

October 17th, 2008 at 3:46 am » Comments (13)

The other day in the car I sneezed. The appropriate, if not predictable, response would be ‘bless you.’ But Caden-4yr said, “Mom.  Why do you sneeze…. differently… than all hoomins… on the pyanet?” 

I love this question.  It’s got it all. Caden-4yr’s own special vocabulary, and a brilliant use of an adverb.  

Hoomins is Caden-4yr’s way of pronouncing the word ‘humans.’  Which he uses often – whereas most people might just say, well, ‘people.’   And pyanet is ‘planet.’

So if you follow this translation, you already know Caden-4yr was asking me why I sneeze differently from all humans on the planet.

(And i do NOT, I’ll have you know. But that isn’t the point.)

I told Caden-4yr as much, and he thought about it. Then he said, “Oh. Well. Why do you sneeze differently than all BOYS?”

Again with the adverb. And a peek at Caden-4yr’s logic. Which translates loosely to: Seriously, Mom? That sneeze is human? Oh. Well then it must be one of those girl things I don’t understand.

And I tell you this story now, because it’s the 17th.

Time for a ‘girl thing!’

If you’ll do a monthly self breast exam and leave a comment on this post saying you did, you’ll be eligible for a prize.*

If you’d like a button for your blog, reminding your readers to join you in this on the 17th of every month, then click riiiight here. And if you have questions on why we do this, how, or why I care, click that same link.

And remember that if you don’t usually check the comment sections on blogs, make an exception. Each month, this particular post always attracts a fascinating collection of comments.

Go BSE, y’all!

*I do prizes VERY well, if I do say so myself.

Cassie J, Winner!

September 22nd, 2008 at 6:45 pm » Comments (4)

It was a close call for Cassie J, with her winning (randomly chosen) comment having gotten accidentally snagged in the spam filter.  Once rescued, it was mere moments before it was selected as the month’s winner.  YEA! 

Did y’all read what JenLo said in the comment section?  Y’ALL!  Do not even JOKE about shmearing that crazy lip injection extreme on… ahem… other body parts.  Bee Venom!  I don’t know if that’s what’s in this particular product, but I would not be surprised.

The mail just arrived – which reminds me of another fascinating conversation with Caden-4yr from last week:

Caden-4yr: Mom, has the mail man come yet?
Me: Yeah, but today it was a mail woman.
Caden-4yr: (looong pause. scrunched up face.) That does not make sense. You told me that Male means Man or Boy. And you told me that if you are a boy, you are not a guhl [girl]. So what is a Mail Woman? That makes no sense on the whole pyanet. [my favorite Caden-4yr pronunciation EVER: it means 'planet' ]

Of course, I could have taken that conversation in a thousand different directions, with gender issues and homonyms and all of that. But I kept it brief and hugged him until he quit laughing and kissed me.

No sense on the whole pyanet. Not a bad bumper sticker.

Club 17, Sephora-Style

September 17th, 2008 at 3:20 am » Comments (17)

This morning I had a run-in with a lip plumping product that REALLY lives up to its claims. More on that later.

I’ve tried to pretend I don’t love makeup.  Not very well, mind you, but I have given it a good try.  You know what? I give up.  I am completely fascinated by the world of cosmetics.  

I even tried to be a Mary Kay lady for awhile, a few years back.  I bought $3000 worth of makeup, gave LaLa a makeover that had her break out in red painful blotches, and then I quit.  Fascination with makeup does NOT translate to sales ability. No. It might loosely translate into, “They say this is good, but be REAL careful, since it made my sister’s face look REAL red. Are you sure you want to buy that?”

This makeup thing isn’t new. When I was younger, my favorite thing was to get my grandmother to let me put on her lipstick for her, right before we left to go somewhere. Grandmommy had about 15 tubes of the almost identical coral-red lipstick lined up under her medicine cabinet. She’d sigh, and grumble, but let me do it. Then we’d giggle and she’d try to hold her mouth still while at the same time, telling me to stop laughing and be still. Not easy. I’d mess it waaay up, and then she’d fix it. If you’ve ever worn bright coral-red, you know it’s not the easiest shade to erase, once a wiggly, giggly eleven year old shmears it everywhere. It probably says a lot about how patient she was with me.

