Friday, November 30, 2012

What They Say Ain't What They Mean

Here's some nonsense from my handsome Hillbilly husband:
See what I mean? He's very nice looking.

The other day, I was thinking about things we all are told by the opposite sex and their families over the period of our lives.  No, I am not talking about the simple, one or two word type of statements or curse words.  But statements that sound like they mean one thing but most likely mean something completely different.  The following are some of the ones of which I have been told.

"You are a really nice looking young man!" ------ Thanks Mom!  Yeah, parents are good at trying to build you up.  On the other hand, a song Mom often sang around me said  ---  My Momma told me son--- there are more pretty girls than one ---  every time I go to look around --- there are more pretty girls than one.  My thought is that she was thinking that this poor homely hillbilly boy was going to be dumped many times in his life and that she was subconsciously preparing me for the eventuality.
Look at the handsome Hillbilly Boy!

After looking at some of your childhood pictures --- "You were such a cute kid!"  Which means----Dude! What happened?

From my first girlfriend --- "You could go with any girl in this high school!"  In her mind – "Not really, but you might as well start trying because you won’t be going with me much longer!"

After breakups --- "It's not your fault it's me!"   True! Or at least that’s my answer!

"I believe that instead of going steady, we should continue to date others."  In other words, if I don’t have any other choices, I will hang out with you.  But, I am looking for something better!

From girls --- "You are so handsome!"  Yes --- thank you --- thank you for nearsighted women who practically need braille to read!  This type of condition gives us poor homely guys a chance so they can realize our charm, our inward beauty or handsomeness!  Again, thank you!

From a girl, (good friend I worked with), after I had complained about not dating anyone in a long time ---- "Why if you were serious, all you would have to do is stand still and you would get run over in the stampede."  Admittedly, she was another nearsighted girl.  It could be that she was warning me to not walk into a room full of girls and then stand in front of the door for fear I would be killed when the girls all ran out!

From the girl’s parents "Did I mention that her curfew time is 11:00?"  A few minutes later ---" Her curfew is 11:00."  In other words, "Screw up and I will be waiting with this here gun.  Just give me a chance to use it on you, you homely hillbilly boy!  Dear, did you see how homely that Hillbilly kid is?  We gotta get that girl some new glasses!"

From Cynthia --- "You are my good looking man!"  Yes dear, good looking, charming, etc.  Gotta love those nearsighted women!

From the Hillbilly’s Corner!

Well, I may be nearsighted, but I've seen him up close, and my Hillbilly is a very handsome man. Don't listen to his nonsense!

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why I Love My Daughter-in-Law

I told you about my daughter-in-law once. I called her Little Mama that time, but really her name is Caryn. I love Caryn a lot. She's a great mommy to our granddaughters and a wonderful wife to our son. She's smart and sweet and funny. Mostly funny. Without trying.

Let me give you an example. We were at their house last week for a big day-after-Thanksgiving party. Caryn is a marvelous entertainer. She cooks a ton of food and presents it beautifully. She decorates the house and makes everyone comfortable. I love going to her house for a party.

At one point she offered me a cup of coffee. It went like this:
Would you like a cup of coffee? Is reheated from this morning okay, or do you want me to make it fresh?
I assured her that reheated would be just fine. She responded,
Okay, but be honest with me okay? Here's what I did. I usually have half decaf and half regular, but I thought I might need some extra caffeine today because I was going to be so busy, so when I set up the pot last night, I added French Roast on top. So when I tasted it this morning, I thought, "What is wrong with my coffee? Oh yeah! I added French Roast on top." So it was weird. So is that okay? I'll make you fresh.
And she did.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Season of Love and Understanding.

Every once in a while, my patience is tried. Of course, you know this because you know I teach 8th grade. But I'm talking about the other world, the one where the grownups live. I don't always handle it well, but once in a while I do a pretty good job.

Years ago, Alyssa and Ben were probably about 11 and 8, we were flying to Phoenix. On Thanksgiving day. Don't ask me why, something about being in school the day before, etc. My then-husband had gone out the weekend before to participate in some insane athletic even or other with his brother. I use the word insane because the whole family is full of ultra-marathoners, tri-athletes, and long-distance, death-defying bicyclists.

So anyway, my brother-in-law (from the non-death-defying side of the family) dropped us off at an airport 2 hours from home and went on his way. We were very early, so we stopped and ate a little before proceeding to check in at the gate. Yes, kids, once upon a time, if you didn't have any baggage to check, you could go all the way to the gate before anyone asked who are you and may I look at your underwear. Except that they didn't ask to look at your underwear and they only needed to know who you were so they could tell you which seat to sit in. Yes, this was a long time ago.

