Wednesday, February 29, 2012

True...sort of by Katherine Hannigan

Ahhh, what a week it's been.  I can't get into it too much at this point but suffice it to say the love affair I have with my job has taken a huge hit in the last 10 days.  While all that has been happening I've been reading this soothing and poetically written gem by Katherine Hannigan.

355 pages
It's not soothing as in everything is all hunky dory-the book has two  major conflicts-but Hannigan has a unique style of writing.  She's also created a very quirky cast of characters.  Delly (short for Delaware) Pattison has trouble not getting in little bits of trouble.  She is picked on by a bully, Novello, who for the sake of loving Delly can't help but be mean to her at this point in his life.  It makes them miserable and includes some fierce wrestling/spitting matches on the playground.  She also has run-ins with a local grocery store maven and Officer Verena Tibbetts has Delly on her "list of The Worst Children in River Bluffs." (4)

Her reputation follows poor Delly wherever she goes even when she's trying to help caged-in chickens at the county fair or borrowing a boat for a little river adventure.  She gets fed up with her own ability to find trouble when she sees her mother cry over a recent incident.  Delly vows to change her ways to make her mother proud.  I like this thread of Delly's tale as it shows a child's thought process in trying to work out how and why her trouble happens.  

Delly in her quest to have better days starts allowing her little brother, RB to hang with her more often.  He is able to keep her calm in several situations and even teaches Delly about counting to keep calm.  While her and RB are off trying for adventure without trouble-making they see a young boy, sad as can be, drive through town in a beat-up old green Impala.  On Monday she finds out the boy is actually a girl named Ferris Boyd.  Delly's teacher, the wonderful Mr. Terwilliger, informs her that Ferris does not speak and is not to be touched.  Hmm.  Delly's curiosity is peaked.  Delly has her own vocabulary throughout, cataloged in a Delly Dictionary by Hannigan, which adds to her charming character:
After school Delly ran to Ferris Boyd.  "Hey," she said softly, and fell in beside her, like they'd been friends forever.
She waited till they were at the bridge to ask, "Ferris Boyd, did you see? I didn't fight." Then she told her, without saying a word, I heard you.
Ferris Boyd stopped and turned to Delly.  her eyes were still sad, but there was something else in them.  Something like a smile.
It was only a second.  Her head went down again, and she was shuffling along the road.
It was all Delly needed.  Ferris Boyd had heard her, too.  "All right then." She grinned. (168)
This tale gently shares many themes with the reader and would make a wonderful read-aloud to understand more about bullies, abuse, anger management, good teaching and the rough road to friendship. Students will cheer for Delaware Pattison.

"Happy Hallelujah"~ Delly 

I was encouraged to pick up True because I loved Ida B, her first book.
Hannigan is an Iowa author!

Both books are green and share similar sentiments inside;  "We care about the health of this planet and all of its inhabitants.  So the first hardcover printing of this book used 100% postconsumer recycled paper (that means that no trees were cut down to create the paper).  And that paper was processed chlorine-free, because when chlorine is used to bleach paper, the process creates toxic by-products called dioxins and furans that can make people and animals sick...."  
A book company, Harper Collins, that I can fully support!  How come more books aren't produced in this method?  To find out more information go to

Sunday, February 26, 2012

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

     A teenage friend raved about this book to me when I saw her over Thanksgiving.  I'd read lots of positive blog reviews about this series but somehow her adoration over Clare's writing and for Clary, the main character, made me take serious notice and check it out from the library.

The Mortal Instruments;
City of Bones 
485 pgs
YA Fantasy

Synopsis:  When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder.  Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings.  This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line.  It's also her first meeting with gorgeous Jace.  Within 24 hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon.  But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary?  And how did she suddenly get the Sight?  The Shadowhunters would like to know...

    I loved the characters and the action.  The teenagers, including the Shadowhunters, act typically sullen and moody.  There is enough adventure, sarcastic wit and sinister details to keep me turning  pages.  I especially enjoyed Magnus Bane's character;  he's been wiping Clary's mind for years so her mom could keep Clary out of this world and here she is knee deep in it but without any memories to assist her! While there are some odd details that had me scratching my head I thought overall the tale is quite interesting. I know I will enjoy the rest of this fun series.  Does anybody know if this is Hollywood-bound?

