10 must read books

I love books, (you know I love books!) so when I was tagged by my friend Erin for the 10 Books You Must Read Before You Die Meme I knew I had to take my time and really think about it. I admit I’m getting kind of meme’d out, but I really like this one!

Here’s my list of the 10 books I think are must reads, in no particular order:

Okay, that was harder than I thought it would be! It would have been easier to have a list of twenty – there’s so many books I wanted to put here like Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide, Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago but they didn’t make the final cut!

Rather than tag anyone, I’m going to let you decide if you want to do this meme! So what are the 10 (or 20!) best books you’ve ever read?

Hey, while we’re talking books, are you on GoodReads yet?

how fragile we are, part 2

Some of you may remember when I wrote this post. I was in agony, not for myself but for my friends but I didn’t feel it was my place to tell their story.

I think it’s time to share a little bit of what was behind that with you, by sharing their blog. A blog they started after their 9 year old daughter Grace died in an accident in June. A blog to help them share their heartbreak and their healing. A blog to help them start a Foundation in her name to help orphans around the world.

The blog is mostly Bill’s, and I suggest you start at the beginning, but then read Teresa’s guest post, and after that you should read all the posts about their recent trip to Romania, where they originally adopted Grace and her sisters almost 6 years ago.

Can I just say that Teresa and I have been friends for 30 years? 30 years. She was my very first friend and one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met and I love her like my own sister.

After you read their blog, go hug and kiss someone you care about, and tell them you love them.

that’s a really big bus

I didn’t think I’d cry.

After all the pictures were taken. After all the hugs and kisses were done. After I walked him up to the big yellow bus and he went up the steps. After the bus driver asked if he was a kindergartener. After I said yes, and she had him sit in the first seat. After he squeezed in with two other kids because it was already crowded. After she called out to me with that look and told me to have a great day. After I thought would make it without crying after all.

That’s when he stood back up, looked out the window, waved, and called out “bye mommy!”

Damn. I cried all the way back up the hill, all the way back to the house.

I didn’t think I’d cry. I was kinda dumb to think that.

3.14 or 42?

I’m a geek, a girly geek, but a geek nonetheless. Did you know it’s almost all DH’s fault? The twittering, the blogging, he started me on all of it. In fact, not all that long ago he called me a geek as a term of endearment. It was a very a proud moment for me.

Anyway, last night I was looking at his stumble pages and found this site. I’m pretty sure I should add extra points just for putting it on my blog.

64% Geek

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go watch some lotr iii on my dvr….

and if you know what that means without googling it, you’re a geek too.

stumbling around

I am, at the moment, mired in penguin pictures, still. But every now and then I take a mini-break and go read some of your wonderful posts out there. The problem is, my brain is so fried and my time is so limited I haven’t been commenting as much as I like to. You all know what a commenting fool I usually am! Please don’t think that I haven’t been reading.

Along those same lines, I’ve always tried to respond to individual comments here. Yeah, I kinda suck at that lately. I love you guys for commenting, and frankly, comments pretty much make my day. I am constantly amazed that you keep coming back here and reading my drivel! The number of comments compared to my total readership here is pretty shocking. Look at my Feedburner chicklet on the bottom left, I only have like 30-40 regular readers, and you all comment pretty much at least once a week. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So here’s the thing I’ve been thinking about. I’m trying to be a better sharer. Commenting on your blogs is fun, and I’m sure you appreciate it, but, if I only have 10 seconds, would you rather I say “great post!” for only you to see or would you rather I Stumble it so others will know about it? Stumble eh, I thought so. So I am going to make myself a new policy, that I am going to become a Stumbling fool as much as I am a commenting fool!

If you are on Stumble, please come find me so we can share great posts with each other! I want to see what you Stumble too!

Some of you may be asking, what the heck is Stumble? It’s one of those social media places where you can share your favorite reads with your friends. Check it out, sign up, (friend me!) and start giving a thumbs up to your favorite sites and posts! Btw, it helps to download the Stumble toolbar for your browser, it just makes it that much easier to say “I like it!”

