Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Childhood Favorites...The Resident Witch

Childhood favorites. Everyone has a favorite book or author from childhood. A book that touched them or changed them. A book that perhaps initiated their love of reading and put them on the path of libraries and learning.

Childhood Favorites is a monthly series focusing on beloved books from the past. 

Donald Zolan, Quiet Time.

Witcheena, little witch in training who wants to be a Junior Witch, lives in a barn with her aunt and a hundred cats. Well, more like 26 or something like that. She flies around on her broom at night, but wishes she could have a friend. When she changes her appearance to be around other children, she meets a girl named Nancy. Witcheena loves spending time with Nancy, but knows that she can't do magic or show her powers in front of anyone.


This was such a strange little story. I have no idea where it was purchased or why it showed up in our house. I think it was one of my sister's books, but I have it in a box. I loved this little gem and the lovely pencil sketch drawings.

What about you? What is one of your childhood favorites?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cover Crush...The Secret Ingredient of Wishes


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


How can a book with a delicious-looking pie on its cover not capture your attention? What are the wishes? What is the ingredient? How does a pie come into play? Are we reading about people or baking or people who bake? This one is on my wish list and I need to track down a copy because this cover just begs me to pick it up and read.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered Pages, indieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Weekend Reflections 1/14

In the interest of full disclosure, Ms. Snark is alive and well and definitely in the building today...

Looking outside...it's cold and cloudy. I think our high is supposed to be 21. There is still a shedload of snow on the ground and some flurries which is frustrating because there is  no snow in the forecast for today. Next Tuesday we will get more freezing rain and snow.

The Artist finally went back to school yesterday after having 7 days off in a row. Not necessarily because of the snow, but because of the aftermath.

The storm dumped snow, roads didn't get plowed, it iced over and snowed again. Then it thawed a bit, froze and snowed again. And then warmed up so we got freezing rain. So even trucks with 4WD were getting stuck. With a normal snow storm, main roads and freeways get plowed. Residential areas never get plowed. This time around, there was too much to keep up with, two of four plows broke and the snow kept coming, then freezing, then raining, then thawing, and hopefully you get the point.

The problem isn't the snow. This isn't the south. We can handle snow. The problem this time around was ice and the fact that our city was not well prepared for a big snowstorm or icestorm. Which is stupid because this is Idaho. We normally get snow, but it's been 30 years since this area saw the amounts we got this week. We vary from year to year and some years we might get this same amount of snow over a season, but not at one time. I think many haven't lived here long enough to remember how the weather can be and people get complacent. 


I monitored the school district and city FB pages this week. Mostly for information, but also for the fun of it. People really can be horrible. The school district is in a no-win situation. If they don't call a snow day, people bitch. If they do call a snow day, people bitch. They can't win. 

The city? Like I said, I was frustrated with the city. I usually am when it comes to how they deal with snow. But this time around? They tried. Those poor city workers were out there non-stop nearly 24/7, which is why two plows broke down from use. After they got the main roads taken care of, they began plowing residential neighborhoods. Which was greatly appreciated. It meant that the deep ruts were gone for the immediate interim and cars and school buses weren't getting stuck.

Instead of being grateful, people complained that their neighborhood hadn't been done yet. They complained that the plows pushed snow into their driveways or blocked mailboxes. It was unbelievably disappointing to see. Many weren't willing to get out and take care of their own drives and sidewalks or clear drains on their street to prevent flooding. They just complain that someone else hasn't done it.

Yeah, I had a three-foot high wall of snow in front of my cleared driveway. But my boys got right out there and started clearing it because we were so grateful that the roads had been plowed and we knew our non-4WD car wouldn't get stuck. I expressed that gratitude on the city's FB page.

Seriously. People. Grow up. Life happens. If you live in Idaho, you're going to experience snow. Some years more than other years. Shovel and ice your own driveways and sidewalks. Help your neighbors do theirs. When you have to get a car? Find one with 4WD if you have that option. If you've never lived in or driven in a snowy place before, LEARN! Drive slower. Be careful. Don't cut people off and don't scream and yell because the roads are icy. They are icy because you live in Idaho. And just because there is snow on the ground, doesn't mean school is canceled. Deal with it. Buy some warm clothes. Snow boots at Walmart or DI are not that expensive. Gloves and hats are practically free. 

