Thursday, July 29, 2010

good stuff returns

*Just 17 days and approximately 6 hours until I see one of the best friends I've ever had!!! :D

*Cleaning out my closet and finding a pair of shorts I forgot I had...and finding that they still fit.

*Finishing up another room (well, except for a couple of crafty-type projects that will take a while) in my big summer decluttering/supercleaning/reorganizing extravaganza.

*Having fun with the boys at the library. (Even though the book I wanted was apparently checked out since I checked the library website two days ago.)

*Being sucked into a book (in this case, Unwind).

*Knowing that when Rich gets home from work today, we've got a three day weekend together (even if we are going to spend the bulk of it working around the house).

*Our garden seems to be thriving and soon we'll be eating loads of tomatoes and cucumbers along with our green peppers and jalapenos and kohlrabi.

*Finding a particular little craft book that I thought I'd lost forever (this cleaning thing has its rewards).

I would so love to hear your good stuff!!! Care to share?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

two for the price of one

Okay, that title doesn't really make sense. It's more of a "killing two birds with one stone" kind of thing, but I really despise that saying. So what the hell am I talking about anyway? Well, I've reached our bedroom in my major decluttering/super-cleaning/reorganizing-the-house mission for this summer. And obviously, these books sitting here by the computer must make their ways to their proper homes. So, I get my blame handed out, and I deal with a miniscule portion of the bedroom all at the same time.

Most of the books that have made their way into our home during the past few weeks are simply for school. The literature course Annie will be taking this coming year has a pretty extensive reading list...and I just decided to fill in all the gaps of the books we didn't already own right now, so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. What I could, I ordered from PaperbackSwap; what I couldn't I ordered used. Obviously, these have no blame attached:

Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann edited and translated by Leonard J. Kent and Elizabeth C. Knight

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Metamorphosis, The Penal Colony, and Other Stories by Franz Kafka

Science Fiction: A Historical Anthology edited by Eric S. Rabkin

The Erasers by Alain Robbe-Grillet

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

And these are the books that are not for school, a couple of which do come with blame attached:

Ismael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn. (I've been wanting this book ever since Ana told me about it many months ago. Finally, it is mine. POINT FOR ANA.)

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. (Had this on my wish list, and Rich just surprised me with it out of the blue. Sweet guy.)

Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. (Yeah, like I need to explain this acquisition.)

The Year of Ice by Brian Malloy. (I honestly can't even remember what this is about, but I do remember how excited I was to add it to my PaperbackSwap wish list after Staci's review. And my turn finally came up. POINT TO STACI.)

YAY! A blame post done and a computer table cleared off.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

if you had three wishes, what would they be?

Now, I know your first inclination is going to be to list all kinds of ways for making the world a better place, bringing happiness to others, spreading justice and equality, etc. I know this because my friends are incredibly loving, giving people. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I want to hear your "selfish" wishes!

This line of thought started as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor. Yet again. And I thought, "Oh Max, I so wish you'd work on your aim!" And as I continued scrubbing, I thought, "Yeah, and what I wouldn't give for beautiful new floors throughout this house." Greedy, I know. Then, as I was turning around, I smacked my head into the side of the door and thought, "And while I'm wishing here, could I just be a little less clumsy?!!" So yeah, there you have it--my three selfish wishes.

What are yours?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

yeah, so I totally suck at this blogging thing...

You know, I keep telling myself that someday I'll get my act together. Someday I'll get this blogging thing down. Someday I'll figure out how to post regularly. Someday I'll come up with a system of getting all the blogs I *want* to read read. Just wish someday would freakin' arrive already.

In the meantime, would you do me a favor? Tell me about something that made you smile this weekend. (Yes, I'm greedy--because I know all your smiles will certainly give me smiles of my own.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

a simple Sunday

...of laundry on the line, and a trip to the farmer's market, and working around the house.

(A humid, breeze-less day means long drying times.)

(Forgot to take pictures at the market, but here's some of what came home with us.)

(We're replacing the shutters because they're faded and cracked and just downright ugly. After Rich took them down, a major scrubbing was in order.)

(It's nice to have such cute little helpers.)

...of baking dog biscuits, and baking bread, and baking raspberry crumb cake.

(And while Rich had his cute little helper outside, I had my cute little helper with me in the kitchen. In fact, the whole reason we're even baking dog treats is because my little helper wanted to.)

(Italian Herb Bread. By far the best recipe I've made in the bread machine so far...even if the picture is lousy.)

(Again, the picture does not do this justice. This is what became of those purple raspberries from the farmer's market. Mmmmmm.)

...of lesson plans for fall, and crocheting, and a bit of fun reading.

