Tag Archives: contest

Throw-Back-Monday: The Halloween Costume Contest

I am sorry for the delayed post. I was a little under the weather yesterday, so now you have your Throw-Back-Monday on a Tuesday! Enjoy!

I am not one to dress up my pets (unlike a certain Mrs. Adams that I know).  Now, are dogs cute when they are in costume? Absolutely. I’m just not one for warm sweaters and rhinestone collars on a daily basis.

However, when I adopted Churchill, the best little Chow Chow in Georgia, he was my everything. He was so handsome and fluffy.

So handsome and fluffy! (I mean the dog, not my father-in-law)

So handsome and fluffy! (I mean the dog, not my father-in-law)

He was an absolutely gorgeous puppy.  So when I saw there was a local Halloween Costume Contest, I knew he was a total shoe-in.

Of course, Clifford rolled his eyes at the idea and openly mocked me. He thought I was ridiculous, but then he usually does. Still, I was determined to show the world how wonderful Churchill was. That and I knew my little boy was a winner.

How was this little cutie pie NOT a winner?

How was this little cutie pie NOT  be a winner?

*** WARNING: probably some socially insensitive material ahead *** Continue reading


Vote Now! Sibling Rivalry Contest

The decision is in and three finalists have been chosen. Reward your favorite sibling with Bespin Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa (sponsored by The Mixed Market on Etsy).

Luke and Leia ... the Universe's most noteworthy siblings.

Read the finalists’ stories and vote for the winner! You may vote once per day. Voting closes at 11:59 EST Saturday, October 11th.

The Finalists:

Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree!

Torture Always Worked For Me! 

The Youngest Sibling

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 03/10/2014 23:49:03
end_date 11/10/2014 23:59:59
Poll Results:
pick your favorite sibling story:


Sibling Contest: The Youngest Sibling

The entries are in! Three stories have been selected. This is the third finalist’s sibling story.  Beginning this weekend you will be able to vote for your favorite. The story with the most votes will win Luke and Leia action figurines! Today I offer you Diana G.’s “The Youngest Sibling” Enjoy!

I had two older sisters and two older brothers. Being the youngest of 5 children, I often felt like I was picked on a little more than my siblings. And though there were some significant age gaps, I somehow always managed to be the one to receive the brunt of unwanted attention.

The year was 1956. My brother and I had ridden the tractor from the farm to the service station.

The Tractor

The Tractor

I had just gotten off the tractor and was waving to my friend Beth who was standing inside the store, when my brother started backing up. Suddenly the tractor tire hit me and knocked me to the ground. Then he proceeded to run right over me. It hurt like the Dickens! At least I’m assuming so, I don’t really remember much after hitting the ground so hard.  At some point my brother did stop the tractor, jumped off and ran to where I was. He looked down at me, and through my tears I swear I saw a smile across his face. Same brother ran over my other brother with a bicycle, so maybe it wasn’t just me.

Both brothers convinced me to stick my finger in a lawnmower. They had sticks. I didn’t have sticks. They made it seem like it’d be fine to put my finger into the blades instead of a stick. Well, they didn’t exactly force me into it, but they certainly didn’t stop me. Lost the tip of my finger on that one.

Both brothers also threw basketballs at my head on a regular basis. If you ask my daughters, they’ll tell you there was definitely some permanent damage done there.

But despite all of those traumatic experiences, I love my brothers, and my sisters, too. Without them I may have grown up without one scar instead of the many I wear daily, but what fun is that? Now I have permanent reminders of how loved I was in return.




Sibling Contest: Torture Always Worked For Me

The entries are in! Three stories have been selected. This is the second finalist’s sibling story.  Beginning this weekend you will be able to vote for your favorite. The story with the most votes will win Luke and Leia action figurines! Today I offer you Pitch Man’s “Torture Always Worked For Me” Enjoy!

