My Bedtime Is Perfect Thank You Very Much

This evening while talking with  Ivy, who is 11 going on 16, the subject of bedtimes came up. Specifically, my bedtime.

I go to bed at midnight. This seems slightly early for my night owl standards but fairly manageable considering I have to get the girls to school in the morning. Ivy, however, was appalled.

I was informed under no uncertain terms that she goes to bed at NINE o’clock and that is PLENTY late.

I, always arguing for my night owl ways, pointed out that there are many things, many things that I do after she goes to bed. I work out, I blog, I read books, I write books (shameless plug), I even, occasionally, clean the kitchen (really, super-duper occasionally).

Ivy, while eating the dinner I made her, then demanded to know what I do all day if I do all that after she goes to bed.

I responded with what I fear were wild, crazy, mom eyes and arm gesticulations around the house.  “Everything else!”

“Well,” said Ivy in a voice dripping with the confidence of the young, “you should just try and get more done during the day.”

And then I looked at my beast of a to-do list and died a little bit inside.

Of course I didn’t let her know that, I just told her to hurry up and finish her dinner so she had time to play before it was her bedtime.

 

 

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Out and About: Interview and Book Review on Wee Bit Wordy

Thanks for stopping by on this lovely spring day but we aren’t home today…

…we are out and about with Wee Bit Wordy!

 

Pop on over, check out his wonderful review of What If Butterflies Loved Snow? and find out which part of our next book we are already dreading working on.

Then stay awhile, check out some more reviews and see what Wee Bit Wordy is up to, there is good stuff going on in his corner of the internet!

Book Bee’s Step by Step Guide to Reviewing Books

Step 1: Read a book!

Step 2: Decide to Write a Review.

How often do you pick up a book without a recommendation or perusing reviews online? I still occasionally judge books by their cover at the local library but mostly I rely on recommendations from friends or via reviews online, and I bet you do too.
All of us readers love reviews!
Love a book, want to support an author? The best way is to write an honest review. Reviews are hugely important to us (largely because, like I mentioned, nobody picks up books without looking at reviews).
Love a book and want to support an illustrator? Ditto!
So, if you love readers, authors, illustrators or anyone else in the book industry, support them all and write a review!

Step 3: Don’t Panic!

Maybe you’ve never written a review before, maybe you don’t know where to start.
It’s okay. Take a deep breath. We got you covered.

Step 4: Choose a Star Rating.

Pretty much every place that collects book reviews will give you up to five stars to award the book you are reading. If you are like me this puts you right back to Step 3.
It’s okay, take a deep breath and pick one. 

Still not helping?
Don’t worry, I feel your pain, five
 stars is a completely inadequate number. I wrote a whole blog post rant about it, you can read my thoughts and how I award stars here: https://behindthewillows.com/2015/08/10/a-rate-it-rant/ 

Step 5: Write Your Review.

Starting a review can be daunting. It’s okay, we are here to help. We have created some handy fill in the blank options to help you out with any book review you might be writing!

“I read it to my ___year old_____ and they ____ it!” 

 ” My ___year old _____ read it to me, so ____!”

  “This book is ___ because____.” 

 ” I gave this book to ___ it was a ____ gift.” 

” Reading this book made me _____.”

“This book is the ____’s ____’s.”

Use these as a starting point or go rouge and pour your heart out.
Tell people what you would like to know if you were the one thinking of buying the book.

Step 6: Share Your Review.

The go to book review place is Amazon.com (or amazon.co.uk or amazon.ca or amazon… you get the picture). Be aware that Amazon has RULES about book reviews as they do their best to keep the world honest. There will always be a delay before your review will post and in the end sometimes it won’t. If that happens don’t despair, there are more options!
Goodreads is a fantastic place to leave a review. Reviews can be shared on Facebook or Instagram any other book site you are a part of (LibraryThing anyone?) or even sent straight to the author. 

In fact, since you already wrote it, why not go wild and post it everywhere?

Step 7:  Breathe a sigh of relief, you’ve done it!

You made an author happy, helped out potential buyers and made it out the other side!

Step 8: Do it again!

If you just followed these steps to review What If Butterflies Loved Snow? you’ve brought joy to our lives. Thank you! Now, do it again for the next book you read, authors, illustrators and readers everywhere will thank you!

