Thursday, September 30, 2010

the homecoming dress debacle....resolved

When I saw the UPS truck pull in front of the house yesterday, my stomach started to get queasy. That brown truck meant only one thing, or in our case two things.  The dresses were about to be delivered. I accepted the plastic bag (when did some stores stop using boxes) from the nice man and carried it into the kitchen. I carefully opened one end of the package and pulled out two smaller plastic bags. I said a prayer and hollered to the middle kid that her dresses had arrived.

No response.

I called out again and this time walked to her room and knocked on her locked door. Oh yes, she locks her door when she studies. The squeal issuing forth from behind the door guaranteed that this time she heard me.  I was allowed into her room and we opened the bags and shook out the dresses.  She tried on her third choice dress first. It fit. It looked cute. She smiled.

Then she tried on her second choice. It fit. It looked really cute. She posed. She twirled. She grinned. She flipped her hair.  She stood on tiptoes to mimic heels.

"Ohhhh Mommy, this is the ONE!"

Thank the good Lord and all the saints in heaven.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I finished reading the two LA Banks "Crimson Moon" novels. Ehh.  I liked them, but I won't go searching the shelves for any more of them. They were okay. I might give some of Banks' vampire huntress novels a go and see if those are better.

I've heard a lot about Maggie Stiefvater and her YA books are hard to come by at the Library. They are always checked out.  So, when I found "Lament" on the shelves, I grabbed it.  Good. Stuff.  I have a thing for evil faeries and Stiefvater delivers not only those, but takes traditional faery lore and embellishes it in such a seamless way the original concepts are enhanced. Lots of good faery story details in this one and all the elements are incorporated in the plot.

This book has it all and I can see why teen readers are gobbling up Stiefvater's stories. Romance. Intrigue. Sacrifice.  Basically the same formula that propelled the Twilight books into super stardom, but I like these characters and their world.

In other news, the dress debacle shenanigans continue as my darling daughter is now dreaming she goes to homecoming without a suitable dress and is forced to wear one of my 'old lady' dresses. Oh. Yes. She used those words this morning, then back pedalled into saying that it was a dress that even I didn't like and refused to wear. Nice attempt on the save....hahahahahaha.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Our temps, like most of the country, have been unseasonably hot well into September. That steamy trend was finally broken over the weekend and the kids left for school yesterday with the thermometer reading a nice number in the 60's. Today it is even cooler, and my laptop weather bug is saying we are at 54. Wooooohoooo.  Cool. Crisp. Fall.

Freezing!!!!!  Yep, we actually heard our darling daughters say they had their heater on full blast yesterday for their morning drive to high school.  It was Freezing. Not Chilly. Not Cool. It was the "F" word.

We've been Southernized.  After 8 years in the south, or as this region is called, the mid-south, our blood has thinned to the point where 62 feels Cold.  Yikes!!

So, how much will out of state tuition cost us to send them back north so they can experience the land of their birth and be reintroduced to the concept of Yankee/Northerner? How much will it cost to let their bodies adapt to the concept that 62 is not Freezing? In fact, 62 is exactly 30 degrees warmer than Freezing and is just a lovely early Fall temperature.

Maybe I should start playing the lottery.

Monday, September 27, 2010

the homecoming dress debacle

I'm not sure when I stopped enjoying shopping for clothes, but I'm guessing it happened about the time my middle kid decided she was more than capable of selecting her own garments. So, that would be about 15 years ago when she arrived on the planet.

My darling fashionista hauled me over to the mall yesterday so we could begin the search for a homecoming dress. Long gone are the days when a new sweater from the Limited satisfies the teen aged girl's need to look 'haute' for a football game and dance.  No. Now they need a party dress to attend the dance and forget about going to the game. That time is spent locked in the bathroom with enough cosmetics to make Lady Gaga proud and a flat iron hot enough to make grilled cheese.

