I Put My Kindle on Overdrive and Loved It!

Okay, let’s go over what we know about this Mama.

  1. I am a librarian with a degree and everything
  2. I read…a lot.
  3. Refer to # 2.
  4. Wash, Rinse and Repeat.

When I first heard about the idea of eBooks, I was a bit leery.

I love books!

I love the feel of paper and how it shapes to my hands as I read the same book over and over again. It’s kind of like a pair of jeans that are stiff when you first buy them, but as you wear them they become a part of your body. Books are like that to me.

However, I also have this thing about technology. I really like it too!

Do you see my quandary?

For awhile I was indifferent, then I was leery, then I was in denial, then I was into full blown eReader envy, then I got one!

The Ranger surprised me with one last year with a Kindle for a birthday / graduation gift!

I was stuck in another quandary…my husband had listened and gone out of his way to purchase me this AMAZING gift and I was disappointed because, you see, I had been thinking about getting a Nook. However, please don’t think that I wasn’t anything less than thrilled with my Kindle!

My KindleMy KindleMy Kindle

The Kindle and the Nook are probably the two most competitive brands of eReaders, I’m not counting an iPad in this conversation because that’s a whole other she-bang!

I was thinking about getting a Nook mostly because it was more versatile – I could share my books and more importantly, I could borrow books from my local library! (The key phrase here being LIBRARY).

The Kindle had a vast number of titles available on their free collection shelves, but Amazon.com seemed to be a bit stingy about what it would allow the Kindle owners to download for free. I realize that it’s all about the money, they are a business who needs money to exist and if we can gets books for free then why would we want to pay them for their titles?

My KindleMy KindleMy Kindle

Amazon is my new best friend.

They have gotten over this whole money issue…

…sort of.

They worked out a deal with Overdrive (the main distributor of eBooks to public libraries in the United States) to allow Kindle owners to borrow eBooks from their local libraries!


When I was working at the Cresson Public Library we had just begun a contract with Overdrive to give our patrons 24 / 7 access to library materials. I played with the program so that I would be able to teach patrons how to access these titles from their home computers. It wasn’t that difficult, but you had to download a specific application onto your computer and download the book from the internet to your computer and then from your computer hard drive to your reader. And, every so often you need to go back onto the computer application and delete the title from your hard drive.

With my Kindle it literally took me 2 minutes to check out my title, click “download to Kindle,” which takes you to the Amazon.com website where you click “Download” and BAM! It shows up on your Kindle!

I’ve never downloaded anything easier except from Amazon.com itself!

I will definitely be using that particular application a whole lot more!

I have now recently spent time with both a Kindle (mine) and a Nook (another story), and I have to say I LOVE my Kindle so much better!

Now, I just need to get my itchy, honkin fingers on a Kindle Fire!

I have not recieved any money in return for my love and adoration of my Kindle. I just like it and like to talk about it! However, I would not be adverse if Kindle would like to gift me with a Kindle Fire to review for them! *hint*hint*hint*




The Weekend the WiFi Went Out in TN

I thought I had died and gone to H-E- Double Hockey Sticks.

My internet was gone…

completely GONE!

I had lost not just my WiFi, but my DSL connection.

I do not always ❤ AT&T.

There, I've said it.

The group / company that has so maligned me!

For 3 whole, WHOPPING days I was sans my internet and thus my Facebook, all 3 of my emails (YES! I really NEED 3 email addresses), Twitter, Google+, Pintrest (follow me, People, I’m pinning new things everyday!), and my Blog!

It was almost like walking around blind…total sensory deprivation!

There is free WiFi…but that would entail a whole lotta hoops, and let’s face it, I’m a Mama and it was the weekend so there wasn’t time for hoops.

So, my umbilical cord internet disappeared on Friday afternoon. We’ve had some connection issues so I thought, “No problem, it’ll be back in a few minutes.”

No. such. luck.

By Saturday afternoon I had tried two different modems numerous times, to no avail, and decided to put on my Big Girl Pannies and make the call to the AT&T helpline. Sigh. I DESPISE that automated voice that say, “Press 1 for _____, Press 2 for _____.” It just makes me want to pull my hair out (and frankly these days I don’t have that much to spare!).

The very nice young man tried to sell me a land line.

He didn’t want to believe that I already had one.

Since last JUNE!

And, since I wasn’t calling about my telephone line I was a bit annoyed with the line of conversation!

Then the very nice young man went through the “Idiot List” of
1. Did you make sure the power was on? Duh.
2. Do you have a telephone hooked up to the same line as the modem?
“Yes, and it is working fine.”
3. Are you using a filter? Duh.
4. Did you disconnect the line, shut down the modem and restart it?
“Why, yes, I did. Several times. With 2 different modems.”

He then proceeded to check the DSL Channel from his happy little computer that WAS connected to the internet. “Are you sure that the modem is connected to the jack?” he asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“Hmmmmmmm…” he continued. “I’m not showing any DSL line. I’ll have to send a technician out to take a look at the earliest convenience!”