Book Bee wants everyone to write book reviews!

If you feel the same pop over here: https://behindthewillows.com/book-bees-step-by-step-guide-to-reviewing-books/ to save and share her handy infographic!

(All illustrations done by Tooks of course!)

In A Jam by Cindy Dorminy

“Some might consider waking up in the drunk tank rock bottom. I call it Thursday,” isn’t your typical start to a lighthearted romance but it did start me out with a smile. Things progressed from there all the way through your typical romantic comedy story line. City girl moves to small southern town (hilarity and smiles ensue), enter   brokenhearted man stage left (sweet smiles ensue)… By the time we got to the happily ever after, that small southern town had been fleshed out with so many fantastic characters I was smitten with the whole town.

Happy smiles all around.

 

Would I recommend it?  My favorite kind of romance. Funny, fairly predictable and not too risque, sort of like your family’s favorite jam recipe (actually it’s nothing like my family’s favorite jam… who has funny jam?)… but this book, and the jam in it have a little something extra that makes it just that much better.  But, most importantly, it made me smile, a lot, and I can’t think of a better reason to pick up a book like this than that.

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!

April Snow Woes

It’s that problem you have when the day before the ground was solid mud but today it’s all snow covered and frozen.

When you are accustomed to being a glorious white but the mud has lingered and you are are hardly fit to be seen.

When all the puddles and ponds have frozen and all you have left is a water bowl.

And it’s just too small for a decent bath.

 

 

Baby Chicks DO Make Everything Better!

A few years ago my mom broke her arm. Of course, Murphy’s law never to be discounted, that happened to be the day her baby chicks arrived. I picked them up at the feed mill on my way to go help her out, letting them know who I was and why my mom wasn’t there herself. “You bring these right in and put them on her lap” said the woman. “Baby chicks make everything better.”

They didn’t miraculously heal a broken arm that day, but they did bring out a lot of smiles.

Ever since the woman at the feed mill put it into words, I’ve found it to be true. Baby chicks, in many ways, make everything better.

This weekend I had big plans, my brother was going to be visiting and we were going to Get Things Done. The kids had plans with other kids, John had a crazy workout challenge event, it was going to be great. And then my brother hurt his leg (he’ll be fine), the kid plans canceled because it tried to be winter again today (spring will be back soon), John did his event (and had a great time despite the weather) but I was not feeling the “great” that was this weekend.

And then I got a slightly out of the blue offer of 18 baby chicks to be delivered ASAP. After rummaging around outside (in the ice/snow/sleet/rain/wind) for supplies, hauling straw and shavings and digging an extension cord out of the ice, the brooder house was set up and the baby chicks arrived. I stood in the warm brooder house, out of the wind and rain and sleet and snow and ice, looked at my new babies peeping in the straw and suddenly everything was quite a bit better.

But that’s not really how I know baby chicks make everything better.

How I know is this…

A few hours after they arrived Clara, Jane and I all went out to check on (read snuggle) the babies. After a bit I, thinking that I should get something done, left the girls out in the brooder house and spent about an hour in the basement on various chores. I came upstairs and it was suspiciously quiet. Did they go back out? … or… uh oh…

The brooder house has a door with a hook and eye latch on the outside and on the inside. The door, particularly in weather that is trying to make you believe it’s still winter, will not stay closed by itself and baby chicks complain to management when it gets too drafty. The door is always latched, from one side… or the other…

I hustled back out to the brooder house. Sure enough, the door was locked from the outside.  I opened it up and went in, bracing myself for yelling and crying and wondering if my apologies would have to go as far as promises of ice cream and movies. There were Clara and Jane, lounging under the heat lamp. Jane had a half a dozen baby chicks sleeping on her lap, Clara had  a few more along her legs and one tucked under her hair, resting on her shoulder. Clara just looked up at me and said in a voice usually reserved for teenagers, “Really Mom?

Then they ever so slowly shed the chicks from their laps and got their boots and jackets on while Jane excitedly told me how they opened a window so they could yell for me and what their plan was in case the brooder house caught fire while they were locked in it (it totally would have worked by the way). They each gave just one more chick one more snuggle and then they happily pranced off through the sleet to the house.

And that’s how I know that baby chicks make everything better.