Around that same age, I remember talking at length with LaLa and our mother about the names of different makeup colors. We just adored the names of some colors. And if a lipstick name wasn’t good? Then it was hard to like that color. We agreed. Also, one time the three of us were with another woman and one of us complimented her lipstick and asked her the name of the color. I can’t remember who she was, but she said, “Oh, I don’t know. Let me check.” As she dug in her purse, the three of us bugged our eyes at each other – discreetly – communicating “HOW DOES SHE NOT KNOW THE COLOR OF HER LIPSTICK? HAS SHE FORGOTTEN HER CAT’S NAME, TOO?” These things matter.

Why am I telling you this? To give a little context for my cosmetic experiment gone bad. You know those free samples you can get from Sephora? Some of them I get out of pure, lifelong curiosity.

I have a BIG mouth. I actually get it from Grandmommy, but unlike her, I do not favor coral-red. It tends to make my BIG mouth look even bigger. (really. that picture to the right is me – and if you click it, it will get bigger. in that picture I’m making a funny face that actually makes my sizable mouth appear somewhat smaller than it really is.)

So there was no good reason whatsoever to try Lip Injection Extreme. NONE.

Except my lifelong cosmetic fascination.

I’ve looked at products like that and wondered if they actually worked – seems like a big claim, and frankly, i never believed in lip plumping claims, short of collagen. So when Sephora had a free sample, I got it.

I never should have used it.

The stuff WORKS. When they say, Lip Injection Extreme – well. Extreme is not a word I will again ignore so easily. YIKES.

I shmeared it on, and there were instant tingles/stinging and a slightly bad taste. Then I walked off to the closet, trying to tell myself that Burt’s Bees tingles too, and that doesn’t mean anything.

Surely I was imagining that slight sensation of my lips inflating like a king sized AeroBed.

There happens to be a mirror in my closet.

And a reflection of a truly ginormous set of lips that have oddly turned bright red. Rapid Lip Inflation can bring redness, it seems. Well. Okay.

I run back to the free sample and cringe when I read that the effects are meant to be long term.

I stare at the mirror and wonder what long term really means.

Then I wonder what color lipstick would make my mouth look smaller. My mother – an artist – would know. But it’s the middle of the night in Australia, and she probably wouldn’t deem the question emergency, ‘wake up the j-mom’ worthy. I decide to take her oft-repeated advice when some small detail of my appearance was bothering me back in the teen days: ‘don’t look in a mirror no matter what, and don’t think about it.’

And that wisdom still works. (Not that I ever listened to her then and actually TRIED that. too rational for my teen years.) By the time I checked my reflection again, four hours, later, all was normal.

So. Let’s just consider that product road tested, and proven to live up to its name AND THEN SOME.


It’s the 17th. Every month on the 17th I ask you to do a self breast exam, and leave a comment saying you did. If you do, you’re eligible for a prize.

And this month….? this month you will receive lots of Sephora samples (nothing with the word “extreme” – promise) and a Sephora Vanilla Cupcake Bubble Bath. I don’t like to smell like food, but a whole lotta y’all do. *

*this statement is NOT based on my own sniffing of readers. this statement is based on lifelong curiosity of the cosmetic industry, and noticing how they insist on making lip glosses and shower gels smell like cotton candy and fruit (gag) and vanilla and even apple pie.

Winner!(Gold, Silver, Bronze)

August 24th, 2008 at 10:30 pm » Comments (4)

What a fantastic, Olympian effort y’all made this month! WOW!  Excellent!  You Club 17ers are wonderful.

There couldn’t just be one winner. The random number generator picked our Gold Medalist as Jen. But seriously, how could the random number generator NOT pick Jen? She wrote a big poem in the comments y’all have to go read!!! So funny! Way to go, Jen!

Silver goes to…. Lauren! Brand new to BSEs. (And didn’t you feel SO proud of yourself?!)

Also atop the podium is Ashley, who probably has a whole family of vigilant BSEers.

So! I’ll be emailing the three of you, asking which prize you’d like. If you’d like a copy of my book and I didn’t already send you one, then that can certainly be arranged.

