Thursday, May 28, 2009

catch up

So, in the last few days.....

I've attended our local BMA work session, library issues on the agenda. Glad to report a compromise was reached.

Watched the youngest kid's class receive a special award from the Town Beautiful Board for their great 'green' artwork. He was very impressed to meet the mayor and sit in such a fancy government chamber.

Watched the middle kid be recognized for a stellar middle school academic performance. Honor roll all three years...she only rec'd two B's, both in phys. ed as she forgot her shoes twice.

Encouraged the oldest to run hard to the finish line as she studied for her final exams. She did a super job and finished her freshman year in excellent shape.

Realized I will have two in high school now. Ack! Ugh!

Summer has descended upon us and I think we are all looking forward to a slower pace.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

and the winner is....

The next two days will be filled with the end of year award ceremonies for my middle kid. Graduating from 8th grade is quite the event and it takes two days to celebrate.

I'm also working in the book store today, my last regular 'shift' day until school resumes.

We had a wonderful weekend filled with low key events. We ate, we took long walks, we watched the latest James Bond movie, we visited with our neighbors, we went to church, we took naps....perfect three day weekend to kick off the summer season.

I'm soooooo ready:)

Friday, May 22, 2009

strange angels

I was very excited to learn that one of my favorite urban fantasy authors, Lilith Saintcrow, was picked up by Razorbill for a YA series. Her YA name, Lili St. Crow, sort of matches her YA style....a little less gritty, less sexy, but still all Lili.

I enjoyed "Strange Angels" for a number of reasons, but the main one being is she didn't compromise her storytelling even though she is aiming this story at a different audience. She tells a tough story; the protag, Dru Anderson, has to kill her father in the first few pages after he is unsuccessful in a mission and shows back up at their rental house as a zombie.

St. Crow isn't afraid of getting her characters dirty, of exploring tough/hard feelings and keeping it very emotionally real. The action keeps coming, Dru keeps learning, and the plot leaves you flipping pages as quick as you can.

I've handed the book off to the oldest to read and look forward to the fall when the next book about Dru Anderson is published.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I finally finished "The Betrayal" and am off to the library/bookstore today to do some serious work. Summer Reading starts next week and the store is providing the incentive gift for the YA readers. They read for 10 hours and they get a free YA book from us. So, I have a lot of stocking and rearranging to do today.

I've started "Strange Angels," the debut YA book by Lilith Saintcrow. So far, so good...but I'm only a few pages into this one.

The oldest kid's soccer season ended with a whimper as the team tied 1-1. Now, onto league tryouts, soccer camps and then high school tryouts. Yes, you have to try out every year, no resting on your laurels.

Good Thursday:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

didn't finish

I still haven't finished "The Betrayal." It is a good read, but a rather slow one as I keep having to check the footnotes. Yes, this fictional book has over 100 footnotes that are well worth reading as they support the story through their scholarly analysis. I was tempted to pick up one the lighter reads I have, but I took a nap instead!

I also did a mountain of laundry, messed around on facebook posting pictures from the weekend and watched some 'quality' daytime television.

Today I'm off to the grocery store to stock up the pantry then I will be headed over to the elementary school for their May Day events.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the to be read pile

I am over half way through "The Betrayal" by the husband and wife writing team, Michael and Kathleen Gear. I also made a trip to B&N over the weekend and picked up the debut YA book "Strange Angels" by Lili St. Crow. Plus, I got a Carrie Vaughn "Kitty" book, only to realize that I missed one in the series. So, I will be back to B&N to find the missing book!

Lots of books on my TBR pile and for the moment not a lot of time to do any reading. That will change in the next 24 hours....and I'll be ready to find a comfy chair and do some serious reading.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I received this lovely award/gift from my dear buddy, Kim Smith. Kim is a lesson in perseverance. This girl has written through blocks, slumps and rejections and now will reap the benefits of that positive attitude when her first book, already published as an e-book, goes to print. I can't wait to hold "Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery" in my hands.
I'm so proud of her and all she has done with her writing over the past 6 years that we've been friends.
Busy, busy, busy day today. But, I know I can get it all done. Armed with my trusty back of the envelope to do list, I will head out the door in an hour to take on the challenge.
Keep a good thought in your head for my oldest and her team as they travel to the state tournament. Two games tomorrow and then one on Sunday depending on how they do.
Happy Friday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

cross that one off the list

When faced with a lot of random things to do and a short amount of time in which to do them, I usually make a list. I love crossing things off 'to do' lists and with the impending arrival of family, the imminent departure of the oldest to the state soccer tourney and the upcoming Confirmation of the middle kid, my lists have been long and plentiful.

