Derfwad Book Giveaway!

Updated 5/5: The winner of Kicks Like a Girl is  Ilyanna. Congrats you! Send Mrs. G. you're address and she'll order it to be sent to you pronto. Thanks to all who threw their name in the hat. We hope it becomes a best seller, Melissa!

Our very own Melissa Westemeier (Green Girl in Wisconsin) has written her third book, Kicks Like a Girl. A former high school English teacher-turned SAHM, Melissa blogs about environmental issues (Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet), and her adventures raising 3 boys and a ton of fresh produce on her family’s 60-acre homestead in Northeastern Wisconsin. Her current projects include a trilogy about a river town in Wisconsin, earning her 3rd degree black belt in karate and figuring out what to make for dinner tonight. Mrs. G. met Melissa during the Derf Road Trip and she is a very cool woman, strong and fierce.

Gretchen Benton is the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding when she gets drunk, says exactly the wrong thing and feels alone in the midst of all the couples. She can't avoid weddings--she's a florist. She also can't avoid the thugs who break into her shop and assault her the following night. To combat her fear after her attack, Gretchen enrolls in karate classes at a local dojo. Soon she's caught between her handsome martial arts instructor and the cute cop assigned to her case. As she begins mastering the basics of karate (while sweating enough to make her mascara run), Gretchen learns that kicking like a girl doesn't imply weakness, it means striking hard and striking with style.

Mrs. G. loves the sparkle and humor in Kicks Like a Girl. She read it in two nights. The main character, Gretchen, is Mrs. G's kind of woman.

If you would like your own brand new copy of Kicks Like a Girl by Melissa Westemeier, just leave a comment and that's it. Comments close Sunday night, May 4th @ 12am EST. Mrs. G. will announce the winner on Monday and ship it out the same day. She is happy to ship international. Good luck and happy reading.


Full Confessional Friday! 5/2/2014

Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister.  


Gut Update

This is unsettling and heavy on "female" parts, so if you're squeamish, come back tonight for a funny post and a book giveaway.

On Monday, Mrs. G. started having stomach pain, but she just went on about her day with stomach pain. She's stoic like that.

We all know she's not, but let's just pretend to make her feel better about her overall being. Is that really too much to ask, people?

By Monday night, the pain was unbearable so Mr. G. drove her to the ER, where she spent the night while they tried to figure out what was wrong with her...beyond the obvious. On Tuesday, they discovered she has a cyst on her right ovary. Mrs. G. lost her left ovary to the same kind of cyst a few years ago. This time around, she's not freaked out about ovarian cancer, mainly because the last cyst was benign, so the chance that this same kind of cyst on her right ovary is malignant is very unlikely. What freaks her out is that if the pain doesn't stop in the next week or so, the chances are she will need to have this ovary removed and that will shoot her straight into menopause, the full meal deal. She fears this will lead to all kinds of trouble, mainly Mr. G. having to move out of the state house while her fake hormones are adjusted.

She jokes, but she is worried and would really like to hang on to her remaining ovary. 

She should have some solid answers in the next two weeks and for the most part, she feels pretty decent.

Good thoughts are welcome.

I'm sure Mr. G. would welcome some as well.


The Helpline by Clara B.

Dear Clara B,

There is a group of women at work who are nice enough to me, but they frequently go out to lunch without inviting me or discuss things they did over the weekend together. I've tried to let it roll off my back but it really hurts my feelings. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Dear Derf,

I'm reminded of the Frank Zappa quote, "Life is like high school, except you get money".  Even when we're all supposedly adults, everyone seems to fall into a clique.  You'd think we would all be past that, but it always seems to happen in almost every work place in some way or another. 

It's natural for you to feel hurt or left out, and it could be that they don't realize that they're excluding you.  Yes, people can really be that obtuse.  And you don't want to try too hard with them because then you worry about looking like you're kissing up.  

If this group of gals are friendly enough, the easiest thing to do is take the initiative and and invite them to lunch with you.  Maybe you heard of a great new restaurant, or maybe there's a fresh piece of mancake working at the deli near you that you all could ogle while he slices his meat.  Heh.  I said 'meat'.  Anyway, it really is as simple as that.  Put on your friendliest smile and invite them to lunch.  The worst thing that will happen is they will say no.  

Don't fret too much over it if you can.  From what I've experienced in the working world, office friendships can be trickier to navigate than those high school cliques.  And if they do say no, it's OK.  If their circle is that tightly closed, you probably wouldn't have much fun in there, anyway.  There's always someone else in the office that's looking for a lunch buddy.

Derfs, what are your experiences with office friendships?  

If anyone has a question they would like me to answer, drop me a line at


Paging Doctor Doug Ross...Code Blue at Derfwad Manor

It was all over the news yesterday that Mrs. G's Secret Boyfriend #9 is engaged to whoever. Mrs. G. is flagging at half-mast today. Please bow your heads and hearts for...

And then...



