Friday, October 29, 2010

frantic friday

The first whirlwind has departed the house. Yikes!  Oops...just got stopped again...guess they are stuck in the driveway.

Laurel and Hardy have nothing on us this morning, and on that note...

Enjoy the weekend.
Happy Halloween.
Lots of tricks here this morning and not so many treats!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

tick tock

The clock is winding down on 2010. Ack.  Once Halloween arrives and departs, the remainder of the year is going to come rushing through. The calendar is already looking quite full for some weeks in November and December. It really isn't too early to start shopping for Christmas. I have been making my lists and checking them, if not twice, at least once.

Coming up for us is.....

state soccer play
jury duty
friendly soccer matches
band practices
Turkey Day
band concerts
Holiday Home Tour
Birthday Parties
Christmas Parties
and on, and on and on.....

But for right now, silence reigns golden in my home. At least for another ten minutes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

new Alys Clare series

I love it when I find a new series of novels from an author I enjoy reading. I was totally excited to discover an Alys Clare novel on the new book shelf at the Library. I read several of Clare's books in her Hawkenlye series years ago. That series featured an amateur sleuth who was also an abbess. Good stuff.  This new series is set in medieval England just after William the Conqueror's death and our sleuth is a young girl from an ancient in she is not Saxon, or Norman but a true 'native'. The first novel, "Out of the Dawn Light" is a wonderful blend of magic, history, plot and character. I can't wait for the next two titles to learn more about young Lassair, her friend Sibert and their interesting families. I hope the library gets them, but if not, I've already checked online to see how much it would be to order them.

This book I just finished is number 84 for the year. I have 16 more to read before year end to hit the 100 mark.  Guess I'm on a mission.

My meeting went well. We were all in agreement. We didn't dissolve into complaining too much. We enjoyed a nice lunch afterwards. It. Is. All. Good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

champagne tastes on a beer budget

And I'm not talking good fancy packages with nice glass bottles imported from overseas. I'm talking cans of generic! That seems to be my theme for the week. Frugal. Thrifty.  Ignore those extra letters, those are 'four' letter words.

Yep, I have a Friends executive board meeting today....about money.  How much we spend. Where we spend it. How we donate it.

Here is another 'four' letter word: budget.

Ack. Ugh. Ick.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to make everyone happy? To not have to budget? To not have to compromise? To be on the same fiscal 'page' as everyone else?

Oh hell, what is a few thousand dollars between friends, right?!

Monday, October 25, 2010

four books in a week

My TBR pile is in a sad state at the moment. I finished all four of the library books I checked out two weeks ago. What an eclectic pile of novels.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson. The Devil's Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.  Here is the rundown: not as good as the first, good, excellent, so-so.

I need to count the titles I have read and see how close I am to 100 novels for 2010 and decide how I'm going to reach my goal.  I do have a new YA novel to read, the sequel to Beautiful Creatures found its way home with us after a short visit to B&N over fall break.  I'd also like to read the 7th Harry Potter book before the movie comes out...maybe.  I'm still debating that one.

Fall break was wonderful. I enjoyed my alone time with the middle kid. The other two and hubby had a nice visit with family up north. Then the second half of the break we were all together...or as together as we normally are with multiple schedules etc to accommodate. We even had a bit of rain yesterday to end our 60 plus days of drought.

Here we go, launching into a new week, refreshed from vacation and ready to tackle what the days will throw our way.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Taking a break this week from the blog, ya'll......Happy Fall Break!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

fall break

When school began in August, it seemed like fall break was years away. With the last bell today, the week long vacation arrives. The oldest and youngest are headed up north with hubby. A college visit is in store as well as family visiting. The middle kid is staying put with me and the mutt. She contracted a 'fungus' and is in the midst of treatment....and may have to go back to the doctor on Monday if Dr. Mom doesn't think it is looking better by then. Ugh.

