Saturday, June 28, 2008

Top 100?

The Big Read says that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.
Well let's see. Here's how it works.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE, and strikeout the books you read but didn't like.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who've read only 6 or less and make them read.

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

Ok I have read 36 of the hundred and there were a couple that I may have but couldn't remember for sure. the ones I italicized are probably not the only ones on the list I will eventually read. They are just books I have in mind right now. I don't know who made this list. I borrowed it from this blog. I like lists and books so how could I resist.

If you know of other works that you think should be on this list leave a comment. It may lead to something to read that I or someone else would enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spreading Out The Eggs

You know the saying. Don't put your eggs all in one basket. With selling online it seems to be the same way. Don't expect one venue to do all your selling for you. Well I am not getting rich but I am finding other baskets. One of the best finds for new baskets I think is This place has put a lot of little things in place to make life so much easier for small and large businesses alike. If you are small like me all listing is made easier because you do it all on one page and you can load multiple photos at one time. Categories and subcategories for your shop have just been added. If you look at the sidebar here you see that they have a widget available and you can make one for any shop you are looking at from the shop home page.

From a forum update you can see they have some exciting things in the works

If you play a bit with the category tree, you'll notice there are function to rename / re-sort, and trying to incorporate the category tree management inside 1 import file will be difficult.

Looking back, when we specified exactly 2 months ago the short term plans, we completed most plus others that came in. Additional short term major items that's planned or are currently active :

- adult content identification : we're coming to realize that there is no way we're going to be able to avoid this, so, we'll have to develop a structure / mechanism to deal with it.
- removing sandbox payment gateway settings. Too many shops having that enabled.
- tagging of unique / handmade products/shops vs mass produced products
- customization of stores. This is our main focus.
- custom category tree in listing imports/exports
- GoogleBase / Google Shopping submission - huge delays on this function, but we're back at it
- Purchase Order exports
- infrastructure upgrades
- Resolving IE problems / Firefox 3 compatibility issues
- Homepage change / personalizations
- more tuning of site for search engine

Not yet started :
- coupons/discounts
- shipping calculator
- scrapbook

Right now listing an item is free but a 3% commission is taken from sales. I think the plan is to charge for video files if you use them as well as for premium shop customization features. Did I mention you get your own blog and can set up your own forum? I am so pleased to see that being able to offer discounts and a shipping calculator are on the list. When it is on a list to get done at this place it seems to happen and not drift off into cyber never never land where they hope the users forget about it. Many of you know what site I am referring to here.

Take a look. It can't hurt. You may find yourself a new basket for your eggs. Mine is right here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Love to Read!

I will read anything almost and love to go to book stores and libraries. About the only thing I don't like in reading or movies are horror stories. My latest batch of books are due back at the library tomorrow and I thought I had better get my reading list up to date. I have added four books to the list. They were all good reads and I enjoyed spending time with them. 

I read-

  • Finding Marie by Susan Page Davis
    • This story was ok. Personally it was a little to religious for me but those with strong beliefs would enjoy it I think.
  • How to Rig an Election by Allen Raymond
    • An interesting look at how campaigns are run. I suppose I should say run by some but maybe not all. I was as full of  tricks as you suspect.
  • Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy
    • As always one of my favorite authors. If you enjoy stories about contemporary Ireland you need to find her books!
  • The English American by Alison Larkin
    • There is a lot to this book, contrasts of countries and cultures, adoption issues for the child and parents and finding your way as a young adult. I really enjoyed reading this!

If you have read any of them and wish to leave a comment I encourage you to do so. If you have any recommendations for me I would love to hear them as well.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Molly and Success

I would like to introduce you to Molly. I didn't actually name her but the company that made her did. She is a big part of my plan to move forward in my shops and display my things in better and more appealing ways. I have found it very difficult to photograph scarves and shawls and I believe she will be the answer since laying them flat is not so great looking and, to me, having someone wear them says used in my mind. Doesn't she look great in her mini wrap? I haven't named the wrap by the way and if you have any ideas I would love to hear them. Just leave a comment.

As some readers may have figured out I do some paid posting and have ads for sale here on my blog. These reason for doing these things is to bring in a little cash to use for supplies and things like Molly. I am not getting rich from these things but it helps my crafting pay for itself. My goal for this fall and holiday season is for the sale of my handcrafted things to start paying for itself so I can cut back on some of those things and concentrate on crafting more exclusively although I have discovered some things I never would have known about without doing paid posts.

Another measure of success that would please me and Jim both is if I could be making enough to contribute a regular amount to the family budget. I do hope to get there within the next year. I do best with deadlines and service to customers would create those. Being busy enough with my shops that when I got up each day there were things that had to get done would be wonderful. As it is now it is way too easy for me to procrastinate. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

This post is part of the EtsyBloggers Street Team blog carnival. I have links in the left sidebar that will take you to the June 23rd carnival when it is published as well as the current carnival and archives.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Our Father's Day was a quiet one. Jim talked to kids and grandkids which he always enjoys. He didn't want much in the way of a celebration from me. He wanted, believe it or not, to go to McDonald's for breakfast. He loves Egg McMuffins so that is what he got. Two of them in fact.

