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!

 

It’s Not Summer Until…

It’s not summer until the catalpa tree blooms.

At least, that’s what my mom told me.

Now, when asked, she doesn’t remember telling me that. Of course she figures since she said it, and since the catalpas do often bloom right around the first day of summer, that it must be true. (That’s my mother for you.)

Mom said, (even if she doesn’t remember) that it’s not the hot days, that getting out of school isn’t the key and that you’ll only know it’s really summer once the catalpas turn white.

As a girl I remember feeling the hot sun, and thinking it must finally be summer, then checking the trees and realizing it hadn’t started quite yet. It was never a disappointment, just a fact. If the catalpas weren’t flowering, it was just a warm spring.  Days of rolling down hills until dark, playing in the lake and catching fireflies were yet to come.

Then when they did bloom – now it was summer. Sometimes we would pick the flowers and string them into necklaces but for the most part I just remember that soft internal sigh, the feeling you get when things click into place and everything makes sense, at least for a time.

The catalpas were blooming.

Summer was back again and with it, no school, no shoes, just the joys of long summer days.

Today, my girls and I were helping out my grandparents for the day and saw the catalpas in full bloom. And even though my summers now come with more duties instead of less, and even though this summer is starting out even crazier and busier than normal, and even though I know the first day of summer isn’t actually until next week, and even though I now know that while my mom remembers braiding catalpa blooms into her horse’s mane and tail as the summery-est activity she can think of and she doesn’t remember imparting this wisdom to me that I have held close all my life…

Despite all of that.

I saw the catalpa trees in bloom today and while my grown-up life tried it’s hardest to throw it’s responsibilities in the way, I still felt the excitement that comes with the start of summer.

The catalpas are blooming!

Let summertime begin!


Well… the catalpas were blooming last week, I did mention this summer is starting off crazy right?

Do you ever wonder what sort of off-hand comment your kids will pick up and hold dear to their hearts forever? I started thinking about it,  and have decided I wouldn’t recommend it.  If you are anything like me, you make a lot of random comments that shouldn’t go down in history as family lore!

Except for the catalpa trees and summer but there is nothing random about that.  

That’s just a fact of life. 

I Hate It When They Are Right…

You were right.

All you boys in my life, you were right.

My husband who wanted the sod cutter roller thing-a-ma-bob. (Bah, said I, it’s not THAT much sod, we don’t want to spend the time and money renting that.)

My brother who offered to use a skid steer to help us out. (What are you nuts, I said, I’ll have nothing but mud in my yard for a month.)

I should have gone for the rental, I should have gone for the mud. But no, not me, instead I channeled Clara at two and said “No, I do it meself.” Well, I used more adult words than that but the sentiment was exactly the same.

And I did.

We now have a 16 ft diameter mostly/fairly/dear-God-I-hope-its-close-enough-to-level circle cut into the lawn. I had a bit of help, but mostly I did it meself.

Now, hopefully very soon, an above ground swimming pool will jump from it’s box by the garage and take up residence on the nice landing pad I made for it. Today while I was dreaming of the cool refreshing water that would someday be in the very location I was chopping roots out of with a dull axe, during my final multi-hour push to just get the *#! thing done, right about when the sweat was dripping in my eyes but after Ivy came out with sunscreen because she noticed my shoulders were burning, and just as I was wondering if maybe a friendly alien might drop in to make a nice crop circle in my yard, because probably they wouldn’t abduct me because I was way too dirty to be interesting, Clara showed up and asked how many blisters I had. I wouldn’t tell her, because I wouldn’t look, I was afraid if I inspected my hands too closely I might not pick the shovel back up.

But now that it’s done I’ll tell you- there are eight, and those boys were right- they were totally right.

More Ducks!

I’ve been working hard getting all my ducks in a row, I was doing pretty well and then more showed up! The extra bills to organize might have panicked me but they were really far too cute to do anything but squeal over. 

Fortunately for me and John, who not only was the one home when they hatched and who also squeals significantly less over young poultry than I do, Mama Duck is doing a very nice job of keeping her ducklings in line without much help from anyone!