Browsing Archives for June 2008

For the second book in my summer reading program, I am choosing We Took To The Woods By Louise Dickinson Rich. It may become clear to you as this summer reading program progresses, that I have very specific likes when it comes to books. I strongly prefer non-fiction, first person accounts about people who go off and do strange things in difficult places and have either a rib cracking sense of humor about it or who are so deftly poetic in their writing that I am borne away on the wings of their prose… to another world… full of waving flowers in a meadow… while little elfin antelope deer birds frolick… in the dense fragrant forest… of love…with lutes… and fifes… and bagpipes…and unicorns…



Oh yeah, I like writers that are you know… good writers.

Louise falls into the later category but she is also funny. Kind of funny strange, but also funny funny.

Here is the basic synopsis. In the 1940′s, Louise goes on a canoe trip with some friends. While on this trip she meets a woolly bear who turns out to be a man who turns out to marry her who turns out to sweep her away forever to the remotest corner of Maine, which today probably has a McDonalds and a Home Depot, and at least seven strip malls along a four lane highway that has a Mister Moose Canoe Outfitters and a Lumberjack Backwoods Mountain Man Pizza Grill in each one.

But back then, it was remote. Really remote. So remote that Louise and her woolly bear husband didn’t see other people for months at a time. And they entertained themselves by trying to stay warm and keeping the logging road clear enough for the occasional visitor to get through.

So when it came to having babies and getting groceries and shopping trips to the mall for a new pair of shoes, Louise’s life was kind of hard.

Inside the cover there is map of all the places that were a part of Louise’s very hard, very remote, very no internet or television or even library life.

I love books with maps.

The copy I ordered for you also has a dust jacket with a picture of their cabin. Sadly my own copy does not have the dust jacket. I thought about keeping the dust jacket for myself, but that seemed wrong.

This bloggy giveaway has been forever buried in the sands of time immortal.

A few days ago I decided to reward myself for catching up on laundry and being a good little garden center worker and for taking care of little boys for thirteen years in a row and for not murdering my husband in his sleep for FOURTEEN years in a row and for Sunday School coming to an end for the year and for my Zumba class taking a summer break and just cause…. So I bought myself some used books from Alibris to celebrate.

During this book shopping spree I couldn’t help but think about my blog and all the people who read it and how they tend to be people that are kind of like me though probably smarter and much more organized with better hair and hopefully not so many paint stained pairs of shorts, but still… kind of like me and maybe they would like the same books that I like, so I decided to chuck a few more into my “shopping cart” while I was stocking up on Beverely Nichols books. 

But you know how it is, one book leads to another and another and another. I started scanning the shelves in my study to remember the titles and authors of my most beloved tomes, even though you would think I would have them memorized because I have read them so many times, but I don’t because of the four holes in my head where the babies came out.

So I started adding a few more books and a few more and a few more and by the end of the night I looked at my shopping cart and at the total cost of my shopping cart and OH DEAR I am afraid I had to go back and get rid of quite a few. The problem is not the price of the books themselves, but rather that Dad Gum shipping!!!

Finally, I whittled the cost down to a manageable amount and pushed the “send” button and here we are at The Country Doctor’s Wife’s Summer Reading Program Book Giveaway Number One. How’s that for a catchy title! Can’t you see it on T-shirts and bumper stickers and wooden plaques for your kitchen walls! ?! 

The first books arrived today! It is kind of exciting to open them as they come from bookstores all over the country. Alibris has it’s own warehouse, but it also is a place where used book stores from all over the world can post their inventory and get their books to the people who want to buy them. When you shop at Alibris, you are not just supporting Alibris, you are also supporting wonderful little bookshops all over the world!

Isn’t that wonderful!

Doesn’t it just make you want to open a wonderful little bookshop!

And even though this post is turning into a post about Alibris and not at all about my Summer Reading Program, I have to tell you that perusing the choices of copies at Alibris is half the fun of finding your book. You will have to decide between the dog eared copy with a few underlines on page 25 from Bob’s books in Bangor Maine and the other copy with minor shelf wear that had a flower pressed in the middle and an inscription that says to Mom with love, Jerry which is located in New Mexico at Martina’s Book Shack. I had to buy the pressed flower copy of course.

The first book I am giving away is one of my all time favorites. Betty MacDonald author of the timeless tale, “The Egg and I” which eventually led to the movie “The Egg and I” which featured two characters from her book, Ma and Pa Kettle, who went on to become part of the fabric of American culture, wrote the book, Onions in the Stew that I am giving away. You may have to read the previous sentence about seventeen times before it starts to make sense.

But Betty MacDonald is far more than the woman who actually lived down the road from the original Ma and Pa Kettle. Betty MacDonald is also the woman who made a tired, overwhelmed, lonely woman with three little boys who’s young husband had disappeared into medical residency, laugh so hard that her gut split wide open and she had to have emergency surgery and got to spend two weeks in the hospital with no-one to care for but herself and her young husband was forced to look in on her at least once a day or look like a cretin to all his co-residents.

Um… yeah – I made that last part up, but Betty and her indomitable spirit did see me though some tough times. She is tough as nails, more resilient than a cast iron skillet and as funny as only a divorced, chain smoking mother of two living on an island off the Seattle coast can be.

Oh yes, she also lived in a great house.

Oh yeah – she also loved to garden.

Onions in the Stew is from the period in Betty’s life after she left her first husband the chicken farmer, moved back to Seattle, married her Scotsman, and found herself living on Vashon Island with a daily commute that involved a pre-dawn ferry boat ride.

This is a picture of Betty. Look at the lawnmower and those bangs! 

I think I will stop complaining about my hair now.

So if you don’t win the book, promise me you will go check it out in your library. Betty deserves it. And so does Don, the bellowing Scotsman. And so do her two girls, Anne and Joan. Go read her. You will laugh yourself silly.

To win Onions in the Stew tell me what you favorite book is in the comments. I will draw a random winner. Contest ends at 8 PM Sunday.

This contest has come to an end.

Corn on The Cob 101

June 5th, 2008

First there is the thinking part.

Followed rapidly by the doing part.

And then back to thinking…

Sometimes these decisions can appear to be painful…

As if the subject were in physical agony…

But that is just an illusion.  In truth the cob only gives life…

Even serenity…

And then the cycle starts all over again…

Isaac asked Jack, ” When is the part where you rub the cob in your lap…?”

Jack explained to Isaac that the lap has nothing to do with the cob.

Slowly, Isaac came to understand.