Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thirty-one Trips, Plus One to India

I don’t need a gym membership – don’t even need the treadmill I own. All I require is  a never-ending line of people selling me glorious books to provide all the workout any Woman of a Certain Age can handle. Ohio’s weather has been brutally hot – early and continuously – so Sunday Eric and I decided we absolutely, positively HAD to devote the entire day to the removal of all boxes of books from the garage. Between the two collections (the one with the lawyer and the Ohio stuff I’d wanted so badly) we’d started out with about 250 boxes, but I’d previously sorted maybe 85-90 myself over a period of days on and off. So that left us with a nice manageable 160 or so. We dug in with great enthusiam around 8 a.m.

All day lawnmowers roared, kids whizzed by on bikes and skateboards, cars pulled into  driveways for house parties, people laughed uproariously, and the air filled with the scent, first of charcoal fires, and then of sizzling steaks. We couldn’t see the back of the house of course, but we didn’t need to. We knew. Pedal boats and canoes churned up water on the lake and sent the ducks scattering. Yet still we forged on, hot, dirty, and clad in outfits so outlandish I’d freak if somebody strolled up the drive and caught us. Eric wore old khaki shorts and a plaid shirt so thin it’s practically transparent from an overdose of Tide. I, on the other hand,  chose an even more  enchanting ensemble  consisting of navy blue shorts (I would NEVER wear shorts in public) and a huge ebay tee-shirt that I used to sleep in, but demoted after I broke up with them in 2010. To this day every permanent stain it acquires fills me with a delicious sense of fulfilled karma. But that's another story ...

Getting back to the real story,  we finished up around 7 p.m. with four sealed cartons for the Medina library sale in July and another two big boxes for the Project Learn bookstore uptown on the square. Eric also made  four trips to the recycling center, but this turned out to be fun because he discovered  people rooting through his previous loads. We both hate taking books there even when they’re musty, broken, dirty and worn-out, but if you want to be a happy book dealer you’d be wise to learn where it’s located.

By 7p.m. though the car was back in its former home and the boxes designated for donation stood neatly stacked and labeled against the side wall. All that remained of the books we were keeping was the entire Ohioana collection  which I’d unboxed and shelved in the bookcases against the wall. They looked fabulous, but  by then my high spirits had sunk to a funk.

“Do you realize that we just wasted a beautiful day?” I said to Eric. “A day we’ll never get back?”

“Wow –Norman Vincent Peale lives in Medina!” he smirked.  “I’m going to take a shower. Is there anything to eat?

If food is leverage, I thought to myself,  I am about to hoist one very sweet deal.  “That depends,” I replied. “If you promise we can have fun all day tomorrow there’s something VERY good for dinner. Otherwise … “ My voice drifted off with just the sweetest tinge of regret.

“Okay, okay! Tomorrow we’ll l have fun -- even if it kills us!”

And so for dinner I lovingly produced a gorgeous fresh salmon fettucine, fresh steamed broccoli with lemon and a chilled bottle of pino grigio. The next morning around eleven we went happily off to see another collection (the appointment had already been cut in stone), but it only took forty-five minutes and we left with a manageable five books. From there we went to Panera for lunch, then came home and -- okay, did a few chores, but they were my idea -- before heading off to Akron for a movie and dinner. We thought the theatre might be empty due to the great weather, but a fairly long line snaked through the vestibule for tickets. I love trying to guess what movie each group or person will pick when they get to the window. This time it was almost too easy though. Everybody was old, so, like us, all but one used their senior discount for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This could have been depressing, but really wasn’t because I would have chosen the same movie had I been thirty. Besides, we were younger than everybody else anyway. AND the movie was so much fun we’d hitched a plane to India and were long gone.

Two hours later we returned with a thud  to Akron just as the the credits rolled, then immediately headed down the road to the newly reopened  Macaroni Grill (the former one burned down) for pasta Milano. from there we headed home to spend a quiet evening READING. It's  been awhile since I'd seriously indulged in leisurely reading, except fort he day I wrote about reading in the bathtub, but that doesn't count. I'm not talking about aquatic reading here --I'm talking about sitting in the family room like a normal person quietly reading a book! Somehow inspite of my lack of practice my brain got right in the groove and I read three chapters of Michener's The Novel which I'd somehow overlooked back in the 90's.

