Friday, October 30, 2009


It is Friday. Just had the dog retrieve the paper for me and discovered it is really warm outside, the wind is howling and I think it is fixing to get ugly.

I have a three hour miniseries to watch today that I ordered from netflix and a promised dinner out with the hubby.

Yeah!! Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

best bit in the paper

The best bit in the paper today was about caskets. Did you know that you can buy caskets online from Wally world, Sams and Costco? I sure didn't! I guess the funeral home has to let you provide your own coffin if you wish and the online retailer has to guarantee that the casket will be delivered within 48 hours.

Wow. Plus, some of the online stores even have 12 months same as cash payment plans.

On to other news........

The intermittent rain is wreaking havoc with my calendar. I've scratched off and rewritten so many soccer practices that I have no room left for any more changes this week. Now both girls have something, supposedly, for tonight that was supposed to happen earlier in the week. Plus, the boy has his school open house/book fair.

Wonder if those online retailers sell clones or at least a Rent-a-mommy for those nights when you need to be in three places at approximately the same time.

Of tonight's activities, the book fair ranks near the top. I love a good book fair. I remember the first book I bought at a book fair. It was a book about Indians that I purchased when I attended Gates Elementary school in Aurora, Il. I loved that book. It had great pictures in it and short paragraphs about a variety of different Indian tribes. I had to be pretty young, I only went to Gates from kindergarten through half of second grade...then I had to leave my Mary Poppins teacher and start school in a different place with the Wicked Witch of the West's clone!!

I wonder if the staff at Boulder Hill Elementary ordered her up online....oh wait, those were the days before the Internet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

wow, guess the wine dude was right!

Sitting in the ortho office today and as I'm reading the big fall recipe section in the October edition of Southern Living....lo and behold they have a framed bit highlighting wine suggestions for under $12 a bottle. I scan the list and there was the wine the guy sold me....the Concho Y Toro Frontera Carmenere!

But, have to tell ya, I paid only $6 for my bottle. He gave me a deal!

and off they come

Taking the middle kid to the orthodontist today. Her braces are coming off at long last. She's been counting down for the last month and has already requested I bring an apple when I pick her up. First thing she is going to do is bite into a nice crisp Fuji!!

While I was out for my errands yesterday, I swung by the library and picked up the three Dresden Files books they had. I guess I'm going to have to go into the online catalog and see if they own the rest of them or if I can have them sent from other locations. I also need to check and see if they have the next two books in this Margaret of Ashbury series I've started. I'm really enjoying this book by Judith Merkle Riley. I also had a short chat with one of the librarians about the state of the collection and my daughters latest trip to B&N. Yep, when you see rows upon rows of new fiction at the bookstore and nothing in the library trouble is a brewing. I don't have hundreds of dollars to keep them in the latest published YA fiction titles and apparently neither does the library.

I think the days of the Friends money going towards 'fluff' purchases is coming to an end. Perhaps it is time for a concerted effort to bolster the collection budget for specific areas.

Now a totally different topic....while I was at Costco last week I popped into the liquor store after I did my general grocery shopping. How convenient that they have one right next door! I was on a mission to find a wine I had seen advertised in The New Yorker. The name of the wine intrigued me (Cupcake) and I was interested enough to see what they had available. Well, the delightful and very knowledgeable salesman/manager got his handy dandy pocket wine rating notebook out and proceeded to enlighten me on a variety of wines. I didn't purchase any of the Cupcake ones as he said the cute name didn't match up with the taste in his opinion except on one white wine, which I don't usually drink in the cooler months. I'm more of a red wine girl when the temps start to dip. So, I did end up purchasing two wines from Chile. Never had Chilean wine before, but the Frontera is excellent.....enjoyed a glass the other night with the steak we had. I bought three bottles, two from Chile's Concha y Toro and one Ravenswood, which will most likely last me until the spring thaw!

Looks like the rain has moved out....and the paper has just been delivered.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

give it a whirl

Now that my stint as the book store manager is over, a little perk that was a holdover from my days of actual paid employment has been rescinded. Yep, I won't be getting movies for 'free' anymore at the library. So, I signed us up for Netflix yesterday...this was after the oldest kid and I paid $9 to rent two movies at Blockbuster. For that same $9 I can rent as many movies as I want, one movie at a time, during a month. I can also watch movies on my computer. Turnaround time, according to the neighbor, is one day. Yep, you request the disc and the next day it is in the mailbox. WOW. How cool is that? Like Magic!

So, the oldest and I are getting ready for a marathon session of watching all the old episodes of Supernatural. Plus, I requested a series from the BBC called Lost in Austen that looks fun.

