Lots of us have had tough years personally before, but not in my lifetime have we as a human race had such a difficult year. If you’re like me, New Year’s held a new significance and you’re thankful to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Hopeful for 2021, I tried writing about the activities I desperately miss and appreciate more since COVID-19. I hope this year to return to treating myself to a mani-pedi (I’m so relieved it’s closed toe shoe season!), getting a haircut every six to eight weeks instead of twice a year, going to lunch with friends and sitting close enough we don’t need walkie-talkies to converse, and window shopping. Somehow instead of being the hopeful post I intended, I found myself needing a break from thinking about COVID and the harsh realities it’s brought crashing down on our lives.
Also needing to laugh, I turned to a book I discovered in Glassboro, New Jersey visiting my son. When the title caught my eye, This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book, I had to open it. The dedication had me LOLing. “This book is dedicated to the eminent individuals whose words are parodied herein. We’d like to imagine each of them, living or dead, getting a chuckle out of it. We only wish we could invite them all to dinner. * That would be, like, totally an amazing party. *Except maybe Hannibal Lecter.”
The book takes famous quotes and inserts the phrase like, totally. Having been part of the generation that thought those words were so cool, I couldn’t stop reading. The next thing I knew I was reading quotes to my husband. So today, in hopes of making you smile and showing how adding two words can change a sentence, I’ve tweaked some famous quotes.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in like, totally rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela
The way to get started is to like, totally quit talking and begin doing. -Walt Disney
Life is what happens like, when you’re busy totally making other plans. -John Lennon
To be or like, totally not to be. -William Shakespeare
When you reach the end of your rope, like tie a knot in it and totally hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but like, totally by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson
It is during our darkest moments that we must like, totally focus to see the light. -Aristotle
Here’s some modified western/cowboy sayings from grammar.yourdictionary.com.
Some cowboys have like, totally too much tumbleweed in their blood to settle down.
When you’re throwin’ your weight around, be like, totally ready to have it thrown around by someone else.
Always like, totally drink upstream from the herd.
Never ask how stupid someone is ‘cause they’ll like, turn around and totally show you.
The only good reason to ride a bull is to like, totally meet a nurse.
And my favorite…
Never like, jump a barbed wire fence totally naked.
I hope these changes to famous quotes made you chuckle. To be entered in the random drawing for today’s giveaway of the sparkly Peace sign and a signed copy of Home on the Ranch: Family Ties share a quote and like, totally parody it in This Is Like, Totally a Quote Book style. Here’s to 2021. May your year be blessed, and wishing you like, totally the best year ever!
Picture yourself as the owner of a small business (you and one employee). You’re struggling to compete with bigger, more established businesses. Then, you suddenly find a goose laying golden eggs (okay, so it’s not a goose but a billionaire who is interested in hiring you – but close enough to a goose with golden eggs!). All you have to do is prove yourself and your business savvy to that ol’ goose.
Unbeknownst to you, part of earning his business is going to involve a quest to learn things you never dreamed you’d known how to do.
That’s the basis for my new sweet holiday romance, Roping Christmas. And it releases tomorrow!
There is still time to pre-order it today (just $3.99!). When you do, you can enter your purchase info into this form, and you’ll get a free Bonus Bundle that includes a short story that leads into the book, a recipe, rodeo photographs, and a set of printable, unique, western gift tags!
A focused cowboy, a distracted executive, and a hilarious quest make for an unforgettable holiday . . .
Wyatt Nash is a professional tie-down roper, a good ranch hand, and not too shabby when it comes to attracting women. But according to his five-year-old niece, he needs to work on both his roping skills and his dating game. His sister thinks he needs to settle down. And don’t get him started on the advice he gets from well-meaning friends. When his rodeo sponsor, billionaire Jon Sinclair, asks for his assistance in tutoring a clueless city girl about Sinclair Industries, Wyatt doesn’t feel like he can say no. Then he discovers he’ll be teaching none other than the one woman on the planet who wants nothing to do with him.
Ashley Jarrett would do almost anything to turn her small publicity firm into a huge success. When Jon Sinclair expresses interest in working with her, she readily agrees to his crazy idea to have her learn about his company through hands-on projects. Not only is she forced far outside her comfort zone, but the man documenting every bumbling misstep she takes is an infuriating cowboy she’s determined to ignore.
Packed with small-town charm and the wonder of falling in love, Roping Christmas is a sweet holiday romance sure to bring laughter and infuse hearts Christmas cheer.
Also, I want to invite you to an upcoming celebration!
You’re invited to join in a celebration to officially kick of the Read a Book, Help a Cowboy campaign. The fun gets underway November 12 at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) on Facebook in the Wholesome Hearts Events group with guest authors, giveaways, and more!
