Thursday, April 30, 2009


I made it to our locally owned garden/feed store yesterday after a detour at the car repair garage (picked up a screw in the rear passenger tire) and a quick detour into the local coffee shop for a mango smoothie to bolster my spirits. I selected some beautiful tomato, cuke, green pepper and zucchini plants to try and grow. I then went to the dreaded Wal Mart, which does have a decent garden section, and bought tomato cages and several bags of soil. Once home, I managed to get all of the little veggie sproutlings planted and myself cleaned up before the oldest came rolling in from school.

One of the other soccer parents, who is quite the gardener, told me after I was lamenting that I didn't have a garden, that all those 5 gallon buckets we had stacked in the garage would work. Just be careful of the water and such. So, I'm considering this attempt at gardening my portable garden! I did put a few plants into an actual 'bed' because I do have one in the back corner and the lantana that was in it for two years finally died. That stuff, although it is supposed to be an annual, can become quite weed like.

For right now, I have visions of great home grown veggies this summer. I long for a real garden someday, but this will soothe the craving to grow something edible.

In totally unrelated news, the oldest's soccer team will travel to the state tournament in May.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

reading three books at a time can make a girl a bit nutty

I'm reading three books right now. I started Linda Howard's "Open Season" while I was at the bookstore yesterday. When I wasn't reading, I scanned the shelves and did a bit of organizing and found the first "Dresden Files" book by Jim Butcher. I took that book with me to the soccer fields last night and started it before kickoff. I'm also reading the third P.C. and Kristin Cast vampire book when the oldest kid isn't.

I very seldom do this, but for some reason, this is what is going on with my reading life at the moment. It is scattered, haphazard and jumbled up all at the same time. Sort of like my life right now!

May looms ahead and the last month of school is a hectic mad dash to the finish. I guess it has just started early this year, at least by a few days. Add into that the library stuff that is lingering on my plate, and I've got quite a mess to keep untangled. I'm trying very hard to begin to cut ties with my volunteer duties at the library and figure out what my new role will be when my term as the store 'manager' ends in September. The store has dominated my life for the past two years and I'm anxious to move on and begin some new things.

I think I may take up yoga; good for the body and the mind and totally unrelated to books, the library and my current life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

in store

Up for today:

Get the kids all off to school.
Get myself to the bookstore.
Sell lots of books.
Come home and make pizza.
If it doesn't rain, get one kid to a soccer game and arrange transportation for the other to practice.
Make sure the youngest has enough to stuff to stay entertained while at the soccer game.
Come home, shoo them all off to bed.

Hmmm, that was pretty much my day yesterday and will be my day tomorrow.

Who needs variety?

Monday, April 27, 2009

caution, rainy days ahead

The weekly weather forecast is located on the last page of the sports section in our newspaper. I often turn to that first to see what I will be up against for the next several days as I seldom watch TV in the morning. Other than today, rain is predicted every day this week.

Of course, that doesn't bode well for the three soccer games we have on the schedule, or the 4 practices, or the weeding I need to do again in the flower beds or the grass mowing that should happen. But, the good thing is, often the weather prognosticators are wrong. So, I will keep my fingers crossed that all goes well and we can get everything done we need to get done this week.

The huge soccer weekend we had turned out pretty well. The oldest kid's team went 1-1-1 and the middle kid's team went 1-o-2. Both played well and came out injuries is always a good thing after that many games in that short of a time frame.

The youngest endured being at the fields for 6 hours on Saturday and 3 yesterday. Of course, the food cart helped as did ice cream afterwards down at the square on Saturday. Nothing like a twist cone to sweeten his disposition.

I finished the Karen Miller "Empress" book....interesting read. I'm always intrigued how you develop a sympathetic character and then gradually devolve the character into a very unlikeable person. Haunting book in many ways. I also read the second P.C. and Kristin Cast book. Loved it. Can't wait until the oldest brings home book three...we are borrowing them from a friend as the Library never has these books on the shelf and to buy the whole series would be quite an outlay of cash.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

if you stir the pot, you better have a long spoon

When I looked at the calender this morning I realized I have a wide open day today. I stood for a moment in sheer amazement and if I had been more awake, I might have danced a little jig.

We were supposed to have soccer practice for the oldest kid tonight, but the coach gave them the night off. Now, this decision is a bit counter intuitive....they played so awful last night and lost 3-1 that he told them he just didn't want to see them until their game on Saturday and they needed to decide if they were soccer players or crappy kick ball players. It was pretty sad....all across the field.

