Sunday, December 19, 2010

Played hooky on Friday instead of keeping the nose to the grindstone.

Well, yeah, I did play hooky.  But I also had a TON of errands to get done at the same time, so it wasn't REALLY playing hooky.  Except that I stopped at a couple of places that just happened to carry books....


Instead of getting my Christmas cards addressed (I still want a few pictures of the boys to add for the cards that go to relatives),  I did other things.

I did, however, find a few cool books.  Don't have pictures of them yet, but hope to by later this week.

I also hope that I start to feel business-like again and want to do data entry.  Currently, not feeling very business oriented (though I do need to keep the orders rolling in to pay the bills, ya know) and would far rather sit on the sofa reading trashy novels (DON'T EVEN ASK ME TO TELL YOU WHAT THEY ARE.... I WON'T TELL --YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!)

I SHOULD be making a batch of Stollen for Christmas.  I will before Friday comes around -- it's just not Christmas (at least to me) without it.  (I use my grandmother's recipe, which, I have a feeling, she modified at some point, and which I have, over the years, modified a smidge again for my own tastes. It really looks very different, and has different ingredients than most of the stollen you find in cookbooks.)

 I don't usually do a great deal of other fancy baking for Christmas -- though I did make a Buche de Noel last Christmas ...every once in a while I try to make extravagant things... I found the recipe for Buche de Noel for a French Class holiday dinner back in.... oh, well either 1983-4 for classes I took way back when, or for the second set of French class I took in 1986-88.... this is the decadent, totally butter filled, coffee and chocolate flavored yummy that takes me three days to get all the parts together and finish.

Not this year though, for the Buche de Noel -- it will have to be the Stollen.  Hopefully I'll remember to take a picture of it before I dig in.  One of the modifications my grandmother added all those years ago was a buttercream frosting to the Stollen instead of just plain powdered sugar.  I happen to find buttercream frosting  addictive and slather it on in excess.  Good thing Christmas only comes once a year.

Now come tomorrow, I'm hoping to get a few more good (as in not blurry) pictures of Sons Number One and Two -- I signed them up for a soccer clinic which goes for two days, four hours a day (to hopefully give me a bit of break from listening to the constant bickering / computer grabbing).  It's rained steadily for the last day and a half... the weather report was for five inches of rain this weekend -- the clinic goes on regardless of rain unless it's an out-and-out downpour, so I expect LOTS OF MUD!!!   And I'm hoping that not only will they have a good time, but that the clinic will help them out too.

Tomorrow, I really need to get back to work.  I gotta get over this thing for playing hooky.  Sigh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It should be so easy to take a few minutes a day to blog....

I'll tell you a secret  -  I've been seriously Jonesing for a smart phone - for several reasons - the biggest draw of which is that I could add my credit card processing to it and not have to worry about cc slips, compliance factors and a whole lot of other nonsense.  My husband has been nudging me to get one for a while ... and has put on the pressure this month with little thoughts of what the thing can do....

Yeah, I KNOW.


and this relates to my blog here....

Secretly, I want one so that when I take some funky pictures of my family doing goofy stuff, or found a cool book that I want to show everyone....well, it would be more possible with a smart phone than what I've got now.  AND.... I could do it when I'm sitting around (or walking around) the track during soccer practice.

That's been the big problem lately (well, one of them). My time is SO chunked up lately between what I need to do, what the boys need to do, what Scouts need me to do.... the ever expanding list of church things that they want me to do (Ha - just got the December/January lector schedule and between my husband and I we're on at 6 out of 8 weeks for some type of participation.... this after just joining in November.....sigh.)

Then there's the division of the computer time.

Currently, one son is home from school on vacation.  As of Friday night, Both boys will be home (and my husband, but he doesn't try to monopolize my computer, he has his own) fighting to see how much time they can wheedle out of MY work computer.  DURING CHRISTMAS!!! My peak season (supposedly). AND, I have tax stuff to do -- which I was hoping to have done before this.... not so lucky yet.

So the fighting will get worse. And, as I really don't work well with noise and distraction, more errors, less time and more giving in (on my part) will likely ensue.

Thus, a smart phone might also help alleviate a bit of this tension as well (of course, another BRAND NEW, HIGH SPEED computer with a full desk and extra sound cards, etc. would help as well....but that's just not going to happen).

 I was going to try and post a picture of what Son Number Two and I did last night, in the rain... for just under three hours.... I find that a smart phone would have gotten a MUCH better picture, so that's yet ANOTHER reason to buy the darned thing.

Here's the least blurry picture of the pack...
what you CAN'T see from this picture is that every one of the boys (and the coach who's being held back)
are COMPLETELY muddy.
Son Number Two, of course, being the muddiest, as he LOVES mud 
and finds ways to roll in it to his satisfaction.

Practice for winter soccer doesn't stop because of rain. And it was raining last night. Not a downpour, mind you, but a steady rain that was more than a drizzle.  We were there for three hours. By the time we were done, the field was so slippery that trying to do a big kick on the ball meant going over on your backside into the mud no matter how good your cleats were.  I  get to do my exercise / walking while either son is at practice, so I end up just as mucky, wet and bedraggled as they do (though not nearly as muddy as Son Number two, for the obvious reason that I don't ROLL in the mud willingly).