So there we are, mom and two kids, alone at the airport, ready to check in. When we get to the gate, we see a line at the ticket counter. A long line. A long line full of unhappy people. Angry unhappy people. We discover that due to "an equipment change," our flight is overbooked. Severely overbooked. I'm talking it looked like you could have filled a whole plane just with the people who were bumped.

People  like my children and me. Who were bumped. On Thanksgiving day.

So we sat down as the ticket agent called people's names one by one by one by one. I sat there with my two children and watched people yell at the young airline employee as she attempted to find flights for all of the people. People vented their displeasure and inconvenience all over this young woman who still remained polite to them all. She found later flights for some. She found flights from two other local airports for others. They all yelled. She remained polite.

Then she called my name, and my children and I walked up to the ticket desk. And I looked the polite young woman in the eye and said, "I wouldn't have your job for all the money in the world."

Two hours later, my children and I were on a plane bound for Phoenix. We were on a plane that happened to have three empty seats. In first class! It was the first and only time I have ever flown first class. The children recognized the specialness of the occasion and ate up the attention. I relaxed and enjoyed the comfort. The crazy Phoenix family held dinner for us. All was well.

And so my children learned that it pays to be kind to others. Or not. I don't know. But they liked flying first class.

But that's not what I came here to talk about today. I meant to tell you about this week's example of patience on my part.

As you know, I'm now making jewelry. So, of course, if one is making jewelry, one must purchase jewelry-making parts. So, of course, I ordered some online. And this happened:

On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM, Cynthia Meents wrote:
I received my shipment of stamping blanks today. I ordered 2 of item SLL117. I received 2 of item SLL118.
Please advise as to how this should be handled. I really need the correct item as soon as possible.
Thank you,
Cynthia Meents

From:  Customer Service
Subject: Re: Order # 107155
To: "Cynthia Meents"
Date: Monday, November 26, 2012, 8:37 AM
Hi Cynthia,
I apologize for the mix up.  We have the 2 x SLL117 on their way to you today.  Please feel free to keep the other blanks.  Perhaps they will come in handy for a new design.
Thanks for shopping with us Cynthia and thanks for your understanding.
Best Regards,

Re: Order # 107155Monday, November 26, 2012 11:32 AM
From: "Cynthia Meents"
To: Customer Service"
Thank you so much for your prompt response. I'll enjoy working with the other blanks. I 'm sure I can come up with something. It's a pleasure to do business with such a responsive company.

Re: Order Confirmation No: 107155
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:24 PM
From: "Cynthia Meents"
To: Customer Service
Sadly, for the second time, I have received the wrong product for this order.  The first time you very promptly apologized and shipped a replacement. Unfortunately, you sent the same wrong product that you sent the first time. Perhaps something in your warehouse is incorrectly marked.
I ordered 2 of item SLL117 Silver Filled Rectangle Component with Holes, 24g
Twice now, you have sent me item SLL118 Silver Filled Rectangle Component w/Slit Cutouts, 24g.
While I appreciate your promptness and courtesy in replacing my incorrect order with another incorrect order, and while I am sure that the silver rectangles with  slit cutouts are very nice, I really really NEED the silver rectangles with holes.
I look forward to your reply,
Cynthia Meents

Re: Order Confirmation No: 107155
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 5:08 PM
From: Customer Service
To: "Cynthia Meents"
Hi Cynthia,
How embarrassing.  You are correct.  It was an inventory issue.  The models were reversed in the warehouse.  Thank you for helping us discover this!
We have Rectangles with HOLES on their way.
I really appreciate the patience you expressed in your email.  I can only imagine how exasperating it was to see the same wrong blanks arrive -  again.
Our apologies - again.  Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for your Cynthia.
Thank you,
What happens next remains to be seen. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, during this holiday season, as you rush to get your shopping done and errands run, remember that you don't know anyone else's story. You don't know what they're going through or what they had to overcome today. So be patient with people. Spread a little love and joy.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So. I'm in the Jewelry Business

Hey, guess what! I sold my first necklace on Etsy. It was like this one:
Sterling silver initials and Swarovski crystal birthstone hearts on a silver-plated chain
I made this one for Alyssa. Those are The Princess and The Monster's real initials. What! You didn't think their names were really The Princess and The Monster, did you?

Anyway, I listed this on Etsy for $35, and I made a sale! Actually, the buyer wanted one for a customer with only one child, thus only one initial and one birthstone. For that I charged $26. Of course, if someone wanted more instead of less, I'd certainly be willing to come up with an appropriate price.

I've got a couple ID bracelets in the works, and I'll share them with you when they're finished. I'm having a lot of fun with this, and if it weren't for NaBloPoMo, I might not have take the time to post tonight.

