She Is Too Fond of Books ~ The Kool-Aid Flavor of the Week

The Kool-Aid Mom's award

She Is Too Fond of Books

This week’s Flavor of the Week award goes to Dawn at She Is Too Fond of Books

A week or so ago, Dawn posted about Kiva.org, a micro-lending organization that hooks up people like you and me, with people overseas to help alleviate poverty and to provide them with self-sufficiancy.

The presentation I attended last fall inspired me to make a small loan via Kiva.  I looked at several entreprenuers’ profiles, searching various parts of the world where Kiva lends, and looking for someone who was working in a field that spoke to me (sectors include agriculture, arts, transportation, health, and about a dozen others).  I felt strongly that I wanted to lend to a woman, and I was able to search on this criteria as well.  It’s very humbling to read of the modest requests made, and the business plans of the individuals.

Evelyn is a 52-year-old mother of six who lives in the Phillipines.  She makes a living sewing and selling curtains, and was looking to improve and expand her business with the purchase of additional fabric and materials.  Evelyn has already begun to repay the loans made by the seven microlenders (that’s me, microlender!).  When the loan is fully paid, we can choose to make another microloan, or to withdraw the funds.Now, with gift certificates in hand, my children have the opportunity to choose which venture they will help to fund.  It’s a great lesson in charitable giving, economics, and risk-taking.  A gift certificate with Kiva is a gift that keeps on giving.

After reading her post, I was inspired to join in microlending, as well.  I would also like to lend to a woman, and I’d like to loan to someone in Vietnam, but there’s none available right now (perhaps Kiva doesn’t have partners there?)

Since you can withdraw the money after it’s been repayed, I think giving a person a gift of a gift certificate with Kiva is the best of both worlds.  Sure, there is the wait for them to get the money you give them, and it might feel a bit like their being forced to be charitable, but I suppose you can give them a gift card to their favorite store along with the Kiva gift. 

From the site: Your recipient chooses the loans, receives repayments, and can choose to lend again and again!

 Currently, the site boasts a loan every nine seconds, and is having the really cool problem of not having enough loans for lenders as it’s getting some good press.  Check out She is Too Fond of Books, the Kool-Aid Flavor of the Week, and be sure to sign up at Kiva.org (signing up is fast and free, and the first step to giving 😉 ).

Bloggiesta ~ I Didn’t Play, but I Wish I hadda!

blogiestaI hate housekeeping. 

When I was a kid, and my mom was trying to force me to do my chores, I’d mouth off that I was going to get a maid when I grew up, so I didn’t need to learn how to do dishes or laundry or clean the toilet. 

I’m still waiting for my maid.

This past Friday and Saturday (June 19-20), Natasha at Maw Books hosted the first ever BloggiestaOlé!  The idea was to clean out the broken links, write the reviews you’re behind on, clean out the clutter, and in general bootify yer blog.

Housekeeping.  For my blog.  Blech!  Needless to say, I didn’t sign up. 

However, as I read through everyone else’s Bloggiesta updates and challenges, I found myself doing all the activities and wanting to fix up my blog, too.  I don’t wanna be the family in the trailer with four foot grass and the car on blocks while everyone else has mansions…  Wait, I wanna bootify my place, too!

So here’s some of the things I ended up doing.

1.  Updating Mt. TBR’s inventory page, adding a page for my ARC-alanche pile.  Unfortunately, I got about halfway through the TBR page when LibraryThing pooped out on me, so I’ve still got some more work on that.  It’s no where near what’s allon my TBR shelves.

2.  Stealing a page from Stella Matutina, literally, I’ve written up a review policy for Mt. TBRand linked it in my “contact me” widget on the sidebar.  I didn’t really have a policy before… not one set in stone, anyway, just a  kinda-sorta flimsy plan.  This fact is made painfully obvious by the amount of books on my ARC-alanche pile.

Other things to improve my blog, more on the cosmetic side of life:

One of the things that irk me is that I can’t find a theme that I like… I mean, really like.  The colors on this one seem a bit pale, and the sidebar and main area run together for some unknown reason sometimes, but my problem is:  I wanna knew layout, but hate all the wordpress ones, halp?  Is there a site somewhere that makes them to paste in the CSS thingy like MySpace does?

Another thing I’ve been wondering lately:  Is my site too busy?  Too many pics?  TMI?  Is it navigable and readable, or does it overwhelm and turn off?

A third, and major… in my opinion it’s big, is that there will be a book review change.  I’ve learned that blog posts look a lot different on Google Reader, and I’m beginning to see that the whole itemized list of title, author, publisher and date and page numbers… blah blah blah… is unnecessary.  Who cares what year it was published and how many pages!  It’s making the post needlessly longer.  From now on, the reviews will have the title, author and ISBN only and smaller covers.  Personally, I like the ISBN handy to grab and paste to my wishlist instead of having to sift through similar titles and other books by that author.  Smaller covers, again something I’ve learned from Google Reader, because, while the big ones with detail are pretty, they take up soOOoo much space.

Website Grader, FINALLY!  After months and months of trying to make the web grader inspect my blog, and every time the ‘tarded thing telling me my URL was invalid, I clicked the link “free seo tool” in the gray box to the right and MAGICALLY! it took the URL in the next page.  It was so frustrating to hear everyone tell all about the wonderful things they discovered through this thing, and I couldn’t even get past the front dang door!  BTW… I gots a 95 🙂

Meta whota whata?

Some of the things in the report from Website Grader made sense, but some things left me very confuzzled.  like Meta.  Meta tags.  Meta description.  I’m missin’ out on the Meta deal, but have no clue on how to get hip and get with it!  How do I add the Meta parcels?

 

File that under miscellaneous…

I took time to add the newer awards I’ve received, added the Viral Video Wednesday button, and put my 4Rchallenge button and linked them all up, so now they’re all good to go 🙂

RSS feed ~ Fail?

 

  IDK… I’ve tried to use the RSS feed (thank gawd for Google Reader!), but this is what I see:

My view of an RSS feed

Is this what I’m suppose to see?  With all the code and stuff?

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So that’s where I’m at on all the “Keep the Bloggie Beautiful” stuff, though… I figure it’s probably a lot like my desk.  No sooner than I clean it all up, someone will dump a load on it and I’ll have to start over.

Now here’s where I need your help, everyone…

What kinds of things would you suggest to improve Mt. TBR?  Any help is appreciated!