Let's hope the happy couple's engagement _________(fill in the blank)


Previously published October, 2007


Disclaimer: Mrs. G. has been married for almost eighteen years to the same man, Mr G. He is handsome, kind, loyal, and doesn't do household chores of any kind is a wonderful father. Many, many people (some of whom do not reside at Derfwad Manor) believe he makes the best pasta sauce in the world. Period. He uses a secret ingredient, and he will not share it with anyone, because Mr. G. is Sicilian and that's just the way they are.

Mrs. G's hearts a poundin' as she introduces George Timothy Clooney as her Secret Boyfriend #9. She says secret boyfriend because while her love and esteem for George is as dramatic and exciting as a trip to the ER, he has no idea that Mrs. G. exists. Ahh...Mrs. G. thinks unrequited love is healthy in a long term marriage she wants to last.

It all began in 1979 when Mrs. G. loved watching a TV show called The Facts of Life. The show was set in a dormitory of an all-girls school, EastlandAcademy. Mrs. G. was fond of all the girls on the show, but she really  liked Jo the best. Jo was a tomboy and she didn't take any crap and she had beautiful eyes. Mrs. G. liked Jo so much that she put a poster of her up on her wall, causing her mother to light candles and pray the rosary because of Mrs. G's enthusiastic affection. Six seasons later, a handy man named George Burnett showed up (see above) at Eastland Academy. Mrs. G. forgot all about Jo and turned all of her attention toward George. Mrs. G's mother breathed a sigh of relief and resumed her dream of future grandchildren. When reminiscing about his Facts of Life days, George said, "If I surved a mullet, I can survive anything."
He survived all right. Mrs. G. went on to college while George wrapped things up with the Eastland Girls. They reconnected when George played the cocky boss Booker Brooks on the Roseanne show. Booker had a little something something going on with Roseanne's sister, Jackie. Mrs. G. wanted to run her fingers through Booker's floppy hair. Above, George is standing next to Max, his beloved pot bellied pig who unfortunately died in 2006.

Things really started heating up in 1994, when George starred in a little show called ER.  He played Dr. Doug Ross and he was the original  Mcdreamy, he laid the foundation for all future and less worthy, McdreamiesER was hugely popular, and it was at this point that Mrs. G. had to start fighting other women off, mainly a slut nurse named Carol Hathaway who went on to molest Dr. Doug Ross for six seasons until she trapped him by getting pregnant with twins. They both left the show after season six to move to Seattle and raise their twin daughters. Not many people know this, but Doug and Carol divorced bitterly in 2000, the year Mrs. G. and her family moved back to Washington. Hmmmm....coincidence?
OK, Reader, just look at this handsome bastard. Doesn't he scream old school like Cary Grant? Suave and debonair, George can work a tuxedo like nobody's business. Look at those come hither eyes and that naughty smile. When nobody is watching, just lean over and kiss the screen. Mrs. G. won't tell.
Could George's Danny Ocean and his modern day Rat Pack have been any cooler than in this movie? George is one of only two men to be featured on the cover of Vogue and People magazine voted him Sexiest Man Alive in 1997 and 2006. Women want him and men want to be him. Mrs. G. just wants to hug him. A lot.

Lest, Reader, you think George is just all about handsome, he donated one million dollars to the Hurricane Relief Fund for victims of Katrina. In April of 2006, he spent 10 days in Chad and Sudan with his father to make a film aboutDarfur's refugees. This year, he founded Not on our Watch , along with his fellow Ocean's Eleven actors Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and JerryWeintraub , to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Dafur.
George says he will never marry (edited: liar) and spends much of his time at his home in the Italian village of Laglio. He recently told an interveiwer, "I bought a piano once because I had the dream of playing As Time Goes By  as some girl's leaning on it drinking a martini. Great image. But none of it worked out. I can't even play Chopsticks." Mrs. G. loves martinis and Chopstix. Is it any wonder George Clooney is her Secret Boyfriend #9?

Ciao Baby!

Who Knew Imaginary Rats Could Shed Light on Humanity

For the last several weeks, Mrs. G. has had recurring nightmares about rats running around inside her house walls. She hears the scritching and the scratching and wakes up in a full body sweat. For the first few weeks, Mr. G. would calm her down and comfort and reassure her. Now he just pokes her and says, "NO RATS." 

Today, someone was mean to Mrs. G, cruel really. This person, not a particularly close friend -- more of an occasional coffee date, laid out her years of grievances with Mrs. G. Grievances Mrs. G. was legitimately unaware of, which is weird because Mrs. G. is pretty in tune when she's being a jerk. She has been known to apologize for things that other people have completely forgotten. She's certainly no saint but she's not completely detached when she acts like an ass. She's not in a fugue state when she's being mouthy. But the truth in this situation was she was blindsided. Mrs. G. thought she was having a triple latte and a how's life conversation without the heaping side of you are a bitch and have always been a bitch.

Mrs. G. was so exhausted by the end of her friend's list of all the shit she had done wrong, Mrs. G. didn't have the energy to defend herself or disagree, plus she didn't buy the bill of goods this person was selling, and that just took the wind right out of her fishwife, harpy sails. Mrs. G, solid as a rock, heard the imaginary scritch scratch of rats in her walls. "No Rats," as Mr. G. would mumble in his sleep.

