12-22-16 TBT: Flat Holly

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Throw Back Thursday: Flat Holly.

A few weeks ago, Ann mentioned the post I’d done elsewhere several years ago, and said she thought it belonged on the “favorites” page. I went and re-read it, and thought it was amusing, and also thought it would be a good Throw Back Thursday post.

Back in 2009, a friend’s daughter was doing a “Flat Stanley” project and asked if I’d help. I was happy to, and this was the result. I might have had a little too much fun with it (and I had a LOT more energy way back then, apparently!)


Dear Holly,

Thank you so much for sending Flat Holly to visit us. We had a lot of fun with her, and she’s awfully helpful for a flat girl!

She arrived on a Saturday, and we put her right to work, scooping litter boxes. We have a lot of cats, Holly, maybe your Mom told you. We have a few of our own and we also foster kittens for a local cat shelter. This means that there are a lot of litter boxes that have to be scooped at the beginning and end of each day. Flat Holly pitched right in and scooped and scooped.

Tommy inspects the scooping.

It’s the Fall and though our garden is winding down, we still had some gardening to do. Flat Holly helped us pick tomatoes to make fried green tomatoes. She also hung out amongst the dried corn stalks and played hide and seek with one of our cats.

Flat Holly of the corn.

We grow a lot of hot peppers, and after we harvested the ripe cayenne and habanero peppers from the garden, Flat Holly helped me dry the cayennes and then grind them into powder. I had to fashion a makeshift mask for her face. One thing you do not want is to inhale cayenne powder because it makes you cough like crazy. She also helped me slice the tops off the habaneros and put them into a bag for the freezer. We did a quick habanero inventory, and it’s Flat Holly’s opinion that we have plenty of habaneros. She’s right!

Fresh cayennes.

Cayennes ready for the dehydrator.

Powdering dried cayennes.

Pouring out the cayenne powder.

Fresh habaneros, right from the garden.

Freezer full of habaneros!

Since we had so many habaneros, I asked Flat Holly if she was up for helping me make a test batch of strawberry-habanero jam. She was, so we did. She was particularly helpful when it came to supervising the cooling of the canned jam, and checked to make sure the jam had jelled (it had!). While we were canning things, we went ahead and made and canned some jalapeno jelly too. Flat Holly was in charge of watching the pot to make sure it didn’t boil over, and she did the job well. We rounded out the day of canning by making and canning caramel-apple jam, which was the only non-hot food we canned while she was here.

Strawberry-habanero test batch.

Jalapeno jelly.

Caramel-apple jam.

There was a lot of hanging out with cats, and luckily Flat Holly seemed to enjoy all the cats. We were glad she’s a cat lover because there were many, many trips to the vet. With so many cats, there’s always someone who needs a trip to the vet. We made seven trips to the vet’s office while Flat Holly was here, Holly. I’m not exaggerating. She was willing to sit near the cat carriers and keep the kittens entertained during the many trips, thank goodness. Those cats do not like going to the vet!

Nap time with the True Bloods.

Play time with the True Bloods.

Nap time with Miz Poo.

Vet time with the True Bloods.

We have chickens, pigs, and turkeys, so Flat Holly got to meet them all. There was a disturbing incident where a turkey thought Flat Holly was food. It grabbed her by the arm and ran off with her, but we rescued her quickly. She sat in a nest box and chatted with a friendly chicken, and then helped us gather eggs. It wasn’t all work for her, though. We suited her up in a rain coat (which looks a lot like a Ziploc bag) and let her go for a ride on one of the pigs. It wasn’t much of a ride, since the pig only ran over to the trough to eat, but she seemed to enjoy it. She also met our dog, George, and went for a ride on him as well.

Making pig cookies.

Feeding chickens.

The offending turkey.

Doesn’t George look thrilled?

Gathering eggs.

Hanging with the hens.

