Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Won't my mommy be so proud of me?

  • I brought my new pants to the tailor's to be hemmed.
  • I brought my dry-clean only blouses to the dry-cleaners to be dry-cleaned.
  • I've been hanging up my clothes, instead of letting them sit in the laundry basket (wow! It saves time on ironing!)
  • I've been tidying as I go.
  • I remembered to order my mammogram films from the radiologist for Thursday's appointment.

Did I tell you about Thursday's appointment? Well, because I'm still leaking 6+ years post-pumping, the nurse-practitioner who did my annual exam did a blood test for prolactin levels (normal) and sent me for another mammogram (normal/no change), and then said that I should see a breast surgeon to make sure there's nothing else going on there. So I'm seeing one on Thursday morning.

I'm hoping that the surgeon will say that a reduction will fix the plumbing problems. Because, if so, insurance will pay for it.

Mr. Spock and Jenn make a good point

Unfortunately The Old Dominion doesn't allow contributions from foreign nationals, though Amurricans living abroad are welcome to donate.

Thank you for the thought, Jenn! And please give a big kiss to Jim, Malcolm, and The Bears for me!!!! And hey! What would Jim like me to write about?

So, if you're an American citizen (no matter where in the world you live), and you'd like to donate to Mr. Spock's campaign for State Delegate, just click! And then leave a comment letting me know what you'd like me to post about, if you've got a request!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Talking about babies

Profgrrrrl asks:
For something totally different, how about a post about something baby (best baby advice or a funny MM baby story) since I'm living in babyland these days?

I will give you the best child-rearing advice I ever got, which is, "Pick your battles, but win the ones you pick." and, "You can give in at any time up until the screaming starts, but after the screaming starts you must not give in or you will just teach your child that she can get what she wants if she screams long enough". This advice, of course, does not apply to babies, but to toddlers and above.

For babies, the best advice is, "whatever works". And keep extra diapers with you at all times.
If the poop is leaking out of the diaper, it's time to go up a size. If the pee is regularly leaking through, ditto.

You can never have enough cloth diapers and onesies.

Swaddling is a good thing, except when it's not.

Never say, "no" to an offer of help. Let people cook for you. If your baby has a lovey that she can not live or sleep without buy a spare and keep 'em switched up. If the only chore outside of direct baby care that you get done is the laundry, you're doing a great job.

Read Ask Moxie.

I'll dig out a letter to MM to post tomorrow or the next day.

If you've got a blog post request, please donate and leave a comment!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Looking up

Taken with my phone today while out walking with MM. He was riding his scooter.

Spock Here

I'm Stevens (mysterymommy's husband) Miller, aka "Mr. Spock" (or just "MS") hereabouts. My wife is donating this space so I can tell you what the heck I'm doing and why the heck I'm doing it.

In 2007, after four years of building towards it, Liz and I managed to mount a successful campaign for local office. We won a seat on our county board of supervisors. Make no mistake about it, either: I may be the only one who took the oath, but this was a family project with Liz at least as much a reason for the win as I was (and probably much more than that).

When we announced the bid, everyone said, "Forget it. You're a Democrat running against a Republican incumbent in a conservative part of northern Virginia. You can't win." But we did. We won by 16%, and that was after our opponent spent over twice as much as we did (he had big money coming in from industry, while we relied mostly on friends, family, and help from a local pro-environmental group).

This time, we're challenging a member of the state legislature. His name is Tom Rust, another Republican incumbent. He's not a bad guy, but he's kind of lost touch with his district and, to be blunt, seems to have given up on getting anything done. For example, with transportation named as the number one problem in our region by every poll I've seen, he told a meeting of local business leaders, "We probably will never have the money to do these major infrastructure [improvements]." (See the March 23rd edition of the Loudoun Times Mirror.) What a defeatist attitude! My wife would never talk like that and she's never let me talk that way either, not as a husband or father, nor as a county supervisor. Liz and I can beat Tom Rust and we can do a better job.

I'm getting close to a deadline, so I'll wind this up and get to the point:
Midnight, Tuesday, March 31 is the end of the first campaign finance reporting period. Everyone's numbers go public after that, and it's important to show a good start and a lot of donors. Notice I said "donors," not "money." The money's important, but I need to show that a lot of people are backing me and Liz in this run. Some folks I've asked for help have said they really can't, because they would only be able to put in fifty, or maybe even only twenty dollars. But those numbers _do_ help! Barack Obama made it to the White House largely with the help of donors giving amounts like that. What's good enough for Barack is good enough for me.

