Sunday, January 30, 2005

My School...Why It's Special

In spite of occasional rants , about Feral Children and absurd innitives, I love my school and I love my job. Our attendance hovers around 620 depending on whether or not the nearby apartment complex is having a $99 move in special.

Of those 620+ kids, 600 are wonderful. Fun, curious, loud, noisy, reasonably obedient, willing to learn and downright interesting. It's the other 20 that seem to take up 80% of everyone's time.
It's a pity since the others sometimes get the short end of the stick.

We're a school with everything stacked against it - poverty - over 85% of our kids are on free or reduced lunch, language - most of our kids are Spanish dominant, transient population ($99 move in specials are the curse of education), single parent homes, you name it, we got it.

Despite all the odds we scored Exlempary on the Texas TAKS test. That's as high as you can be.
And we got there due to an dynamic Principal and Assistant Principal, incredibly dedicated teachers, fantastic kids, welcoming school climate and a a great library program - gotta put in a plug for me ;-) !
Regardless that No Child Left Behind does it's best to thwart our efforts there are some wonderful things happening in education today. Drop into a local school in your neighborhood and see for yourself!

Friday, January 28, 2005

What's the Matter with Kids Today ?????

The moon is full, the weather in Houston has been most changeable and the kids at school off the wall and round the bend....

The offerings from the last two days.

Two 5th grade girls get into a fight.
The reason?
"She got in my face and called me M*Y(*Y* F)*&*^*& HO".
These girls are 10.

6 year old kindergarten boy sent is sent to the office for constant mouth noises, talking, removing clothes, rolling on the floor and a multitude of other very anonying behaviors. He walks in and announces "Suspend me, I want to go home!".

Mother says he always behaves at home and she can't imagine what the problem is.
This is the child's second school and he has already failed kindergarten once. It would be twice but that's against the district policy. Our first grade teachers are lobbying to change that.

Kindergarten girl who badly needs behavioral drugs (and counseling) lies on floor and flings her legs wide apart. Her parents are religious fundamentalists and won't dress her in pants, nor allow her to wear shorts under her dress. The entire school is familar with her underwear, which is usually in need of washing. A classmate throws himself on top of her and gives a very creditable imitation of sexual intercourse, 5 year old style. We suspect his parents have the Playboy Channel on 24/7.

Girls parents withdraw her - it is suspected that they are running from Child Protective Services. Boy remains at our school, where he will most likely repeat kindergarten this year.
The kindergarten teaches are lobbying for a rule outlawing retention in kindergarten.

Twp 5th grade boys punch each other because "he was messin with me". "Messin with me" can constitute anything from an accidental shove to a sneering look.

The library is right across the hall from the Assistant Principals office and during weeks like this we are the holding pen for the overflow.

I came home feeling very old and cycnical and went straight to the bookshelf for my copy Those Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The children were all so respectful of her when she taught, though she was the same age as some of them.

How It Used to Be... Posted by Hello

It's Friday and once again time to go pack books.....

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I Am Out of Touch....

Blogs are even more current on late breaking news than the "we interrupt this program" spots on TV. I learned about Johnny Carson from surfing blogs on BlogExplosion and BlogClicker. Seems the Grammy and Oscar nominations are out. I looked at the lists and tried to follow some of the commentary - but I have no idea who most of the nominees are. Thus it's like reading the gossip column in a strange town.
The other main topic seems to be American Idol. Haven't watched, will most likely never watch it. Ditto Survivor and the Donald Trump show. However American Idol seems to inspire the most impassioned posts about the contestants. Why this is so compelling is beyond me. But as I said at the the beginning of the this post, I am out of touch.

I'm in my own little world but it's ok, they like me there!

P.S. Houston residents can now carry a concealed weapon on Metro buses and trains. Now that really adds to my feeling of safety! The news in Houston is never dull.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wednesday Was Better

It's the small things in life...

1. The car started.

2. The car continued to start.

3. I managed to catalog 9 books today. I did have redo the records several times due
multiple interruptions but I did get them done!

