Thursday, January 29, 2009


In celebration of finishing tax stuff, I'm going to go buy myself a piece of German Chocolate cake & eat the whole thing all by myself... if, that is, I can hide it long enough from my number one son who is an eating vacuum at the moment.

It's done.

I've paid the state sales tax bill and gotten confirmation online already (took five minutes to fill out the online form & get back a response -- not believing a soulless machine, I had to do it on paper on the form myself first...but that's another story.) I also figured out the city sales tax & will ink over my penciled numbers and make out the check tomorrow and mail it off. Then it's completely done until next year.

Hopefully, I'll be more up to date about getting my monthly totals done this new year.

And, strangely enough, I was completely flummoxed to find out that this last year (2008's ) grand totals were just $10.00 different from the year before (income I mean...)

THAT'S WEIRD -- at least to me it is. It's never happened before. Also, because prices on EVERYTHING increased so much during the last year, it FELT as if I was making far less.

I wasn't. I was just spending WAY MORE on everyday things like FOOD (which is a BIG part of the household budget -- see the note about my vacuum cleaner number one son).

Even December wasn't as bad as I thought it was.

Now I can get back to funky, cool, unusual books.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update again... getting tired...almost done

Another quick tax update.

I'm up to November with monthly totals. I HAVE to be finished by tomorrow night with December so I can get the yearly totals figured out & mail out my payments for sales tax for the state & city. It WILL get done.

Once that's done, I can get back to blogging about BOOKS...

and then complain about the upcoming article that I need to get working on.

Oh, and it would be nice if I could make some money on book sales to PAY my taxes...

Anyone want to buy a book?




Friday, January 23, 2009

Another update... taxes this time...

I've been toiling along on my monthly tax / business totals --

Not as quickly as I'd like, but it will get done by the 28th -29th...

The final totals have to be done & turned in by January 31st, so I have a definite deadline.

Last night I finished August totals so four more months to go.

Maybe, if I work hard and get the whole shebang done really early, I'll reward myself with a piece of cake from the bakery....hmm... encouragement and bribery work well on me....

I'll try for something more bookish tomorrow.

Have a great day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nutshell Library update...

I mentioned that if I found any further information on the Nutshell Library (the one from the 1960's) I'd add a note to the blog...

Courtesy of Richard Mori of Mori's Books, there IS a fourth set available... by A.A. Milne -- it's four miniature books in the Winnie-the-Pooh series.

That brings the list to:

Maurice Sendak
Hilary Knight
Robert Kraus
A. A. Milne

if you happen to know of more, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Legends of the Mighty Sioux - A WPA book...

I wish I had a better technique with my camera... but...

This particular book is one that was published as part of the WPA -- if you've never heard of it, that's the Works Project Administration which was founded by Franklin Roosevelt during his administration to help alleviate some of the unemployment due to the Great Depression (which some folk are considering starting up again to help with out current "recession"). At any rate, one of the sub groups of the WPA was the Writers' Project (which actually included photographers, writers, editors, artists, painters, etc...).

This book was a product of the Workers of the South Dakota Writers' Project (no citation for an actual author, though I found, through a tiny bit of research, that the Library of Congress is going through & matching authors with unattributed material even as I write this...) and illustrated by "Sioux Indian Artists" (again, mostly unattributed). This book compiles forty-five legends of the Sioux Indians of South Dakota -- "Much of the material was narrated to Project members when the Indians were assembled for pow-wows, or at church meetings. There were separate meetings between the old and young men as well." (from the front blurb material on the dust jacket).

While the WPA Writers Project is mostly known for its state guides (for more information see: Works Progress Administration ), there were a number of other books done, most of them on very specific subjects, like this title.

This is a wonderful book.

I hope you enjoy it.

New President... new administration... new order.... hopefully.

Just like millions of other folk around the world, I feel it is important to at least mention that an historic event has just taken place. Congratulations, Mr. President Obama, I wish you well.

