Saturday, March 5, 2011

Falling off the wagon!


by Carolyn Brown
The theme song for this month's Casablanca posts has to do with decadence and indulging yourself. I wasn't sure just how sinful decadent was allowed to be so I went to Husband's trusty 40 year old Collegiate Dictionary and started searching. It all has to do with falling away or deteriorating. Well, I sure don't want to write a blog about that last thing...gravity has already begun its work on me and I'm making deals with the mirror not to show me any more wrinkles every night.
So no, siree! I do not want to deal with a blog about deterioration. Horrors!
But falling away would be like falling off the wagon and doing something totally for ourselves without guilt or remorse. So that got me to thinking about what would it take to make us fall off the wagon of putting everyone else first in our lives. How would you indulge yourself to the very point of decadence if we had all the choices in the world? Talk to me folks, what would it take to shake your wagon wheels.

Maybe a deserted island with no phones, no computers, no television? Only a wall full of romance books in your cabin, any music that you like at the touch of a button and lots of sunblock!
The wagon is beginning to sway!

Or a trip to the chocolate store where everything not a single thing has calories or fat grams? That white one in the middle does look good! And you say there's no way one little bite could put five pounds on my hips and thighs? Oh, my! The wagon is getting shaky!

A massage at a spa with soft music playing in the background, candles burning and chocolates within reach. And are those cowboy hands on your back? Is he wearing tight fittin' jeans and boots? Or maybe ONLY chaps and boots. The wagon is starting to rock!

Or a nice long foot massage with a waterfall in the background, with maybe scented oil and one of those sweet dark chocolates from the box. It feels like a Class 5 tornado just hit the wagaon!

Or how about a whole day of reading about sexy cowboys? One day when the dust bunnies do not procreate under the beds, the laundry doesn't pile up so high it takes a scoop shovel to make a path to the washing machine, and phone doesn't ring reminding us that we are late to work. Still on the wagon or are you plumb shook off yet?

All of the above? A beach with this sexy cowboy on the blanket right beside you? A massage from the sexy cowboy after a romp in the cool water? The sexy cowboy feeding you chocolates and then giving you a foot massage while you read a good romance. How bad is that wagon rockin' now? I'd love to hear what would make you fall off the wagon for one day...or a week...with the promise of no guilt trip afterwards.

I can't promise a fantasy trip to the beach, but I can make sure you've got something to read this month so tomorrow morning, I'll draw a name out of the Stetson the cowboy in the picture above is wearing and send a copy of Honky Tonk Christmas to one lucky person. To get your name in the hat, just comment on today's post!


  1. Shoot a light breeze could knock me off the wagon right about now LOL! If such an indulgence ever were possible I'll take a little of each of your suggestions hahaha well hell maybe not now that I think of it cuz I live in FL so there is always a beach....hmmmm maybe a snowed in ski lodge, a yummy cowboy/cowboys ;) and nothin but time, yep that'd do it.

  2. I will tell you a true story about falling off the wagon and finally treating ME well. After being the 'good girl' and trying to do the right thing for everyone else all my life, I woke up forty, fat (I am SUCH a stress eater) and out on the doorstep divorced after 20 years. No job either. One day, I was simply walking through the mall with my much loved son who was 16 at the time this all happened. He was in need of a haircut, so we stopped at a salon, and while he was getting all pampered by the gals (he is a fine looking fellow), I just toppled off the wagon. It was my 40th bday, and I had never treated myself to any kind of pampering, so I got trimmed, hot oiled, colored and styled. That felt so good that I went down the row of shops for my first ever mani-pedi, and while my feet were marinating and my legs getting a funky green towel wrapped seaweed steamer of some sort, I decided the rest of me would be forever jealous without some attention. I promptly googled a reflexologist and made an appointment. Trooped down the mall with my shiney new toenails in those foam slippers and found me a shoe store, bought flipflops in every form and color and never looked back. I became ANDREA again, not 'Phils wife' or 'Calebs mom' but ANDREA. Fall off the wagon, ladies, and find yourself. After all, YOU are who HE fell in love with. By the way, I also finally gave into the advise of a friend, stopped by the liquor store and grabbed a pack of those fabulous wild grape Smirnoff Ice and ended six months of insomnia. Not much of a drinker (ok, I am downright wimpy to this day) and six bottles was enough to stock me up for the entire 18 month divorce process... I am SO not a drinker. Love you, Carol, and if I didnt say so earlier, those two books were FABULOSO. My friends at the local library want to read them, but I said get them on the shelves already! You cant read my signed copies, no no no. So, they are looking for your books for the library.