But then came this  morning and with it  rain, heat, and unbearable humidity. I began writing this blog post around eight-thirty, but the more the rain fell the more I thought of those beautiful books locked up in that hothouse known as the garage. Two paragraphs in and I jumped to my feet, ran down the basement where two dehumidifiers hummed happily, and consolidated the books I kept from the big inventory purge I conducted on Friday. Once I had an entire bookcase free I made thirty-one – that's right -- thirty-one trips UP and thirty-one trips DOWN the stairs to transfer the collection. As luck would have it, every single book fit.

Which means I will not be needing the treadmill any time soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Under the Stars

As you probably guessed, I’ve been working like a stevedore over here. The garage remains stuffed with books, though I have slung around enough large boxes these past couple days to have grown the muscles of Charles Atlas. Summer is fast approaching and we would like to a.) keep the car out of the elements, b.) find the wheelbarrow, and c.) keep the books from turning  foxed and/or musty in the humidity. I’d been making great progress until yesterday when a bizarre computer disaster nearly sent me over the edge of hysteria.

First there was one order from alibris for a book I didn’t have. Then within minutes there were TWO orders from alibris for books I didn’t have. My database, however, clearly showed that both had sold in 2011. So feeling confident and full of righteous indignation, I wrote a nice calm note to the Powers That Be and explained the situation.

“Well,” says the Power who replied, “this is all true, but you relisted them on Saturday.”

What did he MEAN I relisted them on Saturday? Why would I relist books I don’t have? And if I did relist them why are they still marked sold on the database and why are they not on my other venues, huh? The Power didn’t know, but he thought I should purge and reload my entire inventory. Yeah, like I’m going to do something as extreme as THAT when the mystery of the bookselling ages hangs over my head like the  Sword of Damocles. So instead I perched on the edge of the fabulous purple chair and explored the innards of Windows 7.0. It’s ugly in there. The first thing I discovered is that all the books I uploaded Saturday made it to my other sites, but did NOT make it to alibris. This is likely because all of the others use the same format which is not the UIEE format preferred by alibris. Clue One! Am I good, or what?

So I poked around some more and discovered a handy tool on the alibris site that allows you to see everything you’d recently uploaded. I clicked on it and down cascaded a fairly big list, which was fine  until I got to the bottom of it. Holy firearms, Batman!!! Somehow I had managed to reload (ha-ha) a dozen high-end gun books, all of which were sold and  ten of which had risen in value in the last year-and-a-half which meant that my prices were now highly desirable! Forget how they got on there -- I needed to get them OFF ASAP. So I scribbled  down the titles in a crazy shorthand, raced to alibris, and manually removed every last one. By the time Imperial Japanese Grenade Rifles and Launchers bit the dust it felt like I’d sprinted over the finish line at the Boston Marathon just as they were taking it down.

After that I required a couple medicinal pieces of Australian black licorice (who wouldn’t?) to calm down and get my brain functioning again. Damage control is excellent, but  the REAL need was to figure out what caused the calamity in the first place. For this I plunged into the list of export files which had been saved from my old hard drive. There they were all lined up in familiar  rows of incomprehensible numbers like felons clutching cardboard signs in the line-up. And there I sat on the fabulous purple chair, a hapless victim, huddled behind the one-way glass gazing at each, clueless as to which culprit had assaulted me. The minutes ticked by – five, six, seven … . And then, out of seemingly nowhere l  remembered something important.  Whenever I upload to albris the correct file is always positioned  at the top of the list. But no more! On the new computer the list appears backwards with the old files at the top and the new ones at the bottom. Just as I had done last Saturday I grabbed the mouse and highlighted the perp in position one. Only this time I hollered, “book 'em!”

