Sunday Bookends: Trying a little crime fiction, garden progress, and spending time outside

I decided to break up some of my light fiction this week with crime fiction suggested by my husband (after I asked for a recommendation.) I needed something different than what I usually read. So I’m trying Earl Stanley Gardner’s The Knife Slipped and so far I like it. I love his character descriptions. Here is one of my favorites:

“Her face was the color of a tropical sunset with rouge over the cheeks, and crimson lipstick trying to turn the upper lip into a cupid’s bow. The thing must have been weird enough so far as the average spectator is concerned, but to a detective who trains himself to look closely and see plenty of details, it looked like an oil painting done by Aunt Kate or Cousin Edith, the kind that are hung in a dark corner in the dining room where the open kitchen door will hide ’em during mealtimes.”

I also loved this dialogue:

“To hell with that stuff. I’m objective, Donald. I have no more feeling than the bullet that leaves a rifle barrel. If it’s a charging elephant that’s in front of it, the bullet smears him. If it’s a poor little deer, nursing a fawn, the slug tears through her vitals just the same. I’m like that Donald. I’m paid to deliver results, my love, and by God, I deliver ’em.”

I’m still reading my daughter Paddington books at night and right now we are re-reading Paddington Abroad, which is one of our favorites. I’m also finishing up Sweet On You by Becky Wade.

We are loving our new house and the children are too, especially Little Miss who wants to spend just about all day outside as long as it isn’t hot. I love that she loves to be outside, even though sometimes I need a break to do things inside. She was never outside this much at the old house, which had a smaller yard, was in town, and where we always felt uncomfortable because people drove and walked by and watched us (or maybe that was only in our heads.)

There was a lot of concrete and asphalt there and it wasn’t as friendly. Here we have neighbors who love to pet our dog (one of our neighbors up there did love our dog), welcome us to the neighborhood with hanging plants; wildlife to watch (I caught a toad the other day for my daughter who promptly decided it was her pet and she didn’t want to let it go), we also have bunnies hopping through the backyard, a space for a garden, and all kinds of plants and flowers popping up all over. And for my son, the best thing is that we are 5.3 miles away from his best friend’s house.

We have discovered peonies on one side of the house, which delighted me because I had peonies at the house I lived in when I was a child and they were over 100 years old. I’m so excited for them to bloom I just want to sit next to the bush and wait. My mom says they usually bloom around my brother’s birthday which is June 9. She said when they did bloom they would bother her asthma and a friend told her to have them pulled up so they would stop coming back each year.

“I can’t have them pulled up!” she cried. “They’re over 100 years old!”

I think there was some story about my great-grandfather being very sick one time and when he woke up and was healthy enough to leave the house, the first thing he saw was the peonies. It was some relative anyhow. Later this week I will have an interesting story involving my great-grandfather and his sister Mollie. (I know. You’re just on the edge of your seat waiting to read it, aren’t you? Ha. 😉 But it has to be better than the news these days.)

We spent a lot of time outside on Memorial Day weekend too. It’s a family tradition to visit the cemetery down the road from my parents behind a 150-year-old (or so) church where my ancestors and sister are buried. My mom gave birth to my sister prematurely four years before I was born and she did not survive.

My daughter seemed oblivious to the fact she was dancing on the final resting places of her ancestors as she ran around, twirled, jumped and sang Frozen songs and occasionally helped my dad plant flowers. My son told her she needed to stop but I told him if the dead people could see my daughter they’d probably be delighted to watch her with all her en


We found a pigeon when were there and my daughter loves all animals so I thought she was going to try to take it home, especially when she saw it was injured. It couldn’t fly at all. Instead it would try to walk, limp and then fall forward on it’s face. We decided to let it go it’s own way since we weren’t sure what was wrong with it, but it was very sad to see. I wish we could have helped it but I think it was sick and not only injured.

My son thought he was funny to lean on the gravestone of his namesake (his great-great-great grandfather who was a Civil War veteran) and call him a “boomer” but then realized he shouldn’t joke since without the man he wouldn’t even be here. I agreed and that’s when I launched into a Biblical-type lineage speech.

“Yes, son, because John begot J. Eben who begot Ula, who begot Ronnie, who begot me, who then begot you.”

My son didn’t find me humorous. Why would he? He is a teenager now. (Don’t let the smile here fool you…his laughter was at his own joke, not mine.)

