Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon: An Early Christmas

Good morning my friends. I'm happy to still be of sound body and mind, despite the hellish week I've just endured. I warned you last Sunday that I might not be as present in the blogosphere this past week for about a dozen reasons that clogged my calendar and gave me stress-related eye twitches. At the same time, Christmas did come early in unexpected ways. Let me extrapolate on this a bit for you.

First, let's just say that there wasn't a day this week that didn't have a few bits of fun crammed into it. Sports practices, a band concert, a Barnes & Noble event featuring our school, book club, the middle school Winter Ball, a 4th grade field trip to Epcot, a 7 hour track meet and a football game were all a part of that fun.

The Barnes & Noble event was actually pretty exciting, despite the fact that I had to be there and in two other places at the same time. We had a similar event like this last May. In the store, we feature our children's choir, chimes, string group, story tellers, jugglers etc., drawing parents to the store. Our Junior Civitan wrapped gifts for donations. And every sale associated with our school is counted towards a percentage we get back for our library. At the end of the evening, we earned nearly $900 for the library. My heart soared. I contributed to the cause, of course. I bought three books based on your influence: Lisa Scottoline's "Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog" (recommended by the lovely Caite at A Lovely Shore Breeze), Lionel Shriver's "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (from Jackie at Farm Lane Books, and because I loved "The Post-Birthday World"), and Laura van den Berg's "What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us" (from Rebecca at The Book Lady's Blog.) I just couldn't help myself.

My book club also took an upward turn this month, with the exciting book selection of "The Hunger Games", which I rated 5 stars back in March. We had six participants, most of whom loved the book. In fact, three of them had already rushed out to purchase "Catching Fire". Because the next person in line to choose a book was not present, I got my turn. I chose "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Yes, yes, I've already read it, but I thoroughly loved it, and I want to read it again. I've heard the audio is excellent. And I'm pretty sure they will love it too.

My husband surprised me with an early Christmas present...something I've been begging for. Voila...

It is an HP Mini, or in other words, a Netbook. It is hard to tell in this photo, but this cute little thing is about 7 by 10 inches, and fits in my purse. Not a huge amount of hard drive space, but has enough to allow blogging and retrieving my e-mails.
The cherry on top? I have a chip in the computer that allows me wireless access to the Internet ANYWHERE (track meets, in the car waiting to pick up kids, doctor's offices, or when I get stopped by a train). I almost wet my pants. Life is good, people.

My other early gift was not so delightful. My new kitten, Ziggy, crawled up to the house Tuesday night, with an obvious issue with his back right leg. He was crying and in serious pain. A quick trip to the vet on Wednesday confirmed a complicated, shattered femur, that required extensive surgery costing about $1,000. Merry Christmas to me and to Ziggy. He is now recovering, and looking
like Frankenkitty.

I finished my ninth book for the Shelf Discovery Challenge, "Go Ask Alice", and started "Flowers in the Attic", which will be the tenth and will complete the
challenge. I also enjoyed an ARC called "What I Know", a precious collection of
"universal truths from 10-year-olds and 100-year-olds." Look for that review in January. I also finished The Given Day on audio, and started The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. The kids and I continue to plow through "Catching Fire", and will most likely finish it this next week.

OK, so I will shut up now. Lots on my mind I guess. Hope you all have a fabulous Sunday!


Literary Feline said...

I am glad you survived last week, Sandy! I am glad you were able to jam in some fun here and there. Congratulations on earning so much for the library! That's an amazing amount of money.

A netbook! How cool! My husband's been eying them every time we are at Best Buy. We can't afford it right now, but I told him that maybe by next spring or summer we can get him one, depending.

I am so glad Ziggy is okay now! Poor kitty.

I hope you have a good week, Sandy.

Susan said...

OMG! Take a deep breath, woman! You're gonna have a heart attack! How in the world do you even keep all that straight? You must have a planner ten inces thick! Or do you keep it all lined out on your new netbook? Wow, that's sweet!

Poor little Ziggy! He looks like such a sweetie-pie! I'm surprised they don't have his leg in a cast. Do you have to keep him immobilized? All my kitties were very upset when they saw his picture and want me to send him special kitty hugs and kisses from Cricket, Tobey and Frankie.

Hope this week is more calm!

Alice said...

A netbook! I'm jealous! You're one blessed woman. Have fun with it! :D

I'm sorry to hear about what happened to Ziggy. I'm glad he's OK now.

I'm glad the bookclub meeting went well too. I hope you'll enjoy CATCHING FIRE!

JoAnn said...

What a week!! Congrats on raising so much $ at B&N. The netbook is awesome...and speedy recovery to Ziggy.

PS - I'm laughing now... my word verification in "resting"!

bermudaonion said...

Your netbook sounds wonderful - I'm totally jealous since I don't even have a smartphone yet.

