Sunday Bookends: Peggy Rowe, finding fellow Mitford fans, and the last week in our house

Here we are: at the final week in our current house. It’s been a bitter sweet time as we are excited to leave this area in some ways (some bad memories from here) and sad at the same time (we have some really nice neighbors). The other day we received some snow and I looked out at the hills that hug this Valley, at the snow clinging to the pine trees and said to my daughter (who is 5): “Look at the beautiful trees out there. Isn’t that amazing?” She let out a heavy sigh and said: “I’m going to miss those hills.”

Somehow she always seems older than she is, which seems to be a familiar trend with my children.

Not sure how well you can see the hills with power lines in front of them and fog settling on them. We always have fog here in the mornings and on certain days because the town is located between two rivers.

Of course, we will still be surrounded by hills at our new home, which is only about 45 miles away from where we live now.

We get the moving truck Tuesday and start loading it up, most likely on our own since everyone is afraid of everyone else these days, (understandably),

I’m not really sure how we are going to load up the couches and heavier furniture, but right now we don’t have a choice. If we don’t move out we could lose the mortgage it took us months to get and the buyers of our house could be in the same situation.

I’m a total wimp anymore with all my weird health issues or hormones, or whatever, so please pray I get some strength next week and can help get things loaded up. Luckily we have a couple of days to load the truck before we have to be totally out of the house so it will give us time to pause and gasp for air.

Last week (and the week before) I started re-reading some familiar, cozy books to help take my mind off various stresses. One of those books was About My Mother by Peggy Rowe (mother of Dirty Job’s fame Mike Rowe). The other is The Light in the Window by Jan Karon. It is the second book in The Mitford Series. After Jan Karon made an announcement about them on her Facebook page, I even found a fan club that is reading the first book this next month and we can all share our favorite parts and talk about our favorite characters. That should be a nice distraction (if I have Internet at the new house during the month because we aren’t sure how long it will take to get Internet hooked up with all that is going on.)

I’ve been following Peggy on Facebook (her interviews with Mike are hilarious!) for awhile, and am looking forward to her new book, About Your Father and Other Celebrities I Have Known: Ruminations and Revelations from a Desperate Mother to Her Dirty Son, which will be released on April 14. I don’t normally pre-order books, but I pre-ordered this one on Kindle.

I not only started re-reading the book but had a gift credit for Audible and downloaded the book there too, which Mrs. Rowe reads herself. I needed that for something uplifting to focus on while I go to sleep at night. I fell asleep listening to her the night before.

For those who might be interested, here is the description for About My Mother:

A love letter to mothers everywhere, About My Mother will make you laugh and cry – and see yourself in its reflection.

Peggy Rowe’s story of growing up as the daughter of Thelma Knobel is filled with warmth and humor. But Thelma could be your mother – there’s a Thelma in everyone’s life.  She’s the person taking charge – the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today, Thelma would be described as an alpha personality, but while growing up, her daughter Peggy saw her as a dictator – albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning – Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, the genteel-yet-still-controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters. Good luck.

When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises – Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the television, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange-and-black schedule taped to the refrigerator door.

Sometimes it takes a little distance to appreciate the people we love.

The description for About Your Father:

Peggy Rowe is at it again—this time giving a hilarious inside look at growing up Rowe, both before and after Mike’s rise to fame.

Since the day they said, “I do,” Peggy’s previous “doting” lifestyle met with her husband John’s minimalist ways and became the backdrop for years of adventure and a quirky sense of humor because of their differences. From thoughts of wearing headlamps in the house to save energy, to squeezing out the last drop of toothpaste with a workbench vise, Peggy learned to pick her battles and celebrate the hilarity in each situation.

Once their boys were born, woodstove mishaps and garbage dumping tales were the seed for Mike’s obsession with doing dirty jobs and the comical presence he is known for today.

As Mike rose to fame, Peggy was his biggest fan—who gave motherly advice and constructive criticism, of course. She baked cookies for Mike to take to Joan Rivers for a Christmas party hostess gift, and even wrote fan letters under faux names and mailed them from different cities to Mike’s producer.  

By the time Mike hits it big, Peggy and John retire to face more adventures, with a lightning strike in their condo, an elderly friend who ate marijuana leaves, and entering into celebrity status by making Viva paper towel and Lee jeans commercials, plus so much more.

Peggy’s stories relive the details that intrigue and entertain old and new fans alike. So if you want a bigger, even funnier take on the Rowe family, About Your Father and Other Celebrities I Have Known delivers.

– Amazon

One of the other things that helped keep us distracted this week from the moving stress (and other things) has been watching the bald eagles on the livecam sponsored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. This week my daughter and I missed the egg hatching because it happened at night but we were able to see the mama eagle feed the baby some fish the next day.

That was exciting for both of us since it was a first for us both. We have heard that the other egg hatched, but haven’t seen the new eaglet yet. The baby in the third egg apparently didn’t make it because some of the people in the live chat said the father eagle crushed the egg and fed it to the baby that lived. Gross, but nature.

We were watching another live cam feed and it looks like the egg that those eagles were taking care of is not going to hatch, unfortunately.

We have also enjoyed watching the Orangutans on the San Diego Zoo’s live cam.

The weather was a little weird this week with some sun, some rain and then actual snow one day. The up and down temperatures seems to be how spring is here, though. My daughter enjoyed running into the snow and standing under the gutter spout to get her hair wet, as well as trying to get me wet by throwing snowballs at me.

Showing me how cold and wet her hand is from gathering snow.

Getting groceries and supplies has been a little odd with everything going on and while we once looked forward to care packages with treats in them, we were all (okay, just me) excited to get a care package from my parents with two of the hottest commodities around the nation right now (there are disinfectant wipes under the toilet paper :

I ordered a few things from Walmart online two weeks ago and just received the items this past week. I’ve decided not to order from them again at least until after we move and maybe not at all until after things settle down a little with this virus.

The whole situation with all of this stuff in the news, by the way, has left me looking a bit like this lady below, who I plan to write about next week:

So, how about all of you? How are you holding up? What are you reading, watching, doing? Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Peggy Rowe, finding fellow Mitford fans, and the last week in our house

  1. So great to hear the good news about your move! Happy for you guys! We have been watching the live bird cams too. I forgot about the San Diego Zoo cams. I will show the kids that today. We were just there not too long ago. San Diego Zoo is great! We went to the Safari Park too. Love seeing all the animals! God bless!


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