Saturday, August 30, 2008

Found a box of memories today...

The first two boxes sorted pretty easily, but then I found one marked memories. That one took me two hours to go through piece by piece.

Found Daddy's scrapbook from high school, his ribbons for awards in track and football, his Army service records, and his postcards to Mom during the war.

I found tons of pictures from both sides of the family. For now, I just sorted out what to keep and what not. I need to get them into eras by family sides and then put them in scrapbooks. But that will have to wait.

I found my Great Grandfather's biography in a newspaper article, and the other article was about my Great Grandfather on the other side of Mom's family, and his marriage to Grandpa's mother.

I found the immigration papers for my Grandmother on Daddy's side. It has her original name on it: Marija. They renamed her Mary when she came over to the states. Grandpa had fought in the WWI and got citizenship, so he sponsored her as soon as he could afford to. His name was Ivan, and that go changed to John.

I also have postcards from Grandparents, along with the all the photos of family get togethers.

I can't give up my memories. But I did sort them and only keep the pictures that meant something to me, not ALL of them.

Have you been down memory lane lately?

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Friday...

Got up this morning, ran to the PO, then I came home and read my emails and hubby took another pickup load of donations down to Good Start.

Then he came home and offered to take me out to lunch. We went to Applebee's and I had their Oriental Chicken Salad (1/2) and he had the Shrimp Spinach Salad (1/2). Tasty stuff!

Then we went to the western store and shopped for a straw cowboy hat to keep our heads cool when we're in the sun.

I tried on one hat, checked another size, and kept the first hat I tried. He was like an old woman, he had to try on every hat in the store! He kept going back to one hat he liked, but he was hesitant to buy it because of the price. I told him, you like it, buy it. It's not like we'll be buying three or four - just one. So get the best one!

Mine is variegated colors, stone and white, in straw with air holes so your head can breath, and it looks pretty cool on me. It's a Tony Lama hat.

He picked a big white one with air holes, and it looks pretty impressive on him.

So we have cowboy hats we bought here now. $123 later...

But I love my hat!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Phew, I'm still sorting!

First of all, never be a hoarder. I have "stuff" all over the house. Some is old and has sentimental value, some is valuable, some is new or almost new but doesn't fit anymore or I won't wear it anymore since I now work from home, some I have no idea where it came from, some is from my office at work, some from my office at home, some is camping supplies, some of it is stuff I bought thinking I'd sell on eBay, and some of it hasn't been unboxed through two moves!

I have cleaned out my private library (need shelves to finish it). Have several pictures that need to be hung, but I have to figure where. I have miniatures I need to find a place for. Jewelry to find a place for. Linens to find a place for - I have more than the present linen closet will hold, and most of my blankets are handmade.

I have been through my bedroom and cleaned out drawers and the closet.

Went to the back middle room, cleaned out that closet and the shelves on the opposite wall.

Now I'm in the back back room. This one will take a while. It has boxes and there's really no room to move back there. The middle back room has a hope chest in the middle of it, so there's not much space there. But I'll get it done.

I got the doorway area cleared out. Next I will work on the closet.

It all takes time. And when I finally accomplish that room, I have one more walk in closet to attack. It's full of boxes of who knows what and tubs of yarn and other craft items and a few clothes.

Once I get it all sorted, then it's find a place for everything and everything in it's place.

The good news is that I am finding things we haven't seen for a while. Like hubby's diamond wedding ring and tie clasp, and my emerald ring I bought in the Bahamas. Not real big money items, but with good memories.

I'll just have to keep trudging along cleaning and sorting until I win.

But each evening I allow myself time to read and relax - that's my carrot. Work hard, Jo Ann, then you can read...

Book Review - The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton

This is not your typical bible salesman! He's young, naive and been raised by good Christians who study the bible. When he decides to go on the road and sell bibles, he finds that when he reads the bible on his own, he's finding some contradictory information in it - things aren't as clear as he thought they were. And then he gets befriended by this FBI agent who is stealing cars to break a car thieves ring (he believes him) and he starts making easy money for his part in the endeavors.

