Monday, December 10, 2012

My NOOK

First, a wonderful shout-out to my sister who celebrated her birthday! Without her, I would have never met my husband. I am so happy that we became close in our adult years. :)

Well, I have moved up in the technological world. I have an e-reader. But you know what's funny, I remember how all of this came about and where it began. Let's go to Daytona Beach in the summer of 2006 for the Romantic Time Convention (writing/book con - they have bad-ass parties). There I am standing in line, waiting to be first to grab a seat for a male model competition. There is a woman in front of me with this weird, flat computer like thing about as thick as a 250 page book.

See, kiddies, there were no tablets back then, just these spiffy laptops produced by Toshiba and IBM that could flip over and become a tablet-like device...they weighed a ton!

I asked her what it was and she happily explained to me what an e-reader was. It took an SD card, was black and white, hideous thing I'd ever seen, but I feel in love. I came back from the convention raving about this kick-ass device and EVERYONE thought I was off my rocker and stupid. Ebooks back then were illegal scanned .pdf files of books (mostly gaming books) and certain rights-free classics. And of course, erotica. Ellora's Cave was the first publisher I ever heard of making ebooks. I went to every computer store asking about this and most of those guys were smiling, but I can in their eyes that they thought I was the dumbest gal on the planet.

Well, here's a birdy for you jerks who thought I was crazy. You are probably the people who stand in line to buy a $600+ iPhone.

Six years later, after many life changes, it's my wonderful husband who gifts me with a Nook Color. I am in love. I wanted something I can put an SD card into for all those ebooks I have saved for 6 years. I can play Scrabble (my favorite board game) anytime I want to, but most importantly, I can learn how to use Overdrive for downloading ebooks so I can help the patrons when they come into the library with their portable devices. It wasn't affordable, we argued about it and scrimped and gave up a lot of things for it. I'm just happy it worked out. :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Shoot Magic Missile at the Closet!

Yesterday, being that it was the last day of my Thanksgiving break, I was couponing in front of the TV, thinking of how thankless couponing is. Then my mind wandered into everything else I had wanted to do that day: playing with the rats, laundry, researching literary agents, fixing my synopsis, finish reading another book. Suddenly, "BOOM!" the closet imploded, everything collapsing into the corner while drywall dust spewed everywhere.

I sat there speechless with a pair of scissors in my hand. The coupon for Energizer batteries fell to the ground, along with my mouth. The damn wire closet racks fell.

Now, a little back story, my mother had the same issue. As we live in this townhome that was built back in the 70s, we are realizing many design flaws. In the room my husband and I occupy, there is no insulation  In the summer, if it's 100 degrees outside, so are we inside. And when it gets cold, we are left shivering at night (we have a floor heather for those nights now). They installed the hooks for the closet racks into the drywall. :/ There were twenty gaping holes where each hook was before it was ripped out.

As the pile groaned, preparing to topple over again, I got up and removed everything. Now we didn't have a lot to begin with. Mostly empty boxes sat on top. My husband's clothes are few and my spartan amount of clothing would embarrass the typical American woman. What do you expect? I've moved constantly, can't carry everything!

I waited for my husband to return, feeling defeated at the pile. He walked into the room with a grin and a bowl of grapes and cauliflower. I cried, he laughed and kissed me. We ate together then began to figure out what to do. After calling for backup and not getting any, we decide to tackle this on our own. We were going into battle.

EIGHT hours later, my husband's side is up. We've re-installed the hardware into the studs. My side is falling down, even the studs wouldn't hold it back up. Sore and exhausted, I am ready to give up. Then we remove my side and decided to retreat from the battle and went to WalMart to buy a clothing rack.

WalMart, as much as I hate you, you did save my life last night. We spent the next hour cleaning, vacuming, and installing the new rack. We threw away the hoards of empty boxes and reorganized everything.

Aching and nearly falling over, we made a simple dinner of fresh bread, cheese, spinach and olives. Somehow, I did finish my first set of research. And we both collapsed.

This morning, I woke up thinking, "So this is what my D&D characters feels like after a campaign." We didn't want to move.

Oh yeah, the closet looks great. Nice not to be visually cluttered. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Simply

So, the homemade pumpkin pie is out of the oven and the ham went in. Yup, ham. We like to be creative every year. :) Plus, I LOVE ham. And my ham is just juicy and delicious. Oh yeah, I'm tootin' my own horn.

There are many things that I am thankful for this year:

1. Health. Even though we don't have health insurance, doing our best to eat healthy and staying fit has kept us out of the doctor's office. Of course since people drive while texting, we do scare of getting into car accidents. Why hasn't texting while driving been banned?

2. A wonderful husband. Nuff said. :)

3. A great job that I enjoy going to everyday! Who doesn't love working with books?!

4. Two gorgeous little Russian blue ratties who have stolen my heart.

5. Being one-step away from homeless, having a roof is a wondrous blessing.

6. Couponing. How else am I supposed to afford feminine items and food! :)

7. Yoga. Keeps that back pain at bay.

8. Still loving to do art.

9. My family. I miss my sister dearly.

10. The couple of friends who do remember me on occasion. :) Being a loner, that's awesome.

I am also grateful to be able to have the creative energy to finish my book. The drive to apply for grad school and hopefully create a better life for my husband and I.

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving! Today is the day to be grateful for the things we have: love, family, homes, jobs, etc. Let us remember the people who have nothing and those who are forced to not be with their families so they can sell garbage to the consumers and the materialists.





Sunday, November 4, 2012

Energetically Divine

Today, I wanted to help promote the website of a very dear friend, Effie. 
Energetically Divine

Effie offers handmade soaps, lotions and toiletries at very affordable prices. I highly recommend the whipped soap. Goat milk, shea butter, honey silk powder and a hint of vanilla creates this luscious thick soap that is gentle and mild for sensitive skin. I use it on my face because of its gentleness. Her lotions are just as delicate and the best part, no oily residue. It absorbs into the skin leaving a silky smooth texture. 

She also offer fragrant oils and lip balms. What I love about her oils is that the scents are not overpowering (I have allergies to strong scents).

Effie offers more than just products. Her intuitive services reaches out to your guardians. She includes a gem and bath oil that was charged with the energies needed to help ground your energy. A portion of her services does go to help the charities, TibetAid.org and The Tibetan Nuns Project (tnp.org).

Thank you so much for checking out her site. Feel free to ask her questions about her products and services!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rebekah's Marinated Olives

Well, a few weeks ago, my husband treated me to a picnic. It was very impromptu while at Publix (a very common grocery store for you non-Floridians). Their deli section has "anti-pasto" filled with marinated olives, red peppers, mushrooms and whole garlic cloves. At $7.45/lb it's a lot. But he really wanted to try them so we got two of everything equaling half a pound. We ate picnic and they were good but not awesome but it was just spending the time alone by the lake that meant so much that it wasn't a big deal. 

