Just another day in the wilderness…

Hello Everyone!

The last newsletter I published asked for feedback from my readers.  Holy crap, did you deliver!  Basically the response was ‘Keep writing funny stuff and we’ll keep reading it.’  Sounds good to me.

So today’s newsletter consists of:  a blooper and a true story of my wild wilderness adventure.  Shall we proceed?  Excellent.

One reader commented that she likes when an author posts about their humorous typos.  I instantly smiled, because I have one hell of a doozy.  During an intimate scene in one of my stories, one thing led to another and my heroine stuck her hand up the hero’s shirt to check out his smoking hot body.  Except…she didn’t quite do that in the first version of the story.

She stuck her hand up the hero’s shit.

See how much of a difference a tiny little ‘R’ can make?  Obviously, spell check didn’t see the difference between ‘Shit’ and ‘Shirt’ because they’re both real words.

Perhaps I’ve accidently stumbled upon a new genre and ‘poo porn’ just might be the next thing to take over the market.

Nah, I didn’t think so either.

Let’s proceed to my funny-ish story.

Okay… let’s get to the main story of amusement for this week’s newsletter.  Nothing terribly monumental happened in the past two weeks since I last checked in, so I’m going to the vault with a gem of a story from probably seventeen-ish years ago.

Once upon a time (three houses ago) I lived out in the country in a house next to a large field that was next to a creek.  It was during the winter, so we can safely assume it was late December, early January.  I had a nine year old stepson and an eleven month old black Labrador puppy, and both were cooped up and looking for adventure.  So I had the genius idea of taking a ‘wilderness hike’ to the creek.  We hadn’t lived in the house very long and tended to stick to our own yard, so this was something new and exciting.

Once all our gear was put on (boots, hat, scarf, gloves, etc), we were all set.  The pup was full of energy and eager to sniff every new bush and explore new terrain.  My stepson found a walking stick and he was getting into the spirit of the adventure.  All was well until we actually came to the creek.  That’s where the real fun began.

Let me explain that this wasn’t a huge creek, maybe eight feet across, and the water was flowing nicely but not too strong with raging rapids that might suck you in and drown you.  In other words, there was no clear and present danger.  There was, however, a huge ice chunk in the middle of the creek.

“I think we should jump across to the ice chunk island and then jump across to the other side of the creek,” I suggested foolishly.

“Um…what?” my stepson asked with concern.  “The ice chunk doesn’t look very solid and that sounds dangerous.  I’m pretty sure that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Let me explain that he’d been around me since he was five, and the kid knew better than to blindly trust my ideas.  There may or may not have been an incident a few months prior where he tried to stop me from putting a metal pot in the microwave, but I didn’t listen.

Yes, bad things happen when you try to put metal in the microwave.  The boy’s grandma (my beloved mother in law) had taught him well.  While she was busy teaching him what NOT to do, I was busy showing him WHAT HAPPENS when you do stuff you’re not supposed to do.  Her lessons were practical, but mine were funny…so funny that he still brings them up to this day and he’s well into his twenties.

By now I had myself convinced that there was absolutely no risk involved with jumping onto the ice platform.  I intended to take the dog’s leash, make my move, and show my stepson that I was perfectly capable of maneuvering my way across the creek.

Did that happen?

Fuck no.

The dog stuck out her foot to put on the brakes as if to say, “Oh, HELL no.  Even I know better than that!”

I took one leap, went about three feet, and found myself sinking into the mud bottom of the creek while ice cold water swirled around my legs almost up to my thigh.

“I’m sinking!” I screamed.  “It’s like quicksand!”

“GET OUT!  GET OUT,” my stepson shouted.

I quickly turned, got myself unstuck, and miraculously made it back to dry land.  While I was safe for the meantime, it had become apparent that the water was very, very cold and I was now freezing.

“I’m going to get HYPOTHERMIA,” I screeched, quickly running as fast as I could in the direction of the house.  With every step, my cheap non-waterproof boots squished in an ever present reminder that one does not go in water in the winter or bad things will happen.

By this point, my stepson was laughing so hard that he was doubled over in hysterics.

“I told you not do it.  What made you think you could jump across a creek?  You got a ‘D’ in gym class!  Even the dog knew it was a bad idea!”

“Just grab her leash so she doesn’t run off…I need to get back to the house before my foot turns blue and freezes right off…it’s every man and dog for himself!”

This caused an even worse fit of laughter from my stepson…with a threat of future blackmail.

“I’m telling dad and grandma about your poor decision making skills!  You’re going to be in trouble!”

Not more than two minutes had passed once we got back to the house that I heard him on the phone…

“Grandma…have I got a good one for you!  Are you sitting down?  Guess what happened now…”

Obviously we all lived happily ever after and no one lost a foot to hypothermia.  Coincidentally, the dog never did become a fan of swimming.  My stepson loved this story because he got to add it to his list of ‘Crazy stuff to remind my stepmom that she’s a nutcase.’  Believe me, there’s a lot of things on that list.  To this day, he likes to bring it up in conversation when he thinks I’m making poor life choices.

