Friday, June 19, 2009

Freaky Friday

Strange things are afoot in the House of Bookfool. First, there was the discovery of The Littlest Pickle:

Awww, so cute! I think he deserves his own story, don't you? It won't have a happy ending if it's non-fiction, though, because after the cat and I measured him . . . well, I ate him. Yum.

So, do you guys have things like this hanging in your trees? I don't (although our dearly departed kitty, Sunshine, once brought us a snaky "gift" and we once had one climb the bricks beside our front door), but my next-door neighbor called me and asked me to come take a picture because she dropped her camera and broke it:

That is a complete snake skin, sans snake. I didn't know one could shed whilst dangling from a tree, but if that isn't all kinds of awesome, I'm a monkey's uncle. My neighbor said she's feeling a little antsy after this discovery. Can't say I blame her. Neighbor's husband said he's never seen such a complete skin. Here's a close-up of its head:

We actually found a nicely intact skin like that, once (I don't think my neighbor believed me, but I believe me and I guess that's all that counts). I showed it to the kids and then gave it to a science teacher, who was very grateful to add it to her collection of nifty scientific stuff.

In other news:

I have finished Rubber Side Down: The Biker Poet Anthology, ed. by Jose (JoeGo) Gouveia -- which is really surprisingly delightful reading, if a little unusual -- and am on the verge of wrapping up The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist.

My husband took the day off and we spent our time cleaning, trying to pair up socks (a horrible, exhausting chore because there's just not enough light in our house to see the nuances in color and style), buying groceries and wandering around the explosive disaster known as Wal-Mart. They're rearranging and it's nearly impossible to find anything, but we happened across a totally unexpected surprise: The Trouble With Angels on DVD for $5. Squeeee! It's one of my all-time favorite movies.

Newest arrivals (the mailman has been lacking in burdens, this past few days, but I did get plenty, this week):

Milky Way Marmalade by Mike DiCerto

Passeggiata: Strolling Through Italy by G. G. Husak (makes me want to hop a plane, but . . . to be honest, everything makes me want to fly away)

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand (very excited about this one because I've never been able to find her books in my library and my book group friends have all raved about Hilderbrand's writing)

Stand the Storm by Breena Clark, and

Offworld by Robin Parrish

All are new authors to me. I crave variety, you know. Which brings to mind that new cupcake book by Martha Stewart. It's possible I'll have to locate a copy, if only for the tramisu cupcake recipe. Oh, how I love tiramisu.

Happy Weekend!


  1. I love that movie! I see you've copped the catch phrase.

    No. No, I have never found a snake skin like that in a neighborhood tree and I can assure you, I wouldn't be my neighborhood for long after that. But it is pretty cool in a gruesome way.

  2. You know, I think I had a pickle smaller than youres, but I can't prove it because I ate it. :)

    I have an orange tabby cat named Sunshine. He's also pretty good at catching varmints. Once, we had a few mice in the house, and every time he caught one, he didn't want to let it go. I guess he wanted a pet. LOL

  3. What an eclectic post! :) The snake skin really is cool. I haven't read any Hilderbrand either, but I have one here - I think it's her newest.

  4. I would have dropped my camera, too, if I'd seen that hanging from my tree.

  5. Carrie,

    Yep, I've been saying, "I've got a scathingly brilliant idea!" for so many years that I decided to snatch it up for my comment link.

    "Pretty cool in a gruesome way" is a good way to describe that snake skin. I think you get 10,000 points and a weekend at the shore. The 10,000 points are useless, but at least I know you'll use the rest. :)


    I love my pickles so much that I waited till I was at the bottom of the jar before I bothered to snap a pic of my little pickle. And, then it was a no-brainer -- time for the snack. LOL

    Our little Miss Sunshine (obviously female) was also an orange tabby. I thought Sunshine was the perfect name for an orange tabby cat. She was our puppy cat -- followed me everywhere and was so smart. That is so funny about your cat and his mice!! Cats are so entertaining.


    Do you have The Castaways? I've got that one, too. Hatchette makes me happy all under. I've been so anxious to read this author and now I've got two of her books. How cool is that?


    Hahaha! I wish I could move! This has been a very wet spring (although the last week has been stunningly dry) so it's a big snake year. We've walked past a half-dozen of them in the park. All were dead and most were small, but one of them was a copperhead, so I think everyone needs to watch their ankles in Vicksburg, this year!

  6. Little giggle about cat measuring little pickle!

    We had to put screens over our chimney once when we lived in the country. Chimney swifts built a nest, which I thought was cool, until a huge chicken snake came down the chimney, ate the baby birds, then fell out into our living room. Not a pleasant event to awaken and sort out in the middle of the night! The darn thing had lumps in his middle!

  7. Yuk to the snakeskin!! Sorry to hear the Littlest Pickle story is a bummer!!

    The Trouble with Angels? That's not that old Haley Mills movie is it?? I haven't seen it in years, but I Loved it!!

