Friday, May 31, 2013

New releases from Iambik Audiobooks!

Iambik Audiobooks recently released three books in three different genres.  First up in the literary fiction catgeory is The Chaplain written and narrated by Paul Almond.  This is Book 5 of The Alford Saga. From an Amazon reviewer:  "Those who are taken by The Chaplain will be delighted, as I was, to learn that the Alford Saga continues and that this story will be followed by three more books in the series. In and of itself The Chaplain stands on its own as a great novel, one which will likely endure as a classic in Canadian literature."

Next up is a collection of horror stories, Every House is Haunted by Ian Rogers.  This book is narrated by David Lewis Richardson.  There are 22 stories in this collection.  According to Speculating Canada:  "Rogers brings us into moral grey areas, encouraging us to question stories, delve deep into them and interact with them, and also reminds us that every story contains the potential for both danger as well as ecstasy."

The third new release is in the science fiction/fantasy genre.  In the Service of Samurai by Gloria Oliver is narrated by the mysterious Availle.  From an Amazon reviewer: "It mixes the elements of the classic ghost story with those of an epic quest and tosses it into the mysterious world of old Japan.”

So, start your weekend listening to one of these new books from Iambik which are now available for purchase on Audible. You can listen to the complete first chapters of these books and all Iambik books on the Iambik website here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Great day for estate/garage sales

Best sale of the day.
Linda and I discovered some estate sales going on in a suburb of Tampa called Lutz.  Linda actually lives in Lutz but Lutz covers a pretty big area and the part with the sales was closer to where I live than where she lives.  Duane is in D.C. this weekend -- lucky duck -- and, hopefully, having a great time there so she wasn't with us. 

We hit two actual estate sales.  Despite people adding photos to their ads, this can be really hit or miss.  The first one was definitely a miss.  It was not a true estate sale.  It was a garage sale for a person who was simply moving.  I did, however, score a nice piece of Waverly upholstery fabric in dark green stripe on white.  I'll probably use it to cover a cushion either for the chair in the guest room that sits at a desk or for one in the living room that serves the same purpose.  Nice classic look and a bargain for .50.  There's over a yard of material.

We got luckier at the next stop.  Several ladies were having their sale in front of a really pretty country style house set back on a large piece of property.  Linda found an adorable pair of stud earrings and I found a pretty Cynthia Rowley serving tray.  Things were definitely starting to look up.  For our next stop, we checked out what turned out to be a real estate sale that was being professionally handled.  Since it was the second day of the sale (we usually like to hit these on the first day but I had family from out-of-town staying with me) the organizer decided to go ahead and mark everything at 1/2 price.  There were so many rooms with beautiful items including some lovely original art that we couldn't imagine what they must have had the first day.  The prices were fair even at full-price but we certainly weren't going to turn down a discount.  Linda bought a beautiful framed painting signed by the artist.  I also found a painting.  Mine is quite a  bit older and I want to re-frame it but I really love the picture.  Along with the painting, I bought a small enamel on copper dish that's signed.

The last two sales we checked were decent garage sales.  I found a framed D. Morgan picture that I'm probably going to give to a family member who likes her work.  After checking the last sale, we headed for refreshments at Panera.  Gotta have my iced coffee and Linda has to have her tea.  It was 'operation success' for today's sales.

Linda's items.

My purchases.

Friday, May 17, 2013

One wacky (and one normal) estate sale

A couple of estate sales popped up in Linda's part of town which is kind of unusual.  Because she lives 'sort of' in the country or as she sometimes says 'the boonies', the houses are farther apart and we usually want to make sure the sale is worth hunting down.  Today turned out to be a 1-1 with the 2 sales we hit.  Sale number one was supposed to start at 7am.  Well, Linda, Duane and I have discovered that it's rarely worth losing the extra hour of sleep to get to a sale that early.  We tend to meet up somewhere in the general vicinity of the sale(s) and then proceed in one car.  (Often the parking around an estate sale can be scarce.)  The street name for this sale was Tobacco Road -- for real.  Nice house set back behind a gated entrance. 

