Let It Snow???

“Oh the weather outside is frightful,” as the song goes. I’m staring out at snow falling in a rather sheepish way. No pun intended ’cause snow and sheep are both white. I mean the snow is kind of light and noncommittal. Like, “Eh, I’m falling, ’cause it be like that. But I may not stay.” The determined, take no prisoners snow has yet to arrive.


Though I’m irritated by the snow (I want autumn! Go away, winter), Henry, however, is in his element. He wishes every day could be a snow day. He might get his wish, since we’ve had two days of this.


This is a short and sweet post, because I want to get to the main reason why I posted (besides complaining about the autumn snowfall). Before I get to that, let me throw out that I’ve been nominated for a blogger recognition award. There are a bunch of conditions for this award one of which involves acknowledging that I’ve been nominated (done!) and thanking the one who nominated me—FictionFan, which she announced at this post. Thank you, FictionFan!

Another is to tell you how this blog got started. Since this is not the anniversary of my blog, I will give you the simple answer—my younger brother challenged me to start a blog back in 2013. Within a month of that challenge, another guy basically said to me, “If you call yourself a writer, you’ll start a blog.” I took the plunge in February of that year. The results, as you can see. . . .

There are other conditions for this award, which I am skipping over, ’cause it be like that. And now, on to the main point of this post. What more fitting day than a snowy one to announce the winner of the ice cream giveaway, which was announced here. So without further ado, Nancy Hatch, Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Caramel Almond Brittle Ice Cream has been ordered and is on its way to you.

Thank you to all who commented! That’s all for now from the snowy Midwest!

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream image from their website. Other photos by L. Marie.

I Scream for Ice Cream

When I was a kid, one of the dearest sounds in the world was the song the ice cream truck played. Often, the tune played was “The Entertainer,” written by Scott Joplin. I wondered why, so I turned to your friend and mine—Google. According to this AVClub.com post by Joe Blevins, “Most professional ice cream distribution vehicles come complete with a music box from Nichols Electronics.” This music box has “public domain favorites like ‘Yankee Doodle,’ ‘Brahms’ Lullaby,’ and Scott Joplin’s deathless ‘The Entertainer.’”

Ooookay. Though we often had ice cream in the freezer, as my mother would remind my brothers and me, we still wanted to buy whatever the truck sold. We knew the right moment to bug Mom for money—when she was on the phone. Many times she would give it to us just to get us to leave her alone.

Why am I bringing up ice cream? Because I am resurrecting the ice cream giveaway. If you’re new to the blog you’re probably wondering what on earth I mean. (It’s been awhile since I hosted this giveaway, so even if you’ve followed this blog awhile, you might be confused. Click here for a past giveaway.) I’m giving away one pint of ice cream (or yogurt, sherbet, gelato, or sorbetto, if you prefer), which will be sent by Icecreamsource.com. Again, you might be wondering why. My answer is one that many parents have given over the years: “Because.”

Why now? I love the notion of giving away ice cream outside of the usual ice cream season—summer. I’m just weird that way.

Click here to see the varieties offered. In the comments below, please name the pint of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet, gelato, or sorbetto you’d like to receive. This company only delivers to the U.S., so my apologies to any readers outside of the States. Winner to be announced sometime next week.

After a hard day, Tia Tigerlily needs a little pick-me-up. And yes, she can quit eating ice cream anytime she wants. She just doesn’t want to.

Ice cream truck from clipartion.com. Ice cream images from Serious Eats and Tasting Table. Other photo by L. Marie. Tia Tigerlily Shoppie doll is a product of Moose Toys.

Snowy Super Bowl Sunday

The title of the post might seem to be a misnomer, since by the time you read this, it will be Monday. But I’m writing this post on Sunday. I have an ice cream winner to announce. And how appropriate a day it is—a blustery, blizzardy day—to announce the winner of something cold. Well, I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, you have to put up with my babbling. Or you could avoid that and skip down to the winner. Don’t worry. I won’t know if you do.

If I could choose three super powers (why stop at just one?), one of them would have to be the ability to generate heat at will. I could walk out in any blizzard in flip flops, secure in my own cocoon of heat. (What super power would you choose?)

I thought of that cocoon on this windy, snow-washed Super Bowl Sunday as I stepped outside in flip flops (yeah, I did) to take this photo, which does not really capture the blowing snow at all.


I returned inside to don my boots to make the trek to the parking lot to scrape the snow off my car and shovel the snow around it, since it has such tiny tires. Thankfully, it is equipped with front wheel drive.

Today was the perfect day to spend at least part of the afternoon on the couch, wrapped in a warm throw, with an Agatha Christie mystery (The Clocks) in my hands and a cup of cocoa at my elbow.