What makes his life even more interesting is the girl at the fruit stand. She'll even read the bible with him...

The story moves along well, with the bible salesman getting smarter as he goes along. And even though he appears to be so immature he's hopeless, he matures on the way through the story and lands on his feet.

I enjoyed this biblical romp through the south, and I bet you would, too.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Book Review: Fanny by Holly Bobbie

I have just read a new children's book that would be great to share with any little girl who has to have the newest toy or game that comes out. Most of us remember Barbie dolls, right?

Well, here is a little girl who wants a "Connie" doll. She keeps asking, but she doesn't get a glamour babe to primp and dress up. So she decides she'll make her own doll...

She intends to make her own Connie, but finds out her doll is more of an "Annabelle". When she shows it to her friends, they're not impressed. So she hides her in a dresser drawer in disappointment. Then when she opens her birthday present from her Mom, she finds she got a real sewing machine, but she wasn't too excited about sewing anymore.

When she went to bed that night, she thought of Annabelle in the drawer, and decided she might be lonely. So she rescued her and told her she loved her even if she was a bit different from the other dolls.

The next day she visits her friends and takes along Annabelle. They decide to play veterinary hospital, and Annabelle gets to be the DOCTOR! The Connies are nurses, glamorous nurses of course. (I wonder if it's an accident that one of the brainless Connies looks a lot like Paris Hilton?)

Fanny goes home and makes some more clothes for Annabelle, and then a doll for her, too. Can you guess the name of the doll? Connie!

This well made children's book is bright, the illustrations are lovely, and there is a paper doll and doll clothes in the back of the book your child can make for herself.

This book would work well for your own child or in a daycare. Let them learn how to make their own paperdolls!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Now, I know you think all I do is read...

But just to set the record straight, I want you to know I went through 9,000 books in my back bedroom that comprised my own personal library and got rid of two pickup loads, donated to Good Start. I also have two full bookcases of books to list from that stock. And when I have enough money to buy some shelves, we'll be putting them up out of the boxes they are in now.

The shelves they were on in Washington have been overtaken by book stock for sale - I have 6,500 books online that you can browse (and buy!).

Then I found my dresser top in my bedroom (haven't seen that in 8 years - I normally store my "read, but save" books on it). Cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers, got to the bottom of the closet floor...

Now I'm in the middle back room beyond the bedroom, sorting and finding treasures. Almost have another pickup load to go to Good Start.

I'm in the "use it or lose it" mode. If I'm going to keep it, I have to have a place to put it and a need for it.

It's sorta like downsizing - but it's sure work. I have to go through everything piece by piece. The lady who helped me pack to come down here was an Army brat, and she filled every available space with THINGS.

I have found my husband's wedding ring and his cowboy hat, found a $100 in my office drawer supply box, found a new tote for crafts and a laundry holder that had never been assembled. (They are now.)

Busy, busy, busy.

I just set me aside some reading time in the evening for a "treat" for my hard work.

You ever do that?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson

The story starts a bit slow, but when it starts rolling, you better hang to your seat! He's a journalist who was sued for libel and has to do some jail time. It seems one of his informants fed him some bad information on purpose. She's a messed up young adult who has emotional troubles and doesn't trust anyone in the world. At first she is the one investigating him - then he hires her to work for him to solve a 40 year old mystery!

The story is full of undercurrents, different agendas, more than one unsolved crime, and chemistry between the journalist and the Dragon Tattoo girl.

There are more books in this series, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in print. I'm also sad to say that the author has died from a heart attack, so these will be only treasures he'll be sharing with us.

I'm anxious to see where it goes from here in this trilogy.

Again, this one is an Advanced Reader's Copy and I'd be happy to share it with someone.

Just leave me a comment, email me with your info and tell me why you'd like book and I'll pick someone to share it with.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I ordered in a children's picture book for me...

Picture books are one of my very favorite types of childrens' books. Such marvelous illustrations, what great imaginations on the part of author and illustrator - they make me smile.