But ever since then, I got to thinking "how can I make this better?" I knew there had to be something. I searched my Persian recipe books, most of their marinated olives are like Zeytoon Parvardeh, sweet and made with pomegranate paste and ground walnuts. A glorious delicacy from the Gilan region of Iran. 

No, I wanted savory. So my journey brought me to Zeytun M'charmel . Moroccan marinated olives. English recipes say "spicy" but I think they mistranslated it. It really means "spiced" not "spicy" because there is nothing hot about this dish.

Now I meditated over the recipe - stupid simple but it was taste I was looking for. So after trying out different flavors for the marinade, knowing that my husband and I LOVE garlic I came up with (drumroll please!)...

Rebekah adlı marine zeytin! 

You will need at least a 48oz/1119mg bowl with lid (airtight!). 

6oz (1 can) of green olives
4oz of black olives
8 small garlic cloves (cut in half or thirds)
4 pepperoncini (Greek pickled peppers) pits/stems removed and halved (keep it's juice!)
3 hard Roma tomatoes halved and sliced into wedges. 
4 medium chunky portebella mushrooms quartered. 
1/2 a lemon (or lemon juice equivalent)
2-4 pinches of oregano, ground cumin, garlic powder (optional), kosher salt, fresh black pepper, Italian seasonings. 
2-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

In bowl, rinse olives. Drain. Add tomatoes and pour hot water (not boiling) until covered. Let sit for 10 minutes. Use this time to wash and cut the veggies. Drain olives and tomatoes and pat dry in a paper towel. 
In same bowl, mix spices, lemon juice, oil, saved pepperoncini juice and fresh garlic. 
Add warmed olives and tomatoes, stirring lightly. 
Add rest of veggies and the squeezed lemon, then stir until well coated. 
Snap on lid, give everything a good shake.
Put in fridge and chill overnight. Come and shake the container once every hour (when you can).

The next day, serve with mozzarella cheese and fresh Italian or French bread. It is AWESOME! What you see in the bowl is HALF of the olives, that is just what my husband ate for breakfast this morning!

Where to find the stuff for cheapest?
Walmart - Green olives $1.88 (6oz can), black olives $1.48 (6oz can), Garlic and Herb french bread loaf $1.58, Sorrento mozerella stringsters $2.98 (had coupon for $1.50 off each), Vigo brand pepperoncini $1.98 (there are other brands but this one has the best taste and it's imported from Greece through Tampa, FL!), Fresh garlic (they have the fattest ones!) and Roma tomatoes $2.48/lb
Winn-Dixie - Baby portebello mushrooms containers 2/$5 usually with a $1 off produce coupon if you go at the end of their sale week.

48oz (3 lbs) = (approx) $6.48 or $2.16/lb. Tastier and cheaper than store bought!

And just in case you haven't noticed the similar words: zeytun, zeytoon and zeytin all means olive. :)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Museum Day 2012 & Two Days Until the GRE

The title sums it all! It's been an interesting 8 weeks as I finally come into the final countdown for the GRE. I hope everyone will be so kind to send good vibes my way on Tuesday. 

During Banned book week, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful Saturday on Sept. 29 for Museum Day. It happens once a year so keep an eye out for the 2013 date! In our county, only two museum's participated: The Norton and the Cason Cottage. Well, my husband is not big into paintings so we settled for the Historical Cason Cottage in Delray Beach. We had such a delightful time. We arrived just in time for a docent to give us a tour with all of the historical goodness. The next day, my husband took me out for a picnic. :) Tomorrow, he wants to BBQ. We have our veggies ready! I cannot wait to roast garlic and mushrooms. 

Oh, yeah, GRE. Well, the studying is over. I am in the vocab review and math concepts review. I made this handy-dandy cheat sheet to practice from. Monday, I will take my final practice test and that's it!

Oh yeah, here's a new word for me. Now, I know that a waffle is this:
yummy!
the texture
 AND

now apparently, waffle is also a verb that means "to speak or write equivocally". Well, geez! 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Upcoming Banned Book Week 2012

Yes, I know, dear world, it has been a while since I have posted. I've been so busy with studying for the GRE that I've neglected people...and it doesn't help to find out from my sister that when she calls my number, it says it's disconnected. :/ Right now, I don't have the time to deal with it, no one calls me anyways. Oh, my sister calls the VOIP phone (just in case people might find it rude that I don't care if my sister calls - she knows how to get a hold of me!! :D)

As of today, 3 weeks until the GRE. Oh, sigh.

As for more exciting news! The Banned Book Week Display is up!! I was so thrilled to be doing it since I am a firm believer in not censoring books.


For the book list, I used Radcliffe's Rival Top 100 list (ALA approved). ALA (American Library Association) does have a section of each year's most challenged books. No surprise that this year, we see The Hunger Games series, The Color of Earth and AGAIN To Kill a Mocking Bird. Really?





September was also Medieval Month, so the left side is our tribute to the Medieval Ages. The right are the banned books, I chose to display.

Since the popular books were checked out, I decided to choose books that most kids and parenting adults would know best from their childhood. Our demographic is mostly the elderly and young families with small kids - nothing in between. We all love and adore Winnie The Pooh and Charlotte's Web - yes, they are banned books. Us geekier types may have begun our reading world with Tolkien (hence the Fellowship of the Ring is up there [part 1 of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy - for those who did not know]). Geez, I was 13 when I first read Tolkien's books! And I waited to take a picture until 1984 was found! I was sad that we did not have Heart of Darkness or Naked Lunch (I personally own these). Of course, I could not leave out Schindler's List or The Color Purple.

Seriously, we do not understand how luckily we are to be able to read books and enjoy them. We are so blessed to be able to browse through a library when in some countries, you cannot even browse or sit and enjoy the AC while looking through magazines. Literacy is not an enemy. It gives us the option to learn about something and then make a decision whether or not to agree or disagree with it.

I was surprised when I realized that the cutest kids book, The Hungry Caterpillar, is a banned book?! Seriously, people need to lighten up. We need to be proud that we have the opportunity to be literate and be able to enjoy books. Knowledge is power! READ!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Flying Feet - Walking, running & Charlotte


The best part of the week was Friday night. Even though my back was sore I decided to make the absolute best of my day. My optimism waned around the late afternoon when no matter how I sat, the pulling throb in my lower right where my little bulges press, was painful. It was a busy day. Work in the morning, my husband convocation at the college (it was silly since he’s in his early 30s.) which lasted until about 3pm.

Rain fell from the sky as we went to go and pick up my mom’s truck and I think just the combination of being on my feet and getting in and out of vehicles was just too much. Finally at home, light stretching and resting prepared me for the best part of my evening, my walk!

I always get excited for walking, mostly because it’s my “me” time. But Friday rejuvenated older feelings and sensations that was dormant since my injuries.