If you can help with a donation like that, I'll be forever grateful. Every time another twenty dollars comes along, and with it, another donor, we move that much closer to winning another seat in the legislature. (If we turn six around this time, my party will be in the majority, with all that that implies.) Please know that Liz and I are exceedingly thankful for the donations that have come in from this site, just as much for the smaller ones as we are for all the rest. The folks who have given twenty-five or thirty dollars are often in a position where that means not having dinner at a restaurant that month, or skipping a trip to the movies. In times like these, those are real sacrifices, and we know it. But those amounts do help, and we hope for more of them as the days unfold.

Please feel free to post questions or ideas here in the comments. I'll get you an answer. Naturally, I'll also say that if you can help add to our March total, please do. It'll mean a lot more that I can say in words. And while I can't promise you that you'll be adding to the chances of making Liz the first lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia someday, I won't tell you it's utterly out of the question, either. ;-)

Best regards,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dame Agatha - part 4 in the Genevieve Asks series

Christie was a phenomenally prolific writer: 80 mystery novels! Not to mention plays! Short stories! Romances under a pseudonym! The Guinness Book of World Records calls her the best-selling author of all time - outselling everyone except the Bible 1.

I have read everything she wrote. And I will talk to you here about my favorites.

First, because it's not as well known, Rosemary is for Remembrance (also known as Remembered Death) in which, a year after Rosemary killed herself at her birthday party ("depressed after a bout of 'flu"), the people who were at the party are remembering her death. Her husband decides that he's going to have another party, this time for Rosemary's sister, at the same restaurant...
I have to say that Christie cheats just the squinchiest bit in this book, but I looooove the book very very much.

Another one that is less well known is Death Comes as the End, which takes place in ancient Egypt. Renisenb, newly widowed, has returned to live in her father's house where everything seems just the same...except...does everything stay the same for 8 years? And then her father Imhotep returns from a journey with a new concubine, Nophret, and then it is clear that things have changed quite a bit.

4.50 From Paddington (or What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!) is another favorite. What Mrs. McGillicuddy saw on the 4.50 from Paddington was a murder on a train that ran alongside for a few moments. She reports it to some officials, who don't believe her, and then she tells Miss Marple, who does. The best part of this book is Lucy Eylesbarrow. I love her.

N or M? Is a Tommy and Tuppence book that I love.

Please note that while I'm not talking about her most famous stuff, it's not because I didn't love Death on the Nile or Murder on the Orient Express, it's because I'm expecting you to either have read them, seen the movies, or already know about them.

In my opinion, Christie's talent shines best in her short stories. Parker Pyne, Detective is a set of short stories featuring that very remarkable man. The Mysterious Mr. Quin features Mr. Satterthwaite and Harley Quin. The Labours of Hercules is a set of 12 short stories about a challenge Hercule Poirot sets himself. The Tuesday Club Murders is a fun set of stories featuring Miss Marple. And The Golden Ball is a set of stories that have nothing to do with any of those folks.

So pour yourself a nice cup of tea, and pick up a Christie (if it's a used copy from the '50's all the better), and start reading.

And if you've got something you'd like me to post about - donate to MS's campaign and leave me a comment here!

1. Wikipedia (I know, I know, but I gave away my Hubin).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Didja notice?

My thermometer over there --> is up to



I can't thank you guys enough! That amount was made up of 2 $25 donations, 3 $100 donations, 1 $150 donation, and a $500 donation (the $500 donation came from a very, very non-bloggy source). Not visible is the $15 in cash that a lurking friend gave me (that will appear on the end-of-month report but not Act Blue)

But the point is, thank you. Thank you for being so supportive of this venture. And remember that I will blog to order if you make a request in comments here (or e-mail me) when you donate!

We're making a push to have a big report for the end of March, and we only have 4 more days. If you feel able to donate anything at all - every dollar counts! - I would be so grateful.

Thanks again!

Coming later today: Ruminations on Agatha Christie.
Coming soon (by e-mail request): A blog tour of the new house.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello, Ducky! Would you like a cuppa Tey?

And finally, The Singing Sands. Discovered after Tey's death, this is not as strong a book as it might have been had she lived to polish it. Nevertheless, it's a fun book. Grant is going to Scotland to recuperate and finds a dead man on the train. All that is known about the man is that he wrote a scrap of a poem in the margin of his newspaper: "The singing sands that guard the way to paradise". The words haunt Inspector Grant and, instead of spending his vacation fishing with his godson as he had planned, he follows the pull of the poem to discover who killed the man in the train...and why.

