4 Ingenious Tactics That Sucked Me in to Lifetime’s “Petals on the Wind”

I’ll admit it. When I first heard Lifetime was remaking the whole VC Andrews “Flowers in the Attic” series, I was pretty skeptical. I’ve read all of (the REAL) V.C. Andrews books an unhealthy number of times so I’ve always been a secret fan. I worried when Lifetime took on this project because fans like me get pretty ticked if they change too much stuff, and their previous translations of book to movie is much like me attempting Chinese in Shanghai–at best, humorously off the mark, and at worst offensive. But, even though they did a really good job with “Flowers in the Attic,” I’ve never been too excited about sequels.

Take for example their rendition of pretty much any Jodi Picoult’s books. I’ll watch it because 1) It’s (kind of ) Jodi Picoult and 2) It’s similar to watching your neighbors fight in the back yard. You know you should look away but it’s just too entertaining.

That being said (and I hate it when people use this phrase), last night’s rendition of “Petals in the Wind” KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF. And I wasn’t even wearing socks. I’ll go to the doctor later.

The remake of V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic” was pretty good, especially compared to the overacted original that just tried too hard. I’ll tell you what sucked me into “Petals on the Wind.”

1) A compelling trailer. OH MY LANTA. If you haven’t watched it yet, use the link above to get a peek. It’s all kinds of crazy and messed up, plus you see Corrine SETTING HER MOM’S BED ON FIRE WITH A CANDELABRA.  I mean, what angst-riddled teen hasn’t fantasized about that? Just kidding, Mom. I’m over 40 and I don’t even have a candelabra.

2)The music. Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” was the PERFECT song for this twisted revenge classic. Cathy’s coming for you, Corrine. And she won’t even notice because Corrine’s coming for HER mom, who is also a hateful hag. Corrine’s a hag, she just looks good while doing it. (Side note: on IMBD’s site, they actually have Corrine’s mom (just called the Grandmother) pictured with the words  “Holy Hag” underneath it. So wrong…yet so funny.

3) The ripped guys. Every single guy in this movie is stinking ripped. Not that I care, being a happily married woman to my own ripped guy, but come on. There’s a scene where a guy delivers a package to the house. Ripped. The grocer at the local market: double ripped. Ok that scene didn’t happen, but if it did…ripped. I think it’s against the law that anyone with more than 2% body fat must be run out of town, or set on fire by a candelabra.

4) While they were replaying “Flowers in the Attic” to refresh the audience, in the top right screen there was a countdown ticker letting us know exactly how long we had to wait for “Petals on the Wind.” Genius! I mean, the ticker added a sense of urgency and excitement (OMG! Only  49 minutes until “Petals on the Wind!”). It really got my adrenaline pumping, and I was just sitting on the recliner with glass of tea. Imagine if I’d been actually DOING something! My heart would have given out.

Well done, Lifetime! Can’t wait for the next installment!

So you think you can’t be a hostess…

Jenny is one of the best hostesses I know. Such good advice from a pro!

all things messy...


So your friends are all talking about how they want to get together, and how much fun it would be to just have dinner together, relax and laugh for a while…but nobody is offering their home to do it in. Do you:

A.  Fumble nervously in your purse and grin and bear the awkward silence until somebody else offers their house first


B.  Offer to have everyone at your house…and then maybe freak out

Does hosting gatherings at your house stress you out?  Does the thought of having people over for dinner make you feel nauseous? Well, fear no more! With a few simple steps (and possibly an anti-anxiety medicine or a drink), you can do this and feel totally prepared and at ease when your guests arrive, promise!

Let me start off first by saying that I think the reason that people get so worried and stressed out…

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Simple Shortcut Strawberry Shortcake

We having a cookout today and I’m making this super easy dessert. It’s so good and goes surprisingly far, considering how much Mancub loves strawberries. I must admit I’m making this pretty dessert in part because Watergirl is visiting.

Simple Shortcut Strawberry Shortcake
One Sara Lee pound cake
2 packages strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 can Ready Whip

Put the strawberries in a large bowl. Add the sugar and water, tossing lightly.
Take out a cup or so of the strawberries and put the in the blender for a couple of seconds, then pour the mixture back in the bowl.
Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Slice the pound cake and put on an individual plate. Cover with strawberries and a bit of juice. Next, use about half a ton of whipped cream.


