Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Riddle:  What comes but once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in a thousand years?

Baby, it’s cold outside!  Twenty below Monday morning at six, eleven below at seven this morning.  Nevertheless, Monday I got in my car and drove over to The Courage Center for Early Bird Water Aerobics – and I was the only person to show up.  The teacher and I did some exercises, and I swam a lap in the deliciously-warm water, and came home feeling rather proud of myself.  And a little disappointed.  This is Minnesota, after all, land of the deep freeze.  It’s been cold here before, and will be again.  We’re used to it.   You just put on an extra layer or two and go out in it.  You don’t stay out in it, but (in my case) drive from underground parking space to a place with a heated building then from heated building to frozen car in the parking lot and think perhaps your next car should have seats that heat up.  And later brag about how tough it was going out in the cold for the thirty or forty seconds it took getting from heated building to the car, like I’m doing now.  The people who really suffer in this weather are those standing out in the cold waiting for the bus to come.  They hop from foot to foot and slam their arms against their sides and pull their scarves up higher over their noses.  Worst of all, those who have to work outdoors.  Mail deliverers, for one.

I'm thinking about changing from riddle to something else at the head of my entries.  Burma Shave rhymes, for example (I have a book of them - delightful!).  Or epitaphs - I have a book of them, too.  What do you think?

Yesterday was Epiphany, so down came the Christmas decorations.  I was getting to where I hardly noticed them, but now the living room looks barren and sad without the lights and stockings.  Today I go over to St. George’s to put away the Fontanini Christmas creche and all of Bethlehem.

Kings River Life has a review & giveaway of my latest book to appear in paper (And Then You Dye), along with a few other Penguin mysteries: http://www.facebook.com/l/jAQHC5BS-AQE1GXmweOFzb-l3r_8gO2rBsqtQ5J_RIaytMw/kingsriverlife.com/01/04/penguin-mysteries-to-start-2014/

People sometimes ask me, ‘How’s you latest book doing?”  Which in this case makes me reply, “Which book?  The current one, And Then You Dye, or the one coming out, The Drowning Spool, or the one I’m working on, A Needle Case?”  Kind of makes me look efficient, doesn’t it?

Answer:  The letter M


Linda O. Johnston said...

Hugs from warm Southern California, Monica. I love Kings River Life and will have an article in it soon. And I know what it's like to be in so many different stages of a whole lot of books!

Anonymous said...

My vote would be for the Burma Shave rhymes; They were before my time and I've heard through older relations that they interesting. I feel real lucky that where I live it is in the low 40's after a few "colder days" of being in the 20's. Very couragous to brave the weather and can't wait for your next book release

Monica Ferris said...

The weatherman on a local station was explaining how the jet stream had taken a big dip south, bringing freezing weather as far south as Florida! So I'm glad I'm not trying to find a temporary refuge from this deep freeze - I'd have to go to Mexico!

Ah, Anonymous, Burma Shave. I was a child as the company was winding them down, but I have some fond memories of them. I'll think hard about posting some of them.

Betty Hechtman said...

It makes me shiver to hear about the cold. But I may be getting a taste of it soon. I just got a call from my neighbor about a plumbing leak that may be comeing from my place, in Chicago. It wouldn't be the first time I've jumped on a plane to deal with a plumber.

Dee W said...

Me personally would vote for the epitaths. I'm a genealogist, I love cemeteries. I took down my Christmas on Sunday, yeah it looks bare. Our water froze up when our heat tape got unplugged. We just plugged it back in and luckily it thawed out. Hooray! Stay warm, looking forward to the Drowning Spool.

Monica Ferris said...

Dee, I love cemeteries, too. Especially the really old ones, with interesting and sometimes curious epitaphs.

Okay, that's one vote for each. I need a tie-breaker. Or maybe I could alternate, Burma Shave one week, epitaph the next.

Hester from Atlanta said...

I vote for Burma Shave - I was 5 when my family drove across the US to California. I think I learned how to read by reading Burma Shave signs.(this was in the early 50s). Alternating the two categories seems like a great idea!!

Monica Ferris said...

I think alternating is a good idea. Watch next Tuesday; I'll begin with a Burma Shave rhyme ad.