Posted in Humor posts

adventures with cell phones

Penny Zeller, Christian Author
According to Pew, “As of May 2013, 91% of American adults have a cell phone.”

Wow! Whatever did we do before cell phones?

When Lon and I were first married, cell phones were anything but commonplace. For one thing, they were too expensive for the average person. So why then did a newly-married couple with no money to their name own a cell phone?

I should explain.

The Little Brown Caw
The Little Brown Caw

We didn’t actually own a cell phone. Well not a real one anyway. Instead, we purchased an imitation cell phone – a toy – that looked just like the real thing from Shopko for $3.99.

Then we took to the roads and cruised around town in our classy 1980 Dodge Challenger, which we nicknamed “The Little Brown Caw” (using the word “caw” instead the word “car” for a fake New Yorker accent, even though we weren’t from New York, but that’s a story for another time).

Lon would drive and I would “chat” on the phone, hamming it up for the onlookers who pulled up next to us at the stoplight. I could see the confused look on their faces. Why would a couple spend more on their phone than on their $150 mode of transportation?

Years later, we owned a real cell phone. Yep, one of those Motorola phones in a bag with a curly cord.

Today we still have adventures with cell phones. Case in point:

When I first owned a cell phone with texting capabilities, I quickly realized the hazards of texting when I decided to try it for the first time. cell phone 2

Feeling rather suave with my new phone, I texted Lon the words: “Hey Babe, wanna do lunch?”

I waited for his reply, but soon realized I had inadvertently texted the last person I had spoken to on my phone rather than Lon.

Yes, you guessed it. I had just asked the a local repairman if he’d like to do lunch.

Or the case with my mom. On her way to visiting us this summer, she called Lon from the road. “Hey Lon, this is Mom.”

Sadly, Mom had misdialed and was actually speaking to some unknown man. He told her he had no idea who she was.

But she thought it really was Lon and that he was teasing.

“Oh, come on Lon. I know you, you’re just joking around with me. You can’t fool me. I’ve known you way too long.”

The man continued to insist he had no idea who she was.

After many minutes of lengthy back-and-forth chitchat, Mom eventually realized it really wasn’t Lon.

And finally, the case of my grandma, Nanie, and her recent adventure with her cell phone.

rear-view-of-passengers-in-an-airplane-1342969-mNanie is still attempting to figure out her new cell phone. As she was flying to see some grands and great-grands, she was happily chatting on the phone. What Nanie didn’t realize was that she wasn’t the only one in on the conversation.

She hadn’t figured out the speaker phone button and everyone on the plane was privy to her conversation with her friend!

Some time later, a fellow passenger tapped her on the shoulder and asked if Nanie knew her phone conversation was being broadcast all over the cabin of the plane.

Nanie wondered why her friend on the phone seemed to be speaking louder than usual. 🙂

What are some of your hilarious moments with cell phones?

Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

And the winners are…

I am thrilled to announce the winners for two of my previous giveaways. The winner of Deborah H. Bateman’s awesome book Beatitudes: How to Live a Blessed Life is…

Nancy Meacham Cole!

And the winner of Matt Patterson’s touching and heartwarming My Emily is…

Janet Estridge!

Congratulations Nancy and Janet! I will be in touch with you shortly. Thank you to everyone who entered. Be sure to stop by tomorrow when I’ll have my awesome author friend, Lisa Buffaloe, here to share and offer a giveaway of her new book Nadia’s Hope. I also have some fantastic other giveaways coming up with some of my favorite author friends including Deborah Raney, Darlene Franklin, JoAnn Durgin, and Sharon Srock just to name a few.

Also, each Monday, I’ll continue to have movie reviews from a Christian worldview of suggestions for your next family movie night. You can read the archives here.  Every other Thursday, I’ll be including my humor and inspirational posts.  You won’t want to miss one of my most popular inspirational posts 7 Ways to Encourage Your Children and one of my most popular humor posts You Might Be an Historical Fiction Author If…

Thank you, as always, for taking time to stop by and read my blog.  I appreciate you so much.

Have a blessed week!



Posted in Humor posts

Real-life Funnies

Penny Zeller, Christian Author
And now we interrupt this blog for some real-life funnies!

1. A case of mistaken identity.

The other day my daughters and I were at the local YMCA where we spend most of our time. I’m seriously thinking of just moving in with sleeping bags and suitcases since it already feels as though we live there due to my girls’ nonstop athletic activities.

The day was long and we’d just finished with practice. As we walked through the crowded hallway, I saw a man I knew from church. “Hi J.R.!” I exclaimed. “How are you?”

He smiled and nodded. “Fine. And you?”

“Doing good,” I answered.

It wasn’t until we arrived home and I was cooking dinner that I realized something very disturbing about the acquaintance from church named J.R. I had called him the wrong name! His name wasn’t J.R. It was Nathan!

2.  Nicknames for classmates who are boys.

The other day my oldest announced to me that our youngest was in trouble for calling the boys in her class at school names. “Doodle,” I asked our youngest, “What were calling the boys at school?”

I braced myself for the worst.

“Mom, they were swinging on the swings at school,” Doodle answered, trying to avoid the question.

“That’s fine, but what were you calling them?” I asked.

“Chihuahuas,” she muttered.

“Mom, the boys got mad at her,” announced tattletale Sunshine. “They don’t like being called Chihuahuas.”

I spent the next several minutes explaining to Doodle why no one wants to be called a dog…

No matter how cute they are, no one wants to be called a dog.