In the same vein, if you prefer using one the other link sharing sites, you can probably find me there too. Although I’m concentrating my efforts on Stumble I do have profiles on these as well: del.icio.us, Digg, Kirtsy, and Technorati.

I love you, my bloggy friends, mwah!

edited to add: BTW, one key to being a good stumbler is to NOT mark your friends as Adult Content by mistakenly hitting the wrong button. Damn. Um, hey Neil, I’m trying to fix that porn label on your post. Sorry!!!

life’s little irritations #8

Today’s topic of irritation: grocery store baggers.

Most of the time I bring my own bags to the grocery store. (Well, I bring them when I remember them, and you all know what my memory is like!) I usually have more than enough bags for all of my groceries. Why do I bring those bags? Just like everyone else, I’m trying to reduce my waste, and I hate having all those plastic bags around.

So. Here’s irritation #1: When the baggers try to bag items in plastic first, and then put them in my bags, I get a little, shall we say, pissed off? I sort of understand putting the raw meat in a plastic bag to keep the fabric one clean, but they certainly don’t need to be wrapped individually. And guess what? Those fabric bags are washable! Imagine that! But the dry goods and other stuff? What’s the point of double bagging? I just don’t get it.

I complained to a manager once about how many plastic bags a bagger had just used inside all of my fabric ones. I jokingly (not) told her I had more plastic bags in my cart than I would have if I had just had them bag in plastic in the first place. She looked shocked and said that most of their customers wanted them to do that. Really?! I bet they don’t, they just don’t tell you otherwise!

Okay. Checkout bagger irritation #2: jumbling up my carefully placed items!!! Gah! When I put items on the belt I always put my frozen stuff together, canned goods together, etc., and fragile (eggs) squishy (bread) and crushable (chips) items all together last. I put them together because I expect them to be bagged together! It’s not that hard a concept people. It should make it easier for them to bag, and it definitely makes it easier for me to unload in my kitchen.

Instead, I get home to find the bread squashed between boxes of cereal, the eggs buried under cans, and my dairy products spread out over all six bags. Hey, and did you know if you put frozen things together they stay frozen better? As my boy would say, it’s called science.

Bagging science – I’m gonna call it bagology and I’ll be traveling the US giving lectures on it. I’ll also do one-on-one workshops for those in greater need of bagging knowledge. One of my lessons will be to break down a poorly packed bag while singing “one of these just doesn’t belong here…” Feel free to let your local grocery store know my tour schedule so I can make their baggers better too.

Oh, and one last irritation: YES, I really do want the milk in a bag too! They’re slippery suckers after the humidity condenses on their handles and I’d really prefer to get the gallon into the house without dropping it. Just bag it, preferably with the cheese and my coffee creamer, k? thks.

bad guy byte!

We get to hear the inner workings of our bad guy’s brain over at ChapterBytes this time! AndreAnna has written Chapter 13 from Jack’s perspective as the conspiracy plot grows – go tell her what you think!!

Also, don’t forget I’ve started a ChapterBytes NING group for discussions. It’s not just for authors so come join us and you can give us your opinion too! I’d love to have your thoughts about our upcoming SciFi/Fantasy book and any other genres you’d like to see represented! It’s a perfect place to ask questions, and it’s also where I’ll be making announcements. If you already have a Ning ID you can use that, if not, it’s very easy to sign up. You can also follow ChapterBytes on Twitter.

out of town ramblings

Oh, hi! I haven’t been around in a while have I? Well, I had company over the weekend and now I’m back in Maine, this time at my sister’s place near the coast. I wanted to visit before the summer’s over, and the timing was good so I could see my nephew (he’s at my sister’s for a couple of days too) before he heads to his new Air Force assignment in England later this week for who knows how long. It was also our last chance to get to the beach before school starts up. It was a perfect day for it yesterday, sunny and hot, and the ocean was so much warmer than my last visit. This is Maine though – the ocean is never that warm!