I never bought into that whole Franklin Covey dayplanner thing. Why bother? I just use scrap paper. I don't have a fancy enough phone gadget to have a reminder system or list application. Backs of envelopes work just as well for me.

On today's list....head to the library to work on the donations piles. Get that book they have on hold for me. Head home and finish cleaning the house and that means even tackling the youngest kid's room upstairs. Laundry. Cooking. Two soccer practices, of course at the same time at different fields.

I think that is it for problemo, can't wait to start crossing things off!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

a little goes a long way

The oldest has been working with a group of four other kids on a video for her honors English class. They've been meeting here at our house and over the course of several days, they've put together a collection of taped bits that the hubby is now in charge of making all pretty and shiny.

First, I hate group projects. Call me anti-social, not a team player, whatever you want, but I hate them. The bigger the group the more I hate them. It is always a fiasco to get all of those schedules coordinated and the drama that results from having 5 teenagers do anything together is just....well, a little goes a long way.

Second, most of these group project always seem to involve some sort of technology that is a mystery to me, and I really don't consider myself a technological idiot. Editing video camera film, really? Most likely it is a good skill to have, but for an English class?

Now, granted, this video presentation was one option given to the students. The other option was to write a short research paper. Of course, that choice was about as appealing to them as doing doggy-doo patrol after it has rained.

I went to sleep and the kid and the hubby were up working away on his computer. When I woke at 4:30, the hubby was crashed out on the couch. Poor guy, hope he gets an "A" for all his hard work!

Speaking of video, one of my fave urban fantasy authors, Lilith Saintcrow, has her first YA book hitting the store shelves soon. Her publisher did a book trailer, quite the latest thing in promotion, and it received an enthusiastic viewing from the same kid I just wrote about. Guess we will be off to the bookstore soon to procure our own copy of "Strange Angels"....what is not to love about a zombie killing teenage girl who hangs out with werewolves, half-vamps etc?? Check out the video, the music impressed the kid right away:)

Pardon the rant, I'm off to have my second cup of coffee and improve my general disposition!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

eleven days left

Only eleven days left of school and I'm so ready for my three to be finished. We all need a break from the routine. Too bad the older two kids have so much summer work to do. With each of them taking four honors classes next year, they have quite a bit of work to accomplish over their summer vacation.

My uncle mentioned a book he is currently reading by the husband and wife writing team of Michael and Kathleen Gear. It is an alternative look at how the New Testament was put together and Jesus' life. I've requested the book from another library and am waiting for the call to let me know it has arrived.

I'm off to the youngest kid's classroom this morning to watch their sock puppet plays for a while and then I will head to the bookstore to spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon selling books.

The countdown is on!

Monday, May 11, 2009


We got the middle kid her own phone for her birthday. The child has lightning fast fingers and can text message quicker than anyone I've ever seen. She is in constant contact with her group of friends and the things they can do via texting is really amazing...all due to those quick fingers. I think she is addicted and I need to find her a 12 step program.

Along with the rest of the population it seems. I noticed when I was in the grocery store on Saturday, something I try and avoid like the plague, but I needed to pick up some frozen pizzas for dinner, everyone was on a cell phone or texting. Really. Every aisle I went down, someone was having a conversation via a variety of small electronic devices with another someone who wasn't there.

A whole lot of people talking to themselves, or so it would appear at first glance. Sort of like a mental ward....hmmmmm.

The thought flashed through my head, are folks not really present anymore? I mean, if you are busy talking or texting to someone who is not present with you, are you really 'in the moment' or are you just going through the motions?

How can you focus on what is around you if you are carrying on such important conversations with people scattered across the world?

Too much odd thinking for this morning, I need some coffee. Happy Monday!

Friday, May 8, 2009

dead and gone

I finished "Dead and Gone" yesterday before I left the house at 9:00. Yep, read that one in less than 24 hours. Gosh, I love Charlaine Harris and her every growing character, Sookie Stackhouse.

In Sookie's world, the vamps have been 'out of the coffin' for a while and now the 'were' creatures have joined them. When folks start shedding their human forms and revealing their animal forms, you know things won't stay calm. Unfortunately for Sookie and her friends, the first 'were' to be killed is her brother Jason's estranged wife who just happens to be a were-panther. But true to Harris' style, this isn't the only complication in Sookie's life. She is also juggling her every growing connection to Eric (the viking vampire), along with Niall, her fairy great grandfather, and the ever present Vampire Bill, Sookie's first love.