We have a two week trial period to give it a whirl.

Started reading a book by Judith Merkle Riley, "A Vision of Light." Was only able to read a few pages before it was too dark to see in the car. The middle kid worked out with both of her teams yesterday, bet she will be sore today.

Waiting to wake the oldest and see if she is going to make it to school or not. She wants/needs to go, but if she isn't substantially better than yesterday, she won't be catching that bus.

Rain has moved back in for the day it seems. The dry and sunny days were nice while they lasted.

Monday, October 26, 2009

okay, here we go

Got one home sick today. Finished the latest Dresden Files book. Need to clean my house. Looks and feels like a Monday to me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

read it and weep or not?

Very interesting....check out the link about the book price wars, the article itself has links to other publishing industry blogs about what all of this could mean.......


Oooooh, got an email today from B&N with a discount coupon. I can always manage to find a book, use the coupon and feel like I got a major deal. May have to make a stop there after I make my Costco run today.

Not much else to comment on today. Yesterday was quiet. I finished reading the Dresden Files book, number four in the series. Really liked it, but then what is not to enjoy? Wizards, werewolves, faeries, magic and Chicago! I started the latest in the series last night and think I will try and read all the titles in between soon. Jim Butcher does a great job of getting the reader up to speed so you don't have to go back and read the ones you might have missed, but I'm going to do that anyway.

Hope the rain we endured all day yesterday moves out. I'm ready for some blue skies and sunshine.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Got some numbers yesterday while I was spending an extra long time visiting with a friend at a local watering hole having lunch. Yep, hubby called to let me know he was across the river and heading west and I told him I was in a bar. He of course said, "that didn't take long, celebrating my departure already?" My friend and I laughed, but when he called back two hours later and we were still there....we really laughed. Not that sweet tea is considered a hard drink by most folks.

Anyway, while we were lunching and gabbing, a 'little bird' who shall remain forever nameless mentioned hearing some library card renewal numbers at a meeting. In our last big Friends meeting, the numbers were not given...although to be fair, no one asked for the data either.

I asked the 'bird' if he/she would share them with me. I got them later that day. What it boils down to is that only 25% of the recorded card holders have reactivated their cards since the new policy has been in place. 6% of library users identified as non residents have paid the nonresident $25 annual fee. $10,000 has been generated for the Town as a result.

So, 69% of the library cards out there haven't been renewed. Were they ever used in the first place?? It will be most interesting to see if the numbers continue to inch up or if we reach a plateau and are left with a REAL number of library users instead of an inflated one based on the sheer number of cards out there. What will this mean for staffing, funding etc? This whole effort to shed burdensome users may end up shooting everyone in the foot. Now the Town will know exactly how many folks use cards and can use that number when allocating funds.

Are you shortchanging 30,000 library card holders or only 4000 library card users???? Hmmmm, methinks the size of the constituency has SHRUNK.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

long week

This week feels like it has lasted twice as long as it should. Some weeks are just like that. Not that I've managed to get extra stuff done.

With Halloween just days away, the holiday season is kicking off in short order and I am not ready for it at all. Some stores have Christmas stuff out already. Ugh.

I'm still reading the Dresden Files book. Good story, just haven't managed to sit down long enough to finish the darn thing. Watched a movie yesterday while I did laundry....'New in Town' with Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick; very cute chick flick set in Minnesota.

Not much else to report and nothing clever floating around in my noggin today.
Happy Wednesday.....better let the dog out, he is giving me the 'look!'

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

book price wars and stuff

Guess Target is entering the fray between Wally world and Amazon......,0,7009944.story

Ugh. Off to the doctor today for my annual physical. Black coffee is nasty stuff. I'm such a condiment coffee drinker....bring on the milk and sugar. But, I needed that jolt to get my brain in gear and managed to choke down a cup and a half of the stuff. Tomorrow I get to look forward to a dentist appointment, time to get the teeth cleaned. I clearly was out of my mind when I scheduled these two lovely visits on back to back days.

High school soccer manages to drag on as now the oldest kid informed us they have a scrimmage against the other JV squad on Wednesday night. No more details than that. Geez, a time would be helpful, coaches. She had back to back soccer yesterday....scrimmage after school and then a three hour club practice. One tired young lady by 9:00. Good thing she didn't have a lot of homework.

Middle kid had a scrimmage and then tonight has a game.

Youngest kid had loads of homework, most of it 'seat work' that he didn't get done while in his seat at school. Must have been something going on that kept his interest from completing all those language arts workbook pages.