I had to run across the street to get to the park and instead of stopping once I hit the other sidewalk, I wanted to continue. (Oh! I didn’t. I don’t need my flare to return.) Those 10 seconds of flying over the asphalt was freeing. Now I understood why Charlotte loves to run.

Charlotte, my MC, when I first developed her, the first thing that popped into my mind was that she’s a runner (mostly because she’s has too much energy). Back then, going up the stairs for me took some effort because of my weight. Never in a million years, would I ever think how amazing running could ever be. As I wrote about her, I tried to imagine what it was like to run but I found it hard to describe. As I lost a bunch load of weight, before my injuries, I had about a year to really understand what the big deal about running was.

It’s freedom from gravity. Its pain fuels you to keep going. The adrenaline rush that burns through your veins is like a drug. Your mind wanders to this zen-like place once you’ve balanced your breathing and focused on making sure you step and push off correctly. In running, getting to the end is great, but it’s the journey there that’s amazing.

These days, I revel in my power walks, having small moments where I get the similar sensation to running. Usually about 30 minutes in, the pain goes away and my back is warm and flexible. You want to sweat because it cools your skin. 

I feel like Charlotte is with me when I walk, egging me on as she waits up ahead. She tells me to keep moving, not to be sedate. When she’s doing her cool down, that’s when she speaks to me, telling me where she wants the story to go.

Then it was yoga after I returned followed by a bit of belly dancing – something I hadn’t done in a while. I didn’t push myself. I felt like doing it, missing the time when I had the freedom to really express myself.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Princeton GRE Book Wins & Issac Fails

Well, we spent all day indoors. We didn't get the full brunt of Issac but the wind gusts and constant rain did not create a very appetizing atmosphere to go out anywhere.

So, still surviving a mini back flare, I decided to get back to GRE studying. I had it with the Peterson book. So at work, they got me:

*drumroll please*

The 2013 Cracking the GRE by the Princeton Review! Just in the 3 hours I played with it today, this book is infinitely better. When you go to the Princeton Review website, you can get a study plan (for 12, 8, and 4 weeks), online practice tests and videos. And the study plan incorporates materials from the ETS website (where you have to sign up to schedule the GRE test) that I did not know about (a practice book and practice test software).

Get this book. Seriously.
And a massive thank you to my library.

In other news, it feels wonderful when friends come through. (I would do a happy dance it if wouldn't hurt) I cannot thank Manda enough for getting back to me on the first half of my book. Now I eagerly wait for the second half. *rubs hands with evil grin*

Have a great week everyone!

And I am very sorry for those going to get beaten up by Issac. :/


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yoga Helps the GRE & Back Blues

No, Blogging World, I am not dead. I've just been busy.

Finally my back is nearing normal again - which I am so pleased about. Yoga helps so much. I don't like taking pain meds if I don't have to. My goal is to build my core and the muscles in my back. I've noticed that this flare, which was just as bad as the one in December, went away a lot faster with the help of yoga (and muscle relaxers for 2 days [instead of five days!]). Also, anything that helps me calm my mind is a plus. I'm finding I sleep better too.

I dabbled in yoga back when I lived in Tampa (years ago). A co-worker handed me a handout for the "Sun Salutation". She was Hindu and she told me that it will help with the stress. At the time, I had a simple 1-bedroom apartment where I turned the designated dining room into my library with a Moroccan flare. It helped. A year ago, I started getting serious about it and it's been paying off.

And it's helped quell the GRE stress...to a point. The Peterson's Master the GRE is stupid. One, there are mistakes in the book. I could handle the misspellings, the reference to wrong passages and words BUT when the mistakes started showing up in the math section, that's where I had a cow! It deserves the one star reviews on the site. Luckily, I did not buy it but I asked our ordering person to get the Princeton Review Cracking the GRE 2013.

So I will leave everyone with something random. Last night while I was covering large print copies and Spanish copies of a book I despise, I thought, "I wonder what is the Persian/Azeri/Turkish word for ________?" Unicorns came to mind. I wondered if they are simply something purely out of Western myth? Dragons, we find, are evident in almost every country's folklore.

I totally want one of these! It make a great ice breaker!





Friday, August 10, 2012

Purging the Past is a Pain in the Back

Well, I've been  in bed rest (plus gentle yoga) for two days. I will attempt work today. My husband and I decided to tackle my past - aka "the storage unit". And like the stubborn moron I can be, I wanted to tackle it alone, knowing that I cannot lift more than 10 lbs. Luckily, it was only a mini back flare. I've had much worse.

I still screamed like my bones were smashed. My whole body was trembling and tingling and my back froze up like a washing board. But it wasn't agony. About a 6.5 out of 10. I've experienced a 10, this was much tolerable.

First was the easy stuff, the old papers. I don't need apartment leasing agreements from 8 years ago. Orientation papers from college or anything from college other than my transcripts and degree. Our reuse paper pile is now fat and overflowing. And the reusable school supplies are abundant (for both of us is a plus!)

I did go through my forensic science stuff, and kept most of the papers and notes. They will come in handy for my book. And the best was finding my old writing stuff. I was reading some of my older short stories and I *points to self* could not believe I wrote some of those. They're actually good! I know I do not have the files anymore but I look forward to revamping them and sending two of them off for competitions. It was great seeing my old notes, my old inspirations and muses. I found a writer whom I used to follow her podcasts; Mur Lafferty of I Should Be Writing. Wow, that must have been six years ago. The old blog address I had doesn't work anymore but the link above is the correct one. She has some great advice and wisdom for us newbies.

This weekend, I'll tackle the DVDs and cassettes (my husband brought the boxes home) after I study GRE. Which, by the way, makes me feel like an idiot.

Storage unit is now about 1/8 cleared. The goal is to get it down to half so I can put up the shelves I have in there and enjoy my books which are sitting in boxes.

And I know everyone is wondering if it was hard to part with things. YES. But I think about how my back does not allow me to carry this stuff forever and I'm not enjoying any of it sitting in a storage unit. The truly hard part will be when I go through my art stuff. The supplies, most of it can go. Paint sitting in there for years are no good anyways but I'll have to really determine which paintings, which photos, slides, etc are worth keeping or not. :/ I'm not looking forward to that...

I will be clearing out some old craft supplies in the next few months. I would like to donate them. Any recommendations for groups who will enjoy them in the Palm Beach County and/or Martin County area?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Review of Purchasing from Women Within


Colorful
By Mrs. Honey Bee from Florida on 8/7/2012


3out of 5
Sizing: Feels too large
Pros: Comfortable, Quality Materials, Figure Flattering, Great Color
Cons: Poor Fit
Best Uses: Casual Wear
Describe Yourself: Practical, Conservative, Stylish
Was this a gift?: No
Ordered 2 for myself. They were soft and comfortable. The quality was good, is not see-through. BUT it was massive and I purchased the smallest size. Customer service was excellent but for this product there isn't anything smaller. Returned.