Before we left I suggested we do a bit of preshopping via the internet and take a look at her favorite store's website. This website has lovely party dresses at a reasonable price, but they don't carry them in the local store. You have to take a chance on size and fit and order online.  She found two dresses she really liked and it gave her an idea of what to expect at the major, fancy, department store. I closed the laptop and we drove to the Mall.  There is a reason Mall is a four lettered word.

She tried on 8 dresses at the big store and we left after putting one on hold. It was a bit snug in the top so we decided to try the other major department store and see what they had. They had a whole lot of nothing compared to the first store. She did find one dress, marked down to an amazingly reasonable price.  I thought it looked adorable on her....and truth be told the price tag helped my enthusiasm. But, it had a halter neckline/tie and she didn't care for that. I could have modified the tie and made it look like shoulder straps, but then she decided that the classic black bodice with an ivory skirt was just too ordinary and plain.

Off we went to two other stores. She tried on one more dress which didn't fit her hips properly and at that point we were two hours into the search. I suggested we come home and order a couple of dresses online and see if one of those wouldn't work. 

An hour later we placed the order only to find out the dress of first choice won't even be available for shipping until the day before her event. That. Won't. Work.  I made a phone call to their Help center and a lovely woman helped us delete that dress, (sob, sniff, tears) and replace it with dress number three. Her second choice dress was available and ready to be delivered. The help desk lady even threw in free express shipping so the dresses will arrive on Friday for my fashionista's perusal. She wound up with a solid black satin dress and a black and purple brocade dress, both strapless and both very adorable.

I hope to heaven that one of the two dresses will fit and be The One.  We can return them to the local store if they don't meet her approval and get a full refund, but then that will mean another trip back to the mall. I'm even hoping that they both fit so that she can keep one in the closet for the winter semiformal dance and thus avoid a trip to the Mall in January.  I was about done in yesterday with the tulle, the satin, the sparkles, the ruffles, the pleats and the straps. Anything to avoid another party dress buying trip in the near future sounds perfect to me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

and she scores....

Beautiful left footed strike makes its way into the back of the net....oh yeah!  The girls won last night's game 4-0 and my younger soccer chick scored our second goal of the night. A sight to behold and what made it even more special was that she had so many friends there in the stands to see it.  Her old soccer coaches from her Cougar's days were there as well as a former team mate.  Good times on the pitch last night.

I did not even open a book yesterday and with the housework I need to accomplish today, unless I move at a high rate of speed, I doubt I will have the chance to read today.

I'm also expecting the cable people to arrive as we are switching our phone provider over to them and bundling our services into a 'deal' they have going for the next year.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

bad blood

Big bad harvest moon last night brought out all sorts of lovely things.......howling included.  Speaking of things that howl, I finished the "Bad Blood" novel by L.A. Banks. This is the first in the Crimson Blood series.  A lot was packed into this novel, so much world building, myth building etc that at points my head was spinning. I'm hoping the second novel is a bit more 'settled' now that we've been exposed to the concepts that support the plot. 

On the soccer front, the oldest rec'd a red card last night and can't play in today's important game. A bad dropped ball led to her out of the box which led to her fouling a player, and as the last defender...instant red. She thought her sweeper was behind her which would have allowed her to foul and only get a yellow,
but stop the easy shot and force a PK.  It all went south, in a very bad way. She kept her cool and let the ref get in her face, really in her face, and card her up. Her father lost his cool and was asked to leave.

Soccer drama to the max. Apologies have been extended all around. So, off we go into Thursday and the final game of the week.  Thank goodness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

and a goal to tie

Middle kid knocked one into the back of the net yesterday to tie up the game. She was at the right place, at the right time and used her LEFT foot.  Awesome. The team had to settle for the tie as no one else could put one in, but it is better than a loss.

They play again tonight, but the big match is Thursday. They are getting ready to stomp on St. B's. and avenge a poor showing against that team a few weeks back.

In other Library news......a small, but important group are getting ready to approach the director about refurbishing the foyer. They've never liked the way it looked, and I have to agree. It has no sense of space, direction, cohesion or theme.