But, we are determined to make the best of it and will enjoy some time for just the two of us.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

middle school open house

The movie "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" arrives in our mailbox today. The timing is perfect as I was just escorted around the middle school by my youngest for his Open House night. I met all the teachers, two of them taught our oldest back when she was in 6th grade.  He showed me his routine and after walking the halls with him I can understand why he was late to class at the start of the year. He goes back and forth across the third floor all day long. His trek from the main building to where he meets for band is also a long haul. But, he seems very comfortable now and was greeted by a lot of kids as we toured and chatted.

All of the moving classes and hallway traffic will serve him well once he arrives in high school.  Talk about a maze, the middle school building is not laid out in any semblence of order. You actually have to go down some stairs in order to go up a different set of stairs in order to get to certain areas. Nuts.

Talks are under way and a 'town hall' style meeting is happening tonight to discuss the future of our middle school.  The facility is located just off our town square.  The county is in favor of building a new school as the current one has been added on to so many times it doesn't meet any current building code. The oldest part of the campus is very old. It originally served as a women's college way back when. It eventually became a k-12 facility...then the original high school...and now a middle school. Each transformation included a renovation. Now it is a hodgepodge of architectural details and quite 'ugly' and in some cases not student friendly.

The new school would be built a mile south on land the town currently owns and uses as a park. The current school would be traded out to the local university for a suburban campus.  It could be a major win-win for all involved.  A new school for the 6-8 crowd and a usuable building, renovated yet again, for folks interested in taking college classes. The historic square would get a group of folks traveling through with money to spend and the middle school kids would actually have a cohesive, up to date, user friendly campus.

I hope to make the meeting tonight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I picked up Maggie Stiefvater's "Ballad" yesterday along with three other books. Love those moments at the Library when I find exactly what I'm looking for in less than 15 minutes. Score!

It was a good thing that errand took such a short amount of time as the other errands I had to run were all over town. In addition to visiting the library, I also stopped into the vets, Costco, the doctor's office, two pharmacies, Aldi's and hubby's office.  It was a busy morning.

Once I was home and had the laundry going and dinner cooking, I did read a bit of "Ballad" and let myself get pulled into Stiefvater's YA novel.  I really like this gal's writing.  This is the sequel to "Lament" and focuses on Dee's friend, James and his encounters with Faery.  Good stuff.  I'm on the waiting list to get the sequel to "Shiver", Stiefvater's werewolf story.

Today is the final soccer game of the JV season.  Only the younger daughter is playing in this match, but the older one is set on going, in war paint, and cheering on her teammates.  Should be an easy win for the soccer ladies and a nice way to close out the season.

Club soccer will start soon, but they will enjoy a few weeks off before the 'real' season begins. 

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

library spending

I got an email yesterday from the library director asking for a large chunk of money. Interestingly enough, the amount requested is almost exactly what the book sale earned. I'm sure she had a ballpark number given to her by someone. Ugh.

Of course that puts me in the 'lovely' position of having to stall on her request. Several of the members would like to use the money for putting together book club reading bags for the Friends book club as well as other area clubs.  Some of these folks also see a need to refurbish the foyer of the library. It is looking very dated and in some cases extremely worn out.

Is this the time we push our wishes ahead of the director's?  I indicated to her I was gathering information on some possible projects and her response set my teeth on edge.  She does not want any projects taken on that might cause work for the staff. Okay. Really? 

I did learn the requested funds are for more history books.  Of course this will amuse the membership as the Library withdraws books at such a rapid clip we can't keep up with getting those titles out of the way at times.  Interesting times ahead. Dangerous waters. Lovely.

Monday, October 11, 2010

philippa gregory's red queen

I do love reading about the Tudors and when I found Philippa Gregory's latest book about the families that immediately preceded the Tudors to the throne of England, I knew I would be entertained.  The War of the Roses was an interesting period in English history. Related by blood, marriage and political alliances, these factions fought on all fronts for the ultimate prize.  Margaret Beaufort, a Lancaster by birth and a Tudor by her first marriage, gives birth to a son. The culmination of two lines and an obvious choice for the throne, Henry must wait for the perfect situation to present itself.  His mother helps that situation become reality. Gregory takes some poetic license in the novel and lays the blame for the Two Princes death in the Tower at Beaufort's doorstep. To this day no one knows for sure who killed the two boys.