This is what I get for thinking I can still shop from a plus-size magazine. LOL. I had wanted two tunics in cotton to replace two shirts that were a bit short for my tastes. I ordered them in Medium (the smallest size they had) and it fit like two tents. I don't know where they get these sizes. From their sizing chart I would have been a Large. I'm happy I didn't order that now!
Anyways, it's returned. It's pointless to go out and try and find tunics because everything is in synthetics (stupidest thing to wear in the heat) and have words and screenprinted images of mouths and exploding glitter...in the adult women's clothing section. For real? Do I look like I'm 13?
Maybe it's time I start sewing my own clothes again because what's out there is ridiculous. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Couponing Late July/early August 2012

There has been some great deals on our part this last week and a half.

Yesterday we got enough tea to last about a year. All with expiration for 2014. Savings of 68%.
Last week: Olive oil (exp 2015). Savings of 75% will last for about 8 months.
Gallons of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice (exp 2013) for 60% off. Will last 8 months.

The only shopping spree I put into Excel (I've been kinda busy with the GRE) was the one I did for mouthwash using CVS.


So in this house, we're good on paper towels, olive oil, a year worth of mouthwash, tea and cranberry juice for a while.

Every bit we can save, we can use for something else. Like maybe a weekend up in Vero? Here's to hoping!

Ciao!

ps: So my husband gave me some advice about keeping blogs shorter, sweeter and more frequent. Let's try it out. :)






Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Below Stairs" & How the GRE is smashing my self esteem!

So starting with book reading news:

I finally made my way to this biography. Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell. It came out back in January but I usually steer away from biographies and auto-bios because they (in my opinion) are too long, too boring and I usually do not care much about stories of people who were rich and famous making money off of people who idolized them - celebrities included. 

This one came to 212 pages and it was very amusing. This is a story about a girl, Margaret, who was born in Hove, England,  a poor  beachside town. She grew up as one of seven kids. Instead of pursuing her dream of being a teacher, she drops out of school early to start in the domestics as a kitchen maid, the lowest on the totem pole, in London.

Her recollection of her life as a kitchen maid and living in a city (then finally earning her way up to being a cook) was insightful, witty, charming, shocking and hilarious. One could never imagine all the chores she had to get done in a day when we have modern kitchen appliances. 

She does marry and finally have children of her own and leaves the domestic service. When her husband is called for WWI, she hires herself out to cook (like a modern day chef for hire) and as her children got older, she does hourly maid jobs. Finally, when her boys are old enough and going to university, she continues her life-long dream to be educated (even though she could read), and pay for sitting in lectures at the university. 

It was a delightful story. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of BBC dramas, Downton Abby and Upstairs, Downstairs. Gives just that tiny bit on insight to the life of those who ran the house. Also great for those, like me, who cringe at looking at 1000+ page biographies. This is much tidier and better to read. 

Ah, the GRE. So I just finished the diagnostic test. After being out of college for six years, I did expect to do a tiny bit better on this. I did about a 60%. Last time I checked, that was a fail. Everything is bad: math, verbal, writing (how ironic). 

Definitively struck a blow to my self-esteem but I still have time. I take my test on the 16th of October. I hope to improve my practice test scores to at least 80%. I still do not understand the new scoring system (they just changed it THIS year). Ugh, wish me luck! 

By the way, anyone took the GRE lately? 

On a last note. I thought I share a little humor.

I sure everyone knows what I'm talking about!! Hahahaha!! This made my whole week because it's so true! I just wish I had the guts to actually say, "Oh you know, hunting elephants." Because that's what we do at grocery stores, right? :P






Have a great week everyone! I have quite a few books to read (some from my old reading list and a new YA one). I'm more excited to read the older Lori Foster book this week. Maybe next week I'll get to the new YA. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Second Week of July 2012

This will be short and sweet! :)

I finally read People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Llyod Parry. I do like true crimes. Before CourtTV became TruTv and now show nothing but people acting like morons, I would record the crime shows. This was totally up my alley.

The story is about a young British woman named Lucie Blackman who literally vanished off the streets of Tokyo after moving there to work in the seedy Roppongi district of Tokyo to pay off her debt. Her dysfunctional family comes to Japan to get involved in finding her.

I enjoyed the twists and turns of the book. Since it is a factual account, it got dry at times but it didn't loose steam. I enjoyed how her family was an entire load of "messed up drama" all by themselves. This book will appeal to anyone who loves a story about real people and justice being served.

As a woman who traveled alone often to foreign countries, it is true that crime can happen anywhere, even somewhere as safe as Japan. Honestly, I am more terrified to walk down my street in the daytime than I was in the streets of Zurich, Switzerland at night.

Other than that, the week was rather calm and quick. I cannot believe that tomorrow is already Monday and I have yet to make my dinner.

In the world of book writing, I finally finished putting my currents thoughts on paper for B2, now it will get stored away while I start studying for my GRE. I will be working on B1's book query and synopsis these next few weeks. I realized yesterday that I wanted to go back and fix something. The hunt for a title is going strong, I've had some inspiration as I brainstormed words related to my story. Hopefully, a title will emerge.

Until next week, everyone!!

PS: I did take a pic of July's book display but I got lazy and haven't downloaded it from my cell phone. :P

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Randomness at the End of June

We finally got the correct range hood for the stove and connected it to the chimney. Now the cooking fumes go outside instead of circulating inside the house. I thank my husband for doing all the hard work. :)


My mother's bird passed away. Her name was Yukina and lived to the right old age of ten years. I found it funny that she did not even wait an hour before she asked me to get her another bird. I feel bad for the poor little creature who will be shut into a small cage not allowed to flap around because the feather down a tiny parakeet makes will somehow kill people? (I know, don't ask, I can't explain it either)


I finally got the book People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up by Richard Lloyd Parry. So far, I am enjoying it and look forward to give my opinion when I'm done. 


My husband and I are working on a massive project, turning my VHSs into digital format. We have a media player (I think that is what it's called) and we practiced on a unused portable hard drive. So far, everything works good. I did order a more stable desktop hard drive and that should be coming in the mail soon. 


Currently, through ILL, I am waiting on a Sappho poetry book (the fragments, not people's fill-ins). I'd always wanted to read her work, yet somehow, Sappho's book found it's way into B2, so therefore, it's moved off my reading list and onto the research list.


I did borrow through ILL a yoga book for back pain. I already do some yoga so I am looking forward to seeing what this one has to offer. One thing I have found out for sure, walking eases so much of it. I look forward to my walks these days. I don't push myself. 2 miles tops and I come home. I also enjoy it because it's my only "me" time that I get from the house and husband. I think it's hard for my husband to realize that sometimes, I want to be alone and just enjoy the silence and calm. 


Speaking in calm, I just finished reading the book:


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. 


My library director recommended this book to me. I wish i can get my husband to read this also but he doesn't do books. It's a great book for people like me who are introverts to help us understand living in a society that suffocates creativity, thought and ingenuity. 

