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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Children really are still reading!!!

My baby sister sent this one to me; I hadn't seen it yet.
I'll sleep better tonight!

From this article:

Came this quote:
“When we go to bed and he knows it’s reading time, he says, ‘Let’s play Angry Birds a little bit,’ ” Mr. Thomson said. “If he’s going to pick up the iPad, he’s not going to read, he’s going to want to play a game. So reading concentration goes out the window.”

THAT's what frightens me, people!  NOT the geeky, dorky, shiny toy - I, myself, am the proud owner of a new Fire (although admittedly I didn't buy it for the books) - but the fear a child will choose the shiny toy over the book...  I want them to learn to love books, and choose an e-book, perhaps, when it's convenient, not all the time.  And it IS convenient, when traveling or commuting, for instance, but I don't want them to miss out on the pages, the ink, the smell, the experience of a b.o.o.k.

Borrowing Books from "Amazon Library"

This is a much bigger deal than simply e-books vs. print books...
I don't know enough yet to take sides, but this article and the accompanying comments are enough to spark some serious thought and debate...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Taking down another tree...

We came up to the lake house this morning, by way of Weight Watchers, Walmart, and Hearth and Home.  We had a couple of rather inactive hours and then J decided to tell me he was planning to take down 1/2 a tree.  Well, he didn't tell me, really.  I heard a familiar rattle and looked out the window only to see the ladder leaning against a tree.

After 1/2 an hour of me complaining, begging, crying, he won.  "Fine.  Cut the tree down if you're convinced it won't hit our house, our neighbor's house or you!"  I wasn't real enthusiastic about this project.

So here's photographic record that he got the tree down.  Of course, it wasn't easy...

First he ties a rope above the place where he's going to cut so I can pull the tree in the direction we want it to fall, which is away from the houses.  I was supposed to duck behind another tree to make sure I wasn't hurt once we heard the ominous CRACK that meant it was on its way down.

We heard a small crack so he scampered down the ladder and ran over to me to take the rope and pull.  "HEAVE!  HO!"  And the tree didn't come down.

And that happened several times.  He'd cut more, he'd hear a cracking sound (he was up close and personal with the tree when he was on the ladder) so he'd quick come down off the ladder, run over and take the rope from me and try pulling.  To no avail.  That tree wasn't going anywhere!

He finally decided it wasn't coming down because it was caught in the twin tree next to it.  I wasn't that convinced that was the reason; the weight of the part he was cutting down should have been enough to make it fall... 

So after some serious contemplation...

He decided to cut the tree lower to the ground, make that bottom piece fall in the opposite direction from where he wanted the top piece to fall, and he started cutting...  And it worked.

That was one LOUD CRACK and he ran for cover on the other side of the tree trunk, away from the falling trunkS and the falling ladder and the falling SawzAll blade that was stuck in the trunk of the tree 25' above our heads!

So now he's out there cutting the trunks and branches into more manageable pieces, stacking the trunks for lumber for our wood-burning fireplace, and dragging the branches up into the woods.

And he's taking me to Olive Garden for dinner because I want a Sangria. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

A FUNNY look at e-books...

E-Books: A Threat to Marriage?

"The lightness of the e-book medium, literally and figuratively, holds a terrible allure and an insidious threat to the heavily booked-up among us. How many marriages, seemingly held firm by the impossibility of moving several hundredweight of vinyl or CDs out of a family-sized home, have already foundered post the digitization of music? How many more will break if apparently inseparable and immovable matrimonial libraries become something that anyone can walk out with in their pocket?"

--James Meek in the most recent issue of the London Review of Books

From Shelf Awareness, Monday, November 7, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1598

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Am I pretty?

I read this blog called Carrying a Cat by the Tail!  Spuds is a single dad with 6 kids, 2 of them girls.  He posted a really funny piece the other day about Halloween and I linked to it a couple of days ago.

Today's post?  Not so funny.  Heartwarming?  Yes.  Important?  Double yes! 

Spuds knows how important it is to make sure his daughters know they are beautiful.  Inside AND out. 

My parents never made a big deal about our looks.  No "You're the most beautiful girls in the world"" or "You're so much prettier than XYZ!"  I didn't grow up thinking looks were important.