Since we have so many animals, we often have to stock up on food for them. We ran to our local feed supply store and bought hundreds of pounds of chicken and swine feed. Flat Holly helped load and unload the truck – you wouldn’t think a flat girl could toss around fifty-pound bags of feed so easily, but she was surprisingly strong.

Her last day here, we were out running errands when Flat Holly pointed to a rocket standing proudly over Huntsville and asked what was over there. What was over there was the US Space and Rocket Center and Space Camp! We went over and wandered around for a little while, but the museum wasn’t open (it was early), so we didn’t go inside.

We’re returning Flat Holly to you relatively unscathed, though she might have nightmares about being abducted by that turkey. We hope she had a good time visiting us and she’s welcome to come back to visit any time, as are you.


Robyn and Fred Anderson


2015: (That’s Archie over by the door with the impatient Ears of Someone Open This Door Already.)
2014: Ever wondered what the underside of Molly looks like? Here you go!
2013: No entry.
2012: No entry.
2011: We got ‘em out to the pond, and they went in the water like they were doing us a favor.
2010: If today’s pictures have a common theme, I think it would be “I haz a snuggle.”
2009: Mike & Gus: Brudderly…. love?
2008: What I love about this picture is how appalled Delmar looks that Miz Poo is in the bed.
2007: No entry.
2006: “I’ve got the litter-on-my-nose, needin-a-snack, my-brother’s-pickin-on-me, I-need-a-snuggle, please-stop-messing-with-my-fur…”
2005: No entry.



12-22-16 TBT: Flat Holly — 30 Comments

  1. I am jealous of Flat Holly. We had a visit from Flat Stanley a few years ago. He lives in Atlanta with my niece. Stanley got to do some farming, visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, watched an Indiana Pacers game and got to see some Indianapolis Colts stuff, incluing a helmet signed by Peyton Manning.

    • Did you notice that I immediately put Flat Holly to work, kept her working, and only threw in some last-minute pictures of us at the Space and Rocket Center? She didn’t seem to mind, though. 😉

  2. Man I wish I could have been sitting in that class when they read your letter! 😀 Did you ever get any feedback on your report on Flat Holly’s working vacation? 🙂

  3. I was just remembering this post a few days ago and here it is! I remember being so impressed with everything you had Flat Holly do, and loving her “rain coat.” What a great job you did!

  4. I can not imagine how much fun Holly’s class had hearing about Flat Holly’s adventures! You were a FABULOUS host family and I imagine Flat Holly was the envy of all the other Flats!! 🙂

  5. I had just started reading your blog around the time of the True Bloods, but I missed this post. Hilarious!!! I snorted when I read about the turkey trauma. I can just imagine your “not for young ears” words when the turkey grabbed Holly!

    And is that a little Jake and a little Elwood looking in the carriers at the True Bloods? Soooo sweet!!

  6. You certainly did a wonderful job taking care of Flat Holly and showing her your Crooked Acres, your animals and the neighborhood. Bet the non-flat Holly impressed her teacher and her classmates with the stories.

  7. You guys are fantastic, always make me laugh and smile!! Are you sure Fred is the “writer” in the family, because you Rohyn have quite the flare too!!

  8. I loved Flat Stanley when I was a kid (oh so many years ago) and I think it’s great that teachers have rediscovered him and are having their students send Flats on adventures. You are wonderful!

  9. So stinkin’ CUTE!
    Great job showing her around 🙂
    Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night! 🙂

  10. I loved that post, but something I didn’t notice the first time around: I am appalled, appalled I tell ya, that you didn’t give Flat Holly gloves when helping with the chiles!

  11. That was the most adorable thing ever! My daughter’s class did a Flat Stanley project when she was in 3rd grade. They sent letters to people and had them send postcards back to Stanley from all over the world. It was really cool also.

  12. You and Fred are the coolest people for this! Your Karma points, as usual, are off the charts! 🙂

  13. I don’t know how I could have forgotten this post! I discovered you during the Truebloods, so I must have seen it. However, it amused me at least as much tonight as it did then!