Dishing The Dirt

Wow, the last few months have been so crazy-busy, I feel like I’ve been living under a large rock.  I kinda look as though I have, too.  I’d like to blame the COVID-19 isolation for my dishevelled appearance; but with gardening season in full swing, well… even basic personal hygiene seems a bit futile.

I get up, shower, and sit down at the breakfast table all shiny-clean. Mere hours later, I’m caked with dirt, soaked in sweat, and greasy with sunscreen. My fingernails are pitch-black crescents, and I have hat-head worthy of a clown show or a horror movie.  (Is there really a difference between the two?)

Here’s the embarrassing truth:  I’m perfectly happy like that. What’s more, I love wearing old clothes because I don’t have to worry about wrecking them. I’ve been wearing the same gardening jeans for at least fifteen years. They’ve been exposed to so much sunlight that they’re almost white, except where they’ve been permanently stained by dirt, engine grease, paint, caulking, glue, and/or other unnamed substances. They’ve fallen apart and been sewn back together so often that even their patches have patches.

But they’re comfortable.  And I live out in the sticks so nobody can see me; and even if they do see me and judge me, they’re far enough away that I don’t know they’re doing it.  So it’s all good.

Problem is, that kind of laid-back comfort gets insidious.  If I’m not careful, I’ll become that stinky old lady with the tattered clothes, matted hair, and feral expression, who shows up at the grocery store twice a year to buy staple foods before vanishing back into the dilapidated hovel whence she came.

Fortunately Hubby is much more civilized than I, and he somehow manages to stay clean(ish) no matter what he does.  So I have a model for normal human behaviour; and at least I’m still capable of cleaning up when it’s time for cover photos (albeit with a big assist from Photoshop).

Which, of course, is my ever-so-subtle segue to dishing today’s dirt:

It’s release day for Book 15, A SPY FOR HELP, woohoo!  (And whew.  It’s finally done! But the next book is already knocking at my mental doors…)

Off-duty secret agent Aydan Kelly knows she shouldn’t interfere when her lover finally locates his long-lost sister, but she’s afraid Arnie’s too upset to stay on the right side of the law.

Arnie’s sister has been outed in a social media firestorm, and threats against her escalate to a violent attack.  Aydan and Arnie rush to her rescue, only to discover she’s being targeted by a powerful crime lord from her unsavory past.  As danger mounts, Aydan realizes Arnie will do anything to save his sister… including murder.

Caught between love and legality, Aydan faces an unthinkable choice:  Risk her career and freedom by turning a blind eye to Arnie’s deadly plan, or save the crime lord and condemn Arnie to prison and his sister to death.

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39 thoughts on “Dishing The Dirt

  1. Sometimes my better half gets into my older t-shirts or tattered shorts–“Throw those things out!!” But I’m not about to give up on what I use for the really messy work, like working on the cars where dirt, grease and rust are running rampant. Some, I admit, probably could stand to be retired–they’ve been washed so many times that there are holes in them. I do work better when I know I don’t have to worry about the clothes.

    Devoured #15 in about four days. Thanks! The ending had me a little surprised (mainly due to the “mystery man” aka hit man–I thought maybe he’d linger as an unsolved piece of the puzzle). I’ve gone back to re-reading the series, and I think I’m up to #4 again. The Kindle’s been getting a workout! 👍👍


    • Wow, that’s awesome! I’m so flattered that you’re re-reading the series — that’s the ultimate compliment. 😀

      I’m glad you got a surprise with Book 15’s ending. (At least, I’m glad if it was a good surprise. Otherwise, oops; not so much.) I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, so I wasn’t actually sure how it was all going to shake out until I got there; but in the end I realized it was the only way it could happen. Without the car and gear, Hellhound couldn’t have completed his “mission” without leaving some kind of evidence.


  2. Somehow I was here (and more than once) since you posted and didn’t manage to comment. Very unlike the me who can’t usually keep her trap shut 🙂

    I have to admit that I am not a lover of dirt. Or sweat. But I admire those who don’t mind getting grungy, because they are the ones who Get Stuff Done!

    Congratulations on release day for Book #15! You are such a prolific writer, it’s amazing to me!


  3. And the heavens opened and the angels sang ………….:)
    Great timing as I am two weeks away from knee replacement surgery on my other leg from last year…..Congratulations on the release of book 15 and I have plugged my kindle in to recharge it (haven’t used it since last years surgery recovery reading) and download BOOK 15!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Best of luck with your new book (🙂) Diane.
    With my weight coming down I may be ‘digging’ out my old clothes again soon, hopefully they aren’t too out of fashion.
    And clowns and horror are one and the same in my book. I’m not keen on clowns. Ugh. Give me a vampire any day!
    Have a good Friday, Diane!


