Come On Over!

Ghosts R Us is my post today on the blog, An Army of Ermas. We’re trying not to trip over ourselves as we follow in Erma Bombeck’s footseps.

So come on over and read all about the fifth member of this house, a ghost who likes fart machines.


To Dye Naturally

Good–I got your attention. ūüôā¬† Not only am I cheap (see my Queen of Clearance post here) but for cleaning, polishing, and now dyeing clothes, I like to use anything I can find around the house. I go through vinegar and baking soda by the case.

I had some white cotton clothes I wanted to dye¬†but didn’t want to go out to the store and also didn’t want to spend two dollars on clothing dye. A quick search online and I came up with some great ideas.

Here’s one I just tried and worked great to dye anything beige or brown that’s¬†white¬†cotton.

Take a large pot, fill 3/4 with cold water.  Add two TBL. cinnamon and/or several tea bags. For a really rich color, add instant coffee (about two TBL.)  Bring water with added ingredients to a rolling boil. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat, remove any tea bags, add clothes (already washed). Stir and let sit about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Test to see desired color. Let it sit longer if you wish. Drain water, and rinse garments in cold water. Wash in cold water in washing machine with only vinegar added. Dry in dryer.

I wanted a light brown color, and used several tea bags and the 2 TBL. of cinnamon.

This is the only color I’ve done, but from what I’ve researched, it looks like cranberries give a subtle red color, and blueberries a subtle blue. (To white cotton, that is.) That will be for another time.

Getting A Book Published

Listen up, people. Please. Anyone can self-publish. You look up iUniverse or Lulu, submit your work and a check for a certain amount of money, they print your book. Then you buy your books to sell. Or you can direct people to or Barnes &¬† Your books will not be in any brick-and-mortar book store. But you’d know that when you sign up and pay.

Then there’s Publish America. This place claims to be a traditional publisher. They’re not.¬† First, they take anyone who’s willing to give them their manuscript. This was proven with Atlanta Nights by Travis Tea, a manuscript written tongue-in-cheek by various writers. PA took it, claiming they were giving Travis Tea the “chance it deserved.” The writers pulled the manuscript, and wrote about it. For those who are unaware, many of¬†Publish America’s¬†“authors” find mistakes throughout their books, mistakes not there in the first place. (Or the writing is so bad, the “author” has not a clue.) They use stock images on the covers. Then charge far more for each book than a true commercial publisher would. Their authors are encouraged to buy their own books to sell, and the books cannot be found in any brick-and-mortar store (though PA claims you can).

The reason why I’m blogging about this today–an article in our local newspaper lauded four people for being authors. They were interviewed about their writing¬†know-how.¬†Three of them were self-published, the fourth was published by PublishAnything. The article never mentioned that they were self-published. As a writer who knows how hard it is to be published by a legit commercial publisher–even by a small publisher–I wish this had been mentioned. A true publisher will never have you buy your own books to sell. Period.

Rant over. ūüôā

Here We Go Again…

…a plethora of articles on dieting. It’s after Passover, after Easter, and it’s assumed we over-ate. They assumed correctly. At least in my case. But it wasn’t overeating for me as much as it was over-candying (I know, that’s not a word… ūüôā ). I didn’t stop at the dark chocolate bunny’s ears yesterday; I ate right on through to his cute little bunny nose and whiskers. Realizing what I was doing, I put him aside, only to be called by the large peanut butter egg nestled next to him. I only ate half of that.¬†That brought it¬†down to an¬†eight ounce size. And I’m up¬† a couple of pounds. It was all in good fun, right?

Now I’m being bombarded with guilt everywhere I look. An article online blares something like “A¬†Thousand-And-One¬†Different Ways To Fight That Blubber.” One of them is to drink broth. I can’t. It reminds me of prepping for a¬†certain medical procedure that is not quite pleasant and involves always being near a bathroom. This article also says to eat protein at every meal. That I can do–I have an assortment of chocolate¬†breakfast bars. (I love my chocolate.)¬† Another tactic is to try is to trim down portions. So I eat a few less Jelly Bellys every hour, big deal.

I know one thing, though. Once all the goodies are consumed–which could take all of two days–I can really watch what I eat. But then¬†summer starts with Memorial Day at the end of May, and all of those wonderful barbeques. I’ll make sure, though, to begin each gorge-fest with a salad. This way I won’t feel so guilty when all of those “Blast¬†That¬†Belly” summer articles come out. And¬†I’ll end each meal with¬†a piece (yeah, right) of dark chocolate.¬†After all, it is supposed to be good for you.