I started reading my first ever L.A. Banks novel.  "Bad Blood" starts off quick and is quite the whirlwind. Tons of world building in extremely short order. I'm enjoying the novel and the characters. I have the first two in the Crimson Moon series.  Might have to suggest they order Banks' vampire huntress novels. I've heard good things about those books.

And it is Wednesday. Yippee:)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

abby and ophelia

I'm well into what I think might be the final Abby and Ophelia mystery by Shirley Damsgaard.  This has been a nice series. These books always deliver good characters, solid sleuthing and nice pacing.  I don't believe I have enough pages left to see me through a visit to the license branch today, so I most likely will take another book as I attempt to get a car titled and plates switched. Ugh.

General consensus in these parts is that the hot weather needs to exit stage right and allow fall to take center stage.  It is freakishly warm and all of us are ready for a cool down.

I'm anxious to see an article in our local paper about the Friends. I submitted an article that touched on a variety of topics including Anne's death, the upcoming fall sale and the store's third anniversary. The editor contacted me and after asking for more information we agreed that because of the nature of the piece, it would be best for it to appear with her byline. Yeah!  I wasn't happy with the flow of the article and I'm hoping that she can work some magic once she adds her ideas.  She was a dear friend of Anne's as well and we had already spent time talking about how difficult it would be to write an article about her. I'm so thankful for her help.

Off to wake the troops and begin the official day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

reading list

I'm off to the library today to search out some books to read this week. I finished "Magic Bleeds" and came away impressed yet again with the talent that is Ilona Andrews. I really like her (actually it is 'their' as Ilona is a hubby/wife duo) voice and the balance struck between gritty, tough action and character development and interaction.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is still on my nightstand and I've managed to read a few more pages and am somewhat intrigued by the novel, finally.  But, I do need to find some other things to keep myself entertained as yard work is still not on the horizon. The temps continue to soar and the rain continues to stay away. I think weeding, at this point, would require a jack hammer or at least a chisel.

I scanned the library catalog and then B&N for some names, new and old.  I'm on the hunt for Shirley Damsgaard's final Abbey and Ophelia novel.  I've put on hold the latest from Casey Daniels.  I've also got two YA books to search for, one from Kirsten Miller  and one from Maggie Stiefvater.

I also put the latest from Phillipa Gregory on hold. Nothing more fun than to throw a little Tudor historical fiction into a mess of paranormal mysteries.

Two soccer games this week. Only one is at home. We've traveled for almost every game so far this season and I will be so glad when that portion of the schedule is over.

Friday, September 17, 2010

and for our next act.....

Friday. I've been waiting all week for you.  What took you so long to get here?  Time to clean the house, make some dinner and watch some soccer.

After I got home from Costco yesterday, I read a few chapters in "Magic Bleeds" and then had to get ready to go to a ribbon cutting for the new courthouse my hubby designed. It was a wonderful evening and everyone who toured the new facilities were so complimentary of the building and the vision he and his co-workers had for the project. So neat to hear. I'm so proud of him!

I think my flower beds are a lost cause this year and I'm ready to clean them out, get some mulch and wait for next year. I may begin that process tomorrow.

Girls play a BIG match this afternoon at 3.  It could be UGLY.  Ack. Ugh.

I've been on the computer too long already today, better go and get moving.  Happy Friday and Happy Weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

magic bleeds

Yippee!!! I arrived home from our second soccer game of the week to discover the delivery man had left me a small package on our front porch. The book I ordered from B&N had arrived.  The fourth Kate Daniels book by Ilona Andrews is now in my hot little hands and ready to be read, or devoured in my case.  Soooo excited.

It is so fun to find a 'new' author to enjoy and even more exciting to find them when they already have four books out. Nothing worse than getting hooked by a story and an author then have to wait a year or more for the next installment to arrive.

