Daily Archives: June 21, 2009

Raven Update (and Argus too!)

It has been a little while since I have shared Raven photos with you. She is now just about 5 months old and weighs 36 pounds. Raven has a wonderful personality which seems to get sweeter each day. She is a comic – climbing into the shower with Kip, swinging her Jolly ball so hard it knocks her off balance, and doing 360 degree spins in front of the cats. She loves her puppy daycare – which she attends twice a week so I can work long days and not worry about her. She has made a couple of friends there: Gabby, a beagle puppy; Maggie Mae, a beagle mix puppy who is a year old; and Ollie, an adorable Border Collie who is about a month younger than Raven. Apparently they run their little brains out all day long because Raven is exhausted at the end of the day!

Argus and Raven continue to bond. Lately they have been falling asleep out in the backyard next to each other (spooning…it is so cute!), and they love to “parallel play.”

Here are the latest photos (click to enlarge):


Argus – our happy boy


Argus and Raven giving me some dog love


Raven – Quite a handful now


Raven – Dirty is Best


Raven – Wet and Tired

WINNER – A Thousand Veils


Thank you to all who entered this give-away. There were 18 official entries. I used random.org to choose a winner. Congratulations to….

TOBI at By Hook or By Book

Toby I will be emailing you to get your snail mail address…please respond within five days so I can mail your book right out to you!

For those of you who did not win the book, I hope you will consider purchasing it!

Sunday Salon – June 21, 2009

Sunday Salon

June 21, 2009

Good morning, fellow readers and Happy Father’s Day to those dads out there who may be reading my blog today. This weekend has been a busy one for me. I worked most of the day on Friday and then began working on Natasha’s fantastic challenge: Bloggiesta. You can see what I’ve been doing by visiting my wrap-up on the challenge. I hope you’ll stop in (if you are reading by a feed reader) and see my new look which Michelle at 1 More Chapter created for me – and you might want to drop by Michelle’s blog and give her a virtual hug…she had a rough night re-building her blog when it crashed!

As far as reading goes, I have had a pretty good week. I finished reading Laura Lippman’s terrific mystery What The Dead Know (read my review). She is a wonderful writer and I will be picking up more of her books in the future.

Next I finished the short collection of stories by Simon Van Booy (read my review). He is a poetic writer and this is a good collection which I highly recommend.

I was going to read Sea of Poppies next, but I’m not in the mood for that one at the moment. So instead I have picked up The Local News by Miriam Gershow which I will be touring with TLC Book Tours on July 9th. You’ll have to wait for my review until then. But I will tell you that I was hooked in the story by page 10. I also have an Advance Readers Edition of this book which I will be giving away in July.

My next read is going to be one of these:

  • Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Also on my reading list is:

  • The Bohemian Girl: Collection of Short Stories by Willa Cather
  • The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey
  • Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill

Later today I am going to be setting up my brand new bookcase!! I can’t wait to get some organization into my stacks.

What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a good book.

Bloggiesta: Wrap Up


Sunday, June 21 @ 8:00 AM

Many thanks to Natasha at Maw Books, as well as the wonderful mini-challenge hosts who sponsored this fun event. I wish I had been able to participate more on Friday…but even still, I managed to blog for 14 hours in the 48 hour time period. I got a lot accomplished and learned a few new things along the way…anchor text and gravatars among them.  I also got a new look, thanks to my new blogging buddy, Michelle! I finished or made a good dent in 12 of the 15 tasks I set out to do.

I was really bad about visiting other participants (except the mini-challenge hosts)…but I promise to get out there later today and see how everyone did and leave some comments.