So, everyone is home tonight, which may mean that hubby and I sneak out for a date. Now, how fun would that be??? I think it sounds like a plan.

For today, well, today I am still stirring the pot that I stumbled across earlier in the week. Read this week's posts to learn all about that. Right now I'm in the solution phase. If you have a problem it does no good to just complain or moan about it, you need to come up with a way to solve it. That is my current goal and it just so happens that my solution is one that other people have also considered. So, we must all be on the right track.

I need to make some phone calls today and perhaps begin the first draft of a letter and maybe even a proposal for a grant or scholarship fund.

Long spoon in hand, away I go! Have a good weekend and don't forget the sunscreen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

under the weather

With the help of some extra strength tylenol I managed to get my house cleaned, laundry caught up, dinner prepared and the oldest hauled over to the soccer field for her practice. I think I have some sort of virus as the cold symptoms I had yesterday are still here this morning, but not any worse. Just sort of a lingering feeling of 'crud' in my head...throat and ears are both clogged. I also feel a bit achy. So, I'll be taking the magic white pills again today to help get through my round of errands and then a soccer game tonight. Luckily, it is a 6:00 game and we will be home before 8:00.

I started reading a new fantasy novel by Karen Miller title "Empress." Miller is an amazing world builder in her books. I picked up one of her other novels because Dave Duncan had a blurb on her cover, I adore his fantasy series. She's a good writer and she writes big books...lots of pages and lots of words.

That is all I can come up with for today, the brain is very foggy and my coffee cup is almost empty.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


One of the side effects of a down economy is that library usage goes up. People borrow books and movies instead of purchasing them or going to the theater. I've spoken to many folks during my time around town who are so pleased with the number of movies our library has available to rent at a much cheaper rate than Blockbuster. I've also heard several compliments on the increased selection of books on CD.

The Friends, of course, funded a large portion of these two specific collection increases. Which in turn makes money for the library because a reasonable fee is collected to use these items.

Yesterday while I was at the Leadership event I heard some bad news. News that I feared would be coming. Our library will start to charge a users fee for people who do not live in our zip code. The other libraries in our consortium do this and have done so for several years. Our open door policy was, if I'm not mistaken, insisted upon by our previous mayor.

This new user fee policy has been adopted by the library board at the recommendation of the director and I'm sure the Town is all 'over it' as it will bring in revenue. Approximately 6000 cardholders do not live in our zip code. Because of our location on the border of another county and another state, that number has always been high. Our very near neighbors do not have local libraries, but do have regional libraries, often tens of miles away from their small towns.

I'm a firm believer that libraries are one of the few institutions left that should be run for the public good and free to the public. They are one of the few avenues all people have left to obtain education and information in an equal fashion. Free and open libraries should be a cornerstone of our democracy not a privilege for those who can afford to live in a certain zip code. Unfortunately, this new policy will punish the ones who can least afford the $50 fee for a card and who most need free access to a library, in our area those people are predominately African American and Hispanic children.

We may even lose some Friends members over this as several members live in the neighboring county and even the bordering state.

I have to think long and hard about what I say and how I say it and to who I open my mouth. This is quite upsetting and I fear that such policies will only serve to divide the 'haves' from the have nots' even further. I have no doubt that the folks who can afford the $50 will pay up, complain and move on. It is those voiceless ones, the people who most need the library, the children who have no computer at home and rely on the ones in the library, those are the ones my heart is breaking for this morning.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

leadership event

Today I get to put on some 'church' clothes and head over to the Chamber of Commerce for the morning. Hubby and I both went through our Town's Leadership program after we moved here. It was probably one of the best investments we made upon our arrival. We both learned a great deal about the Town, the people who live here and the opportunities available to become involved. It helped us feel immediately connected.

So today I get to give back. I'm there to talk about the Library and the Friends. I will have a friend with me to give moral support and help field questions. I've printed off bookmarks (so glad I had that pdf, Anne), the annual report I compiled for 2008 and membership applications. I also have a few of our wonderful book bags and a couple of our wooden collectibles featuring local landmarks.

The theme for the day is "Altruism" and I hope that a few of this year's class decides to become more involved in our Town and if they don't serve with the Friends, they serve on the many other boards and organizations available. I live in a great Town, but it is the people that make it special.