"Magnus? Magnus Bane?""That would be me."  The man blocking the doorway was as tall and thin as a rail, his hair a crown of dense black spikes.  Clary guessed from the curve of his sleepy eyes and the gold tone of his evenly tanned skin that he was part Asian.  He wore jeans and a black shirt covered with dozens of metal buckles.  His eyes were crusted with a raccoon mask of charcoal glitter, his lips painted a dark shade of blue.  He raked a ring-laden hand through his spiked hair and regarded them thoughtfully.  Children of the Nephilim," he said.  "Well, well. I don't recall inviting you." (218-219)

Other reviews:

Rachel Rager
Roof Beam Reader

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tag your it...

A week ago my blogging friend Lisa from Books Lists Life tagged me for a little  Q and A game and I intended to answer back the next night.  Instead I obliviously went to a meeting the next day that involved the future of my job; the job that I love and had the wind knocked out of me for a few days (still).  I'm not going to get into it  but we all need to wonder about the future of education in the U.S.

I do want to honor Lisa's questions with answers so here they are...

Here's the rules:

1 You must post the rules.
2 Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3 Tag eleven people and link to them on your post. 
4 Let them know you’ve tagged them! 

Here are Lisa's questions for me (and the 11 others she tagged):

1. Could you eat the same thing for lunch every day? What would it be? Yes, Sushi.
2. How many library books do you have checked out right now? Only two but they are both overdue. 'Nuf said.
3. Do you feel strongly about specific music? or more of a music in general type person?  I love music in general but am not a fan of heavy metal or opera.  I lean toward Jack Johnson, The Grateful Dead, Taylor Swift, John Prine, The Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel.
4. What is your favorite brick and morter retail store?  I love a store on our eclectic Main St. called Vintage Iron.
5. What is your favorite online store?  The Gap
6. What is your favorite moment of heartstopping romantic tension? (Book, movie, music, tv, real life, art, anywhere.) Heart-stopping romantic tension makes me think of Claire and Jaime in Gabaldon's Outlander series.
7. What is the first book you remember reading?  Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss over and over to my two younger brothers.
8. Are you creative in any way? How so?  Yes, I like to write.  I do knit but have yet to really produce items that people will actually wear.
9. Not counting your family, pets, and vital personal documents/pictures, what one thing would you save in a fire?  The oval table that sits by my side door.  It belonged to my grandmother.
10. What is your favorite type of vacation (museums, beach, cabin, mountains, theme parks)? Hands down; the beach. My second though is the mountains of Colorado.
11. What is the most surprising or unexpected thing you've done in the last 12 months?   disagreed with my superintendent.   Eek.
My tags:

Reading Junky
and finally
Katie L. (who just needs something to smile about after her painful week)

My questions:

1.  What  book character is crush-worthy to you?
2. What is your favorite library memory; either public or school?
3. What is your favorite state?
4. What is the best time of  day for you?
5. If you could direct a movie of one book-what book would it be?
6. What is your favorite guilty pleasure (massage, expensive haircut, high priced coffee)?
7. What is the worst book to movie adaptation you've ever experienced?
8.  Describe your dream vacation.
9. What musical artist or song would play on the soundtrack of your life?
10. What is the one food that brings back blissful childhood memories?
11. What form of exercise do you actually like? 

Have fun! Feel free to play along...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mailbox Monday on a Wednesday

My mailbox is generally crammed full of bills, catalogs and flyers.  This week I've had a lot of books show up.  Thought I should share my loot.

1. Soup Day by Melissa Iwai.  Won this. From the author.  Whoop, Whoop.  Signed by the author to Groovy Girl.  Wonderful gem of collecting ingredients and cooking with mama.

2. Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke (May 2012) ARC.  From Little, Brown and Company.  Thanks Zoe. (Inkheart (the book, not the movie) tops my favorite book list.

3. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart (April 2012) ARC. From Little, Brown and Company.  Thanks also Zoe!

4. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and The BFG by Roald Dahl both from Paperback Book Swap.  I need to give out some higher level chapter books to some students and this was an easy (free)  way to collect a few to donate.

5. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford.  Purchased from Alibris for February book club, I've already read it but wanted to reread.  Library copies were all out.  Gee, I wonder who had them all?!

6. Learning by Doing by Richard DuFour. Used purchase from Amazon vendor.  Want to read this for school purposes.  Probably won't get to really read it until summer.

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perfect pictorama of my life!

