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Lifestyle HUMOR from The Rebel Housewife: Anecdotes, observations, experiences
On LIFE AT 30 & BEYOND: kids, family, men, BOOKS, cars, pets, tattoos...NASCAR, Aspergers/Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Virtual/Home Schooling, teenagers, Navy Mom...


Spark Your Sexy in 2017

With just a little more than a month to Valentine's Day and the Season of Romance... or, at least, a wonderful week of Hearts, Roses, Wine & deeply-discounted, heart-shaped boxes of fine chocolate (why would you pay full price?!)...

It's the perfect time for a Romantic Resolution for 2017-- Spark Your Sexy!

Keep in mind, you can make any day Valentine's Day...

The #1 Way to Spark Your Sexy...

--> for less than the cost of a fancy cup of coffee!

I am very pleased -- let's say ecstatic -- to report The Rebel Housewife's 101 Sexy & Fun Love Notes, during the recent promo campaign, leaped up in the Amazon ratings, from near-obscurity to #1 and #3 in categories:

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 45 minutes (22-32 pages) > Parenting & Relationships
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Relationships > Marriage

Which is very exciting!


With all THAT going on, it has given me pause to reflect on love and romance and relationships... and marriage. It seems incredible and weird and unbelievable that I can say: Prince Charming and I have been married for TWENTY-EIGHT years -- wow -- and still going strong!

Yes, we started off very, very young: I was just 20 and he was 22. It doesn't even seem like that could be possible, then or now -- we're still way too young to be married that long, unruly silver hair (mine) and the accumulation of love and good food (about 20lbs for both of us), notwithstanding.

I have been married now for longer than I was not.

In the beginning, I was the Other Girl and he was the Wrong Boy -- according to my mother, anyway. I liked the motorcycle and his 'Bohemian lifestyle' (living on ramen and mac & cheese on his buddies' laundry porch -- one guy lived on the pool table).

We quickly disentangled ourselves from other relationships in the face of destiny and enjoyed our very own Summer of Love after my high school graduation in 1985. I was very young, at 17, and it took me a year or two to settle down and commit long-term, after enough first-year-college experience and variety to know he was The One. I never expected it to happen so early, but we both just knew (and we were right!).

We married on August 6, 1988, in a garden courtyard on a threatening-to-be-rainy day at our beloved Manor Farm Inn in Poulsbo, Washington, and the Adventure(s) began...

More than a quarter-century and three nearly-grown children later, it still seems so new, to my constant amazement. We still love each other, more every day, and we still like each other, too. I keep thinking, 25+ years into this, I should have some wisdom, the benefit of happily-ever-after experience, advice to share. Besides, you know, marry young and basically Imprint on each other...

People ask us the secret to a long and happy relationship?

For us, it's all about new Adventures and the appreciation of Magical Moments-- to create a life in which there are many of each. It keeps us together, always wondering (in a good way): What's next?!

As for advice, back to basics, the foundation:
The Rebel Housewife: Survival Guides (Surviving Happily Ever After!)
101 Sexy & Fun Love Notes:
Romantic Tips & Tricks to FIRE UP the Passion & Romance in Your Relationship

"The 101 Love Notes in this ebook are 'quickie' ideas -- fun, easy, realistic, and, in most cases, FREE!!! -- a starting place to spark your sexy, tickle your imagination and creativity, rev up your sense of fun and adventure, and help you develop, with your lover, a lifestyle of romance and passion."
Whether you've been together two years, or twenty, or just starting out, 101 Sexy & Fun Love Notes has something for everyone.

Read, enjoy, have fun -- freely share this article, and, if you would, please take the time to rate the ebook and write a little review on Amazon.com (super-easy-- here's how!). That would be AWESOME.

Live, Love, Laugh & LIGHT IT UP -- HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

For more fun & behind-the-scenes, connect with The Rebel Housewife on Social Media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheRebelHousewife
Twitter: @rebelupdate


Happy New Year & Daily Greatness in 2017

Happy New Year!

For once, I thought I would start the NEW YEAR all organized and ready to go. I even bought a fancy new journal -- The Daily Greatness Journal: A Practical Guide For Consciously Creating Your Days. [Note: that is an affiliate link-- you can save 5% if you are so inclined.]

I thought that would help, and I even started it last week. It's a very comprehensive system, with a daily schedule (6am to 8pm - I guess it's a day timer, literally), and all kinds of prompts and reminders and fill-in-the-blanks--
"Today I AM so grateful for..."

"My top 3 inspired actions for today are..."

"The mindset I wish to create today is..."

All very motivating and aspirational, and I had -- HAVE -- the best intentions.

It just seems, lately, as soon as I write something down, or make a To Do List, or decide on my Six Daily Actions For Success... something else comes up. Not bad things-- good things! A surprise visit from out-of-town friends... a family adventure... new ideas and opportunities... an old passion project to revive...

And maybe there's a lesson in all of this, and a case study for taking a more intuitive (some might say half-assed), approach to planning and organization.

