What Do YOU See? (A Survey)

Greetings, friends! I’ve been using this free blog website for almost seven years. The thing that keeps it free is that WordPress can place advertisements in my posts. I don’t actually see those ads, myself. All I see, from my lofty logged-in-as-administrator position, is this cryptic message:

Advertisements? … What ads, exactly?

Last week, someone asked me about the ads. I got to thinking… Just what is WordPress putting under my carefully crafted / enthralling / goofy blog posts? Am I advertising great things like dark chocolate and bicycles? Is it stuff I don’t even use, like bourbon or Lipitor? Ack, what if people see those blushworthy “double-outdoor-bathtub” ads on my site??

You can help ease my mind, or at least satisfy my curiosity. Yes, it’s a survey! Sorry I can’t give you a multiple choice “radio button” poll, since I have no idea what my field of answers might be. BUT, if you’d do me the favor of telling me what product(s), if any, you see advertised here, I’d be forever in your debt. I might even make you a batch of my fabulous chocolate chip cookies, if I can get my appliances to co-operate for once!

Please go to “Leave a Reply” below, and type in the name or kind of product advertised, OR “none” if you don’t see an ad. Bonus points (extra chocolate chips in your hypothetical cookies) if you check and report on more than one post.

Oh… Bear in mind, the ads you see likely reflect YOUR browsing history, so if you do see a “double-outdoor-bathtub” ad, you might want to comment anonymously.

Thank you SO much for reading and responding! For greater participation, please share by clicking the “Facebook” and/or “Twitter” button below… assuming you have an account with either, of course.

I’ll share a results summary soon.
Thanks again,
Jan

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We Have Lost the President, by Paul Mathews

If you don’t enjoy British humor, just click over to some other post now.

Still with me?
Goooood.

image credit: smile.amazon.com

We Have Lost the President is one of those books I would’ve bought for the title alone, just because it makes me laugh. I mean, could it possibly sound more British?

But it only gets better from there. Paul Mathews imagines an England in the not-too-distant future. A revolution has sent the royal family to Florida in exile. The country is now a republic, with a president and fifty vice-presidents.

The current, very popular President is sure to announce his bid for re-election at the official time, eleven o’clock a.m., day after tomorrow. Um… say, where is the President? What’s that? The security footage has been wiped?

This future England has lots of tech… but it doesn’t seem to work very well.

Presidential spokesperson Howie Pond agrees that this Code Red emergency must be kept absolutely quiet to avoid a national panic. They can’t even trust the police. No one must know… especially Howie’s well-known journalist girlfriend, Britt.

Mathews’ absurd situations are taken oh-so-seriously by the participants, making them even funnier. He expertly weaves lots of twists and suspense into Howie’s quest to find the President… and to score a good steak-and-ale pie.

I hope you enjoy this Great Weekend Read! And now I’m off to start Book 2, We Have Lost the Pelicans.

Thanks for reading,
Jan
PS: Remember, if you register with “smile.amazon.com,” anything you order supports a charity of your choice.
–jj

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You Know You’re One of the Family When…

Last weekend we visited Brent’s mom, rather belatedly, for her birthday. Mom and I sat at the table with our coffee, reminiscing about our long history.

“You’ve treated me like a daughter from day one,” I told her with gratitude. I’d met her and Dad only a couple of months after Brent and I began dating. (Even then, we both knew we’d found the one.)

“Well, you’ve always been like a daughter to me,” she said.

I reminded Mom of one visit, waaaay back when Brent and I were first married. I’d helped her make a cake. Later, she directed me to the frosting recipe printed on a cocoa tin in the cabinet.

The kitchen is cute, but didn’t have much room for storage. I have no idea how a great cook and baker like Mom, with Dad and four kids to feed, managed all her equipment in that limited cabinet space.

So I rummaged in the cabinet where she kept the spices and baking powder and such. Grabbed the first cocoa tin I found, and… “Hey, this one’s empty. Want me to throw it out?”

She looked up quickly. “No, that’s the one with the recipe on it.”

“Wait… you mean, you keep a whole empty tin, just for one r–”

“Shut up!”

We both burst out laughing.

That’s when I knew I was one of the family.

And the cake and frosting were delicious.

As near as I can figure, “polite” is all well and good when you first meet people. But there’s something about the give-and-take of good-natured teasing that really gives you a comfortable sense of belonging.

Thanks, Mom!

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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Where’s the Beef??

Call me old, but sometimes I can’t keep track of what I’m doing.

Last week, I made two trips to Sprouts. First, my usual grocery run. While I was there, I noticed grass-fed ground beef on sale, but failed to buy any.