  8. Jenclair,

    My cat has many talents. :)

    Ohmygosh!!! That would definitely freak me out, and I'm not easily freaked by snakes. We had birds living in our chimney for over a decade because we couldn't find a chimney cap that fit, but we finally got one when we had our roof replaced (the roofer measured and got someone to make one). It's so nice not to have those noisy birds tweeting in the fireplace all day.

  9. Ok...that snake skin would totally freak me out! We had a bear cub in our yard earlier this week that I am hoping to post the picture sometime this weekend...that was really cute.

    It looks like you also received some great books...enjoy!

  10. Stephanie,

    The snakeskin is really pretty cool, but I'm looking at his head and he sure looks like a venomous snake to me -- like he might have had the wide, triangular face that indicates venom pouches. He was probably 5-6 feet long. Big guy. Glad it was just his skin. LOL

    Yes, poor little pickle. He was delicious.

    Yep, that's the one! Haley Mills causing trouble at a private Catholic girls' school. It's a riot. I was excited to see it because just last week I was thinking maybe I should have spent $20 when it was available, a couple of years ago (I kept hoping they'd drop the price but then it just disappeared off the Best Buy shelves). I never dreamed I'd happen across it for $5!!


    A bear cub!!! Oh, I'll bet that was cute!!! But, it would scare me. I'm not so good with big fur things with jaws and sharp teeth. The loose dogs in our neighborhood frighten me a lot more than snakes. Please do post your pictures!!

    I did indeed. Now, if the housework wasn't screaming at me, I'd go read. But, I have work to do, darn it.

  11. I read Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand and liked it. I haven't read any of her others. I'll be curious to read your review. :)

  12. Krista,

    I know! You and everyone else in AN2R have all read Elin Hilderbrand. I've always felt a little left out, but my library doesn't even carry her in large type (we must have an elderly reading population, here -- our LT section is more up-to-date than the regular, near as I can tell). I flipped through the book and I like her writing style. I can't wait to read it.

  13. My daughter is obsessed with snakes and would LOVE to find a snake skin. Thanks for posting the pictures!

  14. Stephanie,

    I'll remember that, if I ever happen to come across another snake skin. We've only found one in the 18 years we've been in this house, but you never know. Wouldn't it be fun to find a box full of snake skin on your doorstep? ;)

  15. I can never live anywhere in which snake skins are found in tree branches. Nope. No siree, Bob! Never, never! shudder...

    I spent the morning scrubbing our fence. Yep. A painted fence that has black dirt/mold/grime all over the horizontal planks. It's been bothering me for weeks and I finally got my act in gear and got it done (with my hubby's help). Now we can see the pretty tan paint. Who knew?! ;) Nothing like hosting book club next week to get me to do some of those long overdue chores!

  16. Forgotten to mention that I really enjoyed Hildebrand's Love Season. Need to read something else by her. Let me know what you think of A Summer Affair. I could use some fluff this summer!

  17. Les,

    Me, either. I'd better start packing. You've seen the photo of the snake that climbed the bricks of our house, right?

    If you'd like, we have plenty of mold-scrubbing chores. Just pop by, any old time. Of course, there's no longer a place for a guest to sleep since my bizarro spouse yanked out the carpet in the den (it's been about 18 months and we're still living on concrete . . . and we gave away the sleeper sofa because it was a bit of pain tripping over it in the living/dining).

    I'll let you know what I think. I flipped through one of the Hilderbrands and it looked nice and light. Light is good when it's so hot. We're in the upper 90's. Blecch.

  18. That snakeskin is pretty cool. I wonder if it's possible the snake shed his skin on the ground, and some other animal carried it up into the tree?

  19. I love the jars of little pickles esp. the sweet midgets. Yum!

    My mailman has a very easy week. I think I only got one book in the mail. I am going to miss tour dates if some don't hurry up and get here soon. I made a concerted effort to cut down on accepting review books though I find myself now saying yes again.

    I had a job interview that I thought went good but they never called me. It was the only teaching one I had this summer. Not that I really gave it a good try. I am not sure what the heck is wrong with me because the job I have does not pay well or use my two college degrees. :)

    That snake skin freaked me out. I do not like most animals. I will perserve and protect but don't come near me. lol

    I love cupcakes and they are easier to make than a regular cake that would probably be lumpy and look funny for me. I need to find a copy of that cookbook too.

    Whooh sorry for the long comment. :)

    P.S. I just got home from our Wal Mart. I was starting to get annoyed and frustrated too esp. at the lady in front of me in the checkout lane. lol

  20. Love the first picture but I'm with the neighbor on the second one-that little discovery would make me more than antsy-I'd be leaving. lol. Who knows where it might show up next???

  21. Jeane,

    I love it that you think the snake skin is cool. :)

    We have plenty of other wild animals, so I suppose it's possible some critter carried it into the tree, although I can't think why one would. One thing I've learned is that snakes can climb into some pretty interesting places. If you missed the photo of the snake that climbed the exterior of our house, do a search on my blog using the word "snake" and it pops up fairly high on the page.


    I'm a big fan of baby dill pickles. :)

    Only one book? Wow! I'm trying to back away from review books, too, but July is so solidly booked I keep looking at my calendar and wondering what on earth I was thinking. I'm afraid I'm not going to get them all read in time.