My husband sent me this hysterically true image today and I want to share.  It wouldn't share as an image so I hope it works as a link.  And then I got it to work as an image-that's just what we blogger-teacher-librarians do; we keep trying until we get it to work! Enjoy.

Love Librarians!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander; #11

The Book of Three

The Chronicles of Prydain was a favorite of one of my college professors.  She ran the Library Science program at the time I was studying to be a teacher-librarian.  Any time I see the series I think of her and because I'm taking a class on fantasy I decided to give it a try.  I've no idea why it took me so long-it was a wonderful!

Taran is bored with his assistant Pig-Keeper duties, even though his charge is none other than Hen Wen, Prydain's only oracular pig.  He'd rather be doing something more heroic, like making swords and learning to use them.
When Hen Wen escapes and Taran goes after her, he finds himself farther from home than he's ever been.  Soon he begins to realize that heroism is not easy task.  With the dreaded Horned King on the loose and King Arawn gathering the forces of evil, Taran must look past his own dreams to warn the population of Prydain-before it's too late. 

I love how fantasy so easily transports me away to another land and this one did just that.  I imaged trudging through the lands of Prydain with Taran, Eilonwy and Gwydion as they follow through with each quest and do battle with the Horned King.  This one has very typical good vs. evil crisis but the characters bring it completely to life.  Eilonwy is a natural rebel-always curious and never willing to just follow along.  She is perfect example of a positive female character and she can do a little magic!  I also love a hero who's shy and humble and Taran and Prince Gwydion both have these characteristics.  I'm anxious to read the next in the series, The Black Cauldron, to discover the next adventure awaiting Taran and Eilonwy.

Did every one else read this one in high school?  Better late than never for me!

28 Days of Things I Love; #11
I love me some magical fantasy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart-shaped edible Valentine's

Groovy Girl rolling out the dough
Personal style!

Cutting the hearts

Frosted Hearts
28 Days of Things I Love; #10
baking with my girl

Sunday, February 12, 2012

28 Days of Things I love; #9

My mom.
     Simple.  She's taken good care of me.  She's passed on her love of reading, gardening, and cooking.  I'm happy when we get to cook together.  She helps me put in my garden every year.  We share books back and forth although she is way  more into the classics than I am but I'll forgive her that.  I enjoy her company, a blessing, because in my 20's I did not.  We were at that time on opposite ends of ideas but as I became a mother and a wife things evened out and I could see things more clearly.  This is one of my favorite photos of my mom and I; we are in the kitchen getting ready to freeze tomato sauce. It was August and my hair was unusually short for me.  The apron I am wearing was my Grandma B's, very special. She knows just how to squeeze my hand when I need it.
Happy February, Mom-I'm happy you like getting my blog posts in your in-box.

Weekend Cooking; S'More Brownies

I made these brownies last weekend under the ruse that they were for Teenage Boy.  If he remains relatively respectful all week I make him a sweet treat.  It is tough to keep any teenager happy and this seems to work for him.  He loves to eat, needs to gain weight, and we get to see him smile.  It's not like he gets to eat the whole pan by himself; I ate one or two (three or four) myself and they were out-of-this-world delicious.  I'm thinking about making them again real soon.  I miss them.

This was a spur-of-the-moment recipe and some substituting occurred.  Graham crackers aren't a regular feature in my pantry except during the summer and early Fall s'more high season.  Club crackers on the other hand are a  staple plus I like that salty/sweet sensation.

Brownie S'Mores Bars  (makes 36 treats)
adapted from So Sweet! (Sur La Table p. 30-31)

1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (Club Crackers)
1 T. sugar
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

Brownie Filling
6 ozs. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup sugar
2 large farm fresh eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (I used regular-sized and groovy girl cut them into fourths)

