In A Pickle by Cindy Dorminy

Every time I tell someone about a romance novel I think of my favorite Janet Evanovich quote.

“Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.”

– Janet Evanovich 

I don’t know about you but someone’s been putting the peanut butter on my life sandwich with an awful heavy hand lately. I have been in need of birthday cake.

As it turns out not only am I a decent baker but now I’ve taught the children and nightly dessert is pretty much a thing now. But as wonderful as a steady diet of chocolate chip cookies made with hard boiled eggs (it really is a thing and they are delicious!), molasses cookies, cakes, cobblers and ice cream sundays is, what me and my nutrition needed was a break from the news and some birthday cake for the soul.

The same small town I fell in love with while reading In A Jam is back. The residents are funny and sassy, the heroine is tiny while her man is huge and muscly. Old love rekindles and things get a bit steamy (but never in a raunchy way). Town gossips and meddlers do their thing and, spoiler alert, it has a happy ending. Which is good because it just wouldn’t be birthday cake without a happy ending, would it?

Would I recommended it? Who doesn’t need a bit of cake for the soul these days?

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!

The Little Red Hen and the Swimming Pool

A Mostly True Story

One day the Little Red Hen set out to set up a swimming pool for her family.

Who will help me level the ground so the pool does not tilt to the side and collapse said the Little Red Hen.

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor.

The next day her children said, “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m not done leveling the ground who would like to help me?”

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor and her big brown shovel.

The next day her children said “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m still not done leveling the ground, who would like to help me?”

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor, her big brown shovel and her shiny silver level.

That day was very hot. The Little Red Hen sweated as she drove her little red tractor, she she started saying very bad words as she used her big brown shovel and the light from the bright sun hurt her eyes as it bounced off her big silver level.

Suddenly The Little Red hen stomped away from her almost level circle of ground and found her family in the shade.

“All right guys. You remember what happened with the bread right?” squawked the Little Red Hen.

“Yes.” said her family warily.

“Well I’m just letting you know that I am going to enjoy my pool ALL BY MYSELF” said the Little Red Hen and she went to get a cool drink of water before returning to work.

When she came back to pick up her big brown shovel she found her chicks waiting to help. Some of her chicks moved rocks, some brought cool drinks some shoveled and raked and soon the ground was level.

Then the chicks and her rooster helped pull all the pieces of the pool out of the deep dark basement and soon with all the help the pool was filling with water.

When it was finally time to get into the pool all the chicks yelled “Hooray” and splashed and laughed and splashed and chased each other in circles and splashed some more.

And the Little Red Hen, trying to enjoy the cool of the pool closed her eyes against the splashing water and thought, “maybe I shouldn’t have reminded them about the bread.”

Moral of the Story: Be careful what you wish for. Or. Family time is great, until it isn’t.

Pushing Boundaries

It’s not that John dislikes the poultry so much as that he doesn’t love the poultry like I do.

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Being a wonderful tolerant and handsome husband, as well as my number one blog post editor, he doesn’t do more than put up a manly bit of bluster when bird numbers expand and varieties increase.

Mostly he sits back and watches the madness and kindly takes care of them when I am unable. There are a few hard lines I won’t cross when it comes to adding birds (I didn’t even really consider bringing home a peacock and I’d never bring home a four legged creatures without a serious consult). He has alluded to other lines I’m confident are just… guidelines… wishes… attempts to not let the females in his life run rampant with animal husbandry.

And the females in his life know that boundaries are made to be pushed.

Which is how we ended up with three silkie chickens.

Because John is a fantastically tolerant man he rolled his eyes when he saw that they brought us joy and when the rooster grew a crazy comb he announced that his name should be changed from “Fluffy” as Jane called him or “Spike” as I called him to “Magma”.

And because we know you can only push boundaries so far…

Meet our Silkie rooster, Magma.

An Educational Trip

Last week we left John at home working with all the animals to keep him company and traveled the few hours north to my family’s cabin to help with the annual spring clean up. It was the first time we had spent away from the house in months. We were off the property! I was ready for excitement, what I got was education.

I learned that the kids do not in fact need to pee every hour on a car ride. As it turns out, after months of Covid talk and faced with public restrooms and face masks, they can all hold it the whole 3.5 hour drive. A fact I will remember.

I learned that this railing still doesn’t seem “safer.”

I learned that a change of scenery will not make a single bit of difference in the amount of fighting the girls do.