In other of my friends, who I was in Leadership with, posted about yesterday being Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day on her facebook page. Oh my. I had an instant craving, so while I was at the store, I grabbed a mix, time constraints prevented a 'from scratch' attempt, and headed home. My old size 8 cast iron skillet baked a beautiful cake...the oldest is having a piece for breakfast.

I started to read a YA series yesterday. The first book, "Marked," by mother-daughter duo P.C. and Kristin Cast is very entertaining. The theme is vampires, of course. But, they've put quite a spin on the mythology of the vampire and built a pretty neat world for themselves in which to set the characters. Thumbs up so far.

Happy Tuesday......

Monday, April 20, 2009

a new week

Today I'm back at the library to accomplish two tasks. We have to move all the store inventory from the store and put it back into the stocking closet. We had to empty that closet so we could use the space for the sale. I hope it doesn't take more than a couple of hours. I also have to get ready for a Leadership C'ville event at the Chamber of Commerce. I'm going to be on hand for their Altruism Day as a representative from our Library Friends group. Two very busy days back to back to start the week.

I finished Karen Chance's "Embrace the Night" over the weekend. What a rollercoaster of a read. I'm not even going to attempt to recap the book, you have to read the first two in that series to even begin to understand the twists and turns she throws at the reader in this one. Cassie, Mircea and Pritkin are all back and there is plenty of action and quite a bit of time traveling as Cassie begins to start embracing her role as the Pythia. The back of the book contains a chapter from Chance's next novel, really tweaked my interest and I will be searching for that one next.

Soccer after school every night this week, even Friday night, as both girls are getting ready for tournaments on the weekend. One kid is traveling and one is staying put.

Going to be a busy week.

Friday, April 17, 2009

and we're off

Today is the 'open to the public' portion of the book sale. One of the benefits of helping to set up the sale is that you have the opportunity to shop while you are sorting and arranging the books. Several volunteers take advantage of this perk, but I refrained this year. My to be read pile is still quite tall and I just couldn't justify bringing more books home. However, I found the summer reading list for 10th grade honors English and will attempt to locate those titles for the oldest kid today.

Nothing better than helping readers find books, talking about authors, titles and stories. Today will be a glorious day.

And while we are having all of that FUN, we are raising money for our library so they can continue to expand their collection, provide great programming for our community and keep my town reading.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

round two

I'm back at the library today to put the final polish on the book sale set up. Yesterday went so smoothly, good crew, good books to put out, just quality all around! I was very pleased. I was home about an hour before I planned, so I laid on the bed and dove into Karen Chance's third Cassie Palmer book, "Embrace the Night." Wow. This author has no qualms about grabbing her reader by the throat and hurling her into one fight/flight scene after another in the first few pages. Love it!

Didn't come home with any books yesterday, but I may do a bit of shopping today. I need to find the required reading list for the 10th grade honors English class and stock up for the oldest kid.

Happy Thursday:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

let the set up begin

I'm headed over to the library today to help set up for the spring book sale. I get to work on the hard back fiction, a very good spot for me. I'm interested to see just how many books we have this time around. The used bookstore has been doing so well and we've been much more vigilant about the quality of the items we pack for the biannual sales. I hope we don't have boxes of unpacked books under the tables like we've had in the past.

Set up is always fun; lots of good chatter, plenty of good food and plenty of physical and somewhat mindless labor. All you need to know is the alphabet....which some days can be a challenge, but I will make sure and drink plenty of coffee before I arrive.

The dog was a total dithering idiot spaz yesterday at the vet. You'd think he'd been tortured at some point by a person in a white coat....or blue scrubs. Unreal. One vet and four techs later, they managed to draw blood and administer his rabies shot. I also walked out with his heartworm meds and several tables of a doggie downer for his next visit. "Just to take the edge off" the vet said. Hey, do you have those for me too???? We both got home and collapsed.

Have a good Wednesday:)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

at grave's end

Finished off Jeaniene Frost's "At Grave's End" last night, her third Night Huntress novel. Went through this book like I can go through a box of Girl Scout Trefoil cookies.

Cat, the half vampire and Bones, her vampire husband, are back in action fighting evil vampires and dealing with a very nasty Egyptian gal from Bones' past. Good main plot, lots of very fun side plots, including one with Vlad T (yeah, that one), tons of fight scenes, and good romance all whipped together into a rollercoaster read of a book. Frost knows how to pace her plots and she keeps her reader fully engaged and turning pages.

