Sunday, March 31, 2013


In our local paper, I read an article where a high school student's mother got arrested and charged with disrupting a public school, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and disorderly conduct.

When it happened, it seems she and her son were in a conference with the assistant principal at the high school. And the son's probation officer.

For some reason, the sixteen-year-old son suddenly started throwing furniture and shouting obscenities. While the assistant principal and probation officer tried to calm him, the mother jumped into the middle of it.

This isn't an alternative school, it's a regular high school. So I'm not understanding the probation officer thing. Are kids on probation allowed in school? And are school officials required to help out probation officers?

No wonder so many parents are choosing to home-school. I've never wholeheartedly approved of home schooling because I feel the energy could be better spent improving public education. But I'm not sure I'd want my kid in a place where another kid's liable to blow any minute, where probation officers are taken for granted, and where a teacher or principal has to step into the fray.

And a parent adding to the turmoil! A shame parents can't be failed like students.

Hats off to the educators who form the front line every day.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I've been looking at paint. I know today's colors are rich and bold and vivid, that pastel is out. But I like light colors and luckily so does my guy. (He's learned from living with me!)

Today we got a sample of pale, pale gray I want to use throughout the living room, dining and kitchen areas. My guy is obligingly painting a wall with it this afternoon so we can see what it looks like. At least I hope he is. He finally got all the tiny little shelves down. To his horror, they were glued to the wall so part of the sheetrock peeled off that he now has to fix.

Yesterday the plumber spent all afternoon wrestling the old hot water heater out of the attic. Oh, and it seems the attic stairs are only wide enough to get a skinny water heater replacement. It's on order and should be here next Friday. Since the flooring was kind of bending under the weight of the old one, we're having to reinforce that, too.

The dishwasher's sitting out in the middle of the floor because it wasn't level and needs to be fastened in securely. He's got to put down some plywood and a block of wood in the back. Or something like that. I don't understand these things. Luckily, he does.

He's also getting bids on painting, roofing, replacing fascia, tile, carpet and wood flooring... The cats and I are staying in our condo where it's nice and cozy, though I occasionally run over to look at carpet or take him a sandwich.

The cats have no idea, heh heh heh. They think they're settled for life.

Monday, March 25, 2013


So our house closed in the easiest closing I've ever been in! I think we were out in less than an hour. No snags, no last-minute forgotten stuff... The attorney was punctual and prepared.

And now we're the proud homeowners of a house. With all the worries a twenty-year-old house entails. First, we have to get a water heater (old one's rusting away) and a new roof (looking its age). Also things like fixing broken towel-holders, taking down unwanted shelves, straightening the dishwasher (somehow installed crookedly), finding the whole-house water cut-off or installing a new one, laying tile and/or carpet/laminate. Oh, and painting. And moving...

I'm tired already.

We did get a lawnmower at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago though. So we can cut the grass.

Or guys can cut the grass. Luckily, there isn't much.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


It's official! Spring is here! But we've been suspecting it for some time now. Here are some random pix of the flowers and budding trees around the island for all the poor people suffering up north. I hope your snowstorms will soon be over!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


We were supposed to close on our house yesterday but naturally it got put off till next week. So my dreams are back.

Last night I was in Italy, touring the countryside, eating all kinds of good food, looking at villas overlooking vineyards. And speaking Italian.

I don't know Italian. Well, other than stuff like arriverderci and ciao. I did have one of those 'Learn Italian at Home' kits when I was growing up, but that's been a long time ago and I'm afraid I never really applied myself. So I'm not sure where all the Italian phrases I was spouting in my dream came from.

And I must have been muttering in my sleep, because the cats gave me strange looks when I got up this morning, and they keep scuttling away like they're scared they're gonna become Italian cats.

I think I'll let them keep thinking it's a possibility. Keeps them from underfoot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Our television went out last Friday. Just as we were getting ready to watch the race qualifying. It was old, but it could have lasted a little longer. Like till the house closes and we get moved in.

Anyway, over the years we've gotten pretty resigned about accepting the way things you don't want to happen, happen. So we shopped at Wally World Saturday. The TV we came to buy, the one they had on sale, was not in stock. Rather than end up with something we didn't want (read that, 'something that my guy didn't want' since he's the one who reads up on stuff like TVs, phones, electronics, etc.), we held off and went down to the nearest Best Buy Sunday.

Best Buy didn't have the TV my guy wanted, but they had another one on sale that caught his eye. After much hemming and hawing, we bought it and brought it home. He got it hooked up that night. Not in time to see the race, but it came on. And did I say hooked up? I should have said plugged up.

