That's NOT a Bad Word?

Last week Gomer was looking up words in the dictionary. Every week for school he has to look up new words and write down the definitions. When he's done with his homework, he peruses the dictionary to find the definitions of new words he'd like to learn.

Now, we just had our parent teacher conference where his teacher told us what a bright and inquisitive child he is, so you would think that he would use that extra time with his dictionary to look up words like: 

Pre-Lit Christmas Tree can suck it

Don't look too close, there are some dead bulb in there.


Who has a pre-lit Christmas tree?  Who invented this instrument of supposedly cheerful holiday torture?  I know the idea sounds good, but in practice, I am not so sure.  Now, before anyone gets upset, I am not saying that ALL pre-lit trees are bad.  Just the ones that suck monkey balls like the one I happen to have.

We have a 9 ft pre-lit Christmas tree with about 3,000 light bulbs on it.  Ours is huge, massive, and heavy as hell, with more wires and lights than an airport runway in a major city.  It's a nice looking tree.  It was VERY nice to have a huge tree that we didn't have to string lights on.  You plug in all the strands, turn them all on and enjoy your Christmas.  Yeah, that happened only the FIRST year we owned that tree.  Ever since that honeymoon Christmas, it has never been the same around here.  Nope, now it is an annoying, tedious, and mind numbing battle in search of the dreaded dead bulb.  Our tree is seven years old now and once one bulb goes out, the entire strand goes out.  So, you need to find the dead bulb.  With over 3,000 light bulbs on a tree, that is a lot to go through.  

Bookplates Are Arriving!!

I'm hearing from readers that their signed bookplates are arriving!


All of the cool kids got one of these.

A few of you are a bit confused as to why you're receiving my autograph in the mail. Well, you asked for it.

That's right. A few months ago I told you that my publisher offered to send bookplates to any reader who wanted one. You signed up. You willingly handed over your address and now you have a sticky thing with my name scrawled on it. You're welcome.

I know that several of you have threatened to Ebay this little treasure, but I warn you: you will be lucky if you get enough to cover the postage. Seller beware.

Now, you're probably wondering, "What do I do with this thing, Jen?" Is it a bookmark? Is it an IOU? Do you owe me money now? No, silly! You pull off the backing and you place this "collector's item" in the book People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges. If you have the e-book version, I don't recommend putting it on the screen of your device. It won't come off. You need to just get a book. Of course, I'd prefer for you to buy mine, but really I won't know what book you put it in.

Also, there's been some confusion about what the chicken scratch actually says. It doesn't say "For Ham" it says "Jen Mann," but I do love ham, so maybe I was thinking about ham when I signed these? I signed 1,400 of these suckers and my mind did wander sometimes and it caused a few mishaps. There is one lucky person out there with a bookplate that was signed "Jen Mom," because I've completely lost my identity.

Last thing, if you took the time out of your day to sign up for a bookplate, then you must be a big fan of my writing, or you have a lot of free time. Either way, I could use your help. I'm a FINALIST in the Goodreads Reader's Choice Awards. That's kind of a big deal to me. I've been voting in these awards for a long time and never dreamed I'd have a book in the finals. If you haven't already, would you Please VOTE FOR ME!

10 Things I Want My Kids to Be

Today the Hubs is guest posting. He doesn't usually write, but when he does he's always got a lot to say. Please read it and if you like it, let him know because he loves a good comment as much as the next person. 

My kids are heading back to school and I can't be there with them. I can't hold their hands in the hall or join them for lunch. I won't always be there to influence their decisions and their choices. I can only do my best to teach them and to prepare them. This is the advice I have used to try and instill the qualities I think they need to be a better version of themselves:

1.  Be fearless. Don't spend your life in fear of the unknown.  You should not be afraid of the unknown.  You should embrace the unknown as new adventures in your life.

2.  Be strong.  Be strong in spirit, body and mind.  I not saying I want you to be pumping iron and do 100 push ups a day, but to be strong in everything you do.  To be strong in mind and spirit and don't give up on anything you try and to persevere through the difficult things in your life. 

The Snotsucker

You know how much I love ridiculous products, right? Like the Binsi Birthing Skirt. Remember that one? Practical enough to push a bowling ball out of out of your vagina while still looking cute during your birth experience and/or a trip to Target. Also, it was wrinkle free, because that's important too, you guys.

Or the Facekini? Those creepy face masks women in China are wearing to prevent their faces from tanning? I'm all for preventing skin cancer, but those suckers are just plain terrifying. I never want to go to the beach in China.

Well, today a reader emailed me about a new weird product. Today I learned about The NoseFrida Snotsucker. Does it sound revolting? Because it is.

Caitlyn Ricci

It's like deja vu! A few months ago I wrote about the "adorable" New Jersey girl, Rachel Canning, who sued her parents for tuition. It's happening AGAIN in New Jersey! This time it's a 21 year old spoiled brat who hasn't spoken to her parents in two years who wants them to cough up money for her to attend a private university. A judge ruled in her favor!

Source: Maura McGarvey
That's right! Only the story gets better. So, Caitlyn Ricci (the new girl) has been raised by her divorced parents. Until two years ago when she was thrown out (or moved out -- even that's up for debate with these people) of her mom's house for being rebellious. She moved in with her paternal grandparents. Since that time she hasn't spoken to either of her parents and then the grandparents started paying her legal fees so that she could sue her parents to pay her college tuition. Did you follow all of that?

The Night My Friend Got Scolded for Feeding a Homeless Man

The other night it was pouring down rain, but my friend needed groceries. She left her warm, dry home and ventured out into the cold, wet night to get food for her family. When she arrived at the grocery store, she noticed a homeless man huddled under the awning of the grocery store. He was trying to stay out of the rain, but the wind was blowing and he was still getting wet. She saw a young female employee come out of the store and speak to him and then go back into the store. My friend got out of the car, opened her umbrella, and walked to the entrance of the store. She passed the homeless man who didn't speak to her and she went inside the store. The employee she'd seen before was coming back to the front of the store and she was holding a sandwich in her hands. "Is that for the man outside?" my friend asked.

"Yes," the girl replied. "He's hungry."

"Did you buy it or did the store give it to you?"