It is difficult to create a protagonist who isn't easy to like and who isn't even sympathetic. She does a great job with Beaufort. The coldness of political marriage, the icy ambition, the calculation and scheming, are all supported by the wonderful character development she does with Margaret. She has Margaret fancy herself as an English Joan of Arc who is tasked by God to bring about the monarchy of her son, Henry. 

Gregory is one of the current masters at creating very readable and entertaining historical fiction and she does it yet again in "The Red Queen."

Friday, October 8, 2010

wide world of sports

If you are of my generation and older, I'm sure you remember hearing Jim McKay do the voice over commentary on ABC's Wide World of Sports opening segment.  Who can forget the whole, "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" line along with the picture of that skier crashing down the mountain side.

My soccer girlies got to experience the agony part last night as they experienced their first loss of the season against a very, very good team loaded with seasoned players.  Yep, most of their opponents last night were actually girls my oldest daughter, goalie girl, plays with during the club season. In other words, they are double rostered juniors.  Our team of freshman and sophomores just couldn't keep up at the end and with only 7 minutes to go, they blasted a shot on us. Goalie girl made the initial stop...full out extended, had the ball, but when gravity took hold and she crashed back to earth, the ball skittered out of her gloves. She scrambled to get back up and reclaim it,  but with no one close enough to help her clear it away, the ball got tapped back into the net. 

The stuff of nightmares.

She was in tears. Sobbing. This was a big game and even though the Team gets scored on, she takes each one that goes past her personally. This was only the third ball, all season, that she hasn't stopped.

Her teammates were super supportive. One girl even grabbed her chin and told her, "Repeat after me...this was not my fault. This was not my fault."  Parents even told her, "You made the initial stop, the defense should have cleared that ball."

Her sister, who made some beautiful plays including an amazing cross that in any other situation would have lead to a goal, played a fair number of minutes.  With 21 girls on the bench for the game, the rotations and substitutions came fast and furious as this coach is apt to do.  Of course, that doesn't allow for any defensive or offensive rhythm to set in amongst the players on the field. A fact that was noticed by the younger daughter's club coach...a former professional player from England.  I think he used the term..."what in the bloody hell, he's substituting again??" 

I think we are all ready for club to start.

They played hard. They played with heart. They played with passion.  But sometimes that isn't enough and you have a loss at the end of regulation time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

preview sale

The Fall book sale is well underway. We unpacked and organized a TON of books yesterday. I worked on hardback fiction along with four other devoted Friends and we were able to get the books out and on the tables in a loose alpha order in just under 5 hours.  Today we will finish fine tuning the tables and group titles/authors together.  We've already filled the floors under the tables with those books that seem to multiply in the dark storage areas. We have yards of Grisham, Steele, Clancy, Higgins Clark, Francis etc.  We had over 20 copies of The Da Vinci Code this time. Good Grief!!

But we also get books that are from authors who might not be so well known. Mid list authors, debut authors, foreign authors.  Our Town reads...a lot.

Tonight is the Preview Sale. We allow members to shop from 5-7 and we are trying a new approach this evening and allowing non members to buy a shopping pass for $5 instead of joining the group for $10. Believe it or not, some folks join just to shop early. This way, we don't 'waste' time adding them to the membership rolls and mailing them info etc. Just let them come and get their books and leave happy!  I hope it is a win-win and we may even see our sale numbers go up as a result once we work out the kinks and publicize the idea.

Regular sale hours begin tomorrow from 10-6.  We usually gross around $6,000 on this sale and I hope that we do at least that if not a bit better. The weather is going to be great and folks are looking for bargains in this economy. 

We have great books at incredible prices! What more could a reader want?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

paranormal jackpot

I hit the paranormal jackpot with the books I found at the library last week.  First up was a collection of stories edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni LP Kelner. It never fails that when I read one of the books these two gals has edited, I find new authors to make note of and read in the future.  "Death's Excellent Vacation" was no exception. These shorts stories all revolve around the concept of a vacation and take off in amazing directions from there. Lots of good writing, lots of new names to look for on the shelves. The collection contains a new Sookie story as well as a great take on gargoyles from Lilith Saintcrow.