But of course nobody did which left me with that old familiar fear of star loss. Oh, how  I hate those silly stars used to rate dealers. I work like a demon, fuss over everything, and have the stomach aches to prove it, and still those stars threaten to burn out every now and again. But never in fifteen years have I failed to deliver two books at one go, so I figured I was in the soup up to my neck this time. It also occurred to me that if I owned a listing site I would never be so intractable. I wouldn’t. I really WOULD NOT. But of course that’s neither here nor there, as Eric so kindly pointed out. He also made the comment that “most people” wouldn’t “go off the deep end over it anyway.”
Of course they wouldn't. But  then I'm not "most people." This morning I had to steel myself to log on to the site, sans coffee and already dreading the vision  of just four stars instead of five. Or would it be THREE? Ack! It couldn't really go down that far, could it? Of course it could. This rating thing is diabolical. But suprise, surprise! Though the  percentage had plummeted just as expected, all five twinklers remained.
That last one's pretty shaky though. One misstep and ... lights out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun With Book

Yesterday we actually did something strictly for  fun! I know – it’s a shocker, but bear in mind that it was still book-related.  Nonetheless (actually BECAUSE)  it  proved worthy of giving up a free afternoon which otherwise would have been spent  grooming the  patio for summer. Not that we would have USED the patio had we stayed home, but it would have looked very nice as I gazed at it out the patio doors while vacuuming the family room rug. But we threw chores to the spring breeze and instead bought two tickets for an author luncheon at the Medina Country Club sponsored by the Medina Historical Society instead. The speaker was Dave Giffels, an Akron author whose book All the Way Home landed him on the front page of the New York Times as well as on Oprah’s favorite list. Later it won him the prestigious Ohioana Award and now is set to come out in paperback in June.

I’ve known Dave for a long time because he used to be a reporter for the Medina County Gazette, the paper in which my friend Judy wrote the article about me before the Akron Antiquarian Book Show in April. When I was director of sales and marketing for the nursing home complex (back in the bad old days) I launched a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association which pitted like businesses against each other in a week-long Jeopardy tournament at the assisted living building. Actually I have to admit that this annual event was pretty fun. We’d have three churches – say, the Catholics, the Episcopalians, and the Baptists – vying against each other in one round and  three rival insurance companies and three restaurants etc. in others. It was strictly pay-to-play so even after expenses we always raised at least a grand for the cause. Anyway, Dave used to play for the Medina Gazette and, as I recall, was a formidable fount of trivia. In fact, I'd wager the Gazette won one year.

A few years later when life was good again and my first book came out Dave interviewed me for the paper. I remember him telling me then that he and his wife were trying to buy a house in Akron, but it hadn’t been easy to find something affordable that they liked. Little did he know then that he stood poised on the adventure of a lifetime. I don’t want to give the plot away, but I’ll tell you this much. The Giffels bought a 28 room Tudor mansion ready to be slapped with a condemned sign – in other words, a fixer-upper so nightmarish it came with its own resident wildlife population.  Here's the website  address -- www. davidgiffels.com  You've GOT to go have a look at the Picture Gallery. You can't possibly imagine this.

Of course I’d already read the book long before yesterday’s talk and had liked it so much I bought at least five additional copies for Christmas presents that year. But Dave is never boring. He told funny stories,  talked about the experience from today’s perspective, and even ruminated on a topic I’m obsessed with – the writer’s sense of place.. Like me, Dave grew up in Akron and still loves it best, a fact I would have known even if I didn’t know him because of one single dead give-away linguisitic quirk. You know you’re from Akron when you call the strip of grass bordering the street the “devil strip.” Anyway, Dave is a lot younger than I am, so in the 80’s when he was growing up in the city Akron was a dying place, a rust belt has-been which parents actually urged their college graduate offspring to flee for a better life. But Dave didn’t flee. For him the good life was built on the decision to stay where he wanted to be and construct a life there from words and sweat. I’d say it worked out pretty well too. The house is a dream and he’s currently got a job as professor of creative writing at the University of Akron.

I tell you all this because yesterday was much fun and I love this story not only for its derring-do, but for its vision and its heart. And just wait ‘til you find out what he FOUND in the house (aside from the squirrels, the bats and the very old woman who used to live there).

You won’t believe it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Soaking Up Literature

I was sorting a big box of small books from the Cleveland collection yesterday and right away stumbled on one that provided me with much merriment, not to mention an addition to my books about books collection. It’s a homely little trifle not worth the cost of a small naked coffee at Starbucks. But I read something in I Have A Book by George and Eleanor Stewart that made me laugh right out loud. It also reminded me that life’s most gratifying pleasures can seem almost too ordinary to mention, which is why we need people like George and Eleanor to nudge us in the direction of the good life.