4. I found 2 pieces of Pampered Chef Stoneware at the thrifts.I can't decide if I want keep them or sell them on E-Bay.

Thrift Store score! Posted by Hello

5. I hosted my annual Bluebonnet Books party. I tinkered
with a Pampered Chef recipe, substituting Nutella for strawberry jam and
result was cleanly licked plates. The kids were highly impressed.

The cake -the kids were thrilled! Posted by Hello

6. I did not have to go to the auto dealership today (see #1 & #2 for the reason).

7. I got home at a decent hour (see #6 for the reason).

8. The evil spirit residing in my keyboard has found a new home and the 0 no longer
shows up as K.

9. I did not have to spend hours on the phone with tech. support in India (see #8).

10. No books to pack this evening. Not good from the money making standpoint,
it's a good mental health break.

After 2 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days it's nice to have a breather!

Full Moon (Not in Houston!) Posted by Hello

The Moon is Full

The Moon is Full. Back when I worked at the public library the Full Moon meant bizarre and off the wall reference questions. "Hello, how long can I save water?" , "I think there is an alien in my head, who do I call? ", I know Wolco closed but I want to buy some of their bras, where did their merchandise go?". This time around it brought out mechanical failures.

Such as my car, my beloved little PT Cruiser. The battery died. Twice. The final time on a busy street in the midst of rush hour traffic.

The good things: There are kind souls out there, 2 people tried to jump it. It was so far gone they couldn't but they did stop and try.

It didn't happen on the freeway so I avoided a mandatory $75 tow from a wrecker not of my choice.

The bad things
This is the 4th battery in 3 years. And the car goes out of warranty in April.
Some of the drivers acted like I decided to stop my car in rush hour traffic just to personally annoy them. Quite a few told me to move the car. Trust me, if I could have I would! Idiots.

Good Thing : At least today is Wednesday and the week is half over.
Bad Thing: Tomorrow is Thursday, a Katie Bar the Door type of day in the library.

Time to go pack books....

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Since when did the F word become a noun , verb, adjective and an adverb? It appears with depressing frequency in blogs, often more than once in the same sentence. All the author appears to do is to write the word numerous times and then vary the ending with ing, er, ed, er or s depending on which part of speech is needed.

I'm no prude, my beloved is in commercial construction. Any movie filmed in our house would land us an R rating for language. The English language is a rich one, filled with words with various meanings, idioms and nuances - that's one reason it is such a difficult language to learn.
There are millions of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs to chose from.

Let's bring back " lout", "aggravate","horrid", 'bellicose" "steaming" and seething.

Time to pack books.....


Played around with BlogRolling all afternoon - really should have done something more productive but it became a VISION QUEST. I think I have it sorta mastered. Or as well as someone who knows nothing about HTML other than how to add a line space.

Blog Explosion and Blog Clicker have expanded my reading list (to the determined of everything else) and links to estimable blogs were getting out hand and cluttering my favorites folder. Virgo Librarians do not like disorder, we want everything neat and orderly and alphabetized - wouldn't be in the business otherwise.

So I think I've done it. Doesn't take much to make me happy does it?

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Not One Damn Dime!

Did my taxes today. E-File is one of the seven wonders of the internet world. Seems that my low teacher pay plus 2 children in expensive private colleges results in a tax bill of Zero. Zero, zip, nada, I'm getting it all back. Not one damn dime is going to Duybah's war machine.

Whoo Hoo!!

You want to know the kicker?? If the shrub wasn't so opposed to Gay Marriage I'd be paying a bundle since my beloved is in a much higher tax bracket than I am.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The best part of my day (other than the dismissal bell)! Posted by Hello

Harem Scarum Day

TGIF squared to the 10th power. My trusty assistant with whom I could not run my library was out today. She was busy playing Nancy Nurse, her daughter had her wisdom teeth removed (poor daughter- that's killer painful). She called for a sub but none showed up. Fairly typical for a Friday. After all, one of the benefits of subbing is that you can opt never to work on Fridays, rainy mornings, cold days or the day before a holiday.

