Thursday, June 30, 2011

my Friday

Whoop! I'm ready for the work day to be over and I haven't even started it yet. I think I am anxious for the long holiday weekend. Looking forward to four days off, some relaxing moments and a slower pace.

I've started reading another Rachel Vincent book starring Faythe Sanders. Good Stuff. I was at B&N yesterday to have a chat with a friend (Kim, we need to get back to visiting on a more regular schedule) and after our snack and talk, we scanned the shelves. I saw several books I need to put on my to be read list.

But, for now, I need to have some breakfast and get ready to head into the office.

Happy Friday....oops, Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

guess I was on the news

Hubby came home yesterday with reports of several folks seeing me on the local 10 pm news Monday. So, we found the clip and watched it online last night. They showed about 3 seconds of me urging them to pass the budget and unfortunately that meant a tax increase. Okay, not so bad.

Not much else to reports. I woke feeling a bit groggy and tired. I need coffee and a newspaper.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

speaking my mind

Hubby and I hadn't planned on attending the third and final reading of our town's budget and property tax increase proposal. The phone rang about 4:00 and one of the alderman was on the phone. She called to make sure we were coming and she was quite upset about what could possibly happen at the meeting. We went. I filled out a comment card and when my name was called, I spoke, unprepared, to the Board and those gathered.

I thanked the Board for their hard work and reminded them I had addressed them weeks before at one of the public information sessions on this issue. I commented that audience contained some faces of folks who I hadn't seen before at the over 5 meetings on this issue and I congratulated them on attending and participating. It is important. I reminded the Board that I'm one of the 714 Town volunteers who donates a lot of time and talent to the Town, in my case, the Library. I thanked those on the Board who take an interest in the Library and said we don't see several of them over 'there' very often, if at all.

I spoke on how I love our Town and how we all understand times are tough. I spoke on how after 17 years of being at home, I've returned to work because times are tough and we need the money I can bring in to the family. I spoke on how taxes are an issue of perspective and that moving here from another part of the country, we felt we were getting a huge deal for our tax dollars and that after 8 years, we are still getting a huge deal. A lot of other places pay so much more and get so much less.

I asked them to support the budget and the proposed tax increase as I felt that it was our last option.  Then I sat down.

Shortly thereafter a 'man'....I use that term loosely, leaned forward from three rows back and told me to get out a checkbook and pay his taxes then move back north.

Really.  My hubby said, "That is not necessary."  The guy sat back down.

The vote went 3-2 and the budget and increase passed. Ironically, on the first and second readings, the two alderman who cast nay votes voted in support of both the budget and the increase...they were the ones who actually initially proposed the .25 cent number and made the motion and the second.

As soon as the vote happened, the 'man' got up and stormed out with several of his friends. I was only one of three tonight who spoke in favor of the budget. The other five folks spoke against it.

Afterwards, several Town employees thanked me. Well, that is nice, but it wasn't really about them. It is about us. You get what you pay for and I like the life we live here. I'm willing to pay a little more for it. Other folks aren't. They are entitled to voice their opinion just like I am, even if they get a bit Ugly about it.

But, our Town is a small one, and I bet I hear more about the man who scolded me.  I'm pretty sure he's in the Sunday school class of one of the gals who also spoke in favor! Now isn't that funny!!

Just some excitement for a Monday night.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

I really wanted to love this book. Rome. Egypt. Cleopatra. Mark Antony. Octavian. In some ways, the Cleopatra story has been done to death. No pun intended. But, I hoped this fresh voice and new twist on the tale would provide hours of reading pleasure.

The writing was fine. The story rolled out at a nice pace. Some of the scenes were really good. But, I never connected with Cleopatra and found myself enjoying the chapters featuring some of the supporting characters more.

This is a decent read, yet I finished a bit disappointed. The novel blends elements I truly enjoy: history, fantasy, mythology. But, for a character driven novel, something was missing. Bummer.

Monday has arrived after a very nice weekend. I feel well rested and ready for the week ahead. Looking forward to seeing some friends and some Friends at different gatherings.  Looks like I will wrap June up in a good way!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

don't. like. surprises.

I've always lived under this misconception that I'd enjoy a surprise birthday party. I'm not sure why I entertain that fantasy as I really don't like surprises. I'm too much of a planner to enjoy the whole unexpected, out of the blue experience.  Yesterday, just as I was about to leave, my expectation that the board meeting today would involve my sitting and taking notes while everyone else talked was, well, shattered.

