27 books…27 Magazines

Oh, books, magazines, you are going to be hard.

Books mean a lot to me. I have them everywhere. I even read some of them. Others, I just keep for the pictures!

But books do not stay in one location in this house. There is the pile in the bedroom—reading, about to read, finished reading.

There are similar piles in the guest room.

And shelves in the studio, and the den and the living room. All full of books.

I want a “KindleNookSonyIpad”—an E-reader. I haven’t settled on which, I am curious to hear from those who have them already about their pros and cons. But even if I own one, I don’t truly see books going away in this house. Too many of them are reference. The photos, the how-to’s, I don’t know that E-reading is the way to go (or that it’s even supported well…)

The financial difficulty of replacing all the reference of my life precludes being able to assign new roles to all the bookshelves in the house. (Although if forced, I COULD reassign them to hold fabric….)

The joy of wandering through Goodwill or yard sales or other thrift stores, and investing a quarter or a dollar in a new author and discovering something special—that too will be gone with E-reading. The idea of having anything that I might want at my fingertips on vacation? In the car? Bored on my lunch hour?? Heck, yes!

Still. The books currently in the house–27 flinging. Right, get back on target.

Do you live in an apartment but have a shelf (or more) of garden books? Do you not cook but have a shelf of cook books? Think on why you have them. Is this about who you WANT to be versus who you ARE? Is it a temporary situation?

Some may be worth keeping, because they ARE special, and do have great information. Some, well. Fling them. We live in the information age. We CAN find the information again.

Travel is a great past-time, but travel books are often out of date by the time they are printed. As reference, the internet is far better, or contact AAA just before your vacation and get up-to-date publications.

Books about crewel, or needlepoint, when you can’t remember the last time you threaded a needle?? Fling.

That small bit of shelf of children’s books that you saved? Keep’em. (No more than about a dozen really special ones, unless you currently HAVE children in the house. In that situation, you keep them all, lol!) They bring back memories, and it will tickle your child some day that they still exist. They are a great thing to have if you have unexpected small company.

Novels you read and can’t recall? Fling. Novels you enjoyed, but the TBR pile is so overwhelming you can’t imagine the time you would ever read it again? Fling. (Write down the title and author, and get it onto your E-reader eventually.) Novels you have started to read more than twice and STILL haven’t finished? Duh! Fling.

Novels that you have written in the margins of, dog-eared, bookmarked and underlined passages of? They get kept. They are old friends. (Still, you may want an E-copy eventually.)

(Let me clarify this word FLING for this topic. This should read a bit more like ––Share— Give away to friends who read the same things you do. Introduce a neighbor to your favorite author. Donate the entire pile to your library for their book sale. Sell on Ebay, Half.com, put up on PaperbackSwap.com, etc. Save the whole bag/box till your next family gathering and put it on the counter for people to take as they please.)

Magazines are an entirely different sort of animal. My first suggestion is to not allow them into your home. Barring that, weed out the titles you subscribe to, keeping only the ones you actually READ when they are still fresh. Do NOT get sucked in at the grocery store line and toss them into your cart. Really, with magazines, you need to take a firm line!

I only purchase quilting magazines. And I try not to even buy them. I am seduced by the pretty colors of the quilts, yes, but even more so by the setting the photo was taken in, the clever title they gave to a block I own the directions to already (5 times, in many of the books I own)….

What I do with magazines like this is allow them to gather. When I have a large pile, I sit on the couch, or on the floor in the studio, with a stapler and rip out the patterns I really like. Staple together all the pages, and make a pile. The rest gets flung. (This pile should be moved to a magazine holder, of which I have cleared out a few that were being used for other things, like files)

I sometimes even hole-punch and put the patterns into three-ring binders. The fact of the matter is, unless I run out of THREAD, I need not another scrap of fabric, nor another pattern purchase in order to continue quilting—unless I live to be 300!!!

Oh, and tomorrow is March 1. (Happy Birthday, Jeanine)… Go back to the blog at the end of January and REPEAT the digital photo process!!)

Christmas is coming…

…and I am aware that I’ve been slacking… Did you know almost 40% of your holiday prep time is GONE gone gone… and here I am, neglecting the posting of my “Christmas is coming, the sky is falling!” blogs…

My excuses, such as they are, are as follows:

  • I’ve been hanging out with friends.
  • I’ve been traveling.
  • I’ve been taking photos (Almost 600 images that I have shot over the past few weeks are grinding around in the computer waiting for processing so you can buy them!)
  • I’ve been fondling my quilting fabrics, thinking, planning, plotting….
  • I’ve been buying out the book section at Goodwill, so I have many more excuses not to do housework.
  • Oh, and housework.
  • And work-work.

Yet, time waits for no woman to prepare for the holidays. I DO have my Christmas cards already. They aren’t signed or addressed or stamped, mind you, but they are HERE!

I have the gifts for that list of ‘just a little something’ people almost completed, and I do have a ‘short-list’ of gifts for the majority of the family. Which is really a SHORT list this year (No, not the family–I haven’t off’ed anyone! Just the quantity of gift$ per person…)

The biggie is always Timmy. As I usually get one REALLY GOOD IDEA. And then, his birthday occurs on December 2 and I end up giving him the REALLY GOOD gift then, and have to hit the drawing board again….