Afterward, I watched the Super Bowl, though I had no emotional investment in either the Seahawks or the Patriots. I have nothing against either team, mind you. I enjoyed the game. Still, I am disappointed that I’ve never been asked to sing the national anthem at any Super Bowl, though I keep my calendar open for such an eventuality. (And if you heard me sing, perhaps you’d tell me not to hold my breath.)


While we watched the game, my family and friends and I had a competition based on the score at the end of each quarter. We each were given two numbers based on some code my brother came up with. If each team’s score had those numbers, that person was declared the winner of that quarter. I won’t go into how the code worked. Suffice it to say I was ripped off every quarter! Yes, that was a clear example of sour grapes in case you were wondering.

Commercials during the Super Bowl that I loved:
• “Like a Girl”
• Clydesdales and the lost dog
• Dove Men+Care
• Invisible Mindy
• A Very Brady Snickers
• “With Dad” Nissan
• Toyota Camry How Great I Am
• Microsoft
• Doritos

I’ll give an honorable mention to the McDonald’s commercial for their innovative pricing. Love the emphasis on dads for many of these commercials. I also enjoyed the halftime show with Katy Perry and special guests Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott.


Congrats to the New England Patriots for winning Super Bowl 2015!

New England Patriots

Speaking of winners, the winner of the Baby, It’s Cold Outside Ice Cream Giveaway is looking for this very ice cream:

cherry garcia

And that person is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Professor VJ Duke!!!!

Come on down, Professor! Please comment to confirm!

For anyone else out there, did you watch the Super Bowl? Were you rooting for the Seahawks or the Patriots? Which commercials did you like?

Super Bowl XLIX from sports-odds.com. Cherry Garcia from icecreamsnob.blogspot.com. Book cover from elivrosgratis.com. New England Patriots logo from sports-logos-screensavers.com.

When Writing Becomes a Step of Faith


For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

The fog of doubt is an unpleasantly cold thing, full of slithery, scaly creatures. But I’m in the midst of it.

I don’t want to be here.

The other day, I received a rejection for a novel I wrote before the one I’m currently working on, a rejection without feedback other than, “I was looking for something you didn’t give me.” I’m paraphrasing, so please don’t get the impression that the rejection was terse. It was actually phrased quite pleasantly. Yet there were no invitations to resubmit if changes were made or “let me see something else you’ve written.” Just a no.

So today, the conga line of doubt began to beat in my head. Instead of the usual duh duh duh duh duh duh duh DUH beat, this one went, It’s a shame you really su-UCK.

When life hits like this, I do what I usually do—get in the car and drive. Probably not the smartest thing I can do, since I’m an impatient driver with a tendency toward road rage. Little old ladies driving Chevrolets fear me as I loom behind them like an angry pachyderm.

The gray sky spit rain at me—a fitting match to my mood. And I hit yellow lights all the way.

Yellow-LightA rejection is like that too—a yellow light cautioning, “Stop.” I don’t like to stop. I like to keep rolling. But this time I needed to stop and take inventory; to face the crossroads brought on by rejection and decide where to go next.

First, I decided to have lunch at Red Lobster. The child within me then demanded ice cream from Culver’s to take home and eat later. Okay, I’m lying. First, I cried and felt worthless. Then, I went to lunch and later for ice cream. At that point, I came to the conclusion that writing is pretty much a step of faith. Maybe you’re shouting, “Duh!” right about now, having already come to that conclusion ages ago. I’m a little dense sometimes. But persisting in writing without receiving positive feedback feels a bit like stepping off a cliff sometimes. Do I believe in my story? Do I believe in myself as a writer enough to keep going? That’s where faith comes in.

   LobsterShrimpandScallops Culvers

 I didn’t have this exact meal, but I had this custard. It didn’t have feet or hands, however.

As I thought about it and prayed about it, I was reminded of my car. If I put myself in park, i.e., stopped writing my current novel, that would be like putting my car in park at Culver’s. As a result, I wouldn’t get home with my ice cream. Instead, I would be wallowing on the sharp rocks of doubt. (Yes, I often mix metaphors.)

So I chose to climb off those rocks and take my ice cream (and my car) home. The only thing I wrote today was this, however. There’s always tomorrow.

Maybe if you’re at a crossroads yourself, wondering if you should give up or keep going, you’ll decide to keep going too.

P. S. Though this has nothing to do with what I just wrote, I can’t help mentioning it. During my drive, I stopped at Target and caught a glimpse of this:


This is the Old Spice Wolfthorn Wild Collection Holiday Gift Pack. Um, I’m not sure what the snarling one-eyed wolf is supposed to convey. Coolness? Masculinity? Either way, it made me laugh out loud on a day when laughter was the furthest thing from my mind.

Crossroad image from ourcoffeestops.com. Food from redlobster.com and savinglifestyle.com. Yellow light from theexpiredmeter.com. Old Spice from somewhere on the Internet.