I didn't get hooked on Janet Evanovich until she had written Stephanie Plum's tenth story. Reading all of those books was such a joy and I spent a week immersed in the Plum-tastic world Evanovich crafted.

I think we are home from the soccer pitch tonight.  They need to rest up for what will be a huge battle of a game tomorrow afternoon against an awesome team from the center of our state. Both girls are playing really well and I couldn't be more proud of their efforts.

And it is Thursday!  Stock the store, stock the pantry!  Read, read, read!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I am not going to summarize this book as I really don't want to provide any spoilers for the third and final novel in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Suzanne Collins is yet another author who has lured adults into reading YA books and with the coming movie based on the novels, I'm sure more readers over 18 will discover Katniss Everdeen.  I was not in the least disappointed by "Mockingjay." However, I can understand why some reviewers/readers may not fancy the novel.  It is dark. It is gritty. It is honest. It does not have any canned 'and they all lived happily ever after' bits in it.

Somber. Sobering. Sad. Heartfelt. Mature. It does have all of those themes/emotions and more.  I'm not sure exactly what some readers expected. The book delivered pretty much what I guessed would happen and in the manner it would happen. In my mind, the final plot points could not unroll in any other way. In many ways it was predictable, but not in a cliched or poorly written way. Revolution and war have universal elements in them as well as universal human reactions to the death and destruction they hold.

I was only a bit disappointed with the treatment of Gale. I would have liked a different resolution for him. But, this is Katniss' story, not his.

All in all, I don't think you can measure this book alone. It is part of a series and the three books need to be taken as a whole.  Good. Stuff.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I hightailed it to the Library yesterday to pick up my reserved copy of "Mockingjay."  Once I got home I had a few things to do, including finishing the Karen Harper book, "The Queen's Governess," before I could start reading the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy.

As I mentioned yesterday, I enjoy Harper's take on Tudor England. She does a wonderful job giving life to major historical figures as well as developing the personalities of the supporting cast. I love Harper's Elizabethan mystery series featuring the queen and an assortment of her secret privy council members.

"Mockingjay" plunges right into the action with Katniss visiting the bombed remains of District 12.  I'm only a few chapters into the story, but am already understanding why reviews have been mixed for this novel.  I anticipate finishing it today and returning it soon as I'm sure the hold queue is long.

Monday, September 13, 2010

roll with the punches

The youngest has an appointment with the allergist this morning. This is a recheck visit and possibly the beginning of allergy shots for him.  As I have no idea how long we will be there, and the last visit was 3 hours long, I've not made any plans for today.  I will just have to roll with the punches and see what I can accomplish when I finally return home.

I finished reading the two Patricia Briggs books featuring coyote 'walker' Mercy Thompson. I love this series.  Up next is a Karen Harper historical fiction novel based upon Kat Ashley's life. Kat was the woman who raised Elizabeth I after Anne Boleyn's execution.  Harper is a wonderful Tudor England novelist and I actually prefer her novels to those from Phillipa Gregory.

Apparently the author visit at the Library on Saturday didn't go over very well. Only 3 people attended the program by Mark Grisham....the 'famous' last name didn't bring the readers out.  But, as an indoor program was competing with a huge college football weekend and lots of outdoor kid sports, I guess it was sort of inevitable.  Still, I hate to see programs not have a decent number of attendees.

The Library called me to let me know that my reserved copy of "Mockingjay" has arrived. Yippee....I'm anxious to read the novel as reviews have been all over the chart on this final book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy.  I actually read an interesting article comparing Bella Swan of "Twilight" fame to Katniss Everdeen from the "Hunger Games" series.  I didn't agree with the author's conclusion, but it did provide a different perspective on these two female protags and how they might be perceived by the reading audiences.

Off to get ready for the day, even a Monday can be okay if the sun is shining and the air is crisp.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Christie, Fitzgerald and Wells

Gosh, September is a good time for writer's birthdays. The three folks in the blog entry title were all born this month. Astrid Lindgren was also born in September. Who doesn't love her darling character Pippi Longstocking?  I'm trying something new on our Friends facebook page and attempting to update the daily status with some tidbit of book related information. I think Friday will be random author trivia. If I can come up with a theme for each day, it will make it easier on me and provide a rhythm for the posts. 

