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Honeycrisp Extortion!

The Honeycrisp Apple

The Honeycrisp Apple

Why are honeycrisp apples so expensive? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. Do you think it’s because they are seriously the best tasting apple on the planet? My mother tells me they are ‘from’ MN and therefore come from good stock, so maybe that’s why they have a bigger price tag.

I mean, they grow on trees same as galas, red delicious and your tart granny smiths, right? Does it cost more to grow a honeycrisp? Are the honeycrisp trees watered in honey-whiskey? What gives?

Maybe if we all boycotted the honeycrisp, altering the supply and demand cycle, we’d, as a nation, have brought the price per lb down to an acceptable level.

But that’s not going to happen, is it? It’s not because who can resist?!!

I can tell you my son couldn’t. See my Facebook status from Friday when I discovered a heinous crime had been committed.

honeycrisp FB funny post

It should be noted that there was a perfect acceptable granny smith, right on top, first thing to grab. He had to DIG for my honeycrisp. I hide my treasures well.

So tell me, do you have a particular item or treat for which you pay more, even though it kills you to do so? You know, something that makes you just a little bit selfish?

And I hope someone will explain WHY the honeycrisp is so darn pricey? I want to justify the expense outside of the amazing flavor. At this point, a gala pales in comparison.

If you are someone who has never tried a honeycrisp apple, let me give you some advice.


Save yourself the heartache. Plus you’ll only drive up the demand and soon I’ll be paying over $5 a pound or something.


Don’t Lick the Minivan TRUMPS We Don’t Kiss Penises

As a voracious reader and a writer, I recommend books all the time.  There is nothing I love more than adoring a book, telling everyone and their pet pig about it and having them love it too so we can talk about it.

And then sometimes there is a book that is so wonderful that I can’t simply just recommend it, I have to INSIST that people read it. Insist because I guarantee it will be time well spent.

I have read one of those books. So get ready to 1-click your way out of Amazon immediately so you can start reading and fall in love with this book.

Without further blathering, the book is:

Don’t Lick the Minivan … and other things I never thought I’d say to my kids, written by the lovely Leanne Shirtliffe.

Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe

CLICK to buy from Amazon!

They say that laughter is the best medicine. If that’s true, then Leanne has the cure for whatever ails ya! She’s my modern day Erma!!

This book, which is a series of humorous essays, had me laughing, reminiscing and even tearing up with a lump in my throat.  It’s written with such honesty and slice-of-life humor, it becomes a fast friend. The essays take you through the real-life (and often quite unbelievable) adventures of life with twins, from conception to school days, starting in India (where you can get fashion advice if you chase down a transvestite) to the frosty climes of Canada.

As the subtitle suggests, there are examples throughout the book where Leanne admits things she’s said to her kids that she never imagined she’d say. In the spirit of Leanne’s fantastic book, I’m going to share one of those same moments from our family story vault. Because I doubt my sons will ever read this blog, I think I’m safe from their wrath … so do not tell them I told you!

Back about a million years ago, our boys were 4 and 2 and their little sister wasn’t yet a twinkle in my eye. The boys were still small enough that we could fix boo-boos with a kiss and a cuddle. This was back when they were inseparable, and little brother idolized big brother, following him around everywhere.

So one day 4 year old bolts off to the bathroom, with 2 year old hot on his heels. The seat is barely lifted when there is some interference from little brother, and well, you know where this is going. The seat comes crashing down.

All of male readers just clutched their crotch and piked themselves in half.

Dad and Mom race in, knowing something quite unfortunate has happened. Dad assesses the situation and groans, trying not to double-cup his own package. I scoop up the 2 year old, who is clueless. But our stoic 4 year old, with a sheen of tears in his green eyes, looks up to his very empathic father and asks, “Are you going to kiss it?”

With as much sympathy as Dad can muster, he gives his son the truth, the bad news …

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 12.52.21 PM

Mom walks off with 2 year old. There may have been an “Amen!” involved, but I can’t recall for full certainty. ~cough~

Friends, let me tell you that this little story PALES in comparison to the fun you’re in for when you read Don’t Lick the Minivan. If you are a parent, if you love to laugh, you will LOVE this book. I promise you.

A copy of this book will be my go-to baby shower gift from now on.

I want to thank Leanne for writing with such wit and honesty and giving me a treasure of a book that I will reread because it was pure entertainment.


Gems in the Spam

Sorry I went a little MIA on you. I’ve been super focused on the online class I’m teaching through WriterU on Building a Blog. It’s been a lot of fun and unbelievably, we’re already half done!

I also just come out of a writing retreat with my amazing critique partners. I’m going to give that experience its own blog post. Suffice it to say, my mind has been stretched and creativity is bouncing off the walls. I’m going to miss my friends, who all fly home today. ~sniff~ But, it’s time to head back to my little family.

So, I popped into my spam folder to empty it and got caught up with many kind and thoughtful comments from various people interested in, well, enlarging my manhood.  First, I’d have to find this manhood and then once I do, I’d have to assess and we’ll talk about whether it needs to be enlarged. Thanks!