Now, about Dorothy Sayers. To be honest, she never grabbed me. I read the series once (while working at Murder Ink) and have never revisited them...Seems like it's time to give her another try. I'm much fonder of her short stories than of her novels and, highly recommend English Country House Murders for an example of a good one. In fact, that whole book is lovely.

Ngaio Marsh, is a great series writer. Her detective, Roderick Alleyn, develops through the series. We see him meet Agatha Troy, fall in love with her, marry her, and become a father. Troy and their son figure heavily in many of the books, including one where there's a bit of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" in the plot. The books take place mostly in England, though Alleyn travels to New Zealand a few times during the series, to the Continent, and also solves a murder on a cruise. One downer note to mention: some of her books have a level of racism that stands out jarringly to a 21st century reader.

Christie tomorrow! Four posts from one question!

Do you have something you'd like me to write about? Donate to the campaign and leave a comment!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Teys.

Josephine Tey (AKA Elizabeth Mackintosh) wrote eight books, all of which are just fabulous. I'm unable to pick a favorite, they are all so good and different in their own ways.

The Man in the Queue, her first novel, starts with a killing more mysterious than a locked-room killing. A man is stabbed to death while waiting in line for theatre tickets and, though hundreds of people were around him, no one saw a thing. What follows is a police procedural as fun and well-paced as a vintage episode of Law & Order. Which, if you think about the fact that The Man in the Queue was written in '29, is pretty fireplacing amazing.

I'm not going to talk about A Shilling for Candles because, well, it's her weakest book, and I've only read it twice. Don't start with this one.

My copy of Miss Pym Disposes is falling apart because I've read it so often. Miss Pym has written a very popular book on psychology and has been invited by an old school chum to speak at a women's physical education and physical therapy college. Planning to stay only one night, she finds herself drawn in to the college, covering for a professor on leave, and so is present when one of the students is killed. I love this book. I love Miss Pym. I love the students. I love the other teachers. Tey writes these characters so that they live and breathe.

The Franchise Affair. 'Nuff said.

Brat Farrar. Oh My God. This is just an amazing book. Brat is hailed on the street by a man who has mistaken him for someone else, whom he looks enough alike to be twins. It so happens that the man he looks like lost a twin (probably through suicide, but they never found the body) several years before, and he's very very rich. The lost twin was the elder...can Brat take his place? Even though I know all the twists by heart, I love re-reading this book. LOVE. The by-play, the characters. And you fall in love with Brat, with his sense of adventure and his coming to champion the twin whose place he's taking. READ THIS BOOK.

To Love and Be Wise. A famous radio journalist goes on a trek with a famous artist. The painter disappears. The journalist is suspected. These bare bones become nicely fleshed out under Tey's handling. F'rinstance, one clue that puzzles Inspector Alan Grant is that there is something missing from the artist's paint box. What was it? What would have that size and shape? This is just a lovely book.

The Daughter of Time. Inspector Alan Grant is sick in the hospital, and his friend brings him portraits of famous criminals of history. One face stands out to him as being wrong for the crime he was accused of. And thus Inspector Alan Grant sets out to prove that King Richard the Third did NOT kill the princes in the tower. In this book, Alan Grant, like Nero Wolfe, has all the information brought to him, because he can't leave his bed. Delicious.

The Singing Sands. I'll talk about this one more tomorrow!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blogging for Donations: Murder Ink

Genevieve asks:
Please post about how you ended up working in the mystery bookstore, and your time there, including any specific ruminations on Josephine Tey, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and maybe Agatha Christie - Tey and Sayers thoughts appreciated most, so if more detail on them means nothing on Marsh and Christie, that'd be fine.
I was working at a bookstore in Park Slope (Booklink, now defunct), and was the mystery, science fiction, and children's literature maven. I wrote little recommendations and put them up on the shelves. My co-workers were more into poetry and non-fiction with the occasional foray into serious literature. They wrote little recommendations, too. We sold books to Paul Auster and Andrea Dworkin...they lived in the neighborhood.

One day, I was headed up town to the movie theatre I used to work at, Loews 84th Street, to say hi to my former co-workers and maybe catch a movie. I missed my stop at 72nd (reading!) and stayed on the train to 96th to walk back downtown. And then...I saw it...

(Picture from The Gothamist) *

What is Ivy Books in this picture was a liquor store then. The red awning of Murder Ink stood out between the liquor store and a laundry. I never knew such a thing existed. A whole store of nothing but mysteries. I was in heaven.