But I'm a girl.  I got to a point in my life where I knew I wasn't as pretty as some of the other girls in my class.  I knew I didn't have a great body.  Admittedly, no one ran screaming into the wind when they met me, but no one dropped dead of shock over how beautiful I was, either!  If you ask me to describe myself, my description will always be the same:  "I don't see Jaclyn Smith in the mirror in the morning, but young children don't run away screaming when they see me!"

When we get dressed up and my husband tells me I look pretty, my first and only thought is "Not pretty, but better than usual."  I'm 50, soon to be 51, and it's taken me a long, long time to almost believe I'm okay the way I am.  And I credit my husband for that.  Not for the thousands of compliments he's tossed my way (NOT!) but because he makes me feel loved.  Accepted.  Okay the way I am.  In fact, BETTER than okay just the way I am.  Just what he wants in his life and in his heart.  And that makes me feel pretty.

Spuds doesn't want his daughters to grow up putting themselves down.  He's one smart cookie.  He knows how important it is that his girls know, with every fiber of their being, that they're beautiful, that their dad loves them and that he knows how beautiful they are.  And he's going to make sure they remember...  What a lovely gift from Daddy to his girls...

Read his post here...


Books are magic...

from Shelf Awareness, Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - Volume 2, Issue 1595

The Book as Object: 'A Piece of History'

"You must hold a real book in your hand, smell the pages, examine the type face, the spacing between letters; must note the shape and size of the book, the weight of it. Only then can you experience the book’s full import. And its magic.

"A book as an object is a piece of history....

"Of course, new books are not quite the same, but you can be a book's 'first' owner, the first to hold, read and study it. You can learn from its binding and paper and weight and lettering and smell. You can hold a new book in trust for its future owners. You can become part of its history.

"Give your e-reader a rest, grab a real, printed book: and feel the magic."

--Helen Selzer, owner of Farshaw's Too, South Egremont, Mass., in a post on her blog Books Books Books.

This quote touches my heart.  This is a great way to explain how I feel - I'm not really ANTI e-books, I'm just so much more passionately PRINT books...  It's the magic I refuse to give up...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I'm not particularly "into" Halloween.  For a while, as a child, I'm sure I was.  (Mom seems to remember me being excited to put on a costume...  I seem to remember loving bottomless Smarties...)

And when we first moved into our house, I was excited to decorate for Halloween and buy tons'o'bad-for-me'candy and give it to all the cute little kids who were going to be ringing my doorbell...

I'm Catholic but I live in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.  We get some trick-or-treaters but we don't get nearly enough for me to dole out a candy bar or two or twelve to get rid of said bad-for-me-candy...  So for a while I bought a bag of candy I didn't really like so there'd be no temptation to eat it. 

You see where this is going?  There are starving children... and I ate the candy I didn't like, so I went back to buying what I did like - it wasn't worth feeling sick over what I ate...

Then I finally figured it out.

Don't be home on Halloween.  Go to your sister-in-law's house, go to B&N, go shopping, go out to dinner, have a colonoscopy, anything not to be home listening to the doorbell ring 8000 times because THIS year you didn't buy any candy...

So this year I went to my sister-in-law's (option #1 above!) and that was cool 'cause I got to see my little E dressed up like Madonna, right down to the fingerless gloves!  She was so cute!  [Oh, before I cause you all to have a mini-stroke at the thought of cone-shaped brassieres on a little almost-16-month-old, we're talking Like-a-Virgin-Madonna with a pink/white/gray/black tulle skirt, a poofy and lacy barette with hot pink ribbons/feathers in her hair, flat pink glitter maryjane shoes, black leggings, and a cute top with her initial "E" on the front...  nothing inappropriate...]

Then I came to work today, and caught up on one of my favorite blog feeds, Carrying a Cat by the Tail.

Did YOU know God tastes like salt?  Intrigued?  Read Spuds' Halloween post!!!  You'll know from whence I speak...  Word to the wise:  do NOT be drinking your hot coffee or cold Dr. Pepper/Diet Coke when you read the punchline!!!

Pirating Books

Ran across this article in Publishers Weekly.  For a change this has nothing to do with e-books vs. print books. 

This is just an article about a lawsuit that hits close to home.  It's not a long article.  Check out the punchline:  "The company did note that Bit Torrent users on the demonoid.me site downloaded Photoshop CS5 All-in-One-for Dummies more than 74,000 times since June 6, 2010."  74,000 TIMES!!!