Monday, May 30, 2011

Naughty Ruby

Me: Ruby! Come here right now! Have you been digging under my chair?

Ruby: Absolutely not. Why do you ask?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Naughty Ruby

Me: Ruby!! Get over here right now! Have you been digging for chipmunks in my garden again?

Ruby: Absolutely not! Why do you ask?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Making progress

My husband is restoring a 1959 Triumph TR3.

It arrived at our house as a rusty shell and cardboard boxes of parts.

But it's actually starting to look like a car.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

I love kids

From a fan:

I like your book because it's very fun. I like your book because Willy is very cute. What is your favorite coler [sic]?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lessons from Blondie's University of Experience

Blondie's Lesson #29:

If you are a woman and find yourself with a cast on your arm, these are the things the doctor will not tell you that you need:

1. There are a gazillion kinds of cast covers. The BEST are made by Curad. No tape, velcro, etc. involved. Cheap. Work great. Available at Walgreen's or online. (The doctor told me to use a grocery bag and duct tape. *rolls eyes*)

2. Dental floss picks and an electric toothbrush.

3. Facial cleansing wipes.

4. A thick terry cloth bathrobe and slippers (I recommend Acorn spa thongs) because drying can be difficult.
5. Shampoo with a pump top.

If you are a man and find yourself with a cast on your arm, grocery bags and duct tape are fine.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lessons from Blondie's University of Experience

This is the first of some new posts featuring things I've learned through experience and am passing along to anyone who might find them useful. (Btw, "Blondie" is one of my nicknames.)

Lesson #1:

Do not cook a porkloin with the meat thermometer set on Celsius and wait for it to reach 160.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

An Award for Owen Jester

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester has been named one of 2011 Best Books for Kids by Page Ahead.

From their website:

"Page Ahead is the leading provider of children's literacy services in Washington State, serving more than 55,000 children in need every year.

We serve children, families and communities, with new books for children, literacy support for families, and reading resources for communities."

What an honor!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I love kids

Letter from a reader:

Dear Barbara O'Connor:
You taught us a fantastic lesson. Your books are exciting. I like your accent. I hope you spread your kindness to everyone like you did to us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Boiled peanuts!

When I was a child, my grandfather grew peanuts.

My grandmother always had a pot of them boiling on the back of the stove.

Freshly boiled peanuts are the best.

(These were made for me by a darling child in Kansas.)

Down South, you often see them being sold out of the back of trucks on the side of the road. This truck was parked outside a Waffle House where I ate in Fountain Inn, South Carolina:

On a recent trip to South Carolina, I checked out what was available at the Piggly Wiggly. (Notice those GIANT cans.)

Now they have microwavable pouches! I brought these home with me but had to put up a good fight with airport security in order to have them in my carry-on (due to liquid in them). Not as good as the real deal, but better than nothing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An egg a day

My friend, Gucci, made me these eggs to have while I recuperate from thumb surgery.
Aren't they pretty?

Monday, May 2, 2011

An Eatin' Man

Remember how Jethro Bodine was an Eton man?

Those Southerners sure do eat!

During my recent trip to South Carolina, I took a stroll down memory lane to see some of the foods I remember well, and some I had forgotten about.

I remember mustard greens but I had forgotten about crowder peas.

Grits, grits, many kinds of grits. (I love 'em.)

I LOVE these Nekot cookies. I can't find them where I live now so I always buy a bunch to bring home.

I grew up near the Duke's mayonnaise factory. It's the best! My sister always takes some back to Ohio with her when she visits the South.

My mother always forced me to eat fried okra, despite much gagging on my part. But I love pickled okra. Back in my hippie days, I had a huge vegetable garden and grew okra. The plant has GORGEOUS flowers.

The Piggly Wiggly had the world's largest collection of pork rinds. WHAT is better than cold beer and pork rinds? I once had a friend who was obese. He went on a doctor-approved pork rind diet and lost a ton of weight. Seriously. (They have no carbs. A little fat, but, hey....)

I picked these up at a convenience store. They were really tasty. 350 calories a bag.

These are still sitting in my cupboard. Yum.

Another food I was forced to eat despite much gagging. (But fresh, of course, and with lots of fatback.)

I have no memory of chicken feet in my childhood, but they sure are popular at the Piggly Wiggly.