The older and wiser I get, the less I know for sure, so we'll just go with it... and hope for the best, as always.

What's your plan for Daily Greatness in 2017?
Wishing you a truly fantastic start to it and much success, love, and happiness in the new year ahead!

For more fun & behind-the-scenes, connect with The Rebel Housewife on Social Media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheRebelHousewife
Twitter: @rebelupdate


How To Write A Kindle Book Review

How To Write a Kindle Book Review

by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife®

So, have you ever?
You don’t have to be a writer to express your opinion-- online retailers really want to know what you think! About the products you buy... clothes, household items, services, travel, and books (old-school or digital).

With Amazon.com and Kindle Book Reviews: K.I.S.S.
(Keep It Short & Simple—no stress!)

Amazon walks you gently through the whole process, whenever you finish a book, and offers many other review opportunities and reminders, as well.

You’ll notice, when reading on your Kindle, as you come close to 100% completed, a review screen pops up, often before you’re finished reading through the back material-- you know, the author interviews and reading guides, stuff like that (which I always read and enjoy).

“Before You Go...”

Review this book (Stars)
Title & Author (provided)
Title for your review (required)
Write your review here (required)

I recommend the following order:
1) Rate the book – 1 to 5 Stars
2) Write your review
3) Title your review & Submit

I’ll walk you through it-- easy-peasy!

First, the Amazon Star Ratings, 1 thru 5, are as follows:

★ - I hate it
★★ – I don’t like it
★★★ – It’s okay
★★★★ – I like it
★★★★★ – I love it

(I haven’t figured out how to rate on the half-star, so there’s no gray area here-- you like it or you love it, nothing in-between.)

Some Thoughts About Positive vs. Negative Reviews

This can be a touchy area, as other people rely on your honest, unbiased reaction to a book or product they are considering for purchase. There is a great deal of controversy and the potential for manipulation in reviews, either from false praise (generally for compensation or favor) or, at the other extreme, malicious, sometimes unwarranted, criticism and low ratings.

Amazon has gone to great lengths to keep their reviews honest, fair and legitimate (i.e. written by real people, not robots; ratings from people who have actually purchased and used the product, not fiverr gigs-for-hire). The dark side of reviews is a whole ‘nother conversation, and beyond the scope of this article. Keep it simple.

Should you leave a negative review? Sure, if it’s appropriate.
But... I don’t know... Is it worth your time and energy to continue to read or use something for which you would leave a 1- or 2-Star Rating and a negative review? Wouldn’t you just return the thing and move on to something more useful and enjoyable?

I was surprised to discover, over the years, I have 83 Reviews on Amazon.com, mostly for books, but occasionally I’ll leave feedback on other products or purchases, if I feel very strongly, one way or another.

In looking through those past reviews, I am generally positive and enthusiastic in my support. If I take the time to review-- usually a 4- or 5-Star Rating, and an honest, straightforward response of what I liked and maybe didn’t like so much. Of course, there are always exceptions... but again, that’s beside the point of this article.

[Maybe another time I can tell you about the ONE (1) time I left a 1-Star review (it wasn’t a book)... or you can read through the archives yourself in my Amazon Reviewer Profile.]

I don’t waste my time reading books I don’t LOVE or at least like a lot. My enthusiasm for reviewing is sharing great books! I’m an unpaid reviewer, although sometimes I’ll receive a free book for review, which I disclose. It’s not my job to spend time or effort on negative reviews-- unless there is a very good reason. (As was the case with the 1 Star.)

So choose your Stars carefully, but keep it simple, honest, and fun!
Here they are again:

★ - I hate it
★★ – I don’t like it
★★★ – It’s okay
★★★★ – I like it
★★★★★ – I love it

Writing the Review

Don’t worry about the title just yet. It’s easier to ‘blurb’ or come up with a great title after you write a little bit about the book.

How long should your review be?
As my copywriting editors always say... “However long it needs to be to make your point.”

You can write as much as you want-- I’ll say more about that in a minute. But the minimum, for Amazon standards, is 20 words to submit a review.

What should you say?

Amazon offers the following prompts or suggestions on the Kindle Review screen:

Why did you choose this rating?
What did you like or dislike?
Whom would you recommend this book to?

As with any written communication, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you are having a conversation--

-- What would you tell your best friend about this book or item?
-- What would you want to know?

In one sentence (write it down)...
-- What was this book about?

You’ll want to keep your review to a general overview, with enough specific detail to support your ideas-- i.e. beyond “It was a good book.” Why was it a good book?

Don’t give away major plot points, surprises, or the ending.

The best writing strategy to develop your ideas is the reliable fallback:
Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?

Here are some ideas/prompts to get you started:

-- Who is the book about? (Main Character or Group)
Or... Who wrote it? (Author)

-- What is the main story? (Plot/Conflict/Theme)

-- When & Where? (Setting: Time & Place)

-- Why? (Theme - What’s the point of the book?)
Or... Why did the author write this book?

-- How did you discover this book?