1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350*F. Turn a 9-inch square baking pan upside down and mold a piece of aluminum foil to the outside.  You should have about an inch of aluminum foil overhang.  Slide the foil off the pan bottom, and turn the pan over. Slip the foil inside the pan.  Fold down any foil that extends past the top edges over the outside.  Lightly butter the foil or use spray.
2. Place the crackers crumbs, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Pour the melted butter over the cracker crumbs and stir with a silicone spatula until the mixture is evenly moistened.  Smash any lumps (groovy girl's job)
3.Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and use your clean fingers to press it into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake for 10 minutes.  Using oven mitts, transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Leave the oven on.
5. Put the chocolate on a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces.  Put the butter in a medium saucepan, place over low heat, and heat until it melts. turn off the heat, and move the pan to a heatproof surface.  Add the chocolate to the pan, let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until blended.  The chocolate should be very smooth.  If it is still lumpy, let it sit for another minute or two, then whisk again.  Scrape the chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
6. Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture until fully blended.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each egg is added.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Finally, whisk in the flour and salt.  Whisk slowly at first, then fast until batter is smooth and shiny.  It will be thick.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven, set it on a heat proof surface.  Carefully sprinkle the mini marshmallows evenly over the top.  Gently press on the marshmallows so they mush into the brownies a bit.
8. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the brownie mixture feels firm when lightly pressed, or do the clean toothpick trick.  Transfer to the cooling rack and let cool completely.
9. To remove brownies from the pan, lift the foil out from opposite corners.  Set brownies on cutting board and peel back the foil.
10. Spray a chef's knife and cut into 6 equal strips. Then repeat across the other way to make even bars.  Store in an airtight container or resealable zip-lock for up to 5 days.

Taste test:  We waited for them to cool (almost) and sliced them with no problems.  They were delicious and my husband (the only one in the house lacking a sweet tooth) went back for seconds.  I would make them again using Club Crackers-I thought it added a different twist and graham crackers might make it over sweet for us.  I hardly ever use milk chocolate chips preferring dark or semi-sweet.  My environmentally-friendly self would use parchment paper in the pan instead of foil next time I make them.  I think it would work just the same since I am not a fan of cooking with or in tinfoil.

I like it when I can create something this yummy with supplies I already have on hand.  Too often recipes call for two to ten odd ingredients that I have to shop for which is fine sometimes but it is always nice to whip something up without that added shopping trip.  As I grow as a "chef" I've learned what will make good substitutions, even in baking.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click the link to see other food-related posts.  I posted about So Sweet!
for another Weekend Cooking post about whoopie pies.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #8

I love  what I do every day.  I love to help students find the perfect book choice.  I love to ask students if they finished the chapter book they are turning in only to be treated to a childish glare that says "of course, I did-I loved it, where's the next one in the series."  I love to have my kid's book clubs make remarkable discoveries as they read something like Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever, 1793.  I had one group this week put together a slide show about yellow fever and the book.  It was impressive stuff and secretly it felt good to know that their tech skills came from a library lesson.  I love connecting a teacher to a book for a  literacy lesson and hearing later that it went great.

As the roles of librarians emerge and change we have a wide array of duties that fit in our hats.  We feel, at times, out of place.  We can learn a lot from teacher's collaborative meetings but rarely get the opportunity to go.  As our district buys into reading plans we don't feel needed in a meeting about reading.  Our role is ever more crucial to guide students into independent thinking, decision-making, and to nurture life-long readers.  It is a struggle to get administrators at the highest level to understand it is much greater and as simple as picking a book.  Long live librarians!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #7

#7 I love my new refrigerator!
It came today. The trucking dude left it in our driveway, leaving my husband to maneuver it up and into the house.  It is not hooked up yet but I'm thrilled to own this new beauty.  I'll be able to get a glass of cold water from the front door.  It has a mini-wine rack inside the door.  The freezer is ample for ice cream and organic chickens.  It is magnetic so we will feel free to junk it up with gaudy magnets and frayed photos!  The Sub-Zero that came with the house was not magnetic. Is it not sparkly and beautiful?
Happy Days!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #6

(Groovy Girl in a rare meditative moment)

     Ohhh.  Been busy.  Love my life; not always happy with the chaos that comes with our hectic life.
So today I say I love calm.  I need to embrace it and bring it forth more each day.  My day at school is class after class and when I have a lot of student-led projects happening I end up working through my lunch to get supplies sorted and ready.  After busy work days I am grateful to come home and peacefully make dinner, enjoying my time with children.

     This week though I've yet to make a real dinner at home. Amy's mac and cheese and some vegetables on a plate do not count for a family meal but that is what I left my children with as I pulled down the driveway headed to my daughter's school conference and then to an art class I'm taking.  Last night was similar as Groovy Girl had a make-up skating lesson and I helped at a school fundraiser right after.  Two activities each night is exhaustive to my mind and spirit.  How do you deal with your hectic schedules?