Later: It was such a deal. What was I thinking?

So, when I was in the area a couple days later, I popped in again for the ground beef. A shelf tag still showed the “smokin’ deal” price… but all the packages were marked as regular ground beef. There was not a single grass-fed pound in sight.

By now, I was in a beef mood, so I looked over some good-sized roasts. I picked one up and hefted it, thinking of the delicious spicy mesquite rub I’d use. Next thing I remember, I’d been around the store for vegetables and orbited back to the meat section, having decided to stock up on ordinary ground beef and make spaghetti sauce. Ah, here’s a 2.3-pound package.

Perfect.

At home, I stashed the perishables in the fridge and got busy doing other chores.

The next day, I considered what to cook. The spaghetti sauce, or the mesquite roast?

Yummmmmmm…. mesquite….

Roast, it is!

Out came the slow cooker. I slathered the inside with olive oil, plugged it in, and turned it on High. Now, to the fridge, where the meats still sat in their plastic grocery bag on the middle shelf.

I reached in and pulled out…

2.3 pounds of ground beef.

Retrieved the bag.

No roast.

I had certainly bought that hefty beef roast. What had become of it? Maybe it was in the freezer?

Nothing.

Seriously, I went out to the garage to see whether the roast was decomposing in the 90-degree back seat of my car.

I guess I could roast some chicken or something.

Right now, the slow cooker is all oiled up and no place to go, and I’m haunted by the phantom beef roast that–surely–must be around here somewhere!

… unless I put it back in the meat case and never actually bought it.

Hmmmm… I wonder how mesquite spaghetti sauce would taste?

Your turn: Has anyone else had a senior moment? I mean, if you can remember it…

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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Daddy 3.0, by Rob Armstrong

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

I ran across this book on Amazon. The cover design caught my eye, then I noticed the subtitle: “A Comedy of Errors.”

Yep, gotta read this.

Twin preschoolers. Their mom, working 16-hour days at the hospital. Their dad, recently unemployed. And the family now lives across the country from home, friends, and the girls’ grandparents. No money for day care.

Who ya gonna call?

Dad bravely steps up to the plate, but… let’s just say his inexperience shows.

To tell the truth, after the first chapter or two I got a little worried. The “errors” threatened to overwhelm the “comedy.” Had I misread the title?

I won’t spoil the rest, but let me assure you this turned out to be a Great Weekend Read.

Rob Armstrong, bless his heart, uses his own experience to create his fictional mayhem. Click here to find him on Amazon.

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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Pint-Size Adventure

I know I show you a lot of photos of my grandchildren, but this one is about more than Grandson Extraordinaire. It’s about adventure…

I took this pitcure during our trip to visit our son and family in the Pacific Northwest, which I already told you about. Recently I saved the photo as the “wallpaper” on my monitor, and now I can’t quit staring at it.

Owen is walking along, hiking stick in hand. His parents and uncle lead the way from out in front. His grandparents follow behind, keeping an eye on him. He is free to hike at his own pace, stopping to look at cool stuff or running exuberantly. He is literally without a care in the world.

Thanks to the grownups, he is having an adventure with no trace of danger.

In ways I cannot begin to understand, God does the same for us. He is out in front, leading so we won’t get lost and preparing the way so it’s safe. At the same time, He “has our back,” keeping a watchful and protective eye on us.

Please note, “safe” does not mean we never get hurt. It just means that, as we trust God, He turns even the bad experiences around to somehow bring good out of them. As an example, I think of a friend who was in a car accident. A followup x-ray revealed cancer that would otherwise have gone undetected and untreated until it was too late.

Since we are never out of His care, isn’t life a great adventure?

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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Field Trip!

Greetings, friends!

After a couple of busy weeks with company and extra activities, I’m going to immerse myself in my fiction project now. For motivation, I went back to this post from two years ago.

I share it here for your enjoyment.

Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

Well, I’m happy to report that some good came of those dreadful early-March “snow days” of cabin fever and peach-tree panic. Trapped in the house with nothing to do except either polish the silver[plated] salad tongs and candlesticks, or stop procrastinating and write, I actually wrote. (You knew I wasn’t gonna lean toward the silver polish, didn’t you?)

“Forced” writing time led to progress in my work, which sparked enthusiasm, which generated momentum. I found all sorts of stuff to blog about, and drafted a handful of posts in advance. Since then I’ve got back to publishing every week–a vast improvement over the winter, let me tell you.

Even my fiction series started happening again. When I passed the halfway point in Book One, I started itching to do some groundwork for my future Author Website.

Hmm… I’d need some decent photos of myself, against backgrounds that complement…

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