    This is such a hard time to get a job that I wouldn't assume there's anything wrong with you. Just keep looking!!

    Freaked you out, eh? I don't mind snakes . . . really, I'm okay with most animals except for dogs that are strangers to me. I like them if I know them, but I don't think they should run loose, ever.

    My MIL sent me a link to Martha Stewart's website and hubby made those tiramisu cupcakes, last night! They were so good. I suggest trying a couple of the recipes online (but the book is gorgeous -- I still wouldn't mind owning a copy).

    Walmart is always frustrating. I go out of my way to avoid it. Sometimes, I'll drive to the Target in Flowood to get cat food and litter because it's so much more pleasant.

    I don't mind long comments. :)


    If I could move north, I would, but not because of the snakes. It's the loose dogs that drive me nuts. They pack up and they're scary. I know more people who've gotten dog bites than any other kind of bite (except mosquitoes, of course). Oddly, people are much more frightened of snakes and you hardly ever hear of anyone getting a snake bite. My neighbor is retired and she said they're staying in that house for the duration. But, she's watching her ankles. LOL

  22. Milky Way Marmelade has got to be one of the best titles invented. It sounds like such fun!

    I think I'm very glad there don't appear to be any snakes where I live. I'd probably be terrified, but seen in pictures/a distance, it really is quite cool!

  23. Shanra,

    Isn't that a fantastic title? I flipped through the book and read a few pages. I think I'm going to really like it. It's sci-fi.

    The great thing about snakes is that they're usually more frightened than we are. They tend to either freeze or move away quickly (from my limited experience -- except for that one copperhead in the park . . . my one venomous snake seemed pretty happy to just stay put). So, they're usually not much trouble. And, they eat rodents. Gotta love that! :)

  24. I have two small boys who ask--every damn time I turn over a rock--Is there a snake under there? (Doubtful.) Is that a snake? (No, I believe it's a slug.) Do snakes bite? (Yes, they do.) No they don't, they like me. (They like you because you are tasty and full of yum.) Can I pet snakes? (Yes. Go ahead.) Will he bite me? (No. He's your friend. He loves you.) NO! He will BITE ME! Mommy! (I'm not your mother.) Where's the helicopter live?

    That is a very cool picture.

    Lisa, wife of Jandar, mother of Jandar's Evil Twins

  25. Lisa,

    I hope you're writing all this down and planning to release your memoir within the coming year or so because I'm ready to read it.

    Also, you've reminded me why it's so great to have older kids. Exhausting little things, those boy critters, aren't they?

  26. The littlest's not easy being green.

  27. Bybee,

    Have you been hanging out with my buddy Kermit, again?

  28. Ooh, Offworld by Robin Parrish is on my wishlist - it sounds interesting.
    We had a pet snake for a while - the shed skin is pretty cool.

  29. Twiga,

    Doesn't Offworld sound great? I can't wait to read it. It's a tour book, so I'm holding off till closer to the tour date. I love it that you like the snake skin. It's nice to know there are plenty of people who find it cool! :)

  30. I'm normally ok with snakes, but I think if I found that in a tree outside of my house it would give me the heebie-jeebies. You can bet I'd be keeping my eyes open for anything that remotely looked like it could slither.

  31. Alyce,

    It doesn't bother me, but I think my husband is crazy not mowing before the grass gets a foot tall. I'd want to see where I'm headed with that lawn mower, knowing we have at least one snake hanging around. Our neighbor's driveaway is just up a tiny hill, so the tree is about 20 feet from our house. He could be hiding anywhere!


    Tasty, too. :)

  32. the pickle is cute but I'm not so sure about the snake skin. That would freak me out.

  33. Lisa,

    LOL I understand! Not everyone is as fascinated by snakes and such as I am.

  34. I don't know--I'm not sure I'd eat a pickle that small. I like the big crunchy ones, but not the HUGE ones like at the movies. I guess just right in between. :P

    Freaky about the snake skin. Snake or no, I would be freaked out! Maggie doesn't ever ever go outside, but my sister's cat used to bring rabbits and birds to the front porch as presents. And the little bugger didn't have any claws! (he wasn't supposed to be outside...).

    I hope you're having a wonderful week, Nancy.

  35. Trish,

    He was a yummy little pickle. I like the mini dills.

    Oh, those cats and their gifts. Our little Sunshine brought us a snake, once. I patted her on the head and thanked her, then I took him outside and let him go. He was a pretty little guy -- maybe 3-4' long. Bigger than you'd think a little kitty could drag in.

    Our Spooky doesn't really hunt much, anymore (she's 15 and her black coat is shot with gray) but she does like the outdoors and if she sees something interesting, she'll still catch it. Not long ago, I saw her stalking and had to throw my shoes on and chase her to try to get her to leave a chipmunk alone. I didn't get there in time. Sigh. I'm sure it was quite a sight, though, the way I chased the cat who was chasing the chipmunk.

    Thanks! I hope you're having a great week, too!!


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