November Greetings!

Hi all,

Life’s been a bit crazy here & promises to get crazier as we approach Thanksgiving and the December holidays. As per the usual (“the yuzhe”), I’ve been dealing with pets, plants, clients, and house stuff—oh, and an estate auction where I excitedly bid on and won a trunk load of books, only to discover, upon closer examination, that they were pretty much all infested with mildew. yeah, good times. (More on that later.)

For those who don’t know, in addition to my book fetish, I am an also AVID gardener (natch). If I could cut down the trees (I know sacrilege) in my yard and just plant fruit and veg, I’d do it. Anyway, I was in the process of putting up a greenhouse, because winter, when I threw out my back like I’ve never thrown it out before. We’re talking emergency room levels of back throwing-outness.

That was three weeks ago. The greenhouse still isn’t built (although I have all matter of friends coming this weekend to get the job done—bless them exponentially.) We’ve had two freezes and a couple of frosts in that time. Since there is no greenhouse, that means every square inch of my tiny abode that is not filled with books is currently filled with plants. And then there are the cats—who love to eat the plants. If you have cats, then you know what comes next. If you don’t have cats, I won’t gore you with the details. Oh, and then I discovered the (indoor, mind you) cats had fleas. That was fun.

It doesn’t seem like enough to keep me away from normal duties, but this is what my world has been revolving around as of late. I’m still slowly culling my book collection because (as I’ve stated before) my house isn’t large, and unless I want to add on a wing, I need to make some space. Of course, that didn’t stop me from going to my first ever estate auction, where there promised to be an old set of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books.

I went. I waited through all the estate tchotchkes and when the books came up. Glorious in all their 1950s, first edition thus splendor. I had all of 1 minute to examine them before the ‘heybatterbatterbidonthisnowbatterbatter’ auctioneer started up. They didn’t smell mildewy, I swear, but we were outside and their were guys smoking, so my olfactory senses were overwhelmed. Bidding started at $5 (my kind of auction). And unlike the previous lot of Boy Scout detritus, err collectibles that became a bidding war, the only one I was bidding against was the auctioneer, who didn’t give a squat about the books. They had a price in mind, so they got me up to $30 for the lot and that was enough. “SOLD! to number 28” (me). Later when I took them to “a guy,” he pointed out the microscopic mildew spores and told me they weren’t salvageable. I think I could literally hear the “wah, wah, wah” as my heart sank a bit. And—here’s the kicker— my entire lot of books, all 100+ titles? All assumed infected. bummer dude.

So, yeah, kind of a book bust—but it only cost me $30 for that mistake. It could’ve been far worse. I took the books to a donation spot & they offered to “take care of them” for me (polite speak for “destroy them”), but hey, I did get a donation credit (go taxes!).

We’re gearing up for Thanksgiving with the Fam in Kansas City next week. It promises to be a whirlwind. We’re flying in, eating with the extended family, picking up a car (gifted to me by my folks), and driving back to the East coast all in four days. Then we start prepping for Christmas with the three bio families, the work family, and the friends family. (insert maniacal laughter here).

Our one respite, and the thing we look most forward to, is our new Jolabokaflod tradition of exchanging one special book on Christmas eve eve. We sit and read and enjoy the quiet. It’s magnificent.

I hope you all are well and reading lots of mind-expanding, wonderful, challenging, thought provoking, and fun books.



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