I was a supporter of Hilary Clinton, and quite hesitant to find our next president was going to be rather less experienced in many ways than I had hoped, but I have to admit that during the transition Mr. Obama has made some very hopeful and, I hope, SMART steps towards fixing some of the ills that have befallen us as a nation. I also hope that the nation as a whole, and the congress in particular don't end up stifling some of the positive changes that can be made (take a gander at what the state of California's legislature has done to take a sorry situation and muck it up further...).

There have been times in the last few years where I've felt like apologizing to the world for being an American. A former neighbor of mine, who emigrated from Iran, (not only were he and his wife my friends, but his children were my sons best playmates for several years) and I had numerous, long conversations about what it was like to live in the US and in Iran... and about changes he had seen in the 30 years he has lived here...there were times when I wanted to tell him that I wasn't THAT type of American, that I didn't believe in some of the wrong-headed, wrong-hearted things that were being done in the name of MY country.

I hope, that with Mr. Obama's leadership & forward thinking attitude, that I won't feel that way again. Ever.

Good Luck, Mr. President.
God Speed.
I wish you well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Firefly in a Fir Tree.... la la la....

Last weekend, I went book hunting and while others (it was a friends of the library book sale) were rather frantically scouring through piles of books (lots of ex library copies), I happened to glance down on one of the tables & see the above listed little slipcased set.

Here's a better view of the front:

Well, a better view of the front of the box and the four tiny books that go inside...

This is the Christmas Nutshell Library set illustrated by Hilary Knight (best known for his work on the Eloise books by Kay Thompson. There are other Nutshell Library sets (Maurice Sendak's version is VERY collectable, but there's another that I found by Robert Kraus... so far, those three are the only sets in THIS version of the Nutshell Library. I'll update this if I find others).

I love this set. I haven't seen one of the Hilary Knight versions before (in fact, there seem to be less of them available than the Sendak set, but that's likely because this set was never reprinted & Sendak's was). All the illustrations are by Knight & show the delicate, humorous style he is famous for. In fact, slipcase cover at the top of this post shows a little girl who looks a LOT like Eloise...

Here's one of the books:

And another:

Though I've always primarily thought of myself as a Science Fiction / Fantasy dealer, my luck at finding collectable children's books has grown and I seem to be wending my way more down that path...

I love this set. It's darling. It's funny. It's miniature. It's cool. It's collectable. It's the best find from a friend's sale in a while.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Watch out Tommy, he's got a gun!

It's back to books again.

I'm still working on taxes, but I'm not going into detail about it other than to point out that tax work goes MUCH better when watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (started at Disc 1 Season 1 and hoping to go through all Seven seasons...).

The book pictured above is a title that I've actually had in my database since 2002. This is the second book in a three book series (my bet is that they didn't sell as well as hoped and the series was canceled by the publisher, which happens far too frequently. The author, Walker Tompkins, is a well known western pulp fiction author who later in life settled in Santa Barbara and then (and as far as I can tell, still does write) researched and wrote books about the area.

One thing I didn't know until today is that while a native of Washington State, he and his family moved to California when he was a teen and he lived not too far from where I am now. His family farm was in Turlock, CA, and he attended Modesto Junior College (in good ole Modesto, CA) before going into the army.

A hometown guy, as it were.

I'm not sure why this book hasn't been snapped up long since. It's a scarce series to find, it's on a subject not normally seen in juvenile series (Ham Radio operators and fans), and it's not a homemade series (IE: vanity press). I guess, for some reason or other, there's just not enough buzz about it out in the collecting world. The text is peppered with Ham radio slang (with some translation for those uninitiated like me) and the plot is quite interesting, though the prose is a bit 1960's in format and styling.

This is not one of those books that I'll pull off my shelves after a few years. I KNOW there's someone out there looking for this book -- they just haven't found it yet.

Signing off...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Taxman Cometh...

Yup, it's that time again...

well, for those of us who pay sales tax it is (depending on when you decided to set up your tax year, etc.). For me, it's January to December, which means that my sales tax info is due January 31st.

