Monday, September 20, 2010

Maintenance and Reviews

Does that urge to clean, re-arrange, and fix-up only strike you in the Spring?

For me, it strikes off and on and only last a short time. So today is one of those days. It’s a day to ‘take stock’ so to speak and make mention of a few things going on, changes I hope to make and upcoming events. And, I also have reviews to share.

First up, today is the day for the TOP 10 TV SHOWS BLOGFEST hosted by Alex at Alex J. Cavanaugh. Be sure to stop by and check out his look at TV shows past and present. At last glance there were almost 70 blogs participating in this blogfest. Should be lots of fun.

Second, have you noticed the cute little pumpkin widget on the left sidebar? I’m participating in NaBloWriMo Challenge. Basically it’s a challenge to blog everyday in October. With the help of a number of wonderful authors lined up to guest post and numerous great books I’m scheduled to review, I should be able to handle this challenge. If you’re interested in participating, just click on the pumpkin (or the name above) and it will take you to the sign up site.

Next, I’d like to say ‘THANK YOU’ to all my followers and say HELLO to the newest ones. I’m sorry to say I haven’t gotten by everyone’s blog yet. Life has been crazier than usual lately. So if you have a blog and I haven’t drop by to say hello and follow you, please just leave a comment with your site link and I’ll drop by as soon as possible. I really appreciate each and everyone of you. Thanks!!!

I’d also like to thank Cassandra at Cassandra Jade for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award earlier this month. Much appreciated. If you haven’t
stopped by Cassandra’s blog before, be sure to do so you won’t be disappointed. She offers helpful and inspiring posts, as well as entertaining. Thanks so much Cassandra. Fellow bloggers have been so sweet and wonderful to present me with numerous awards this part year. I want to display all of them so I’m thinking of creating a page just for that purpose. As my blog roll increases, it along with the awards makes for a very long sidebar. So we’ll see if I can get a new awards page to work.

I want to share with you a new item we got this past weekend. It’s a large iCrate Double-Door Dog Crate. We got it from the (they have the neatest stuff).

This isn't Brisco. It's just a stock photo of the crate.
We got the crate for several reasons. It’ll be great when people visit who are allergic or afraid of dogs. Brisco, our 90-pound English Shepherd sometimes scares people even though he's just a sweetie who is spoiled rotten. We can take the crate with us on day trips when Brisco goes. And it will also work great for the cats. It’s very durable and has both a front and side door. It also has a plastic pan on bottom that can be removed and a divider panel if you wanted to separate two small animals in the same crate.

The crate was a breeze to put together. No tools required, just a few minutes and snapping several latches in place. It dis-assembles just as easy and lays flat for carrying or storing when not in use. I placed the order Tuesday and received it Friday. Now that’s quick service.

Okay, time for a book review. I can’t help myself. I have another cute children’s book to share.


This is a wonderful book that takes Rhoades’ expertise in astronomy and combines it with Menge’s storytelling skills to entertain and educate youth about the planets, asteroids, and comets, as well as the days of the week and the months of the year through repetition.

Sir HeathyBean the Astronomer and Cora the Teacher visit Queen Vernita at her castle in the land of Oceaneers. Queen Vernita quickly invites 12 friends to visit and learn from the pair. Each friend visits for an entire month.

In January Austin learns about the Sun, in February Daniel learns about Mercury, in March Odessa learns about Venus, in April Sophia learns about the Earth, in May Jake learns about the moon, in June Javier learns about Mars, in July Micah learns about Jupiter, in August Balint learns about Saturn, in September Ally learns about Uranus, in October Jaime learned about Neptune, in November Glen learned about Pluto, and in December Joseph learned about asteroids and comets.

The book is listed in the juvenile fiction category. It is a great way to encourage youngsters to learns about astronomy while having fun. The beautiful illustrations by Bobbi Switzer will add to the learning experience. This is the third installment in the Queen Vernita series.

Queen Vernita Meets Sir Heathy Bean the Astronomer by Heath Rhoades and Dawn Menge, Illustrations by Bobbi Switzer, Outskirts Press, @ 2010, ISBN: 978-1-4327-3120-5. Paperback, 34 pages.

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me by the authors in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Well that’s all for today. I have a number of wonderful authors guest blogging this week and I’ll have some cozy murder mystery reviews to share as well. Hope you’ll stop in again. For now, have a safe and happy Monday and remember to take time to read.


