BooksBloom Adventures

People who can\'t do web pages should be punished...
People who can’t do web pages should be punished!

I think I am too old for technology!  At least SOME technology.  A few years ago I took a web page design class and learned rudimentary html and web design.  At that time my site was hosted by my son’s friend, and I had access to a site studio that allowed me to design a page without having to use my newly acquired html knowledge.  My web site was basic but it did exist.  My mother used the conference information to track our travels!

Unbeknownst to me, my domain name was still under the name of my friend who originally talked me into having a domain name five years ago.  When she emailed earlier this year to ask if I wanted it renewed, I was puzzled.  Didn’t my son’s friend transfer it to me?

Nope.  Nor did my son’s friend return my emails with answers to other questions.  Nor did he fix my web site when it disappeared.  And then, a new name began appearing in emails asking me to renew my web account.  My son’s friend seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.   Aha!  Thought I, NOW is the time to CHANGE servers and do a GREAT web site.  Who needs friends of sons who leave clients high and dry?  I CAN DO THIS!  I know html!!!

My FIRST mistake was trying to get my domain name transferred at the same time I switched servers.  YIKES!!!  Domain name transfers are intricate and time-consuming.  It seems each company that issues domain names is loathe to let someone else have it.   Waiting for the domain name to get transferred meant I was unable to do anything with the server.  I could not access my account until it was in MY name, so I couldn’t switch server names.  Add to that our peripatetic existence with irregular internet service time and you may just maybe feel a twinge of my cyberpain.  I FINALLY had time last week to work on the web site when we were stranded in Yreka, California but the hotel internet was slow and kept bumping me off line.  AAUGH!!!

Two and a half months after deciding to TAKE CONTROL, I THINK I have finally returned to cyberspace.  My web pages are basic, utilitarian, and BORING.  Sure, I found a template with a sunflower on it (must keep with floral motifs with a name like BooksBLOOM!) but it was exasperating to work with the site studio at godaddy.   How is it that there are so many web pages out there that look GOOD???

Our life on the road is so very elemental.  We drive, we do conferences, we occasionally get to rest, and then we continue.  Trying to work in all this modern stuff like email and web pages and blogs is SUCH a contrast to our teeny, tiny life!  We DO have a cell phone that works – we’ve had it longer than usual.  Gary hasn’t yet lost it, flooded it, or sent it sailing over his handlebars biking down a hill!  Technology is great but it can also add great frustration to life.

We are currently in Rancho Cucamonga, surely one of the most oddly named towns in America!  My dear aunt, Elna, lives here and allows us, even WELCOMES us each year when we come to do the California CHEA conference.  WHAT a blessing it is to have a home to relax in, a kitchen to cook in, and a mountain to bike up.  Gary rode 3 hours up Mount Baldy this morning – getting as far as Baldy Village, which is 4,000 feet.  OUCH!!!

Gary under the van somewhere along the way...

Gary under the van somewhere along the way...

Mighty Whitey is, once more, on her way to the mechanic.  This is mechanic number FOUR.  Mechanics 1-3 have each tried their best (and have charged accordingly!) but MW is still having problems.  With all those different hands in her innards maybe a wire was jarred loose or a hose disconnected or a belt bumped.  It seems to be fixed and then, four to six hours of driving later, the same problem shows up.  It took us SIX hours to go the 75 miles from Grants Pass, Oregon to Yreka, California last Thursday.  We got stuck in Yreka for 3 days and missed a conference – the first time in 9 years of traveling.

Gary has a great idea for good gas mileage...

Gary has a great idea for good gas mileage...

We thought we had her going fine until we began climbing the Grapevine on Interstate 5, north of LA.  She stopped.  STOPPED.  We got going again after an hour or so of waiting, but I believe it was angels blowing, pushing and pulling us up the pass.  We were SO grateful to be at my aunt’s after our arduous climb.

We will be heading to Long Beach Wednesday, so we NEED MW working by then.  Please pray for Raul, the mechanic here.  He is a Christian brother and a very good mechanic.  He needs WISDOM and INSIGHT and TIME!!!

Technology – whether it is a web site or an electrical problem in a van, it impacts us all.  Most of us cannot image life without it yet when it is NOT cooperating don’t we daydream about how much simpler life might be without it?  We are contrary folks, aren’t we??!!!


Wow!  Gary and I just finished the best seminar we’ve ever done!  It was great because the people who came had already been convinced that living books were GREAT and needed to be in their home libraries. 

CottrillsThe convincers were the Cottrills, owners and librarians of The Living Books Library in Abingdon.  They are an astonishing family!  Liz, the mom, is quite the honest homeschooler.  When someone tells her, “I can’t homeschool, it’s too hard!”, Liz retorts, “I taught four children to read and I’m BLIND!”  If you want to see amazing, sit next to Liz and her Braille Scrabble board while she keeps up with the other sighted people playing Fast Scrabble with regular Scrabble letters.  She is an inspiration. 

Emily, the oldest daughter of the family, is a Wheaton College art major graduate and the chief librarian and book buyer.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, well-spoken bibliophile and fiesty sister to five siblings.  She came back home to be under her father’s guidance, though she says she did it, “kicking and screaming.”   Gary and I were so impressed by the impact she is having on the children who look to her for guidance on what to read.  She is touching lives for eternity and it is awesome to see.

Grace is the piano player of the family.  What a joy to sing along with her hymn playing.  The family did a song that had four parts.  Whew!  I couldn’t even figure out where the music went after that first split line of music!

Isaac and Lucas are more recent additions to this special family.  Isaac is East Asian, Lucas is, as he says it, “chocolate”.  Who loves more, the adoptees or the adopters?  Isaac (8 or 9 years old) is learning to read.  In the meantime he draws amazingly accurate World War I airplanes.  Lucas, age 4, is a love bug and the only boy I’ve ever seen who looks good in mini-dreadlocks!

Two of the older children, Jonny and Lydia, are married but live close by.  What a treat to eat shagame playingre a Sunday dinner with this wild crew of book lovers!  Our dining table conversation was bright, witty, and quite, quite erudite.   And to play games surrounded by thousands of incredible books…what a day, what a day!!!