So here are my final stats:

Total Amount of Time Spent on Event TO DATE: 14.0 hours

Total Mini Challenges Completed:  8

  1. Ruth from Bookish Ruth asked us to analyze our blog using this a website grader. My results were a score of 98.2 which according to HubSpot’s algorithm ‘has calculated that this site scores higher than 98.2% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness‘ AND ‘www.caribousmom.com ranks 18,020 of the 1,038,724 websites that have been ranked so far.‘ I was pleasantly surprised! But there are some things I could do to score higher including adding a Meta Description to my blog title and submitting articles to digg.com which I will probably do.
  2. Lynn from Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile encouraged us to get our blog listed on one of the many, many social networking sites (she has listed a lot of them with links if you are interested!). I decided to get listed with BlogCatalog. It was free and easy to do!
  3. Jen at Devourer of Books asked us to spend some time updating old posts, fixing mistakes, and correctly bad links. We had to do at least 3 pages. I used a great tool from Firefox which allowed me to quickly identify bad links on each page. Unfortunately I learned a hard lesson while doing this – apparently each time I updated a post and used a new date for the post, it changed the link! So I had a TON of bad links for my 2008 reading journal. I’ve corrected them up through June (most of them are links to the challenge posts) which took me 3.5 hours!!! Yikes! BUT, I have also corrected all links on 3 other pages as well. This looks like it is going to be a long term project…but at least I’ve made a start.
  4. Amy at My Friend Amy challenged us to find ourselves a blogging buddy. Michelle at 1 More Chapter is a great blogging buddy to have…we already share a blog at Notable Books, and I post to Michelle’s spectacular Novels Now blog (along with some other fantastic bloggers). We also seem to share a lot of reading challenges. Michelle is an amazing blog designer and knows code…and she has been incredibly helpful to me on more than one occasion …she made my beautiful header and got me started when I got my own domain, and today she spent a good part of her day creating a new look for me (please drop by and see what you think).
  5. Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog challenged us to clean up our feed readers. I went in and deleted several blogs which are no longer active and made a nice dent in my numbers. I still need to do more, but I’ve made a good start.
  6. Beth at Beth Fish Reads challenged us to write either a list post or an opinion post. I chose a list post…and you will get to see that post on Wednesday this week!
  7. Trish at Hey Lady Whatcha Readin’? challenged us with favicons and gravatars. I did not add a favicon because the new version of my blog has not been tested yet with the plug-in. BUT, I did add a gravatar…so now you will see Raven’s little face whenever I leave you a comment.
  8. Michelle at Galleysmith taught us all about anchor text…and I hope I got that right when I left her a comment!

How Did I Do On My List? (partially complete highlighted in RED, completed are slashed out)

  1. Update and add to my THE LISTS pages (I’m moving lists from this site to here and will be closing that blog at the end of the year)
  2. Create Sunday Salon post for the 21st
  3. Wrote an acknowledgment post on A Novel Challenge blog for an award
  4. Respond to all comments left on my blog
  5. Create Mailbox Monday post for the 22nd
  6. Create Friday Finds post for the 26th
  7. Migrate Women Writers posts from that blog to this one (I will be closing my Women Writers blog by the end of the year since I seem to never post new content to it) – I’ve decided to keep these posts as drafts and re-post them to my blog when it seems the right time to do so.
  8. Create 2 to 3 Women Writers NEW POSTS for a rainy day!
  9. Create a summer reading post.
  10. Create a Noteworthy News post.
  11. Clean up broken links on my blog – Thanks to Lesley from Lesley’s Book Nook who emailed with a Firefox Add-on called Link Evaluator, this part of my list got a whole lot easier. Thank you, Lesley!! I have analyzed the following pages and fixed the broken links on them: Reviews, 2009 Reading Journal, The Lists (not individual lists, but the page where it lists the lists!), and up through June on my 2008 Reading Journal.
  12. Organize my challenge lists.
  13. Update blog links in my right side bar – this is going to take longer than this challenge allows. I am going through my Google Reader and deleting inactive blogs; then I will begin adding new links to my sidebar. There does not seem to be an easy way to link/share my blogroll in my feed reader…which is what I would like to do since I have so many blogs I follow.
  14. Catch up on reviews – I posted a review of my latest read (Love Begins In Winter) to my blog and to Novels Now; and updated all my challenge links, links to other blogs, review page, and Library Thing for Love Begins in Winter AND for What The Dead Know.
  15. Added a Gravatar