George and Eleanor, as you probably guessed, were a married couple. She designed beautiful interiors while George published books for a living – serious books too with titles like Geography As Human Destiny, and my favorite, The Language of Politics: Studies In Quantitative Semantics. Anyway, in 1940 they combined their expertise and published I Have A Book (cover price fifty cents)  about creative book shelving designed to look fabulous in ANY room and provide homeowners with a lifetime of both cerebral and aesthetic hedonism on even the smallest budget. But, clever though it may have been in its day it’s all been-there/done-that now, so the shelving ideas were pretty much lost on me.

What I really loved was chapter two, conveniently titled Two, which  makes it ever so easy to find it at will for further reference. The point Two makes  (though I do think the logic’s rather flawed)  is that a  bookcase recessed into one of the walls surrounding the bathtub would allow the bather to instantly grab anything from poetry to adventure while lolling about in a tub filled with water steamy enough to fog the mirror like the mists of Brigadoon. I know  what you’re thinking. I, too, thought of musty books and the price of heavy duty ventilation systems. So let’s just agree upfront that storing books permanently in the bath is probably not a great idea and get on with the good part which is this -- The Ancient and Independent Order of Soakers, A  Non-Profit, Non-Political, Non-Sectarian Organization of People Who Like to Read in the Bathtub. It had 15,000 members including H.G. Wells, Lowell Thomas, Ed Sullivan, Max Lerner and George Bernard Shaw. And, no, I did not make it up and neither did George and Eleanor. They read all about it in Reader’s Digest.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of joiner. The only thing I belong to is NOBS, so it would take something pretty special to get me to sign up for a group. But here I am desperately yearning to become  a card carrying member of  the Ancient and Independent Order of Soakers. I even looked it up online and figured  I could be a sustaining member, the kind that just pays dues, gets the  card, and never has to wear a name tag at the annual convention. Besides, reading in the bathtub is (mostly) a solitary pursuit anyway, so there shouldn’t even BE a convention. And there’s not. Sadly, the Ancient and Independent Order of Soakers, went down the drain some time ago.

Of course every single one of the reknowned members were men. I'm wondering if the non-reknowned were too which may have been a huge contributing factor in its demise. I am yet to meet a man who lolls in the bath. Most of my women friends don’t either. But I am a loller. If time permits I would take a lingering scented bath with book and bubbles over a shower any day. I even have a painted sign on the bathroom wall to REMIND me of it, though a lot of good that does. I’m still lucky to get a lingering bath once a week.

Of course reading in the tub can be hard on the books. I’ve more than once dozed off for a few seconds and gently and unknowingly dipped the bottom of a book in the water. I’ve also set the book on the floor next to the tub only to drip all over it after I got out of the suds. But does any of that deter me? No, it does not. I wouldn’t try it with a rare book, or a book that costs a small fortune, but anything else is fair game. In fact, today I plan to seek out an hour for cranberry scented bubbles and a brand new bar of lavender soap from when Nancy went to Provence. The book du jour will be The Lives of Margaret Fuller by John Matteson who won the Pulitzer for his excellent  biography, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father. Love those transcendentalists!

But that being said, I still think the Ancient and Independent Order of Soakers should be resurrected. I’d join for sure. And so would my friend Jessica. And I think Oprah would too, so there’s three members right there. Anybody want to make it four?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pop Goes The ...

I have an excuse! Really, I do. And it’s not sickness either. There I was late Monday afternoon ensconced in the fabulous purple chair adding the last book of the day to my database when rain starts gushing from the sky like Old Faithful. I leapt to my feet and ran around upstairs closing windows to the sound of distant thunder –think rumble not racket – when all of a sudden a tremendous BOOM!, a bright flash of lightning, and an audible POP catapulted me back into the office. I knew. Of course I knew. What else could make such an ominous sound? Never mind the black box on the floor that’s supposed to protect me from power surges – my computer fried.
Of course great wails of protest ensued, but a lot of good THEY did. The computer remained deader than a doornail. Oddly, the phone still worked, as did the printer and the external hard drive. Grateful for that much at least I put in a frantic SOS to my computer guys, the famous Shawn and Larry. After a few do-this and do-thats they seconded my diagnosis and told me to bring the terminal by the store in the morning. We were headed in that direction anyway because the people who had the Frank Lloyd Wright books we bought earlier had called to say they’d found BETTER Frank Llloyd Wright books under the bed, so I said we’d be in Brunswick around ten.