 (Okay, not a lot of progress was made on this front. I just can't seem to get motivated. But every little bit is something...or at least, that's what I keep telling myself.)

(The start of a new bathroom rug.)

(And I even finished a book. I may just meet my summer goal this year.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


to everyone I owe emails, etc. I swear I have not been ignoring you's just that I spent the better part of a week sick and out of commission. (And you know how it is when you're really sick--the better part of a week feels like the better part of a month. And thus, no one likely even feels I owe them an apology yet--it's just me that feels like I've been ignoring people for ages. As well as ignoring everything else.) Anyway, I'm definitely on the mend, and hope to catch up with you all in the next few days.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

passing the buck yet again

Well, this is overdue. Of course, just about everything in my life is "overdue" these days. Seems to be the state of normal around here. Anyway, I'm not sure why I even make these posts, except that I have such fun keeping track of when I picked up a particular book...and whose to blame for it. Yes, I'm very easy to amuse. ;)  But hey, I've always figured that was a good thing.

So, in no particular order, my recent acquisitions:

Whiteout: Volume 1 by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber. Murder mystery type graphic novel set in Antarctica. I read about this somewhere, but can't for the life of me remember where (so someone may be getting let off the hook on this one). Anyway, our local B&N had all their used books half off the other this is one of several books that made its way home with me.

A Woman Like That: Lesbian and Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories edited by Joan Larkin. Title sounds pretty self-explanatory. Another from the half-price used book sale.

Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori. A previously unheard of by me book. Gotta admit, it was the cover that first drew me in. The numerous references to Lemony Snicket in the review blurbs kept my interest. And well, the fact that it sounded like a book the boys and I would love to read together--that cinched it. Well, that and the fact that it only cost $1.50 at the book sale.

Rosalind Franklin & DNA by Anne Sayre. This book has been on my wish list for ages! I can't believe I found it (actually Rich found it) at the book sale for just $2.00. :D

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Now this is what I call good timing. I'd never heard of this book until just days ago when Pat reviewed it. I knew immediately that I wanted it...and then there it was in the used section on sale. POINT FOR PAT.

Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century by Betty Israel. This one popped onto my radar thanks to Ana. She talked about it in a coveting post. While I wish she would write coveting posts more often as she always talks about the most amazing books I've never heard of, her coveting leads to coveting of my own. ;)  And this was the last of the books bought at the half-price sale. POINT FOR ANA.

The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan. Okay, so blame for this falls squarely on Chris. He emailed and told me all about this amazing book. (And Chris, if you don't mind, I'm now going to skip the part of the story about my feeble brain. :P ) Rich actually ordered this one for me because he knew how badly I wanted it. POINT FOR CHRIS.

Urban Farm: Summer 2010. Okay, so I've never dished out blame for a magazine before. But then, no one has ever made me want to buy a magazine like this before.  And it cost more than all those half-price used books, so why shouldn't it count, right? (Sorry Chris, but I'm just not taking responsibility for this one. :P) POINT FOR CHRIS.

Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker. Total impulse buy. Just sounds ridiculously fun. And Rich thought so, too. So we sort of shared blame for this one. It's about a college professor turned zombie who is on a crusade for peaceful coexistence with humans. Described as dark and humorous. I'm looking forward to it.

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. Oh, poor Chris. He didn't even love this book, and here he is taking the blame. ;)  What can I say, he still made it sound good to me, so when I saw it at the library, I just had to bring it home with me. POINT TO CHRIS.

Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green edited by Dan Gutman. Uhhh Chris, you might want to take it easy on me here. If our library decides to cave in during your visit, I'm afraid it will partially be falling right where you're sleeping. :P  In other words, stop filling my house with books! This review is at fault...picked it up from the library shortly after reading it. POINT FOR CHRIS.

Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec by Jean Railla. A total impulse grab from the library. Looks like it may be one of those rare craft books that I actually read cover to cover--yep, it looks that fun! (No idea why the picture came out so blurry when I added it.)

Junk Beautiful by Sue Whitney & Ki Nassauer. As soon as I read Carl's post about this book, I went immediately to our library website and ordered this. All the photos he shared, not to mention his review, made me knew immediately that I would love this book. POINT FOR CARL.

Junk Beautiful: Outdoor Edition by Sue Whitney. Fair or not, I'm also blaming this on Carl. If I hadn't gone looking for the first, I never would have run across this one. So I'm saddling him with the blame for both. POINT FOR CARL.

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden. How is it that I've never heard of this series before? Or have I, and I've just forgotten about it? I really don't think that's likely though--it sounds so up my alley that I can't imagine forgetting about it. But then again, my brain is not what it used to be. Whatever. This is the first book in a series about a group of teens fighting back after their home country, Australia, is invaded by unspecified country. Anyway, this was a total impulse purchase.