This morning, we started watching a Russian TV made during the reign of the USSR called Seventeen Moments of Spring, (we found with English subtitles but the German speaking parts are not subbed - good for me!) an espionage TV series that takes place during the end of the Hilter's campaign. 

I thought of the book right in the beginning of the first episode when the narrator was talking about a young officer who embodied the Arian ideal. Lo' and behold, it's everything that our country worships in the extrovert. I am not saying we are the next anything, it just made me think a little. The book does go on that our country started this whole love of the outgoing person sometimes back in the early 20s and 30s. Talks about testing done on extrovert/introvert couple. Introverts in the workplace and in the social scene, etc. It's also a great read for the extroverts who have introverted employees and how those people are the problem solvers, the engineers and the thinkers of the workforce. And it's a book for the parents who have quiet kids and now to nourish them to be the next great thinkers, inventors and doers of tomorrow.

Anyway, that's enough. Until next week! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fixing Old Writing Mistakes Makes Me Scream & Book Reviews

It's been yet another rainy week. So exercise has been a bust :/ We had a bad drought last summer so I am happy to see it rain but I'd like to walk sometimes!

I got to finish read two book this week after finally getting around to it.
I was excited to get around to reading the second installment of Kat Falls' novel Rip Tide. Her books, with its focus on the oceans and the environment has definitively caught some attention here in Florida. Her first book Dark Life is already on the Florida Sunshine State reader's list and Reading Count's list as well as on her website, for science teachers, you can make lesson plans from the book.

Rip Tide continues the underwater journey of Ty as he runs into a new set of characters after his folks are kidnapped by the nomads of the oceans who live on Townships (giant floating cities). If you ever wondered what happened to the oil rigs if the seas ever rose or that giant pile of trash floating around in the Atlantic the size of Germany, you get to run into it again. Gemma joins him as she learns to overcome her fear of diving. A definite read and absolutely enjoyable. I'm not going to give anything away because it's worth reading for yourself!!

The Princesses of Iowa is a huge difference from what I normally read. These girls have grown up together as the elite of their tiny (nothing to do except football and be homecoming queens) town. After drinking at a party and getting into an accident, their lives change forever. The focus is on a princess named Paige. Me being the outcast my whole life, it was hard for me to understand Paige until 2/3 through the book when she decides that she doesn't want to stay in the town forever and her "friends" begin to hate her. I liked her even more when she starts to stand up for what she believes in. Even though she's still whiny and annoying.

I do believe the book does point out the realities of life, there is too much drinking in underage kids (among other things), too much prejudice against anything different and close mindedness. I have seen how beauty, shallow mindedness and wealth is considered a better aspect of a woman my whole life and because I believed otherwise, I never fell into the wrong crowd. Okay, so I was always alone but now my life has a better sense of purpose because I always followed my heart.

A great read. A little hard to get into at first and a little too much foul language for my tastes but it does show what I believe to be true, people are ruder, meaner and full of hate more these days.

Now onto to another subject: editing past mistakes. I have no idea what I was doing. When I first decided I wanted to write about the universe in my head, I wrote scenes, back stories, and sometimes, even whole parts of books. I never knew I'd be putting them together one day.

The worst part is that now I have to go back in to fix all of my grammar and punctuation mistakes. -_-;;;; It's like banging my head against a wall. I keep telling myself that "It's okay! It'll be fixed in the end." Yeah, I just have to do this for how many more other scenes???

Even up until a year ago, I was putting the punctuation in the wrong places. So now 165 pages of B2 has to be fixed. I wrote up a little example here (it's not my story, just an example):
The original bad text with Word's suggestions
You see? Okay, now here is AFTER I read through it and attack it with the red pen:
Makes you want to cry, huh? Imagine 165 pages of this. It takes FOREVER to fix. Even now, I can see more I would do to it.

So I pace myself, ten pages everyday. It's all I can mentally handle. I currently have 25 more to go but today, we're working on the kitchen so I may get to fix maybe no more than 3 tonight.

Stay dry, Florida and drive safely. Until next week!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Purging & Middle Eastern Omelet

Well first, I have to start with what my husband and I had for lunch. I just call it Middle Eastern Omelet. When I fist made omelet for him, he looked at it weird (you know, the scrambled eggs and then you flip it, then add cheese). "This is not omelet." So then he made omelet that he is more used to and unlike Americans, they don't usually eat omelet for breakfast.
Middle Eastern Omelet made by my hubby <3

Veggies (tomatoes, green pepper, green onion, garlic) are at the bottom. 4 eggs on top. And of course my mushrooms. I made sure he put only a pinch of jalapeno pepper because I'm not a huge spice nut. 

This is a shared dish. He had it with slices of  toasted sourdough and I was fine with one small roll. 

I'm happy he made the yolks over-medium. I find that the dish overall doesn't taste as fabulous when the yolks are too runny. 


And now, the best part about my weekend, purging. Since we sold my car, I pulled out my auto folder. I was an excellent car owner and I planned on keeping that car forever so that meant maintenance. Well, it's gone so I was able to put well over 90 papers into our "reuse" pile (I print of those for editing and couponing), some went into the recycle bin and the rest will be shredded. Since I was on a role, I went through my old college papers (pre-internet age) and discarded old FASFA forms (remember when it was done on paper??) and lots of other garbage I never will need again. 

It felt really good to see it all go. Felt like that drama of a life before is gone. Then my current drama reminded me that I was sitting on the hard floor for two hours. My back screamed at me and I had to lay down and stretch. Luckily, my husband lent me his thigh as a pillow and made me laugh. 

AND we got his car tinted!!! :D It feels 1000% better. I've been to this guy before and he's awesome and reasonable and he doesn't put the cheap crap in your car. If you need a tint, seriously call Darren Carlson, owner of Tint USA in Lake Worth, FL. (561)-723-3728. 

Overall, an excellent weekend. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Anyone Looking For a Car?

You know, I had this whole blog topic sorted out for this past Sunday, but as always, life happened and it has now escaped me!

This past week was busy, both at work and home. We're selling my car (total bummer). Anyone needing a very reliable car that will survive the hypothetical Apocalypse can view it HERE :( Ya'll have no idea how upset I am but my husband is going to school (yay!!) and we will not need two cars for now. It makes no sense to pay for its insurance with money we don't have AND pay the parking fee to never use it.

How's hubby-kins getting to school, you ask? Well, as we know Palm Beach County bus system sucks, in comparison to other countries I've lived in. BUT we are super blessed to live on the most opportune road only .25 of a mile from the college AND have a bus stop right outside of the development's entrance in front of the park that have 3 buses per hour (absolutely unheard of in this county!!!)  that'll take him to the college.

Bus passes are, of course, not cheap but we do quality for a transportation disadvantage program because we are poor that will get him a cheaper bus pass. At least being poor actually amounts to something for once! And no, I am not ashamed. Being the coupon princess that I am, I am always looking for a good bargain.