And so it goes.........

Monday, October 19, 2009

books and soccer

Click on the link. So, is this a good thing or no? Yeah for being able to buy some of those bestsellers dirt cheap. Boo for what this will do for the already hurting major bookstore chains not to mention the small bookstores. I'm going to be looking for some commentary from some of the agent blogs I read to see what the general take on this new development is. Always interesting to read their opinions on the state of publishing.

It was a mixed bag soccer weekend. Oldest kid's team won their sunrise game by a score of 3-0. She has a scrimmage today, will share keeper duties with another player, against the varsity squad as they prepare for state play. That team must win on Thursday to advance to regionals. I'd love to see her shut them out in her half! Middle kid's team lost all three games in Arkansas but played hard and had fun. One of the other girls' moms said that several parents from the final game's other team commented on how good the girls were. Why, yes, yes they are! The youngest kid and I hung around and did a whole lot of nothing, although I did get him to practice his piano and we went down to the Square for a hot cocoa. And no, the latter did not depend on the former, no bribery was involved. I needed to pop over there and get some cinnamon creamed honey....we are addicted to it.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

rolling in the grave or a big thumbs up?

Check this know I will be reading this one:) Too bad it won't debut on Halloween!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is my friend Anne's Birthday!!! Happy Birthday, Anne. May your new year be filled with good and interesting things.

I will be so glad......

When this portion of the ongoing soccer season is over, I may have a bottle of wine with one of the other mothers to celebrate. Nothing better than finding out about an unexpected and unscheduled weekend game after the kid has already been committed to work at a mini tournament as a referee. Nothing better than murky, mysterious emails that require a variety of other emails to determine what the email is really saying. Didn't realize 'communication' was a four letter word.

Thank goodness the head ref is her spring soccer coach and totally understands that this sort of craptastic stuff happens and could find someone to cover the game she will miss. Thank goodness I'm an early riser and being at a soccer field at 7 in the morning for an 8am kickoff isn't that difficult for me.

Did I say I'd be glad when this portion of the soccer year ends??? I'm so ready for league play to start. Soooooo ready.

Venting over....for now.

So, one kid plays one game and then refs 11 for her weekend activities. One kid along with hubby travels west for a weekend tournament. And one kid stays with me. Here is hoping for sunny and dry days.

I think we all need them. I know my disposition does.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hey, beginning to mold over here.

Okay, waking up to the sound of rain, yet again. It stayed dry yesterday, unless you happened to step into the yard and then you'd sink up to your ankles. We are so waterlogged at this point; I'm beginning to fear what may happen when the temps truly begin to drop and the precipitation stays with us. Hmmmm. Cold air plus lots of moisture usually equals that dreaded white stuff that I thought I left well north of the Mason-Dixon line. I may not be a Southerner by birth, family history or anything else, BUT I do enjoy the weather HERE much more than the weather THERE. I need sunshine. I need dry breezes.

I also need to find some new books to read. I finished the delightful Hester Browne series and am in need of some new titles. After I dropped the girls off to Youth Group last night, big scavenger hunt activity to participate in, they came in third place by the way, I hit the library. Found two Jim Butcher books, his Dresden Files series. Thought I would give those a whirl. The problem is, I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to read right now.

Watched the movie 'Push" yesterday. It was okay. Neat concept, but not that great of a movie. I wasn't glued to my seat. Think I will watch "Defiance" today. Daniel Craig is always entertaining to watch and this movie is set in WWII about Jewish resistance fighters.

Feeling a bit scattered today....I think it is lack of sunshine! My brain just doesn't operate at peak efficiency when subjected to these weather patterns for days on end.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

mid week

Everyone heads back to school today. We had a nice fall break even though the weather put a damper on what we had planned for Monday and Tuesday. Sometimes it is just nice to stay home and veg out on the couch with a good book or a good TV show.

Not sure what I will do today. I finished reading the third Little Lady Agency book and cheered at the end. I knew she was with the wrong guy and when she realized it, I let out a little 'whoop' of joy. Yes, I got way to invested in these stories.

Now I need to get back onto facebook as the hubby and the girls have become seriously addicted to Cafe World and they left me in charge of serving the 'food' while they are unable to play the game. Ugh. Not that I should throw stones as I do like to play some of the shorter, timed games.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and our wet, rainy fall continues

If winter follows the path autumn has taken, I have high expectations for 'white stuff' more than once in the months ahead. Middle kid's soccer game was called off last night and her game tonight, if the forecast is correct, will be rained out. The oldest kid has practice this morning and two games later in the week, as her season winds down. I'm getting the laundry room ready for mud.