    • Thanks, Tom! And hooray for you and your reacquaintance with your old clothes. Well done! I’m not too sure about vampires, though. I’ll have to consider that… in my nightmares. 😉

      Happy Friday to you, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Late to the party, but when I get a soft, comfortable pair of pants I usually wear them until they fall off. I really dislike breaking in a new pair, so I often go to the second hand shops for “new” ones.
    #15 sounds really good. You just keep outdoing yourself on each subsequent book!


    • Thanks, @jono51! So far the reviews have been good, so that’s a hopeful sign.

      I like the idea of getting “ready-to-wear” pants from a secondhand shop! I’ve never bothered to try because almost all women’s pants are far too short for me; but men’s jeans are long enough and would be perfect for gardening. Thanks for that! 🙂


  6. Comfortable clothes are the best – so much more important than the way they look. I’m totally on board with your priorities. 🙂 My clothes and shoes last forever. Plus, I hate shopping! Being frugal helps on all those accounts.

    My husband has dedicated “work clothes” to work on our camper/boat/whatever means of home we have. I don’t have those clothes (I’m just his assistant), or better, all my clothes could be used for work like that, based on their stains and fadedness!

    Congratulations on release date! Intriguing premise (and cover).


    • Thanks, Liesbet! I try hard to keep my grubby “work clothes” separate from my “going out in public” clothes, and I usually succeed… except for those times when I’m in the middle of a job and need something from town. Then I’m halfway there before I realize I forgot to change first.

      That’s one thing COVID-19 has changed: No more spur-of-the-moment runs to town to pick up odds and ends. I’m not sure whether it’s made us more efficient, or just more annoyed. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My favorite part is your description and warning of the insidious dangers of laid-back comfort; I totally get the part about the feral expression!

    I am relieved to hear you have a pattern for normal human behavior and will sleep well knowing this!

    Unfortunately I have no legitimate reason to blame my unkempt appearance on.!

    Once again, you made me laugh!


  8. Woo Hoo.
    And HUGE congratulations.
    My unread towers (and there are several) dwarf the Matterhorn but I will succumb.
    I hear you on being comfortable in Grotsville too. Almost all of my clothing becomes gardening wear sooner or later. On the rare occasions I look almost respectable a weed catches my eye. And another. And another – and so it goes.


  9. So pleased to have the book on my Kindle! I intend to read it in my garden, which currently needs some TLC, but sometimes we’ve just got to make the most of the good weather, especially this side of the pond and relax in the garden when we can. Enjoy your gardening, Diane, and thanks for writing these lovely fun books!


  10. I am loving this book catching up on old friends and their new adventures. I am half way through and it looks like a late night tonight.
    Old comfy clothes are the best always ,indoors and outdoors I prefer to be comfy.


    • Hooray for comfy! And wow, you’re halfway through already? Maybe your night won’t be as late as you think. 😉 I’m glad you’re having fun catching up with Aydan and the gang!


  11. Woke up to book 15 on my kobo, so I’m happy. I glanced at the Diane Henders folder in there and I have to say all the books apart from book 3 are the shiny new covers not sure how book 3 was, missed as kobo updated.

    I’ve already read the first chapter, I really dislike dermott, and Leo is a smidge of a hero recording the incident for our girl.

    I’m meant to be reading something else but I couldn’t resist after all it was there impatiently waiting for me to wake up, it hasn’t taken me all day to read it I’ve done housework and things too but I’m curling up as nothing else to do while I wait for an appropriate time to start making my evening meal.

    I’ve had jeans like that patches on patches fortunately they were thrown out and even if the weren’t they would be far too big now, having ballooned to a size 28 that’s UK size, I slimmed back down to 22 and have managed even in lock down to stay that size. Quite proud as I’m the same size I was 20yrs ago.

    Hugs to all and happy reading xx


    • Hugs to you, too; and congratulations on staying the size you want! Well done.

      It makes my day to hear that Book 15 wooed you away from your other reading! I hope you enjoy it — have a happy reading day. 🙂


      • Just this second finished the book, why does it take so much less time to read it than it does for you to write it.

        You had me in bits at the end, my heart was busted. Loved it perfect. Can’t wait for book 16.

        Now I just have to catch up on the other book.

        Thank you for the great read as usual.


        • I’m so glad you loved it, Karen! I’ll get Book 16 out as quick as I can, but I don’t think it’s going to be quite as fast as you can read them. 😉

          Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed it – your enthusiasm makes my work worthwhile!


  12. I love casual! AND I am loving A Spy for Help! The just watched the security video. Several of my friends are behind and were excited to see that this one was coming out. Can’t wait to talk to them about it. Might have to wait a bit since some need to catch up but it will be fun whenever. Thanks for the fun!


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