Since I got a good chuckle from some of the comments, I thought y’all might as well.  Here ya go, yanked straight out of my SPAM:

Thank you for making this website so relaxed to conceptualize assemblage. solid foul. Saving this one for afterwards.

***SOLID FOUL? Are you being mean to me?

Extremely intriguing journal post. Highly intriguing and surface enclosed article. Cheers over again – I will arise backrest.

***Why are you laying down reading my blog?

Wow! This could be one component of the most effective blogs We’ve e’er succeed across on this thing. Actually Superior. I’m also a physician in this theme so I can interpret your sweat.

***I can interpret my sweat too. Means I’m hot. I live in Texas. It happens a lot.

Highly intriguing and well penned article. Cheers over again – I module come hind.

***I got nuthin’ for this one? You??

AND – My favorite …

I cant imagine youre not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

***Wait … who says I’m not popular?

For those of you with blogs, care to share some of your lovely spam ‘compliments’?  I’d love to hear them.






WritersButt Wednesday — Giggle for You!

Hi Everyone,

I’m sorry for a fly-by post today. I’m literally buried in writing work (Yay!!) as well as surrounded by my two snoring dogs. So, in lieu of a full post today, I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence in pulling this post out of the vault and reblogging it for you.  I have so many new followers (Thank You!!) that perhaps you’ve not seen this one. Although, it made the rounds on Facebook, so probably you have. In any case, it’s totally worth the 1:21 minutes of awesome!

What does this sweet dog have to do with WritersButt. Well, it’s about food (high protein even!) and watching it will make you laugh and feel good … I believe that is WritersButt Approved!!

I watch from time to time because it always ALWAYS makes me laugh.

Pole Dancing for my husband

Happy Valentines Day.

This isn’t my most favorite holiday. I know, where’s my heart, right? But there are so many expectations on this day that it’s ripe with the prospect of disappointment. Am I cynical or what?

So, in the effort to be festive and spread the love, or at least some good cheer, I decided to give my darling husband some pole dancing for Valentines Day.

Sexy. Athletic. Awesome. How could I miss?

I’m such a giver, I thought I’d give some pole dancing to all of you too. So sit back and enjoy the show!


Even Hags need love

My kids crack me up. All the time. They crack each other up. There is no shortage of humor at Casa Calem. Often there is no shortage of yelling and bickering but thankfully, the laughter is usually more.

How do you know when you’ve raised siblings that truly love each other?

When you see this handmade label affixed to your daughter’s door, lovingly put there by her older brother.



May they always adore each other!

Any of you parents have a similar story of sibling-love? Please, do share!

WritersButt Wednesday – Best Workout FAILS

Let’s have a laugh for this WritersButt Wednesday, shall we?  My sister posted this to her Facebook page this morning and I spent 3 minutes laughing my butt off. Ah, what people will do in the effort to workout. Some of these attempts are truly creative and they fail epically … all for our enjoyment!

Before you get any ideas that this is proof that y’all should avoid working out. Au contraire!! That doesn’t fly with me and you know it.  It would be really hard to have an epic fail on a Potty Squat. Well, unless you didn’t close the lid. And, if that happens, I sure hope someone gets it on camera and emails it to me!

So, sit back, put your water bottle down just for these few minutes so you don’t squirt water out your nose and have a laugh!!  You’re welcome!


It’s a Mad-Mad Monday

*Does the above picture have anything at all to do with this post? NO — But it makes me smile, especially because above child is now 6 feet tall and drives his own car.

*Are you smiling at his cute little face? YES — Come’on, admit it!

*Did I start knitting a pair of gloves instead of getting to my writing this morning?  YES

*Do I have plenty of perfectly good notebooks in my desk drawer so that I could have my pick for the conference in Surrey?  YES

*Did I buy a new notebook at HEB anyway?  YES

*Will I buy another notebook before I leave because I won’t be able to help myself? PROBABLY

*Did I explain the pure awesomeness of a fine-point sharpie to a woman at HEB and help her pick some out?  YES – I’m her hero.

*Did I buy myself a sharpie? NO

*Do I regret the above decision? YES

*Did I intervene and tell a woman looking at a book not to bother and suggest a better book? NO – it’s banned book week. Ginger not part of problem.  I just ‘thought’ my opinion loudly.

*Did I see a woman wearing denim overalls and it was not her Halloween costume. YES.

*Did I set my car alarm off in my driveway, after my purse (and keys) were inside, so that I had to throw a case of water on the cement to race into house, jump over dogs, screaming “ACCIO KEYS”?  YES

How’s your Monday going?

Knit and Purl, how I missed you!

I love doing crafts. All sorts of crafts. I’ve made quilts, baskets, jewelry pouches, domino crosses, jewelry, stamped cards and gift bags, knitted countless scarves … you name it, I’ve probably tried it. But in the last few years, I haven’t done a thing. Too busy growing our CrossFit gym, managing house and children, and writing.  I knew I missed it but I didn’t realize how much until Coleen Patrick write this fabulous blog about Chasing Inspiration with Scissors.