Incantation by Alice Hoffman. Saw this in a used book store. While I couldn't, from the back cover description, get a good feel for what it's about, it definitely sounds intriguing. And I absolutely adored the one Alice Hoffman book that I have read (Green Angel). Figured for the price, I just couldn't go wrong.

Cobwebs by Karen Romano Young. Talk about not having a clue what it's about! But the combination of the vague description, the cover, and the price had me picking this one up at the used book store as well.

The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier. I read his book, After the First Death, a couple months ago and really, really enjoyed it. In looking into his other books, this was the one that most caught my eye. (I know The Chocolate War and I Am the Cheese are much more popular, but they just don't interest me.) I've kept my eye out for this one at the bookstores, but they just don't seem to keep it in stock. So I was extremely excited when I not only found it at the used book store, but found it for practically nothing.

She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood by Amie Klempnauer Miller. A book that Rich just surprised me with out of nowhere. Isn't he sweet?

Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World edited by Robyn Ochs & Sarah E. Rowley. Another one Rich just surprised me with out of the blue. Though this one had been on my wish list.

Love & Lies: Marisol's Story by Ellen Wittlinger. Been on my PaperbackSwap wish list for a while, and it finally became available.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was actually something in one of The History of US series by Joy Hakim that made me want to pick this one up. And lucky for me, it was immediately available at PBS.

Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala. Been getting a lot of requests for books from PBS lately. While this is a very good thing--I love getting books out of here--it's also a dangerous thing. Because when I log into PBS to print the mailing labels, they display all those books there that can be mine just for the asking. ;)  Yep, that's what happened with this one (and the next one). I've never heard of this book before, but it seems like a book I should have heard of. Anyway, it's a novel about a child soldier in an unspecified African nation. And I needed it because having two (non-fiction) books on the subject, that I can't seem to make myself read because I know they're just going to be so heartbreaking, just isn't enough. ;)

Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict by Michael T. Klare. Sounds fascinating. But of course, it is bound to be somewhat speculative, which makes me extra wary. I was happy to see an extensive notes section at the end when it arrived though. Anyway, I eager to read it, though I'm sure it will be unnerving.

 An Open Book by Michael Dirda. Hmm...again with the blurry picture. :(  Well, Ms. Ana is to blame for this. Not that she reviewed this book in particular. But she has reviewed a couple of his other books. And I ended up adding every single one of his books to my PBS wish list in the hopes of eventually getting my hands on one of them. And it finally paid off. POINT FOR ANA.

Note to self: Stop waiting so long between these posts, you idiot!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

bullet point potpouri

*Behind on everything. Again. Or perpetually. Emails. Blog-reading. Heck, I'm nearly a week late mailing a birthday present.

*Really need to do a blame game post. Need to move this stack of books out of here.

*No way I'm going to make my current household goals by Sunday like I'd hoped. But progress is being made, so it's not all bad news.

*I am such a goshdarn wimp...I hate these 90 degree temps! As Rich proclaimed to the weather gods earlier, "We left the South for a reason, you know."

*Is it horrible that I'm so grateful that the family reunion is over for another year? Not that we didn't have a lot of fun, mixed in with the inevitable annoyances. ;)

*Our garden is finally starting to take off. :D  We'll be harvesting the rest of the radishes in the next couple days. And eating lettuce on our sandwiches, too. And I don't think it will be long at all until we're munching on kohlrabi (one of my all-time favorite veggies!). We had an infestation of cabbage moth caterpillars munching on the kohlrabi leaves last week, but Rich picked them all off and moved them to the front yard. And Rich built some little supports for our beans to grow up this morning.

*The guys have been busy in the kitchen as of late...Max with his brownies, Gray with his blueberry smoothies, and Rich with his beer.

*Just a few more weeks of soccer. Not that I'm complaining, honest. I love going to their games...I just wish it didn't take up four nights a week.

*How on earth did I ever live without a bread machine for so long?!! Rich got me one last week, and I'm addicted! I just started a loaf of Italian Herb's not even baking yet and it already smells incredible. (Bread machines, however, are not conducive to losing weight.)

*Our flower garden springs to life more and more each day it seems. I'm so in love with it, it even makes up for the rash I got on my arm weeding it this morning.

*When we out running errands yesterday, we hit one of the local thrift stores. Miss Annie made out like a bandit--a whole bunch of shirts/tanks, a few skirts, and her favorite thing of all...these boots! She's never really worn shoes with much of a heel before (these have about 3.5 inch ones), but I think halfway through the day here, she's finally got the hang of them. ;)