Monday, October 31, 2011

The Art of Recycling--Trash and Books

At my house, Recycling is almost a religion. The process is all due to my husband's plan, but I'm very much into it, too. Now that we've done this a few years, I'd feel sacrilegious and sinful if I did not continue and do the best we can.

The process would not be possible is not for Green Guy Recycle out on the highway, behind a Farm and Ranch store and Goodwill. The business began small. The big ticket item was soft drink cans. They'd pay a few cents per pound, and this was an incentive for many people. Now, the place is enormous, with bins that come and go on a huge flatbed trucks. Imagine small boxcars.

So, now, in our garage, we have a bin for papers--including newspapers and cereal boxes--cardboard boxes broken down, tin cans (always rinsed after the dishes are cleaned), aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass jars and bottles, and a few other odd items. The user must sort into the proper bin. Example--for glass bottles there's a bin for green ones, brown ones, clear ones, and yellow ones. The bars in town do a good job of recycling. We've often seen a truck pull up and out comes box after box of beer and liquor bottles. Good for them.

We take most of our plastic bags back to the supermarket where we got them (I keep a few for specific purposes.) But! We barely have any now, because we bought a dozen reusable bags. Now that we're used to them, we prefer them. They're easier to carry, and with a cardboard bottom, sit flat. And each hold the amount for about three plastic bags.

Now, here's the problem with recycling. We always have a few items we either cannot recycle or don't want to (no way will I wash a plastic peanut butter jar). So, we always have one small plastic bag of "trash" that goes to Green Guy with us every other week, and goes in their humongous trash bin. Isn't that great?

NOTICE in the title I included Books. I abhor seeing books taken to the dump, but that's what happens to books on store shelves when the book vendor comes by. Prints have a certain shelf life. A Harlequin, for example, has a 60 day shelf life (am I right?) When the vendor visits Wal-Mart, he must remove the books over 60 days old. Later, he'll tear off the covers and the book part goes to the city dump. (I do not think they recycle the paper, but perhaps they do.)

I'd love some of those books to go to the library free book shelf, or the senior citizen's apartment complex that has a recreation room with book shelves, or to our service men and women in foreign lands.

Better yet, let's just go straight to POD and be rid of the previous process of printing a certain hundred thousand. Another good place we have in town is a Half-Price Book Store. This is a chain in Texas that has now spread to a few states. The store buy books from the customer, and everything in the store is half the original price. I don't use it so much anymore because of digital books and my Kindle.

Please note that I am NOT advocating publishers to go fully digital. Nope. I still want my books in print. But here's a wonderful thing for books that are out-of-date and the rights returned to the author. Now, these books can be recycled into digital books!

What wonderful possibilities we have now to recycle, reuse, or re-own to keep things out of our city dumps. And to give new life to books.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Friday, October 28, 2011