When I was a kid, I shared a room with my baby brother. It drove me nuts. He was always in my way. His stuff was everywhere. And he was so annoying. I know he did a lot of it on purpose. He was little, but he wasn’t that little.

He would leave chewed gum on the floor which would then stick to my toys. He actually broke a lot of my toys. When my buddies came over, he wouldn’t leave us alone.

Don’t get me wrong, he had his moments. He was definitely useful. I could get him to do my bidding. I could easily throw him under the bus when I got into trouble, too. The best thing about having a younger sibling, though? I could mess with him and that’s how I got him back for all the stupid things he’d do.

Sometimes when he slept at night I’d tie his wrist to the blinds and throw his arm around for fun. I’d put his hand in warm water and laughed when he’d wet the bed. I put peanut butter in his hair. I’d hide his favorite blanket before bed. I’d hold him under water – maybe a bit too long. I’d trip him when he’d walk by. I may have pushed him down the stairs. Maybe one time I placed a pillow over his face – but just to scare him a little. Torturing my younger brother just felt awesome, really. No matter what I did, I was bigger and smarter and he was no match for me.

Now that we are older, we are pretty close. I don’t think we would be as close if it wasn’t for all of the bruises, scrapes, and terrible things we did to each other – or mostly what I did to him. Because of that, our sibling rivalry is definitely a no take back.


Throw-Back-Monday: Clifford’s Version Of Events

My husband was a born ruffian. When I can get it out of him, he regales me with these crazy stories of his childhood wherein I realize he was a rather wicked little boy though he doesn’t quite see it that way. Let me put it this way – he was the kid that gave his parents grey hair right out of the womb. Yeah, he was that kid.

So when he shares with me a story about how he was the victim, you have to understand, it’s a tough one to swallow. Particularly when it involves his younger and much kinder sister.

Now as you know, there are two sides to every story. So I will present both here.

Clifford tells his version like so –

He and his sister were outside playing as most siblings did in the 80’s, though it’s a bit of a foreign concept by today’s standards. At one point, Clifford was standing on top of a grapevine trellis.  There was a bird’s nest there that his sister had wanted to see so she asked for him to pull her up. He, as the loving doting older brother was about to oblige. With no support for him to grab hold to, he bent over the trellis and reached for his sister regardless. She had a hold of the garden hose as she reached for him in return.

As he began to pull her up to see the bird’s nest she’d been begging to see, he looked her in the eyes and said, “whatever you do, don’t let go.”

In that moment, his sister turned outright sinister as a scheming snarl crept across her face. She looked at him, with evil in her eyes, and let go.

Clifford took a complete nose-dive over the trellis, landing on his arms. Both broken in an instant. He felt his mother was out to get him too as she made him bathe before she would rush him to the hospital. So there he sat in the bathroom, being washed by his mom, with two broken arms and in immense pain while he anxiously awaited the ride to the emergency room. According to his mom, he was way too dirty to take out in public.

His sister’s version:

Clifford was the one who wanted to see the bird’s nest. The whole thing was his idea. And no, she did not conspire in any way to deliberately break his arms. Even though he’s like totally deserved it on many many occasions.  – okay, that last sentence may have been an editor’s addition.

I count this as a no-take-back because the vision of my husband being bathed by his mother with two broken arms is a visual I can’t even begin to cartoon because it’s so freaking hilarious. I share this story with you now to inspire you to write your sibling story and send it in.  Believe me, if you’ve got a sibling, there’s always a sibling story to share. Check out my first contest and win your own pair of sibling action figures. Submit your story today! 


The Sibling Rivalry Contest

So here we are folks: No-Take-Backs’ first contest ever! Earlier this week, I shared with you the loving story of how I knocked my younger sister unconscious and dragged her body out of sight only to offer the world in exchange for her silence. So now I want to hear your best sibling story!

Siblings can be a great support system, but they can also drive us nuts, put us in danger, and wreak havoc on our daily lives. I challenge you to share your finest sibling rivalry moment with the world. It could be a No-Take-Back, or it could be a Total-Take-Back; the call is yours.