To make a long story short, after fiddling a couple of days, the remote for the cable finally controls the TV. Except for the on/off part. We have to use the TV remote for that still.

But my guy's working on it and will get it figured out soon, I'm sure. Thank goodness, he's around to do techie stuff like that. I'd have no idea where to start.

Now, to get that old TV out of the house...

Saturday, March 9, 2013


This house buying is the pits. I keep having weird dreams about it.

Last night, the dream is about closing. We and our real estate agent are sitting around a table with some more people (never did figure out who they were nor were they actual people I know) and looking at the paperwork.

I pick up a pen to sign, then see the address and stop, horrified. "We're buying the wrong house!"

Our real estate agent pats my hand. "Now, now, everything's being taken care of. I have it all in hand."

"No! We're buying the wrong house! We can't sign this!"

My guy chirps, "No worries. We'll deal with it later."

"It's the wrong house, I tell you!"

"Just sign the paper!" my guy snaps. "If you don't, it'll be a year before we can close!"

This morning I wake up, mad with him and worried about the closing. Do I subconsciously not want to close? Do I wish we were still looking at houses? Do I resent my guy for insisting on getting us out of my neat little condo?

This is worse than buying our first house!

Monday, March 4, 2013


I love my Kindle. I really do. It's so easy to buy a book at night when there's nothing around to read. It's so easy to make the text large enough that I don't strain my eyes. It's so easy to carry scads of books on trips in one tiny container.

But today Amazon sent me a Best Books of the Month ad that showed the book covers over the hardback price and the Kindle price. And I was amazed that publishers still don't get it.

The Still Point of the Turning World - Hardback $14.41, Kindle 12.99
Benediction - Hardback 14.36, Kindle 12.99
Between Man and Beast - Hardback 15.66, Kindle 13.99
The Drunken Botanist - Hardback 11.97, Kindle 9.99

Went into the Mysteries category and the same thing:
Six Years (a Harlan Coben pre-order) - Hardback 15.98, Kindle 14.99
The Golden Egg (Donna Leon pre-order) - Hardback 14.43, Kindle 13.20
Murder Below Montparnassee (Cara Black pre-order) - Hardback 15.71, Kindle 12.99
The Accursed (Joyce Carol Oates pre-order) -Hardback 16.62, Kindle 12.74

And so on.

Why should I pay 9.99-14.99 for an eBook when for 1-4 dollars more I can get a printed copy? And then I can loan it to as many friends as I like, I can donate it to the used book sale for the library, or I can trade it in at the used bookstore for credit to buy more books.

The eBook, on the other hand...Well, I think Amazon allows us to loan it once. And that may depend on publisher permission; I'm not real clear on that. But anyway, if you loan it to your sister, then your mother and cousin want to read it...Too bad!

Not to mention Amazon can evidently take back any of your eBooks stored in the Cloud at any time. Not that they would, I'm sure, but still...

And I don't blame Amazon for the unreasonable prices. It's the publishers. I understand that they're trying to cover their overhead and make a profit. But lots of smaller ePublishers are putting out books for half these prices and less.

So bottom line: I really have to want to read an author before I'll buy their eBooks. And I'm sorry to say, there are lots of authors I enjoy reading, but there aren't that many I like well enough to shell out ten bucks plus for. So I'll wait till the used paperbacks come down to prices I can afford and buy them then. And I'll stick to trying new authors on my Kindle, or wait for old authors I like to go on sale.

So long as I have something to read, I'm okay with that. Publishers might want to get on board with  our reading habits and adjust their thinking. I suspect they could sell a lot more books if they do.

Okay. Rant over. It's safe to come out now.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


And Barb Wilson is the winner of these lovely earrings! I have a pair very like these and love them!

I feel strange when people I know win, but then I look back over the people who comment and realize I know them all from other online groups. Except for the strange spam poster who didn't mention earrings anyway.

So congratulations, Barb! Email me your address at or through FaceBook and I'll get them shipped to you.

This will be the last earring giveaway for a while. We are, after finally selling our last house, in the process of getting into the homeowner business again. Yeah, grass cutting, cleaning gutters, moving furniture around, hanging curtains, arguing over what color to paint, and all that good stuff.

I kind of regret leaving my cozy condo but my guy wants the charcoal grill we can't have here. And I admit, those charcoal hamburgers are unbeatable.

The cats don't know about the coming move. They aren't going to like it because there is no screened porch, not even a sliding door, to look outside from. Plus there are two big dogs next door. I'm hoping they won't sulk. Or throw up hairballs from disgust.