Say what you will, but I am a big ol’ scaredy-cat. However, let me qualify—I’m afraid of unnatural goings-on, i.e. horror and satanic paranormal stories and movies. Snakes or spiders don’t frighten me. I don’t run from a snake. Instead, without acting foolish and putting my life in danger, I will inch closer to determine if it’s poisonous or a simple benign reptile.
But a truly frightening, bone-chilling book or movie will scare the pants off me.
I’ll lose sleep thinking about it, replaying it in my head.
First came the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie, until the place where the Wicked Witch of the West sends the monkeys after Dorothy. Oh, my lands, I scrunched down in the theater seat, curled my ten-year-old self into a ball, and covered my eyes and ears—as best I could. Every year, that movie was re-run on television around Easter—I don’t know the connection—and still, every time the monkeys flew out of the fortress, I’d run for a blanket to pull over my head.
In 1968, Rosemary’s Baby appeared in the theaters. It was Roman Polanski’s first film. My husband didn’t care to see it, and I was just dying to. So, he baby-sat while I went to the movie alone. Big mistake. I vaguely knew the premise, so I thought, “I’m a big girl, now, I can watch this.” Even the upscale New York apartment in the movie was transformed into a sinister projection of Rosemary’s fears. Let me tell you, even when the creepy neighbor Minnie Castevet came to call and brought chocolate mousse with the chalky under-taste for Rosemary, just the music and the looks from Minnie told me “something really bad will happen.” Sure enough, Rosemary dreamed a beast raped her that night—a very real dream—and I have cold chills right now as I write this, remembering that scene.
Had I not been an adult, I would have curled my body into a ball in the theater seat and covered my eyes and ears. I don’t like chocolate mousse to this day.
The scene, which truly scares me even now, is when Rosemary first looks into the bassinet and sees her baby. Her reactions—disbelief and sheer horror—send chills over me to this day. She asks, “What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with its eyes?” A man answers, “Why, he has his father’s eyes.” “No!” she screams, “Guy’s eyes are normal!” He answers, “But he is not the father. You though, Rosemary, are its mother.” (Notice the word ‘it’ for ‘baby.’) Ewww!
Rosemary’s Baby inspired a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist in 1973 to Omen in 1976. I saw the Exorcist, and of course, it scared me silly. I absolutely hate that movie. But it finally taught me to stay away from that sort of thriller.
The movies also upset some people, not only because of the satanic viewpoint, but because the sacred event of childbirth had somehow been marred.
Jack Nicholson starred in one of the scariest movies ever--The Shining. The plot was from a Stephen King novel, so you do understand. REDRUM...remember that? {{{{Shudder}}}}
I never need to worry about horror films anymore, because I read the reviews, watch the trailers, and red-line the scary ones. No way will I give my ten dollars to a filmmaker for something that I know will scare me Sleepless in Texas.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Four Authors, Four States, and Two Book Signings!

The idea of inviting three other authors to join me in back-to-back book signings in two neighboring Kentucky towns began to take shape in my mind. They had to live near enough to my hometown to make it convenient for them.
I live in the western tip of the state so it was easy to include:
 We agreed on October and promoted our book signings as a four authors from four states event.

 After many emails flying back and forth, we correlated four busy schedules with the available dates for the Murray University Bookstore on Friday and Etcetera Coffeehouse on Saturday, Oct. 14-15. It was such fun meeting for the first time and matching the real people with our Cyberspace images.
 Saturday we had an entire room at Etcetera Coffeehouse to display our books and other materials. In the adjoining room customers ordered from the coffee bar and lingered to talk and listen to keyboard music furnished by my husband who volunteered (well, I did twist his arm just a bit) to play for our three hour signing. But after he saw flyer photos of those glamorous authors he was more than willing to join us!
In retrospect, we agree the weekend was a big success. The visiting authors met many new people, made contacts for future sales, and learned of new promotional possibilities. And we are already talking about another event in 2012 and working toward making it even better .

Linda Swift currently writes for seven digital publishers with titles available in contemporary and historical fiction, short stories, and poetry. In her other life, Linda was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist. She is a graduate of Paducah Community College and Murray State University with post-graduate work at U. of AL, Tuscaloosa. This Time Forever, her latest print release, is just in time to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial. For information about her four additional print books, ebooks and short stories, Linda invites you to visit her website:
"Caught in the passions of love and war, will Clarissa and Philip be faithful to their vows...or listen to their hearts?"

Danielle Thorne is the author of many articles, poetry, short fiction and sweet romantic adventure books, both historical and contemporary. Besides editing and writing full time, Danielle has four sons with her husband, Rob. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors. Danielle Thorne is the daughter of former Murray, Kentucky, residents Dan and Roxie Leatherwood. Her brother, an MSU graduate, lives in Murray with his family. For further information about her books, visit her website:
"Nothing would make Josette happier than to be settled, but dark brooding Captain Carter rides into her life with news that ruins everything."

Pamela Hearon is pure Kentucky southern. A Paducah native, she attended Paducah City Schools, furthered her education at Paducah Community College, and received BS and MA degrees from Murray State University. Her long teaching career began at Paducah Tilghman High School. Visit Pamela’s website:
"No one ever said earning the title 'His Hotness' would be easy!"

