Margie Blog 1

Cover Art - Hot Dish Heaven - A Murder Mystery with Recipes by Jeanne CooneyHello to all of ya on the World Wide Web there. This is Margie Johnson, the owner of the Hot Dish Heaven Café in Kennedy, Minnesota, in the heart of the Red River Valley. And you’re readin’ my very first “blog.” That’s right. I now have a blog, which makes my sister, Vivian, madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory.

Oh, yah, Vivian thinks she should of gotten a blog before me because she’s “the most interestin’ woman in all of Kittson County.” Her words, not mine. Although I told her that since Kittson County is one of the least populated counties in the entire state, she wasn’t sayin’ a whole heck of a lot. Still, whether she says it out loud or not, she thinks she’s better than everyone else, which makes me about as angry as a skunk dipped in perfume. Especially since she can be downright foolish sometimes.

Take earlier today for instance. It was rainin’ so hard I swore I spotted all the dogs and cats in town paired up along Highway 75, waitin’ for Noah’s ark to come by. Anyways, Vivian ran into the café, peeled off her soakin’-wet jacket, and every farmer in the place practically fell over laughin’. And believe me, there were a fair number of them in here bein’ sugar beet harvest is in full swing, and the café seems to be where all the workers congregate between shifts. True, because of the rain, no one was workin’, but they all still end up in here for lunch and to shoot the breeze.

Now, I’ll admit as soon as I saw what everyone was gawkin’ at, I laughed too—really hard—which wasn’t good since I’d just dished up a big plate of Tater-Tot Hot Dish, homemade bread, and cherry Jell-O with sliced bananas. It’s the special every Monday, don’t ya know. Just $7.99, and that includes coffee and a bar for dessert. No, ya can’t beat it, if I do say so myself.

Anyways, the Jell-O slid into the hot dish and that, in turn, spilled over the side of the plate and burned my hand, causin’ me to drop the whole works onto the floor. The plate shattered, and tater-tots went flyin’, yet I kept right on guffawin’. I couldn’t help myself. See, the rain had soaked through Vivian’s jacket, markin’ her designer shirt with a perfect plate-sized wet circle over each of her boobs.

Of course, she couldn’t figure out what the rest of us found so gall-darn funny until Burr Nelson pointed to her chest. She then glanced down and blushed as red as the glob of Jell-O sittin’ on my tennis shoe. “Fefon! Fefon!” she shrieked as she raced to the bathroom, kickin’ tater tots left and right as she ran.

Now, personally, I don’t understand why she got so upset. She paid a lot of money for those boobs, so I figured she’d want to show them off some. Besides, the rest of her looked way worse. Her hair was plastered to her head, and her mascara was runnin’ down her cheeks like melted wax down a candlestick. She reminded me of one of those “Walkin’ Dead” people, only she moved way faster. Uff-da, it was funny.

Still, as a Scandinavian Lutheran, I soon felt guilty. So after I’d cleaned my shoe and made up a new plate of food for Deputy Ryden, I went to check on her. I pushed the bathroom door open, and doubled over in laughter. Ya see, there she was, standin’ with her legs spread apart and her back bent, tryin’ to limbo low enough to dry her wet shirt under the automatic hand dryer.

It just goes to show, Vivian isn’t nearly as classy as she thinks. But she’s my sister, and deep down I love her, even if most of the time, I wish she were a pinata. But, I suppose, a lot of folks feel that way about their siblings.

Well, that’s it for today. But I’ll check in again real soon. Oh, yah, for sure.


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