I try to be an organized person. I try to keep up with all the details of my business and for many years, I was ahead of the game... monthly totals worked up by the next month, making it very easy for me to see how the business is going, making figuring tax amounts a breeze...

But about three years ago, something happened. I don't really know what, but with the kids getting older and doing more and with me trying to work at three or four different projects at a time, the monthly accounts fell by the wayside. This year seems to have been the worst. Today, I just finished the monthly totals information for MAY 2008.

Yup. I'm seven months behind at the moment. I know I'll get it done before the 31st, but it will be a rush to do so, making me panicky and rather cranky until it's done.


(Of course, that's what I said last year & the year before that).

I know, in my head, that one of the reasons it's been harder to want to get this done is that looking at the numbers is downright depressing. It's the same old-same old you've heard from everyone else in the U.S. of A. -- times are getting harder and money is not being spent.

That goes for book dealers too.

No matter what, though, the taxes must get done (the state of California is VERY good about getting their due...especially this year) and I WANT to do my duty and pay them. So I'll soldier on through the rest of the paperwork to get it done as quickly as possible. (picture, in your mind, me standing proudly in front of a slowly waving flag ... you know, like the president does... while patriotic music is whiffing in the background.)

Have a nice day.

Me, I'll be pounding the adding machine buttons and muttering under my breath...

Friday, January 2, 2009


Happy New Year to All (who follow the Gregorian Calendar)!!!

Yesterday, Robin McKinley wrote a wonderful "Glad Game" blog for her New Year's entry and I liked it so much (well, I'm much like her in the $^)(&@#% part of not being that sickeningly cheerful about most things) that I thought I'd snitch the concept and use it for myself as a way to usher in the New Year with a bit of upbeat thinking.

I haven't really gone into detail about myself on this blog (partly as I'm just starting out this blog thing) and I'm not much of a diarist. So this entry will be one of the first to involve me, my family, my pets, etc.

Here Goes:

I'm glad that I have work to do -- considering how many people are out of work or slated to be out of work in 2009, I'm very glad that my small online book selling gig is still puttering along. (Now, there is a possibility that this gig won't last too much longer if I don't start getting any *&%*% sales soon!)

I am glad that my children are healthy, generally happy and growing like weeds (just bought two new pairs of shoes...since both boys have out-grown the shoes we got in September. That's right...only three months ago.)

I'm glad that we all had Christmas vacation & I'm going to be even more glad when it's over next Tuesday.

I'm glad that my husband is a great guy, that he's got a solid job (though we are in CA and it's very possible that by March we may be paid in I.O.U.'s) and that he is generally healthy too (kidney stones seem to have come and gone & his Crohn's is much better than it was last year, whew!)

I'm glad that I have some repeat customers who like the books that I am able to find for them (I wish I had more....).

I'm glad that I have a flexible schedule that allows me to spend time with my kids, my husband, my mom who might be driving herself around by next month, my cub scout den, and book hunting...!

I'm glad that we have pets (four cats...the newest one was added in October, though we weren't actually going to keep her when she came to us.... yeah, right)

I'm glad that we have a home to live in and food to put on the table each night.

I'm glad that my job allows me to learn & try new things each day.

I'm glad for technology, and for my computer.

I'm glad that son number 2 figured out how we can switch computers around in the house so I can watch my Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD's while I work on my taxes!

I'm glad that my mom's surgery was a success and that her hip doesn't hurt any more.

I'm very glad that my nephew Niki is alive and doing well after being born 13 weeks early last September.

I'm glad that I have a generous mother-in-law who loves to cook and to party.

I'm glad I have a brother-in-law who is handy around the house & is able to come and help out the handy-challenged (namely me & my husband...I WANT to be handy but am a scaredy cat when it comes to pulling out plumbing, and my dude is a computer guy, but doesn't do handyman stuff at all).

I'm glad that we have some rain in CA this year...every little bit helps.

I'm glad I get to read ... and can occasionally grab the TV remote away from my kids to watch NCIS...

I'm glad for so much, it's probably ridiculous to put down in words. And for that, I'm even more grateful.

Happy New Year!