trystinn: (Default)
Pomegranate is doing it right, folks. Please support this vital publisher with your time and attention, your wallet if you can.

In catalog order, my recommendations for you:

The Evil Garden by Edward Gorey. I'll recommend anything by Gorey and there's a lot on offer (over two dozen books from the look of it) at the moment via Pomegranate. I single out The Evil Garden, which describes a family outting to a botanical garden featuring deadly plants, insects, snakes, etc. and in that charmingly vicious Gorey way - they all come to a poetic end. Of course!

Crow Mother and the Dog God by Meinrad Craighead, featuring essays by Rosemary Davies. Craighead is a Benedicine nun who left the order to go to America's Southwest where she learned Native American beliefs and sought to combine her belief in the Madonna with the Crow Mother. The art is really quite engrossing - worth a look and a read.

The Addams Family: An Evilution by H. Kevin Miserocchi. Based on the iconic cartoons, this book presents 200+ never before seen cartoons by artist Charles Addams. The book traces the origins and history of the cartoon, outlining in great detail each character. A MUST for most of my friends.

Taking Tea with Mackintosh: The Story of Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms by Perilla Kinchin. A delightful true story featuring Kate Cranston's support of budding architect, Charles Renne Mackintosh, who in 1896 began designing tea rooms for both men AND women - shocking in that day and age. This book includes each of the tea rooms designs, from architecture to the design of the uniforms of the waitstaff, including whatever remnates remain of the actual tearooms. Also includes recipes for "traditional tea room cakes, breads and pastries". Ruth, I'm thinking you'd love this!

Special Note: Also on offer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Textile Designs by Roger Billcilffe. If you haven't seen these, you are missing out. Combining art, geometry and 'architexture' these designs are mesmerizing. I couldn't live with them, but I'm looking forward to looking at them.

Art Quilts: Playing with a Full Deck by Sue Pierce and Verna Suit. I can't speak highly enough of this one - just knowing it exists makes me chuckle with delight! Pierce came up with the highly original idea to ask fellow art quilters to design a unique quilt based on each card in the playing card deck, including the two jokers. From the pics offered, these are awesome, inspiring works. I would highly recommend this to any tarot fan.

Manglo-Saxon: Marvelously Mangled Meanings fo Well-Worn Words by R.S. Young. A completely new lexicon in which "words mean what the sound like and look like. Examples given: "Equator: Exclamation of finding something unexpected in restaurant food. 'Equator! There's a spider in my soup!'" & "Limpet: A sedated domestic animal. 'A simple pill turns a hysterical schnauzer into a wobbling limpet". Erynn and Alfrecht, I'm thinking these might be worth a good conversation over dinner.

Sorry for the typos, I'm trying to catch them all. I cannot type on an Apple keyboard, mea culpa!

Oof-dah!

Feb. 28th, 2011 03:42 pm
trystinn: (Lunar)
Diane, my boss, had called over the weekend to give me warning that the book order had come in just as she was getting ready to close. Thankfully, she already did the invoice check and tabbed the books (basically joined the book to its orderer), the latter of which I struggle with.

So Flash and I got here expecting a huge mess, but pleasantly found instead a very organized set of stacks ready to be called. Woot-woot! Calls were made within the first hour of business, not an easy thing to do as folks are often ready at the door when I open. Mondays we open late at noon, instead of our regular 10:30am opening, and this is incredibly confusing to our customers.

I've had such a rush of customers, its been like old times. Folks coming in with their dogs, including the very cute Narly (one of her lower canines stick out from her lip), folks calling and lots of tourists. Lots of ticket sales to local concerts. And one of my favorite things: recommending other local businesses - the Christian bookstore and the big used bookstore up near the base. A very profitable day with lots of pre-paid orders to set us in a good way for the week.

I unfortunately have picked up a headache (stress) and a sneeze. Given how almost all of the snow has melted in town and roughly 75% in my yard, I'm figuring brand spanking newly rejuvenated mold spores.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
After I get the store opened up, I sit down with the voicemail machine and write down all the messages. Quite a few are telemarketers (an important business matter to discuss with you) kind of crap, others are the bizarre half-mumbled orders left by customers.

This morning's mystery was a woman who wanted to order the children's nature book discussed on NPR this morning. *headdesk*

So I checked the websites for NPR, KUOW and KPLU. There was nothing listed about childrens books on the front pages or in the current line up, so I ran searches on the site (boy, does their search engine suck - absolutely nothing popped up for today's date and children, book & variants there of). So I called her and found out which station she was listening to (KUOW) and which show she was listening to (10am Weekday with Steve Scher). From there it took seconds to find the book - Scat by Carl Hiaasen.

Such is the life. Life is also, apparently, a very small bat that flew in this morning and is napping peacefully in the fake fig tree in the back. I'm somewhat fond of bats, so we'll let it stay awhile before I rescue him. Out back in employee parking there's a sidewalk to the basement, which is protected from the sun. There's plenty of bugs and plenty of nighttime security lights to draw the bugs. Should be a great spot. Might even give him a name!
trystinn: (basset)
Flash and I had a marvelous time today working in the bookstore while we Holland Happenings was going on out front. Whenever the store was empty, we propped open the door and sat out on the curb. This appeared to be a fairly popular idea and several older ladies sat down next to us admiring Flash while we watched the race. I yanked all of the lightweight chairs out of the store and set up a row, I don't mind sitting on a curb but damn if I'm going to allow a bunch of senior citizens to do so. Especially ones with canes.