Of course, since these two beauties will be joining our family on Sunday, I may just buy him stock in lint rollers—meet …well, Nameless and Nameless Jr.- (25 combined pounds of FUR)

I posted a poll last month. You responded that you feel that handmade is better. You preferred to give and receive thoughtful (and possibly handmade) gifts.

So, share with me, and the thousands (lol) of other dedicated readers…What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve received –and why?

And, one last thing…if you are looking for a bit of spiritual whimsy to add to your holiday stocking, check these out…my brother’s newest cool venture!



Did I score the other day at Goodwill!!!

Yes, I know I was supposed to be sitting here at home, deciding on photographs for a contest, but my head was swimming with all sorts of images….

I decided a little retail therapy was in order… to help clear out the cobwebs in my head, make it all a bit clearer; you understand, don’t you?? 

So, it had to be a mindless kind of shopping; not fabric shopping, because then my mind would only become MORE cluttered by other possibilities….

I headed to Goodwill. My absolute favorite store, outside of a quilt shop(and Ikea—don’t forget Ikea…) Now, I do have to say the quality of the Goodwill store seems to be regionally inspired.

In New York City, we didn’t have Goodwill’s while I was growing up. There was the Salvation Army, poorly located and trashy. Give me a good yard sale, any day!  And I’m not too proud to say I have shopped curbside many times in NYC either…not something that is really DONE here…(sniff…)

So when I moved here, I took a while before I ventured inside a Goodwill.  I tried shopping yard sales, but I didn’t know the lay of the land, and yard sales are more a Friday and Saturday thing here; and well, frankly, living on an island is different than NOT living on an island.

While plotting out a yard sale driving list I could easily find myself in Amelia county … that’s a long way to travel to see if anyone happens to be getting rid of something I want to own!

So I gave up on the yard sale.  And discovered a far better thing: Goodwill.


Here is Sunday’s take. Someone was cleaning out their music library and their reading library. I had to Stop. Picking. Up. The. Cd’s. It was getting silly. I whittled the stack down to about a dozen. Old friends, listened to for years on LP, and new names I decided to try.

Then, hands filled to overflowing, I wandered to the book section. After I balanced the 4th book on top of my pile of CD’s I had to give in and get a shopping cart.

Again, the book choices this day were phenomenal. Books I have read and lost, authors I love, new and interesting titles….

This trip, I stayed out of the clothing section… I left spending under $50 and now have all these neat goodies!(no, not yard sale-cheap, but not retail either,…)

I buy most of my work clothes here. And a good deal of my non-work clothes as well. (Mostly because I enjoy the poking about, the finding something a bit more unique, and because I think I worked in shopping malls for so many years that I have a secret aversion to them…)

Our Goodwill (of Central Virginia) is a sharp organization. They are clean, neat, organized, large, bright and generally a pleasure to shop.

Oh, by the way, it worked. The photos all kind of sorted themselves out in my head as I meandered, and I came home and was able to choose three relatively quickly. (see them Here…. and here…   and here! ) Wish me luck!

What I am Reading Right Now..

Reading has always been an important part of my life. I can recall fondly sitting in bed late at night as a little girl, with a book about Jesus as a boy. It had him learning to walk, and a pillow tied to his bottom to keep him hurting himself when falling. It was liberally illustrated and someday I will look for the title, if only to prove I am not making it up!! (If YOU know the book, do tell!!)


My favorite story book was Pickles the Fire Cat, and the Magic Fish. I loved Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Little House on the Prairie, and Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and ….


My tastes have changed some since then, but reading is still an integral part of my life. I go the gamut, from flossy historical romance yarns about frivolous heroines to far more literary options such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  One of my favorites of all time would be Douglas Adams Hitchhiker series, all 5 parts of the trilogy.



I got hooked on Stephanie Plum a few summers ago, totally not the thing I would lean toward, as the books were THIN. I am not much for thin books. I love a hefty 1000 pager any day. But, hooked I was, and after devouring the 12 that were existent, I found that I was unsatisfied with the lack of ending and thus began my journey into Fan Fiction (you can read more about THAT here)



But I decided last month, to revisit the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. I read them once about three years ago. And I am so very deeply immersed in them (up to book five, The Fiery Cross, at the moment) that I dream Jamie and Claire. Really. Here we have SIX books, over 1000 pages a piece!!! Heaven!!! And a writer who has made everything so incredibly real that my mind can not turn off!



I have tried to explain to my husband, who thinks it very humorous indeed, that when get caught up in a book, I lose track of time. And I lose the ability to put the book down, for fear of missing something. You can ask Arlie about that. How many dinners were late because my nose was in a novel??



This is so humorous to Timmy that he tells it to people, embellishing to the point of me sounding slightly weird. He sees it almost as I believe that the book is a TV show, and I don’t have my VCR on. But that isn’t at all what I mean.



Surely one of you out there understands?? Surely someone can appreciate being so deeply involved in Ann Rice’s The Witching Hour that you would need to pull over on the road to finish the chapter that you had to put down before you were ready??


Support me here folks!!!

Sorry, no pictures to go along with this post…. And please, do respond!! I would love to know that people actually READ here!!!