Author Questions

My first children’s book was published this spring.

(Shameless plug: Here it is on Amazon –  – it’d make a great Christmas gift! )

A few months later I’ve, mostly, stopped looking for someone else in the room when people ask “the author” a question and I’m starting to see a pattern emerge in those questions asked.

Yes, I did really write the book. (PSA announcement: Don’t ask people that. Just don’t.)

Nope, I didn’t draw a single picture. (Occasionally I think drawing a butterfly in the book when I sign it is a good idea. And it is a good idea, in theory….)

Yes, I’d be happy to tell you the long crazy story of how it was published. How much time do you have? (Shameless plug #2: Sign up for our newsletter at to learn the story.)

And yes, unless you are a full blood relation, I will indeed avoid telling you exactly how much I earn per book. (PSA announcement #2: Do unto others as Ann Landers would do unto you.)

But for those of you who can’t contain your curiosity at just how much cash I may be raking in I have two facts for you:

  1. I’m very happy with the amount of books we’ve been selling. (You guys, people read my book to little kids! Ones I don’t know! That’s astounding!)
  2. It was 27°F when drove the kids to school with my drivers side window down because it’s broken and no longer goes up. (It’s second in line of cars to be fixed as that’s not a safety issue, just cold, inconvenient and noisy.)(Shameless plug #3: Authors like windows that roll up all the way when it snows. Reviews sell books- leave your book review here: )


Have any more author-y questions you’d like answered? Ask away!


One Day You Are Riding High…

Ever have those moments that are just so – so adult, that it’s depressing?

Not long after we were married John and I bought a tractor. It was a nice little tractor and it did all sorts of things for us until one day when I was driving it and it said “CA- CHUNK” loudly and forcefully.

A time of tractor parts and grand plans followed the “ca-chunk” but, unfortunately, the end result was me in the driveway watching the pieces of my tractor getting smaller as they rode away on a flatbed truck.

Sadder than any woman really should be about a broken pile of metal I looked down at the small collection of crisp hundred dollar bills in my hand for consolation. I was momentarily cheered, until I remembered the broken dishwasher.

One day you are riding high on a tractor.

The next you are researching water efficient dishwashers.

Adulting is the worst.


It’s November! Time for a month of blog posting and team tiny peppers!

It’s also the month where daily posting means John does much less of my proofreading and you find out just how poor my spelling and grammar really are… …forgive me.  

Finding Beauty

Some times, when days are spent in the hospital ( Granny is recovering well from an unexpected surgery.) and nights are spent fixing plumbing (We have hot water again, even if new things are leaking and lets not even talk about the washing machine…) it’s hard to stop and find the beauty in the day.

But it’s always there, you just have to remember to breathe and look for it.

What’s That Noise?

John: What’s that noise?

Me: You mean the thing that sounds like a snare drum being followed by a civil war regiment? I think it’s the dryer.

John (walking toward sound): Ahhhh! What adventures does entropy have in store for us today?

(Answer: It was the dryer following hot on the heels of the dishwasher, two flat tires and right before the vacuum cleaner blew a belt. Ain’t entropy great?)


Freezer Meals

Now you might think this is going to be a post where I enthusiastically tell you about how I started bulk cooking meals and freezing them and my life is changed forever and is now a million times better.

I mean, I’m sure it would be if that’s what I was doing (at least that’s what 345,987 websites out there tell me will happen) but no, I haven’t started purposely making meals and freezing them for later. I’ve thought about it many times. I like the idea of the finished product in the freezer. But when it comes to devoting a day to cooking those meals… well frozen pizza’s are a good emergency stand by and I can throw them in my shopping cart in 25 seconds or less.

No freezer meals for us, until today… the day that shall forever be known as AGGGHHH-the-blankity-blank-blank-freezer-died-while-we-were-out-of-town day.

Remember these guys?broiler chickens

They were in the freezer.

Remember these guys?

One of them was in the freezer too.

Remember this?John with spike buck

The last of that was in the freezer too.

Fortunately not everything thawed.

Fortunately the neighbors are letting us use their chest freezer today.

Fortunately all the freezers everywhere are on sale.

Fortunately I was able to spend the afternoon (and probably tomorrow too) cooking what did thaw and putting it back in a freezer.

And so today I accidentally fell into making freezer meals.  I’m sure I will love to pull something out of our new, actually freezing-cold, freezer and heat it up for dinner. And while I’m certain this isn’t at all the way one is supposed to go about this endeavor, I can’t say that today’s experience has made me a believer in freezer meals.

I’m not sure though, maybe it will make my life a million times better,  I think I’ll go cook up another ten pounds of taco meat and think it over…

Alfresco Dining

Tonight we dined alfresco.

It was a beautiful evening and  so long as I could forget about why we were dining alfresco I had an enjoyable dinner.

But it’s hard to really enjoy the moment when you know that the reason you are at the picnic table is because earlier in the day roughhousing kids broke your kitchen table. That’s right the kitchen table, and if you are like us the kitchen table is the table which leaves us with the picnic table and crossing our fingers for nice weather.  Thankfully the weather was nice when I went to serve lunch, unfortunately I had used the picnic table to stand on when I painted the clothes line posts, never moved it back and it was still way in the back of the yard. As I walked all the way out there with two plates full of food I stepped in a hole that my rotten dog dug that I’ve never filled in and hit the ground with food flying. (Leaving me, as my mother pointed out, wishing I had filled in the hole long ago. My procrastination tendency and horrible lawn maintenance are long standing bad habits that I’ll tell you about some other time.)  So that, and the fact that table breaker number two pooped outside next to the table, (Another long standing bad habit that I’m trying much harder to break.) convinced me to drag the picnic table back to the house. Then as I was dragging the picnic table I stepped in the same g-d-hole as before except this time instead of throwing lunch on the ground I threw myself on the ground with a picnic table on top of me.