5 Things I Learned As A Military Wife

My hubby, The Engineer, and I, met when we were mere toddlers. Ok, a bit older, but not much–I was 15 and he was 16. We began dating when I was 17, and the second I turned 18 we got married. Ah–so young…ah, so dumb. BUT we are still here–all these years later, and Memorial Day, as well as Veterans’ Day always reminds me of those years when he enlisted in the Navy.

There will be lots of posts about reverence for the military this weekend–as well there should be–but I’m saving this post for the Navy wives, who keep the home fires burning while their sailors are gone. 

Being a Navy wife is pretty tough. Being a new (teen) mother 1500 miles away from family is pretty tough. Here are 5 things I learned during those Navy years.

1. Navy wives stick closer than a sister. When it’s 11:00 at night and you just used your last diaper you don’t call Ghost Busters, you call your bestie next door. Nothing bonds you to complete strangers like little kids and 9 months without your man. I still talk to my friends from this time in marriage–even though it’s been over 20 years.

2. The commissary rocks. It’s one of the perks–you can get a lot of food for less there, and sometimes it’s just good to get out and see people. Do go see people, please. It gives you a whole new perspective and can help lift the gloom for a bit.

3. Communication with your man matters. If you can’t talk or Skype, emails and good old fashioned letters go a long way to keep those stretched family ties intact.

4. A picture says MORE than 1000 words. You can never send enough pictures to your hubby when he’s deployed. Even the most mundane shots of you cooking dinner can go a long way to make a dent in the homesickness.

5. Make room for Daddy. It’s hard to give up control of anything when you’ve been running it your way for several months, but there’s always a happy medium. You don’t have to do all, be all anymore, because at least for now, your man is home! 

Thank you Navy wives. You’ll always have a special place in my heart. 

On Justice for Others and Mercy for Ourselves–and Pie!

“The justice we are seeking is God’s justice—justice that leaves no one out, no one left behind. His justice breaks chains, rids the world of injustice, frees the oppressed, cancels debts. He’s interested in seeing us share our food with the hungry, invite the homeless and poor into our lives, put clothes on the shivering ill-clad, and be fully present to our own families.” From Bessey’s Jesus Feminist.

When I hear the word justice, I picture movies about the Old West–a five-man posse showing up to run the outlaws out of town, or even better–seeing those yeller bellies hanging high from the newly constructed gallows. Ten gallon hats, pistols gleaming in the noonday sun, the LAW is here. The townsfolk rejoice, and usually the women bake a bunch of pies to celebrate. Hey, it’s my blog so I can put pies in it if I want!

It’s so easy to demand justice when we are wronged while begging for mercy when we do wrong. A thin, razor’s edge separate the two and it’s difficult to skate along the slippery surface for too long. This is what we call hypocrisy, or by its other name, humanity.

Every person in the world is guilty of hypocrisy, practically every day of our lives, because we are inherently selfish beings. Americans may be the worst in this area because we are the most blessed.

We have so much of everything available…we turn on a faucet to fresh clean water, we open the refrigerator we had to buy to store all of our food, we gain weight because we don’t know when to stop…I am the first one in line for this indulgence.

There are so many in need we don’t have to look very far to see them. Sometimes they are in our own country, our own city, our own family. What am I doing to help those within my own four walls? Within the small list of people I’m related to? Would they ask me for my help if I were too blind to see? Is my personality approachable, my heart transparent enough to step outside of my own daily tasks to be the hands of Jesus?

And then, the last part: being fully present. My heart cringes at this one because I already feel the conviction. When I’m picking Mancub up in the morning after school, do I take a moment and chat with him in the quiet of the car, or is my mind full of countless meaningless things that can just WAIT? When I’m with my husband, am I actively communicating my love for him or am I so busy doing stupid crap on my iPhone to notice he’s hurting? When my daughter approaches me while I’m washing dishes, her silent presence her way of asking to talk to me, do I dismiss her without even knowing?

Dear God, please help me to be your eyes to see those in need, your hands to help others, your ears to hear other’s suffering, and your voice to speak comfort. Help pull me away from my selfishness and show me your mercy and leave the justice to you.


Want more? Get Tina’s new Amazon Best-Seller book Cold Coffee and Speed Limits!

Tina Bausinger has published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, IN Magazine, and the Tyler Paper. She's working on her Ed.D at A&M Commerce.

Tina Bausinger has published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, IN Magazine, and the Tyler Paper. She’s working on her Ed.D at A&M Commerce, but rarely has any clean laundry or groceries at the house.