Today I get to take Duke to the vet for his annual checkup. Joy. Not quite his favorite thing to do, althought at least he doesn't get car sick like he used to.

Happy Tuesday....tomorrow starts the big book sale set up at the library.

Monday, April 13, 2009

white witch black curse

Before I launch into a very short review of the latest Kim Harrison book, just a quick update. Easter was very nice indeed. Had a wonderful dinner with the neighbors, enjoyed good conversation and we are all well rested and well fed to begin TCAP week for the middle schooler and the elementary student.

Back to the book....

I love the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. Who wouldn't enjoy an urban fantasy series where the human population has been decimated by lethal, genetically mutated tomatoes allowing the vamps, weres and witches to leave the shadows and take front and center? Rachel is a witch who, through a series of very entertaining books, has gained quite a bit of 'smut' on her soul from dealing with demons as she's rescued a variety of people who needed saving. She couldn't, however, rescue a very important person to her and this book finally reveals what happened to him and how and why. All the other characters are back, even Pierce, a dead witch, who is now a ghost, and starred in a novella a few books back. Glad to see Pierce get more 'page' time. The book started a bit slow for me, but by half way through things were moving along nicely and I settled in to enjoy the always entertaining story Ms. Harrison delivers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

next up, urban fantasy

I managed to leave the library with three urban fantasy books yesterday. I found Kim Harrison's latest release, "White Witch, Black Curse," which made me very happy as I thought I might have to buy it in order to read it. I also left with "Embrace the Night" by Karen Chance and "At Grave's End" by Jeaniene Frost.

If that isn't hitting the jackpot, I don't know what is!

The oldest daughter, the Romeo and Juliet reading one, asked for the movie "Shakespeare in Love" which I was also able to find. We will sit down to view it over our three day weekend. She was quite impressed by the number of Academy Awards the movie earned. My fave part is Judi Dench's amazingly short but amazingly crafted portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, for which she won a coveted little golden man.

The wind is blowing and the dark gray clouds are moving quite rapidly across the sky. Not sure if we will see rain this morning, but it looks like a very typical Good Friday outside right now. I hope Easter Sunday is bright and cheerful....this pattern of gloom/sun/gloom/sun needs to be broken.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

bits and bobs

I finished "Rhett Butler's People" by Donald McCraig. Can't say I'd recommend the book, but it was interesting to read the familiar scenes from different viewpoints and to see how this author envisioned the story concluding. The book was sporadically good, but the goodness was thinly spread over a lot of pages. I'm not going to bother recapping the plot, as you'd have to be an alien not to know the story of Scarlett and Rhett, and they probably know it as well! Most definitely just an okay read. I'm in the mood for some good paranormal/urban fantasy now; will have to see if that means a trip to B&N or if the library has some new titles.

Off to the bookstore today; sorting and boxing and stocking and all the other 'ing' things I do on Thursday, which today should include lunching with a friend!

My best friend's daughter turns 18 today; the same age we were when we met at Holy Cross all those years ago. This child was three days from being born the day I got married and her mother stood by my side as my matron of honor. She'll be heading off to college in the late summer. Wow.

Changes are coming and it is exciting and scary and fun to live all at the same time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

no quiet time this morning

What happens when the husband and the daughter are up and moving at 5:15....Mommy doesn't get her quiet time. Yep, they are already talking strategy for tonight's soccer game. OMG!!

Reflective thought isn't possible in this situation, so have a good day and I'll be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

the simple things

I can't tell you how thrilling it was to have all of us together for dinner last night. That so rarely happens during the week, it was quite the treat. It was an extra special meal as it was our 18th wedding anniversary. The kids had fun listening about the wedding, the reception etc. I pulled the photo album out and we looked at pictures, they of course commented on how young everyone looked and how much hair their daddy had back then! Lots of laughter and joking around the table, it really is the simple things that are the best. Probably one of the best anniversaries we've had.

I'm housebound today as the HVAC people are finishing the installation of our new systems. So, I will be trying out a new to me recipe, Rotel chicken pasta. I had it the other day at a friend's house for lunch and loved it, but what is not to love about chicken, pasta, velveeta and Rotel!!