I walked in right then and asked for a job. And bought 5 books. From Ann Romeo, who's read everything and is a walking encyclopedia of crime fiction.

I was hired a few weeks later. Jay Pearsall didn't have enough hours for me to be full-time, so I also worked for Murder Ink's sister store, The Traveler's Bookstore, down in Rockefeller Center. That was fun, but not as fun as Murder Ink.

God, I loved working there.

Eventually, I got the manager's slot at Murder Ink and began to work there full-time. I flirted with Leon, the UPS man. I wrote reviews for the catalog, I shelved books, and read more than I ever have before or since - discovering authors I'd never heard of before. I sold books to movie stars (actually, that last one was at Traveler's), and schmoozed with authors. But the best part (aside from meeting Mr. Spock) was recommending new authors to people....

And I will talk more about those authors tomorrow night, in the next chapter of Genevieve Asks About Murder Ink.

*If you watched Law & Order in the '90's and saw the episode called "Mayhem" you would have seen Murder Ink playing the part of a gay bookstore. You can spot the gun logo on signs in the background while Briscoe and Logan are interviewing Mr. Hexter's boyfriend.

Blogging for Donations: How We Met (redux)

As anon guessed, I have written about this before. I left out some stories, however.

Shortly before we started dating, MS woke up at 4 in the morning to wait in line at a science fiction convention to get one of my books signed by an author I love (he wasn't fond of her). Yeah, he's a keeper.

He used to bring me lunch at the bookstore: Delicious tuna fish sandwiches, Hershey's Kisses, and 8 oz bottles of Coke. The real glass bottles.

When we lived on 96th Street, he introduced me to that amazing time stealer, Myst. The number of nights I stayed up until three playing that game...I wore the Myst t-shirt he gave me for Christmas that year until it fell apart.

He built a ladder for the loft bed, because I had trouble using the one he had. It was ingenious: to allow us to get into the bathroom (small apartment! two rooms!), it folded up against the bed when not in use, and then swung out and locked open when we were ready to climb it.

That apartment felt bigger than it was, because it had a little tiny hallway between the two rooms, and two large closets. It was at the back of the apartment building and, while it got very little sun, there was also next to no noise. The "kitchen" was obviously an after-thought, not in the original design of the apartment. It was a stove, a sink, and a refridgerator stuck in a corner of what we used mostly as an office. There was no counter, so we put the drying rack in the sink.

The oven had to be lit with a match. I still have the scar where I wasn't quick enough.

He didn't tell me for a long time that he doesn't like lasagna, something I made often. He's not fond of ricotta, amazingly.

And then there was the Dracaena Marginata. The plant that wouldn't die. It moved with us from 96th Street (where it survived despite next to no light), to 3rd Street in B'klyn, to Tyson's Corner, to our old house...where it ended up over 10 feet tall. It finally started to look peaky and it went the way of all good plants. Perhaps we should get another one.

If you have an idea for a blog post, please donate to the campaign and leave a comment!! I will post for any size donation!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wow, that was just perfect!

Just got back from the perfect birthday weekend where I:

  • Traveled up on the Acela with MM and MS. Paid bills while MS made calls asking for donations*, then I watched HP & tOotP with MM while MS made calls asking for donations**.
  • Went shopping with my mom and BigSister and had a blast. So much fun shopping with the two of them for more clothes than you can shake a stick at. Five pairs of pants, eight tops, a sweater, and a skirt. And they loooook mahvelous.
  • Ate a stuffed artichoke and lobster ravioli, after which I WAS a stuffed artichoke.
  • Giggled long past bedtime with my sister and my son.
  • Went for a walk in EvenBetterThanCentralPark with my sister.
  • Did a crossword with my step-father while eating a bagel and drinking some of the strongest coffee in the world.
  • Watched my mommy hem my new pants (thanks mom!!!)
  • Went for Dim Sum with my mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, sister, grandma, husband, and son. As MM said, "Yum, yum! Dim Sum!"
  • Got beautiful earrings and a bracelet.
  • Schmoozed with my dad and step-mom and then...
  • Got back on Acela to come home. Read a book, watched The Muppet Movie and listened to MM read from a very silly joke book. He's gaining a pretty good sense of comedic timing.
Now we're back home. MM is asleep, I got all unpacked and hung everything up, and am now in my jammies ready for bed.

And I totally forgot to twitter any of it. D'oh!