I've been getting back to my walking and enjoying it. It's a bit hot but I wait until it starts to cool down and head on out. My heat gear is all ready for another burning hot summer! I just have to wash my hat and I'm set!

Work is work. It's summer now and expecting all the kids to ransack (I hope not) the library. Our library made the cover of the local-local paper (not the county one) which was nice.

Lastly, writing is writing. I've been blaming Anne McCaffrey for stealing me away. I'm been lost in her Freedom series. Oh my goodness, I forgot how awesome her books are.

Now that I am back to the present, I have been waiting patiently for my criticizer to get through my first book. Her opinion is valuable, there's no way I feel good sending anything out until she's given me her two cents. *nudge nudge* :) The wait is making me loosely work on B.2 (how funny, I have a title for it) and character background stories. I've been doing extensive research into all sorts of things (best part about working at a library is that everything is at my finger-tips).

That's it. I will have a pic up for our June display next blog (hopefully on time!). 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Gun Range


My week was very random. We've been having constant rain and the low pressure + stress caused me to suffer with migraines for most of the week. My husband and I started to nerd it out and are making our way slowly through the History Channel series Cities of the Underworld Season 1. And we've been enjoying pausing the DVD and discussing parts of it. Now we have some places we are definitively going to travel to one day! The host is a little annoying but it's alright. It's great for my husband who is not super familiar with Western Europe places and myths and ancient history (unless it's WWII related). That's where I come in! :D

The highlight of my weekend was a LivingSocial voucher we finally redeemed. It's for a concealed weapons course. Now y'all know I don't like guns and don't condone using them for anything other than to protect yourself (I don't even like hunting) in your home. I grew up in a house with guns (mostly rifles) but we were NEVER allowed to touch them and my dad always had them well hidden. I could not tell you where they were, ever.

So we went to a gun and archery range. Y'all know I did archery for years and love it (note I did not use the past tense), but here, they have no open ranges, not like out in east of Town and Country/Tampa in the archery forests near the Boy Scout Camp. I miss that place :/

The instructor Michael Henry was very thorough. Yeah, I felt bad I needed to handle the semi-automatic multiple times to understood how it worked but I was just happy he let me practice with the unloaded one first. It was hard to load, my left shoulder is significantly weaker after the injury but I did it. But it's near impossible to pull the barrel back to load it. I'm sticking with revolvers. I like things that are low maintenance anyways.

We got to shoot (part of the class) and it was so funny. I pressed myself into a corner with my target shivering. The room was hot, small and shells were flying everywhere. It was so damn loud even with the earmuffs.

I watched my husband go and he did so-so. Which I still think it's funny because he's military trained! I waited to go almost last, just until I got used to the explosive noise of guns going off around me. I get to my little area, he hands me 10 bullets and tells me to let him know when I'm done loading. Now having a elbow height table to load, made it easier and somehow, I got 10 bullets into the magazine. He hung up my target, moved it to 5 yards and shaking, I held the gun, he adjusted my hands. Watch my stance! I adjusted and I had a fabulous moment. I remembered using a spot meter in the photo studio.

When I can compare things to art it's easier for me. Using the gun was a like the spot meters we trained with in college for studio photography. You had to align your sights, close one eye and press the trigger and you get a metered result.

Ditto. I fired. I jumped and I remembered him telling me "Do not drop the gun!", I held onto that hot piece of metal. I was sweating and I did it again, I hit and hit and then it jammed. I get a moment to breathe (thank you!) as he explained about bad bullets. It jammed again. Again, I got to breathe.

I just kept my eye on the target, leaned in with my shoulder, and tried to hit area 5 (stomach/abdomen). When the barrel looked weird (like it was open), I ran out of bullets. He hollered something at me, maybe "What do you do next?" (I was so freaked out) and I dropped the magazine and stepped back.

He pulled the target in and I was so shocked. Out of the other 4 students, I hit the blue figure-shaped person with my bullets!! I can aim and hit. Wow...

My husband was so proud, I think everyone expected me to fail but I did it. So I passed. We went home and dad showed me his baby, his .22 revolver (I don't know anything about brands). So I am going to be keeping that guy in shape. The range we were at have half-price Mondays and you can rent guns too. So every once and a while, I'll practice with a semi-auto just to remember.

AND the best perk out of all of this, I know what's it like to fire, load and hold a gun. It will be a billion times easier to write my main heroine since she uses a gun. I already have the Crime Scene Tech education and now gun handling. If I could do paintball (when my back is not sore), that would be even better and I'm set on her hobbies.

I was working on a short story for a competition and last night, I went in and adjusted a scene JUST because of this course. Thank you SOOOOOO much!

Just to add a note. I told my husband in bed, that was loud and scary. I would rather have a baseball bat to hit people with. I cannot even imagine the emotional trauma I would endure after watching someone scream after I shot them in self defense. Just gives me the willies thinking about it!

Until next week!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Been One SHRED of a Weekend!

ba-dum-ching!

I know, cheesy. :)

Sorry, I did not post last week. A lot did happen, I think too much for me to find time. Also, my back was sore for almost a week and I was more focused on that than writing a blog. I found a nice new position to sleep in when my back is sore and I've actually been sleeping that way every other night. It feels wonderful; takes the pressure off the spine and I know it sounds so easy - fold my body pillow in half and place it under my knees.

I know they say don't sleep on the back when you have back issues, but because we sleep Japanese style (on the floor with a futon) sleeping on the side with back soreness doesn't do the trick. The pillow-under-knee-thing = awesome.

Finished reading two books on my list this week. Both JF books with such wonderful tales. Both based off of true stories.

Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman is a delightful fictitious story based off of actual facts about a dog named Hachiko owned by Professor Ueno. Everyday this loyal dog goes and waits for his master at Shibuya Station. One day, the professor dies at work but every day, Hachiko comes to wait loyally for his master. When he dies of old age a statue is erected in his honor is still there today.













The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is also a fictitious story based off of true facts about a silverback gorilla who lived at a "circus mall" before finding his permanent home in the Atlanta Zoo. And yes, the real Ivan also painted. :)

This book I found exceptionally deep. It's written from the POV of Ivan as he looses Stella (also real) and remembers how he came to be at the mall.

I loved his viewpoint of humans - Squabbling horrid chimpanzees that uses too many words. I actually agree with him.





Both wonderful reads. I recommend them highly!

Speaking of too many words; today as I tried to keep my mind off of my critique buddy reading my finished manuscript, I shredded paper.

It was something that needed to be done. I had been saving my pile for over a year now. Now they squeeze tightly into 2 clear massive garbage bags reading for the recycle day on Tuesday. As I was going through the pile, the last 1.5 years of my life was there: my hubby's paperwork, botched tax forms (without SS#), doubles, triples and quadruplicates of Rx's from my back and shoulder injury and the scariest part - the original draft of my book.