You don’t have to answer all of those questions, or any of them, necessarily, to come up with 20 words. This is not a graded essay-- you can write as much as you want, or just 20 well-chosen words to convey your message.

Another approach:
-- What did you like most about the book?
-- Any drawbacks? (critical analysis)

Finally... Title Your Review & Submit

The secret to writing the title?
Again: K.I.S.S. - Keep It Short & Simple

By this time, whether you have 20 words or 200 in your review, there’s something in there -- some engaging phrase or central statement -- you could use as your title, too.

If you’re having trouble with the title, or getting started on your review, read through some of the other reviews and comments to get an idea of flow and format.

Keep It Short & Simple-- and have fun with your reviews!


It's not all about menopause and women's humor!

Dear Reader,

At the moment, The Rebel Housewife is somewhat of a hodge-podge portfolio/archival site, and in transition. Please bear with me during renovation-- you never know what you might see!

I do want to let you know there is a NEW ARTICLE posted on Rebel Reviews (good, solid Literary Review-- nothing to do with Menopause, kids, or women's humor!)--
You should definitely check it out:

Mamet - When Books & Theater Collide

Here's a preview:

ATLANTA: There are a dozen reasons why you should check your calendar, get online, and reserve your seats immediately to see David Mamet’s American Buffalo LIVE, performed by Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta, February 9 – March 6, 2016.

The most important reason: It will make you a more interesting person. I promise. You will have something new and different to talk about -- the experience of live theatre, this play, by this theatre company, in particular -- Impress your friends, your colleagues, your boss!

What: Live Theatre - David Mamet's American Buffalo
Who: Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company
Where: Southwest Arts Center - Atlanta
When: February 9 - March 6, 2016
More Info: www.truecolorstheatre.org

Do you know Mamet?... continue :)


45 & Pregnant or... Oh. 

For the ladies...buckle up, girls, for an inside glimpse of the continuing journey...

45 & Pregnant or... Oh

by Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife® - All Rights Reserved.
For more information, contact Sherri@RebelHousewife.com

I remember waiting for It to start, in a very Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret kind-of-way, with excitement and growing concern, as all my friends seemed to start before me. I was 13 when It finally happened, and then I wasn't so excited anymore...what a pain!

Thirty-two years later, after the blessing of three healthy children, I suddenly find myself at the other end of the reproductive life cycle, waiting for a period that doesn't seem to be coming. I just hope, at forty-five that it's NOT pregnancy, God forbid; with three teenagers -- we're done! But the other reality, in many ways, is just as disconcerting.

Really? Is that it? Menopause. There, I said it.

WebMD tells us menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when she has not had a menstrual period for one year. That twelve-month transition is called perimenopause, and actually begins much earlier, as the equipment gradually begins to shut down. Perimenopause usually starts in a woman's 40s, but can begin earlier.

How's this for clarity:
"The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some women this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause (when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period)." -- WebMD Menopause Health Center

Well, now that I may have had it, that last period leading into menopause, it makes me sad that I didn't notice. I wasn't paying attention, and I am suddenly faced with my body shutting itself down and what...getting ready to die?

No, that is more than a little dramatic. Considering the alternative to this situation (pregnancy), there are many positives to menopause. I'm sure...thinking...

Well, for one thing, once the factory shuts down for good, Prince Charming and I can enjoy a spontaneous sex extravaganza (sorry, kids!), without the risk of another baby coming along...that’s sexy, right? (Prince Charming, God love him, assures me it is.)

If you believe those ED commercials, we'll be sexy, silver-haired seniors, humping it up all over the place -- riding motorcycles, sailing exotic locations, taking romantic bubble baths in the middle of the week -- oh!

It's not like I didn't see it coming. Just as my daughter entered her time, with all the resulting mood swings and drama, I noticed changes, enough to think it was ironic: just as she was going through puberty, I was entering the extreme after-puberty, all perfectly normal:

Hot Flashes = Check
Mood Swings = OMG, Check
Difficulty Sleeping = Hello, my 4AM Facebook crowd!

There's more, but you get the idea.

Last year, my OB/GYN said it was "much" too early, but look at my hair -- I am 100% silver. My chiropractor, who, after 16 years, is a good friend and trusted doctor, gave me some herbal horse pills about the same time, in response to my whining, and I am addicted. ProFema™ made those early uncomfortable symptoms abate somewhat, even making the mood swings more, but not completely, manageable. (No, I am not getting paid for that mention!)

You don't miss something until you lose it. I don't miss it, I am just shocked that's where we are now, trying not to feel old and used up. I am Cougar, hear me roar. Meow.

- - -

Update - pregnancy test. I've only had to take a few more in my life than I was prepared for (meaning hoping for positive results). Forty-five years old, with a senior in high school, buying a pregnancy test, as quickly and inconspicuously as possible...peeing on a stick, waiting for lines to appear: two = pregnant, hoping for the single = not pregnant...3 minutes...

Single line, folks. You know what that means -- yay?