I will be assisting someone I've never met in a presentation on the online learning library and the new courses developed and planned. Now, this is the work I've been doing for the past two months, but I didn't plan on being an integral part of the agenda item.

Okay. I know I will be fine. I can handle this and not make a fool of myself.....but, again, I don't like surprises. It is going to be an interesting day. I'm rather excited to meet these folks and put faces to names. And I suspect that dinner tonight will be a hoot.

In other news, it is now time to start recruiting a new bookstore manager. This, I fear, will be a monumental task for the current manager. I've offered some suggestions, and my assistance, but bottom line is, I'm not sure who will step up and take the reins. The novelty has worn off for those of us who have labored countless hours for the store over the past 4 years. It is now work, fun work, but still work.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the search goes well and a new manager is in waiting in the wings before July is out.

Off on my adventure......BOD meeting, here I come!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cleopatra as a vampire

One of the books I picked up at the library this week is the debut novel "Queen of Kings" by Maria Dahvana Headley. Lots of praise for this book from authors like Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub and Garth Stein. I'm on page 82 and have to admit that I'm intrigued, but not yet totally enthusiastic. The story begins with Cleopatra and Anthony readying for battle with Octavian. Cleopatra, suspecting she will need otherworldly assistance to defeat Rome's army, has asked her children's tutor to translate an ancient spell and summon the goddess Sekhmet to assist her and Egypt. But, the spell is incomplete and when the translation is cobbled together, something apparently, went wrong. Sekhmet appears and Cleopatra is changed, forever.

I keep flashing back to the Anne Rice novel, Queen of the Damned. Are Egyptian, vampiric queens all the same?

I will keep reading and find out!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

jackpot at the library

Sometimes when I go to the Library I leave with a frown on my face. Other times I leave smiling from ear to ear. Yes, it all depends on what I've found to read. Yesterday I was smiling, skipping and feeling quite happy.

I found five books to read and have the promise of one more to come soon. Now stacked on my nightstand are a book about a vampiric version of Cleopatra, two mysteries set in Arthurian England, a book featuring Elizabeth I as a vampire slayer and the next book in the Faythe Sanders series.

Whoop!  Lots of good reading ahead. I've stacked them in the order I will read them and have already started the Cleopatra book.

Comments and thoughts to come.  My only disappointment is the lack of new YA fiction in the Library now. Not sure what is going on with that, but the shelves of new books has been reduced to handfuls of new books. Blech.  Need to find out what is what in that department.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

and that is that

The weekend went by much too quickly for me. I spent Friday running back and forth across town buying groceries and such. Saturday went by in a blur, I don't even remember what I did except for laundry and some cooking. Sunday involved church, the doughnut shop (cops included just like the old Bangles song), the grocery store and more cooking.

I read, a lot, this weekend. All of my library books are due back and I need to restock. I finished the third Rachel Vincent novel. Her heroine, Faythe Sanders, is a shape shifting werecat. They are easy, entertaining reads and I will most likely grab the other titles in the series that the library owns.

I also read a historical fiction piece by Posie Graeme Evans. I had read a trilogy from her several years ago about some king's mistress. I remembered it as being good, but this book just never rose above the level of 'blech' for me. I finished "The Dressmaker" by skimming the last 100 pages. It was predictable and a bit shallow.

We watched the finale of Game of Thrones and love the final scene with Dany rising from the ashes, three baby dragons in tow.  Just not enough of Arya in these first season episodes to suit me, but hopefully more of her storyline will be included in season two. Going to miss Sean Bean though....always enjoy his acting and now that Ned Stark is dead, well, unless they bring him back as a ghost.....won't be seeing him.

And that is that. The weekend is over. Father's Day has come and gone. It was good talking to my Dad and watching my kids have fun with the hubby as they played a marathon game of Monopoly.

Now we begin a very busy week and the slide to the 4th of July!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

and then the bigwigs arrive.......

After working 'solo' for over a month, my boss arrives next week in order to prepare for the bigwigs to arrive a day later. It is time for their annual board of director's meeting and I will have the opportunity to meet all those folks whose names I've become familiar with over the last several weeks.

It should be interesting. It will be tiring. I'm sort of looking forward to it.

The best part of my job, so far, is when I get to write. I've been writing letters, I've been working on a new public outreach course, I've been crafting text for an annual report. That is fun stuff. The worst part is when I have to input data into excel. Excel is the bane of my life at the moment. I spent two hours working in that program yesterday, left with a raging headache, and dread the thought of having to do anymore with it today.