Printed on ugly goldenrod yellow paper and marked in purple and orange pen, was the original idea from years ago. And I remembered that I also lost that file too. All 70 pages had to be retyped (-__-'). but because I had to retype it, it made me start over and now, I have something so much better. In a way I am thankful that I lost that file - even thought I sat in mind-numbing shock for 3 months.

It was weird reading deleted scenes. Scenes that had no place or just did not work. Certain things I did keep. Characters got a face lift, some didn't. Some names got altered or deleted completely. And even funnier, I read my horrendous grammar. I had no idea what I was doing back then. Essay writing and fiction writing are different. And sadly, I still retained those bad habits and it only makes revising a pain in the butt.

Oh, well. That's life!

And how wonderful is this, a patron came in Monday and we had a long discussion about Anne McCaffrey, the now deceased science fiction/fantasy author of the amazing Pern Series. We have a rather small SF section because most of our patrons reads mysteries and fiction so I don't get to go all geeky with anybody about SciFi books. Well, I met one. And how amazing, the next day I came into work, my supervisor hands me a folder. The patron typed out a list of her personal reading collection! And left me her phone number. Anytime I want to borrow a book from her, I just give her a call!

Definitively, made my week!








Monday, May 14, 2012

Nature & High Fantasy & Structure

Two glorious things that seem to go hand-in-hand.

So my dearest hubbykins is not too fond of fantasy/high fantasy - it just makes no sense to him. Whether it be books or films. So I unfortunately cannot share with him all of the awesome films that I grew up on. I have yet to see if he'll get into the Beastmaster films, that's not too far out there.

So tonight it's The NeverEnding Story. Which seems appropriate after a nice 2 mile walk around the lake and yoga. Goodness! I still cry when Atreyu's horse dies!

Well, a little belated Mother's Day love to every type of mommy! Doesn't matter if your babies run on two or four feet/paws, they look to you as mommy. I hope it was special for everybody. For us we cooked and baked and enjoyed some pool-time. I think that's the best part of living in a complex with snow-birds, we practically have the pool to ourselves half of the time.

The extra-lemony cake with equally lemony-tastic glaze I baked last night was already gone by the time I got home today. Awww-yeah!

Not too much to report, I've had a fairly "normal" week: kid's birthday pool party, work and more work. I have been very distracted when it comes to writing. I actually tried something new, at the request of one of my readers/critiquers who was killing me with insane curiosity as to what will happen in the second book (like dude, the first one is not even picked up). Just to organize my thoughts, I thought I try writing an outline. And you know what? It's the best idea, seriously. If not, my mind will wander and wander and go off into a strange oblivion with dancing unicorns and Chuck Norris and ice cream trucks covered in human skulls driven by swamp bunnies in Cold War regalia.

...exactly. (You can see I've already written about that weirdness. And I don't drink [except for like a shared can of beer twice a year] or do drugs - I think of this stuff during the course of a normal day...)

I think that sometimes, we artists need some sort of structure. I think about when I was in college and I would storyboard my narratives for my photowork. I first would come up with a concept - vague at first, then make it into a bubble than do my research. My sketchbook pages would be filled with a jumble to stuff that would make no sense to nobody. Then starting on a fresh page, I would begin to lay a "loose" draft out. Then (since I work in film), figure out my exposures, lighting, time of day/night. Then everything I will need. Then all the post-production stuff; chemicals, paper and so forth.

A lot of work for just a series of images but like writing, it all starts somewhere. All that jumbled mess in my head comes out somehow, organized and put together - to create something awesome.




Sunday, May 6, 2012

May Display 2012 Up & Book Gets a New Life

Okay, definitely not the best quality image. With the help of the Children's Librarian and looking through our collection, we went with May is Meditation Month and May is BBQ Month.

May is also Photography month and Asian-Pacific Islander month but the amount of books that we had would not fill even one shelf.

...ahhh, demographics.




And, I thought I share a story about this book. I was working in the back with the paperbooks that was going to put out into our collection and I was surprised to see this one that I had donated a few months ago.

It's a free pre-release copy that I totally got by accident back in 2006. I was attending the Romantic Times Convention when it came down here to Daytona Beach, Florida back in 2006.

I will say this, this convention rivaled DragonCon (the ultimate Sci-Fi party convention). Seriously, I had never been around so many half to scantily clad men in PUBLIC in my entire life. Aroused women who were away from hubbys and kids put bar/club hopping twenty-somethings to shame! It was a fun convention but too much estrogen in a convention center and girly alcoholic drinks (those go to your head faster) sparked quite a few cat fights and nasty glares. And yes, I would go again just because their parties were better than DragonCons!

I was attending the dinner before the Fairy Costume Ball and we are all assigned seats and on the plates were a gift basket, gifts from visiting authors. I opened up my bag and got this book. I had no idea who this author was and the gal in her late 40s next to me was staring at the book in my hand.

"I'll trade with you!" she screams at me like like a raving tween. "I've been dying for that book! It won't be released until later this year!" Her hands were reaching out towards mine, anticipating I was going to trade for the book in her hand.

"Woah," I suddenly thought. "It must be that good if she wants it this badly." I looked at her and said, "No thanks, I want to read it too." In a nice way, putting on my best smile.

That woman, I swore she growled at me. I thought she was going to claw me with me her fake nails. And I suddenly regretted leaving my knife in the room. Luckily, someone began to talk on the stage and food was served. After she ate, she left, leaving her book behind.

So on my way out, I also grabbed her book and it wasn't until I returned home that I sat down to read all the free books I got. Starting with the one I nearly died over! Needless to say, I wished I had given it to her. The book ends with a threesome with semi-demons because the "heroine" (as if I could call her that) could not make up her mind which one she wanted to jump into bed with. And a reluctant/fake rape scene to a beyond lusty demoness (I won't even say with what - yes, what) is not what I get excited over - not even happy about.

I know there are readers who go ravenous over her stuff but it's not my cup of tea.

Oddly enough, the other book that she didn't want had the silliest title Waiting for the Rainbow by Dana George (a guy) and an even lamer cover BUT it was a hell of a better of a story! It's set during the Johnstown Flood in 1889. Thumbs up in my book. The dialogue was off and the ending was nothing to get riled up about but it had a story and I like historical fictions.

Go figure!

I cannot believe the weekend is already over! :(






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April is for Authors & Library Chalk Art Festival 2012

That's right! Lo' and behold, I am standing with Kat Falls after picking her up at the airport on Thursday April 26. A loving thanks to my delightful husband who came just to take pics and see me act like a 13 year old fan-girl. At least I didn't scream like I did when I met and hugged Marc Singer (Dar from Beastmaster). Needless to say, she is an awesome person. There are not many people (other than my husband) whom I can babble on and on about sci-fi goodness, environmental awareness, government conspiracies and of course, marine animals and Sarasota!

