Saturday, January 6, 2018

I recently had my bathroom renovated. Below you will see the review I made about the company I contracted with to do the work and the mistakes I made that cost me dearly. Please be aware the company I am referring to is a company on Chamberlain Lane, in Louisville, Kentucky. It is my hope that the following information and suggestions will help you in your planning stages.

"I contracted Trademark to renovate my upstairs bathroom, in a recently purchased old home. I should have read the contract closer before signing it. I was told they had professional staff and did very good work.
 My first mistake was not shopping around more before signing on the dotted line.
My second mistake. I didn’t listen closely enough, I was intent on what I wanted done and was disappointed when I realized how little could be done in my small space and at what cost. I should have taken a copy of the contract offered to me, looked it over in private and offered to call them with my final decision while, consigning the pro-offered discounts to the devil. Instead, I made a deal with him.
     My third mistake, I assumed this was a large company and they would do a professional job in a reasonable length of time. It took four telephone conversations, the threat of cancelation and thirteen weeks to get the job finished.
     My fourth mistake is also the biggest, I paid far too much money for three walls, a whirlpool tub and shower.
The renovation was subcontracted out. The men who did the work, did the best they could within their constrictions layout by Trademark. Finally, to get an enclosure for my tub, I had to expend more money to purchase doors, a light fixture with a fan to help control the humidity in the small room and the rest of the wall and ceiling in the room finished. I also had to find other workers to finish what Trademark started.
Trademark did exactly what they stated they were going to do. In doing so, belatedly, I feel I spent at least double what it would have cost me with the same results from a large established company (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot). I priced out the materials, aside from the backsplash walls, and found the cost to be less that $1300.  I also believe that when the renovation was first discussed with me, the sales man had no idea who would be doing the project, since it was subcontracted out in the end.
I made mistakes that cost me. So, my suggestions would be to ask about the estimated cost of materials for the project and then times it by 1.50 and see if you come close to the price offered to you and that goes for any company you deal with.

When dealing with a company such as Trademark, read the contract, have a good idea about the cost of materials that will be used, and price per hour for labor and if you can live with the cost continue on at your own risk."

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pamphlet designed to offer web sights with information for the
most popular Harry Potter at the time. It became a tri-fold.  8/2000               
Storybear who introduced stories I wrote

As I was going through some old, very old, files I found some things I created when the software was available to create your own web pages. Most were geared towards library programs or information that pointed the reader towards websites that offered craft ideas, articles about reading with children, how to setup a story time and more. These were long before Pinterest came online.
But sometimes I think remembering how we used to do things that are now a simple click away, still helps to stretch your imagination leading to a new way to doing something. When you reach a block sometimes a simple picture, suggestion or brainstorming session with others are the only push you might need. Then give yourself some time to explore these new ideas to develop original crafts, storytime or simply another way to do something.
                 If nothing else, I hope these will make you smile.

Diagon Alley 8/2000

Flyaways - found in books

     Over the years, I have haunted used book stores, worked in one and for almost 40 years  I have worked in libraries. In all that time the things I have found in books didn't strike me as something I should be interested in for the most part. That is until I found a book filled with copies of old recipes found in books by a dealer in used books.
      So I started looking at the things I found in library books along with things I found in used books I purchased. They made me smile some of these make shift book marks. If the readers were like me, not all were meant to hold your place in the book. Instead the book was just a convienent place to hold a note, post card, mail, photo, etc. that I had in my hand at that moment and than forgot about.
       I decided this was something that I might make a fun display for curious children and adults. So I sent out a message around the library and on one of my listservs to see what others might have found. And people started to send me things. So far my favorites are ordinary library date due cards long forgotten in book pockets no longer in use by the library. One was dated all the way back to 1942 and another not so far back 1968, oh and yes a post card from a far off country.
    To my surprise and delight, like a child that thinks he discovered the Little Dipper in the sky only to realize that people have been talking about it for years, I found blogs about things found in books, articles, photos and others who have been collecting for years. I also found they have a name "flyaways" someone said it is an old term from the book trade, still searching for info.

Friday, December 23, 2016

For my daughter who needs to sit with my old, really old, collection of cook books, pamphlets, and fading hand copied sheet before they disappear.

From an old pamphlet of goodies 1984 General Mills

1 can (20 oz) apple pie filling  - ¼ cup Kahlua*
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup margarine or butter, softened
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup coarsely chopped nuts – ½ cup pecans*
2 tablespoons margarine or butter melted

Glaze (below)

Heat oven to 350°. Grease rectangular pan 13x9x2 inches. Mix pie filling and cinnamon, reserve. (Mix Kahlua with apples and cinnamon; marinate over night in fridge.)*  Beat flour, granulated sugar, milk, ½ cup margarine, the baking powder, salt and eggs in large bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, 2 minutes. Pour half of the batter into pan Spoon half of the pie filling mixture over batter in pan; repeat. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts; drizzle with 2 tablespoons margarine. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean 45 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly; drizzle with Glaze.

12 to 16 servings


 ¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon margarine or butter; softened
¾ teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 teaspoons hot water

Beat all ingredients until smooth and desired consistency.

High Altitude Directions (3500 to 6500 feet).
Heat oven to 375°.  Decrease granulated sugar to ¾ cup and baking powder to 2 teaspoons. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.

* my changes to recipe

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bad reviews

Please remember that not all readers like the same thing. After gushing over a book that I loved, a teen novel written by a British author, to my boss she read it, then promptly told me that it was junk and that my reading fare was either junk or really great literature. Opinions vary. Because people don't read books the same way, it's all in what you are looking for when you pick up a book to read. I want a good story. I can get by with writing that is simply stated, or one that is very descriptive as long as the story holds my attention, and sometimes it doesn't take much. I have read books that I didn't care for, but didn't totally pan them, most of the time. I work with teens and children so I do believe there is an audience for books with less than five star reviews. Not everyone sees a storyline in the same way. As a reviewer I try to find something positive about any book I read, clarify what I found unsettling in the book and let the reader make their own choice. When checking reviews for books I would like to read, I dismiss those that are couched in angry tones. After all why should you be angry about reading? It makes no difference if you hated a book or loved it you stretched your reading skills and therefore got something out of it. Do I recommend everything I read to my children and teens, no. If I feel that the author missed the target audience stated by the publisher, I will say so and may suggest a younger or older audience age.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Counting Fish - Storytime rhyme

       This is a finger rhyme, can be a flannel board or as you
see, I created a sort of mask that a child could use to become
the octopus as the audience recites the rhyme. A simple drawing, was
a coloring page from, cut out of foam board.

Rhyme - Octopus is Sleeping

An octopus is sleeping, (palms together, nest to side of head)
At the bottom of the sea.   (pat the floor)  
Her eyes are closed up tightly, (eyes closed)
She can't see you or me. (shake your head "no")

But if she senses danger, (turn head from side to side)
Her eyes will open wide. (open eyes wide)
Then she'll quickly swim away (use arms make swimming motion)
Back to her den to hide. (hands over head to hide)