That night we awake at 2 a.m. to the sound of a yelping dog.

“That sounds like a dog,” I say in a flash of obvious brilliance.

“I very much doubt it,” Eric replies. “Oh!!!! I!!!!!!! Did you see that?”
 I did. A bright  blue light flashed briefly, it’s hue caught on the open door of the office down the hall.

“I’ll investigate,” says he.

“Yes, do,” I reply.

And so he does. But before he reaches the office the yelps begin even more piteously than before, this time accompanied by a GREEN light. My entire being fills with rapture.

“This is GREAT!” I holler. “My computer’s  working! It’s working!”   I jump out of  bed and chase down the hall barefooted  in my oversized  tee-shirt/nightgown  to greet Lazarus as he rises from the dead.

Too late though. Before I get there Lazarus takes another powder.

The next morning we duly haul  him over  to the computer doctors who use a magic beeping light to determine that the power supply, at the very least, is finito. It can be replaced, Shawn assures us -- as long as the motherboard is okay. Of course it’s okay! Not only had it yelped, but it flashed in two – count ‘em – TWO colors. We leave Net Effects happy as clams, our heads filled with Frank Lloyd Wright books of wondrous wonderfulness.

But alas! The bad news comes swiftly. Shawn phones to say that the motherboard has crossed over the Great Divide and will never emit so much as a squeak again. A new computer is mandatory. Of course I agree that the geniuses (not to be confused with geeks) should build me a replacement. But as soon as I hang up  time slows to the crawl of a tortoise. Without a computer there is no work, no email, no research, no blogging, no anything I do in the daytime. So I head to the garage and desultorily sort some of the books we got from the lawyer in Cleveland. It’s a drag. Seven boxes of nothing, one of which falls on my foot, and I’m back inside, bored and crabby. I try to read an Italian memoir called Extra Virgin, but name a bookseller who can concentrate on two English girls lugging buckets of water up steep Ligourian terraces in a draught when she HAS NO COMPUTER????

The book did mention grapes though, so I wash some from the fridge and think as I eat them what else I could do with my pitiful self for the next week. Finally I walk around the downstairs thinking about the guy who is supposed to come later in the week to see about a new front door and a new floor for the foyer. That’s when I spot it– a tantalizingly loose piece of wallpaper next to the coat closet. All it would take is one little tug and I could create enough mayhem and mess to see me through the entire week. Without thinking I boldly do it! I grab the corner, give it a good yank and down comes a satisfying swath of paper the size of Rhode Island. After that it’s more like pieces the size of dimes, but that’s good too. I don't even mind the ugly splotches and spots of old glue dotting the walls. Stripping wallpaper is a zen experience.

Which mercifully ended yesterday when Larry showed up. My printer and external hard drive are checked out and pronounced healthy. A tiny little loaner computer terminal perches daintily on my desk.  I figured out Windows 7 with only one call for help. I added seven new books to the database which Shawn magically recreated and uploaded photos. And next week I will have a brand new computer.

Now if only somebody would come by and finish scraping that last wall in the foyer maybe  I could hang out with Frank.for awhile. Right now he's under the bed. 

Friday, May 04, 2012

Name That Title!

So, I was at a book sale last night when my friend Paul said something startlingly good.

“The way I measure the worth of a sale is this -- if I can remember the title of at least one book the next morning it’s probably worth the time. If not, not.”

So last night after the five hour ordeal we decided to put his theory to the test. We stashed the bags of books in the family room and laid down the ground rules. Any book we’d bought for the store or the mall didn’t count – the challenge was to remember something we thought worthy of listing online. The minute I woke up at five a.m. I remembered two technical books I bought on horology – Practical Benchwork For Horologists and Watch Escapements. I ran downstairs, rooted around in the bags, found both easily, and saw that I had both titles right. Yay! Then I ran back up to the computer and researched them and – voila! – two winners!

I could hardly wait to see if Eric was as successful, but a full hour and a half crept by before I heard him stirring. Immediately I flew up the stairs like a woman chased by the devil.

“So, do you remember anything?”

“Yeah, but just one,” he replied. “The Centennial History of the American Florist.”