We ended up visiting the mall yesterday for out outing. Stopped in the bookstore, always fun to look at the new titles and wish the library had them as well. Frustrating for me to see the great amount of YA books and know that our library won't have them for a long time if ever. We also went to the makeup store and the girls got some new eye makeup. I remember those days when a new liner or mascara could make my, who has time?

I'm reading the third Hester Browne book about her Little Lady Agency. These are fun books filled with British humor. I've enjoyed the first two and the third is shaping up to be just as delightful.

As it does look like rain again, I think we will probably watch movies this afternoon and stay out of the weather. I had hoped to make a trip into downtown and visit a certain island we've never seen, but I'd rather wait for a more sunny afternoon for that excursion.

Back to reality tomorrow, but it is a short week and should fly by.

Monday, October 12, 2009

fall break

I think everyone needed fall break. We've had such fun already. Took a short drive to a lovely park and had a cookout with our neighbors. Smores, brats, and a dutch oven dessert....yes, we were heavy on the sweet stuff, but it all tastes so good when cooked outside. Then yesterday we hit the zoo to see the latest exhibit featuring grizzlies and wolves. I could watch the wolves play all day long. The zoo has three youngsters, beautiful creatures. In the same exhibit, they have three grizzly cubs who were trying to catch fish while we watched them. They are very good fisherman yet, but it was very funny to see their efforts and the looks on their faces...such determination! We also watched the polar bears for a long time as they swam around their 'home.' Such fun to see them so up close. Loved it and the weather cooperated for a change. The zoo is also all decorated for fall....hubby and I made the kids take of pic of just us to celebrate our successful fall break adventures.

Today isn't looking too promising as rain is forecasted for the entire day. The super dooper double dopler is quite green in every direction. So glad we managed to get the yard and two of the large flower beds put in order for fall. I actually had hubby help me and we totally gutted the back beds. Things were just out of control after six years and it is time to start all over. The bed outside my kitchen window is looking quite barren, but ready for spring planting. I'm already thinking about what I want to do back there....and I have all winter to dream about it. But for now, I'm going to enjoy the next two days and the break we have from our normal routines.

Friday, October 9, 2009

little lady agency

Hester Browne's novel, "The Little Lady Agency" is easily summed up....FUN. Meet Melissa, a recently sacked secretary in a real estate office. Mel, needing some money to keep her in tea and biscuits, decides to harness her amazing organization and etiquette skills and create a business geared towards helping hapless men navigate social settings, gift buying and even domestic staff management. She takes on the persona of "Honey", puts on a wig and her business takes off. Add into this a cute American real estate mogul, a darling best friend, a funny and cute flat mate, nutty family members and you have a darling book.

I can't wait to get my hands on the next story in this series. Just the thought makes me want to brew a pot of Earl Grey, set out a tray of digestives and read the afternoon away.

Homecoming week comes to a close today with Spirit Day, a football game and the big dance. The first nine weeks of school ends today. Wow. Fall Break will mean the kids have Monday and Tuesday off from classes. Hope they are able to rest up and start refreshed on Wednesday.

Lots of fun things planned for the weekend and I hope our weather cooperates.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

550 posts later

When I logged into my blog this morning, I noticed I've hit the 550 mark. Yep, I've written over 550 blog posts. Not sure if I've managed to say anything earth shattering in that time, but I've enjoyed using a blog. I usually write my entries as I savor that very first cup of coffee, before the kids and the hubby start to stir and the house is quiet.

I've blogged about books, reading, my volunteer work, my kids and hubby, my friends, the library and a few other of my passions.

It usually isn't too difficult to find a topic to write a few words about. There is always something going on.

So, here is to another 450 as I look at 1,000 as my next goal.

Started reading, on the recommendation of my friend Anne B, "The Little Lady Agency" by Hester Browne. I love the wit and humor that comes out of Great Britain and this book has plenty of it. Very witty, very cute, very British, very fun......and not literary fiction by any stretch of anyone's imagination.

I'm off on a field trip with our youngest today. Tour buses filled with fifth graders are making their way into the city to see the sights. Soccer mom I may be, but field trips are not my cup of java. It is five o'clock somewhere in the world, right?

The Friends meeting went well yesterday and I was given a glorious bouquet of cut mums as a thank you for my efforts in the bookstore over the past two years. They flowers looks amazing in my family room and I was so grateful to receive them. I love what I do for the Friends and I'm so glad I'm a part of that group.