The oldest daughter is working her way through Romeo and Juliet at school. It has been fun to hear her practice the lines she has been assigned to memorize. The other two are buried in TCAP review as the statewide test is given next week. Better make sure I have plenty of breakfast meats and foods for my test takers. Got to bolster their protein intake to help them think better!

Easter is right around the corner and I haven't set my menu yet. Better get busy with that too.....and on that note, have a good Tuesday.

Monday, April 6, 2009


I finally finished the third book in the King Raven Trilogy, "Tuck," by Stephen Lawhead. Good thing as it is due back to the library today. That should tell you something. I never take 14 days to read a book. Yes, I've been busy, but I'm definitely one to put off doing chores so I can curl up in a chair and read.

The story basically runs out of steam. The book is well written, it has a decent plot, but it doesn't grab you by the throat. Maybe it is Lawhead's choice to tell the story through Friar Tuck's eyes. I think Lawhead should have chosen Merien as the final 'voice' for the trilogy.

Lawhead does a nice job of showing how an out-numbered and out-weaponed group of rebels can take down an king's army at the end. Plus, he includes a nice summary of the battle at Agincourt to demonstrate just how lethal the Welsh longbow is in battle. Which if you are interested in learning more about, pick up Bernard Cornwells's series about an archer during that time the moment the title eludes me.

Overall, I'd recommend the King Raven series, the first two books were excellent and while the third was good, it didn't blow my socks off. Two out of three isn't half bad!

Friday, April 3, 2009

rain, rain go away

Enough already, Mother Nature. Turn the faucet off and move east, please. We had more rain yesterday along with thunder and lightning. This morning the skies are still gray and drab.

I should clean the house today, but I'm not in the mood for it. It is hard to clean on a dreary day...the dreary chore is made even more difficult when you can't open the door and let the sunshine in and the breeze through.

Instead I may take the day and do a bit of shopping; grocery store first and then the mall. I need to renew my membership at B&N, which is the perfect excuse for going to the mall.

TGIF and have a good weekend:)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

omens, portents and dreams

I've been dreaming of babies.

Okay, now that you've fallen off of your chair and reseated yourself, let me explain.

A few weeks back I had a very vivid dream in which my middle kid was watching an infomercial and adopted an Asian child via the television. A beautiful baby girl was delivered to our house and I woke up to find my kid cuddling the infant in the family room. I sputtered about how she would care for the baby when she was at school and she of course said she'd leave the baby to me during the day. To which I answered, think again, little miss. We've all had quite the chuckle over this dream.

Last night I had a dream about two babies...both born prematurely and both abandoned. Very sad, but the babies were being well cared for and while I was not tempted to adopt them, I helped with their care.

Now, I think I can fairly easily conclude that these baby dreams are the result of a few things going on. For one, hubby has a cousin whose wife is studying to be a nurse and she is on facebook a lot chatting about her tour of OB and Peds. Ah hah! One reason...I'm reading about babies and infants almost every day.

If I get more philosophical I could also state that spring is my favorite season, a time of renewal and rebirth, hence the baby theme in my dreams.

I could also tie it into the fact that as my time at the bookstore winds down, I'm about to hand off my 'baby' into someones loving arms and walk away. I will take on some sort of new project and endeavor, but have yet to decide just exactly what that will be.

Okay, I'm not ready to hang out my dream analysis shingle just yet, but I think I have some viable solutions as to why when I close my eyes at night, wee ones are taking center stage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I've been sucked into the world of facebook. Of course, like most things online, I can waste huge amounts of time reading, skimming and surfing. This facebook phenomena has been a wonderful tool to reconnect with relatives and old classmates. It has also allowed me to keep the lines of communication open with friends who live all across the country.

But the best part of facebook is getting to play Scrabble online with my daughter. I'm very proud to say she has beaten me in every game we've played. It isn't that she comes up with better words than I do, but she has a knack for placing them. She sees the board in a different way than I will ever be able to. After all, I am very spatially challenged....putting shoes into a box can be a chore at times! No lie.

The other 'application' I've fallen victim to is the online self discovery poll or favorites list. I've always loved the whole concept of: answer these questions and we will tell you who you were in a past life, your political leanings, your real age, your best color etc. They are harmless fun and for some reason I view them as calorie free chocolate for my head.

So, yep, the guilty pleasure that is facebook has finagled a way into my daily routine and now I'm even considering branching out and developing a facebook page for our Friends group. What a fun way to reach the online Town community. I'm such a sucker.