Just a Quick Ten Minute Job

There are small jobs.

There are large jobs.

And, in my family, there are the infamous “ten minute” jobs.

“Ten minute” jobs always – always –  morph into something much larger, more time consuming and gigantic than anyone was expecting. A “Ten Minute” job is the one that ends up taking two trips to a hardware store, and finds problems inside of problems. In my family the words “I just need help on a quick ten minute job” have been met with dread and fear.  I’m not sure why any of us even think it’s possible to do a job in ten minutes. I certainly should have known better…

My dad came to my house with a Kaboda equipped with a winch, a rusty cable, a three-hundred pound lead weight and a plan and told me it would just take ten minutes to get the unwanted willow branch onto the ground.

So deceptively small looking. So very heavy.

…I should have known…

We enacted the plan.

And then there was the part where the 300 pound weight went up in the tree and stayed there instead of coming back down so the old rusty cable could start to cut the branch. More weight was added, different angles were tried…

Hours later the plan was working. We might not have been “sawing” the branch off, but we were certainly “sanding” our way through it.

Look at that sawdust fly!

My dad and I are long on stubborn. The branch was going to come down and with a bit of extra rope and planning…

It did.

Down it comes, nice and slow and just in the right spot!

Five and half hours after we started it was all sawed up  and hauled off.

Around here, as I should have known, that’s just your typical “ten minute” job.

You Don’t Want a Unicorn by Ame Dyckman and Liz Climo

Maybe you, like the mistaken boy in this story, think you want a unicorn  – but you don’t. 

We read all about those rotten unicorns, and trust us, you really don’t.

Would I recommend it? Well, if you are unconvinced and still want a unicorn you better read it so you can save yourself from the housebreaking woes, the shedding and the jumping…. oh the jumping…

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words But…

It’s said that a pictures is worth a thousand words and it may be true, but sometimes they need a few more. 

A little girl meanders down a sandy road, with her dog trotting behind on a summer’s day.

But there was more to it than that.

For starters, that dog isn’t trotting along behind (he doesn’t ever do that), he is briefly checking in with his family before diving back into the foliage to see where his nose will lead him. That foliage is swarming with mosquitoes and biting flies (Can you see the little girl slapping her arm?) and riddled with poison ivy even if it does look inviting and green from a distance.   You can’t tell from the picture that that little girl is the princess of the family in every way and that everyone was surprised when she was the first to put her shoes on and run for the door when a hike in the woods was suggested. Nor can you tell that she’s out in front of her mom, grandpa and sister quick stepping along because she’s hoping to see the “interestin’ stuff” first and you can’t tell that she lingers at the interesting finds the longest. You also can’t tell that the accompanying sister is not the sister who was expected but the oldest, who was too interested not to come and too pretend-grumpy to admit it and so complained about the swarms of bugs and the lack of fun at every opportunity. You can’t see that her sister didn’t have too much time to complain because her grandpa was busy showing them tracks: deer tracks, bear tracks, turkey tracks, woodcock tracks, snapping turtle tracks and wolf tracks.  You can’t see her mom trying to identify flowers with the little girls’ grandpa, while checking out the growing hazelnuts and chewing on wintergreen. And you can’t see her mom melting in the sweatshirt that she’s wearing on such a hot day just to hide from the bugs as she gives the little girl a piggyback ride up the hills on the way home while snapping pictures of butterflies, flowers… and of  a little girl with her dog.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it still needs an additional three hundred and sixteen.

On Growing Up

First tooth gone!

“Well… I was a baby and now I’m on to being a kid and then I’ll be a big girl, then a teenager, then a grownup and then a grandma.”

John while trying to settle down all three girls for bed, while they were in various states ranging from wildly happy to upset,  mutters: “Let’s not talk about teenagers.”

Chicken in the Shower

Don’t you just hate it when you quick go to jump in the shower and you forget about your chicken?