5 Life Lessons I Learned from Watching “Little House on the Prairie”

Ok, I’m a bit of a dork. Some might even say “sappy dork.” I’m a sucker for mushy love songs, valentines cards and romantic dates. I also, for as long as I remember, have loved shows like “Little House on the Prairie” or corny Hallmark movies based loosely on any Janette Oke book EVER WRITTEN. It doesn’t matter what it is … I will watch it. And God help us ALL if there’s some kind of marathon on because life as we know it will come to a screeching halt so I can watch Half-Pint trudge up the side of that windy mountain to pray to God to save her little brother. I’ll sit there, tears pouring out, a sob in my chest, transfixed, waiting for Pa and Mr. Edwards to find her. Everything is right in the world.

I love stories about the first pioneers settling the Old West. Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t last five minutes living in the Ingalls family’s tiny lopsided shack, stripped bare of running water, air conditioning, and proper plumbing. But it’s still nice to dream about a simpler time, before Pizza Hut and Mine Craft, Rated R TV shows and emails. For real.

When somebody asked me why I love these shows so much, I realized there are some very applicable life lessons to be learned from these kinds of shows. For brevity’s sake, I’ve listed 5 for you.

1. Ma and Pa can do ANYTHING. Build a log cabin from split logs? Check. Kill a chicken and have it on the table for dinner? Check. Plant 105 acres of wheat with nothing but a mule and muscle? Check check. They don’t need anyone’s help, they don’t need credit cards, and they don’t owe anyone anything. Can I get an amen from the house? If Caroline was here right now, I’d give her a fist bump, if she had the time.

2. There’s nothing a good fiddlin’ session can’t cure. Burly, tanned Pa, after working the fields all day, whips out his fiddle for a couple of hours, and everything is right in the world. Can you tell I had a bit of a crush on Michael Landon as a girl? Is it that obvious?

3. Sometimes, people just need their butts kicked. There was rarely an episode where Pa didn’t, after a lot of prayer and seeking God’s will, punch somebody’s lights out who REALLY HAD IT COMING. Pioneer justice RULES. Did anybody come put Pa in jail for assault and battery? Nah. First of all, they didn’t have one and it would take the next town’s sheriff approximately 40 days to travel there to even enquire about it. Go Pa!

4. Fashion is an option. Remember how all the Ingalls girls wore the exact same dress to Sunday School each week? Ma, in yet another selfless act of devotion, took the light blue material meant to be used to make her own dress to miraculously sew three dresses for her rag-tag kiddoes. I don’t know how much material Pa thought Ma needed, but I’d be super mad if it stretched THAT far. Can you imagine how much it would cut down on laundry if your kids only had one school outfit and one church outfit? Man.

5. Family comes first, and good friends are worth their weight in gold. Even in Walnut Grove, you sometimes need backup. You never know when you’ll need them if the bull gets out or someone comes down with the influenza or a real bad cold or smallpox.

Hey look! It’s a Little House marathon. I can’t wait to see what that Nellie Oleson is gonna try this time!


10 Great Quotations from Writers about Books

What’s your favorite book?

Interesting Literature

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. – Oscar Wilde

Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other? – David Baldacci

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Books are the mirrors of the soul. – Virginia Woolf

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes. – Erasmus

Books old

A person who publishes a book wilfully appears before the populace with his pants down. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

A book must be an ice axe to break the frozen sea within us. – Franz Kafka

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the…

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Ten Most Haunting Male Literary Characters

Love this! Heathcliff is my fave!

Johnny Reads

ImagePhoto Credit: Bubblews

Recently a survey was conducted of the British public to determine who they believed to be the most haunting male literary characters. Before I read the original article I had two characters immediately come to mind. One made the list and one did not. But who cares who I was thinking, let’s get into the list.

#10. Kevin – We need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver

Kevin doesn’t sound all that haunting to me, but I’ve also never read the book. Eh. Moving on.

#9 Caliban – The Tempest, William Shakespeare

I’ve read very little Shakespeare in my life. Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. When I say I read Hamlet, I mean I listened to the chapter reviews in class so that I could get a 100 on the tests without ever reading a single page. High school is fun like that…

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For Your Entertainment: My Chihuahua Does the Sexy Dance.

For Your Entertainment: My Chihuahua Does the Sexy Dance..

BitLit Helps You Get E-Book Versions Of The Physical Books You Already Own

This is amazing, and very applicable to book geeks like myself.