I've got two more posts ready for you tomorrow and Thursday. My final NaBloPoMo post will be Friday. Not sure what that one is yet. Anyway, tomorrow The Hillbilly is stopping by to fulfill my posting duties, and Thursday I'll tell you all about Little Mama and the coffee. It's a great story.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

My Personal Top 10

The other day I posted my 10 most-read posts. While those may have been the posts with the most page views, they're not all among my own favorites. I  mean, pacu fish? Seriously?  Today I thought I'd share with you 10 of my favorite posts from Commonplace Crazy. See if any of them are your favorites too.

Here they are in no particular order.

1. I consider these two posts to be one because they tell the ridiculous story of our wedding and honeymoon. If you haven't read these yet, you must read them now: "My Favorite Hillbilly" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Honeymoon"

2. I have five grandchildren now. The Princess is the oldest, so she's been around longer and has had time to  provide us with more entertainment than the rest: "Spending Time with the Princess."

3. I love my daughter-in-law like a fish loves water. I have a post to write about her tomorrow, but last year about this time, when she was expecting my youngest grandchild, I wrote a story about her rocketing her way through Downtown Disney in Anaheim. It's a hilarious story:"An Apology. Sort of. More or Less."

4. My children are the light of my life, so read about My Darling Daughter

6. Once in a great while, I get serious in a post. My favorite serious post is this one: "Why I Get Militant About Skin Cancer."

8. When I was tagged, I had to answer some very personal questions. It was fun and very revealing. 

9. "Mama's Pie Crust Recipe" was fun to write and turned out to be very popular too. It has 28 comments! If you want to  learn how to make The World's Best Pie Crust, be sure to read it.

Well, wait a minute. Wasn't anyone counting? Who was in charge of counting?? We've got more than 10 posts listed here because you weren't counting. See, the numbers only go up to 9, but two of them have two posts each, so that's 11. I wish you'd pay more attention.

Well, it's too late now. We've got 11, and we're stuck with 11. Just go read them. I hope you like them as well as I do!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photo Shoot: Meagan and Jenna

NaBloPoMo Day 25

Today I did a photo shoot with two beautiful young women. Here's a sample:

The lovely lady on the right is my niece Jenna. The other pretty girl is her friend Meagan.

We used several locations including a friends barnyard.

And the almond orchard

We found graffiti under the bridge.

And a pretty little park.

I'm enjoying the photography practice even though I've let my photography web site slide. I'd like to get back to it someday.
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guess What! I Sell on Etsy!

That's right! I opened my shop, and I have exactly one item for sale. It looks like this:
You can personalize it with the initials and birthstone colors of your children, grandchildren, yourself and your spouse...anyone you like. The letters are sterling silver, and the hearts are Swavorski crystal. They all hang from a silver-plated chain with a lobster clasp.

So rush on over to my new little shop. I can't wait for you to visit me there.  Simply Cynful Jewelry by Cynthia

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Be Smart and Stay Home Today

NaBloPoMo Day 23

Today is "Black Friday," a day when people kick off the season of peace and love for all mankind by trampling one another in big-box department stores in search of low-priced merchandise.

Of course, we all like a bargain, but how about returning to a more civilized time and showing a little decorum in our shopping.
50s Housewife shopping

To help you in your quest for bargains, let me recommend you shop online today. There are online deals for Black Friday as well as for Cyber Monday! Get the goods and stay out of the cattle stampedes. Here for your shopping pleasure are some links to today's sales.

 Online Black Friday Sales

Have you heard of The Portable North Pole? They are SO cool! Last year I was able to send videos to each of my 3 oldest granddaughters from Santa Claus. He spoke to them by name!
Needless to say, they were thrilled. You've got to check them out. And today, you can save 30% on all digital products!
Save 30% off Digital Products at Portable North Pole during their Black Friday Cyber Monday SALE!  Use coupon code: SANTAFDAY.  (only on video and call products) - 250x250

Looking for something great to wear to those holiday parties? Try ModCloth. Their clothes are amazing and come in a wide range of prices. Even better? Right now, you can get 50% off!


Next, of course, you need shoes. You know how I feel about shoes! Click this link to go to the Black Friday Sale at Designer Shoes! 
Black Friday only 20% off any purchase with code AFBF20
Be sure to use code AFBF20 to get 20% off on Black Friday only.


Shopping for the kids? Try Ty's Toy Box for creative and imaginative toys.


For gift giving, you may want to consider Lilla Rose and their hair clips, bands, and more. This is a link to my web page. I became an independent dealer for Lilla Rose because I fell in love with their products. 


For the coffee drinkers on your list, Starbucks is offering these deals on Friday only:



This is not the first time, I've told you about Flirty Aprons, and it probably won't be the last because I think they're adorable! Here's their Black Friday deal:

Current Catalog is having its Black Friday sale too.

BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY SPECIAL - 20% off + Free Shipping on $45+ at with promo code WGGWKF from 11/21/12-11/30/12 - 468 x 60


Have a friend or family  member who loves Precious Moments figurines?
BLACK FRIDAY - A Free Gift Just for You with your order of $50 or more from Precious Moments - a $30 value! Use promo code: BFGIFT12. Offer valid 11/22/12-11/23/12. Shop now!
Precious Moments


Wow! Save up to 80% at Linens n Things!
Black Friday Sale - Shop Linens 'n Things and save up to 80% on select products! Offer valid 11/19– 11/28
And don't forget to see what's up over at Amazon:

Now you can get another cup of coffee, put your feet up and hit these online Black Friday sales. Stampede free!

Yes, these are affiliate links, but y'all know I would never send you to a place I didn't believe was great!

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi, y'all. It's Thanksgiving, and I plan to spend my day eating, giving thanks, and loving on my family. I hope you are all warm and safe today.

Because it's NaBloPoMo day 22, I'm going to post something, but because I have a lot of other things to do (see above), I'm going to give you last year's Thanksgiving Day post. Most of you weren't reading my little blog way back then anyway. It was practically brand new. So here you go:

Pumpkin Pie Confessions

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is wonderful and your turkey finishes cooking eventually. It seems to be a holiday tradition at my mom's that we eat at least an hour later than planned because the turkey isn't getting cooked. Fortunately I love my family, so spending time with them is a good thing. We have a huge family. My parents have 4 kids and 10 grandkids and 2 great-grandchildren, 4 child-in-laws, and 2 grandchild-in-laws,  and we all live close together and like to spend time together. It's never quiet. Ever.

But that's not what I came here to talk about. I came here today to make some confessions. Pumpkin pie confessions. You see, in  my family, I am in charge of pumpkin pie. My baby sister doesn't like pumpkin pie. She's in charge of apple pie. My other little sister, well I don't think she likes pie at all. I think she's in charge of eating the turkey. But she makes amazing Christmas cookies, so it all evens out. So for the last 30 years, I've been making pumpkin pie, and I have a few confessions to make.

1). I make an amazing pie crust. My Hillbilly brags to people about my pie crust. It's light, delicious, and flaky. But to save my life, I cannot make a pretty pie crust. I can't even make a not-horribly-ugly pie crust. So I need to confess that I have pie crust envy. I look at all the pretty pie crusts in the magazines or at other people's tables and wish I could make my pies look that good. I saw a picture the other day where they had used a cookie cutter to cut the pie crust into little leaf shapes. Somehow they even pressed in the little leaf veins. THEN, they took the little leaves and layered them all over the top of the pie. It was beautiful. I loved it. I wanted to rush home and try it myself. Then I got a grip on reality; it's never going to happen. I am embarrassed to have anyone see my pies. I'm seriously considering blindfolding people when I serve them my pie, removing the blindfolds only after they've sampled the flaky deliciousness.

2). I don't follow the directions in the recipe. I don't mean I improvise on the ingredients. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't. But the recipe says to mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl, then add the dry stuff to the wet stuff in the big bowl. What?? Why?? Will the sugar and spices not mix if I don't mix them together separately from the eggs and pumpkin? Will the eggs and pumpkin conspire to keep them apart? I don't think so. I mean, I've been baking pies this way for 30 years, and I've never yet had one come out with all the sugar on one half of the pie and the cinnamon on the other with the ginger and cloves fighting it out in the middle. Why would I get another bowl dirty? Okay, I'm confessing this, but I'm not repenting. I'm going to keep right on doing it this way.

3). The recipe calls for evaporated milk. Most of the milk makes it into the pie, but I always save the last two swallows so I can drink it. I love the taste of it, but only two swallows worth. More than that and I suddenly don't like it anymore, so it's not worth it to buy a whole can just for drinking. I think of it as a special baking day treat. (I do the same thing when we make homemade ice cream, but that's another confession, so forget I said it.) It's weird, I know, but don't judge. It doesn't hurt anyone and the pie is fine. So there!

So there you have it, my pumpkin pie confessions. What are your kitchen confessions? What little kitchen quirks do you have that you just don't talk about? Go ahead and share. You'll feel better for it.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday Manta Ray Style

When we were in Florida, we walked out on a pier and saw dozens of manta rays in the clear water. To our surprise, they were jumping out of the water. I wasn't aware that they did that. Here are some of the pictures I took that day.


Looking through telescope

Manta Rays

school of fish
This might be what they were after.

school of fish

Manta Rays
Add caption

School of Manta Rays

Manta Ray jumping

Jaws attack

It really was a remarkable trip in so many ways. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. 

I maintain copyright on all pictures on this page. Please do not reuse without contacting me for permission first.

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