Friday, May 2, 2014

The Cucumber Baby was Both Practical and Delicious, and a Giveaway

Mother's Day is coming up. Yep,and pretty soon. My blogging friend, Pearl Vork-Zambory, has a doozy of a piece published in a new anthology on moms. Not you as a mom, but on our moms, those who birthed us and raised us. Called Moms Are Nuts, this is one of the funniest books I've read in a while. And in about a week, I will be giving away a copy of this book to one person who comments on this post. In the meantime, ordering information for the book as well as information on the hilarious Pearl is below. She's graciously agreed to give us a taste of her delicious writing in this piece, which has me craving cucumbers at an incredibly early hour. (And a little side note- I'll be out of town a few days, but I'll get back to commenting and responding when I return.) Enjoy!


“Mumma, why don’t you take Pearl here out to the garden, see if you can’t load her up?” 

I have gone to my parents’ place for the afternoon. My father, having discovered that the inside of my windshield has the transparency of an executive board’s decision-making policy, potters off in search of Windex

My mother grabs a knife. 

The garden, a gated affair that succeeds in keeping the deer out and the veggies in, teems with ripe and ripening flora. It is mid-September in Minnesota; and while Minneapolis itself remains green, two hours’ north the change of the seasons is in the air, the maple tree on their property beginning to turn. 

Snow is not far in front of us. 

We wander amid the rows, pulling up beets and onions. The green beans hang in chandeliers, slim and tolerably fuzzy. The tomatoes wink, in varied shades of green and red, from within their cages.

 My mother is bent in half, her hands at work. “How many cukes?” she calls.

 “As many as you can spare,” I say.

 “Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” she says, her voice muffled by the vegetation. “I was just out here yesterday, and would you take a look at this one?”

She hoists a particularly ambitious cuke aloft, a green dirigible against the bright blue sky. 

There is a hollyhock off to the side of the garden. “You know,” I say, “it seems to me that I remember Grandma making me a little doll out of hollyhocks. Does that seem right to you?” 

My mother straightens up, smiles. “Yes,” she says. Her dark brown eyes shine. “A little blossom skirt, a bit of green, and a little blossom bonnet.”

 “I think that’s why I love hollyhocks.”

She looks down at the extra large cucumber in her hand. “We used to make dolls of these, you know.”

I cock my head toward her, a quizzical gesture I know to be one of hers.

 “We drew little faces on them,” she says, wistfully. “And wrapped them in little receiving blankets.”

I laugh. “You played with cucumber babies?” 

She nods. “Me and Sis and Patti and Janice, we all had our little cucumber babies.”

She grins. “And then for supper, we peeled them and ate them with a little salt and pepper.” 

She tosses me the cuke. “Let’s go see what your father is up to, shall we?”


Now about the book:

Emmy winners, magazine editors, comedians, TV personalities, bestselling authors and social media superstars team up to bring you a laugh-out-loud book not about being a mom, but about having a mom, grandmom or mom-figure. And while it's not OK for someone else to make yo-momma jokes about your momma, it is perfectly healthy — even downright hilarious — to find the humor in your own upbringing. In fact, these writers highly recommend it. So if you think your mom is nuts, pull up a chair. You're in good company.


You can order the book here:

Moms Are Nuts

50 comments:

  1. a green dirigible---that made me fall off my chair!!

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    1. I had such an image in my head with that one!

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  2. Cannibalism! By the time I drew a face on a cuke and wrapped it in swaddling clothes, I would be too emotionally involved to devour it. I'd want to give it a forever home!

    Looks like you have another winner, Pearl. Thanks, Shelly!

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  3. I love cucumbers, to eat them, that is. So, no cucumber baby for me. The poor thing would be devoured, before it got dressed. I want to eat them, right in the garden, for snack, for lunch, for dinner, anytime. How many more months till I can have some? Too many!

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    1. Linda: I felt like I had to go get some cukes after I read this!

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  4. Reading this, I was back in my dad's garden ... wistfully ... twenty years ago. He always loaded us up, too.

    I'm with Shady, I couldn't eat my cucumber if it had a face and blankie :)

    Thank you for holding this giveaway, Shelly!

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    1. jenny_o: Those big family gardens were a wonderful thing, weren't they?

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  5. How Cuke--I mean, Cute! You are right-Pearl is a great writer. I was there with her, Mama, and the cukes turned baby dolls. I SO hope I win this book!

    Have a great trip!