The nice thing about last night was that it was warm-ish.  If the wind had been up or if it had been 10 degrees colder than the 54 degrees that it was, well.... we would have been a lot more uncomfortable and gone home sooner. 

As for the book hunting this weekend, I've found a few fun ones that I'm itching to add to the database as soon as I get a chance...
here are some pictures to whet your appetite:

 William Pene du Bois wrote and illustrated this book about a famous
1960's model.

 Looks rather ordinary doesn't it?
Well.... turns out it's better than a reading copy.
More to come on this one.


 Illustrated by William Blake - the poems of Mr. Grey.  Great Illustrations. 

 There was lots of Christmas stuff at the place I went. This is just ONE of the things I picked up.  I need to get them all in the database SOON!

This one was an unexpected bonus.  The reason it looks a little yellowish is that there is a glassine dust jacket over the illustrated dust jacket.  The dust jacket is in near perfect condition which adds to the ooomph of the book, but to have the glassine (and in near perfect condition too) makes this one rather more intriguing.  More on this one later as well.

That's all I have for now.

If I end up splurging on the smart phone (and it's not the cost of the phone itself that's the splurge, but the monthly FEES that is holding me back)  I'll be sure to let you know.  You might know the minute I start blogging more frequently.... or with better pictures.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2nd.... pulling books out of boxes today.

Yes, it was one of those days where I had to take new pictures to get started on another stack of books to go in the database... which means that I get to root through boxes to find books to pull out and list.

I know I should just pick up a box, pull all the books out and process them as a group.  But where would be the fun in that, I ask you?  Or the exercise.  Lifting and toting twenty boxes of books (I only went through one area of boxes today and found enough to keep me busy for a week) is GREAT exercise... and does wonders for your back muscles too.

In the process, I found two books that would make WONDERFUL holiday gift items.

I haven't had a chance to enter them into my database yet (I'm going to try to do that tomorrow or this weekend) but I wanted to show them to you anyway.


 Which Star Wars fan out there wouldn't just LOVE a copy of a 
book about the lovable, huggable Ewoks.
I couldn't.

And for the golf fanatics out there who thought they had everything...

You have to look closely. Real Closely.  In fact, click on the picture to see a better view of it.

Followed by this:

And this:

Or maybe this:

Yup, I knew you couldn't resist.

Next week (or even the rest of this week if I'm lucky) I'll post some other books that got pulled from the stacks just in time for the holidays. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's been a while, hasn't it....

Wow, two months since I've posted.

Even my brother-in-law (Hi M!)  noticed that I'd been slacking, and that's saying something.

Once again, plenty of reasons for the lack of posts - most of them sound lame when written out - and worst yet, I've been checking my blog nearly daily for the last week or so because I keep hoping that I'll get back to it soon.

So today, even though I have nothing really interesting to blog about, I decided that the best thing I can do is to just start....

I do have some neat books to show but all of them take more than five minutes worth of thought and time to post about so those will have to wait. I'm in the process of trying to set up a new feed / delivery system for my emailed newsletter (which is also more than a month overdue) so when I get that done I'll post it here as well.

Last week was a total loss for getting anything done (except the absolute necessities of online selling) because of the holiday (you know, the Last one - Thanksgiving).

The week before that was absolutely crazy busy with scout stuff, soccer stuff and little niggly things that had to be done which took far longer to do than anticipated.

I've got a LOAD of pictures I've been wanting to post - many of them pics of the kids doing their thing (both of them have done lots of good / cool things lately that are worth posting about) but again, I keep losing track of the time to get stuff done.

And then.....

dreaded tax time has finally hit.  I really need to get the darned monthly totals done before the end of the year and.... oh yes, today is DECEMBER- FLIPPING - FIRST!!!

When did that happen?   And why did it get so cold so fast?

Yes, I'm a winter wimp, but the cold here bites in and runs right through my bones.  And of COURSE both boys signed up and made the teams for winter soccer season (yippee for the boys, there was hefty competition this year - good competition, but wahhhh for me who gets to go out to NIGHT TIME practices and watch and wait).   More about that later.

I'm trying valiantly to continue to process as many books (and continue to slog through the old titles to update and / or donate those that no longer make the cut) as I can before the winter holidays begin in earnest for the schools.  After that, my work, and especially my computer will be in a fight for time against the slavering hoard (IE: my kids).

I do have one picture handy that I am going to post.  Soon I won't be able to post pictures of Number One Son because he'd heading for the terrible teens (Thirteen years old is coming up in a frighteningly short time) and he's pout and wail about my pictures of him, but this particular picture is actually a nice picture of him, AND I got it spontaneously, right in the middle of him throwing a hissy about having to WORK. (sigh).

Here goes.

For one thing, he's decided that he's..... Mr. Cool. Second, he's finally starting to fill out a bit and doesn't look so twiggish.  Third, the look on his face..... yeah, that's it mostly.  MR. COOL.

So, that's it for now.  I'm going to try and be back DAILY from now until.... hopefully from now on.