He had to spend part of the day preparing for a business trip. We did some shopping and picked up a new thumb drive and a rolling laptop case to make things easier for him when he travels. He was using a shoulder bag before and his laptop is not one of the lightest models.

He buys for himself any thing he wants so figuring out gifts for him can be tough. We have noticed a plant in many places around here called the Red Bird of Paradise. He has said many times that he would like some of those for our yard. So that is what I got for him. I actually got three and they are now planted in the front yard. Ours are not this big yet of course. I love the lacy leaves and bright flowers so this will be something we can both enjoy.

I hope all fathers had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Birthday Weekend

We spent part of my birthday in this park in Payson, Arizona. The town was hosting a traveling display of the Viet Nam War Wall. I think somewhere I heard that is was 1/2 size which sounds about right compared to my memory of seeing the real one in Washington. I don't personally know any of the names on the wall because thankfully my relatives that were there came home. However when something this special comes close to me I like to visit and in a way pay my respects.

Many people left gifts just as they do in Washington.

Handmade or store bought the love and longing for a different ending is still there. Just too many lives ended too soon.

I just wish mankind could find another way. It just seems to me that when powerful men fight the little man is the one that bleeds and dies.

So here I am at 53 on my birthday selfishly thankful that Jim made it through 20 years, 3 months and 1 day of Naval service and is still here with me.
He took the pictures.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Mom

Today is my mother's birthday. I don't she would mind if I told you she is 74 today. I was born 53 years ago yesterday the day before her 21st birthday. So much for a party that day I am sure. She was the 6th of 12 of my grandparents children. She was also the last one to be born at home with the doctor coming to the house in a dust storm. This was 1934 in Kansas on a farm in the dust bowl days. She walked through the heat, rain and snow down a dirt road to elementary school in a one room school house. Later in high school and college she was very active in sports. Her high school basketball team went to a state tournament where she will tell you she averaged 28 points a game. She also played and lettered in softball and tennis.

These days I think her biggest joy is having family gather in her home. In fact as far as she is concerned the more the merrier. She loves to cook for a crowd and usually makes way too much food for all of us. Playing with the babies is always a treat for her and there are it seems always a few in our family to play with. Mom has 5 children, 14 grandchildren and somewhere around 15 great grandchildren although I am ashamed to admit I am not real sure about that number. She is with the youngest great granddaughter in this picture in February.

Happy to You Mom!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Where Would You Go?

Image by Portland Ground
I don't know that those who end up in the Witness Protection Program actually have much choice about where they end up as long as it is away and safe. In USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight a couple of US Marshalls in New Mexico help folks start over.

No offense meant to those that love New Mexico but if I could choose it would be Portland, Oregon. I have been there once during the Rose Festival. We stayed in a downtown hotel that I have forgotten the name of now but the parade went right by the hotel's front doors. It was only a couple blocks to the waterfront park with lots of carnival like attractions and entertainment. It was also where we boarded a boat to enjoy a dinner cruise on the river. The photo you see above is of the very walkable shopping area downtown. Even in a light rain we had a good time going in and out of the stores. If major retailers aren't your idea of shopping fun there is always the Saturday Market. I enjoyed that so much and as a crafter would love to take part in that on a regular basis.

I don't need to escape thank goodness so I guess if I am ever going to live in Portland I will have to arrange it myself. Where would you go?


Sometimes I get carried away with things. I have kind of found myself at a stand still with crafting. I have so much that needs to be photographed and put online that making more things seems rather silly.

So the other day I went to the library and checked out six books, some are fiction and some nonfiction. Since I wanted a fast read I chose to spend the afternoon yesterday with the thinnest of the six. It was Nancy by Michael Deaver. It was a pleasant story obviously written by some one who really admired Nancy Reagan. I don't really know enough about her to have an opinion one way or another. I remember how the press treated her at times but I always figure that if you cut the exaggerations of the print and television news about in half you are probably closer to the truth on most matters.

It has felt real good to spend the last two days with my nose buried in books. Tomorrow some photography and new listings and will be introducing my new photography assistant, Molly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Many, Many Mini Thanks

Just catching up on the last group of bloggers who featured my shop on their blogs. I want to thank each and every one of you (57) who took the time this to write a feature and post it on their blogs. Some of you made me laugh, some made me smile and some made me think to answer questions but it was all good. What an enjoyable experience it is to be part of the EtsyBloggers Street Team.

Once again to all of you thanks so much!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Treasured Sunday


I find it a wonderful surprise every time one of my little things gets included in a treasury. I happen to be part of a great group of artists and crafters known as the EtsyBloggers and this is just a small collection of the talent in that group. If you want to see it in person and comment or take a closer look at anything just go right here. I would also recommend stopping by the shop of the curator. That shop is Tulip's Treasure Box.





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