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    1. Jeanette: Cukes and dolls! And thank you~

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  6. Cucumbers as Baby dolls? Who'd have thunk it! A great childhood memory.
    I have to admit to not really liking cucumbers.... I bury them in a pile of salad and dressing to make it more palatable!
    I did enjoy the humour! Enjoy your few days away :-) xx

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    1. jazzygal: I used to not like them, either, but now, I have them in every salad. But I don't think about them being babies...

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  7. Mumma (and Pearl) sure know how to serve up a punchline.

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    1. Val: Pearl comes by her sense of humor honestly~

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  8. Very funny. A great read that brightened my day.

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    1. Stephen: Pearl always has a good word~

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  9. Pearl keeps me in stitches. Many a morning I have snorted coffee out my nose as I've read her posts. I'd love to win her book.

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  10. Hilarious. Made me laugh out loud here in my office. Thankfully it's Saturday morning and my boss isn't in to hear me lol. Thanks for introducing me to Pearl. Look forward to your return Shelly!

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    1. Optimistic: She is always, always fun to read~

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  11. I have a few friends in this book, but don't yet own a copy! I'm reading this delicious tale in the baby doll section of Toys R Us, and now instead of gigantic eyed plastic dolls, I just see rows and rows of cucumbers. I love your writing style, Pearl!

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    1. Amy: Ha! You are hilarious, too, my friend!

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  12. I would rather cradle a cuke baby than eat one any day. Not a fan--LOL!
    Being a born and raised Minnesotan, I am not curious to read all her books! :)

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    1. Rita: You Minnesotans have a special brand of humor!

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  13. I have never heard of a hollyhock or a cucumber baby so found this to be a funny and interesting post, funny because it made me giggle and interesting because it was about something I have never heard of till now

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    1. Jo-Anne: It made me giggle, too!

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  14. Hahahahaha! The imagination of children is one of my favorite subjects! And the cucumber baby is just too funny, and weird!

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    1. Jenny: Delightfully odd, isn't it?!

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  15. Dear Shelly, I ordered the e-book and look forward to reading it. Please let me know what her bog URL is. Thanks. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I hope you enjoy it! Her blog URL is http://pearl-whyyoulittle.blogspot.com/

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  16. Oh My!!! What a lovely story and the lady she must be(*^_^*) I heard cuke means cucumber for the firt time p;)
    Thinking that I'm in Japan, I'll let the other your friend give the luck.

    Have a wonderful new week, dear Shelly; Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. orchid: You are so sweet, my dear friend!

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  17. I loved this piece. We once had zucchini that grew like that cucumber. After the vine was chopped off. One hidden one grew to the size of a baseball bat in about a week.

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    1. Carol: Now that would make a great post- the garden vegetable that escaped and grew to gigantic sizes!

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  18. Awwwww, what a cute memory. Loved it and felt as if I were right there!!

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    1. Jamie: It made me want to go out and eat cucumbers!

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    2. ha!! made me want a garden!!

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  20. Janette DoloresMay 6, 2014 at 7:26 PM
    Like Jamie Jo says above, I felt like I was in that garden, right along with Pearl and her Momma. A sweet read.

    Three years ago, my husband and I grew a cucumber in our garden that was the size of an infant. It was perfectly shaped and nice and deep green, but the size of an infant. We took pictures to proudly show fellow-gardeners in our family. It did not occur to me to draw a face on the child-cucumber and wrap it in a receiving blanket. Drat. Next time. I made a soup with it, instead.
    :-D

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    1. Janette Dolores: Oh, that infant sized cucumber made me laugh and smile each time I thought about it!!!

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  21. I love Pearl's story -- and her writing in general! I'm so glad she's getting special recognition both from you and from her inclusion in the anthology! I'll order a copy for sure! Thanks so much for the preview and news, Shelly!

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    1. Dr. Kathy: I think you'll enjoy it!

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  22. Moms are absolutely nuts! Drawing faces on cucumbers? I haven't done that, but it's definitely nutty! ;0)

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    1. Sherry: Now if you find a good cuke to decorate with a face, I want to see pics!

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  23. I love Pearl!
    She is an astute observer of her fellow man (and cat). The way she transfers her thoughts to words and then to paper is art.
    I am always behind on reading the posts of the blogs I like and have to play catch-up when I have a chance. That isn't a bad thing with Pearl's blog, because I get to read several of them in one sitting. She is hilarious...

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    1. Pat: I don't miss any of Pearl's posts!

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  24. I am trying to catch up from my days away from the 'net. Have long been a fan of Pearl. She presents a hilarious and clear-eyed take on life, and she is a fabulous writer.

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    1. vanilla: That she certainly is!

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