So Mrs. G. chose kindness. Does this make any sense to those of you who have not been not diagnosed as off-base by paid medical professionals? There were no rats -- only the nightmarish shadows of ill-natured vermin so many of us fear, so Mrs. G. finished her latte, hugged her friend and wished her the best.

Mrs. G. thinks she just happened to be at the wrong coffee shop at the wrong time, and her friend was loaded for bear.

Since third grade when Philip Wong called her four eyes and heifer, Mrs. G. has built some fairly solid suppositions on bullies.

1) If you are mean, the chances are you know you are mean and are an insecure mess. Get some help.

2) If your parents were mean, Mrs. G. truly feels for you and, again, encourages you to get some help.

3) If you are mean, your kids are likely mean, so don't act so surprised when the school calls.

4) If you are mean, surround yourself with kind people and try to reign your hostility in. Kindness is catching.

5) If you are mean, find the courage to let someone love you, because they will.

Mrs. G. is not a therapist, psychiatrist, a hairdresser or a bartender -- she hasn't been schooled in counseling people, so take everything she says with a grain of salt and the reality that you can't squeeze blood out of her turnip. She's just a human who has been human.

Mrs. G. left the coffee shop satisfied with herself. Kindness is sometimes hard, especially when you are dealing with assholes ( See, Mrs. G. still struggles), but it's light and airy in comparison to the brick-like solidity of hate.

As Mrs. G. slides past middle age, she wants to leave the planet and her people safe and secure in the knowledge she loved them hard during the good times and the dirty dog bullshit. She wants her kindness to prevail in their memories of her crazy ass.

For your information, despite this post being all over the place, Mrs. G. is sober. Tonight she is just feeling defensive for love and light, and she felt the need to fling it on the page before she went to bed.

In summation: Be kind, be kinder even when it hurts, peace to you and yours and sweet dreams.


*Resources to prevent bullying 


Full Confessional Friday...With a Twist

Mrs. G. has noticed that many of us have issues that annoy or exhaust us and goals we are too fearful to even attempt to achieve. So, she decided this week that we each need to set a goal(s) that we will work hard to meet by Friday, May 23rd. That's four weeks to take a big or small step. And should you just think eh, she'll never know. Mrs. G. will find you and check in on your success. She has her ways. When she's not hooking, she's working part time at the NSA. No kidding, though, you can't dodge her. Don't freak out. Your goal can be as simple as changing the sheets.

Confess as always, but don't forget to set your goal(s). Let's do this for ourselves and each other.


Be it Venial or Mortal (there's no escaping Original), we've all got secrets -- light, dark, funny, sad -- worth bringing to light. The act of confession can be liberating, mollifying and entertaining. Contrition? Repentance? A shot of Tequila? That's your call, sister.  


Losing Yourself for the Better

Mrs. G. changed his name for privacy purposes but this is really him! Thanks Google.

When Mrs. G. was in college, she was flat out in love with Professor Wright. He didn't know she existed, but how could he when he had at least three hundred students in his Survey of Early American History. Mrs. G. was just a face in the crowd, a face in the crowd that wanted to kiss his at least fifty-year-old cheeks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when class was in session.

Professor Wright always wore a trench coat and lugged a battered brief case on his way to class. He had unruly salt and pepper hair and was constantly pushing his thick glasses back in place. He read while he was walking around campus, oblivious to those around him. He was a fixture on campus, so most students knew that if Professor Wright was strolling down the sidewalk with his nose in a book, to get the hell out of the way.

If you spoke to Professor Wright out of class or in his office, he came off as a shy, unassuming man who was a little uncomfortable in his skin. It was clear he was most satisfied inside his books. His office was overflowing with them.

But when this shy, unassuming man was lecturing about Agrarianism or the Civil War, he was in his element. He became alive, worked up, nearly beside himself. Every once in a while, when he was really into, say, the battle of Antietam or Shiloh, he would climb up on his desk, swing his arms around and smile, truly stirred by the extraordinary information he was sharing. When Professor Wright climbed up on his desk, the energy shifted in class. Some students, like Mrs. G, were into it, others snickered like he was a wack job, while still others just couldn't wrap their minds around the fact he was standing on university issued furniture. But Professor Wright's goal, Mrs. G thinks, was to bring history to life, fire his students up, and he mostly succeeded. One afternoon, a student had his head down on his desk sleeping, and Professor Wright threw a pencil at his head. Nobody felt bad for the guy because when Professor Wright was standing on his desk, shit was real.

Mrs. G. hasn't seen Professor Wright for over twenty years. She hopes he's still alive walking the streets of Eugene with his face in a book. It's hard not to admire the daring stoutheartedness it takes to climb up on a real or metaphorical desk and share your genuine self, what really makes you tick, even at the risk of being mocked. Professor Wright did that and Mrs. G. thanks him for it. And to this day she has a fervid attachment to personal passions, odd birds and unruly salt and pepper hair.