For a chance to win, fill out this form. The prize includes a beautiful Coldwater Creek fleece throw, an autographed copy of Roping Christmas, a box of delicious holiday tea, Godiva chocolates, a tube of body cream from Bath & Body Works, a boot Christmas ornament, and a swag bag to carry all the goodies.
The giveaway runs through October 30, 2020. The winner will be notified by November 15, 2020, and will be given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. The giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Just for fun, I’d love to know what you’d do if you were in Ashley’s shoes? Would you prove yourself to the billionaire, or would you look for a less demanding goose?
I tell you what. The news these days is a real downer. Between Covid, violent protests, riots, political bickering…it all makes me want to throw the television across the room and hide my electronic devices under the couch cushions.
Sure makes me wish for simpler times when we didn’t have such easy access to social media, endless replays, and too much journalism that is more about the ratings than it is the truth.
We all need to laugh more. Science says it’s good for our mental health. We all know it’s good for the soul, too.
Here are some cowboy funnies that will brighten your day. At least, they did mine!
The cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo theatre. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the cowboy, “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”
The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge.
The usher became more impatient. “Sir, if you don’t get up from there, I’m going to have to call the manager.”
The cowboy just groaned.
The usher marched briskly back up the aisle. In a moment, he returned with the manager. Together, the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police.
The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked, “All right buddy, What’s your name?”
“Sam,” the cowboy moaned.
“Where ya from, Sam?”
With pain in his voice Sam replied…. “The balcony.”
Cowboy Joe was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church.
“When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral,” Joe began.
“You mean the parking lot,” interrupted Charlie, a more worldly fellow.
“I walked up the trail to the door,” Joe continued.
“The sidewalk to the door,” Charlie corrected him.
“Inside the door, I was met by this dude,” Joe went on.
“That would be the usher,” Charlie explained.
“Well, the usher led me down the chute,” Joe said.
“You mean the aisle,” Charlie said.
“Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there,” Joe continued.
“Pew,” Charlie retorted.
“Yeah,” recalled Joe. “That’s what that pretty lady said when I sat down beside her.”
A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.
“Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” St. Peter asked.
“Well, I can think of one thing,” the cowboy offered. “On a trip to the Big Horn Mountains out in Wyoming, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I approached the largest and most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground. Then I yelled, ‘Now, back off or I’ll beat you all unconscious.”
Saint Peter was impressed. “When did this happen?”
“Couple of minutes ago.”
The only good reason to ride a bull is to meet a nurse.
Nature gave us all something to fall back on, and sooner or later we all land flat on it.
Don’t squat with your spurs on.
Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed finding them!
Even more, I hope I’ve uplifted your day. There’s nothing like a cowboy and his humor, that’s for sure!
Does all the bad news drag you down, too?
Do you have a favorite joke or funny story to share?
If not, that’s okay. Just let me know that you’re smiling, and your day is now brighter, and my day will be brighter, too!
As I’ve said a time or six dozen, my maternal grandparents were Iowa dairy farmers. My grandfather was a short, stoic German man who possessed a loud voice and strong opinions. Getting to know him and earn his respect wasn’t always easy, as my husband, Kevin discovered.
My Grandpa Walter saw my husband as a city kid who knew nothing of farm life. (Which was true.) As a child someone shared an animal proverb with Kevin. When a cat washes behind its ear rain is on the way. On one visit, Kevin noted one of my grandmother’s barn cats washing behind its ear, and shared the weather prediction with my grandfather. My grandfather naturally thought this city kid couldn’t know what he was talking about. A while later, Kevin set off to pick up my mother a hour or so away and asked my grandfather to ride shotgun. On their way back to the farm, the skies opened up. Not only did it rain, it poured. One of those driving rains that makes it difficult to see when driving.
That day proved to be a turning point for my husband and grandfather. Kevin showed my grandfather he knew something about his world, and my grandfather developed a new respect for my husband. From that day on until the day my grandfather died, cats washing behind the ears predicting rain became a running joke between them.
Farmers and ranchers often looked to animals for indications of the weather, and reliance on these methods isn’t as silly as it sounds. While people might not have known when creating the proverbs, now science often explains the animals’ behaviors. For example, cats ears may be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure causing them to wash behind them when rain is coming.
Just for fun and to hopefully make your smile, here are some other animal proverbs from the Farmer’s Almanac.
If a cat sits with its back to a fire or sleeps with all four paws tucked under, bad weather is coming.
When a cat licks its fur against the grain, prepare for a hailstorm.