Breathe.  Peace.  Calm is what I love.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #5

My dogs.
Tarah interrupting my reading.

Tarah, young black lab, and Isabelle, old chocolate lab, are my happy after-school greeters.  They lick and bark; fighting for attention.  Both seem a bit camera shy but love to eat-mostly trying to find a way to get people food. Tarah has found her way onto our kitchen counters, consuming butter, whole loaves of bread and once an entire array of whoopie pies meant for my book club.  She's banned from the kitchen now.  
Bella's too big for the love seat now
Trying to nap

Saturday, February 4, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #4

I love curling up with a good book!

I love the words that I learn the sentence structure, the descriptions.  I fall head over heals in love with characters.  Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz is a perfect example of good writing and memorable characters.  I wanted to get home every day just to read another paragraph, another chapter yet not too fast lest the end come to quickly.

As a young girl I loved curling up in my room and reading the day away.  Today is no different-I squirrel away moments to read as I make dinner, while I wait in line, as I eat lunch at work and especially while I soak in a quiet bath.  I read with my two older children as they moved into middle school age and now read religiously with my youngest.  I'm slightly interested in ebooks yet I know I will always journey with a book in my hand.  I celebrate the printed word, especially stories as marvelous as Claire Marvel!

One quote:
I began to close the bag, then changed my mind.  "Want a Life Saver?"
She cocked her head skeptically. "Depends on the flavor."
"Butter Rum," I said.
Brightening, she nodded-a girlish bounce of her head that sent a thrill through me.  I peeled the damp foil back so she could take one.
"I forgot how good these are." She was rolling the candy noisily around her tongue. (5)

I love this scene as it introduces both Claire and Julian.  In this moment standing in the rain she holds a yellow umbrella and he is soaked.  Their relationship in the beginning throes seems picture perfect except Julian hesitates unsure of himself and she waits expectantly.  Oh-the thrill of a good book!  This one is a keeper.

Weekend Cooking; Adzuki Beans

(Photo Credit)
     In December I reviewed Moosewood Restaurant; Cooking for Health which I'd checked out from the library.  When I had the book I wrote down a few recipes and hoped that I might get the book for Christmas.  I bought the ingredients for one of the recipes using adzuki beans because I'd never heard of them. Luckily I found them in bulk at my local organic store and it seemed like a sign.  Well, you know how things go. I had those adzuki beans in a canning jar and it was the holiday season and the days got away from me.  I never made the recipe but still had the beautiful beans staring at me every time I opened my dry storage cupboard.

     Last week I got inspired to use them but realized I hadn't copied down the original recipe.  I did what everyone does; I googled a new recipe and this is what I found at Healthy Green Kitchen, a new foodie blog for me!  Winnie at HGK credits Ree Drummond (do I even have to say it...Pioneer Woman) for her recipe.  I made them and we've been eating them all week in different easy meals.

adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
Serves 8-10
*4 cups dried aduki beans (or pinto or another type of beans)
*4 slices organic uncured bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces- optional; bacon lends a nice smoky saltiness but you can leave out for vegetarian beans
*filtered water
*1 teaspoon course sea salt or to taste
*1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
*1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste
*1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
1. If not using aduki beans, it's best to soak your beans overnight in a large pot covered with water. After they have soaked, drain them and rinse several times. If you are using the adzuki beans just go ahead and use them.
2. Place rinsed beans and bacon in a large pot on the stove. Pour water over the beans to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
3. Skim any foam that might rise to the top while cooking, and add additional water (or stock), if there does not seem to be enough liquid.
4. Cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours (or as long as 3 hours for pinto and other beans).
5. Add the sea salt (don't add too much if you've used stock) and pepper, plus the seasonings I mentioned (or others that you like) to taste. You can serve these in whole wheat or corn tortillas with the toppings of your choice: think grated raw cheese, fresh salsa, guacamole, organic sour cream, etc. Or have some in a bowl with a side of cornbread (I made a pretty good gluten-free one that you can see in the top picture). Fresh chopped tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and sliced avocado are also wonderful additions.
6. My favorite healthy way to eat these, though, is this: chop some collard greens very fine, add some olive oil and fresh lime juice, and mix with the beans, veggies, and salsa. Top with some green onions and minced cilantro- yum yum yum!