If you’d like another book, I just so happen to have a few extras this week. Seems I accidentally purchased several extra copies of books the last time I went to Amazon. The first is (friend!) Julie Carobini’s, Truffles by the Sea. I can tell you it is WONDERFUL, and I don’t know how I ended up over-ordering, but I’m pleased to send you the delicious extra.

Also, I over-ordered MatchPoint by Erynn Mangum, and Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh. Those three authors, along with Kristin Billerbeck – are my absolute favorites. If you have a preference about which of these titles you receive, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll pick one for you!

As long as we’re talking about books: The book I wrote, A Love for Larkspur, was published by what used to be called Capstone Fiction. They have since changed their name to Copestone Fiction, and are having to ‘pull’ all the books that bore the Capstone name and re-publish them with the Copestone name. As a result, my book is not currently available for purchase, and may not be for several weeks. (It can still be pre-ordered through Amazon, I think. ) For those of you who emailed and said, “I’m trying to buy it, but i can’t….?” THANK YOU. That was so nice to hear. Sort of. In a frustrated, but yet still reassuring sort of way.

Yea winners!

And if any of you Canadians actually received the book I sent you, would you let me know, please? Seems those went out with all the other ones, and extra postage was not affixed. I keep expecting them to all come back one day, stamped “insufficient postage, dummy!” I told Mike this, and he said, “nah. Don’t worry. They probably made it there with “postage due” stamps. That did NOT make me feel better! (If that happened, i am SO sorry!)

club 17, August Olympic Style

August 17th, 2008 at 2:31 pm » Comments (14)

So the kids HAVE been inspired and affected with Olympic spirit after all. That’s nice. In theory it’s nice. But actually it means we have to constantly remind them that they may NOT dive in the bathtub in any way. Caden-4yr tries to hold swimming events in the tub, and it results in all the water on the floor. Not to mention the crazy laughter, but I don’t mind that part.

Seth-2yr decided to award Charlo (the cat) an Olympic gold medal. I wish he had held a ceremony, played the Star SPangled Anthem and called all of us to see. Instead, he slipped the medal around the long haired fluffy cat, and it instantly disappeared in dense fur. We didn’t know to get it off him for days. No one has ever been so pleased to be stripped of his gold medal as Charlo was. We still do not know the athletic feat he performed in order to inspire such recognition.

Ethan-8yr has been flexing muscles.

Once a month I write a post like this, encouraging y’all to do a self breast exam.  When you do, you’re eligible for a prize that usually takes me awhile to put in the mail (but I always do) and then voila.  You are health conscious and sometimes awarded prizes for your efforts.  It’s a good deal.  

So do your self breast exam.  Don’t know how? Click here.   Don’t know why? CLick here.  Want to know why this matters to me or how to get a button with a cutie in a crown, like in my sidebar?  Click here.  Then come back, leave a comment on THIS post saying you did, and in a few days I”ll announce a winner.

So the prize…. if you don’t have a copy of my book and you want one, that can be your prize. Or…. it can be a surprise. I’m always buying things that will make cute Club 17 prizes, but they’re all the way in my closet and I’m all the way in here…. so let’s just call them surprises.



July 24th, 2008 at 8:04 pm » Comments (4)

Becky wins this month!  Cute paper thingies tied up with ribbons headed your way, Becky! In the comment section Becky asked what I thought about recent news that doing BSE’s is not necessarily helpful. Great question.

I think it’s always been debated whether all women definitely should or not.  Certainly lots of professionals don’t think so.  I disagree because of personal experience.  The night I found that lump, my whole life came to a stop.  The one nagging question I had – and had no way of answering – was, “how long has this lump been here…?” Doctors asked me at every appointment. I would just shake my head and say I didn’t know. Then they’d ask me again, in a different way. My eyes would well up with tears because I desperately wanted to know what the answer was as well.  

That one question kept me up at night.  I didn’t know the answer because I never did BSEs.  If I should ever find another lump of any sort – I want to be able to say, “Hmm. That’s new. That definitely wasn’t there last month.”

That’s why it’s important for ME to do them every month. I know lots of you have your own, equally personal reasons. Feel free to share them if you’d like.