And when someone shovels your driveway or plows your street or a bus driver willingly transports your children to and from school in snowy weather, say "Thank you". 

Listening...to mostly silence. Faint sounds coming from the office where The Doctor is working. The Artist is watching YouTube. The Boy went with me this morning to pick up ice melt. He hauled 9 40# bags for me, so he's now watching something on his phone and eating pizza. I can hear a fish tank filter and a clock ticking.

Loving...this quiet Saturday with my family all home, together.

Thinking...that I am blessed with a wonderful family, some good friends and a comfortable home.

In my kitchen...a cup of hot chocolate right now. 

Wearing...gray turtleneck, black fuzzy socks and yellow Minion pajamas. Don't judge. They are super soft and very warm.

Hoping...that trucks can finally get through snowy passes and deliver much needed ice melt as well as other supplies. I made calls today and we went to Lowe's.


And seriously, stores? I don't care about swimsuits or summer. It's JANUARY. Don't be trying to sell me swimsuits and sundresses. Costco, bloody hell what is wrong with you? Swimsuits three days before Christmas? Do people really buy your swimwear in January? Pretty sure they don't in Idaho. 

And Walmart, today? All I care about is staying warm and trying to find more ice melt. The guy at your store laughed at me when I asked him if they would get more in. You have all your winter stuff on clearance and while I like clearance prices, I'd still like to be able to find shovels and ice melt and men's gloves IN JANUARY! Maybe it's warm in Arkansas where your procurement people are, but it's not warm in the Northwest.

Thank goodness for places like D&B and Lowe's that recognize winter is still here.

Reading...nothing. I really need to. But I decided this week that I want to do a series like the Cover Crush one, except this one would be "Cover Condemnation: the Main Reason no one Read your Book". I likely won't, because I'm not a cruel person, but there are a lot of covers out there that really don't do the book justice.

It's like with editing. Every book needs to be edited and proofed. Every book. Take the time and make the investment to find a good editor if you are not with a major firm. At the same time, take the time and make the investment to find a good cover designer. The do-it yourself look translates into how people perceive your writing. 
Your book could be the best one ever written, but if a reviewer is looking at a page of books and your cover looks like something your 2nd grader did with Powerpoint, it will get dismissed if they don't have a recommendation that it's worth reading. It's sad, but it's true.

Today...having friends over for dinner.

Quoting...“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell

Feeling...So tired, but relieved that we found ice melt. Thank you Lowe's. We got some for Grandma too. We are staying in for the rest of the day and it's such a good feeling.

Planning...we have lists and tasks and things to take care of, but it's been a good business week.

Gratitude...for warmth. The cold doesn't bother me nearly as much as excessive heat does, but I am grateful for fireplaces and heated seats and sweaters, gloves and scarves.

I'm grateful for my mom.  We spent the day together yesterday, running errands doing some shopping and getting lunch. With the roads the way they've been, she didn't go out this week, so it was nice to get out and enjoy each other's company.

From my world... 


Seriously the best thing on the internet this week. I love Broadway. I love show tunes.

I love Neil Patrick Harris and I love James Corden. Together? These two are magic. This is pure fun. You haven't seen anything until you watch James Corden sing, All that Jazz from Chicago, with sexy moves and all. Brilliant. Funny. These two are golden.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cover Crush...The Typewriter's Tale


I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.


I learned how to type on a typewriter. I took typing classes in high school and we had both electric and manual typewriters. The first couple of college papers that I wrote were done on an electric typewriter. I love the title of this book. I love this cover image. This woman, who is sitting before a typewriter, a stack of complete papers next to her, a current sheet in the roller, waiting for those next words to coalesce into sentences and structure. What is she working on? Is this an article for a newspaper or the manuscript of the next best seller? What is the tale this typewriter can tell? 

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesindieBRAG, A Literary Vacation.