Stocking the store was a blast yesterday since we had so many good books to choose from and to place on the shelves. That donation we received this week really kept us all busy and brought big smiles to lots of faces.  Nice!

I'm well into the Patricia Briggs book. I do love her Mercy Thompson series. Good stuff all around. I may venture out to B&N today and buy the fourth Kate Daniels book by Ilona Andrews.  I passed along the copy of the "Gargoyle" to one of my Friends buddies and she is thoroughly enjoying it. Sharing a good read with friends is such fun.

Not sure what is up for the weekend. The soccer girls are refereeing the small fry recreational games. The rest of us will have to find things to do. Somehow I don't think that will be a problem.

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

kick it into gear

We've had two gray and dreary days in a row, which has caused a great deal of sluggishness for my offspring. Slow as molasses in the winter time. Yep.

But, I'm feeling pretty darn good. Got my hair cut yesterday and I feel so much better. Worked with some friends on a large book donation then went out to lunch with them. Fun.  I get to go back today and help stock the store before I run a few errands and come home to do chores here.  I'm all set to make some crumb coated ranch chicken for dinner and whip up that long awaited buttermilk pie for dessert.

I also need to write the newspaper article I should have already submitted. Oops. But, I feel confident I can knock it out and get it sent.

Then, who knows...maybe read some more in the Patricia Briggs novel I started last night after I got home from the soccer game.

Speaking of soccer...the oldest got yet another shutout in the goal and the middle kid scored her first goal of the season.....WOOT!!!!  Wahooooo.

Over and Out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

somedays you are better off not going to the mailbox

The mailbox held two treasures for me yesterday. One was a bill from the youngest's allergist and the other was a letter from the bank. Lovely.  I need to call the first and see what we can do differently at our appointment next week as our insurance doesn't fully cover CT scans....yikes.  The bank letter just means jumping through some hoops, doing some paperwork and signing some papers as an account we have is no longer offered and they want to get that vehicle converted into something different.

After dealing with those two pain in the butt issues, I do get to have my hair cut. Yeah!! 

Still reading the third Kate Daniels book.  I only have about ten pages left, but when the words starting blurring and I read the same sentence a few times, I decided to put it down and go to sleep.

Off to read the paper...happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

bic also known as butt in chair

I need to sit and go through our membership lists today and compare it to our online mailing list for the Friends. This will not be fun.  We've had a lot of 'cooks' involved in the membership coordinator job for the Friends since the gal who initially took on that monumental task, and did a wonderful job with the work, became sick with cancer.

We now have someone maintaining the rolls, but we split off the work involved in maintaining the online list for the emails we send out to the members.  I get to work on that for the time being. 

With our fall book sale approaching, the sale manager will also be using the list and comparing it to her list...I'm sure she will find errors, deletions and all sorts of problems.

That is my task for the day.   I hope I'm up for the challenge.  I'd like to finish the work in short order so I can get back to reading the third Kate Daniels book. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

ilona andrews' urban fantasy series

I picked up three Ilona Andrews books last week on one of my trips to the library.  This series features an alternative version of Atlanta where magic and technology switch on and off causing all sorts of havoc with the lives of the humans and other creatures who live there.  Kate Daniels is a magical mercenary, a trained warrior who can be hired to eliminate a variety of problems.  Andrews does a fabulous job world building and her character development is top notch as well.  Not sure why this author never hit my radar before, but I'm so happy I found these books on the library shelves.

We enjoyed a great potluck/cookout with our neighbors yesterday. It is always fun to get together with them for food and conversation. The kids all enjoyed playing together, even the teens, and we wrapped up the evening with a fire in the firepit, some smores and a nice cool evening breeze.

