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QOTD: “Cold Comfort Farm”

March 14th, 2011

“He said that, by god, D.H. Lawrence was right when he had said there must be a dumb, dark, dull, bitter belly-tension between a man and a woman, and how else could this be achieved save in the long monotony of marriage.” — “Cold Comfort Farm,” Stella Gibbons

Book Round-Up

March 14th, 2011

Reading this week:

Boy, oh boy, it’s been awhile since I made up a reading list, hasn’t it? Know why? Because all I do is read. And write. A lot of writing going on over here. It’s getting tedious, but I’m through the ugly sections of the book now, thank God. Nothing like staying too long with a gnarly character you’re ready to have leave your headspace and go to Jupiter or anywhere, really, just not my mind, anymore, thank you.

Now, here is a reading list my former boss put together, of her favorites from last summer. And I keep misplacing it. In my purse. Ha. Ha. Yeah. It’s a big purse, get up off my back, would ya? No wonder my arm is killing me, lugging that thing around. Also, may I pause her to say how refreshing it was to have a boss who loved to read? My bosses have never been big readers, not even the ones who edited the books section of the newspaper. Ha! Except for a couple of you, and you know who you are. The End.

(That’s how they say it in the novels.)

So she and I would talk books all the time, and it made me happy. But then one day I realized, my arm was killing me (and of course the tendonitis is in my right arm, which I use all the time, as I am right-handed), and… I realized another thing. Instead of talking books, and checking out books, and shelving, repairing, discarding and ordering books, I wanted to get back to writing books.

So I put in my notice and quit and now we’re all happier. Except for my students, they’re a little irate, but they’ll be fine. I promised I’d send them copies of my books, see? There ya go. One of them wrote me a note that said, “I, too, write books!” and I thought, A kindred spirit, go, go, go authors!

Anyway, back to those titles… If I put it here, it doesn’t matter if I lose it, see? I’ve downloaded “Life of Pi” onto my Kindle, and yes, I did start it, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

I’m reading all these classics for my book group is why. (“Rebecca,” “Cold Comfort Farm,” “Heart of Darkness.” Am brainiac. But you already knew that.)

Happy reading!!!

— wm

Dog House: A Love Story” (Carol Prisant)
Life is So Good” (Richard Glaubman & George Dawson)
Letter to My Daughter” (Maya Angelo)
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” & “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (Stieg Larsson)
Little Bee” (Chris Cleave)
Life of Pi” (Yann Martel)

QOTD and a little morning music

March 14th, 2011

“Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.” — Stephen King, “On Writing”

My husband and daughter, playing a duet.

post #1,728: QOTD

March 13th, 2011

“Men ever had, and ever will have leave, / To coin new words well suited to the age, / Words are like leaves, some wither every year, / And every year a younger race succeeds.” — Horace, poet and satirist (65-8 BCE)

online auction for Village Home

March 12th, 2011

one of my girlfriends sent this along and asked me to share. — wm


For Immediate Release

Lori Walker
Village Home Education Resource Center
Executive Director

Email: lori.walker@villagehome.org

On line auction raises friends and funds for non-profit

Village Home Education Resource Center reaches supporters across the country

BEAVERTON, OREGON – March 1, 2011 – On March 5, 2011, Village Home Education Resource Center kicked off its annual auction with a party at the Multnomah Arts Center in southwest Portland. At the event, party goers socialized, ate an array of hors d’oeuvres, and watched a student talent show. Unlike most non-profit auctions, all the bidding will be done on-line for ten days, March 4-13. (Additional auction items can be found here, here and here.)

Village Home, a non-profit resource center that primarily serves homeschooling families in Beaverton, Portland and surrounding communities, decided to switch to the on-line auction in 2010. Director Lori Walker enthusiastically embraced the change and is looking forward to this year’s event.

“In previous years, we had great donations, but buyers were limited to those who attended the auction party,” says Walker. “By going on-line we now have bidders and vendors from all over the country. Last year, fifty per cent of our winning bidders were from outside our community.” Bidders include out of town relatives of Village Home families and a surprising number of on line shoppers who peruse sites like “Bidding for Good” for bargains on everything from gift cards to spa packages. Despite the overhead costs of using the on-line service, gross profits went up 50 percent in the 2010 Village Home auction.

Walker recommends on-line auctions for other non-profits, both for the monetary gain and for the increased attention for the organization. “The on-line auction is raising money and raising friends for Village Home at the same time,” says Walker.

Village Home Auction on Bidding for Good

Village Home is a dynamic, choice-based learning community creatively integrating family, education and real life to empower learners of all ages. Located in the Portland, Oregon metro area, we offer community, classes, and more for learners of all ages, by providing academic and social enrichment in a family-friendly environment.


March 12th, 2011

“Capitalism: The unsettling belief that someone, somewhere, may still have enough to eat.” — anon.

“would you believe in a love at first sight?

March 11th, 2011

that’s the line i love, and when Joe Cocker sings, “i’m certain/it happens/all the time…” (so steady.) (i love this song so much, esp. when you see the angel chorus of hippie boys singing back-up.)

and this one always gives me shivers, too. that’s his daughter, Mary, tucked into his coat on the back of the album cover. (Linda McCartney took the pic; Mary grew up to be a photog like mama.) (and that’s your music trivia for the day.)

Aw, those songs you grew up with, they stay with you forever, don’t they?