I saw one advertised about a mini-man and dragons, and I had to order it for me. It's The Sandman by Ralph Fletcher, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey.

It's a luscious book! This one is definitely a keeper. There's a tiny man who has a mouse for a pet (and who is bigger than he is) who has problems sleeping. Then he finds a dragon scale and is grinding it down for use later, when he discovers it puts him to sleep!

So he has to brave the dragon to get another scale, and then he sets out across the country as Mr. Sandman.

The graphics are rich, the story line is cute, and any one small one should be entranced. What a great story to read aloud at bedtime!

I highly recommend this book, folks. Find yourself a copy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book Review: My Mercedes Is NOT For Sale by Jeroen Van Bergeijk

This tale begins with an interesting premises, the author is going to drive a Mercedes he's purchased from Amsterdam to Ouagadougou - right across the Sahara desert! He talks to some experts, buys the car, kisses his girlfriend and son goodbye, and starts out alone, feeling very confident.

He first encounters people who want to buy (or steal) his car before he hardly gets going on his journey. There are drug dealers that find that a Mercedes a great car for their use. And folks want to sell him drugs, sexual partners, you name it.

As he makes his journey, he learns several lessons along the way. Perhaps a bit more research would have made it less challenging. Or perhaps not.

He makes several references and offers quotes from other books written in earlier years about travel across the Sahara, and some things have not changed much.

He did make some money at the end of this adventure, but I'm not sure he'd do it again!

This is currently for sale on Amazon, amongst others. I am willing to share my advance reader's copy with someone. Just make a comment telling me why you'd like it. I'll choose someone and ship them the book for free.

Please email me directly for the book - I don't get your email address when you post a comment!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Believe It Or Not!

I have actually gone through a cord of books, sorting them and keeping them, giving them away to Good Start or setting them aside to sell. That's a 4' x 4' x 8' pile of boxes of books. Phew!

My husband has already taken a truck load of books down for donation, and there are four more boxes and lots of bags to go yet.

I found some treasures. Donated many of the bookclubs I'd gathered through the years.

There are more boxes to sort, but some are videos and who knows what is in the others. I did locate my plaque for 25 years of service for the City of Chehalis, Washington. Not sure what I'll do with it, but it looks real pretty.

I also have books I've "saved" that will need to be replaced. Ratty looking paperbacks, damaged hardcovers. But, for now, they just went back into boxes.

Until we get shelves for back there, I can't do much with them.

And now I have almost two more bookcases of books to list! Like I wasn't behind in listing before. Oh my...

It is nice to get things in order, though. I'm into organization, especially of my book stock. Now if that carried over into housekeeping, it might be a valuable talent. But it seems all I do is work with books in one form or another!

I've got another book to review and more coming in for review, so I'll be busy with that in a bit. Right now I'm reading some of my books I pulled to read and then eliminate from my permanent library.

I have friends who like to read mysteries, too, so they have been getting boxes of books to read and recycle on their end.

I believe in sharing the magic of books!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Review of Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

This book grabs you by throat in the first paragraph, and pulls you along, page by page, through a very exciting fast paced action/drama novel!

Peter Brown is in the witness protection program, and now is a medical doctor. His past included the mafia, his time as a hit man, and now he was starting a new life - which he actually enjoyed. He liked helping people get well and diagnosing odd illnesses.

But then one of the patients recognize him, and his new world dissolves around him. He also finds out that his very character has changed. He has a chance to get away cleanly, but if he does, a woman will lose her leg and he knows what's wrong with her and can stop it. Which will he choose?

It has bad language, graphic violence and death, and some unbelievable medical facts in the book, but the overall read was so good and so full of action, I was able to overlook that.

This book is not for the weak of heart - but it will make you sit up, take notice, and maybe even wonder about your doctor next time you go see him...

This book will be coming out in January 2009. However, if you'd like to read the advance reader's copy I got for review, just post a comment and leave me your email for reply. Or you can write to me directly. Just visit my website and send me an email from there.

Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...