3. Back for seconds…and thirds…and fourths…

Those of you who follow my blog know that my grandpa, Papa, passed away in December, 2009, and I love sharing memories of him. During one of our visits with my grandparents, Lon took Papa out for lunch at the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral. Lon laughed as he recounted to me later the story of how Papa, who was on a restricted diet due to heart disease, took full advantage of the lunch – a lunch without my grandma there to keep an eye on him.

For starters, Papa put a small  baked potato and a piece of meatloaf on his plate. “It’s good to be healthy,” Papa told Lon.

Would Papa’s secret be safe with Lon?

After Papa quickly finished the baked potato and meatloaf, he went for seconds. Lon figured he’d come back with more “healthy”‘ foods…maybe some green beans, salad, or steak.

Not so. Papa had loaded his plate with several slices of chocolate pie. He then returned to the buffet line for chocolate cake…not once, not twice, but several times more. “Now, this is just between us,” said Papa in between bites of chocolate cake. “Don’t tell Nanie [my grandma] about how I’m having a few pieces of cake.”

Lon nodded. Yes, some things were left best between a man and his grandpa.

4. Kids say the funniest things…

I love the things that come out of the mouths of babes. Sunshine and Doodle were playing with their toy horses the other day. Eavesdropping, I heard Sunshine say, “Now, Doodle, you pretend that you are nine-years-old and middle-aged.” My eyes popped out of my head. Since when was nine-years-old middle aged…and more importantly…as one in my 30s, what did that make me? An antique? A fossil?

I’d love to hear some of your real-life funnies! As Proverbs 15:13 tells us,  “a happy heart makes the face cheerful….”

Be sure to check out my other recent humor post about some hilarious names parents name their children in What’s in a Name…

Posted in author interviews, book giveaways, guest posts

And the winner is…

Well, actually, we have two winners! Drumroll please…

The winner of John Hileman’s book Messages is Linda!

And the winner of Laura Hilton’s book A Harvest of Hearts is C.C. Almon!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Winners, you will be notified by the authors about winning and CONGRATULATIONS!

Don’t forget to visit every Thursday for great author interviews, giveaways, and guest posts. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming up in the near future…

Thursday, October 20 – Author Stephanie Shott

October 27 – Author K. Dawn Byrd

November 3 – Author Amanda Beth

November 10 – Author Jo Huddleston

Also coming up next…

Monday, October 24 – Movie Monday – another awesome movie review for your family!

Tuesday, October 25 – How to know you’re a writer of historical fiction (my humor post)

Monday, October 31 – Movie Monday


Posted in Humor posts

why I’m not a master chef

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

One evening, Lon was called back to work. “Don’t worry,” I assured him. “I can grill the pork chops.”

“Don’t forget to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.” Lon is a master with the BBQ grill and he had planned on grilling the pork chops for our dinner that night. As he headed out the door, he asked, “Are you sure you can handle the grilling?”

“No problem,” I said. “What can be so hard about grilling?”  

 I dreamed of winning awards for being a BBQ chef and master griller mama…

And the winner of the International Porkchop Grilling Competition is...Penny Zeller!!!

Disclaimer:  By the way, this was my first time ever grilling porkchops ever!

After pre-heating the grill and placing the pork chops on it, I set the timer for 12 minutes, per the package instructions. I then helped the kids with homework, folded laundry, and loaded dishes into the dishwasher. I watched the grill from the window and all looked well. My first time grilling was turning out to be a cinch. Perhaps I could even become a pro at it. After all, I love to bake!

Unfortunately, the timer went off while I was out of the room. “Mom! The buzzer went off!” the kids yelled.

“All right! I’ll be there in a minute!” I continued my chores, then walked out to the deck to retrieve the chops. I was horrifed by what I saw. 

However, as one who always tries to see the bright side of things, I quickly reasoned that meat should be well-done to kill any bacteria.

Lon wasn’t so eager to embrace my grilling (in)abilities. When I served him the pork chop, he had a disturbed look on his face. “Did you forget to check on the pork chops?” he asked.

“Uh, sorry about that,” I muttered. “We have watermelon and salad too.” But my suggestion was no use. The sight of the overly-done pork chop took precedence over anything I might say.

No e coli here.

“Mom, is something wrong with the pork chops?” Sunshine asked.

My dreams of becoming a master griller mama fizzled.

Lon wasn’t too optimisitic. As though he was a special agent for the FBI, he began to probe me with questions. “How long approximately, were the chops on the grill?” “Was there smoke coming from the grill?” “Was there something wrong with grill?” He then proceeded to fully investigate the BBQ for signs of tampering.

Lon investigates to see if perhaps the BBQ grill has been tampered with…

Back inside the house,  Lon reached for his fork. Before and after pictures are all the rage these days, so I thought it only fitting to provide a before picture of the very fork Lon used to cut his pork chop.

The "before" picture - the long, lean, svelte utensil

Lon attempted for the first time to cut into the pork chop. The fork wasn’t able to hold up under all the pressure.

Uh...Houston, we have a problem!


Never one to give up on his first try, Lon again attempted to cut into the pork chop.


Still to no avail, Lon tried once more to cut into the delicattesan that I had prepared for dinner.

The after picture and strike three!

We mourned the loss of the fork that would never be the same after its valiant attempts to cut into a pork chop. Wiping a tear from my eye, I knew that my career as a master griller mama was quickly coming to an end. From now on, I would stick to my Maytag double oven when making dinner.

No sooner had I wiped the last tear when Lon ran out to the garage. “It’s time to call in the big guy,” he said.

Thank the Lord for Dewalt!

I’m happy to say (and my family will happily agree) that I am no longer grilling pork chops. From now on, that’s Lon’s department!