I remembered that one too, but only that it had something to do with florists. I couldn’t recall the title, so I guess it doesn’t count. Eric picked it though, just as I had picked the horology titles, so I guess it stands to reason that we’d each remember our own. I checked his out while he was in the shower and, once again, found it worthy. While this is hardly empirical evidence, I do believe that Paul and his thirty-plus years of bookselling experience is on to something here.

Last fall this sale’s attendance had dropped like Target stock after they’d supported gay-bashing politicians, but this year it thrummed and hummed with scanner wielding strangers in numbers so vast they looked like a conga line in Rio at Mardi Gras. Strangers is  the key word here though because both Eric and I looked hard to see if we recognized anyone other than the usual cast of long-time sellers and the three troublemakers. To our amazement, we recognized almost no one else. Could it be that the turn-over rate in the “you too can make $2-5K a month scanning books” sweepstakes is climbing ever higher? Again, I have no empirical evidence, but I do believe so because even the most ardent haven’t been spotted lately. Of course they’ve been replaced by newcomers who, for the most part, seem to approach bookselling  with the identical mindset – get in there faster than the speed of light, fire up the weapon, and scan everything that doesn’t move even if it’s been scanned a hundred times. If I’m right about the accelerating rate of seller recycling it will soon require its own processing plant.

What drew so many to last night’s sale was probably the fact that the library appeared to advertise 100,000 books when in fact I think they were just trying to be humorous. There were really LESS books than usual, especially in the specials room, and most of the over-priced rare books were the same offerings from last time. I suspect there might have been some disappointment but I didn’t hear any, though I don’t really pay much attention to the undercurrent. As long as it’s peaceful I am happy to remain in my own private zone.

I am, however, anxious to try Paul’s theory again. There’s only a very few FOL sales coming up, but I should get at least two more tries before the summer draught. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of Name That Title!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Updates and Good News

The Silence of Murder

 I had planned to post yesterday, but got a last minute email from my friend Mary Lynn telling me she had a chance to come to Medina for a day and was wondering if we could get together. Of course I said YES – it’s been so long since I’ve seen her I can’t even remember when I last did, but I’m guessing it was last summer. We ended up having a nice long lunch followed by both Christmas AND birthday celebrations. Then Eric came back from Maryland where he’s been for the entire last week, so I ended up hanging out with him for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

I worked really hard Saturday though and listed 35 books. I didn’t mention this in my last post, but I had my inventory offline all week because I finally realized that the reason I have had so much pain is because I cracked a rib from all those weeks of nonstop coughing through the ORDEAL. Carrying books around is not prescribed treatment for a cracked rib, so I promised Eric I would have a bookless week. I DID --  but then again I didn’t. The books weren’t online, but I sold two early in the week to phone customers and  listed 35 on Saturday, took photos of them on Sunday, and restored myself in cyberspace on Sunday night. Monday ABE rewarded me with four orders, but the rest of my sites apparently didn’t even notice I was gone, much less had come back.

Anyway, I’m functioning again, but what’s  a cracked rib when you’re jazzed with good news, right? Remember when I mentioned that my friend Dandi Mackall was nominated for an EDGAR for her YA novel The Silence of Murder? She was not supposed to win because the word on the street is you never win on your first nomination. But here ‘s the thing -- she DID. Dandi won the Edgar Thursday night in New York.  I still can’t get over it. Wow.

The second bit of good news turned up this morning. Remember when we went out in the countryside to buy books from the woman who lived in  the cute 1820’s farmhouse who then sent us to a friend of hers who was also selling books? We bought some from him, but what we really wanted was the dazzling array of Ohioana in the home office in the basement. That’s been at least a couple months ago and we never heard another word about it, so I was astounded when Eric called to say that the guy was ready to sell them. Family members had come over to have a look and chose “a few”, but the rest remain up for grabs. I know,  “a few” is like “a lot” – very relative. But still, I badly want those books and can’t wait until Monday to see if we can get them.

But before Monday – like tomorrow, actually – we have to go back and get the rest of the books from the lawyer who finally sold that collection to us three years after the initial contact. This time we have no help though, so it’s going to be an arduous undertaking. I’m not looking forward to it one iota and neither is my cracked rib. The really bad part is we can’t even start until 4:30 in the afternoon.

But I’m playing Scarlett O’Hara on that topic and thinking about it tomorrow.Right now I just want to get back to work. Socializing was fun, but  it’s time for me to hit the books again.