Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Salon: random ramblings and links

Since my week has been filled with all sorts of randomness, I decided to just go ahead and babble about whatever strikes me. So this post will be a bit of a reflection of my life right now. My advanced apologies to anyone brave enough to wander down the thought paths of my increasingly scattered brain. I haven't been reading as much as usual, picking up and putting down more books than I care to admit. What I have managed to read has basically been uber-fluff. I am just so consumed with holiday prep that I can't concentrate on anything deeper.

So far this week, I have completed Round One of cookie baking: white Christmas fudge, Buckeyes, cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies, brown sugar cookies, ginger snaps, figaro bars, toffee bars, and M&M Hershey hug pretzels. A Round Two will be required since no one seems capable of keeping their grubby little mitts out of the stash, plus I haven't yet made my dad's favorites: Tuscan Cheese Straws. Also Christmas related, I have managed to take a picture of my crew to tuck into the Christmas cards. It even has Miss Dog wearing antlers and looking as sheepish as The Grinch's poor dog.

It is clear to me that my kids are getting older as this took far fewer attempts to capture than in past years. (And those of you on the Christmas card list, just pretend you didn't see this picture already--that includes you mom!) I haven't yet written the Christmas letter and I need to do that soon although I have to be in the proper mood to mock our mishaps (no brag and gag Christmas letters from this house). And we won't even discuss presents and stocking stuffer buying. ::sigh::

D. and I went into school and had a conference about W. It's really a whole different ball of wax when you as the parent request a conference and the school requests one. Now that we've had both, the differences are amazing. This one happened to be a result of the kid actually wanting to be further challenged and asking us to make that happen for him. Just so you know, this means that Hell has frozen over and the moon is sure to be blue. Really, he is an incredibly bright child but a classic underachiever so for him to recognize, all by himself, that he needs more is a huge step in his maturity and I couldn't be more pleased. Even better, D., who is a great negotiator, went into the meeting asking for the impossible so that we walked out having achieved exactly what we really wanted, which was several steps below the initial request. Here's hoping they follow through on their end or we'll have to unleash the hysterical and unreasonable mom on them (me) since I didn't have to use my special skills (weeping and gnashing of teeth) in our meeting at all.

Today I am working at the Panthers game as a fundraiser to offset some of R.'s dance fees. If you've never worked concessions, you should try it sometime. You'll be a heck of a lot nicer to the people behind the counter than you were before, even if you've always been nice. It's a lot of work for pennies but every little bit helps with the enormous dance bills. I'll consider it a successful day if no one f-bombs us (not that I don't swear like a sailor, because I can and sometimes do--sorry mom--but generally not at perfect strangers, well unless I'm driving and they are doing boneheaded things in their car).

You're probably wondering when I intend to get to the book section of this Sunday Salon, now aren't you? I told you I haven't been reading much lately so of course the bulk of the post is non-book related. You've gotta pay better attention! Ok, if I haven't alienated you yet, here you go. This past week I screamed in frustration at a heroine who was determined to cheat on her boyfriend, watched as one of King Arthur's knights found his true love, and wandered through the country of Romania, post-Communism. I am still being invited into a cook's musings about food and its importance in her life (with recipes), skulking around Victorian England amidst much skullduggery, rolling my eyes at the angst of sparkly vampires, and contemplating trying to move the bookmark in the epic British Raj tale seemingly destined to send down roots on my bedside table.

For book-related, non-reading, I was tickled to play along with a quiz that asks you to name the book based only on cover art. I got 22 out of 24, having missed one by a mere word. The other one, despite being on my shelf with a different cover, was familiar enough to be niggling at my brain as I took the quiz but I never did come up with it. If you want to try your hand at it, name the book by the cover and let me know how you did. The other book related thing I found this week, thanks to one of my lists, is just about the cutest thing ever. Now, I am a huge anglophile anyway and would dearly love to get over to England sometime (10th anniversary trip there is still pending 4 years later ::sigh::) so this appeals to me on so many levels. Green Muze says:

"Innovative Brits in a small English country village have come up with a new use for the iconic red telephone boxes dotting the landscape – recycle one into the country’s smallest library.

Locals in Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset, created the tiny, self-stocking library after the mobile library stopped coming to their community. After purchasing the red phone box from BT for £1 (US$1.70), locals set up the 24-hour access, tiny library by stocking it themselves with roughly 100 books, CDs and DVDs. The system is simple – replace what you take with something new.

The results are a constant stream of new reading material at the community’s popular phone booth library."

Do you love this idea like I do? An iconic telephone box repurposed as a library. Genius!


  1. Wow! So much to comment about this week!

    First of all, you'd better make me some of those M&M Hershey Hug Pretzels!!!! Yummy!!!

    Second, you don't want to know how badly I did on that book cover test, LOL. Even though I recognized most of the covers, I couldn't put a cover with a title, LOL!

    Finally, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the telephone booth library. Wonderful!!! We should all adopt something so wonderful :)

    Happy Sunday, Kristen!

  2. Too bad you don't live near me -- I'd send my daughter over for some of those Buckeyes! I don't bake Christmas cookies, and she loves those things.

    The phone booth library is a great idea. I wish I could put one on my corner. I'm sure there are a lot of neighbors who would like to exchange their old paperbacks for something different.

  3. Thanks so much for the link to that great "book by its cover" quiz. I didn't do nearly as well as you did, but I had fun!

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  5. That's the best use for the old telephone boxes I've ever seen!

  6. I stumbled across a little itsy-bitsy library in a park in Houston this year. Big glass windows so you can read and watch the beautiful day outside. What a perfect spot for a library!

  7. Thanks - I was browsing your blog and found the book cover quiz. It was fun, although you beat me - I only got 21. It was a fun excuse to rack my brain.


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