Unfortunately, even though we didn't arrive until after 8am, the owner was nowhere near ready to have his sale.  He had managed to pull some furniture out onto his long and rather wide driveway along with tables holding musical instruments and amplifiers.  There was also a set of chairs that had definitely come from a beauty salon -- one still had a hair dryer attached to it.  I have no idea what this man does for a living but his three car vaulted ceiling garage was literally stuffed with boxes and shelves of items.  The owner was very nice and said just to ask about anything we were interested in because he probably had it.  Hmmm...  Linda and I began making our way through the narrow aisle in part of the garage but you could barely move.  The packed boxes were so close together that it was almost impossible to see what he had although we did notice that he wasn't kidding about the variety.  Everything from toys to household goods to garden items (many of these items were brand new and still in their original boxes/wrappers) from what we could actually see.  At one point, I pulled out a small box and several items came tumbling down on top of me.  Oh well, at least Linda knew where I was.  Poor Duane had tried going into the other 'aisle' and was overcome by something that caused her to suddenly cough almost to the point of hurling.  I had a bottle of water with me which I gave to her but, even then, it took awhile before she could catch her breath.  There wasn't any type of smell or anything, just something that caused some type of allergic reaction.  After that, Duane was afraid to venture back in.

None of us bought anything at this sale because it was just too difficult to get to the items.  The owner was selling water and soft drinks so I bought another bottle of water.  It's too bad because it looked like he probably had some great stuff but there's no way that he was ready at 7am for his sale.  He really needed help to get the items out of the garage so that people could see them.  Whoa.  Too much work for us.

The next sale was much better.  It was at another house on a couple of acres but several families were holding the sale.  They had everything out on long tables and most of the items were priced.  They really had a nice variety of items but heavy on jewelry, fishing items and pet items.  I did find a Lenox Christmas ornament (new in the box), and a sterling silver necklace by Dogeared (also new in the box).  Linda and I got a group of vintage knitting needles.  What we don't keep for ourselves will be donated to The Humble Stitch for others to use to make items for the homeless.  Only Duane left empty-handed.  Not always a bad thing. :)

Afterwards, we hit Starbucks for a snack and a long chat.  Too bad that first sale was such a bust.  Who knows what may have been in those boxes and bags in the three car garage...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My recording of "Yankee, Go Home!" now available

My latest audiobook recording, Yankee, Go Home! by Sharon Delarose is now available on Audible.   This book is autobiographical.  The author changed the names in the book but all of the incidents actually happened to her when she moved from New York to the deep south in the late 1960's.  'Dottie' was a 19 year old city girl when she headed south on her own and experienced culture shock in the small towns she lived and worked in.  To anyone who lives or has lived in the south -- there's the south and there's the 'deep' south.  Dottie was adjusting to life there during a time when there were a lot of changes going on regarding women's rights which only added to her adventures.

Great characters in this one from Dottie's next door neighbor 'Skeeter' to two biker buddy friends who come down from New York to help Dottie with home repairs.  You can listen to a sample and purchase the book here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A nature hike with 'Tribe Tenderfoot'

Duane, Linda and I had been wanting to commune with nature before it gets too hot here.  It's already in the '80's everyday so we knew we'd better hurry even though most of the area we wanted to hike through is in the woods -- meaning lots of shade.  There are several parks in the community where I live.  The largest is called River Park which abuts the Hillsborough River and features nature trails, picnic areas, boat launch docks, etc.  The best part is that it's literally just down the street from my house.  We had been meaning to 'experience' it for ages.  We packed a lunch, took our cameras and bug spray and started out. None of us are 'outdoorsy' or camping people.  Duane had enough when her sons were boy scouts and Linda and I were probably two of the most unhappy girl scouts ever to have camped out.

The woods.

After we entered the park and parked the car we started walking towards the main dock for lookers, boaters, etc.  A guy in a canoe paddled up after a morning of fishing.

Down to the dock.

Man returning from fishing.

None of us would get into that water if our lives depended on it.  It's known for alligators and snakes.  (There are areas of the river that are great for swimming but not this particular section.)  But I did climb off the dock to snag each of us a clam shell.  The insides are so pretty -- they're iridescent.
Clam shells washed ashore.

Linda snapped an egret.

Lots of water hyacinth.
We headed down one of the trails.
Info on native trees.  In other words, welcome to the swamp.
Wonder if anything lives in the base of this tree?
Cypress knees.  Lots and lots of them.
Linda:  "Some things never change."
Pretty dragon fly.

Looks suspiciously like hair.

'Arty' shot by Linda.

Spanish moss everywhere you looked.

After our hike, we stopped and ate our lunch at one of the picnic tables in the shade.  It was so quiet other than a rustle here and there.  We were hoping to get a pic of a gator but only if it meant using our zoom lenses from the dock while the gator stayed in the water.  Several times we saw dark looking critters swimming just under the water.  Once it was a water turtle (he came up for air for a second) and continued to swim against the current which was pretty mild although you could see it.

We definitely felt like we had a real 'break' with our adventure.  And, yes, to us, this was an adventure.

My clam shell after being washed.

So pretty.