The other two books in my jackpot are both YA novels. The first, "The Eternal Ones" tackles reincarnation with such a great set of characters I hope a sequel is in the works.  I've not read Kirsten Miller's books before even though I purchased her Kiki Strike books for the YA collection when I was on staff.  The story revolved around Haven Moore and her realization that her childhood dreams of a girl named Constance and a boy named Ethan are actually past life memories.  The story moves from the hills of east Tennessee to New York City and even across the pond to Europe.  YA readers will love this one. Star crossed lovers, evil villains, small town prejudices. It has it all, but in a good, good, way.

The next novel, "Shiver" from Maggie Stiefvater is the first in a series about werewolves in Minnesota. Yeah for setting books in places other than NYC or LA.  Grace has been intrigued by a golden eyed wolf since she was 11 and attacked while on her swing set.  Sam is the werewolf who stopped the attack and has watched her ever since.  Talk about romance...this book has it and some to spare.  Stiefvater writes with a wonderful lyricism.  The second book is "Linger" and I will be looking for it today.

Three up and three down....and all good.  Just like winning the jackpot.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I've got nothing....

My mind is racing too fast this morning to even attempt to try and create a blog why bother?  Here is a link to an author I enjoy who has written about a ninja/Matrix squirrel inhabiting her backyard. The posts about the squirrel are hilarious...and her advice on writing is wonderful. Enjoy.

Lilith Saintcrow's journal

Monday, October 4, 2010

mums and more

Hubby and I planted four gorgeous yellow mums and spread two bags of mulch in the planter in front of his new office building.  The firm is relocating to our Town this week and he has spent the last three weeks fixing things in the new space in anticipation of the move.  We worked a bit outside and made a huge difference. It looks very nice.  I'd like to get a flat of pansies and put them in the two planters on our front porch. I need that splash of color.  I did buy a huge tub of bird seed and am waiting for the birds to find out the feeder is full and open for business. I expect some feathered guests this morning.

With the girls' soccer trip to the center of our state called off, they ended up working most of Saturday. That unexpected pay check will be nice for them and the weather on Saturday was perfect for refereeing soccer games.

In fact the weather on Sunday was perfect for winning a soccer game, which is what they did! A bit of revenge for some of the girls as they got a 2-1 victory over a team that they tied 1-1 in the very first game of the season.  Up this week, two incredibly tough games versus our major rival. Then the season, for them, is over.  Club conditioning will start about a month later. I'm sure they will enjoy the break.

Lots of cooking going on now that the weather has cooled down. Made a homemade mac-n-cheese on Saturday with the boy. Pretty good stuff. Had that with some steak on the grill, some asparagus and a salad. Happy tummies all around.

Up this week is the big fall book sale for the Friends.  It is going to be fun to see what treasures we unpack and what folks buy.  The sale is truly a community event with so many merchants helping us to help the library. We see faithful customers who shop every sale. It is like a biannual reunion of sorts and books are the catalyst.  I will be missing Anne this week.  She loved to work the sales and manned the check out counter on Thursday nights. I spoke with her husband yesterday and expressed how much she enjoyed that part of the sale. He agreed. He said he has taken to sitting in her old reading chair and using her favorite lamp and memories of her enjoying a good book in that spot comfort him.

So, this week is all about books and soccer with a dash of 'living' thrown in for good measure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

friday, already?!

I wasted the week and am now under the gun to get tons of things done today. Arghhhhh.  I've made my list and have a plan of attack.  Now, to just finish my clone and the time stretching machine so the plan can work.

But, even if I didn't use my time wisely this week, it was still a good week.  Homecoming dress issue resolved. First allergy shots for the boy. A win for the girlies' soccer team. Back flower beds cleaned. Good food cooked and served. Laundry under control. Dog walked. Books read. Friends business attended to.

So, maybe the week wasn't a total waste after all!

Happy Friday and Good weekend to you.