School schedule was topsy turvey thanks to a couple of special programs and yet more NCLB conferences. I think NCLB was conceived by the paper lobby so that schools would have to spend sparse funds to print many more forms and keep yet still more records. Teachers are so busy conferencing about their kids and filling out the paperwork that they haven't time to teach said kids, who are left with subs while teachers attend NCLB workshops.

I had double classes all morning - which means I have 50+ rug rats running round the library, as opposed to 25. The day cumulated with an Accelerated Reader party for 40 kids who who happily (and loudly) made posters for the upcoming bookfair. We checked out 400+ books and the walk in traffic never stopped.

Lunch was not an option so I stopped by Sonic on the way home.....after a day like today I needed a sugar fix!

At least tomorrow is Saturday!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Our Local News is So Lame....

It's Jan. 20th. The day of Bush's swearing in - aka the coronation. There is a war in Iraq and a Tasmani flattened portions of SE Asia. Here in Houston cars are crashing into the new metro rail, the city is facing a budget shortfall and the Boys of Enron are about to go to trial.

And what does our local news use as their "teaser" story for the night? Dog gives birth to record litter of puppies.

Our local news appears to be a conspiracy to keep us from realizing that we live in the 4th largest city in the nation.

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Working Girl Then and Now

Packing books is boring so I usually have the VCR / DVD running while I stuff tomes into envelopes. Currently watching The Best of Everything , a 1959 potboiler starring Joan Crawford, actually she's in her first supporting role, but she dominates the movie. Hope Lange plays the aspiring young working girl aiming for the top. The bulk of the movie takes place in the "office" and the cheap walkup apartment Lange shares with two other "girls". Of course there are the assorted men who range from cads to husband material and from roving husband to callous playboys.

Best Of Everything Posted by Hello

Working Girl Posted by Hello

Started to mentally compare it to Working Girl, a 1988 remake of sorts. They even have the same openings - panoramic shots of the New York skyline with a vocal soundtrack (both are worth renting for that reason alone). Melanie Griffith plays the spunky working girl with Sigourney Weaver in the Joan Crawford Role. Once again the men range from jerks to marriage material.

superficially there are changes - word processors have replaced tyewriters, phones have buttons instead of dials but it's remarkable - and depressing how similar the workplace is, despite the 30 year gap between the two movies.

In both films the office consists of a secretarial pool of identical desks, each occupied by a young woman. The office is lined with offices with doors, most of which are occupied by men, with a token woman or two. These folks get a window with a view and a bit of privacy.

The male occupants of said offices wear suits and ties. The women executives wear suits also, with the ladies of The Best of Everything topping their outfit with a fetching hat. The more powerful the woman, the more extreme the hat. Hope Lange progresses from a demure little suit, full skirted with a white blouse with an round collar to designer suits and smart silk blouses. Her heels get higher and he skirts tighter as her career moves upward. Melanie Griffith tones down her brassy blond locks, swaps her mini skirts for power suits and improves her diction as she claws her way up the career ladder.

Most of the "girls" are only interested in getting a man, for them the job is just a job. Of course there is the one girl who wants "more" - and both of them do manage to achieve their goal.

The big difference is that Hope Lange, once she makes it, chucks it all for a man. When Melanie Griffith gets her own corner office, she doesn't have to chuck it all for a man since she got him in the scene prior to.

But when you get right down to it, in both cases the relationship triumphs. In the eye of Hollywood a girl needs a man to be complete. Will we ever get to the point in life when a compromise is possible or will it always be all or nothing at all?

Monday, January 17, 2005


I'm spending way to much time reading blogs on Blogclicker & In fact it's downright addictive. It's also generating list of blogs I like (I gather in blog lingo that's called a link back). If you haven't visited the sites yet, surf on over. Warning -only surf on over if it's not way late at night and you have to get up early in the morning. Chances are you'll stay up way to late and be very grumpy when the alarm shrills. And then you'll blame it on me and never want to read my blog again.

Many of writers have a nice, neat, tidy list of blogs they read posted as sidebar on their blog. Not only does this appear to be an efficient way to manage the blogs I read, it's also an equally efficient way to share blogs I like with folks who stumble across mine. I've discovered if I like someone's blog, chances are I will enjoy reading the blogs they follow also.