Harris manages to juggle all of these plots, all of these characters and present a book that is very entertaining. Unlike some other paranormal series that have lasted this long, I don't feel Harris has become jaded in her writing or has strayed away from the true nature of her characters. Sookie is still a barmaid in Bon Temps who has a lot of very extraordinary friends who all have very human issues. And that is the true magic in these books.

A year is a long time to wait for the next installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the numbers game

Numbers and statistics are interesting beasties. That old saying 'numbers don't lie' isn't always true. Numbers can lie and be used to deceive, prove a point and win an argument.

I don't like numbers. Never have....and never will. This fact just doesn't quite explain why I worked in banking for so many years. By the time I graced a desk inside a branch bank, the numbers weren't as important as the ability to talk.

Lots of numbers tossed around in our meeting yesterday, lots of percentages and figures. They sound good. They appeal to what folks consider 'reason.' However, context is needed to understand exactly what the numbers represent. That is the sticky point and the context wasn't always provided or the question wasn't asked to encourage the presenter to provide enough information so the number's true value could be understood.

Off the soapbox now and on to my latest read. I drove over to B&N yesterday to buy the latest Charlaine Harris book, "Dead and Gone." I managed to read about half last night and I've been reading more this morning. I swear these books are like a box of Oreo cookies. You can't just eat a serving size, you need to eat a whole row. One complaint I read in an online review was the fact that Harris has so many characters in this book that it is cumbersome to read. So far, I disagree. Yes, over the course of 9 books, you are going to have a lot of characters if you develop complex and layered plots that center around a small town. Hasn't bothered me one bit, but then I'm most definitely a biased reader and a huge Sookie fan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

wet hens

Our one day of sunshine has given way to yet another rain system. The rumbling woke all of us up during the night. My yard is an unearthly shade of emerald green and the flower beds are lush with new growth of all sorts. Yes, I will have quite a bit of weeding to do if it ever dries out enough to step into the beds!

I'm off to B&N this morning to get the latest Sookie Stackhouse book by Charlaine Harris. Reviews have been mixed on B&N's online forums. I'll decide for myself after I devour this novel. An added bonus for me: I printed off an extra 15% off coupon this morning! Yeah!

Then we have our Friends meeting for this month. We've had one pre-meeting meeting and will have another right before 1:00. Lots of things going on with this agenda; the new fee proposal is up for explanation/discussion. Lots of ladies, lots of rain....let's just hope we don't turn into the country cliche involving wet hens.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

is it the sun?

After three days of gray and often wet skies, I think that is the sun trying to break through the clouds outside. Nothing like a sunny day to brighten your disposition.

I'm off to the library today to sort through a very large and supposedly very old donation of books. If I'm not done in by that activity, I need to make a Costco run as the pantry is low on those huge bulk items we seem to go through.

I finished the Jim Butcher book yesterday and am now in the process of finishing the Linda Howard book I borrowed from one of the Library Friends. I will need some new reading materials soon.

The new Charlaine Harris book will be out and the new Laurell K. Hamilton book debuts soon also. Looks like a trip to B&N is on my 'to do list' in the near future.

Monday, May 4, 2009


After two days of nearly non stop rain, my yard resembles a large and very green sponge. We did manage to sneak out to the fair between showers on Saturday. The crowds were sparse, but the vendors who had stayed were still in good spirits.

Beyond that, we celebrated the middle kid's b-day yesterday. The cake turned out well as did her choice of dinner entrees, shrimp and pasta.

The book of choice for the weekend was the first Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher. "Storm Front" has been a good read and I will search out more of Harry Dresden's adventures. I never got hooked on the short lived TV show based on these books, but I can see why they'd try and bring these characters to the small screen. Pretty good stuff and a strong male protagonist.

Hope the rain moves on east and the sun begins to shine, now that would be a good start to the week!

Friday, May 1, 2009

when pigs fly

Yep, the swine flu 'pandemic' has hit my fair town. The local Catholic grade school had news helicopters hovering overhead yesterday as the kids were dismissed for the next seven days. Guess my crew won't be going to PRE this week since they will have to disinfect the building. Heard from one of my fellow soccer moms that Target is wiped out of wipes and hand sanitizer. Heard from the pharmacist at my grocery store that there are no masks to be had anywhere.

Can you say panic? We actually got an email from the soccer association to let us know they were keeping an eye on the situation in case games needed to be canceled.

OMG. It isn't the plague........everybody take a deep, calming breath through your mask and sanitize your hands as you repeat after me: This too shall pass.

Until the next crisis.