  1. We bought a crate for our Yorkie a number of years ago for traveling. Took him to Hawaii, Mihigan, Ohio. All over the place. He's a bit too old to take now. But they sure are great, even for traveling short distances.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. Mason - It's funny you would mention cleaning. We just had our upholstery and carpets cleaned on Friday, and what a difference! And congratulations on the new crate. We use crates for our Boxer mix, Indy and our Basset mix, Metoo, and they work very well. I hope Brisco will like it very much. He sounds like a terrific dog.

    And congratulations on the well-deserved Versatile Blogger award. That's tres cool!

  3. That's it? That's a lot! I'm blogging about the TV shows today, but not sure about the NaBlo in October.

  4. Crates are great. Our Boxer used a crate and it didn't bother her one bit because she used it starting when she was a pup.

    I may try the October Wri Mo. I didn't know about it. I tried the November Wri Mo last year but didn't complete it. :(

    Have a great day.

  5. Brisco sounds like a cutie! Glad the crate is working out.

    Love books that introduce kids to the universe! This one sounds like a good one.

  6. I make a weekly itinerary for my writing projects, and it feels like re-arranging and fixing up on a weekly basis! It keeps me on my toes, though, regularly seeing what has to be done.

  7. Stephen, I can't image taking a dog to Hawaii but then again if we went Brisco would have to go too. LOL

    Margot, I'm not sure Brisco is going to like the crate very much to start with. He's never been penned or tied, but I guess it's time to learn.

    Diane, enjoyed your Top 10 TV List.

    Teresa, I'm hoping I can complete the challenge. I have a lot of the dates already filled with guest posts. Guess it will just depend on how life interferes or not.

    Elizabeth, Brisco is a cutie but he's spoiled as rotten as any child ever thought about being. He even knows about to pout. LOL

    Joanne, I can keep a listing of when and who the authors are that are blogging and I've tried to start keeping a better list of what books I need to review and when. Making the list has helped.

  8. You've got so much going on, Mason, and it's all great. Happy Monday to you too.

  9. Great crate. And I love the name Sir Heathybean. Made me smile :)

  10. That's quite a lot going on there. Good for you for keeping busy. I've signed up NabloWriMo before but I guess I didn't really keep up with it or do it like I was supposed to. Maybe I'll try again someday. I've been blogging daily, but I think there's something different about the approach they take and I didn't really follow up to see what all I was supposed to be doing.

    Good luck with your blogging.

    Tossing It Out

  11. Thanks for plugging the blogfest - I can't believe how many bloggers signed up for today!

  12. Congrats on the award! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Why did you not do the top ten shows?


  13. Karen, thanks for the kind words. Hope your Monday is going well.

    Carol, Sir HealthyBean is a cute name, as is the book. It is also very informative.

    Lee, thanks for stopping by. I'm going to give NaBloWriMo a shot and see how it goes.

    Alex, congratulations on the blogfest. It's been fun checking all the different shows.

    Clarissa, thanks for the congrats. I guess I really should have signed up but I had planned to have a number of other reviews ready for today that need to be posted so I didn't want to make the post too long. But as you can tell I didn't have all my reviews ready for today either. Hopefully the next one he does I can participate.

  14. Hi Mason,

    Nice blog post. I spent the weekend cleaning my basement-so we were in the same frame of mind. :D

    I have crate trained both my dogs (down to only one now. :() They love their crates and so do I. I put blankets in the bottom so they become a bed with walls.


  15. I get those urges throughout the year, but sometimes they don’t last long enough for me to act on them. It sounds like you have an even busier schedule coming up.

  16. Sounds like you're going to have a busy October! Congrats on the award - you most definitely deserve it!!

  17. Life has been crazy? Sheesh there's times I think it's insane. Barely home today with all the errands I had to run, but the car is loving the oil change. :-)

    I crate my dogs who spend time indoors. If I didn't, my Great Dane would end up trying to sleep on the bed with us. Granted, we do have a king sized bed, but put a 200lb dog on it and it's amazing how small it really feels. So the crate becomes her very own bedroom within ours with her stuff. I agree, a great place to hold her when company comes.

    Congrats on the award, sweetie!

  18. Nancy, Jane, Dru, Jemi and Sia, thanks so much for stopping by. Sorry I'm running late checking back, but you know how crazy life gets sometimes. Sia, I think you're right it does seem insane at times. LOL

  19. Hi Mason .. congratulations on your award.

    The crate is pretty neat & obviously serves many purposes .. most important to keep the animals with you!

    What a great idea the Queen Vernita book is .. and I'm sure loads of children will benefit from it .. the 3rd one I see ..

    Interesting to know about - thank you .. Hilary


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.