Apparently his definition of “earliest convenience” and mine are two different things. ‘Cause I thought my earliest convenience was right then. His idea was Monday afternoon. Sigh.

The technician guy DID come. He was very nice. He couldn’t find the DSL Channel at all. He went back to the office and turns out the card there was bad. I wasn’t the only poor sole without my internet all weekend. Turns out there were about 20 of us. Maybe we should have started a support group.

I often wonder when I got to the point that I need a support group when I lose my internet connection.
I mean really, I was born into a world where it did not exist.

Yes…I’m that old.

And now here I sit with my laptop on, well, my lap while I try desperately to catch up on my blog reader, emails, facebook stories, and twitter feeds…and celebrity gossip.

Life is good.

Where I’m From

Where I’m From

I am from the Foothills along the winding Hwy 9; from saddle shoes and hand-me-down clothes.
I am from the yellow mobile home next door to my Grandma’s house and across the street from church.
I am from the crick, buttercups chins, dandelion chains and skunk cabbage fans.
I am from blinking porch lights to get a horn toot from the 9 o’clock train and chasing cows at 2 a.m.
I am from family camping trips and Vikings, from the Ferry’s and Boice’s and my Grandpa Butch and my Amma.
I am from artists and jokesters and thinkers.
From “Here comes trouble” and “Say that again…slower” and “I can do it MYSELF!”
I am from grassroots, charismatic Jesus Freaks and proud of it! From Sunday services that could run all day depending on how the Spirit moved the congregation. From Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Little House at the Ferry’s, choir practice, Christian schools.
I’m from San Bernardino, from Iceland and American Heinz 57.
I am from Vinarterta and hamburger casserole and gingerbread houses.
From the family who moved with their entire village to North America, the man who once tried to count the Mama bulls, and the woman who survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
I am from “butt shots” and polaroids in albums so worn out their covers are missing.
I am from the land of hippies, yippies and yuppies; from as far west as you can go without jumping into the Pacific and as far north as you can go without entering Canada.
I am from Van Zandt, population 52 if you include the cows, in the Foothills along the winding Highway 9.

Today I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
Mama’s Losin’ It

Not Tootin’ My Own Horn – WW

Life is getting difficult.

Big is getting bigger.

Is it just me, or do those two things kinda go together?

I mean really, she IS 11 now.

She is getting picky about her clothes.

Not too much, but enough that it is throwing me for a loop.

In the past I could just hand her clothes, she puts them on and we go along our merry way!

She’s starting to develop her own style, and I’m okay with that!


This is Spirit Week at her school.

Monday was college colors day.

We just couldn’t get her into the colors of ANY university / college her parents attended…we HAD those colors – Sorry WAZZU, Whatcom, Western, Clarion, and IUP!

Dude! I went to four colleges / universities! Dang!

She chose Pitt at least it wasn’t Penn State

She decided to wear a yellow T-shirt and blue jeans.


Tuesday was Tie-Dye Day and she wore a Tie-Dyed T-shirt.


Today is Years Day.

She was supposed to wear an outfit that represented a decade of the 20th century.

Initially she wanted a Poodle skirt.

I could have made that, but she would never wear it again.

I nixed that one.

I thought she should be from the 1970’s or 80’s.

I went and got her a pair of jeans from the Salvy (my favorite costume shop).

I got a patch from Wally’s.

September 2011 025

And a T-shirt from my Mama direct from the 1970’s!

Big was disappointed.

EVERYONE else was being a 1970’s girl.

So, that is why I found myself back at Wally’s at 9 p.m. desperately searching for a pair of black pants.

Big decided to be from the 1930’s…

Years Day 7 - revised

a Jazz musician from the 1930’s.

Years Day 3 - revised

She got a button down from the closet.

She got a vest from Baby’s costume box.

And asked me for black slacks.

We didn’t have any.

I went to Wally’s.

Because I realized how I had goofed up, I decided to make it up by throwing in a cool hat!

So, she’s a Jazz musician with a cool hat, black slacks, button down shirt, vest…

Years Day 10 - revised

and trumpet!

Years Day 2 - retouched

Today I have been participating in Wordful Wednesday with
parenting BY dummies


We’ve been invaded.

When we moved to Middle-of-Nowhere, TN we moved into a cute little house IN TOWN.

Key phrase here is “IN TOWN.”

I grew up outside of town so the thought of delivery pizza and the grocery store a mere 3 minutes away was too much to resist!

We have discovered that we may be “IN TOWN” but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our share of wildlife.

We have more squirrels than we can count, we’ve named them all George and Henry so we don’t get confused.

It’s not unusual to be driving down the road an be in the middle of conversation only to have someone stop and yell “SQUIRREL!” before they drop back into normal conversation.

What can I say, we like the movie Up!

The squirrels, however, are not our BIG problem.

This is our problem.

Bandit 1 - retouch

I call him Bandit.

We first discovered Bandit when we found him stuck in our trash can.

He has since decided that our back porch is the local diner.

It’s not.

We try to feed the cats just enough for them to eat right then, so there is no extra food left.