So, I picked myself up, made sure all my parts still worked, thanked my lucky stars no children heard my thoughts on dog holes and picnic tables, made a mental note to fill the holes (which in case you are wondering I haven’t done yet) and got on with fixing dinner.

Fortunately the too-young-to-wreck-tables kid has an infectious giggle…

…making it far easier than one would guess to forget about a rotten day and enjoy dinner!

Now perhaps when I’m done icing and elevating my foot/ankle/leg/oh-my-goodness-don’t-ever-fall-in-a-hole-under-a-picnic-table I should be back to walking normal and I can go fill in those holes…


Quiet… Too Quiet

You know how they always say that when you can’t hear your children, you should be worried. Well, that had never been too much of a problem for me.

Until today.

Today the girls are making up for months of playing quietly without getting into trouble.

The first mistake was when I let the girls watch part of a movie while I made lunch.  I entered the office to get them, only to find the door of the dove cage broken and ripped off and dove seed scattered all over the office.

I was, shall we say… unhappy.

Not to be taken in by the same trouble twice, I did not let them return to their movie, and after lunch we got ready for naps. I can only blame my extreme sleep deprivation that I never thought twice about putting them to bed together.

I should have known better.

Over an hour later when it had been so quiet I actually thought they were either asleep or reading in their beds like they were supposed to be, I heard a huge crash and a scream.  After ascertaining that everyone was alive and in no mortal danger I took in the situation. Clara’s bed (which is just a crib mattress) was stripped of blankets and sheets and on top of Ivy’s bed. Ivy was also on her bed, standing up and pushing Clara’s bed off the end. And Clara was crying on the floor as she extracted herself from the rocking chair that she had crashed into when Ivy shoved her off the bed with the mattress. Naked. Which is unfortunate because it’s a lot easier to get scratches all over your body while tangling with a rocking chair when you don’t have clothes on. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s why people started wearing clothes… so that when older siblings shoved them down they sustained less damage. Then I noticed the crayon across the walls and the books strewn everywhere.

Clearly it had been too quiet.

I continued to be… unhappy.

It’s about an hour later, my girls have not yet napped, Ivy is grumpy beyond belief and Clara has entered the stage of complete and utter over-tired-manic-crazy-girl. Unfortunately having tried all other solutions to get Clara to bed I have again put them down in their room together. But I’m not worried about them yet, I can still hear them jumping on the bed…

Days That Make You Go…

Remember last years  post about the fun of the Long Lake Lager Fest?

Remember the car trouble on the way home?

The Third Annual Long Lake Lager Fest was again a great time with friends – an excellent tradition in the making.

And again we had car trouble on the way home, except worse – not such an excellent tradition.

Today was the day the report from the mechanic came in.

Some days just make you go:

I’m thinking of hitching a ride for the Fourth Annual Long Lake Lager Fest, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun but I’m not sure we can afford the drive home!

Just Imagine

Just imagine waking at five am to the sound of a crying kid and realizing that your air conditioner has broken.

Then imagine getting the kid back to sleep but being unable to fall back asleep yourself because the five and a half straight hours of sleep you just got was so much better than normal it’s almost like you aren’t tired.  Plus you are panicking about the broken air conditioner since it’s five am and the temperature is already nearing 80.

Imagine that after you do fall back asleep you are violently woken up when hearing…


…and all that that implies.

In case you are having trouble imagining the implications let me help you:

1) Daughter is out of bed, down stairs helping herself to freeze pops for breakfast without your knowledge.

2) Freezer has clearly quit working, (insert very bad words of your choosing here).

3) If the freezer isn’t working, the fridge probably isn’t either (more bad words here).

4) Remember that the air conditioner is broken and that the house is now nearing 80 degrees, consider what that means to food in non-working refrigerator (bad words here).

5) Realize that you were in fact quite tired and that your now cumulative six and half hours of sleep doesn’t seem like near enough and that more sleep is clearly out of the question.

Imagine that the adrenaline involved in the situation is enough stimulant to have you out of bed shuffling thawing food into the chest freezer before your eyes are fully opened and you’ll just have imagined my day before 8am.


The good news –

-we have a spare fridge

-we have a chest freezer

-it rained all morning so it is only now approaching beastly hot

-my fridge needed cleaning out and defrosting anyway

-the pigs like it when I clean the fridge


Despite the “good news” I’m hoping you all only ever have to imagine such a morning!

What Happens in May

What happens in May is that the lawnmower breaks.

Last May I wrote about the difficulties in fixing a lawn mower with help.  (You can read all about it here: New Respect)

This year the lawnmower had difficulties beyond my paltry mechanical skills so I laughed and took pictures while the girls helped John.

That was fun until he looked at me with this smile on his face and said something to the effect of…

….”If you don’t put your camera down and get YOUR girls out of here I’m going to feed them to the pigs, throw the lawn mower in the neighbors pond and run away to Acapulco.”

So the girls and I left him to his work and did the only other thing to do when the lawnmower is broken, we made dandelion crowns. Because when your grass has grown tall enough that you can lose a Great Dane in the yard (Really, it was that tall!) the dandelions have nice long stems for braiding!The lawn mower was back in service today and we finished mowing the lawn for the first time this afternoon!