  3. Ohmigosh, I didn't know we were supposed to talk about decadence this month. Got to get cracking. I loved your post!!! Okay, for me it was going to Scotland. No long time planning this out for a year, just, my critique partner who also writes about Scottish hunks and has Scottish ancestry, told me she was going with a girlfriend and I said I wish I was too!

    And the next thing I knew, I was over there (well, with a major crazy mishap first--but that made the experience all that more memorable!!!--expired passport just at the boarding gate after I'd been through two other boarding gates and nobody noticed--including me of course...and that was a saga to remember--you see without conflict, the story could have been perfectly boring)...

    But I will never forget the experience for the rest of my life. And you know what? After taking some of my coworkers to a wolf reserve, another brought home information for one in New Mexico, and she and I are going! :) And for me, that's being totally decadent--but worth it!

  4. I think anything you suggest at this point could blow that wagon right off the map and I wouldn't have to worry about it! Just indulge.

    Terry lol. It's amazing how many folks I know show up at the airport with an expired passport. They don't look lightly on that. Though I did go through customs once entering an American airport, with my 3 year old but sans passports. I don't know why they let us pass. Well, I guess it was because I had a good story lol

    (Since I've already won one of your books, Carolyn, you should spread the wealth and leave me out of the contest. Sob.)

  5. Great post, Carolyn! You tease's sooo hard to tempt me off the wagon, I could list all of the reasons and responsibilities why, but know that everyone has their own chuck wagon filled with reasons.

    Hmmm what would tempt me if I could do whatever I wanted, it would have to be Spring or early Summer, the sun shining, breeze blowing from the West so the scent of lilacs would fill my kitchen.

    A tall, dark and studly cowboy would be standing in front of the sink, elbow-deep in soapy suds washing my I'm getting into the mood...and he's shirtless. He turns and grins at me and my toes just curl because I know when he finishes washing my dishes, we're going to head outside to make a little magic beneath the warmth of the sun, while the birds chirp and leaves sway.

    Thanks for the morning visual, Carolyn. I'm going to try to hold on to it until I get back from running errands and the PO (mailing copies of TYLER out to the blog winners).

    You are sooo wonderful to mention my book along with Joanne's and your own. Thank you.

    I can't wait to get my copy of Love Drunk Cowboy!!!

  6. To me, being off the grid, incommunicado, with no access to the outside world, is the ultimate in indulgence. No phone, no internet, no email, no answering the door. I...actually manage to do this occasionally. Mark spends the day outside, doing boy things, and I spend the day inside, reading, catching up on Tivo'd TV and movies, and basically spending most of the day sitting on my ass. It's glorious. ;-)

  7. Good morning!
    Miz Cinful: Florida very favorite place! Go to Panama City Beach whenever I can find time to get away! If I had to choose right now this minute, I'd leave this north Oklahoma wind behind and go sit on the beach.
    Terry: I'd love to go to Scotland or Ireland! That's my indulgence for tomorrow!
    Carly: Have fun with that indulging! And that's so sweet that you are taking your name out of the pot to let someone else have a chance! Bless your heart!

  8. Hi C.H. and Tamara!
    C. H.: Lord, girlfriend, you could write a whole book on that imaginative description alone! Almost had me panting...and you are welcome!
    Tamara: This hermit hears you loud and clear! Sounds wonderful!

  9. Gerard Butler as my very well-trained, very personal "butler". The Butler did it!!! Mwahhahhah!!!

  10. Carolyn, what a great post! You really know how to fall off a wagon with style:)
    And thanks for putting "Cowboy Fever" in your suggestion box! The hero of that book, Teague Treadwell, could knock me off the wagon any day. He's a sexy cowboy with a troubled past who's determined to find a bright future with the woman he loves. And hot, hot, hot!
    Of course, an afternoon with one of your guys or that hottie Tyler from CH's books could work, too.

  11. Great visuals, Carolyn! All of your suggestions for decadence sound wonderful. Since I live in Chicago, I'd really love to feel the warmth of the sun again. It's been so long...not sure that qualifies as decadence, but I REALLY want it. LOL

  12. Hello again!
    I was in the kitchen making double fudge German chocolate brownies to see if I could tempt my daughter in law to fall of the wagon.
    Virginia C! LOL...great sense of humor.
    Joanne: You are so welcome. LOVED Teague and felt so special to get to read his book before it even came out. I think my review words were just that...HOT HOT HOT!
    Tracey: Decadence can be warm sunshine if it makes you fall off the wagon. I would definitely bottle up some of this Okie sun and send it to you if I could!