Me too…

This chicken (recently named Foxy) was rescued from a fox by yours truly and has been recuperating in our shower.  The shower, unfortunately for the rest of my family, is my new favorite injured bird holding area.

But I digress, you don’t want to hear the details of why the chicken moved out of a dog crate into the far superior shower, you want to hear about the fox attack. Right?

Right.

The moment the fox attacked is exactly why I acquired geese and they finally had their opportunity to shine and show off their watch-goose capabilities. Which they mostly did! The two of them set off an unholy racket, were joined by the ducks’ alarming quacks and then the rooster’s panic call. By the time I got to the gate and into the orchard, chickens were squirting out from under apple trees in every direction, the ducks were huddled and quacking and the gander was begging me to open the gate and let him into the yard where it was safe. Apparently, while he’s very good a sounding an alarm, he’s not actually very brave.

Running upstream through fleeing poultry I found a fox with one of my chickens in it’s mouth. I was able to convince the fox to drop my chicken and leave but it took a considerable amount more yelling and running and arm waving and clapping on my part than I felt it should have. Cheeky little bugger just looked at me, dropped the chicken, bounded off, then came right back and grabbed her again before finally dropping the bird and leaving for good. Apparently I need to work on my “I’m big and scary let go of my chicken!” look.

But, despite a complete lack of tail, and some nasty puncture wounds, Foxy The Chicken is doing well (Due in large part to the help of a friend who watched her when I left on vacation the next day) and is just about ready to rejoin the rest of the flock.

I’ll miss her friendly chatter as she roams the bathroom while I shower but I gotta tell ya, chicken feed (and other matter) really scatters when it hits a tile floor!

The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd

I have read Pride and Prejudice, more than once and, while I quite like the book, I have to say (at risk of being stoned by hoards of angry women ) that Mr. Darcy is not my ideal man.  Please, don’t write me off yet because, while I might prefer someone a little more rugged than ballroom ready, I can see why women have pined over Mr. Darcy for over 200 years.

 ” Mr. Darcy Setting up unrealistic expectations since 1813.” Two hundred years of lust has culminated on pintrest in a remarkable selection of Mr. Darcy items.

Two hundred years is an impressive amount of time, which mostly makes me wonder why there are still men out there claiming to be confused about what women want. Hello? Guys? Mr. Darcy has been making women sigh for two centuries! If what a woman wants is still confounding you, possibly you should take a lesson from Darcy himself.

Boys, all you have to do is master the combination of wealth, wit, a willingness to address your faults and an all-consuming passion for your woman of choice.  In fact, if you can check all these off your list, all those women will probably let you insult them terribly before giving you a second chance and eventually succumbing to your charm.

(If I were judging by the cover I’d think I was reading smut.  While there are stories that get a bit steamy the collection as a whole is more sweet romance than bodice ripping.)

All this brings us to the Darcy Monologues. Depending on your preferences you can either read these to further your fantasies of Mr. Darcy in your quest for his real life counter part, or (I’m talking to the confused men out there) you could read these as research if you are still trying to figure out just what will set the women’s hearts aflutter for you.

The Darcy Monologues is a collection of short stories, about the infamous Mr. Darcy himself. The first half, set in the 1800’s Pride and Prejudice era, follow the original story fairly closely, but from Mr. Darcy’s view. Some of them address what happened after the book, some let you know what was going on in Mr. Darcy’s head and some explore the, ahh, steamier side of things… The second half are contemporary versions. Mr. Darcy heads West (now that was my kind of Darcy), runs radio stations, and plays major league baseball all while pursuing the enviable Ms. Bennet.

Would I recommend it? My only issue with this anthology was that I couldn’t just hop from one story to the next. I found early on that too many different Mr. Darcys talking to too many Bingleys muddled my head to no end. Once I realized I had a one story a night limit I enjoyed my daily dose of Darcy completely! An excellent collection for anyone who enjoys a good tale of pride and prejudice.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!