Poor Ziggy. Our Christmas money will be spent on repairing our son's car, so I know the feeling. Why do things like that always happen this time of year?

Frances said...

You are a very busy women as usual! But who more than the family chauffeur deserves that netbook? Good for you Sandy! Now you will be able to steal a little you time while you wait for Child 1, Child 2, husband and pets for various activities. Funny though that the object that brings you such joy today probably cost less than that vet bill. Isn't that always how it works? Hope Ziggy mends quickly! Happy reading!

Trisha said...

Ooooohhh, I am so jealous of the netbook. That is awesome. And poor Ziggy. Ouch!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Poor Ziggy! But congratulations on the netbook! It's always nice to have good things helping to balance out the not so good!

Alyce said...

Oh my goodness, that is a busy schedule!

Your poor kitty! That must have been quite the shock for you to see him so hurt. I'm glad he's recovering, and even if he does look a little Franken-kittyish, he's still very cute.

Literate Housewife said...

I'm so excited for you, Sandy! I love my Asus mini and I know you'll love yours, too.

I just finished listening to the Help. Jill from Rhapsody just reviewed it today, too. The really funny thing is that I then started The Hunger Games on audio afterwards. I'm not sure what I think about it yet.

I hope that this week is much more relaxing for you.

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

I've been thinking about a netbook for a while now and can't wait to hear what your experience is like with it. Also, I'm so glad that you picked up the van den Berg book. It's so wonderful.

Cathy said...

My word, what a week. I hope you have a chance to slow down and take it easy today! That's cool about the netbook. Now you also need a Kindle ... or do you already have one? Sorry about your poor kitty ...

caite said...

hope you like the book! oh my, the pressure!

but I am sure you will love the netbook as much as I love mine. so cute is Sam (mine is a Samsung), so little, so easy to travel with.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Wendy - Because my husband's company had an AT&T skynet (or whatever it is called) account, we got the Netbook for $200. Seriously good deal. It is perfect for just going on the Internet, which is all I need! I know poor little baby kitty...

Susan - I'm not sure if I did keep everything straight. Do I have both of my kids? Haha. We had to keep Ziggy in a bathroom for the first couple of days to keep him from jumping or running, but now he is able to have the run of the house. That first night, my daughter slept in the bathroom with him!

Alice - I know, I do need to count my blessings and not complain! I love my Netbook. And we are on the 7th of 10 discs of Catching Fire. Good stuff!

JoAnn - yeah right! Resting! That will come once school is out and I am at my parents' house for Christmas!

Kathy - don't feel bad, I don't have a smartphone either. I'm not worthy. I kill phones. Maybe someday...I got the Netbook out of just sheer nagging my husband. He actually wanted to get me a regular laptop, but I wanted this cute small thing that fit in my purse!

Frances - you are totally right. The vet bill was a grand. I even got all my trees trimmed for less than that!

Trisha - I know, my stomach goes all wiggly when I look at Ziggy's wound!

Jill - yes, like that Seinfeld episode says, everything evens out in the end. And despite the awful vet bill, I am so glad Ziggy is doing well. I don't deal well with having to put animals down.

Alyce - yes it was a shock. I could never be in the healthcare industry because I don't like stuff like this. You do what you have to do though. The stitches come out in a week, so I just have to make it through then!

Jennifer - eh, I don't know if it will be relaxing exactly, but hopefully just a tad better. I'm already loving my netbook. Very handy! I did love The Help, and I can only imagine those ladies in the hands of a good narrator!

Rebecca - thanks for the recommendation. When you give one such a glowing review, I know I need to pay attention!

Catherine - Yes, I do have a Kindle. My sweet husband got me one for Mother's Day. As much as my blogging drives him nuts, he sure does support me technologically!

Darlene said...

Oh no, poor Ziggy. My heart just breaks when any pet is in pain. I'd spend my day in tears if I worked at the vet.

Congrats on the netbook! That's awesome. I wouldn't mind one of those.

Hope things settle down for you a bit. I get tired just reading about how busy you usually are.

Have a good week!

Heidenkind said...

I have an HP Mini, too! It is very tiny. People at work are always surprised when they realize it's a computer, for some reason. :P

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the addition of your "laptop"; what a nifty looking toy! And, I hope this week is better for you. No more eye twitches!

Melody said...

Looks like you had a busy week, Sandy!

Your netbook looks awesome! My husband just got a new one last week, and he was happy like a child getting his new toy, LOL.

Poor Ziggy! I hope he get well soon!

Gavin said...

So sorry about Ziggy. The cats I've had always made lousy patients, I hope he behaves himself!

I'm glad you survived your busy week with your sense of humor intact, and a Netbook,how cool is that? We had our wreath-making party and book sale, a very popular event at school, but I managed to miss one of my favorite holiday parties 'cause I thought it was next Saturday, not last night! Must be my aging brain, can't keep two thoughts in it a once anymore!