I got the bug to create something besides my stories. I wanted to do something with my hands besides lift weights and swing kettlebells. Of course I’ll still do those things too, but I needed to add in a little something else. That nugget of an idea settled into my brain, waiting for the right inspiration.

A few days ago, it came. The wonderfully talented Erica O’Rourke, who wrote the freaking amazing TORN TRILOGY, tweeted something about fingerless gloves.  I LOVE fingerless gloves. I bought a pair last year at Pikes Place Market in Seattle. A decadent cashmere pair adorned with antique buttons that I swoon over every time I slip them on.

I tweeted Erica back asking if they were truly as easy to knit as promised. She sent a tweet with a link to a pattern and said, “Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.” Yes, she really said that. I told you she was awesome.

Later that same day, I miraculously found myself at Hobby Lobby looking at yarns and needles. The patterns called for different type of needle from what I already owned and I did have to totally guess on the size. More on this fact later. Ahem!

After a little more searching for a pattern and instructions I thought I could handle, I casted on with my bad self. Sure the pattern I found called for size 9 needles and I had bought size 6. I mean, it’d all work out right?  Oh, and I should mention this was the first time I’d ever followed a knitting pattern, or sort of followed.

First thing I discovered was it had been WAY too long since I’d knitted since I now needed cheater-reader glasses. I had to keep searching youtube for videos for techniques I’d forgotten. YouTube, I owe you so much!  I followed the instructions for knits and purls. I counted rows with hash-tags on my grocery list. I was all Zen with my knitting self.

Let me show you my results.

Here you’ll see my cute “little” needles. One glove is finished there on the right and the other is ready to be seam-stitched. There’s a great tutorial video on how to do that on youtube, among other things. You might be thinking, ‘Gosh, Ginger, those look sort of small. Maybe it’s just the camera angle?’

Well, no, you’d be right. There are just a teensy-tiny-bit on the smallish size. But I think I can still make this work.

How cute is this coaster, for instance? (Note: Ginger is horrified at scratches in coffee table? Will be interrogating the natives after school.)

Or, maybe daughter would like her doll to stay warm while she’s off tackling 6th grade without her?

No matter, aren’t they just too adorable?

Hey, I bet these would be in hot demand in Lilliput Village. This is like, a very hard to find item. I have solved problems!

Ok, so I’m ready to start on pair number two. I do have bigger needles and another pattern to try, just to keep things interesting.

Do any of you craft? Have some ‘misses’ that are actually wonderful like my Lilliput Fingerless Gloves to tell me about? Please let me know all about it in the comments.


Google is the new Sex Ed

I do not consider myself someone who lives under a rock or is clueless about the, shall we say, sexier part of life. For starters, there was some wild years way back when. And I’ve been married over 18 years with three children born from that marriage. I’m well aware the stork didn’t drop them off. I’ve seen some racy movies and I’ve read me some saucy books.  So it always shocks me when, well, I’m shocked.

Let me explain.  Next month I’ll be traveling to Surrey, BC to attend the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. While there I’ll be presenting a workshop about my ongoing blog segment, WritersButt, where I harangue encourage people to incorporate fitness into their daily writing life (or any life!), to eat well and all that good stuff, to promote creativity and better fitness. For my workshop, I thought it would be fun to have a prize or two, or a fun giftie to hand out. Right? Wouldn’t that be kind of cool?

So, I’ve been searching for stuff and not coming up with anything that really knocked my socks off. I Googled ‘WritersButt’ where I saw some interesting images. I Googled ‘Potty Squats’ which brought back a plethora of memories and vivid images of the toilets in Japan. Then I tried ‘Butt Novelties’.

Now, stop laughing. I thought there would be little notepads with Butt jokes, maybe even a Butt Bobblehead. I don’t know. But, (no pun intended) I did not expect to see terms like expandable plugs or some product called a butt banger. It appears as if some company, unfortunately named liquid@ss sells a bottled butt crack fragrance. Like, there’s really a market for that?

Ah, the things I learn!  This brought back another time when I was riding the clueless train.  A few years ago I was in New York visiting one of my best writing friends with another best writing friend. There was an industry luncheon where we got to schmooze with agents, editors and other writers. Fun times.

At one point, there were five of us tooling around town, four writers and an editor for, among other things, erotic romance.  I was in the back seat with my besties and from the front the term SMBD is bandied about. (P.S. I just had to Google that to make sure I had the acronym right. OY!)

Friend on the right whispers to me, “What’s that stand for?” Now, I didn’t want to seem like a complete noob, so I confidently answer, “Oh, it’s that number attached to books for sales and stuff.” (ISBN number)

Um, friend on the left starts laughing – and explaining. Ginger gets educated.  Much hilarity and guffawing commence.

Who knew??!!  Ok, I bet you all did but I didn’t. Now I do!

And now I also know a thing or two about butt novelties that I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to know.

Thanks, Google. It’s been an enlightening day.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Some of you have to have run across some stuff in Google searching that gave you the jaw-drop. Come’on – Fess up!!

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