The boy officially starts kindergarten next Thursday. It’s so hard to believe. We’re all excited for it, but his nerves have been getting to him a bit the last couple of weeks. Can you say cranky and bad attitude? I can. I’ve been practicing a lot lately. As in “change your attitude!” and “why are you so cranky?!”

The only thing I’m nervous about regarding school is the bus. Besides the usual “Oh my god, my baby is going to be on the same bus as 4th graders” but also where the bus stop is. We got the bus schedule and found out that no they don’t automatically pick up kindergartners at their houses. Yikes.

We live in a pretty rural neighborhood so I thought that was a normal assumption. However. His bus stop is actually at the bottom of our road dead end road. There are no sidewalks on either our road or the road it connects with. It’s a very scary corner. There are lots of speeding cars whizzing by, and there have been two hit and runs in that spot in the last two months, both at night, but still!!

Needless to say, I sent a letter requesting a bus stop change to our driveway. He’s the only kid on that bus from our street so I imagine it will happen, but probably not in time for next week. I think I’ll be driving him in myself for a while.

What I am looking forward to most is having my mornings all to myself so I can blog get my work done a little easier. The boy and I have had a really great summer together, better than I expected, but he does get a bit bored with me on the computer so much. I think we’re both ready for a new routine, and he’s definitely ready for a new challange.

So what about you all, are you ready for school to start or sad that summer’s almost over?

life’s little irritations #7

Seven? I’m only up to seven? Well only because I forgot about doing these life’s little irritations. I’m sure I’ve been irritated about something, I just didn’t remember to post about it!

Now that I’m back on track and throughly irritated, number 7 is:

That the good stuff on the Olympics is on so dang late!

Now you West Coasters might not notice, but us East Coasters are dragging our butts around all day, and sucking down extra caffeine, in any form we can get our hands on. Our eyes are gritty, our brains are muddled.

I’m also forgetful and too tired to do my chores. Wait. That’s any normal day. Never mind.

Seriously, I love watching the swimming, the diving, the gymnastics. (Although, I’m completely sick of beach volleyball. Put some clothes on!) I just wish the big gold medal events would start a bit earlier. Last night, the women’s gymnastics didn’t start until 11:30 and ended at 1. ONE AM? How is that considered prime-time??

Please don’t tell me, “oh it’s live, NBC’s just showing it when it’s on.” We all know The Master Schedule of events is, if not created by NBC, is heavily influenced by them. They have us on the hook, and they know it.

apparently I kick ass

I think it’s pretty obvious I’ve had a bit of a hectic week. Work is kicking my butt and traveling, fun as it was, burned up precious time. Not to mention trying to get in a few peeks at the Olympics at night. I may have stayed up a bit too late a few times!

In the middle of it all, my virtual twin Kaza reminded me why I love blogging so much. This is why I can’t quit y’all no matter how busy I get otherwise. Kaza seems to think that I kick ass and gave me an award that says so!

Kick Ass Blogger Award

Thank you!! If I could give it back to you I would, and you know I adore you!

I’m supposed to pass this on to 5 bloggers I think kick ass too. That’s easy – there are tons of bloggers who inspire me. Narrowing it down to just 5 is the hard part! Here goes:

  1. Erin – I found Erin really randomly back when we were both on WordPress. I’m so glad I did, I completely relate to every post she writes!
  2. CraftyKeg – She blogs about crafting and food, does it get any better than that?! Seriously, you should all be reading her!
  3. Auds – She IS barking mad, in a good way! Her posts are the longest of any other blogger I know, but I’m always riveted!
  4. Bejewell – Can we say hysterical? Even her url is funny! This chick makes me laugh out loud every time – even if she thinks I’m a wuss. 😉
  5. Stimey – Stimeyland is an amazing place, and she is an incredible mother. I admire her in too many ways to count.

Ladies, you all kick major ass!

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