Have a great week, and try not to get too stressed out.

Literary Feline said...

Did you see? I thought of you immediately when I heard that Nymeth and Chris are hosting a Graphics Novel Challenge this next year.

Jenners said...

I really liked "We Need To Talk About Kevin." Depressing though.

And poor poor Ziggy! Hope he heals soon!

And what an awesome Christmas present! Your husband is the tops!

Hope this next weeks is a bit more relaxing!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Dar - yeah, me too. I would not make a good vet. This whole thing is breaking my heart.

Tasha - I'm quite in love with it, but you are right. YOu get double-takes. It is so small, it looks unreal.

Bellezza - not yet at least. There are a few things that could happen to cause some twitches...updates next Sunday.

Gavin - he has been an excellent patient until about thirty minutes ago, when he started to eat at the stitches. My daughter was freaking out. At some point, we may have to resort to the "cone", which will not be good. (Thanks for the head's up on the Graphic Novel Challenge. I am SO there!)

Wendy - You and Gavin are looking out for me. My next task, after answering these comments, is to add it to my next challenge post!

Jenners - I'm praying for something event remotely better next week. My husband IS the best. Despite his grumbling over all my time blogging, he is certainly supporting the effort!

Ti said...

Vet bills can be so expensive but I am so glad that you got Ziggy the care he needed. So many put their animals down when they see a huge vet bill in their future.

I love your little netbook! How cute (and functional).

My month is about to wind down. I have one more Christmas party and that's it! Everything took place so early this year for me.

Unknown said...

You sure did have a busy week. I'm glad you're kitty is ok. Was it a car accident. When I was a Veterinary nurse we had a lot of cats in with this problem and most of it was car related. I'm glad he's on the mend though. I love cats!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Ti - Thank God it is winding down, eh? I would much rather get the insanity over with early so I can actually enjoy Christmas! I'm going to toast to the beginning of your holiday on Friday! And yes, I would have done anything to help Ziggy. Can you give a cat a kidney?

Sandy Nawrot said...

Book Chick City - we don't think it was a car. Our guess based on a few clues is that he got his foot caught in something while he was jumping, and then maybe fell? I'd love to know.

Unknown said...

Poor Ziggy - I hope he gets better soon.

I hope that this week is calmer for you. I look forward to hearing what you think of Flowers on the Attic as an adult - that was my favourite book for a long time.

I hope you enjoy We Need to Talk About Kevin

Unknown said...

Wow, Sandy, what a week you had! The Barnes & Noble event sounds pretty cool and you bought some great books! Wonderful gift from your hubbie! You'll definitely have some fun with that!
Poor Ziggy! I'm so glad he has such wonderful humans that you got him fixed up lickety-split. He is a beauty :o) Is he in much pain now? I wonder how he managed to shatter his femur?

I hope this coming week is calmer for you!

Zibilee said...

Wow! You have had an amazingly busy week! I am glad that you got a chance to earn so much for your library, that totally rocks! I am sure they will greatly appreciate it! I also really like your early Christmas gift and find it so cool that you will now be able to connect anywhere. I would love to get my hands on one of those as well, but we will have to see what Santa has in his bag! And kudos to you for picking a great book for your next book club meeting, perhaps things will clear up on that front. I also hope your kitty gets better soon, and that he stays out of trouble!

Kathleen said...

First of all...congratulations on surviving your week! I'm sorry to hear about your kitty but so glad that Ziggy is on the mend! And how awesome is your new computer??? That is so great and the fact that you can access the internet from everywhere will make your life so much easier! I cannot wait to hear your second impressions of Go Ask Alice (I can remember watching the movie and reading the book several times, kept hoping for a better ending) and Flowers in the Attic...oh boy I could on and on about that one!! Hope this week is a little less crazy.

Ana S. said...

Oh no, poor Ziggy! I'm glad he's recovering now. I've had a kitty break a leg on me once and I know it's NOT pretty :(

Hooray for your early Christmas gift, though! And $900 for the library - yay!

Serena said...

poor ziggy! Wow, your hubby was good to you this Christmas and early! You have been busy!

The Bumbles said...

Whoops - looks like Ziggy didn't zag. Just what you need with all the other craziness and expense this time of year. Glad he was able to be put back together. I find it very sweet that your daughter insisted on staying with him in the bathroom. I'm pretty sure I've slept in a bathroom once myself - although not for noble purposes, more due to a few too many cocktails. Hugs to hubby for the netbook gift!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Love your new netbook. I ordered my hubby one from Dell on cyber monday for $249.

Poor Ziggy Kitty. Wonder how that happened; glad he is on the mend--such a cutie.

Melissa said...

Poor kitty! At least he's on the mend. Hope you enjoy the Netbook. A friend ordered one not too long ago and loves it.

Jen - devourer of books said...

Oh no, poor kitty!

The audio of "The Help" IS fantastic, you will completely love it.