The race, I must tell you, is a hoot. The kids attending the festival decorate miniature traditional Dutch clogs then after a few hours, they race them down a water-filled channel to the finish line/waterfall at the end. Somehow every year, the Wind & Tide is at the 180 degree hair pin turn. Likely, this was our last, so I wanted to be there to see it.

Flash was the belle of the ball. Not only was the store filled with girlies and kiddos, once we closed shop I walked him up and down Pioneer so he could get pettins, eat free dog treats and drink out of the conveniently supplied WAIF (Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation, from where we rescued Gracie, Glory and Doodle Bug) water buckets. That said, Flash made a point to drink out of the clog race waterfall, too. I made him wait until after the race, though.

Speaking of the waterfall, the local nursery had decorated it with a dozen or so potted plants. So of course, Flash managed to piddle on one of them. We are now the proud new owners of TWO potted plants. *sigh*

We ran into a lot of friends, customers, buddies from the dog parks and even a stray pagan or two. Hell, I even got hugged by a wandering Jew. Poor Flash is exhausted, sleeping his fool head off and snoring contentedly. Me, I'm off to enjoy a nice long mineral salt soak.
trystinn: (sexy)
Now that we're no longer having midnight Harry Potter releases, I've made my own fun by volunteering to design the windows for Halloween. I'd kinda hoped that would inspire the other employees to do the same, but it has not. I may sign up for more holidays, at this rate, just so something gets done with bright, colorful things to draw the interest of holiday shoppers. It breaks my heart that I'm the only one who seems to care about this little shop, but the owner is holding on by her fingernails.

Josh and Kevin, as tradition, came by the store today to help. We hung "Happy Halloween" banners across the tall bookshelves at the front of the store. In the right window we set a fogging, bubbling cauldron wreathed in autumn leaves garlands. Added a cute little electric spooky tree, complete with hanging skeletons and a green goblin. Another little cauldron with a tentacle monster coming out of it's mouth is surrounded by little witches. In the left window is the cemetery, complete with a green-faced witch and hissing cat. In the windows, we have caution signs "Goblin Crossing" and a witch on her broom with "Share the road" on it. The right window looks a bit sparse, so I'll bring in more stuff tomorrow. I'd lost track as to what decorations are at my home and which I stored here from last year, apparently.

Yes, pics to come, forgot my camera.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
One of our favorite couples here at the bookstore were inspired by Flash and just got their own basset! I'm pleased that they've spent so much time asking about basset care (the Good, the Bad and the Smelly), I know they're going to do a great job with her.

Say hello to Penny (apologies for the crappy cell phone pic):



Ain't she cute?

*gush*
trystinn: (Default)
Apologies to everyone trying to reach me via cell, I'm covering a shift today for a co-worker at the bookstore. I'll ring everyone back Tuesday, with any luck.

I'm hacking, sneezing, sniffling and sound like I'm talking through a tunnel. One customer told me I should find a new allergist, I didn't admit I haven't been to one this century. "Yep, you've got allergies" is about all any doctor has been able to do for me before offering huge amounts of steroids. No thanks. I take Zyrtec once a day, year-round. Twice to three times a day during Hayfever seasons. That's all I can handle and still remain upright. Notice I don't say functional. This is not functional. Frankly, I'm not very vertical right now, either.

For what it's worth: It's fairly impossible to keep a customer's attention when Darwin, the store cockatiel, is busy humping his favorite toy. All day.
trystinn: (Default)
The book order finally came in Friday, can you imagine? We've had to give out discount cards to those people inconvenienced, which is making an already lousy holiday season just that much worse. And to boot, downtown is nearly empty. For the first hour of the shift, not a single car was parked downtown within view of our store. It is so quiet, I can hear the sign out front squeaking in the wind.

The weather isn't great, at 41F with a wet wind. Flash is bored out of his albeit little mind. The vast majority of the Christmas decorations have been tucked away, which has left the store feeling clean and bright. Oddly enough, the hanging Christmas tree remains in the window. It looks very odd there. I'm curious as to whose turn it is to decorate the windows and what theme they will choose.

Next Sunday the store is closed for inventory. Time to figure out what the worth of the books left on the shelves are. It's a homecoming type event, former employees and store friends come in to work with us. Flash, sadly, will be left at home so we can get things done. There will be pizza I'll be allergic to and a bit of stress.

I'm considering attending the Gathering Grove Craft Fair on the mainland January 24th. If you'll be in the Everett area, please consider dropping in as it looks like a wonderful event. More to come on this.
trystinn: (Dark TOL)
Dragged several more bags into the bookstore today to finish the other window. The right window at the Wind & Tide is reserved for WAIF (Whidbey Animal Improvement Foundation), so its a bit tricky to decorate it. Skeletons would not be appropriate for a shelter window. Nor would gravestones. No siree.