Laurie Bethel aka. Laurean Brooks, resides in northwestern Tennessee, a stone's throw from the Kentucky state line. When she's not blogging or penning a story, Laurie enjoys attending author events, church, browsing flea markets with her husband, and walks with their two spoiled Labs. Visit her blog at:
"An Inspirational journey about healing after abuse. A young woman struggles to trust, forgive, and open her heart to love."

Thank you for visiting my blog today, and meeting these four talented, very busy authors. Please check out their books--you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Colors, The Bluegrass State, and My Old Kentucky Home

Rest Stop on Interstate 65. Very pretty place.

Bardstown, Kentucky
Old Historic Downtown-Hurst Drugs on the corner boasts an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
Party Pavillion in "My Old Kentucky Home State Park." 
Guess I'm early.

"Mr. Foster! Are you home?"

Oh. THIS is "My Old Kentucky Home."
It's called the Federal Hill Mansion.
Not how I imagined it, because this is not Stephen F. Foster's home.
It's his cousin's-Judge John Rowan (1795-1840).
This was built by slaves with bricks made on the property.
Judge John Rowan's Law Office from early Nineteenth Century. Now, this looks more like an old Kentucky home to me. Inside, visitors could view his desk, old law books, bookcases, and chairs where clients sat to wait their turn. Very interesting.

Trust me. Old Kentuckians knew nothing about "Handicapped Accessible."
 Yikes! Is this the ghost of Mrs. Rowan. Oh. Sorry. She's a docent.

How would you like to cook here?

Somewhere in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Near a shopping area.
Also Kroger's.

"My kids" neighborhood.
Although our destination on this Fall trip was Michigan, we spent an extra day in Elizabethtown and Bardstown, Kentucky. We've made other stops in Kentucky in previous years. I'm a little in love with Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.
Stephen F. Foster wrote "My Old Kentucky Home" and it was adopted as the state song.
Mr. Foster wrote one other state song. Can you name the song and the state?
Thanks for traveling with me from Central Texas to Michigan.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why I Admire Daniel Boone--or...Lost! In Kentucky.

 My daughter-in-law insisted we should have a GPS system for our drive from Central Texas to Michigan. No, I said, I do just fine with a plain old map. We've made this trip about twenty times, now, and not to worry.....

That was the last sane thing I said.

After our stay with the grandkids, we decided to take the Western Kentucky Parkway instead of the interstate which would take us down to Nashville, and then west to Arkansas, and finally home.

The Parkway was easy to enter from Elizabethtown, and for some distance, all was well. We had motel reservations somewhere, Central City, I think, but we would be stopping for the night at 2:00 in the afternoon. Too early, so we canceled that reservation and continued driving.

Somehow, for the next several hours, things went awry.

First, I noticed the directional system in our van read "C" and then the temperature. It should read E for East, W for West, SW for Southwest...well, you get the picture. I have always depended on that simple little gadget. But... my said..."C." What is that?

As we drove along, I read the manual for the van and learned it meant Calibrate. As in...Calibrate the Directional System if it gets off. Well, dang it, it was off! I read--"To restore the directional system, find an open area and drive in a 360 degree circle three times."

Isn't that sort of like Dorothy clicking her heels three times to get back to Kansas?

Well, forget that, my dear husband said. We need to find our way to the Tennessee State line. This looked easy on the map. However, for many miles, the Kentucky State Highway Department decided to make a few temporary turns, roads, and detours so that after about two hours, we were Lost! Kentucky. We felt as though we drove around in circles.

You see why a GPS system would be no good? You see why a map is useless? The roads do not match the map!!!

Anyway, at long last, we found our way south and crossed into Tennessee. Safe at last. I knew exactly where we were.

I peered at the directional system. "Oh. Look," I said. "The directional system somehow fixed itself."

My husband laughed this hysterical laugh that didn't sound at all like his usual quiet, sedate manner. "Don't you understand? We drove in circles for two hours! Of course, it's fixed. We drove for hours, in circles..."

"There, there," I said, patting his shoulder. "Everything will be fine now."

Oh, by the way. We had a lovely time in Kentucky. I'll tell you all about our wonderful visit to Bardstown in the next blog.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas