Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today's Chuckle

Glad to know I won't be swept away with my panties around my ankles! (This is an actual sign in our local Bed Bath & Beyond store.) Too funny.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sharing a Love of Reading

December 3rd is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day. Since my son was little (he's now nearly 18), my husband and I have regularly spent Friday nights at the bookstore with Cody in tow. Our local B&N holds Friday night children's storytime, and he loved to listen to the stories and do the crafts or coloring that followed. As he got older, however, and storytime lost its luster, he's chosen not to join us on many occasions--sometimes hanging with friends is much more important than hanging with mom and dad at the bookstore. Go figure. But I like to think that this time together helped to plant seeds for his future.

And I think it has. Although he's just a nibbler when it comes to reading (yes, a children's book editor with a son who has never liked to read, can you believe it?), he does see the value of reading and sometimes even requests a bookstore visit. And I hope that when he's older and has children of his own he continues this tradition.

Is your local bookstore taking part in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day? You can check it out at the link above. If not, take your child anyway...and let the bookstore know that next year you hope they'll join the ranks of bookstores across the country promoting reading to your children. While you're there, I hope you find the perfect book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Photo courtesy of o5com, Creative Commons Attribution License
Last night I was in a bookstore checking out the titles on the Teen Fiction New Releases shelf when I overheard some animated conversation from the other side of  the shelf. It appeared to be a few girls gushing over the books they loved and trashing the ones they hated...and briefly commenting on ones they read that were "all right but not earth-shattering". After a few minutes of listening, I was dying to actually see which ones they were pointing to, so I wandered around the other side and intentionally eavesdropped. The three girls (about 15-16, I'd guess) were chatting comfortably and getting excited to share their finds, both good and bad. They seemed to gravitate toward the romance and contemporary fiction rather than the supernatural and fantasy. "OMG...this one was fantastic!" "I read this one three times! And I want to read it again." "The story was good, but the ending sucked." "Have you read this one?" I stood there for some time, trying to look like I was searching for a book to read rather than purposely listening in on their comments. It was very enlightening. Some authors they loved all of their books, others they loved one or two of their books but felt that the rest all seemed to exactly like everything else they wrote. Others they absolutely hated. They were very free with their praise and criticism.

Then they went on to discuss which book jackets they liked...and didn't like. This was particularly interesting. They pointed to ones they loved and discussed them. By that point I was doing all I could not to enter in to their conversation. Finally, after many, many jackets discussed, I piped up and said, "Sorry to interrupt, but I find it interesting that most all of the jackets you say you love don't have images of people on them." (Especially odd since it seems that so many of today's jackets show close-ups of girls' faces.) After a look of shock--whether at my intruding on their conversation or realization that they actually had ignored the faces, I don't know--one of the girls turned to me and said, "That's because the girl never looks like the girl in my head." Then the other two chimed in that they hate to have a picture of the girl on the front because it messes with the image they get by reading the book. Hmmm...I thought about this and realized that it's that very thing that makes me cringe upon seeing any of the Twilight movies. Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson look nothing like the Bella and Edward I saw as I was reading. For that reason, I just can't stomach the movies. The girls then went on to share with me some of the books WITH characters on them that they liked (Thirteen Reasons Why--which, incidentally, shows not the boy main character but the dead girl; Before I Fall--so close up that things like hair and body shape are hidden). They also liked books with just a piece of a person (such as feet or hands) but not a clear image of what the character looks like.

I found this entire conversation so interesting, and it has stayed with me. What makes you want to read a book you see on a shelf? How much does the image play into your decision? And, ultimately, does it have an effect on your reading?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rocking My PajamaJeans

OK...I wasn’t feeling real positive about these jeans after getting a look at them, but I figured I’d try them out. It’s a rainy day and I have nowhere to go, so why not?  They actually fit well in the’s the wide, boxy legs that make them look so huge...and they are very comfortable. Great for hanging around the house without risking the “camel toe” of yoga pants. I don’t think I’ll be wearing them out, but they’re great for the house or working around the yard. If the legs weren’t so wide (especially in the thighs), I think I might be able to risk a trip to the grocery store in them, but with them the way they are I don’t see that happening.

The next challenge will be to see how they wash. But for now, if you work from home like I do, they’re comfortable and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to answer the door in them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy National Punctuation Day!

Exclamation PointDid you know today, September 24, has been named National Punctuation Day? No? Check out this link to learn all you've ever wanted to know about punctuation. There are no parades or barbecues, no moments of silence or football games to honor the marks. But there is a contest--and the winner will receive "punctuation goodies", whatever they may be. Your guess is as good as mine. You can find out the rules at the link above. And if you enter the contest, please let us know.

In case you were wondering, National Punctuation Day is the brainchild of a former newspaper editor from Pinole (near San Francisco) named Jeff Rubin. He created the honorary day in 2004 as a way to highlight the importance of the proper use of punctuation marks. How do you intend to celebrate?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They're Here!

My PajamaJeans have arrived. I opened the bag and they look kind of BIG...I’m not feeling very positive at the moment, but I’ll try them out tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grapes Into Wine

Wine is bottled poetry.
--Robert Louis Stevenson

We got up at 4am Saturday morning, dressed in work clothes, and headed for the vineyards. Davis has been making wine in our garage for the last three years but this year, for the first time, we were going to pick the grapes ourselves. We set out in the dark, not sure what to expect, and arrived at the vineyard just as the sun peeked over the horizon.

The morning was cool and the grapes plentiful. The three of us picked about 400 pounds of Zinfindel grapes in about two hours. As the sun rose higher, and with it the temperature, the bees began to wake up. Fortunately, we were about finished by that time--I'm not sure I'd want to pick with the bees so active. Overall, it was a marvelous experience...and although I complained about having to get up so early, I'd do it all over again.

When we returned home with four large containers filled with grapes (and the spiders that came along for the ride!), Davis and Cody ran the grapes through the destemmer and crusher...a very interesting process. Now the grapes are in the cold soak and will soon begin their long journey to become wine.