I'm not sure where my loathing came from, other than Excel deals with and is driven by numbers. Ick.

I do need to rise above my dislike, however, as I do have to use the program several times a week. I need to force myself to play with it, become more comfortable with it and try and hide my distaste for it.

All in a days work as we get ready for next week and the bigwigs to arrive!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

summer reading

The oldest has some interesting reading assignments for her senior AP English class. She is reading contemporary poets, folks like Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg. She is also reading a Vietnam era book called, "The Things they Carried." Some challenging content for a 17 year old, but it has provided launching points for some in depth discussions.  What a wonderful opportunity to observe how she is forming her thoughts and opinions at this point in her life. That evolution makes me proud and a bit sad. She is growing up.

My summer reading is far from weighty in nature. I found a new paranormal series at the library a while back and am reading the first book. Werecats.  I like it so far and wish I could spend a bit more time with the novel. I read a few pages and then get called away or have to set it aside to work on something.

Well, it is Wednesday and the week is half gone. Summer days seems to fly by at a much fast clip than days in other times of the year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the truth is

Hubby and I attended another BMA meeting last night. The misinformation spouted as fact by the four citizens commenting on the budget and the proposed property tax increase would be downright hilarious if it wasn't so serious.

One woman stated that she knew our public parks are only used by folks from Big City M and Mississippi because she looks at car plates on the road leading into one of our parks. Really? Okay, perhaps Mississippi, but Big City M? How do you know they are from M? I believe their plates look just like ours as we are in the same county. Hmmmm.

A man got up and said that we pay the most property tax in the county. Really? Our rate, even with the proposed increase, is still the second lowest and we have  fully functioning police and fire departments to run not to mention a Library.

Taking the cake was a Realtor who said everyone's tax is going up $100 a month. Guess I live in a million dollar plus home and didn't know it. I calculated my tax will go up from $737 a year to $881. Hmmmmm, a little over $100 a year, not a month.

Misinformation is such an insidious thing. However the truth is, folks can be wrong.....and they can misspeak....but when two alderman sit and smirk and nod as these people proclaim falsehoods....well, that just plain ticks me off.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Dirty Rotten Tendrils by Kate Collins

The boy begins summer science camp today. He is excited and thrilled to be attending, even when it means he needs to be up and moving before 6:00 am.  I will pick him up after I finish work and we will come home from there.

It is going to be a good and busy two weeks for him and for us. 
The computer is acting funny, so the post I had planned for this morning, isn't happening. But I've started a new book as I finished Kate Collin's "Dirty Rotten Tendrils."  Collins does a fine job of crafting a cozy mystery and her books are always an enjoyable read.

Enjoy Monday....manic though it may be!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

my friday is here

My Friday has arrived. I'm liking a four day work week. Sweet!

Netflix sent us True Grit yesterday, so I know what movie we will be watching this weekend. The boy and I went to Aldi yesterday and bought some groceries. I watered my tomatoes and have a big one that is already turning red. The girls entertained me with stories from VBS and the oldest decided she could never be a kindergarten teacher.
I realized yesterday I had been thinking of my friend Anne quite a bit and when I arrived home and checked email I learned that yesterday was the one year anniversary of her fall. She went into the hospital and was never able to come home again. I think of her while I'm at work and wish she was here so I could share my thoughts about my new job.

There is a song on the radio now that has the verse in it : the sharp edge of a short life.  Great line, but the older I get, the more I realize that all life is short. Some are shorter than others, but by no means is life long enough.

Guess that is why it is important to enjoy each and every day. Smile. Laugh. Relish the experience.

And enjoy Friday when it comes on Thursay!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

a decent clip

Two days of work and then I get to enjoy my weekend. I'm loving the whole three day off thing. The job is still going well, interesting new things to learn almost every day. I spent most of yesterday coding the text for another addition to the online learning library. Today I get to pack things for a conference. Never a dull moment.

I'm reading the latest Kate Collins cozy mystery novel. This one, "Dirty Rotten Tendrils" is just as cute and engaging as her other titles in this series.

The girls continue to volunteer at church. The boy is my at home helper this week. I'm loving the slower pace that comes with being between soccer seasons.

Everything is moving along at a decent clip. Summer is good.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

game of thrones

Of course I've read all of George R.R. Martin's massive books. I don't remember how old I was when I first discovered them, but the complicated storyline and the hundreds of characters seem to have been 'with' me for decades at this point.