Fall break begins tomorrow after the last school bell rings as well as Homecoming events at the high school. Looking forward to the mini vacation for the kiddoes. We have a few things planned and I hope our weather cooperates.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the magicians

Whenever I read a book that can even remotely be classified as literary fiction, I suffer a bit of anxiety. I usually read what publishers consider as genre or mainstream/commercial fiction. Genre stories are straightforward and while they are highly entertaining and can communicate wonderful emotions and human truths, they aren't supposed to be full of hidden images, symbols and mind blowing insights into the human condition.

So, when I read literary fiction the anxiety comes when I start thinking to I getting 'it.' The 'it' being whatever lesson or moral the writer is trying to impart. "The Magicians" qualifies as literary fiction and even though the book started off really well and even though the blurbs on the back cover rave about the novel, it was just okay for me.

Part of it I loved; I thought Lev Grossman did a wonderful job of digging deep into the whole idea that learning magic and being a magician is hard, mind numbing, body damaging work. Yet, the whole coming of age angst, what does it all mean, and ennui laden tone of the book just didn't appeal to me. The characters became self indulgent and irritating and the book began to lose its charm.

The writing, in many spots, is beautiful. Grossman writes lean and powerful prose. The pace of the book is good. The concept of the book is really neat.

But for all those good things, at the end it fell flat for me. Maybe I just didn't get 'it'.......

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

odd feeling

Even though I am officially finished with my bookstore duties, one of my very faithful volunteers asked me to help her move the 'cherry picked' donations from last week out of the store and into the stocking closet. I showed up at 9 and we were able to finish the work by 10:30. A lot more than what is needed was pulled from the sale to be kept for stocking the store. We needed romance paperbacks, but the rest is just extra stuff that is nice, but the nonfiction bins are so full it means a big inventory swap is in their futures.

It was odd walking away from the library and to the car yesterday knowing that I'm not responsible for that endeavor any more. It really hit me.

Then, of course, I got home and the emails were flying about the money we brought in and how it should be allocated. Looks like Wednesday's meeting will be an interesting one. Think I will need to bring a calculator along, we have some number crunching to do.

Today I need to clean house and finish reading "The Magicians" so I can return that book to the library.

Monday, October 5, 2009

hunker down

Our weather had taken a severe right turn into FALL. It rained all day yesterday, non stop and the temperature stayed well below 60. Brrrr. Ugh. I made a huge crockpot full of beef stew and then made a huge pot of chili. We had the stew last night for supper and will have the chili today.

I'm off to the library and bookstore today to help one of the girls move all the good donations she pulled last week to save for the store. They have to be relocated into the stocking closet, but it shouldn't take very long at all. Then I need to hit the grocery store for a few oddball items I seem to keep forgetting, like corn starch, noodle soup and dandruff shampoo!!

"The Magicians" is a slow read. I can only take small doses of it. How to describe....literary fiction about magicians, serious, dark, adult, interesting. This isn't a gobble it up quick sort of book...more like you have to just nibble your way through it. I'm enjoying it, but will be ready for some lighter fare once I am finished.

The oldest had great success over her away game soccer weekend. They won all three games and all three were shutouts for her as the keeper. Yeah!! The middle kid is quite the U8 referee according to reports from those at the scene. She did a great job of explaining to the players the rules of the game etc. It was 'her' field and she was in charge!! Love it. The youngest enjoyed watching a show on some science channel about ten way to annihilate the planet....he is not alone in his geekiness as there are lots of adults out there who are as intrigued with black holes as he is.

If the fields dry out we may have a soccer game and a soccer practice this to look at the forecast and the super duper double doppler radar screens for our area.

Happy Monday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

books, books, books

The Friends of the Library book sale is underway. Last night was the pre-sale for members. From all reports, it was a smashing success with 30 new memberships purchased and lots of books sold. Today the sale opens to the public and there is nothing better than helping folks find books to read. I just love talking authors and stories with our shoppers....avid readers are such a fun group.

Birthday felicitations today to my Uncle Matt who turned 73 yesterday and my bestest friend since our freshman year in college, Cindy, who turns 45 today.

I started reading Lev Grossman's book, "The Magicians" and have already determined that this is going to be a good one....I'm on page 47. Can't wait to spend some time with this novel over the weekend.

Had a delightful lunch outside on the patio of one of our local Tex-Mex places yesterday with my usual lunch crew. Nothing better than good food, great weather and fun conversations.

The oldest and hubby head off to the middle of our state for three soccer games. The middle kid is refereeing five soccer games this weekend. The youngest and I will find some sort of trouble to get into I'm sure.

Enjoy the weekend.