Are You A Cooking-Cleaning-Gardening Machine?

Whenever I come across The Good Wife’s Guide, I always wonder what life was really like for the women in the 50’s. Did they actually greet their husbands at the door with his favorite slippers and drink in hand? Or did they — the moment he walked into the house — shove the screaming kids into his arms so they could take a much needed break?

So check out The Good Wife Guide below and tell me which item you’re most likely to follow and which one you’re most likely to ignore.

The Good Wife’s Guide

1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

5. During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

6. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

7. Be happy to see him.

8. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

9. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

10. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

11. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

12. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

13. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

14. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

15. A good wife always knows her place.

Which is The Good Wife Rule you most often adhere to? And which one do you most often ignore? My reply will be below in the comment section. 🙂

(Originally posted at Women Unplugged.)

My Best Friends

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love books. They don’t talk back. There’s a never ending supply in the bookstore, online, or at the library. And if I’m lonely, they’re always there to keep me company.

Florence Fois’s March Bookfest inspired me to share a few of my recent and upcoming reads. If you’re interested in finding out more about these books, click on the links below.

Recently finished:

Against The Wind by Virginia Kelly
Romantic Suspense – a hurricane, a man on the run, and the woman who rejected him – Kindle

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
Women’s Fiction – a woman on a journey to find herself escapes a dangerous man – Paperback

Next up on my to-be-read pile are:

Pushed Too Far by Ann Voss Peterson
Thriller –  “… nail-gnawing suspense, dark mystery, and a dash of romance.” – Kindle

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult – “… stunning, gripping, powerful.” – Kindle

Where The Heart Is by Jenny Gardiner
Women’s Fiction – “… home is the only place she’ll ever be able to reclaim what’s most important to her.” –Kindle

On order and on their way, some writing books that sound interesting:

Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs To Know by Todd Klick
Paperback and Kindle

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way To Success by K.M. Wieland
Paperback and Kindle

The Art Of War For Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell
Paperback and Kindle

Plus, just for good measure, I ordered a Yoga DVD to keep me in shape. 🙂

What is the most recent book you’ve read? And what’s next on your reading list?

(Originally published on Women Unplugged.)

Why Is My Face Red?

We all suffer from it, that infliction known as embarrassment. At the moment it occurs, our face turns red and our body flushes with a heat that can only be compared to a hot flash.

Each time I get caught in an embarrassing situation, I believe I’m the only one this has ever happened to, and yet common sense tells me that’s not true. So I did a pole of a few of my blogger friends and they were more than happy to share their most embarrassing moments with me.

Lisa Hall-Wilson: I Can’t Believe I Said That and Biking In Panties

Susie Lindau: My Most Mortifying Moments

Jenny Hansen: Embarrassing Blonde Moment and No Porn On The Job

August McLaughlin: Sweaty Impulses & The One That Got Away

My most embarrassing and painful memory occurred in grade eight science class, when a racy little note got passed around from student to student and finally fell into my hands. It was something about sex, which I read, of course. As I turned to pass the note to the boy behind me, our teacher – well known for his cruel and inhuman ways to torture his young students – snatched the note from my fingers and silently read it.

The room went quiet. It was one of those just-kill-me-now moments, although that particular phrase hadn’t yet been invented. After a few tense seconds, during which I braced myself for the inevitable emotional pain of his punishment, the teacher decided I should stand up and read the note to the rest of the class.

It should’ve been so simple. After all, half the class had just read the note and had been fortunate enough to escape our teacher’s detection. While I turned a brilliant shade of scarlet and read the note aloud, the teacher and my classmates roared with laughter.

Can I blame them? Heck no. There’s something so funny about witnessing someone else’s embarrassing moment. Caught unaware, we laugh in reaction, and it’s only afterwards that we consider how our laughter might have affected the person involved.

Of course, it’s all part of being human. There was the time I came out of my first ever massage, only to trip over the curb and land on the street on my butt. There was another time when I asked a former co-worker when her baby was due, only to discover she wasn’t pregnant at all.

Will the embarrassment ever end? Will I someday learn to pay attention to where I’m going or what I’m saying? Not likely and maybe that’s a good thing, because if we can’t laugh at ourselves, is it fair to laugh at others?

So now it’s your turn to share a moment of sheer embarrassment. I promise not to laugh too hard.