When I first saw the trailer on HBO for the TV series based on the books, I about came off the couch. TV just doesn't do 'fantasy' like this. Well, maybe the SyFy channel tries to do fantasy like this in a strictly B-movie manner. I was hopeful HBO would spend the money to roll out the Seven Kingdoms in the manner it deserved.

I'd have to say the network has done a good job of bringing Martin's story to the screen. Of course, my two favorite characters in the book have been successfully brought to life by the actors chosen to portray them. Tyrion Lannister is fantastic and I can't wait to see more of Arya Stark.

I watched back to back episodes yesterday to get caught up and realized season one will be coming to a close soon. Which, of course, means True Blood rolls out for season four.

Thank Goodness for networks like HBO who can deliver edgy programming with fantastic acting.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Defiance by Lili St. Crow

A while back the middle kid had a portion of her birthday party blow out event over at our local mall. She and 7 of her buddies participated in a scavenger hunt. The hunt included an item in Barnes and Noble, so I was forced to hang out there and monitor the situation. The oldest daughter stuck by my side and we spent a lovely 45 minutes roaming the store, sipping on icy drinks and having a good time. Of course, we found a book to buy....yes, the latest in Dru's adventures had hit the shelves and needed to come home with us.

Due to a variety of circumstances, I didn't get to dive into Lili St. Crow's latest YA gem until this weekend. But once I opened the book, I knew I was in good hands and would stay in those hands until the final page. I continue to enjoy St. Crow's writing and while her YA novels tend to be a little less intense than her adult books,  they still pack one heckuva of a punch.

By the end of the last novel, Dru's friend, Graves, a loup-garou, had been taken by the master vampire of them all and was being held captive. Dru is still sorting out her feelings for Graves and Christophe, but that is not all that needs sorting. Dru is beginning to bloom and come into her full svetocha-ness! Let the fight scenes ensue.

St. Crow writes incredible fight scenes. They are truly a thing of beauty. The pacing and the wording combine to create, what I think, is probably the best fighting scenes in urban fantasy. She does this in all her books, with all her heroines. She isn't afraid to make them hurt and the reader is pulled right along into that part of the plot. Incredible.

I believe the next title in the Dru Anderson series will be the final one. Another thing to admire about St. Crow. She knows when to wrap it in a box and slap the bow on it.

Two thumbs way up for this one, but be warned these titles are for the older YA set. They do have 'language' in them as the F-bomb is dropped and intense action/bloody scenes are included. But, if you are looking for a heroine who can take care of herself, knows her own mind and doesn't let anyone push her around....Dru's your gal.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

final day of my work week

I really need to stop saving everything for Friday. I looked at my 'to do' list for tomorrow and wanted to cry. I've packed way to much into one day, yet again. But, I will make the attempt by first driving the middle kid to the license branch to renew her permit so she can return in two weeks and take her driving test. She's not quite ready for the behind the wheel portion and needs more time, which means she needs to renew that permit.

I also need to grocery shop. I did manage to hammer out June's menu last night. Now, I need to check it over and make sure it is workable as my brain was in shut down mode when I made the list.

The house always needs something done, like the yard. Ugh. Weeds need pulling, the yard needs mowing the edges need edging.

And on and on and on.

The Friends meeting went well yesterday, plus, I think we had about 30 members there. Wahoo!!!!  I hope it continues. I guess my personal email plea for folks to come worked. I've already sent a thank you to that same group and plan on doing two personal pleas for July. With that meeting coming on the heels of the 4th, we need folks to show up and vote for the new fiscal year donation to the Library.

And that is Thursday is my new "Friday" post tomorrow!  Have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

flavia de luce

Flavia, my favorite 11 year old sleuth, along with her trusty bike Gladys, pedals her way into more mischief and murder. I'm currently reading the third novel starring this young lady. I've passed along the first book to my daughter and she is on chapter four and loving every page.

Can't say enough about the 'fun' Alan Bradley has created in these books. Good Stuff.

Summer has arrived with a vengeance and hubby's office is without air conditioning. Not good. He is expecting repair people today to see if they can get things running and cooling. I'm off to work, with a two hour hiatus thrown into the middle of the day. I have a Friends meeting this afternoon. So, I will be at work longer to make up for that time away.

Hard to believe it is Wednesday already!  But, it is, and off to the races we go!! Maybe I need a Gladys in my life....I could just pedal off to my next adventure.