I learned that if Grandma and Grandpa are the only people they have been able to see in two months, the additional presence of Grandma and Grandpa won’t make a bit of difference in the referenced fighting.

I learned that different chores, no matter how enthusiastic you present them “Yay! Let’s rake pine needles!”, are still chores and they will whine about them just as much.

I learned that Clara will happily pick up and drag home every bit of garbage and “treasure” she can find when out for a paddle.

I learned that Jane will pack herself up two live snails to bring home without asking for permission.

I learned that Ivy can make fantastic cookies in any kitchen.

And I remembered that life always feels better on the water.

Mom’s Favorites at 40 Years Old

So mom usually asks us what our favorites are, but this year I decided that I wanted to do it for her. In other words I am taking over mom’s blog for today. And in doing this blog it will hopefully encourage her to do one for us. – Ivy

Mom what’s your favorite…

Color – Red

Food – Potatoes

Meal – Dinner. Wait no, 2nd breakfast

Whiskey – My regular favorite is Jim Beam. My favorite special whiskey is Basil Haydens.

Dog – Goose. Shh don’t tell Trip.

Cat – Gypsy

Person – Dad (John)

Uncle – hmm. I don’t want to answer that. Can we delete that question? Wait, if you are reading this and you’re my uncle, then it’s you.

Author – … that one lady that writes the books I love…

Book – Dealing With Dragons is my all time favorite book, but now I feel disloyal to all the other books.

Cousin – The one who is reading this as well.

Sport – Swimming

Swimming Stroke – Backstroke

COVID19 thing – Capoeira class with the Raizes group in Santa Cruz.

Aunt – My favorite aunt? Are you guys trying to start a family war? (I think dad is).

Animal – My favorite use to be a frog and the theme for today’s for Cool Beans Club is frog drawings so we should do that. But now, it might be a dog… or a goat.

Farm animal that we have – It might be the geese but also the silky chickens. But if you made me choose it would be the geese.

Thing to do inside – I don’t know what to say. I like to… wash the dishes? Nope. Play the piano? Hardly do that… I don’t know.

Thing to do outside – Walk the dogs while taking pictures.

Place to go – Camping (uh…ok?)

Time of day – Time of day? umm 10pm (both start laughing)

Time of year – winter, fall, winter, fall, winter.

Song – I don’t like music (I don’t like that answer. Mostly because I have my headphones on 24/7). Mom: Ok what about I don’t like music that much, I do like the “Whiskey for my Men, beer for my horses” song and “Na ladeira”

Thing to do while we are at school – Enjoy the quiet.

Friend – Sarah (not surprising) for how many years? How old was I in 2nd grade? 8 years old, so we have been friends for 32 years.

Movie – I don’t really watch movies but, probably “French Kiss” because I don’t watch movies.

Thing to do with me – Wash Dishes… JK I like to work out together and I like to yell at you to take your headphones off when I’m trying to talk to you.

Thing to do with Clara – Take care of her pigeons.

Thing to do with Jane – … What do I do with Jane? Wait, do I do things with you guys? Now I feel like a bad mother. Oh wait, she does do the chores with me and that’s fun.

Thing to do with Dad – I don’t know, hang out with him all day, every day FOREVER because that means I can do everything with him.

Thing to do in the car – Currently, since my concussion? Sleep!

Thing to do in your free time – I don’t have free time… eat chocolate in quiet.

Type of clothing – Hooded sweatshirts (me too).

Thing about having kids – um…. Dad “when they are quiet”. Mom “When they do nice things for you like birthday surprises for you and write blogs.”

Flower – Daffodils or forget-me-nots.

Chicken – I don’t have a favorite by name but kind… wyandottes or silkies or any new variety (Dad calls from the other room “So the next chicken”)… Yes

Anything else – Ted the vacuum cleaner (we named out new Robo vacuum cleaner Ted if anyone is confused).

Happy Birthday Mom.

Staying on Top

Today is the last day of the April Squares challenge hosted by The Life of B. A month of square pictures, posted everyday, somehow themed around the word “top”.

It was a good way to get back into the habit of keeping the camera handy. It was good to get back into the habit of blogging. On days that my still recovering brain was up for it it felt good to blog surf again and see other “top” pictures.

Some days I wobbled. There were days that I stretched far for the “top” connection, for a photo that might work and to post before midnight.

But I stayed the course and posted the whole month.

The last months have been rough ride but some things never change. Taking on a challenge and coming out on top always feels fantastic!