As it stands right now, its a mixture of Autumn and a few Halloween items. I've added my collection of nearly a dozen stuffed witches (I'm a huge fan of the game "A Witch and a Watch"), fake pumpkins, silk fall-colored leaves, Jack O'Lanterns, black cats (appropriate, no?) and cauldrons. And, of course, a lovely cornucopia filled with gords and indian corn. And, yes, Flash in his Halloween bandanna.

What I don't have is more GellyGem bats, so I'll need to get more of those. Possibly a few more signs, as well, since they are so popular.
trystinn: (basset)
By default, I'm assigned Halloween to decorate the front window at the Wind & Tide Bookstore. Last year's window was very complicated (spell potion with lots of bottles, bubbling cauldron, etc), so this year I wanted a simpler window. Hubby spent Tuesday shopping with me, then helped me set up before the store opened on Thursday. Its a bit hard to see all the GellyGem bats and moons stuck to the windows. *WEG*

The Front Door:

The front door

The Right Window (my assignment):

The Halloween window

A side view from inside:

Side view

Everyone was so thrilled, I've been asked to decorate the other window, too! The boss told me they haven't had this many comments on the front window ever, so she's delighted at the attention the store is getting. Hopefully this will translate to more business!
trystinn: (Dark TOL)
The Island is awash in motorcycles this weekend. Literally everywhere you look are bikers in their leathers. Mostly touring bikes, but a few Harleys in the mix. Haven't seen a chopper though.

Sadly, this is not likely to translate into book sales if we go by last year's event.
trystinn: (libation)
Our store bird, Darwin, has been singing to Flash for the last hour. He's completely bummed out that Flash can't respond by whistling or singing in return. Darwin is one determined bird. Flash, for his part, is desperately trying to sleep through this unwanted serenade.

Now if Flash ever figured out how to howl back, this could be HI-larious!
trystinn: (Bright TOL)
Flash is somehow managing to have gas and hiccup at the same time. Its terrifying.

Sir Innocent, himself:

trystinn: (Spiral)
We ended up having a sort of bonfire eve get together last night, to burn off the remainder of the yard trash pile toward the middle of the property. As I type, everyone is moving wood, etc. to the firepit at the back of the property in preparation for our PNO bonfire tonight. Should be an interesting night, quite a bunch of new folks coming which is always cause for excitement and some alarm. My apologies for running behind, its been a very busy few days getting ready for this event.

I had every intention of writing something about Mother's Day, but then a fond favorite came in the bookstore to change my mind. And so, here is the story of Arthur.

Arthur moved to the US with his wife, some fifty years ago. A Brit by birth, he had lived in Australia before coming to the USA and finds his adult children settled in FL and CO and so feels he cannot return to the UK for the remainder of his years. He is a fascinating man, and we talk for hours about the BBC, our disdain for American news and culture. Today's topic was British movies and I've another dozen on my Blockbuster Queue because of it. I recommended to him the CBC's "Vinyl Cafe"and though darling, I have the better of the bargain there. At some point, I brought out a few fingers of Jamesons in a coffee mug for him. Delighted, his stories quickly became more personal. He's lonely he tells me, which breaks my heart. Alone and widowed on Mother's Day, a few hours in the local bookstore make the day a bit more bearable I hope. He finds Americans (as do I) to be horribly rude and very much too proud of themselves. "In England, one doesn't mind being ordinary. In fact, we're rather proud of our ordinariness" he tells me. Just so. I rarely see him now that I only work Sundays here, but so very grateful of his thoughtfulness in dropping by.

He is the grandfather we all deserved but rarely had. So here's to Arthur, a son of the Motherland in the wilds of the Puget Sound.
trystinn: (Woe!)
Today a very nice airman came into the bookstore. Thoroughly polite young man, most likely from Texas given his accent. He bought a journal for a homesick Navy friend who was depressed and wrote a beautiful sentiment on the inside cover. While I wrapped it he had a great time rubbing Flash's belly and told me about his dog, Beau. Seems the young man had a basset back in TX, but left the dog with his parents when he joined the Navy since he wasn't sure if he could take care of Beau here in Oak Harbor. I let him know Flash was there almost every Sunday, which he was happy to hear and that he was welcome to walk Flash around the block anytime he wanted to. This cheered him up considerably and when he left he told me he felt better about the whole thing and was going to look into getting his dog sent up here now that he knew it was a dog friendly town. Promised to bring Beau in to meet Flash.

In every way possible he was an incredible example of what a young man could and should be, except he insisted on calling me "Ma'm" the whole while. Yeah, I know its a cultural mannerism of the South and given my status as married woman in her *cough* mid-thirties it was meant in the deepest respect. But I twitched every single time he said it, couldn't help myself. Probably didn't help manners that not only did I bring a thermos of coffee to work, but both my husband and Deb showed up with lattes for me so I've been high on caffeine all day.

Happy New Year's from the Old Lagamorph Lady and her family to you and yours!

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