      The first night we had them with brown rice, chopped tomatoes, a little curry sauce and whole wheat wraps.  In the middle of the week I had them on top of a green salad while my children ate pasta.  Last night I turned the last of them into my food processor with a little water, fresh squeezed lime juice and a few diced tomatoes with juice and created a refried bean consistency.  We had soft shell small tacos using the beans as our base with freshly shredded mozzarella, avocado, tomatoes, and green lettuce from our co-op.  The beans were delicious!  My kids didn't even realize they were eating the leftover beans re-purposed!
Adzuki beans are flavorful and very useful as you don't have to soak them at all.  If you can find them in bulk-give them a try.
This post is linked to Weekend Cooking hosted at Beth Fish Reads.  Pop over and see what other food-related bloggers are cooking up!

Friday, February 3, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #3

I love milk and cookies! 

 It is my favorite dessert. I've even ordered it in a restaurant.  I prefer really good homemade chocolate chip cookies but others will suffice. I like to dunk into a mini-coffee mug instead of a glass because I don't need a lot of milk and the cookies fit better. The only brand of store bought cookies we buy are Matt's, which have the same ingredients on the package as what I use in the kitchen.  Just thinking about it makes me want to dunk a coupla' cookies!  

This dessert was a favorite of my dad's and I can still see him at the head of our kitchen table with some of my mom's cookies lined up ready for dunking.  His second favorite dessert was chocolate cake in a bowl of milk.  Yep. I love that also.  Just perfect.  Milk and cookies. Milk and chocolate cake.  Ahhh.

When I googled an image for this post Jana's blog, Milk and Cookies, came up repeatedly!  No wonder I love reading her sweet blog.

Here's hoping you have many cookies to dunk this month!

Thank you to my old friend Stanley for feeding my cookie dunkin' love all through our Denver days!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

28 Days of Things I Love; #2

I love my handsome husband!  
We've raised a family together and we still enjoy each other's company.  He sends me sweet texts during the day.  He makes me hand-crafted cards for special occasions.  I've saved them all.  He smiles when he sees me at the end of the day, whether it is 4:00 or 11:00 pm.  He makes dinner on his day off.  He works really hard on projects for both home and work.  He is very creative and lends his energy to many of  my teaching projects. He "puts" up with all my whims and truly tries to make me happy.
 He is the perfect husband for me.

(He is a prisoner to his phone)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January Recap

Not a blowout month of reading but I'm good with it (seven total books) but several were breathtakingly beautiful.  I started and ended the month off with fantastic books.  I've only reviewed three of my Jan. books and I have to work on this.  I don't have to write about every book I read~I really only want to share the amazing book-the books I want you to read or the books to stay away from.

I do plan to write reviews still for Sing You Home (Dec.), The Book of Three (great fantasy) and Claire Marvel, which was as amazing as The History of Love.

  •  Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu.  312 pages. 2011. 
  • emma and me by Elizabeth Flock. 292 pages. 2004.
  • Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. 466 pages. 2011
  • Bigger Than a Bread Basket by Laurel Snyder. 
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. 1964. 
  • The Geranium Farm Cookbook by Barbara Cawthorne Crafton
  •  Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz. 2002. 
One book, emma and me, counted for my TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader and of course, the cookbook, counts toward my 2012 Foodie Challenge hosted by Joyfully Retired

Exciting News Flash:  I was  asked by Lisa and Margo to participate in Kidlit Celebrates Women's History Month for March.  I am writing about one of the very first feminist, Joan of Arc, for a March 17th post.  I was honored and thrilled to be asked to participate in this jubilee of special women!

My laptop is on it's last leg but as long as I stay plugged in I seem to be okay.  I started off January blogging every day and couldn't continue when a bug crept in damaging major parts of my only 3-year-old laptop.  Sad how things don't last even a medium amount of time.  We truly are a "throw-away" society, which makes me want to throw up a little.  

Happy Reading.

28 Days of Things I love; #1

image courtesy of vintagechica

   #1  On the first day of February I offer up my children's sunshine-filled peaceful moments. 

 I deeply love my children all the time but I am very nearly giddy when they get along, showing mutual respect and kindness for each other (not the terms they would use.)  This morning in the bathroom was an example of this or when Teenage Boy helps Groovy Girl with her homework.  There are many more times when he is big brother mean to her and she sobs little girl sobs and maybe those times make me appreciate the camaraderie that can occur. Life is rocky-I hope they can learn to count on each other.

Happy February!