When a cat sneezes, rains is on the way.
But cats aren’t the only animal meteorologists…
If a cow stands with its tail to the west, the weather should be fair. If it stands with its tail to the east, the weather will turn bad.
When a dog eats grass or sheep turn into the wind, expect rain. (Based on how often my dogs eat grass, I should be building an ark, so I’m not a big believer in this one! ?)
If a bull leads the cows to pasture, bet on rain. But if the ladies lead the bull, the weather is uncertain.
The more brown a wooly bear caterpillar, the milder the winter.
(This one isn’t super practical since it requires a
tape measure. I can’t see many farmers measuring mole holes! ?) If the mole hole is 2 ½ feet deep, expect severe weather. If it’s 2 feet deep, it won’t be as severe, and 1 foot deep indicates a mild winter.
When pigs gather leaves and straw in the fall, prepare for a cold winter.
Fat rabbits in October and November indicate a long, cold winter.
Bats flying late at night mean fair weather.
Wolves howl more before a storm.
Predict the temperature by counting a cricket’s chirps.
Hornets building their nests high in a tree means a snowy winter.
Cows laying under a tree in the morning means rain is on the way.
And from the plants:
When leaves “turn their back to you” and curl somewhat, watch out for rain.
To be entered in today’s giveaway for the Live Happy sink soap mate, a llama car air freshener and a copy of A Cure for the Vet, leave a comment on your weather proverb.
In 2018, I wrote on western, and particularly Texas, sayings. Then all of you commented with others I hadn’t heard. You had me laughing pretty much all day. My favorite came from fellow filly, Pam Crooks. “He’s foolish enough not to realize he shouldn’t jump a barbed wire fence naked.”
Pam’s saying reminded me of my four Wishing Texas Series heroes, because that’s the kind of friends they are. When one is being a jerk, the others call him on it. As my heroes aren’t traditional cowboys riding on the ranch, I often add western or Texas sayings to add to their western character. I had to find a way to use Pam’s saying. I’m writing Book 4 now, To Marry A Texas Cowboy, and Zane’s best friend says to him, “I suppose you think jumping a barbed wire fence naked is a good idea too.”
As I sat to write today’s post, I realized I needed a laugh. With everything going on in the world, I figured you could too. So, here are some sayings I found but didn’t have space for last time. I hope they make you smile and maybe even chuckle.
Might was well. Can’t dance, never could sing, and it’s too wet to plow.
So crooked you can’t tell from his tracks if he’s coming or going.
If I say a hen dips snuff, you can look under her wing for the can.
He’d argue with a wooden Indian.
He’s the only hell his mama ever raised.
He may not be a chicken, but he has his henhouse ways.
So dry the trees are bribing the dogs.
Better to keep your mouth shut and seem a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
He’s got a big hole in his screen door.
She’s two sandwiches short of a picnic.
He always draws the best bull.
He could sit on the fence and the birds would feed him.
If a trip around the world cost a dollar, I couldn’t get to the Oklahoma line.
He’d steal his mama’s egg money.
He could talk the gate off its hinges.
She speaks ten words a second, with gusts to fifty.
You were too hard to raise to take chances.
Anytime you happen to pass my house, I’d sure appreciate it.
You smell like you want to be left alone.
If brains were leather, he couldn’t saddle a flea.
He couldn’t hit the floor if he fell out of bed.
Looks like he was pulled through a knothole backwards.
There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.
To be entered in today’s random drawing for the scarf, car air freshener and a copy of Home On the Ranch: Colorado Rescue, leave a comment about your favorite western saying. If you don’t have a favorite, tell me which saying above spoke to you the most. Thanks for sliding off and letting your saddle cool while you spent some time with me today. Stay safe until the next time we meet around the corral.
When courting a woman don’t ask advice of a bachelor.
-Cowboy Charm School
I’m excited that my next book Cowboy Charm School will be published September 4th (but can be ordered now.) I played with the idea for four or five years before I actually got around to writing the book. Book ideas generally come to me in scenes. I’ll suddenly visualize someone atop a runaway stagecoach or scrambling over a roof and then have to figure out who, what, and why.
The scene that popped into my head for Cowboy Charm School was a wedding scene with a handsome stranger running down the church aisle yelling, “Stop the Wedding!”
It took me awhile to figure out that the man was Texas Ranger Brett Tucker, who thinks he’s saving the bride, Kate Denver, from marrying an outlaw. He’s mistaken, of course, but the groom jealously jumps to all the wrong conclusions and the couple breaks-up.
Brett feels terrible for what’s he’s done and is determined to set things right. Since the hapless groom hasn’t a clue as to how to win Kate back, it’s up to Brett to give him a few pointers–and that’s when the real trouble begins.