Happy Labor Day.....the unofficial end of summer and the start of fall.  Here is to nice, clear and crisp weather ahead. Cheers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sarah Palin and Vanity Fair

I just finished reading a news article summarizing the new Vanity Fair piece on Sarah Palin.  That old saying that even bad press is good press is going to prove true yet again.  Of course, from a journalistic standpoint, I really dislike articles written about anyone when the subject of said article is never interviewed. But.....and here comes the big but, everyone on the planet is defined and viewed through other people's lenses.  Yep. We do define ourselves, but our actions and our interactions also define us and all those folks around us are the ones who accumulate that knowledge and share it with others.

It is possible to get a picture of who Sarah Palin really is by examining what the people who interact with her have to say.  I'm sure some of them have an axe or two to grind. No one moves through life without irritating other people.  But I'm guessing that some folks were probably fairly objective in their comments and just relayed their Palin stories.

It is really too bad that Palin didn't grant access to the writer.  It would have lended another dimension to the article beyond the soundbites and carefully groomed comments she usually makes to the media. A good reporter shadowing her would have been able to gather the details to paint a real picture of who this woman is.

I'm not a Palin fan, in fact, I find her distasteful on many levels, but I know that this article will serve to keep her in the spotlight.  In fact, I purposefully used her name in the title of this post just to see what my stats do on the blog.  Blogger now has a very nifty stat feature that monitors how many page views a blog receives. My highest blog view post came when I titled one entry 'attention span'.  Timing is everything and I'm sure that with the start of school lots of parents and looking for info on that topic and if they bothered to read my blog would have learned in short order that the post had nothing to do with academic learning and everything to do with a middle aged mom who needed a break. Who knows, I might even get some comments from pro-Palin supporters.

Friday is here at last which means a bit of cleaning, a lunch out with a neighbor and a cross county rivals football game tonight.  


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Library excitement...along with some football.

I keep seeing these posts about 'the boys of fall' all over facebook.  Yep, lots of serious football fans out there and they are more than ready for the college and pro seasons to begin.  Of course I'm more partial to the 'girls of fall' as my two are well into their soccer season, the true football, at this point.  They won their game last night in an easy match as their other JV cohorts did in a separate match across the county. So, lots of happy young ladies today as victory was sweet for all of them.

The Friends meeting went very well yesterday and was attended by close to 30 people. Always good to have a full house.  We gave money to the library for a new Ellison die cut machine, a last minute request as their machine became broken to the point where it was not fixable any more.  We also supported a new effort to purchase family passes to three area art museums which will now be available for 'check out' to our patrons. With these passes families can visit these institutions for FREE.  How neat is that?!  I'm excited to be able to take all of us on a field trip to these venues and avoid the admission charges.

We also finished donating our big gift to the library for their basic needs in this new fiscal year.  The hope is that the director can get all of these monies accepted by the library board this month and be able to spend the money before month end.  The library board is horrible at meeting on a regular basis and if things weren't in place now, it would be January before she had another opportunity to present the donations to them. Unreal.

As I drove home yesterday I realized I need to get busy on an article for the local paper outlining all of the Friends efforts to date.  I hope to have the article published before our big fall book sale and thus cover a variety of exciting things in one piece.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

really good

I finished David Anderson's "The Gargoyle."  Really. Good. Read.  Here is the basic rundown: a drug addicted  porn actor/director drives his car off a cliff, suffers horrific burns and meets a woman while he is in the hospital who is convinced she was married to him in medieval Germany. She proceeds to tell him not only their 'story' but also the story of other lovers from across the world and in the process helps him to heal...on the inside.

It was a wonderfully written book and a gripping story.  Good Stuff.

Friends of the Library meeting today and then a soccer game tonight. The oldest ended up playing yesterday for the other JV squad. The mix of girls from the two squads proved formidable and we won 4-0. I so wish they'd ditch this idea of two teams and just let these girls play together. There is a dynamic from last year that has been lost with the divisions they instituted. The girls know it. The parents know it. UGH.