Showing posts from April, 2013

Laser Tag

A photo from just after Maya's first experience with laser tag. She went last month with her godsister, Shon, and she's ready to go again whenever.

Maya said her favorite part was shooting and shooting and shooting at one point, only to realize she was shooting her own reflection in one of the mirrors. No points there!

Incoming Mail

Postcard of Boone Tavern at Berea College (Kentucky) from Dana in North Carolina of Save Snail Mail.
 Postcard of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Missouri) from Misty in Ohio of Confessions of a Pen Thief.
 Card made with Suzy's Zoo stickers from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.
 Card from Barbara in South Carolina.
Stamp from Queen Elizabeth II postcard from Wanda in Canada.

Recent Reads

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy (2013).  Highly Recommended.  This made for a bittersweet read for me, as Binchy, one of my favorite authors, died in 2012.  If you enjoy her books, this is vintage Binchy.  If you haven't read anything by her before, The Scarlet Feather and Circle of Friends are my all-time favorites.  Her characters leap off of the page, and I appreciate even the ones I don't particularly like.

The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson (2012).  Highly Recommended by Maya.  I think I enjoyed this particular book just as much as Maya.  A hodge-podge group of characters head to save Princess Mirella from the ogre, yet the princess is exactly where she wants to be.  What will the members of the group learn about themselves and their place in the world during their epic adventure?

Ivan and Dimitri by Roxie Rivera, first two installments of the Her Russian Protector series (2013).  Highly Recommended.  Dangerous, Alpha males doing their best to help the women they love du…

Maya's Art Fair Project

Her clay mask, complete with a hole for hanging somewhere prominent in our home.

Incoming Mail

Cat postcard from Angie in Texas of Mailbox Happiness.
 Postcard from my sister in New Mexico from her trip to Utah. Learn more about Zion National Park here.
Card of Raven Gate II by artist Sandy Vaillancourt from my sister in New Mexico.

April 15--Tax Day in the United States

"Our tax code is so long it makes War and Peace seem breezy."  ~Steven LaTourette

"This is a question too difficult for a mathematician.  It should be asked of a philosopher."  ~Albert Einstein, about filling out his income tax form, 1944

"The dirty little secret is that the pool man, who's making $30,000 a year, is subsidizing the million-dollar mortgage for the family whose pool he cleans. No wonder people want to get rid of tax breaks for corporate jets."  ~Dee Dee Myers

"Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund."  ~F.J. Raymond

"At its most basic, the democratic contract is a simple one: the right to vote comes with a responsibility to society, through tax payments and citizenship."  ~Lucy Powell

"I am thankful for the taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed."  ~Nancie J. Carmody

"Taxes grow without rain."  ~Jewish Proverb

"When there …

Maya's Self-portrait

Maya's Picasso-style self-portrait, on display at her school art fair last night.

This and That

Well, Saturday mail delivery is safe in the United States for now.  This press release from the US Postal Service Board of Governors explains the reason for the change.  While I'm thrilled to be keeping Saturday mail delivery, I think Congress needs to take constructive steps to eliminate other sources of financial trouble for the USPS, including the pre-funding of retiree health benefits, before the mail service is run into the ground.  And, yes, I think Congress isn't being fair to the USPS regarding the mail delivery schedule when the USPS is funded entirely through the purchase of their goods and services, not in any way from taxes.  Gen X cynic that I am, I also suspect the argument that Congress wants to break the postal workers' union while also catering to the lobbying requests from private companies in competition with the USPS holds some merit.

Again, though, I confess to doing a little happy dance when I learned I wouldn't lose Saturday mail delivery.


Recent Reads

My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese (1995).  Highly Recommended.  This is the May reading seleciton for my book club at work.  Dr. Verghese describes his experiences during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic at his practice location in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Verghese writes with compassion while creating vivid descriptions of time, place, and the people around him.

Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust by Alexandra Zapruder (2002).  Highly Recommended.  Selections from 15 diaries written by diarists between the ages of 12 and 22, with well-researched background information provided by Zapruder.  The ones that hit me the hardest were from "anonymous boy" and "anonymous girl," as we don't know anything else about them besides what's written in the journals they left behind.  Hard to read, important to read, and impossible to forget.

Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid (2013).  Highly Recomme…

Incoming Mail

Postcard from Dmitry in Russia from his trip to Germany.  Shh!  Don't tell Maya I snagged this from her room just long enough to take a photo.
 Card from Les in Maine.
 Card from Sherri Kay in Wisconsin.
 Card from Joel's mom in Arizona.  Joel is autistic, and he collects postcards. He also reads his daily mail to his roommates at dinner every night.  He really is the one person who might appreciate mail more than I do.
Postcard from Dana in North Carolina of Save Snail Mail.

T.V. Show Quotes I Like

"It's not like me and Miranda are perfectly suited. For one thing, she likes bad boys. That's just not me. . . . I'm sorry. I can't unlearn how to treat a lady. But where does that leave me? Waiting till I'm forty when she looks me up on Facebook after her failed first marriage?"  ~~Manny, Modern Family

"Am I the only one Zen around here?"  ~~Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead

"Shoot me again? You best pray I'm dead."  ~~Daryl Dixon to Andrea, The Walking Dead

[Addressing a crucifix after the group kills several walkers in a church] "Yo, JC, you taking any requests?"  ~~Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead

"People in hell want Slurpees."  ~~Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead

Boyd: "A man who speaks out of both sides of his mouth deserves to have it shut permanently."
Ava: "Who said that?"
Boyd: "Boyd Crowder."
~~Boyd Crowder and Ava Crowder, Justified

"Next time I reach out to you, I don't …