After we left her at the hotel, I had a funny burst of Déjà vu! I had been at that hotel before. The Embassy Suites in Palm Beach Gardens is where I had my prom. I don't remember the lobby being so...pink and orange but they could have changed the colors. It has been 11 years. And it also brought back my many thoughts of "this is so stupid, will it ever end?" They didn't have swans back then, in fact, I recall that area being plants. Happy that time in my life is over.


With a little help of fate, I was magically able to go to the April is for Authors event! My time was very limited but I made the best of it. I greeted people in the morning and after I was done, I sat in on Kat Falls' panel. And YES, Dark Falls is a Reading Counts book and for you science teachers, there are lesson plans based from the book!

This was only the start of an excellent day. We've been having a nasty storm system hovering over us for a couple of days and I was so worried that it will ruin the rest of the day.






Then I drove all the way from Gardens to Palm Springs, only stopping at the house to gobble down something and change my pants (I was going to get dirty) and made it to work for our chalk event. Even with the drizzle, we still managed to have 40+ kids, families and adults come out to draw. Can you imagine if it was a sunny day?

I even had an hour to doodle. I don't like chalk as a medium but I still had fun. I was spending most of my time taking pictures.

I am so happy that everything turned out like it did. At the beginning of the week, I was furious that I was scheduled for Saturday to work. Okay, so I couldn't do the drawing that I had planned BUT I got to attend both events, meet Kat Falls, again!! and be with everybody at the library.

Needless to say I got the best of both worlds and that evening I passed out after work. Just to wake up super early to take Kat Falls back to the airport. No complaints there. I got to return home just in time before another band of rain flooded the area for 12 hours.

Overall, a wonderful weekend and I look forward to doing it all again next year!

Happy May Day, Blessed Beltaine to everybody. And guess what? The sun returned after 3 days of rain. It's going to be an awesome day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April is for Authors & Library Sidewalk Chalk Festival on the same DAY! What??

Firstly, my first wedding anniversary was quiet. A freak front coming from the gulf cancelled Turtlefest 2012, postponed the drift seas fishing boat to go out to sea, and the guy teaching the self-defense course went on vacation. :/ Really???

My husband and I did enjoy our weekend. We still went out for a nice dinner and just did errands together. The point was that we were together. Next year! :)

This week I am not looking forward to all that much. I cannot believe that by some coincidence that my library is hosting their sidewalk chalk festival on the same day as the April is for Authors event this Saturday, April 28th during the same time! It smells fishy! Or it does to me because I wanted to attend both events.

I met the organizer of April is for Authors event at a technology seminar back in February and I have volunteered to (OMG! Book nerd fan girl scream!) pick up Kat Falls (author of Dark Life, a very good post-apocalyptic book about an underwater world - call number YA Falls) take back to the airport both Kat Falls AND Sharon Draper!! (Whose book titles includes Copper Sun and the extremely well written and excellent Out of My Mind - look for both under YA Draper or JF Draper).

The organizer of April is for Authors emailed me yesterday wanting to know if I was coming to the event. Oh, the calamity! I have yet to email her. It kills me!


Saturday, April 28, 2012
9am-3pm
Palm Beach Gardens High School    
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
FREE ADMISSION
  "A fun filled day for families and teachers to meet their favorite authors....author panels, book signings, and author presentations."

April is for Authors is a great event, this is it's 2nd (don't quote me) year. Its a way for children, teens and their families to meet the authors and illustrators their kids read. It's set up like a mini writing convention where the kids can attend panels and ask questions and learn about writing/illustrating.There is a big list of authors attending, including: Alex Flinn (Beastly), Lisa Graff (Umbrella Summer), Harvey Oyer (The Last Egret) and James Preller (A Pirate's Guide to First Grade)...Just to name a few!

Take your kids/teens and go! .....and do me a favor and tell me how it was :(




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 Bookmark Contest Awards Ceremony

I am so proud of the kids who won from grades K-8 for the Bookmark Contest for the library this year. What a great way to celebrate National Library Week! (I know, a few days late). The ceremony had apparently outgrown the library meeting hall and was moved this year to the main Village Hall.

The awards were their bookmark original drawing matted, the image as a bookmark and their book of choice. 1st place got a hardback and 2nd place got a paperback. It was surprising to see the choices in titles. Not what I expected (my thoughts were surpassed).

The Mayor handed out the awards and I took pictures. Afterwards was cake and "punch" (cranberry juice + gingerale).

It was just wonderful to see the kids with their families, encouraged to read and praised for their success.

Congrats to all!

Damn, I should have gotten a picture of myself with the mayor! LOL! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The War Over Breathing

Ugh, what a busy weekend! Somehow, I still had time to rest - don't know how but it happened.

Everything began Tuesday. My husband and I went to go and buy an air filter for the livingroom for my father. Well, my awesome car (and I'm not being sarcastic!), still running after 12 years doesn't have AC. You get used to it here in Florida. Normally, I do not venture onto I-95 because my car vibrates like a cello string after 70mph but we figure, it's not for a long distance - no big deal. Lo and behold, traffic stopped completely and we sat, stuck, unmoving for 40 awful minutes. Surrounded by diesel spewing semis and delivery trucks on blinding asphalt in 100degree car...I became sick. Had to call of work to spend the rest of my day vomiting and the next day sicker than a dying animal. Luckily, by Friday, I was back to myself.

What does this have to do with breathing? A lot. Since December, I have been dying of allergies. We found a good home for Tiny (our guinea pig. She is now the best friend to a brain-damaged dog ^_^) and the allergies lightened up. but I was still dying. Last week, while I am trying to rest and unable to breathe, I realize something was wrong. The shedding animal is gone what could it be??

Last night, around 2am, after being so completely clogged that i wanted to claw my face off, I started thinking. "What is new in this room?" Nothing. Think...think...think...then my mind wandered to a week prior where I was dusting and I found it weird that the dust was burgundy.

Then it struck me. The damn burgundy blanket I am using is made with wool. And I am highly allergic to wool. I grabbed it from my mom's closet back in December and I now see I had been suffering ever since. Well, the culprit is gone. Washed and will be donated - hopefully finding a new home with someone who can be around wool.

So my husband and I spent our day shopping for an air purifier for the room. Small and quiet and will do its job. We picked up a Honeywell....something...it was on sale at Target. we have it running now. We'll see if there is a change in 24 hours.

Saturday was spent working on my wedding scrapbook. It's been almost a year and I need the shelf space. Took half a day but I finished! Now I cannot wait to review with my husband as we remember our wonderful day next Sunday.

I took next Monday off and even though we do not have the money to spend overnight somewhere, I was able to snatch some almost free activities for us to partake in. (Hey, you gotta do what you can!). Since we got married on Earth Day, we will be attending Turtlefest at the Loggerhead Marine Life rehabilitation center! I'm still working on the rest!

Until next time.

ps: yes, I did change my blog address. Sorry for the confusion.