The idea is that if there is no food, he will go away.

We sometimes go several days without seeing him.



There he is!

What is dangerous is that he comes out in the middle of the day…

While the girls are playing in the backyard.

He walks right by them and when they turn to go into the house, there he is on our porch!

We know when this happens, because the girls then run screaming all the way around the house and come in the front door so they can run through the house and watch Bandit through the back door glass.

What happens more often is that we pull into our backyard IN TOWN and there is Bandit on our porch eating the food we had put out just before we left and Hazel is there just glaring at it.

Needless to say,

Hazel 2 - Retouched

Hazel is supposed to be here, and she, grudgingly, shares her porch with Cooper…

Cooper 3 - retouched

But she draws the line at Bandit.

Bandit 2 - retouched

And, frankly, so do we.

Any other ideas on how to get rid of this little pest? (Other than shooting it).



The Difference a Year Makes – WW

We had some visitors over Labor Day weekend and it just happened to coincide with Big’s Birthday. I was watching Big and her BFF and couldn’t help but flash back to one of my favorite photos EVER

Friends 2011 - retouch

This photo is of Big and her BFF taken almost a year ago. It was taken on a trip to a DelGrosso’s Amusement Park (aka Bland’s Park) in PA just before we moved to TN. It was snapped as we were leaving the park, all thoughts of the big move had been pushed out of their heads by roller coasters, flying ships and funnel cakes. They were laughing as we walked back to the car, giggling and relishing in being 10.

This was the last HURRAH! so to speak.

Over the last year Big and her BFF have kept in touch.

They write letters to each other.

The real kind of letters that have envelopes and stamps and everything! For her birthday last year the BFF received a web camera so they can SKYPE. (Now there’s a sight to behold for reasons I’ll share another time).

Lucky for Big, her BFF is the daughter of my PiC (Partner in Crime).

And, when I wasn’t able to get back to PA, PA came to us.

So, here we are a year later, and Big and her BFF were together again.



Relishing being 11.

Friends 2011 - redo

Today I am participating in Wordless / Wordful Wednesday with
parenting BY dummies



Skating through Sunday

Oh, I got a brand new pair of roller skate,
you got a brand new key

Ahhh…roller skates…

Remember those things?

Not the streamlined things with all the wheels in a roll!

You know, those klunky things that look like someone glued a 4×4 to your feet!



I was a rather uncoordinated child (surprising, huh), but for some reason I could manage better on skates than I could in my plain old shoes.

I have fond memories of skating with friends and family at the Ferndale rink and later at the Lynden rink.

My sister and I had roller skates at home and we would often be found roller skating through the mold warehouse at my Granny’s ceramic shop (I wonder if she ever found out about that).

Let’s just say we could have lived on skates and been perfectly happy!

Then, the unthinkable happened.

I blame the Crazy Trio.

I mean really, who could turn down a Crazy Trio?

For those of you not in the know, Crazy Trio is basically a game of crack the whip with groups of three skaters. Everyone goes one direction, a whistle blows and you turn and go the opposite direction without letting go. And let me tell you, the momentum from the speed you are going does not make it easy! But it is soooooo much fun, or at least it was.

It was a September evening in 1989.

Eons ago.

I was skating a Crazy Trio with my Sissy and Ryan.

The whistle blew, Ryan was in the middle and was trying to help us to turn, he lost his balance and went down and I tripped over him and WIPED out! Not only did I wipe out, I crashed and BuRnEd!

I later found out (from a sports doctor) that the reason I was having knee trouble was because in that fall I managed to push my knee cap from its normal location to one on the OTHER side of my knee joint! Basically it went from 12 o’clock to 4 o’clock.



The jest of this story is not supposed to deter you from roller skating.

Quite the opposite!

I was thrilled when we moved here to find that roller skating was alive and well in Middle-of-Nowhere, TN!

This last week was Big’s birthday and she wanted to go roller skating.

So, we did.

I checked my health insurance,

And, I took my girls to the rink,

Got them some skates (and then took them to the counter to get them tightened),

And strapped some onto my own HONKIN feet!

I think my feet actually tingled with excitement!

I think they sighed with satisfaction as I tied those laces!

I had a few iffy moments at first, but once I hit the boards…


It was 1989, my hair had a bad perm, my jeans were pegged, I was listening to Boy George and hoping that dark, eyed boy who came with me would ask me to skate couples.

Then the mood was broken by, “MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! Look at me” by a voice that could only belong to my child.

So I turned and this is what I saw:

Baby skating 9-11-11 reworked

I think I’m creating a monster.


I spent the afternoon telling the kiddos:

“Don’t hang onto the wall.”

“You don’t have to lift your feet, just put your weight on one foot and then switch to the other.”

“If you can’t stop, aim for the padded wall!”


“If you are falling fast, don’t just grab me ’cause I’ll fall too!”

This last bit of advice came too late.

I am now the proud owner of a bruise on my arm that stretches from my arm pit to my elbow ’cause Baby grabbed me without warning when she was going down.

I can’t wait to go back!