The rules:

  • In 500 words or less share your best sibling war story 
  • Top three stories will be selected by me and published the week of September 29th on my blog. The stories will then be voted upon by my readers. 
  • The winning submission will receive a set of pristine action figures representing the most famous siblings the Universe has ever seen – Bespin Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa (sponsored by The Mixed Market on Etsy) They will be yours for writing the winning entry. 

    Luke and Leia ... the Universe's most noteworthy siblings.

    Luke and Leia … the Universe’s most noteworthy siblings. All yours for the taking!

  • The top three entries will be judged and selected by the creativity, wickedness, and humor in your version of events. 

Good luck and Godspeed. Email me with questions!



My Dad Turns 70 Today

For my Dad’s 70th birthday today, my oldest sister has written a guest post. Thanks, Karen! And Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!

In honor of my Dad’s birthday I wanted to share the story of the Great Tomato Contest. Dad liked to have a garden every summer. Summer squash and tomatoes were always planted. I am sure that his interest in this endeavor came from his father; William B. Gross. My Grandpa Gross was an amazing gardener.

Grandpa's garden.

Grandpa’s garden.

Every summer his vegetables produced a bountiful harvest. His sweet corn stood 7 feet tall and his tomatoes were gargantuan!

Grandpa and his wicked tall corn.

Grandpa with his wicked tall corn. 

Seriously gigantic tomatoes.

Seriously gargantuan tomatoes.

They were juicy, red, five-pound monstrosities! Dad’s tomatoes were never quite the same size. If you know my family, you are aware that we are quite competitive. Obviously this has been passed down through the generations because this same competitiveness resulted in the Annual Great Tomato Contest within the family.

The contest was to see who could grow the biggest tomato of the year.

Largest tomato won the title.

Largest tomato won the title.

This was a contest taken very seriously by the competitors. Great thought and care was given the tomato plants throughout the growing season. Secret fertilizers were applied and special techniques were used to maximize the size of the tomatoes. On an assigned day, the best tomato of the crop was taken to Grandpa’s house to be measured and weighed. This contest had been going on for years with Grandpa Gross always emerging as the winner.

Finally, there came the year when Dad announced that this time he had the tomato that would win it all. On weigh-in day Dad attempted to get everyone in the car in order to be on time. He gently picked the tomato and carefully prepared it for the journey across town. Those of you that have small children know that it can be a time-consuming process to load the family into a vehicle in order to be someplace on time. Also it can be quite stressful.

With gritted teeth, Dad finally got into the front seat and began to back out of the driveway with everyone clamoring noisily in the backseat. I remember that I looked to my side out the car window and saw a reflection of our car in the house window. I thought I saw something red on the roof of the car reflected in that window, but didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to make us late.

Dad was almost giddy in anticipation of presenting his prized tomato that was going to top all others that year. We arrived at Grandpa’s house. We piled out of the car and went to see what size tomato Grandpa had grown this year. We thought Dad was behind us carrying his own tomato, but he was still at the car looking in the front seat, back seat, and trunk. He suddenly came into the house and said that he must have forgotten to bring the tomato. It was at that point that I realized that the reflection of something red on the roof of the car was actually the tomato Dad had placed there as he was herding all of us into the car.

um yeah ...

um yeah …

It was a long ride home as we pondered what might have happened to Dad’s winning tomato. There was hope that it might still be intact and could be returned to Grandpa’s house to win the contest belatedly. Unfortunately it was not to be. The tomato was found by the side of the road (not intact in case you were wondering). Grandpa Gross was the winner once again!

It has been many years since the Great Tomato Contest, but Dad still enjoys growing tomatoes every summer. Even though he never emerged the winner then, he is a winner to us and we love him. Good luck with your tomatoes this year!

The Birthday Boy with his little boy - many many (many) years ago.

The Birthday Boy with his little boy – many many (many) years ago. Happy Birthday, Dad!