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)

A World Without … Books?

Sometimes I think about how awful it would be to live in a world without books. Usually it’s a result of watching TV and seeing old footage of people burning books.

But then I reach for my Kindle, admire the towering digital-to-be-read pile that awaits me there, and forget about my concerns. After all, even if every print book on the planet disappeared, we’d still have our digital copies to read and pass on to future generations. Right?

Thankfully, Jan O’Hara’s recent Tartitude blogawakened me to the truth and the worst possible scenario. No power = no ereader.

A world without books of any kind?

This realization comes while I’m in the middle of decluttering my house, so that in 30, 40, or 50 years, my boys won’t have to dispose of our treasures (or what they like to call our junk). I’ve been parting ways with my beloved books, something I haven’t done since we packed to move to this house 19 years ago. At that time, every book I set into the box to give away broke my heart.

This time, though, I’m a little older and a little tougher. With every box I cart out of the house, I tell myself that eventually all books will be in digital form and I’ll be able to buy them for my ereader.

But now my overactive imagination has taken over and I’ve decided it’s less likely I’ll have to fight zombies in the future than do without books.

So what would I do if I got rid of all the print books in my house and the power went out … permanently?

My first thought is that I’d find pen and paper and write stories to entertain myself. My next thought is … what if there is no pen and paper either?

Ack! I’m a lousy verbal storyteller, unlike both my boys who can tell tales off the cuff. I’d start and stop and think, then want to edit every word uttered. Best to leave the verbal storytelling to those who are good at it.

And so, to alleviate my bookless fears, my decluttering has come to an end. The shelves of books and stacks of magazines will have to remain where they are until my boys are moving their dad and me into a much – much, Much, MUCH – smaller living space.

Till then, I’ll hold my long time friends near and dear to my heart because let’s face it, even a three day power outage could cause a diehard reader without a book to go into withdrawal and shock.

So while you all prepare for the upcoming Easter holiday, I want you to take a break and answer these questions. Have you ever thought about giving up your stack(s) of print books? Or do you think zombies will attack you before you ever have to live in a world without books?

Happy Easter everyone!

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)

Walking on a Tightrope

I’m rewriting a story. I’ve been rewriting this story for the past two years. Every time I pull it out, I stare at the words on the screen, then decide I’d rather become a tightrope walker without a safety net. Instead of writing, I fold laundry, walk the dust bunnies, and stare out the window at the still falling snow.

I tell myself I’m thinking. Yeah, deep thoughts are good until they turn into the question: What if this story can’t be fixed?

So I put it away, only to pull it out a few months later. And the process begins once again.

Stare, think, jump in the truck and go visit my mom.

I’ve finally figured out that there’s an invisible wall between my current thought patterns and the way my brain worked when I first wrote this story. Back then, I wrote angst. Oh, how I loved to torture my characters, putting them into a world filled with emotional pain. Thumbscrews to the wall. Such writerly fun.

But then I went through a rough patch, a year when I desperately needed laughter in my life and couldn’t dredge any up. So it came out in my writing efforts.

I drafted four romantic comedies, relishing in the snark that showed up on the pages. Laughing with my heroes and heroines as they dealt with family and each other. I discovered a new home for my writing and a new voice to go along with it.

Still, this story drew me back. I loved the hero and heroine and desperately wanted to share them with the rest of the world. Soon laughter spilled onto the pages and my new voice crept into the manuscript. Every time I pulled it out, I bounced back and forth between the old story and new story, between my old voice and new voice, attempting to reconcile the two and find some balance between them.

I’m back at it again, torn between the angst and the humour, attempting to find a structure in which I can incorporate them both. Or maybe I’m just procrastinating, putting off the inevitable difficult work ahead or the realization that this manuscript can’t be fixed, that it needs to go into the deep dark recesses of my computer hard drive and vanish forever like a fugitive on the run.

What do you think? Have you ever decided to rewrite an old manuscript, only to discover you’ve changed and can’t change back? Have you ever had your voice change midstride, then tried to incorporate the new with the old? Have you ever read a book where the author seemed to struggle between two very different author personalities?

Come share your experiences with me. I’m walking on a tightrope, hoping someone will toss me a safety net.

(Originally published at Women Unplugged.)
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