For a chance to win a copy of the book, tell us the best or worse advice anyone ever gave you. (Contest guidelines apply.)
When I talked to a dear friend, Jennifer Jacobson, about writing a blog on misconceptions Easterners hold about Westerners, she recommended the children’s book Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Byron Barton. The book’s young hero laments about what he’ll find when he moves out West. Not only did I get a good laugh, but the book fit perfectly with many stories friends shared on the subject. As Sharmat and Barton’s hero says at the end, “Back East they don’t know much about us Westerners.” Because of this fact, getting regional dialect/phrases, career details and settings that add richness to a story can be harder than readers realize because many industry professional are Easterners.
One thing the hero in Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport claims at the beginning is, “…there’s cactus everywhere you look.” I chuckled because apparently, we have a cacti cover problem on Texas romance novels. When I asked author friends and readers on Facebook what Eastern folks get wrong about the west, I received a few cactus stories. Fact is, we don’t see many cacti in east or central Texas, but often there they’re on covers of novels set there. Other authors found saguaros on covers for west Texas novels though they don’t grow in Texas.
Often authors must explain regional phrases or words to editors. For example, what some call a dish towel, others call a cup towel. A pumpjack or nodding donkey is part of an oil well. It was suggested she say pumping jack. Ah, not only no, but hell no. As the author who shared the story said, she’d be “laughed out of west Texas if she’d used that term.” Another thing people don’t understand is y’all isn’t singular. A live oak is a specific type of tree, not a tree that’s actually alive. Texas barns are most likely weathered and red, not the giant red barns seen in the East and Midwest.
Another big issue was horses. One friend’s pet peeve was when authors put a hero on a “well-behaved” stallion. First, stallions are rarely “well-behaved,” and second, stallions often can’t be near other horses. Another author friend said she spotted a cover where the male model had a bridle thrown over his shoulder… upside down! According to her, “No one who has been within 20 feet of a horse would carry a bridle that way.”
A friend and amazing artist, Jane Monsson also said her pet peeve is when authors get horse details wrong. From her art, it’s apparent she loves horses and knows a lot about them. I admit, I’ve worried about messing up with horse anatomy or gear. After all, I write western romance. There’s going to be horses in my stories and I need to get it right. While I know which end of a horse is which, I’ve never owned one and am nowhere near an expert.
How do I get details right enough so as not to offend experts like Jane? Edgar R. “Frosty” Potter’s cool book Cowboy Slang. The book contains an illustration “Parts of a Horse” and “Parts of a Horse Skeleton.” (I haven’t needed the later, but one never knows!However, I’ve frequently referred to the section “Colors of Horses.” This book of one hundred twenty-three pages is a treasure, containing great western sayings, info on cattle brands, barbed wire, cattle ear crop types, and how cowboys use a bandana! For horse gear, I refer to the illustrated horse gear section of a volunteer booklet from Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship Program.
The other way I check facts or do research for my stories is by finding an expert. But that’s a blog for another day.
Now it’s your turn. Share with me what your pet peeve that people get wrong about the west or us Westerners and be entered to win a copy of To Catch a Texas Cowboy and the Book Club wine glass.
(My publisher is running a 99 cent special on my book High Button Shoes today only! See below!)
I bet you didn’t know this, but cowboy boots multiply when you’re not looking. Or at least that’s what happened at my house. It all started when someone gave me one—ONE!—cowboy boot planter for my yard. That’s all it took. Before I knew it, another boot showed up
Do you know what happens when family, friends and neighbors walk in and seetwo of anything? They immediately think you’re a collector. People love collectors. It makes gift-giving so much easier. No thinking required.
Soon, I was drinking my morning coffee out of a boot-shaped cup and washing my hands with soap from boot dispensers. Cowboy boots took over my jewelry box as earrings, framed my family photos and opened my wine bottles. And it didn’t stop there.
Somewhere along the line my boot collection expanded into all things western. Cowboy nutcrackers started showing up on my window sills. Western plaques began adorning my walls. Miniature horses took over table tops. Even my feathered friends were treated to bird houses shaped like saloons.
No longer do my children, grandchildren or friends have to slave over a Christmas shopping list trying to figure out what to give me. The word is out; Grandma/mom likes everything, as long as it’s western.
I’m not complaining, mind you. I thank my lucky stars that the planter that started it all had been a cowboy boot and not something gross like, say, a zombie!
Are you a collector and if so, did you become one on purpose or by accident?
On Sale Today Only, for 99 cents!
High Button Shoes
A feisty widow; a dashing outlaw—something’s definitely afoot.