Good morning everyone. The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning CALM — which is the weather we’re having this morning. The calm before the snow we’re supposed to get this afternoon.

The Word of the Day prompt is QUEST — which is what I’ve been on.

You see, I’d just written a book review on Amazon and was ready to do the concluding sentence and an edit, but wondered if the author’s name ended with a T or a D. Well, somehow in my “quick-click-to-check” quest, I lost my multi-paragraph review, crafted so painstakingly, etc. 😦

ARRGH! Not so calmly, I searched through my browsing HISTORY, but my words had truly disappeared. So now that I’ve just spent an hour reviewing a book on Amazon, I’m going to post that, adding a few details, in lieu of writing anything else. I hope you all like dogs, as this couple had over thirty in their home at various times.

DOGTRIPPING by David Rosenfelt (with a T) is a long and winding account, but interesting overall.

As an animal lover, I enjoyed reading about this couple’s efforts to save dogs. Different times the writer touches on the sad fact that there are so many more dogs waiting for homes than people to adopt them; so many of these are finally put down. The same couple be said of cats. The Rosenfelts were especially interested in golden retrievers, but took in dogs of mixed breeds as well, usually animals in need of special care, and gave them a happy ending.

Though the book is about the move to Maine, the writer spends a lot of time on the buildup, hopping back and forth between arranging their move and describing the dogs they’ve rescue, their home setup, the people and rescue groups he’s met along the way, the special folks volunteering to make the trip with them. It gets long but I found it all interesting, though not exactly “intriguing” or “compelling.”

I commend him for the way he appreciates and praises his wife, Debbie, who can’t resist bringing home yet another unwanted dog — or two or three — if she ever visits a shelter. For the most part his self-depreciating humor and metaphors are amusing but I feel his wise-cracks about his helplessness on the journey are overdone; it sounds like everyone else worked and he staggered along behind — likely not true.

I’m glad the actual move came off so smoothly, without the disasters he was anticipating. I wish them and their pets an long and happy life in their new home, but their move to ME will bring tears to animal shelter workers in CA. Shelter workers in that area undoubtedly had the Rosenfelts’ phone number on their speed dials. 😉

A Vacation Feast

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is VACATION

Back when we lived in SW Ontario my husband worked at factory in Mitchell, ON, that produced rubber car parts for the big auto makers. The plant operated 24/7 almost all year, except for two weeks in the summer when it shut down for necessary maintenance of the plant and its presses. This gave the workers a nice long vacation — in the hottest part of the summer.

We weren’t interested in the sweltering South in mid-July, but we did make half a dozen trips to Pennsylvania to visit the congregations of our church and fellowship with the church folks there. This was back in the day when the state’s Tourism slogan was “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania” and we did indeed have a few. Still do.

There are four congregations of our church in PA: Mifflinburg; Belleville (in “the Big Valley”); Shippensburg, and Fleetwood (not far from Reading.) Bob had a prior acquaintance-by-letter with a fellow from the Belleville area, plus two couples from Fleetwood visited Ontario soon after we arrived. So these places were our first destinations in PA, but over time we’ve visited all four places and made the acquaintance of a number of families. The farmlands and rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania are beautiful country — especially once you’d driven through the cramped little coal-mining towns en route!

On one of these vacations we stopped at a farm near Mifflinburg to visit a family who, like ourselves, had recently joined this church from an Old Order Mennonite background. The Byler family operated a dairy farm and was busy with normal farm-related things when we got there, but they hospitably left their tasks to visit with these new people — from Canada, of all things! People who originated in a strange place called Saskatchewan.

We enjoyed our visit, but noted that it was getting close to dinner time and thought we should be pushing along. However, they urged us to join them for a simple dinner and we did. Sweet corn was in season, so they picked a few more cobs, boiled enough for us all, and cobs of corn, buttered, was our entree. For dessert we enjoyed the whoopie pies the wife had baked that morning, together with servings of ice cream.

The Waldorf -Astoria couldn’t have produced a more delightful meal.

Photo:  Ri Butov — Pixabay


Here’s another thought on today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word, AROMATIC

Haiku verses are not given titles, but if I were to give this one a title, it would be DESPERATE.

Travelling through northern Ontario one night we were desperate for a motel room, but discovered to our dismay that all the rooms in all the quality motels were booked because of a local convention. “Non-smoking room” was no longer a choice. We took this room and managed to get a few hours sleep in spite of the almost overpowering smell. We didn’t linger long in the morning. 🙂 I was desperate to get home and wash all our clothes, as the smell of stale tobacco had permeated everything we brought into the room.

the last room in
the last motel in town
nicotine potpourri

Anyone who’s ever driven by tobacco kilns in the winter when the workers are turning the tobacco leaves will know what I mean; the whole countryside has that distinctive reek.