“You think that’s a good idea?” he’ll ask.  “You’re not known for the best ideas.  Remember that time when you almost drowned the dog?”

……and that was your story of the day.

That’s all I have for now…. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe…it’s a jungle out there!


Opinions Needed…Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Okay, what am I raving about now?  Let me explain.  I was bored the other day and messing around with the settings in my newsletter.  I can see the inactive subscribers that haven’t opened an email from me in six months, a year, or have never opened one since the dawn of time (or since I started sending a newsletter two years ago).

This got me thinking…

What makes someone open a newsletter?

Hell if I know.

What would make ME open a newsletter if I was a reader?


I AM a reader!  What do I want in a newsletter?

Hmm.  I would want to get an email two or three times a month, I would want interesting content about the author, and I would want some free stuff.

Some authors send newsletters several times a week, which is way too much.  Some authors send newsletters that only ask you to buy their books, which is kind of monotonous.

So I’m going to aspire to send out a newsletter that I would want to read.  Therefore, we’re going to do three things…

1) I will try to send a newsletter at least twice a month so you remember who I am but don’t feel like I’m bothering you too much.

2)  I will try to include a random funny story about what’s going on in my life to keep you entertained.

3) I’ll try to include at least one freebie with every newsletter.

Does that sound good?

Please, feel free to REPLY to this email and let me know your opinion.  What do you want more of and what do you want less of?  Do you like giveaways?  Funny memes?  A quote of the day?  Speak up and let your voice be heard!

Anyway, now we’re at the part of the newsletter where I include an entertaining story.  Will it entertain you?  I’m not sure, but I find it amusing.

Let’s proceed.

story time 2

Once upon a time I had a taste for cake last month.  I had a box of marble cake mix in my pantry, but no tub of frosting.  Let me explain that I don’t usually make anything homemade from scratch.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I make homemade zucchini bread once every four years.  Why?  Simple truth: I’m lazy.

So I wanted cake but had no frosting.  I vaguely remember something about making homemade frosting from powdered sugar.  I googled “powdered sugar frosting recipe” and found one that required milk, butter, and vanilla extract.  I always have butter and milk, no problem, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I also had vanilla extract.  Woot Woot.  However, I was out of powdered sugar.

In reality, I probably had powdered sugar in my pantry ten years ago and threw it out when it expired.  I have no idea what possessed me to think I might have powdered sugar.

Mission failed.

No worries.  I vowed to get a tub of frosting next time I went to the grocery store.  But there’s one little glitch in my plan.  For the last few years, I’ve been making an effort to actually READ THE INGREDIENTS on the labels of food I buy.  The amount of artificial flavors, weirdo chemicals, and preservatives in the crap I eat really freaks me out.  So I made the mistake of reading the label on the tub of frosting.

Contains 2% or less of: distilled monoglycerides, color (yellows 5 and 6 and other color added), polysorbate 60, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, natural and artificial flavor.

What the hell?  Am I eating this shit or being embalmed with it?

No thank you, I’m not interested.  So I put the tub of artificial toxins back on the shelf and bought some good old confectioner’s sugar after a four minute debate of whether ‘powdered sugar’ and ‘confectioner’s sugar’ were indeed the same thing.  Yes, they are.  I over-think things.  It’s my superpower in life.

Moving right along…I then went home and googled the exact measurements of the ingredients in the homemade frosting.  Each one was different, so I just went with:

3 ¾ cups of powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of milk, ½ a stick of butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

I microwaved the butter, dumped the ingredients into a bowl, and started stirring.  Imagine my shock and awe when it turned into delicious frosting that was HEALTHY and tasted a zillion times better than the store bought crap.  Why in the hell had I been missing this my entire life?

I promptly called my mother and yelled at her.

“Mom, did you know you can make HOME MADE frosting from scratch that tastes amazing and it’s not toxic like the store shit?  Why did you not teach me how to make this?”

“It’s easier and faster to just buy it.  It all tastes the same anyway.  Bring me a piece of cake!”

My mom does not bake from scratch, which is why I don’t bake from scratch.  I was never taught these important things.  My mother in law, however, made everything home made.  She’s in Heaven right now, but I have no doubt she’s looking down on me and laughing her ass off.

“Why do you think my cakes tasted so good, honey?  If you hadn’t been so lazy and set in your ways, I would have showed you how to cook!”

She was the sweetest lady and made the best desserts.  In reality, she’s probably shrugging her shoulders and thinking I’m better late than never!  I’ve found that there are two types of people in life.  The hardworking ones who strive for perfection and worry, “Is this good enough?  I hope it is,” even when they’ve slaved and labored over a true masterpiece such as a magnificent five course meal.  The other type of person mixes four ingredients in a bowl, marvels over her homemade frosting, and acts like she just invented the wheel.

Yes, I am of the latter group of humans.

Unfortunately, I’ve won one battle with the frosting but I still have so much to learn.  Do you have any idea what ingredients are in a boxed cake mix?  Don’t even get me started….

Thus we come to the end of today’s email.

That’s all for today.  Til next time!