I finally finished planting our garden after my dad, son, and husband finished building the fence around the raised garden beds my son and Dad built. I have one more plant to . . . er. . . plant. Broccoli I almost forgot it. I’m really not sure what is going to grow and what isn’t at this point but the green beans and some of the lettuce are already sprouting. My dad finally found us some summer squash. The garden centers around here were wiped out. Summer squash was what I really wanted in the garden because that was the one plant that survived at the other house and actually produced a veggie I could use.



I’ve also planted tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, and potatoes. We will see if any of them come up or not. It will be fun to watch.

So that’s about it for me here this week. How about all of you? What have you been reading, watching or doing this past week? Let me know in the comments.

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

13 comments

  1. I just finished Where the Crawdad’s Sing and I really enjoyed that. I’m looking for a new book to read so I’ll have to check out the book you mentioned. It sounds interesting. I love the photos of your daughter dancing in the graveyard. I bet if those people could see her they’d be dancing right along with her just enjoying all the happiness!

    Like

    1. Did you mention last week about Where the Crawdad’s Sing? I know I’ve heard about it a couple of times now and need to look it up. I actually had no idea who was commenting for a moment because your profile photo is diffferent. Hahaha! I’m a nerd. 😉

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      1. I did! I had just started it then. It was really good!
        Haha! I thought it was time for an updated picture since my other one is years old. I need to change it everywhere but I keep forgetting. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Grandchild and I watched the spacecraft launch. So much more calming and positive than the news! We’ve been outside a lot too — weeding, planting, etc. and my friend and I started walking in the early mornings once again. That felt good!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We tried to watch the launch Thursday and then it got scrubbed so we were going to watch it Saturday. My son went to a friend’s house so we forgot. We are going to watch the replay today instead

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  3. I love your garden photos and your daughter and son are too cute. It is so much nicer spending time outside and everything in your part of the world is so green. Nothing exciting going on over here. Well, there are the riots but since yesterday I have not checked to see how our city did last night, this is the third day of protest.

    Anyway, mostly everything is peaceful but then there is a group that seems different . They dress a certain way and stay close to each other, hitting certain spots and screaming to get others involved. Usually wearing all black, usually white young men that are not protesting the normal way.

    I watched this live when it happens in our city. These men and even some women in their group will also I notice jump into the camera shots as much as possible but now it is almost like they are being told to not only jump into the camera shots but to now start touching and attacking the camera people and reporters, but not too aggressively.

    It happened live to one of our local reporters and then I turned to YouTube and saw this happen at other sites as well, like this was planned. Everything else here is nice. People out cleaning up after the protest, being nice, helping each other. Most people are protesting peacefully, what happened was horrible and should have never happened.

    I just finished up my Texas romance series by Jodi Thomas. I still am not really finding anything fun to watch on TV so I watched Night of the comet with my husband the other day, we laughed at how the 80’s used to be. Now we are watching the NASA streaming channel a lot. That’s about it. You and your family have a beautiful Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think quite a bit of it is organized for a certain reason, yes. And I don’t think very many of them are upset about that man’s death. If they wanted to honor his memory they wouldn’t trash the businesses of their community members (black or white or Asian or whatever race the business member is). They should be upset, absolutely! But burning things doesn’t make you look caring, it makes you look like a thug. I certainly hope justice is done in this particular case, but without anyone else being hurt.

      I don’t think I’ve ever read Jodi Thomas. May need to look into that for something light to read.

      Did you see the spacecraft launch? I missed it but we are going to rewatch for my son’s school tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, we loved watching that. It was a nice break from what was going on in our city. They declared a state of emergency in our state and a curfew for 8 pm for a week. My cousin’s husband is a paramedic and she was so upset a couple days ago because her husband is in the middle of it being in the fire department. The news media here was not reporting that one of our fire stations was taken over by rioters and they were telling the firemen that they knew where they lived and what they were going to do to there wives. I won’t repeat it here…shocking. My cousin was so upset. They have many friends in the police department and they are not bad, not everyone is bad. We are not far from the main part of the city so we hear the sirens and just stay inside hoping and praying they stay away from the neighborhoods. Then the other day they changed directions and now they are more peaceful protest here in Arizona. I will continue to pray it stays that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s so awful!!! I don’t understand how they think this helps anything – threatening people and their wives and trashing businesses. Peaceful protests are one thing but riots and looting – um no. Plus — aren’t we supposed to have a virus going on or did that just disappear somehow?

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