*I will blog to order if you donate!
**Donations of any amount are welcome! Every dollar helps!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Random bullets of I'm Forty

  • Thank you for your birthday wishes!
  • Not feeling the big-dealness of this b-day, because I've been thinking of myself as forty for months now, since MS turned the big FIVE OH last October.
  • Yes, that's how I calculate my age, I'm MS minus ten.
  • I can't believe I still chew on my fingers. I'm forty. Time to break that nasty habit.
  • OTOH, there are worse habits and I haven't got any of them.
  • I really enjoyed myself yesterday...waking up to chocolate and cards and then spending the day down in Richmond doing committee work. I really like the woman I carpool with to get down there, she's smart and funny and doesn't take herself too seriously.
  • MM and I finished reading HP & tOotP last night. Boy, that's a hard book to read aloud. Those last three chapters involve a lot of throat clearing and tissues.
  • Talk amongst yourselves.
  • I'll give you a topic.
  • Mallomars or Thin Mints? Explain your reasons.
  • I'm back.
  • And now we know what movie we'll be watching on the train up to NYC for Dim Sum with the family.
  • Mmmm...Dim Sum.

Don't forget that I'm taking requests for blog topics in exchange for donations to the campaign!!! As Dr. Corndog, Susan, and others have already found, donations of any amount are very very very welcome. Obama got mostly donations of 10 & 20 dollars! So please, please help us out.

Thank you!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blogging By Request: Transitions (ETA something I nearly forgot about)

In the comments on the last post, Susan asked
"Well, I'm curious about what it's like to go from a family w/o an elected politician to a family with one. Not sure you can blog about that, now that I think about it, but I'm curious what that transition has been like."
The answer is, it's been both easy and hard. Easy, because running for office, from the point of view of the spouse, is an incredible amount of work for both the candidate and the spouse. Back-to-school nights, weekend events, door-knocking, phone-calling...I hadn't known before MS did his last campaign that I was expected to do these things too! We had babysitters about three nights a week there at the end, as well as most weekend afternoons. So MS actually holding office is much easier on our family, though he's still out at meetings at least two nights a week, and more often three or four.

At the same time, the transition is hard, because holding office can take as much time as the office holder will let it. There isn't an amount of time that would be considered too much time to give to the job - especially during budget season, which happened right after MS took office last year. MS got (and still gets) calls late into the evening and all day on weekends from constituents, and it was hard to set boundaries in our family about that.

Also, I've had to learn how to state my opinion outside the family in a way that doesn't commit Mr. Spock to MY position. I generally say, "I'm not speaking for MS, I won't say what his position is, if you want to know what he thinks, you'll have to ask him. But if you're asking me for my opinion, here it is:" insert relevant opinion.

Now most of y'all know that I am not afraid of offering up an opinion on just about anything, so the preamble there had to get memorized pretty darn quick.

Muffin Man definitely prefers being the son of an elected official to being the son of a campaigner (more at-home time with both mommy and daddy) and isn't terribly thrilled about a return to campaign status. He didn't like all the work I did for Obama either, but he loved the outcome. He's becoming quite the little partisan, though, so maybe I'll take him walkingwalkingwalking with me sometimes this Fall.

Do you have anything you'd like me to post about? Make a contribution and leave your post idea in the comments!

Thank you again, Susan!! I really appreciate it!

Oh! it's my birthday! Thanks, Magpie, for the b-day wishes!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How is this for an idea?

If you contribute to MS's campaign and leave a comment with a blog topic request, I will post about that topic. This is retroactive to Saturday!

If you've contributed, don't want to comment, but you still have an idea for a blog post, then email me (liz#at#millerhousehold#dot#com) with your idea.


Thank you!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend update

Ooh! Organizers! Kitchen shelving (not many cabinets here in the new house), over the door shoe racks, over the door towel rods.

Unpacking and keeping things tidy, one cardboard box at a time.

We only have a few more boxes to unpack.

That pretty much sums up the weekend, along with calling friends and family and begging for money.

Speaking of...Thank you for contributing!! And please pass it on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Asking for your help

Y'all know that MS is running for office again (more coming soon to that site, btw), right? Well, the state party is eager to help if we can show a strong push here at the beginning.

Meaning we need to raise some money by March 31. Enough to show the party that this is a good bet.

The guy currently holding this seat is a Republican who sponsored a bill to mandate insurance coverage of autistic children...and then he let it die in committee. I took that pretty personally since I volunteer on both our County and State boards that oversee the intellectual disabilities services.