Then American Idol (or “American Ideal” as Wacky Boy calls it) comes along to cuss it up.

and… here is “Inception Remade as a 60-second Victorian Woodcut Animation.” Nicely done.

ps — have a splendid weekend.

pss — what’s a weekend? hahaha.

hey Internets…

March 10th, 2011

…what’s going on? here’s all I’ve done since I retired:

1) you know what computers are good for? !Musica! Redemption Song, for instance.

2) made soup — potato/broccoli, and it was very good. I have to write down the recipe so I won’t forget, okay? OK! saute onions, celery, carrots in vegetable oil and olive oil; add vegetable broth; add… chopped broccoli, thyme, rosemary, sea salt, pepper, garlic salt; add… damn. See? The memory is the first thing to go. Water. Yes, water. Add sliced potatoes, as it is potato soup. I added tons of them, they were extremely tasty.

at the end I got bored and went to watch TV. So, i bailed out on the whole soup experiment and Steve had to finish it — I believe he added butter and milk. So this made it a Cream of Potato/Broccoli Soup. Quite good served with cheese pizza on the side.

what’s cooking at your house?


my first day of retirement

March 8th, 2011

“What I wanted to be when I grew up was in charge.” — Wilma Vaught

did I mention that I retired? I know, I know — always with the big news around this place.

Yeah, yeah, I thought I needed grad school, but what I really needed was to retire and write. So I retired! (Seriously, I was all, BRAINSTORM.) It’s my friend Dan, he sets a bad example. Technically, my last day was Friday, but due to the fact that I am nice… when my principal asked me if I would please come in and train my replacement (who didn’t start work ’til yesterday), I said, Sure! Thus confusing my students beyond all belief and making them cry.

“They told me you left, but you didn’t you’re right here!”

Oh, geez, kids. They break your heart and they fill your heart, every day.

here’s my day, so far, starting with last night:

1) WENT TO BED EARLY and got a good night’s sleep. This is something new. Goodbye, stress and work anxiety and having nightmares about cafeteria duty and kids throwing food at me. (Teaching: The Dirty Secrets Come Out, Today on Wacky Mommy…)

2) told Steve to sleep in. I think he started to ask, Really? But he was snoring halfway through the word so I can’t be sure.

3) Here’s the thing… I don’t know what my kids eat for breakfast, or lunch, so much. Not so much. OK, woke up the kids, and after brief fits (this is normal, right?) they got up. (Usually I’m out the door and Steve deals with all this. That’s the way we’ve done it for a looooooooong time now. I work out, ignore everyone, get ready and go; he deals with the rest; they go to school. Then at 3 o’clock, I take over.)

4) After some skepticism (“You’re fixing our breakfast and lunch, really? No. Really?“) The kids did some, No, not like that, like this, etc. and gave me pointers, we dealt, and I got them out the door.

5) Whew ;)

6) Then got Steve out the door.

7) Whew ;)

8) Tended to a) cats b) laundry c) dishes d) computer tech stuff with my ma — Updates from Steve, Computer God as well as Hockey God e) my son’s room f) resisted urge to tidy up daughter’s room, having been told by almost-teenager to stay out, Mom, please?!!!??!!! and next…

9) I’m going to do some yoga and…

10) write!

11) my (former) co-workers are joshing me, Let us know when you have your first book written! me: Uh, I have two written. I’ll let you know when they’re published.

12) dinner? How about potato soup and green salad? I’m going to do a simple one, but this sounds good (sub vegetable broth). Or perhaps you would prefer cupcakes? (writing again, feeling superstitious and doing all my weird writing habits, so i have to skip the next number…)

14) my hair looks crazy — I chopped it all off and now it will just look crazy for 2 years until it grows out again. just fyi.

15) interesting random fact, from my internet browsings this a.m.: Have you ever heard of a leafy sea dragon? I hadn’t either, what a quincidence.

16) my daughter’s middle school band is doing a play-a-thon, how awesome is that? It will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — the kids sign up for shifts. Great idea, eh? please support the music and art programs at your local schools, you will not regret it a bit. Books are always welcome, too. Just drop off a bag of books with the secretaries at the front office and say, These are for the teachers to use in the class or send home with the kids, and they will say, Thank you. And you can say, You’re welcome. And it is just magical, really.

17) I’m still going to keep writing my library blog. Send me a note if you don’t already have the address, or I bet you can figure it out if you’re a girl sleuth. Or a boy sleuth, for that matter, ha.

18) Steve and I started talking about moving out to Washington County a long, long time ago. Like, about ten minutes after we moved into our new (to us) 100-year-old house and I realized I’d bought a “vintage” house that would need more than I would ever, ever be willing to give it. That house, honestly — it was like a demanding old woman who wanted some nice new cosmetic surgery every week or so. Also, there were the pitbulls. And the serenades. And the Nasty Neighbor. And the Other Ones.

19) Yesterday, to celebrate my Last Real Day of Work, I took myself out for coffee. Someone ordered the following (this is verbatim): “A three-shot grande pumpkin hazelnut latte extra hot with no foam!” Jeez. People. Plus, that doesn’t even sound good.

20) Did you know that this Thursday, March 10th, is International Women’s Day? How cool. Celebrate your hero. No, I don’t mean me. I’m gonna go get another cup of coffee (it will contain a) coffee b) milk) and avoid the heroics.

happy, happy, happy, happy Tuesday.

— wm

this makes me happy

March 7th, 2011

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