Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Penny Books

A penny is close to free,which is why I buy books on Amazon, where older cookbooks and out of fashion fiction can be had cheaply.

But since the bookseller must make a profit,even the most slender sized paperback costs $3.99 to ship,which brings a penny book up to four bucks even. I do not know what book rate shipping costs,but I do know it cannot be much, and one is not paying for speedy delivery. Penny books, and even not a penny books from third party sellers, ship on turtle time, and after a while one can feel like the young Ronnie Howard character in "The Music Man" awaiting the Wells Fargo wagon-

I could pay 11.99 and get my book shipped "free" on Amazon Prime, but a book is not an emergency ration. I should be able to wait. If I am inpatient I can track the order, and be comforted that three days ago the book landed in Little Rock, though no one knows where it is now.

Amazon Prime delivers in two days. Except when they don't, In November I ordered a cookbook about cast iron skillet baking. Two days later, according to my mailman, the book was in the mailbox.
But it wasn't. Not that day, not that week,not that month. I kept calling the post office, that most passive aggressive of government entities, and gave up after they told me to file a report. I suspected that my mailman had tossed the book into a ditch rather than deliver it to a deadbeat who was constantly receiving certified threat letters from the IRS.

One month to the day the cookbook had been stuffed into a phantom mailbox, the book showed up at my door. I guess that exonerates my mailman,who I really think should be grateful that he spends his days having something to deliver,since we all now know that Amazon is the only thing keeping the USPS in business.

Back to the difference between penny and free-

One can find free books in the discard bins at Mackay books, but who wants 20 year old math textbooks?

Estate and yard sales do not dare charge more than two or three dollars a book,so great is their horror at the prospect of the unsold-

And junk shops! One would think books one stop away from the landfill would be reasonable. Yet the other day, at The Little Thrift Shop here in Bellevue, a shop that is a towering pile of unknowable junk, they would not budge on a slightly mildewed copy of Ackroyd's 5 pound biography of Charles Dickens. " It cost me a dollar a pound,though they threw in the mold for free-

Monday, January 2, 2017


Miss Betsy's  blog will return this week after a lengthy hiatus. Good news for Russian and Ukrainian spammers and Spam bots who are my most devoted visitors!

New years greetings from "Diva", a long-haired Lilac point Siamese throwback, whose mother is a feral porch cat.

Greetings as well from this chic poster girl in her Mardi Gras finery. I found her at The Little Thrift Shop here in Bellevue. One can find anything at that shop. Dried baby alligator heads.Used skateboards.Cowboy mannequins. A five buck copy of Peter Ackroyd's  Dickens biography.

Happy New Year from Nashville,Tennessee!         

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I weep for my country

Once we honored dignity,restraint,honor and nobility. What has happened to us? How have we fallen so low? Read the Gettysburg Address. The words of Eisenhower,Kennedy, Martin Luther;King.Pray for this country. Pray that we not be governed by buffoons .God help us all. I have live almost 70 years, and never have felt such despair.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Enough of this Crap! Where is "The X-Files"?

By the time the program did come on this little tom cat named Tenacious had retired for the night.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Leading the Precarian Life-Bellevue,Tennessee

I bought Guy Standing's "The Precariat-The New Dangerous Class" last week,for I am a Precarian myself,living an iffy life on the financial edge in the stodgy and declining suburb of Bellevue,thirteen miles from Nashville's downtown.

My neighbors are precarians as well.

The 83 year old who goes out to work as a courier at three in the morning. The Canadian woman once a ballerina,now a waitress,hoping for a break as a songwriter. She told me a few weeks ago,in a brief parking lot encounter (right after she informed me that Mr Gerald,another neighbor, had been taken back home by his family because of dementia) that she was frightened all the time.

Who is not?

My job at the Little Big House evaporated in January when Tennessee decided to close that pleasant little prison to save money. Now I work at a high end local nursing home as needed,or PRN as we call it in Nurseville.  Wednesday Social Security declined to send me my monthly money because I made 1300 hundred dollars more than I should have in 2014. $18,000 dollars,I earned. Three thousand more than I am allowed. This means another trip to the Quick Cash with their 300% interest rate so I do not get tossed from my apartment.

In the 90's when I and many others made a decent living,my suburb of Bellevue had a mall with a Mondi store,a Williams-Sonoma,,a Dillards.

But the mall withered and died,and has been vacant for almost 20 years. In the past two years the Circuit City closed,and a non-denominational church took its place. The ToysRUs gave up last winter,and is being replaced by a Goodwill Superstore with a job training center.

Some people in Bellevue are mortified the we have attracted a Goodwill and not a Nordstrom or a Whole Foods. But what do they expect when Bellevue cannot find enough customers to keep a Sonic open?

The Precariat are us.

Some industry has moved in,however. The Old Age industry. Bellevue is littered with Senior housing,assisted living,Memory Care facililities,regular nursing homes, with NHC opening another big one out near the Loveless Cafe sometime in 2016.

If you do not believe this suburb skews old, show up at Kroger on Senior discount Wednesday- the day Social Security sends out the money. And the people you see,the codgers like me, are the lucky ones, for we are still free to roam,unlike the Caged at the homes I listed,who wear Wanderguards on their ankles to foil escape, and who get their meds crushed and slathered with applesauce  three times a day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sentimental Favorites Seen in the Garden Yesterday

When I was a little girl in New England more than half a century ago, I had two bedrooms with giant lilacs outside the windows. The bushes were as big as small trees.

Not so here in Tennessee,where the French hybrids and Persian lilacs grow better than the common lilacs of the North country.

The tree peony and the lilac do not bloom for long,but what a joy they are when they do-

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

A while back I posted about the Siamese hybrid kittens I rescued, and at about that same time I contacted a local Pet Rescue about giving them three of the kittens. I thought it strange that this shelter provided no telephone number and had no physical existence,though a local pet store employee told me that the shelter's animals were kept in foster homes.

I sent a contact person photos of the cats, and received an email from her exclaiming how beautiful the cats were, and what I had to do to prepare them for "intake".

I would be responsible for neutering the cats,paying for multiple tests and shots,paying for physical exams,de-worming,grooming,an anal exam,flea treatment,and nail clipping. In other words a possible 600 or 700(or more) dollars per cat so I could GIVE them to an organization that would then collect a couple hundred dollars as an "Adoption Fee".

Does this seem strange?

If volunteers are caring for these animals,if there is no physical shelter to maintain,no phone to pay for and if they do not provide veterinary care, where do their tax free received donations and adoption fees go?

I find this strange-