This district went for Obama and for Warner very heavily. Last time out the incumbent won by only 5% against a good guy with no prior elected experience. The party thinks MS's opponent is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the state. And if we win just 6 more seats, the Democrats will have a majority!! Which is especially important this year with the redistricting coming next year -- helping us keep folks like Rep. Periello in his new seat! Also, if the Dems have a majority in the House, we can really bring Obama's policies home to the people of Virginia.

So, I'm asking you to help again, just like you did last time. We couldn't have done it without you.

Here's the link to my page on ActBlue. Please consider contributing if you can. And whether you contribute or not, please consider passing along the word to folks you think might be interested. I'll also be putting a permanent link over there on the right -->

Got questions about where MS stands on issues? Feel free to ask him!

Meanwhile, here's a link to my favorite MS as Supervisor moment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New house, new routines

I'm liking the new house very much. Still need to unpack more stuff and figure out the best places to put them all, but so far, so good.

MM is happy with the new house too. He likes his playroom and is much more comfortable being on a different floor than MS and me than at the old house.

Driving MM to school is nice, too. We're definitely going to need to fine tune the "hopping out of the car" routine.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mourning things I'm not taking with me

  • The latest edition of the Hubin Comprehensive Bibliography of Crime Fiction (1749-1990).
  • Many many many first editions of crime fiction (storing them in the basement here, though. If we can't rent the house without clearing out the basement, I'll have to sell them.)
  • The 5-disc CD player I won from a radio station (nearly 20 years ago).
  • The big bag o' cotton yarn that never became the baby sweaters I envisioned.
And the list goes on. Items that represent things I did and things I wanted to do...and I'm giving them away or storing them waiting to sell them or, in the case of my favorite pair of boots, throwing them away because they are beyond repair.


Packing panic



We're moving Sunday.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

As seen at Redzils's: The BBC Book List

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE. (Redzils didn't do this, and neither will I. What I WILL do is put a + on those I've read more than once)
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.(Redzils didn't do this, and neither will I)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X+
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X+
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X+
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X+
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare X
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier X+
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X+
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot X
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens X
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams X+
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh X
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X+
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X+
34 Emma - Jane Austen X+
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen X+
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X+
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X+
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X+
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving X+
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins X
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - X+
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X+
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X+
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert X+
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X+
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - X+
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt X
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X+
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson X
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X+
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X+
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro X
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X+
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X+
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X+
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams X+
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole X
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas X
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X+
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X

My total: 62. I just noticed that there is no #2.
Of these, I HATED two (Secret History and Wuthering Heights), never got past chapter three of Moby Dick and read twenty-nine of them more than once.

Great moving tips!!!

  • Take this opportunity to bring your coats/suits/dresses to the dry cleaners to get cleaned and/or mended. Bring them from the old house to the cleaners and then pick them up after you've moved.
  • You really DO NOT need that hotel receipt from 2002. Throw it away.
  • (avid readers only) If it's been on your shelf for over two years, and you haven't read it yet, you're not going to. Hand it on to someone else.
  • Give away the toys your child hasn't played with in years. Be honest with yourself if you are only giving away the ones you hate. If there are toys your child is unwilling to part with (coughLittlePeoplecough), but never plays with anymore, try to compromise (put them in storage if you can or give to a younger relative if you've got one or ask Grandma if she can take them. Hey, Mom? Can you take a box of Little People toys?
  • Use this moment to really really be honest with yourself about your clothes. I don't care how cute it is or how much you loved it, if it doesn't fit/is stained/you just never wear it/it's SOOOO 1990's then throw it out or hand it on. In my area, The Resourceful Woman is a great place to hand these things on...it benefits the local abused women's shelter and especially needs suits and blouses.
  • Keep a box ready for packing in every room of the house. When you wander into that room, pack the box before you wander back out.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The more I pack, the more there is to pack

Packed books and toys and there are still more books and toys to pack.

Need to do the kitchen. Oh Lord. Need to do the foodstuffs in the basement.

Need to do MM's room

I bribed him to let go of the changing table/dresser in his room. He's getting more Lego. We'll keep the fronts of the door and drawers because of the sticker collage (much more elaborate now than in this picture from over three years ago.)

We're also keeping the baskets for his underwear and socks. They're going in his closet.

Today we parted with an armoire, a bookcase MS built, and a blanket chest we built together. It feels good to get them gone. Why do we wait to move to get rid of stuff we don't need?

Meanwhile, the wind is wuthering about the house. Four to eleven inches of snow due by tomorrow morning. I'm guessing I'll get a call from our local school system at 6:00 AM to let us know that school's been canceled.

What's up in your neck of the woods?