It is along the same lines of "If you like an author I like, chances are we have similar tastes in reading" Finding new authors is one of the delightful (among things ) benefits of the Betsy Tacy List. In fact, our rallying cry is "I thought I was the only one".

I digress. HTML is not my forte. I've been copying and pasting for a good hour and I can't get the sidebar to do what I want it too. I can copy buttons from linking service but don't seem to be able to compile a list. I hate it when I don't know what I'm doing and I can't get the results I want. So there goes an hour and I haven't anything to show for up. At least I didn't do strange and bizarre things to my template this time around. That's been known to happen too.

Time to give it rest, go upstairs and pack some books and take out my frustrations on the tape gun and stamps.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Feeling caught up

What a strange feeling! By some odd quirk, some rare alignment of the planets personal odds and ends are done and tucked away (we won't talk about the cataloging backlog at work).

Books that needed packing were all in their proper boxes. The printer didn't jam when I tried to print stamps. The labels printed. I had a good haul at the Salvation Army Box/Book/ Table sale. Bills got paid. I even reconciled my checkbook and found a stray $200 (it's already spent).

Laundry is caught up, don't need to go to the grocery store. The car has been inspected. House is semi clean. Pantry is organized and there are no science experiments in the fridge.

So what did I do to celebrate this rare turn of events ? Read a book. Indulged in my on going fascination with Queen Victoria and her myriad descendents. Currently reading a biography of Victoria Melita who scandalized turn of the century Europe by divorcing her husband (who was also her first cousin on her father's side) and marrying her first cousin on her father's side. I love to ponder the "what ifs" of history. Sometimes the smallest things - a gene mutation results in hemophilia, a wife can't produce the necessary son, rat fleas introducing the black death can set an entire society on its ear.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

My Blog Has Been Found!

This summer we went on a motorcycle tour with Edelweiss Bike Tours, combined with trip to Paris and Holland. The trip insipired this blog - I started it just before we left, and added a piece anytime I was able to find an Internet Cafe. Had frequent adventures with German, French and Dutch keyboards but considered it all part of the charm of traveling. Once we returned I told the folks at Eldweiss about my blog and they are featuring it on their home page!

I'm so excited about this! I love blogging for me, but I also love the fact that other folks are getting to see it too. Of course, I would not have joined Blog Explosion if I didn't want to share!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Found a New Author -All My Old Favorites Died

One problem (of the many) of growing old is that your favorite authors up and die on you leaving you without new reading material. Dorothy Eden, Margaret Mitchell, Victoria Hold, Louisa Mae Alcott all moved to the after library. Of course you can re-read their books, but when you can recite the opening lines - "scarlet O'Hara wasn't beautiful", "Christmas does seem like Christmas without any presents" - well it's time to expand the horizons.

Caught an interview on NPR today with Linda Fairstein, whom I wasn't familiar with. I'm not normally a mystery fan - historical novels are my cup of tea but I do like Patricia Cornwell. I've read some other books featuring women sleuths in the past and Fairstein's main character, D.A. Alexandra Cooper sounded like a lady I'd like to get to know better.

So, after a round at the gym (yes I really am back on the treadmill again) I stopped by Half Price Books to see if I could make her acquaintance. Picked up 3 books and we have a date coffee date tomorrow night after work. I'll let you know if this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Things You Learn While Blogging!

Just discovered Blog Explosion and now I'm addicted to reading blogs. Whenever I get bored with entering books into Seller's Assistant I flip over and start surfing blogs. It's keeping me up way to late at night!

Yesterday, one main topic of interest to many (other than me) was the demise of the Jennifer Aniston / Brad Pitt marriage. I'm not sure who Jennifer Aniston is. She's most likely one of the toothy smilers that grace the cover of People Magazine. Why so many people feel the need to comment on this is byond me (even though I just did the same -we are all such lemmings!).

Then I found a blog devoted to River Phoenix, an actor who died young. I totally forgotten about him - in fact the only reason his name ran a bell is that it is so unusual. Skimmed it and moved on.

Flash Forward to today. Went scouting for books and videos. Spotted a video starring River phoenix. Hum I think...Young actor, died tragically young and drugs were invovled. That combination often equals "cult figure" and "cult figure" almost always equals "collectible".

Checked it on ScoutPal...and my instincts were correct. It's now listed on Amazon for $19.99!

P.S. I donated blood a couple of days ago and they told me I'd reached the 2 Gallon level. That entitles me to guess what - another mug!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Back on the Treadmill

Notice something different? I've gone from daily posts to weekly again. Ah yes, school has started up again and I'm back at work. With wonderful timing, E-Bay offered a 10 cent listing day on the Monday before the Monday I started back to work. E-Bay's annual Free Listing Days (however, due to inflation it was 10 cent listing day this year) are always eagerly anticipated since it's a good way to try and unload books that need new homes. 100+ books were listed and 35 sold. So I packed, and packed and when I was bored with packing I filled out customs forms. It was world wide books at my house. It's a global market out there.

Never knew so many people coveted a copy of the Luby's Cafeteria 50th Anniversary Cookbook.
$39.99 later it was winging toward a new home. A leather Harley Davidson Vest will be riding the roads of Norway. It is beyond me why someone in Australia wants a Landmark book on the American Revolution but to each their own. Somewhere in Germany there is a Barbie Doll fan who is the proud owner on The History of Barbie.

Thanks to ScoutPal I'm branching out into videos. Learning a new area is fun and I've found some gems in my own collection. There are some real sleepers out there. Seems not everything is available on DVD these days, especially when it comes to the classic films. The 1936 version of Showboat is collectible - it's the one version that most likely won't ever come out on DVD. It's most, most un-PC, despite featuring Paul Robeson whose version of Ol Man River is unsurpassed. Many Bette Davis films, such as All About Eve are common and not worth much when it comes to resale but her more obscure movies - The Man Who Came to Dinner are highly prized. I adore classic movies myself so I usually enjoy them before I sell them. And occasionally I keep them!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The List - AKA meme

Never done one of these before....another part of the hidden blog culture. I have spent way to much time this holiday break immersed in blogs..........but hey, it's been fun and aren't you supposed to indulge yourself during a vacation? Blog reading doesn't require getting on an airplane or spending money.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before? Went up and down the Passo dello Stelvio in Italy on the back of a BMW motorcycle -no hands! And started this blog to document it!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Well, I did loose the 15 pounds, then gained it back in Europe. Wasn't about to pass up all that wonderful cheese and pastry. Goal for 2005 - get rid of said 15 lbs, all of which seem to be attached permanently to my tummy! I'll make the same ones everyone else does - lose weight, exercise more. Will I keep them? Highly unlikely.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No thank goodness. I am eternally grateful that the Daughters are totally focused on their college educations and that they are both sensible enough to be on the pill.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No births and no deaths in the family - a very good thing indeed. Is it obvious I am in no hurry to become a grandmother?

5. What countries did you visit?. Holland, France, Austria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland - thanks to the remodeling of a certain mall. Also Mexico, thanks to my school district.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004? Less credit card debt and more self control to help reduce said debt.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I'm so bad with numbers so I can't remember actual dates. Events, however is another story. Gay Marriage in San Francisco, the Election, the family reunion in Holland, our trip to Europe, the Tusami in SE Asia, The Sox win the series.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Becoming one of 3 finalists for Teacher of the Year for my district. Elementary School librarians often get scant respect, so it was overwhelming to not only be voted the best by my fellow teachers but then to be one of three for the entire district. Didn't win - sometimes just because you dream it, it doesn't happen but it was a fun ride.

9. What was your biggest failure? Nothing major, but many pinpricks. Not writing thank you notes, not losing that 15 lbs, letting friends slip away, becoming more hermit like, opting for the womblike comfort of my computer and home, rather than going out. I didn't see one single movie!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Had my first surgery- just day surgery, to repair a middle finger tendon problem. Now I don't go around giving everyone the perpetual finger.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My Senseo Coffee maker. Everytime I have cup I feel like I'm back in Paris. ScoutPal, which has done wonders for my Amazon book selling business.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My kids...who are going to graduate in 2005. My Beloved's mother who came to my teacher of the year celebration and made us the most wonderful scrapbook commerating our trip.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted? The Republican Party the day after the election. Mandate from God my foot.