  13. More temptation...bodacious brownies!!!

    Creme De Menthe Brownies

    Brownie Layer:
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 eggs, beaten
    1 cup flour
    1 16-oz can of chocolate syrup

    Mint Layer:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar
    3 tablespoons Creme De Menthe Liqueur

    Top Chocolate Layer:
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup butter

    For the brownies:
    Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a 9x13" baking pan. Set aside. Cream the sugar and butter together, then add the vanilla. Add the beaten eggs, 1 cup of flour, and the chocolate syrup. Mix the batter well, and spread into the prepared pan. Bake for around 30 minutes, but check early. Allow the batter to cool completely while you make the next layers.

    For the Mint Layer:
    Mix the butter with the powdered sugar and the Creme De Menthe. Spread it over the cooled brownie layer.

    For the Top Chocolate Layer:
    Melt the chocolate chips together with the butter, either in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove. Pour the chocolate layer over the Creme De Menthe layer. Transfer the pan into the refrigerator and allow to cool and set before you cut and serve.

    Irish Cream Brownies

    1 (9x13 in size) fudge brownie mix
    1/2 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons milk
    2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
    1 teaspoon brewed coffee
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    toppings: chocolate sprinkles or curls, chopped nuts, toffee bits

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Stir together the brownie mix, the 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur, vegetable oil, and eggs. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely on a wire rack.
    Place the milk, 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur, and coffee in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High until the mixture boils. Set aside to cool completely. Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled Irish cream mixture, and beat well. Spread evenly over the cooled brownies. Sprinkle evenly with the toppings of choice.

  14. Virginia C: I'm not about to make those! I got five pounds hanging on my tummy just reading the recipes! The rest of you beautiful casababes can enjoy them. LOL

  15. All of those sound wonderful! Next week is my wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law is taking the baby for 24 hours. I think I will sleep and read without interruption. That's decadent to me!

  16. Shana: Yes, ma'am! Those two things would rock the wagon for me, too!

  17. Reading. Reading truly knocks me off the wagon more than I can to admit! LOL Even when I'm supposed to be working I get way to temped to just enjoy a story. Now I know this isn't bad news to all of you *snicker* but I can truly be tempted when I'm not supposed to be.

  18. The last trip I took was to Italy this past October. My husband had a conference in Venice so I was on my own during the day. I over-indulged in just about everything you can think of: food, shopping and just being lazy! I did get lost a few times but I was helped by some gorgeous Italian men! You would be surprised at how helpful strangers are when you are a woman sightseeing alone. I did get a lot of reading done on the train from Rome to Venice and back. It was the most decadent trip I have been on since my trip to Paris two years ago!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  19. Sweetheart, you had me at beach. Doesn't take much to sway me, does it? ;-) But I'll take all of the above, thank you very much. I might as well get my fantasy's worth.

  20. Oh my gosh! Yes to everything!! I don't need to use my imagination when you've painted such a lovely picture. I think I left that ol' wagon about a mile back!

  21. Wow, falling off the wagon? It would be going to a beautiful Island with a Cowboy, a Highlander or 2 and a few other cuties.Laying in a hammock while they massaged my feet and hands and neck :) And I'm sure I can think of a few more things but that would really throw me off the wagon. lol
    Carol L

  22. Great post! The ultimate indulgence for me is to sit on the couch all day long and watch movies while likely pigging out on something sweet. I get to do that may e once a year.

  23. All of the above would knock me right off the wagon, loved your ideas. Since I have done laundry all day long because my son just came home from college for spring break and I think every thing he owned is in the laundry. I could use a day with any of these thing book, beach, spa's I could go for anything right now. It would be nice to have a day with no worries.

  24. Stephanie: Ahh, a woman after a writer's heart! She likes to read!
    Stacie: Ah, Italy...and men with that accent. That could rattle the wagon wheels for sure.
    Olivia: Comin' your way, delivered by a rock star wearing cowboy boots!
    Amanda: Don't worry about the wagon. It goes in a big wide circle. It'll pick you up on the way back around. Just enjoy!
    Carol L: Sounds like your imagination is working just fine.
    Sara: Tell what day to mark on my calendar and we'll get together. Sitting on the sofa, watching movies and eating sweets. WOW!
    Virginia: Fall on off that wagon. You deserve a day of pampering!

  25. Monday morning!
    Thank you for all your comments!
    The name that got picked out of the Stetson this morning is cinful1121!!! Please email me your address at and I will mail a copy of Honky Tonk Christmas to you!

  26. I would like all of the books from my Borders store that is closing. Also, the shelves to pu tthem in would be nice.

  27. I vote for the whole day of sexy cowboys! Missed the drawing, but wanted to stop by and let you know how much I enjoyed your post! Cheers!