14. Where did most of your money go? University of Miami, Trinity University, Medical bills, Starbucks, assorted cars and cats, and many books.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Travel!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2004? still thinking about this one, I'm somewhat out of the loop when it comes to pop culture.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter...Unfortunately
c) richer or poorer? About the same, but a tad less in debt

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Socialized, slept, exercised, cooked

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Been a slug, rather than going to the gym, been a hermit & sugar!!

20. How will you be spending New Year's Eve 2004? We spent it at home, and were in bed by 10pm. We can't help it, we're old and boring.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004? No but I stayed in love which suits me just fine.

22. How many one-night stands? None. Those days are far behind me, which given todays climate of AIDS and STDs makes me very grateful.

23. What was your favorite TV program? The L Word, Queer as Folk & Sex and the City.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Nope, but there are people who really annoy the crap out of me though.

25. What was the best book you read? You mean I have to make a decision? I read so many! My best book is always the last one I just finished.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Norah Jones

27. What did you want and get? Wireless internet. Mr.Sass, aka Little Man Tate

28. What did you want and not get? District Teacher of the Year and a wining lottery ticket. If I had the latter the former would not have mattered. A Democrat in the White House.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? I didn't see one movie in the theater! Did however, indulge in some new to me BBC dramas - Anna Karinna, The Foresyth Saga and new production of the Wives of Henry VIII.

30. What did you do for your birthday and how old were you? 52 and I pretty much ignored the entire thing. My birthday always comes 2 weeks into the new school year and I'm to exhausted to plan anything.

31. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying? Having shelves to organize my books on, as opposed to boxes - and not losing books that I'd just sold. I hate wasting time looking for misplaced stuff.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? Thrift Stores R Us....Golf shirts, jeans and comfortable hasn't changed in years and most likely never will.

33. What kept you sane? My Beloved, my friends, my fellow teachers and librarians my List Servs and the lattes at Starbucks

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Teresa Heinz Kerry - for being who she was, saying what she thought and not giving a rats ass about what anybody else thought.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Gay Marriage

36. Who did you miss? Some friends I've let slip away.!

37. Who was the best new person you met? My 40+ cousins, second cousins, aunt and uncles in Holland. And the folks on BookThink.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004. There is never enough time for everything, try though you might. The trick is to not feel guilty over the things that aren't going to get done.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'm growing older but not up My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck .
Let those winds of time blow over my head
I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead"
"I'm Growing Older by Jimmy Buffet

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Life in the Slow Lane

"5 Shopping Days till Christmas", "Buy Now", "101 Ways to Add Stress During the Holiday Season", "Airport Lines", "Lost Luggage"...all standard headlines during the December Holiday Season.

Not for us, for us life shows down the last 2 weeks of the year. I'm off work, and my beloved always takes a few vacation days- this year she had the entire week off. We don't travel and keep the holiday decorating, cooking, wrapping, entertaining and shopping frenzy to a bare minimum.

We sleep late, linger over coffee at Starbucks, meals are laid back and off schedule. I have time Blog (that's obvious!) and I putter to my Virgo hearts content. The pantry gets a good turning out, as does the fridge and our closets. In the spirit of FlyLady I do a 27 item boogie almost every day. The E-Bay and Amazon book stocks are culled and sorted. It's been a very good month for Amazon - I sold 125 books, a new record. Assorted never appliances were offered and taken via Freecycle.

I have time to read again - what a rare pleasure. This month I've been reading biographies of the Tudor monarchs and have discovered Alison Weir. Biographies just as I like them - heavy on the personal information and light on the political. I want to know what those long ago people felt and why they did what they did. How are they like us and how are they different?

Monday it's back on the treadmill again. The alarm will shrill at 5am, and life will become one fast dash from here to there and there to here , with constant glancing at the watch on my wrist and the clock in my car.